There are way too many coaching websites out there that don’t have the elements they need in order to do the job they’re supposed to do:
Generate leads and get pre-qualified people scheduling consultations.
This leaves their owners confused about why they’re not getting clients.
In this article, you’ll learn about the essential elements your coaching website will need in order to work as a client-creating, lead-generating marketing tool.
Good quality photos of you
In my experience, coaches aren’t often thrilled about the idea of getting photos taken for their websites.
Sound like you?
The thing is, your people want to make a visual connection with you, to get a feel for you, so it’s pretty much necessary. Even if it feels a little scary, and requires you to move out of your comfort zone.
Y’know, that thing we’re always encouraging our clients to do!
The good news is: every coach I’ve ever worked with who had photo anxiety, and ended up moving through it to get some good photos taken, ended up being so happy they did.
Many found it to be a healing experience. Most found it to be a lot more fun and rewarding than they thought it would be, and were very happy with how their photos turned out.
How to make them great:
If you can, invest in working with a professional photographer, especially one who specializes in brand or lifestyle portraits.
They’re worth the money, and once your photos are done, you’ll be able to use them in your website, social media profiles, marketing outreach, and more.
Avoid photographers who take what I call “class portrait” type photos—simple headshots with featureless backdrops. These tend to look stiff and boring.
Instead, work with a photographer who can take dynamic photos of you in various environments (indoors, outdoors, whatever suits your brand) with professional lighting and creative direction. Photos that feel “alive” and show off your personality—which are more likely to get a positive response from your people.
If you take your own photos:
At the very least, use a high-quality camera (newer iPhones have AMAZING cameras), rather than a webcam (unless it’s a really high-quality one—not the one built into your computer).
Think about lighting. You want your face illuminated, not in shadow. Avoid overhead lighting, as well as light coming directly from a computer screen.
Keep in mind that indoor lighting tends to appear yellow in photos, which isn’t a good look.
Some types of photos to avoid using:
- Grainy or blurry webcam photos
- Photos with poor, dull, unflattering lighting
- Photos with cluttered backgrounds
- That photo of you a friend took at a party 8 years ago
Go easy on yourself:
You don’t have to be a model, or worry that you’re not “beautiful enough”, because your people don’t care about these things. They just want to feel you. They want to see who they’ll be working with.
Don’t underestimate how important photos are to your website and your brand.
An engaging headline + intro
Just to be clear, I’m talking about the headline and intro that appear on your website’s home page, “above the fold” (aka the first section they see, before they start scrolling down).
This is where you make that all-important first impression.
This is where your person instantly decides whether this is interesting or not.
How to make it great:
Write a headline and intro that immediately engages your ideal client, showing them right away that they’re in the right place.
A stellar headline is one of 3 things:
- A bold promise
- An intriguing question
- An inspiring statement
When writing your headline, use one of those 3 guidelines and make it laser-focused on what your client actively wants, needs to know, or is struggling with.
The key here is being clear on the specialized result you help your clients achieve.
How to write your intro:
- Keep it brief (1-2 sentences)
- Make it about your person—use you statements, not I statements
- Speak to their challenges, wants, and needs
Take advantage of this first impression—make it count.
Get your person feeling and wanting more.
A compelling “About” page
Your About page will be the most visited page of your website, after your home page.
Unfortunately, most coaches don’t create About pages that live up to their full potential—instead making them either mini-autobiographies, or uninteresting bio blurbs.
Here’s my secret to a powerful About page:
It’s more about your person than about you.
It’s where you give them just enough information about yourself to tell them who you are and what you’re about, while speaking mainly to who they are, what they’re struggling with, and why you’re the one to help them solve their problem.
This is what makes them like you and trust you.
How to make it great:
- Start with speaking to who they are and what they want.
- Tell your Hero Story—the story of how you were once where your ideal client is, and how you achieved the life-changing result that they want for themselves.
- Show them why achieving this result isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
- Talk about how you can help them, and why you love helping people like them.
- Tell them why they’re special, because you don’t work with just anyone.
- End with a call-to-action that takes them to your Work With Me page.
Avoid the temptation to make your Hero Story into a mini-autobiography.
Your people don’t care about where you went to college, or about the long, winding journey to discovering your life’s purpose.
They don’t want to read a complex story with lots of details and dates to follow.
They want just one thing: to feel that you’re someone they can like, trust, and be understood by.
When your About page shows them why you’re ideal for them (and why they’re ideal for you), it becomes a highly-effective sales page rather than simply a place where you talk about yourself!
An irresistible “Work With Me” page
The power of your Work With Me page is directly proportional to how enticing your signature offer is.
If your signature offer doesn’t excite and inspire your person—if it’s not focused on achieving a specific, tangible, and meaningful result, and instead just looks like the typical package of coaching sessions—you’re likely to lose them… forever.
How to make it great:
Don’t try to sell coaching or a coaching package.
Instead, sell a specialized result in the form of an irresistible signature offer.
THIS is what your people want. They don’t care about coaching, or how many sessions they’ll get, or how much time you’ll spend with them per session.
They want the RESULT. And they want to know that you have a process that will lead them to that result.
This process is your signature offer.
Here’s what to include in your Work With Me page:
- A great headline + intro
- The name and description of your signature offer
- The life-changing benefits of your signature offer
- Who it’s for, and who it isn’t for
- A strong call-to-action
When your Work With Me page is rich with the benefits of a result-oriented signature offer, it’s much easier for your ideal person to take action. It’s already a yes for them.
When you’re just offering coaching sessions, and telling them how much coaching they’ll get with you, it’s a much harder sell—because you’re trying to sell them on the intangible value of coaching, rather than the highly tangible value of the result they want.
Trust me, our people aren’t as impressed with the idea of coaching as we are.
Lead with the result you can help them achieve.
It’ll always serve you to see your coaching as a tool in your toolkit, not as your selling point.
Having testimonials on your website is powerful because your people want to know that you’ve helped others achieve the result they want. We’re all wired to place a high value on this kind of “social proof”.
How to make them great:
- Fix spelling and grammatical errors.
- Edit them if they’re repetitive or “rambly”, and ask if the edited version is OK to share.
- Sprinkle them throughout your website—don’t put them all on one page that your visitors may never actually see.
- Include photos of your clients, if possible (and you have their consent).
- Use testimonials that speak clearly to the experience and result of working with you.
If the nature of your coaching work is quite sensitive, and your clients don’t want their names and photos posted on your website, you can still get testimonials from them—just let them know you’ll be using a made-up name or initials, to protect their identity. You’re fully in your integrity to do that, as long as the testimonials themselves are genuine. That’s the part your people care about.
Tip for getting great testimonials:
Don’t wait for your clients to offer them to you, because they very rarely will, even if they had an amazing experience with you.
Instead, at the end of your coaching engagement, ask them to write one for you, and tell them why: because it’d be really helpful for you and you’d like to put it on your website.
(Including this why makes them more likely to do it… it’s psychology!)
Give them some criteria to mention:
- How they felt working with you
- What they thought about the process you led them through
- What they felt anxious or worried about in the beginning
- The result they got, and how it changed their life
- What kind of person they’d recommend to work with you
Giving them these bullet points will make it easier for them, because they won’t have to wonder what to write about. And it results in a strong, thorough testimonial fit to share on your website.
You might also consider asking them for feedback on what could’ve made their experience with you even better for them. This will help you to refine your process and grow as a coach.
A link to your scheduler
Having a scheduler to integrate into your site (versus a contact form or your email address) will serve you in several ways:
- It gets your person taking immediate action, rather than waiting for a reply from you
- It streamlines your consultation process
- You can use it to schedule your client appointments as well
- Clients get appointment reminders, resulting in fewer no-shows
- Your scheduler can integrate with your calender to keep you organized
How to make it great:
This one is pretty straight-forward:
Offer a free consultation or session on your Work With Me page. Link it to your scheduler so people can book an appointment directly from your website.
You might also consider sending them an email after they’ve scheduled, to let them know you’re looking forward to the appointment. This is just a nice personal touch that makes them feel seen and acknowledged.
An email list opt-in
Having an email list is a great way to provide value and nurture clients.
The problem is, most coaches underestimate what gets people actually subscribing to an email list.
“Subscribe to my newsletter” won’t work.
“Get the latest updates” won’t work either. Updates for what?
If you want people to give you their email address, you have to ask yourself:
What’s in it for them?
How to make it great:
- Place your opt-in where they’ll see it, but don’t think you have to bang them over the head with it. There’s a fine line between making it visible and making it annoying.
- Offer a freebie that will give them a “quick win” or help them take a step toward solving their problem.
- Your freebie can be a quiz, a download, a video, or a series of educational emails.
- Make it easy to consume and digest—you don’t want them spending more than 10 minutes on it, otherwise they’re less likely to engage with it, which defeats the point.
- Keep it super relevant to what you do—you ultimately want it to show them the benefits of working with you.
I hope you found this info useful!
Now, before you start planning your website, it’s super important that you’re actually ready for one, so you avoid wasting lots of time and money on a website that does nothing for you. This is a costly mistake I see coaches make all the time and I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
I wrote an article that gives you the straight dope on figuring that out.
Check it out here: How to Know You’re Ready for a Coaching Website