Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Vibeke Foss (Spain)
Did you know that your website can be a great asset to attract clients to your business? If you are just starting out as a coach, planning your website can be a daunting and confusing process. Questions I often get are: What should I write? How should I write? How do I structure it?
Even those who have already been in business for a while can find themselves struggling with engagement and conversion, so no matter what stage you are at, you can always get more clients from your website applying the following tips:
LAYOUT – make it visually pleasing and easy to read
Although we have so much to say, and we feel that we should have it all visible at first glance, we have to cool our jets. People easily get overwhelmed online, and they don’t want to consume a lot of dense information. This means that your design needs to be nice and clean, with lots of space and less text in bigger font, so here’s what you need to take into account:
Distribute the information into digestible sections
The trend, especially for the homepage, is to have horizontal sections, where people scroll down – each section containing a digestible amount of information. Avoid larger chunks of text. This makes it easy for the visitor to absorb the content.
Use images generously
A large full-width image on top of the pages with a word or short sentence gives a nice visual feeling. Images distributed throughout the content is also recommended. It’s pleasing to the eye and a great way of breaking up longer texts.
Use headings generously
Using headings and subheadings work especially well for pages like your About Page and Work With Me page, where inevitably there will be more text to manage; it naturally splits it up into sections. Using a different font and color for headings is a great way to also make it look stylish.
Use your formatting tools
Even the most basic of formatting tools can transform a heavy block of text to an easy-to-read section:
- Bullet points – a simple way to highlight any part of a text that can be listed
- Bold – for emphasising important words and sentences
- Italics – to emphasise tone
All of the above works wonders to not lose the attention of your readers while they navigate your website, and it considers both those who prefer to skim through the text, and those who read every line. You can see examples of the above on my own, and most of my clients’, websites.
CONTENT – What makes it attractive to your ideal client?
In the coaching sector in particular, making your visitor feel understood is very powerful. Throughout your content you want to continuously refer to their situation: remind them that you know what they struggle with right now, what they feel, how they rather want to feel – and that you are the one to help them get there!
You want their response to your content to be: This person completely understands my situation, this person knows exactly what I feel, and I’ve come to the right place for help.
Personality & Authenticity
Selling coaching services means working with your clients over a longer period of time, and where they share quite personal information with you, so they need to feel good about you. Showing your personality, without hiding behind a business image, really makes a difference.
Maybe you worry about not being seen as professional, and therefore feel like writing as if you were a team, when in fact it’s only you. Or referring to yourself in third person, like the queen! It may initially sound more impressing, but it also creates a barrier.
The “be authentic” trend is all about showing who you really are, and thereby attract the kind of clients you naturally work well with. (It really works! I’ve been practicing this since I started my business). So let your personality shine through in your content.
- Are you funny, or maybe provocative?
- Do you have a fierce go-getter attitude?
- Or rather the gentle approach to helping people?
Whatever it is, be who you are.
Write using your own words. The ones you would actually use in an in-person conversation. Reading your content out loud really helps with this one. Does it sound like you at all? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track.
Also, have pictures of yourself. One of each page, and some of them less formal, is totally ok. People love getting a sensation of who you are through images.
Values & relatable stories
What truly connects with visitors is to see that they have something in common with you, so share the parts of your story and values that you know your clients can relate to. This creates the “she/he really will understand me” effect, which will increase your chances of them wanting to work with.
When your visitors see the words of other people on how they have greatly benefited from your services, this is one more step towards them trusting you and feeling safe with you as a person they can work with. Spread snippets of testimonials throughout your copy!
INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS – Call to actions and forms
The ideal layout and content is a good start, but not as impactful as when combined with elements that make visitors engage on your site! Engaging means clicking links and buttons, and filling in forms.
Ideally you have the following in place on your website:
- A contact form
- A sign up form to join your newsletter/get your freebie
- Call to actions
Most of us have this in place. The minimum is to have the usual form on your contact page, or a form/online calendar where people can sign up for a consultation with you.
You want to keep in mind throughout the content of your website, that your goal for the visitor is for him or her to be guided towards the action of contacting you, so that you can get the opportunity to connect with them personally and increase your chances of converting them into clients.
Even when your website visitors love what they see, many will not be ready to contact you at first visit. Maybe they are a bit scared to take that step, it may not be the right time for them, or they feel they need to know you for a bit longer.
This is where the newsletter sign-up box comes into the picture. If they leave their email address, then you know they have visited, and also that they have some interest. These people are great candidates for becoming clients in the future, as long as you keep in touch with them via email to build up the relationship. Offering a little free gift (freebie/lead magnet) in exchange for their email address is the trick to make more people sign up on your site!
Call to Actions (CTAs)
My favourite is Call to Action. They can be presented as highly visible buttons in a color that stands out, or as regular hyperlinks that lead to other pages on your website. The purpose of the call to actions is to guide visitors through your site. Think of what would make most sense for them to look at next, combined with what you want them to do next, and add call to actions accordingly.
I see it as kind of a nip and tuck game. Let your call to actions point them to the really useful and interesting information you know they want, but you also want to remember your overall goal: That they leave some kind of trace that they have visited, which is contacting you or signing up to your mailing list.
A typical and ideal flow through your website would be for visitors to go to the About page after visiting the Homepage (the About Page is usually the second most visited page on websites – people want to know who you are), so it’s perfect to give them a snippet of information about you on the Homepage, but with a link or button to easily guide them to your About page where they can read more details. From there, link to your Work With Me page, and from the Work With Me page link to your Contact page. And remember to include the snippets of testimonials in-between.
Lastly, also make sure every one of your pages have your contact button highly visible. Most expect to find this on the right hand side in the main navigation bar on top of your website. It’s fabulous if you even have your contact information in your footer.
Having all this in place, your website is well prepared to convert your website visitors into client. Good luck with the implementations!
Vibeke Foss is the founder of Gorgeous Geek – Web Design & Online Business Consulting. She builds professional websites for coaches and female entrepreneurs, and has a talent for explaining technical stuff in a language you understand, even if you are clueless. She also gives guidance on content strategies to help you attract clients to your website.
In her online community Biz Ladies, she supports female entrepreneurs with free techy tips and business inspiration – feel free to join!
Social media links
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bizladies/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GorgeousGeek.WebDesign/
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