How to build a website with heart
Most new coaches would rather spend their first weeks and months as a coach building a website than having conversations with potential clients. I can't fault this. I did it too. It's fun to build a site, create your packages, and declare to the world that you finally answered your calling!
Most coaches also hear crickets after they hit "publish" on their masterpiece.
If you are going to take the time to build something wonderful for your audience and potential clients, let's make sure it does the ONE thing a website is meant to do - create new clients.
First, here's the common template of almost every coach or service-practitioner:
Homepage with some text about you
A box in the footer that reads, "Join my newsletter!"
The following menu tabs:
Schedule a consultation
You may be wondering, "What else is supposed to go on a website?!"
For the first six years of my private practice, I followed this same template. And when I changed it to what I am about to teach you, I was hesitant because I thought my clients wouldn't be able to find out about my work or how to hire me.
But here's the problem with the common formula: it solves a problem clients don't have and it answers a question they aren't asking. We think they are asking the following:
"How can I hire you?"
"Can you solve this problem I know I have?"
If your potential client were asking these two questions, then this formula would be awesome! But they aren't.
And so your website actually reads like one big assumption and may as well be an oversized business card.
When someone stumbles on your website, they probably got there via the following channels:
Scenario 1: Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook --> See a cool pic, like it --> Maybe click on your profile or bio link --> Land on website
Scenario 2: Meet you at a networking event --> Take your business card --> Check out website to compare
Scenario 3: Someone they know mentions you --> Scribble your site down on some scratch paper --> When they remember, check out your website
Scenario 4: Googling something --> Your blog article pops up in their search --> Maybe click on your article --> Land on website
What do all four scenarios have in common?
They know close to NOTHING about you before landing on your website, which means the LAST thing on their mind is how to give you money. Period. End of story. And if your website follows the formula I outlined above, then all your website is doing is telling them how they can hire you and give you money.
Before I outline a formula that actually works, let's look at whois coming to your website.
There are 3 types of clients & 3 ways a client hires you:
1.They are a NEW client.They hire you for the first time.
2.They are a CURRENT client.They renew to remain your client.
3.They are a PAST client.They return to work with you again.
Your website is for Client #1. The NEW client. I made you a chart to help illustrate what a NEW client actually needs.
1/3 = New Client
2/3 = Renewal and Returning Client
In the beginning, a new client is willing to invest LOW time and LOWfinancial investment with you. As you build rapport over time, what they invest with you will also increase.
Your website needs to stay in the ORANGE BOX.
Your website isn't about clients hiring you—at least not at first. Your website exists to build a community of people who like and trust you so that eventually they want to hire you.
Yet most websites cater to longer time commitments and high financial investments because most coaching websites scream, "Hire me!"
A NEW client is interested in ONE thing only: Do they like you enough to spend a little time with you?
In the beginning, the biggest currency your client pays you is their attention. And you have to earn it long before they call you, consult with you, and eventually hire you.
The goal of your website is to move them through 4 stages. (Note: The first three are FREE.)
Stage1: Insight. Highlight the problem they didn't know they had. This can also lead someone to your website. You get 2-3minutes of their time.
Examples of Insight:
Newsletter opt-in (The heading of the opt-in needs to highlight the problem.)
Landing page opt-in
Instagram or Facebook posts
Pins(Pinterest) that are clickable
Stage 2: Information. Solve the problem. You get 15-30 minutes of their time.
Examples of Information:
Training video or audio
First article in an email auto-series
Longer Facebook posts
Training article (like this one here!)
Stage 3: Action. They take some action and invest TIME with you. You get 60-90minutes of their time.
Examples of Action:
Attenda free master class
Opt-in and open a 5-day email training series
Join the People First Project
Stage 4: Action 2.0. Enroll them in a client conversation. You get 60-120 minutes of private time and the opportunity to ask them to be a client.
Examples of Action 2.0:
People First Project
Get on the phone!
OK: now you can build a site that actually works!
This is my current formula; I am constantly evolving it and testing new ideas. I track everything so I can continue to teach you better tools for website conversion.
Watch this 8 minute behind-the-scenes video about my website:
Finally, before you go to implement what you have learned, please keep this one note in mind: Free content does NOT mean poor content. What you give away to build value has to be as good as what you charge for.
Please post ALL questions in the comments section below!