Why every coaching business needs an online presence

Why every coaching business needs an online presence

Does your coaching business have an online presence?

Your immediate answer may be ‘yes’. But are you online in the way that you need to be?

Unless you have a brick-and-mortar business or a business in which you are consistently face-to-face with potential customers, your online presence is vital to your business. 

 

An online presence for coaches? What is that?

My definition is: The culmination of all the places that your business appears, is mentioned, or is searched online.  This includes your website, your social media profiles, your reviews, and any other site that mentions you (or links to you).

How are you managing your online presence? Do you even know if you have one?

The easy way to tell is to Google your business. Through this search, you should see your website, your social media pages, and images associated with your brand.

Take a look around. Is the message and imagery flattering, cohesive, and appealing to the people that you are trying to attract? If not, you may have some work to do. Read on.

 

Does a coach really need a website?

YES!!

Aside from the local pizzeria, I rarely purchase goods and services from businesses with no web site. It’s not that I’m judgmental. It’s just that the best way to reach me online. And the same may be true for many of your ideal coaching clients?
You have the task of convincing your ideal clients, that your brand will provide value to them. Word of mouth only goes so far. If they cannot vet you on their own terms (and differentiate you from your competitors), they simply cannot validate what I’ve heard about you.

70-80% of potential customers will research a company online before making a purchase decision, usually via their webpage.

But here’s the unfortunate truth:

Only 40% of small businesses have a website. Only 12% have a Facebook page. (inc.)

The reasons given by businesses without are:

  • They feel like having a website is not relevant to their business
  • They feel that building a website is too expensive.

Neither are true.

 

But what about a landing page?

Landing pages are important to your business but they are NOT your website. Landing pages only have one purpose: To get your visitor to take a single focused action. The conversion rate will depend on what you are asking them to do and how well they know, like, and trust you.

If your landing page is their first exposure to you online, then your page may not convert as well. You aren’t able to nurture the relationship by letting them understand your business, your services, and the rest of your content. Your results will vary, but I recommend having both a full website and several landing pages for your events and promotions.

 

But what about social media?

Social media is also vital to your business. It’s a great way to get exposure for your business (and traffic back to your website). You can also build groups, communicate with prospects, automate posts, and advertise on these platforms.

But let’s be very clear: Your social media profiles do not belong to you. Most likely, you are using the service for free (with the exception of paid ads) so you are subject to any changes that the platform might make. The platform has the right to make changes in the best interest of its own shareholders – which is to keep users engaged on that platform and to encourage more paid ads. 

Yelp and other reviews sites are not acceptable alternatives to a website either. Consider this, with review sites alone, you are relinquishing control of your online presence to the public. People are more likely to post a negative experience than a positive one. Even if you are able to control the damage to your brand, your marketing efforts reactive than proactive.

Your reach, your layout, and even your content depending on the platform. So your website needs to be the ultimate ‘home’ for your business.

 

Does your coaching business need a logo?

Yes … eventually. If you are just starting your coaching business, your logo should be at the bottom of your priority list. This is not to say that your logo is unimportant – your logo is just the cherry on top of your online brand.

Once you do decide on a logo, you’ll need to work with a designer who understands your business and know how to make it appealing to your ideal clients. It’s a reflection of who you are, what you value, and the image that you are trying to convey.

 

Having a solid online presence gives you an advantage

It gives you brand legitimacy. Unfortunately, many small business businesses suffer from an incongruent image, confusing messaging, poor design, and outdated content. This is a terrible impression for visitors and potential customers.

My team and I at Foolishly Creative can take your vision, logo, image, and message, and turn it into an effective user experience. You can even analyze visitor activity to determine what your visitors are interested in, and where you can improve.

The complexity and depth of content will depend on your business, but at a minimum, it should let visitors know who you are, what’s in it for them, and how to move forward with you.

It’s for this reason that 83% of business owners with websites claim to have a competitive advantage over businesses without websites. But don’t just stop at getting a website – consider your holistic online presence.

 

Would you like to know more about working with my team and me? Book a free 30 minute strategy call here

 

 

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Why every coaching business needs an online presence
Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding).

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

The 5 things your coaching website absolutely needs (2019)

The 5 things your coaching website absolutely needs (2019)

5 Things your coaching website needs (revisited)

In 2016, I created this video about the 5 Things Your Website Absolutely Needs.

Almost 3 years later, the tips that I’ve shared are still completely relevant. However, as businesses change (particularly your business and mine), I wanted to expand on the useful content in this video.

So here we go!

 

1) Important Content … First

In the video, I talked about putting your most important content ‘above the fold’ on your website. You have only 6 seconds to make an impression before your visitor decides to stay or leave.

Therefore, if you place your most important content high on the page before someone needs to scroll down, you have a greater likelihood of keeping that person’s attention.

I would like to add that not only do you prioritize your important content, you make sure that you know what’s important to your visitor. If you don’t know you can look to see what questions that they are having (whether it’s in your own online space or elsewhere), what your competitors are talking about, and what you are being asked to deliver.

Most people (yourself included), want to know “What’s in it for me?” <– answer that question first.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving this questions unanswered.

 

2) Show Your Face

I used to work with clients that were hesitant to put their photos on their website. Why?

If you are a coach , speaker, or consultant, you are delivering a highly personalized service in which YOU are the product.

Would you invest over $1,000 with a coach if you don’t even know (at a minimum) what they looked like?

I am adding that you not only need a photo, but a professional photo – by a photographer with the right lighting, positioning, and retouching. Why? Because you need to position your self as a professional. You are someone worth investing in.

There are many ways to get an affordable headshot. Try Groupon or ask around for pricing. Seek out an up and coming photographer or student if you are on a budget. If you have a larger budget, you can invest in a longer photoshoot with a varied assortment of headshot and lifestyle photos.

Make sure you appear approachable and uncross your arms. SMILE!

Be sure to include your photo on your ‘Home’ page and your ‘About’ page.

 

3) A strong call to action

I always ask my clients, “What would you like your visitors to do?” I usually get 3 or 4 answers.

This is fine. However, you want to avoid giving your visitors too many choices. Too many choices are confusing.

Instead, identify ONE thing that you want them to do, and build your website around that. For example, if you ultimately want someone to book a discovery call with you, then you should make this the main call to action on your website.

In addition to what I’ve talked about in the video, you also want to make it easy to take action. If it’s submitting a form, let the user know what to do and what to expect next. You should be able to answer the question “Why should I do this?” 

Tell your visitor the benefits of taking the action (and maybe the consequence of NOT taking the action)

You want to be very specific. “Click here”, “Sign Up”, “Download” are weak calls to action. We click, submit, and download all day. How will taking action on your website make an impact on the visitor?

 

4) One page, one purpose

Cut down the clutter.

I don’t see this much anymore, but I did mention in the video. They idea is to have one purpose for each page. (And where should the visitor go next?)

For example, if you offer unrelated services, you should have a single page for each type of services. This will make it clear what you offer, as well as give your visitor a clear next step.

Think of each page like this: “Why does this page exist? How does this page help my business? What do I want someone to do wit this information?”

Bonus: Make use of sub headlines to separate your content and make it scannable. it’s a quick way to help someone determine what your page is about – and stay to read.

 

5) Analyze, Analyze, Analyze …

If you are not measuring, then you have no idea what’s working. Fortunately, there are several tools that make it easy to see how your website is performing. 

I recommend Google analytics because it’s 100% free. It’s robust and fairly straightforward in some regards. The most important thing you need to know is how many visitors you’re getting at a minimum.

And what’s the bounce rate? How many pages they’re clicking through on your site and which pages on the most popular? I say those are the main performance metrics that I would look at.

But then there’s just so much more like goal conversions and funnels. But at a minimum you need to know how your site is performing because if something’s under performing you can change it. And if something’s performing really well, you could just do more of that. But you need to have analytics to really know any of that information.

Sometime’s it’s easier to stay busy than to look at your results. However, I’d like to challenge you to keep your eyes open and don’t overly judge your performance. Make a plan to improve because you are now armed with knowledge. (and knowing is 50% of the effort) 

 

Keep enjoying the process

Yes,, these are the things your website needs. However, you should give yourself permission to enjoy your continuous improvement. Part of the enjoyment is getting help for the things that you want to do. You don’t need to do it alone!

What if you could get a FREE 30 min strategy call to talk about your business, your goals, and anything  you may be struggling with. Wonder no more.

Want to implement some of the improvements in this post? Book a strategy call with me now.

Until next time!

 

 

 

Don’t have a site? Wanna revamp your current site? Or just liked the video?

Book a strategy call now, or you’ll get a lump of coal in your stocking!

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Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

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Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

Should you build your own website?

Should you build your own website?

If you know you need to build your website now, what’s your next step?

As an online band consultant and web designer, I will tell you that you absolutely can build your own website. The question is: should you?

There are numerous products and services out there that will help you build your own website. You don’t need to know any code and you can click, drag, and drop and get a website very quickly. Who wouldn’t love that?

That’s where most entrepreneurs get it wrong.

Your success online is not about getting your website up. It’s about building the right website for your business. No drag-and-drop tool is going to do this for you. Building a successful website is not about implementation, it’s about planning. Planning takes time.

I’ve written a whole blog post about planning your website, but if you want a brief summary, here it is:

  • What exactly do you want your website to do for your business?
  • Who are you trying to attract?
  • What do you want those people to do on your website? How?
  • How will you know if your website is successful?

Planning entails knowing the answers to these questions before you decide on the platform, colors, images or text.

Many website builders will put the ‘cart before the horse’ and force you to use a predefined template or layout. You may be restricted to what you can achieve technically, but there are some benefits to building your own website, if you choose to do so.

When you could build your own website

You can build your own website using Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, or any other platform. What you decide on will be determined by your own comfort level and technical ability. You will need to put the time into researching the best platform for your business. Each has its own learning curve.

Generally speaking, the easier the platform is to use, the less flexibility you have to customize it.

Building your own website might be right for you if:

  • You are very comfortable with technology. (A basic knowledge of HTML helps too)
  • You have at least 40 hours to commit to setting up the site. (Trust me, it takes that long!)
  • You don’t have the budget to hire a designer.
  • You have a solid understanding of how to brand yourself online.
  • You are not easily frustrated.
  • You are a brand new business owner testing the waters.
  • You’ve completed all of your other business tasks and are not delayed by working on your own website.

Or maybe you are a nerd (like me) that really enjoys building websites. 🙂

When you are better off hiring a web designer

Opportunity costs are defined as the opportunities you lose as the result of choosing to do something else. So let me ask you:

How much time have you already spent on your website? What have you given up in order to do it yourself?

If you are like me, you like to be in control. However, there’s freedom in delegating. You will get your time (and sanity) back to do what you do best.

Are you really closed for business because your site’s not live? Luckily that’s an easy problem to solve. Just hire someone and get it off your plate.

You might benefit from a web designer if you:

  • Dislike technology (or spending hours on something you don’t want to do)
  • Haven’t done anything else while working on your website. (No marketing, no client work, nada!)
  • Have a website, but you hate what you’ve built thus far
  • Generally unhappy with the restrictions that website builders impose on you
  • Want to look more legitimate online.
  • Already spent more than 40 hours and you are still stuck!

Or if you are generally just like:

The bottom line

You need to take an assessment of your skill level, the current state of your business, and what you want to achieve. Another added benefit of hiring a web designer is that you get a professional (and objective) assessment of your business. Your designer is your partner in your online success.

Do you want to know what working together could look like? Contact me for a free strategy call. Let’s spend 30 minutes together talking about your website, your online presence, and even your business goals.

I’m waiting to ease your frustration. (Making web design let frustrating since 1998)

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Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

What comes first: my business or my website?

What comes first: my business or my website?

What comes first? If you are reading this, you likely already have a business or business idea. And among the millions of things you need to do to be an entrepreneur, getting online is one of them.

So at what point do you decide to build your website?

Do you need to be in business first? Or do you need the website to open/grow your business?

The answer is not always so straightforward. It really depends. Every business is different.

When you should focus on your business first

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your website. Implementing a website is easy, but planning for it is harder. You really need to know what it is that you offer, who you serve, and what is it in for your client. You must clearly state the benefit of working with you – and you need to be clear on that yourself.

You can hire anyone to build your website (or do it yourself). But that investment would be better spent actually getting clear about your value proposition, building your business, and attracting your first client.

You might not be ready for a website (yet), if:

  • You are unsure of your ideal client (and you don’t have a niche)
    • If you don’t know who you are speaking to, how can you expect them to buy from you?
    • How do you know what their needs are? How will you communicate the value?
  • You haven’t determined your packages and pricing.
    • If you don’t quite know what you are selling, you will spin your wheels constantly revising your website.
  • You don’t have a plan to promote your business website.
    • No matter how fantastic your website looks, if you are not consistently promoting your business, no one will visit your website. You might get some traffic, but you’ll miss out on getting your ideal clients to your website.
    • Promoting your website consists of: including it on your printed materials, driving traffic to it from social media, producing high-quality blog posts and content, and having other websites link to it.

When you should build your website now

Social media can only take you so far. So when do you know it’s time to actually get a website?

I like to say: When you are fully committed to the business, not the idea of being in business. This means when you have an ideal client and have definitive products and services to offer. The level of time and monetary investment is wasted by the ‘wantrepreneur’. You might not have made a single sale, but if you are now willing to work every day on your business, you are definitely ready for a website.

Here are some of the criteria I look for when I take on new clients:

  • You are ambitious and motivated to make your business successful. (Quitting is not an option)
  • You have an active and engaged presence on social media.
  • You have a real market for your service.
  • People are already interested in buying from you, but you want your website to facilitate you in getting more leads.
  • You have a plan to actively promote your website.

… and if you already have a website …

Your website is never ‘finished’. Your website will need to grow and evolve with your business. The website that you started out with may no longer serve you now.

So how do you know when it’s time to uplevel? It’s simple: When you are getting fewer visitors to your website. When you’ve stopped promoting it due to irrelevancy. When it no longer represents your business in its current state.

This might be a project that you take on yourself as a busy entrepreneur, or this might be a project that you delegate to a professional. When determining your next step online, you need to decide how much time or money you want to invest and really consider your desired result.

In my next blog post, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of building your own website.

As always, I’m here to talk to you about your next steps.  If you are still stuck trying to figure out what to do, contact me for a strategy call. Let’s spend 30 minutes together talking about your website, your online presence, and even your business goals.

Your website is never 'finished'. Your website will need to grow and evolve with your business. The website that you started out with may no longer serve you now. Click To Tweet

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Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can’t wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I’m addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

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