3 ways to let your niche find you

3 ways to let your niche find you

Have you found your niche yet?

If you have a coaching or consulting business, it’s crucial that you have a niche. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard this advice thousands of times from business coaches and other ‘gurus’. So why am I telling you this now?

Well, if you’re like 90% of entrepreneurs I’ve worked with, the process of finding a niche is so freaking stressful that it almost makes you not want to be in business at all. I mean, you have to get it just right, right?

You go around and around trying to find the perfect combination of what you like, your expertise, and the market of people willing to pay you for it. Doesn’t it sound like a very clinical process?

Not exactly. Relax!

I want to let you in on a little secret.

Your niche will ‘find’ you – just like it found me

When I founded Foolishly Creative, I thought I was going to build websites for anyone who needed one. Big companies, small companies, solopreneurs – it didn’t matter.

Not only did my own website suck (and resonate with no one), but I was wholly unprepared for the leads that I was getting. Everyone wanted something different and I was wearing myself out trying to please everyone. I couldn’t specialize in anything and offer high-level services.

After spinning my wheels, I discovered that I was already in a community of people I could serve. My business mastermind group of like-minded people who were predominately life coaches and professional speakers. I LOVED what they were all about. I ‘got’ them and they ‘got’ me.

So my major ‘aha’ moment was to serve mission-driven entrepreneurs who wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people.

How to help your niche find you

The biggest takeaways I can leave you with are:

  • Choose to surround yourself with motivated and like-minded people who are where you are
  • Be mindful of the environment that you are currently in. How can you grow where you are planted?
  • Find opportunities to help others who are further behind in their journey get to where you are.

And the best way to let your niche is to get out there and see what works. Is your website working?

No matter what your niche, you need a website that attracts the people who will want to do business with you.

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About Me

I'm Kim and I help ambitious coaches and speakers elevate their online presence so that they can attract their ideal clients for more leads & sales!

FREE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR COACHES & SPEAKERS

A comprehesive list of tools and reousrces to grown your online coaching business – absolutely free!

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

The main reason why I do what I do is to deliver good service and create a profitable website for your business. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen in a week. I care about your business and your website is not just about your design. It’s about your brand and communicating the value that you give to your clients. As each mission-driven entrepreneur is different, so too are your business goals.

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

As a coach or thought leader, building your website is probably among the last things that you want to do!

You may have heard that you do not even need a website for your business. However, if you are selling high-ticket coaching programs and retreats, having a well-planned website can set you apart as an expert in your field. (‘Know’, ‘like’ & ‘trust’ is a factor here)

Mission-driven entrepreneurs and thought leaders tend to be visually oriented.

And in order to brand yourself, you may have chosen your favorite colors and gotten a logo. And you might even have some content.

But now all you need now is someone to design a website.

You can do it yourself. After all, there are tools that allow you to drag and drop your content. ‘Building’ the website is the easy part. Planning it takes a lot more work.

Website planning is the practice of getting to understand the goals of the business before any design work is done.

As a coach, your goals can include:

  • getting more leads
  • selling your retreat or event
  • building your email list
  • providing content to your members

All of these goals play a factor in how your website is structured in order to take the customer on a journey from the first page to the final page.

But all you need is a website, right?

Building a profitable website doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t even happen in a week.

Here’s why. The website needs to be tailored to each individual business. The programs, services, courses, and memberships will look different from business to business.

As an entrepreneur (albeit a very ambitious one), you may be tempted to want to ‘jump right in’. Don’t.

Your website needs to sell your business. And in order to sell anything, you’ll need to understand:

  • Who are you trying to attract?
  • What problem do you solve?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What is the most important aspect of your business?

All of this falls under the website planning phase, which can actually take the longest.

What does it mean to plan your website? The concept is very easy to understand.

Website planning starts with the end in mind

You need to carefully consider the following questions:

  • What do you want to get out of having a website?
  • Do you want to grow your email list?
  • Do you want people to book consultations with you?
  • Are you selling courses or memberships?

Like all your business goals, goals for your website should be measurable and specific.

My team and I dig deeper to answer all of these questions so that we can build you a website that converts your visitors into leads. (Which really is the whole point, isn’t it)

It has a planned ‘Call to Action’ (CTA)

Once you’ve stated your objectives, we’ll determine your main ‘call to action’.

Your call to action should be the ONE thing you want your visitor to do (if they do nothing else). Typically, your call to action would lead visitors to contact you  to enroll in your programs or courses.

Each page should be in pursuit of that goal. By figuring this out early in the process, you can:

  • Limit the number of revisions required for your website
  • Get a better understanding of how your site works before we start developing it
  • Get a final deliverable that meets your requirements

A planned website is mapped out first

Most people are visual, so having a visual representation of the website really allows you to see the bigger picture without the distraction of colors, images, and text.

A site map is a diagram that maps out all of your website’s pages in relation to one another. Based on your business, you’ll see what works with your services and programs.

The example below shows a very basic coaching website that has a few programs and a simple call to action. Site maps can be more complex than this, however.

Foolishly Creative Sitemap

 

A website’s content really matters

Great design revolves around exceptional content. Without effective copy, the design doesn’t matter!

You wouldn’t expect it, but it’s very difficult to design a website without content. Content will be anything and everything that will allow your visitors the opportunity to know like and trust you. This is not only limited to copy or text. It also includes; video, audio, pictures, embedded social media feeds and more.

The content for your website should be informative and persuasive. It should take into account your target audience (who you are talking to) what language resonates with them, what images would appeal to them, what their problem is and how you intend to solve it.

Knowing your target audience will help us determine where your content should go on your website and how to design around that.

What else can planning do for your website?

1) A well-planned website can lead to an increase in sales

Your website should be more than a pretty place for people to get information about you. It should actually lead visitors to complete a desired action – often referred to as ‘convert’. Here’s an example: as a coach, the action you require your clients to take might be to book a seat for your next seminar. You might realize that while you get a fair amount of traffic to the website, it doesn’t lead to conversions and is costing you potential sales.

Don’t be surprised to learn that your website design might be to blame. Is the booking icon in a prominent place or is it buried under layers of information? Is it an extremely long process for potential clients to book? Correct this, and you could see an increase in sales.

2) A well-planned website is a living, 24/7 promotional tool

The nice thing about websites are that they do the selling for you!

Whether you get traffic from social media or search engines, your website is available to sell 24 hours a day!

With technology, you can tailor your message to the visitor, where they are visiting from, and how they are using your site. Neat, huh?

As a coach and speaker, you- the human being – are the brand. This comes with a lot of pressure to put your best foot forward, especially in the digital space. Without understanding your business, a designer will not be able to highlight your best-selling points for you. Like a store puts their most valuable items at the front of the store, you  need to prioritize the value of your services.

Maybe these are videos of previous events you have done.  How convincing are they? Do they show you at your best? Do they load quickly? Do you have any testimonials from previous events?

3) A well-planned website makes you look professional

A well-planned website will make you stand out. 

If a restaurant uses paper plates, would you expect the food to be expensive? Probably not.

I’m not saying that you have to have the fanciest website, or the flashiest. The information should be organized in a way that is easy, and pleasant to consume. Your visitor should instantly understand what you do – and want to work with you!

Perception is key. How you position yourself as a coach will determine how your visitors will perceive the value of your business and if they can see themselves being a client of yours.

A well-planned website highlights your talents, expertise, and offer in order to attract the people that you are meant to serve. (another case for why understanding your business is important.)

So how long does it really take to plan a website?

A professional website will take, on average, 8 to 10 weeks from start to finish.

First, my team and I will work with a copywriter to create professionally written copy for your business. This will increase the likelihood that your website will convert (i.e. make money) and it will take away the pressure of creating the content yourself.

Once the planning process is done, we can then start the design work and you can prepare to enjoy the benefits of a professionally designed website. In my experience, these are just a few of the reasons some of my coaching and speaking clients choose to build a website,  what they-and what you too-can benefit from it.

It’s time to elevate your online presence with a professional website

You might have a website that just isn’t working for you anymore.

You may notice that you aren’t getting any traffic. Or that people aren’t utilizing your contact form. Maybe you aren’t growing your email list (if you have one at all).

Or maybe you don’t even have one anymore!

Like a house needs a fresh coat of paint, or sometimes a whole new roof, you might need to revamp your site and implement changes that reflect how you are growing and perhaps the changing needs of your business.

Your website should work for you and do a variety of tasks like taking online payments for your programs, growing your email list, and booking appointments.

As a professional speaker or coach, you have taken the time to develop and build your personal brand. Don’t misrepresent it with a poorly designed website.

When clients visit your site, they are interacting with you. You want to give them a slice of the same experience they get when they meet with you in real life.

Planning your website is no different from anything else you plan for your business. It is a crucial step that you should not overlook.

So what’s the first step in planning your website?

Allow me to give you a free gift.

Want to know a secret?

You only have 6 seconds to capture your visitors’ attention and inspire them to stay. Just six.

Does your website pass the test?

A beautiful website may be easy on the eyes, but ‘pretty’ isn’t enough to attract and convert your target audience. It takes more than just looks to hook your potential customers.

Do you need simple and proven steps to follow and create a profitable website?

Download the Shine Online Workbook today, a powerful guide that will show you exactly how to create content for your website that speaks to your ideal client, so you can build a website that works for your business as a powerful lead-generation machine!

It’s 100% free and my gift to you!

Happy planning!

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About Me

I'm Kim and I help ambitious coaches and speakers elevate their online presence so that they can attract their ideal clients for more leads & sales!

FREE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR COACHES & SPEAKERS

A comprehesive list of tools and reousrces to grown your online coaching business – absolutely free!

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

Why website planning is so important for your coaching business

The main reason why I do what I do is to deliver good service and create a profitable website for your business. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen in a week. I care about your business and your website is not just about your design. It’s about your brand and communicating the value that you give to your clients. As each mission-driven entrepreneur is different, so too are your business goals.

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

About Me

I'm Kim and I help ambitious coaches and speakers elevate their online presence so that they can attract their ideal clients for more leads & sales!
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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About Me

I'm Kim and I help ambitious coaches and speakers elevate their online presence so that they can attract their ideal clients for more leads & sales!
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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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)

Share This Post 

About Me

I'm Kim and I help ambitious coaches and speakers elevate their online presence so that they can attract their ideal clients for more leads & sales!
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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