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.
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!
FREE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR COACHES & SPEAKERS
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Every coach needs an online presence. It’s the culmination of all the places that your business appears, is mentioned, or is searched online. In this blog post, I’ll show you how you can improve and elevate yours.
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.
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