In this post, I’ll explain the 5 key factors a coach needs lined out to really be ready for a website.
We’ve all seen it.
Those coaches who start in on a website way before they’re prepared.
They end up spinning their wheels on a website that doesn’t speak to their target market and doesn’t help them get real results.
I get it — a website is super fun, it can look really pretty, and it helps us feel legit because of the thoughts we have around what makes up a *legit* business.
But the thing is, for a website to be useful…you’ve got to be ready.
Even I built my first website for a client before I ever had my own website.
If the website consultant can build her first website without a website, then you certainly can coach your first few clients without one.
(How many times can I say “website” in a sentence? ????)
So, how do you know if you are ready for a website?
Or, if your business is established and you already have a website, how can you advise your peers who might be new and wondering if they’re ready?
I want to help you answer these questions so you (or your peers) can avoid spending valuable time, energy, and money on a site before you’re ready.
Reason #1 why a coach isn’t ready for a website
You’ve probably heard the rhyming cliche, “The Riches are in the Niches.”
(Depending on your pronunciation.)
The point of the cliche is clear and true.
Getting really specific with who you market to is crucial.
ESPECIALLY in online marketing as a life coach, putting the marketing spotlight on your ideal client is a must.
All your blog posts, webinars, podcast episodes, and social media need to serve a certain persona.
And as the main hub for online marketing, your coaching website must speak directly to that target market.
But here’s the thing — if you don’t know who that target market is, then how can you write content that speaks to their problems and inspires them to want to work with you?
You simply can’t.
You’re not ready for a website if you don’t know your ideal client.
Before you start in on your coaching website, you really need to have a solid foundation of what that ideal persona is.
In fact, I recommend that you actually coach several of them and know that they want to pay you for coaching, as well, before going all-in on a site.
“But what if I can’t pick a niche, Jennie?!”
Here’s the thing about niching.
Picking a niche doesn’t have to take a long time.
In fact, it can happen in an instant. If this ends up being the only reason out of the 5 reasons why you aren’t ready, that’s a problem you can fix in a day.
In a second, really, if you decide to.
Isn’t that fabulous?
Many of my clients have a lot of thought drama when deciding on their niche. That’s totally normal, and in fact, it’s part of the process.
If you’re having FOMO (fear of missing out) on all the other potential niches, just remember this.
Your niche is just the people that you market to.
You can coach anyone you like, my friends, if they’re a good fit.
But you MARKET to the people in your niche.
I remember asking one of the Life Coach School master coaches what the best advice she had was for a new coach.
She said that the biggest issue she sees is that new coaches spin in picking a niche, or they keep changing it, and never actually launch their business.
So, while I encourage you to hold off on a website until you have a niche…
I also really encourage you to thoughtfully pick your niche. And then move on.
And give yourself enough time to know if your chosen ideal client persona is going to give you positive results before you change it.
Reason #2 why a coach isn’t ready for a website
Maybe you’ve figured out your niche. That’s fantastic!
Sometimes coaches tell me about their ideal client, and they get super specific.
“She’s an active female, 45 years old+, and she runs marathons and loves self-improvement. Maybe she’s had some trauma, and she’s gone to AA before, and…”
That’s a pretty specific avatar right there.
But this is my question to this coach — what PROBLEM do you want to help this ideal client solve?
Do you want to help her with her mental running game? Help her overcome her past trauma? Help her stop overdrinking?
Because you aren’t ready for a website if you don’t know your offer.
Your offer is simply the problem you want to help your ideal client solve.
This might seem nuanced.
But I just want you to see that knowing your ideal client doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you are offering her (or him).
You aren’t offering 12 weeks of coaching.
You’re offering a solution to a problem.
THAT is what people are paying you for.
THAT is what will help them see the value of your offer.
THAT is what will sell people on spending thousands of dollars coaching with you.
I hope that’s helpful my friends.
To be ready for a website, know your ideal client, and know what you’re offering them.
Reason #3 why a coach isn’t ready for a website
Are you a type-A planner like me? Or are you a type-B, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda entrepreneur?
In some cases, maybe it’s okay to be spontaneous and impulsive with your business. But today maybe I’ll convince you to do a little planning if you don’t tend to naturally, because…
You aren’t ready for a website if you don’t have a plan.
Awhile back I wrote an email to my list about the movie Field of Dreams.
The question I posed was, “With a website, if you build it, will they come?”
In short, my answer to the “If you build it, will they come?” question was this:
Expecting your website to magically bring you clients all on its own is like deciding to host a party and never sending out the invitations.
No one will show up.
You’ve got to do the work to let people know you are having the awesome party.
You’ve got to do the work to bring people to your website.
Otherwise, it’s like setting up for a lovely party and never inviting anyone.
And I recommend having a plan for how you will bring people to your website before you build one.
Are you going to run Facebook ads to target your ideal client’s behavior?
Are you going to speak at events your ideal client is attending?
Are you going to guest post on blogs that your ideal client is reading?
Are you going to be helpful on Facebook Groups your ideal client is hanging out in?
Those are just a few of the MANY way to plan for driving traffic to your website.
My point here is that you need to have a rough PLAN for how you’re going to tell people about you and your website.
That’s when your website strategy REALLY shows its value.
Plan what kind of outreach you’re going to utilize, then go ALL IN with it until it works.
Reason #4 why a coach isn’t ready for a website
Side note, I know the tone of these reasons is kind of pessimistic.
If you know me at all, you know I’m not a downer.
But I really do want to help coaches avoid jumping into the serious website game before they’re ready.
(And for those of you on the fence who ARE ready and procrastinating, maybe this will give you the nudge you need.)
One of my peers once had a project inquiry from a client who essentially wanted him to build Facebook for homeopaths.
This client’s budget was $500. ????
Now, here’s the thing. Investing in a website shouldn’t mean you need to remortgage your house.
But you really do need to look at a website as an investment that you’re going to get a return on.
Most of my clients have invested in an $18k coaching certification program.
It’s basically the Ivy League of certifications.
For them, investing in the program is a no-brainer. It’s an investment in themselves.
They know that if they play their cards well, they’ll easily make the $18k back within a year, if not less.
That’s how you’ve got to look at a website.
My client Natalie, for example. She literally got a 10x return on her investment with me within 8 days after her site launched.
Her results aren’t typical, for sure. But looking at how many clients your site needs to help you get to break even is helpful.
How many clients do you need to sign to get back a return on a $3k, $5k, or $10k website?
And do you think your website can help you do that? Interesting to think about.
That’s why great websites aren’t $500. They’re an asset for your business to help you grow it and make MORE $$ than you might otherwise.
That’s why you aren’t ready for a website if you don’t have a budget.
Reason #5 why a coach isn’t ready for a website
Building a website is kind of like baking a cake.
In theory, it seems so easy. Whisk some ingredients in a bowl, pour ’em in a pan, then toss the pan in the oven.
But (as fellow fans of The Great British Baking Show know), there are so many stages of a cake recipe that can go wrong.
Especially if you want to bake something really fantastic.
The same thing goes with a website. On the outside, a website seems relatively straightforward.
Create some pages, throw up some content. Include a picture or two.
But a really great website has a massive number of moving parts.
[I’ve been reminded of this lately, as I work with my project manager to solidify processes.]
A lot goes into even a basic site redesign.
Design concepts researched and drafted, photos scheduled, copy edited. Oh, and don’t forget email marketing integrations.
Even if you’re hiring someone to do a lot of the website work for you, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
That’s why you aren’t ready for a website unless you’re ready to get to work.
You’re committed to making your website project a top priority. You make time to do what’s required and get things done.
I hope these 5 reasons why you (or a coaching peer!) aren’t ready for a website have been helpful.
On the flip side, you can be clued in that you ARE ready for a website if you’ve started to hone in on these 5 things:
1. You know your ideal client.
2. You know your offer.
3. You have a plan.
4. You have a budget.
5. You’re ready to get to work!
Hope that helps!
P.S. If you know you’re ready for a solid website strategy, but you’re feeling a little paralyzed at the thought of taking massive action on it, I can help.
Here’s what one of my client’s, Lara, said about the process of working with me:
“Every time I thought of building a website, I would instantly become paralyzed by overwhelm. I could not move forward.
“After my initial consultation with Jennie, I knew she was the right fit for me.
The process she created to build a life coaching website is seamless and doable. From the beginning, she outlined the tasks I needed to complete for the week, as well as let me know what the next steps would be for the following week.
“Along the way she coached me through my overwhelm with the content I was writing, as well as offered valuable advice for how to reach my people based on her own knowledge and resources. Having my website done now allows me to focus on my clients by having a platform to reach them!”
Here’s what another client, Heather, said about her project with me:
“Working with Jennie was a DREAM. She is so prepared and organized and spelled out the whole process from the start. Making it as easy as possible.
“She saved me so much time (our greatest asset) and mind drama so I could focus on my clients while she made an incredibly beautiful and fully functioning website.”
If you’re ready to grow your business and get more clients with your website strategy, you can send me your project details here.