As such, it should quickly, clearly, and concisely explain what you do and who you help.
It should also start the visitor (presuming they fit your client avatar) on their journey to becoming a paying client.
In. this post, I’m going to share with you the most common mistakes/problems I see when I audit coaches’ websites.
If you prefer to watch videos, then I recorded a very rough and ready YouTube short for each. A like and comment would be very much appreciated with any of the videos, please!
1. I have no clue wtf you do!
I don’t know what most coaches do.
Seriously, I have no fucking clue when I land on their website.
I’ve scrolled up and down coaches’ websites for way longer than your potential client ever would, and I’m still left in the dark.
I don’t know what a mindset coach is.
Everything’s about mindset.
I don’t know what a transformational coach is.
We are all transforming all the time.
I don’t even know what a fucking life coach is, and I’ve been in this industry for almost two decades!
What is the problem that you solve?
If you land on my website, you’ll see that it says:
I help coaches like you attract more paying clients with less stress, more fun and zero bullshit.
If you’re a coach and you want more paying clients, I’ve immediately got your attention because you think I may be able to help you.
And that’s all you and I need to do to start with: let people know we can solve their problems.
If a total stranger cannot land on your website and immediately know whether you can help them solve a problem, you have a problem of your own.
2. Poor use of images
We’re in the connection business.
People hire people.
We don’t hire mountain tops.
We don’t hire sunrises.
And we sure as hell don’t hire dolphins.
We hire people.
I want to see you on your home page, preferably in the banner at the top of the page.
A warm, welcoming you. If you think, oh, I’m not good-looking enough, take a look at me.
I’m old, bald and not at all attractive, but I’m still plastered all over my website because I’m me, and sadly, I can’t do anything about it.
And while we’re at it, get rid of the shit clipart.
The clichéd images of the aforementioned mountaintops and sunsets and people jumping up and throwing their arms in the air and all that kind of bollocks.
Get rid of it.
You can buy decent stock images for less than £5 or $5, and sometimes you do need them if you’re to avoid looking like a raving narcissist.
If you don’t think paying that is worth it for what is effectively your shop window, then you don’t deserve to be a fully booked coach.
3. Stop welcoming people!
Probably 75% of coaching websites I look at have a huge WELCOME at the top of the home and/or about page.
You’re not throwing a dinner party, and nobody will storm off if you don’t welcome them.
The headline of each page is the most important copy you will write for that page because it’s the first thing everybody will see.
Its only purpose should be to get people’s attention and pique their interest.
Which do you think is most likely to resonate with you as a coach who wants more paying clients:
Welcome to The Tully Booked Coach!
I will show you how to get paid well for what you love to do – Coach people.
It’s not even close, is it?
Possibly the greatest copywriter/advertising man ever, David Ogilvy, said that 80 cents in every dollar should go on your headline.
Meaning you should spend 80% of your time crafting a headline that grabs people by the throat and screams,’ I’m the fucking coach for you!!!’
4. Selling too soon
I’m going to take a guess as to how many people have landed on your website who didn’t know at least somewhat and then booked a consultation or session of any type with you.
It’s zero, isn’t it?
Come on, you can tell me, we’re friends.
Coaching is not an impulse buy for the overwhelming majority of people.
But Tim, what is I offer them a free coaching session, surely that’s ok?
No, it isn’t; it’s still too big a commitment to ask from people who don’t know you.
Not only does their time have value to them, but they’re probably fearful of being sold to or wasting their/your time.
On your homepage, your sole aim should be to get people on to your newsletter list.
Once they sign up for your list, then you can start to build a relationship with them by adding value by the information you share.
5. A lack of new content
If your website is just an online business card that you intend to send people to so they can check you out, then not having new content is fine.
However, if you want your site to attract inbound traffic and clients, then you must, must, and thrice I say must, add new content regularly.
You cannot get your site to rank in the SERPs (search engine ranking pages) without feeding Google and Bing a constant stream of new material for them to feast on.
It sucks that it’s like that, but it sucks that all the sports teams I follow are shit, but there’s not a lot I can do about it.
And there is even less that you can do to change Google’s mind.
And in any case, even if you could get cold traffic without writing new content, how are you going to demonstrate your undoubted genius without writing/recording new content?
6. Getting the About page horribly wrong
Obviously, your About page should be about you.
But only you as it relates to your client.
It’s not a place to share your love of otters, spicy food and fine wines – unless those things are part of your branding.
It should be a story that sucks people in and has them bobbing their heads in agreement and recognition.
I can talk about how, back in 2006, I had no clients, no subscribers and no fucking clue what I was doing.
Most new coaches can relate to that.
They can see my story and realise that if I can do it for myself, then I can almost certainly help them do it too.
If your experience doesn’t match the journey of your client, then that’s okay, but you still need to talk about life hurdles that you have overcome and are somewhat relevant.
Think of your About page as the hero’s journey and then take the reader on that journey.
It’s fine to list any qualifications/certifications you may have, but they will not be the reason people hire – just the reason they justify to themselves why they hired you.
7. Using famous quotes to fill space
To be honest, I had famous quotes littering my first website.
I thought they were cool and made me look sophisticated when, in reality, I was just positioning somebody else as the expert on my own website.
Unless they are your own, quotes will not help you sell your coaching service.
So take them down.
8. Getting the Contact page wrong
For too many coaches, their Contact page is an afterthought.
No consideration for images and/or design is given, and for many, there’s just a contact form.
But think about it: it may be the most important page on your website.
Anybody who navigates to it must be thinking of CONTACTING YOU!
So why on earth would you not help make the process as easy and inviting as you can?
Have an email, have the chance to book a call using a scheduler like Calendly and have some copy explaining the next steps.
Oh, and have a photo.
9. Poor use of testimonials
The gold standard for testimonials is videos.
Next down the pecking order are photos with pictures and people’s full names.
Testimonials without a picture and a full name are almost useless because they have zero credibility.
Testimonials work in a similar way to word-of-mouth.
If you come to Cornwall and want somewhere tasty to eat and I tell you about a great local restaurant, you will probably consider it.
But if some random stranger wearing a balaclava screams at you from over the road that you should visit Bill’s Bistro, I’ll tell you where you won’t be going to eat. Bill’s Bistro.
10. Not having a lead magnet/newsletter
Ok, so I’ve rolled two mistakes into one here because I shot off tangent (nothing new there) in the video.
It’s a given that you need a newsletter, and you can read this if you want to know how or help with it.
But you need something enticing to get people on your newsletter list.
Having a form that says something like ‘Sign up for our newsletter’ or even ‘Sign up for our newsletter and get a tips and tricks’ is lame and won’t work.
People put a value on their email address, and so do you; otherwise, you’d not want it. So offer something in exchange.
Both those books have real value to new coaches. They also allow me to position myself as an expert in what I do – because I am one.
11. Ignoring the Title Tag (it kills your SEO)
Probably 75% of the sites I looked at had incorrect title tags.
The title tag is the page title and what you see on the tab at the top of the browser when a page is loaded.
And it’s important for two reasons.
Firstly, although it is seldom all visible without somebody hovering their cursor over it, it is what is displayed in somebody’s browser.
Most people tend to have multiple tabs open at once, so having Home as the title means it’s not easy to see in amongst a bunch of open tabs.
Secondly, and much more importantly, it’s the first thing Google reads in the code when it looks at your page.
After all, why wouldn’t it? Because ya know, it’s title and clever though Google is, it’s not a mind reader!
You want to think carefully about what you want to rank for and include that in the title tag rather than allowing it to default to home or something equally random.
For example, my home page says The Fully Booked Coach – Get More Coaching Clients.
The first part is because it’s important I rank for my own name, and the second part comprises a keyword I want to rank for – and do.
I sometimes get frustrated when I look at coaching websites that make some of the above mistakes because they are so easy to avoid and remedy.
But then I realise, that it just means I’m able to help my clients stand out more quickly and more easily.
If you want help with your marketing, book a consult with me and let’s talk.