Create Your Core Message

The First Step to Compelling Website Content – Creating Your Core Message

If you want to attract clients with your website, the content needs to be exciting, intriguing, and compelling. It needs to motivate visitors to contact you for coaching.

However, most coaching websites are boring and confusing – as you may have seen.

Create Your Core Message
Create a compelling core message, and your website will come to life (for your clients!)

To fix that problem, I like to construct a compelling core message before building a website. It’s a short, core message write-up that says what you do excitingly. It’s like a 30-second elevator speech, except for your website.

This will give you a super handy point of reference for writing great content.

Here’s the video tutorial, followed by some tips to improve your writing.

This video is based on a chapter in my book, The Coaching Website Guide, which has my best tips for creating a website to attract clients.

And hey, if you’re finding it difficult to put together your core message, you’re not alone. This step is often a lot of work, and it’s common for it to evolve and improve over time. So, give it your best shot.

Let’s move on to some examples and tips for improving it …

Five ways to tighten your core message and make it sing

Here are my favorite ways to make your core message sparkle.

Polishing Tip #1. Read it aloud.

For most, their core message ends up a bit wordy. You can easily see this if you try to read your core message aloud.

So, try verbalizing it yourself, or ask a friend to read it back to you, or even use Google Translate to play it aloud.

Then, edit it so that it rolls off the tongue smoothly.

Polishing Tip #2. Get feedback on it from others.

Share it with friends, colleagues, and ideally, people who would make ideal clients.

This act of “getting out of your own head” does a lot.

Polishing Tip #3. Remove jargon, acronyms and clumsy phrases.

I’ve found that many coaches love their concept talk like “inspirnation” to mean inspired nation or “lovergy” for love energy. 

It might sound cool to you, but will your target client get it?

Polishing Tip #4. Use descriptive juicy, sexy, succulent words.

Which of these two is more exciting?:

  • a sports car
  • a brand new, candy-apple red Corvette convertible

Take the time to find expressive words to give your core message emotional impact.

I LOVE using OneLook to find super words, like this …

use juicy words

Polishing Tip #5. Come back later (my favorite)

I agree with this -> great writing is the art of re-writing.

Putting your work down for a day and then coming back is fantastic for improving it.

I do this not only for core messages, but for all kinds of website content like blogs, pages, and emails.

As a result, website conversions like book sales, subscriber opt-ins, and leads go up.

See Emily’s core message go from 76 words to 39 and triple in power (my opinion) …

Most of the time, core messages end up wordy, as did Emily’s. She’s a student from a group course I offered a wee while back.

As you’ll see, the key is to have the guts to cut your core message in half, possibly cutting it in half again.

Here’s Emily Archer’s core message draft …

I help people living with diabetes who are frustrated and ashamed of their inconsistent lifestyle choices to reclaim control, health, and self-respect. My passionate curiosity will help you create a powerful vision, a culmination of your now deep-rooted healthy lifestyle habits. In partnership, we will develop a personal lifestyle management strategy that empowers you to master new habits and focus your energy to achieve and sustain lifestyle improvements you are proud of, for longer, stronger living.

There are some great words and concepts, but it could use some refinement.

After re-thinking it along with feedback from others, we made cut it down to …

I work with people who are frustrated and overwhelmed with problems from diabetes. I help them create lasting strategies to regain control and increase energy so they can get back to enjoying their lives with the people they love.

Here’s a visual with her core message, her chosen font, and her photo.

emily archer's core message

Better, huh?

Watch How Denis’s Website Comes to Life by Adding a Simple, Well-Written Core Message

Below is a website I reviewed and tweaked, for Denis Niedringhaus, a career coach for ex-pats.

Here’s the before picture of his home page, which is typical for many coaches, with big images, a big logo, and a list of services.

Here’s the after image, injected with his core message in a large font.

Can you see how fast his website comes to life? How much easier it is to know what he does? If you were an ex-pat, you’d probably get excited.

See Rachel’s Core Message – Prominent, Simple, and Powerful

Below is the top area of Rachel’s website, fully equipped with a powerful core message …

Rachel Hill Core Message

Get more writing formulas, content templates, and lead generating strategies in The Coaching Website Guide.

Here’s your 2-minute action step, if you want your site to sing …

Take a moment now and post your draft below.

I love hearing from readers and will offer ideas to improve it.

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  1. If you are frustrated and overwhelmed by your problems, then we need to chat.
    Hi! I’m Saumya, coach & mentor. I can help you develop new skills, live well and work successfully.

    1. I like the simplicity. If you think about the best kind of client for you, will this relate to them? I know people do often say they are overwhelmed by problems — theirs and others 😉

  2. Hi Kenn,
    I am struggling with creating my headline and subheadline for my health coaching website. I target women who struggle with weight loss due to gut health issues including auto-immune diseases.
    Here’s what I came up with until now (and there will be a more detailed description afterwards) – but still not happy with the headline…

    Let’s cut yo-yo dieting off your list of hobbies

    Want to stop jumping from one diet to another and restore your gut while shedding the weight you want and improving your immune system?
    Let’s do both at the same time as… the way you look and feel starts in your gut… in your healthy gut.

    1. I like that you’ve got some pain points in there – yo-yo dieting, can’t lose weight, and problem with one’s immune system.

      I’d look closer at what the struggle is that you’re having. What is happening there?

  3. Regan du Closel says:
    May 12, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Hi Kenn, how does this work? “I work with creative women negotiating mid-life changes in their personal and professional life. I help them find the clarity and confidence to create a life project that fulfills them.”
    Thanks for your sharp ear and generous feedback!

    1. Overall, nice! Clean, easy to understand.

      “negotiating” … what are these women facing/doing and more so “struggling” with?

      That word feels heavy, something I don’t think people will say — but you might know differently.

      “life projects” that could be great because it’s simple to understand, probably appeals to creatives. Love that bit.

      Just my reactions … and well … you’re in a space where a lot of people do struggle, mid-life changes, especially in modern word that can feel chaotic.

      I should pull you and another client I know who are in this space.

      Great to hear from you Regan … are you getting traffic? Visible? 😀

      1. “I work with creative mid-life women disillusioned with their career. I help them find the clarity and confidence to create a life project that fulfills them.”

        “I work with creative mid-life women disillusioned with their career. I help them design a reliable system for creating a life project that fulfills them.”

        Hi Kenn, I’m still not getting quite the traction I’d like. How do these read for you? Thanks for your help!

        1. How’s traffic? Maybe it’s more around the places you’re “getting visible”

          Are you hoping people will find you via search? If so, might want to look at your search strategy and implementation plan.

          I do like this => “I’m Regan du Closel. I help passionate professionals who are reassessing their lives to find the courage and confidence to step off the treadmill, identify what they really want, and make it happen.”

          Great to see you plugging away Regan. I love the vibe at your site — colors and your photos.

          1. Hi Kenn,
            Thanks for getting back to me with savvy feedback. I’m intrigued by your comment on search strategy and implementation plan. I’m just doing LI and word of mouth for the moment, but would be interested in hearing more from you.

            1. LinkedIn and word of mouth. Ok, that could work.

              The reason I ask, is because if you’re worried about your message, yet no one is seeing the message … well, the problem could be the message not hitting home or the target clients not seeing the message.

              Sooo … here is where I get curious about the numbers. What numbers are we working with, and the goal, and what activities (marketing tasks) are you doing.

              Like weight-loss or shooting better basketball, there will be numbers to show if things are working.

  4. Hi Ken,

    Here’s my core message:

    I work with women who are living their diagnosis, not living. I help them reconnect to what’s important in their lives so they can find inner peace.

    I am a grief coach with experience dealing with cancer patients but could be any diagnosis.

    Thank you for any feedback.


    Shawna Starr

    1. Cool … way to get the first draft down, and post it! Brave.

      Can you be more specific with “what’s important”? Name 3 top things … one will be their family, and often last is themselves if they are like most moms 😉

      Ok to cancer … maybe just say “cancer and serious illnesses” …

      Specificity sells … wanna give it a second go?

      Just post below.

      Anyone else secretly looking on, step into the light and share your ideas too 😉

  5. Hi Kenn,
    I loved your wonderful tips of creating core messages. Thank you for taking the effort to go through my draft.
    I am an Empowerment Coach. I empower girls and women who, amidst all societal & family pressures, are looking to create a space of their own. I work together with them to regain their confidence, balance their priorities & indulge in self-compassion, so that they can have power & control over their own life.

    1. Nice! Want some thoughts? Here …

      I like the family and society pressures, are there 2-3 specific ones that are the most prominent? Try substituting those in.

      And if they had control and power, what might they want to lead their lives towards? Specifically?

      Confidence, priorities, and self-compassion … definitely things I hear women want to have more/control of.

      Good on you for working on this … run it by some folks, esp the people you have or intend to coach.

      1. Hey, Thanks for the input. As per your suggestions, I will try to get specific with the pressures and towards the end.

  6. Welcome! Discover the peace that comes with a knowledge of your life’s purpose and have the confidence to take your life to the next level.

    1. Cool … you’re speaking about benefits, Adrienne.

      Try spelling out what “next level” would mean … perhaps 3 things that your best kinds of clients would love to see in their lives – relationships? work? health?

      Being specific helps people get excited — and that’s your job as a coach!

  7. Hi Kenn! What a great video. I plan to share it with my colleagues who are struggling to craft their core message. I did all the steps and have landed on this: I work with women struggling with unwanted weight gain and low energy to wake every day feeling sexy and energized. I already have a website with domain name: mindbodymom, but am thinking I should change it to (or something like that) Would love your feedback!

  8. Hi Kenn,

    So glad I found your website. I am creating the content for my website and feel empowered with the great tips you provide. I’ve been birthing my core message for a long while and would appreciate your thoughts.

    I coach women who want to break free from what holds them back. I empower them to awaken the boldness within so they can become who they’re meant to be and design a life they love.


      1. “Mandy is a StRide By StRide guide for aspiring equestrians challenged with their journey. She designs life-creation coaching experiences for us to achieve connection with our brightest potential.”

        1. Cool! I like the descriptions: aspiring questions and brightest potential.

          Can you be more specific about the challenges on the journey? Like pressure to perform, optimizing training, riding confidence or such – I’m totally guessing here, but what specifically are these challenges?

          Good job giving it a go Mandy!

          1. Thank you! I really like “optimizing training”. I may have to let this sink in. To me it is developing (self-)awareness, however I feel they may not know this until they are into the sessions.

            “Mandy Biles is a StRide By StRide equestrians guide challenging us to own our journey. She designs life-creation coaching experiences inspiring us to connect with our brightest potential.”


            1. Good stuff Mandy.

              When I create websites or redesign them one of the first things we do is narrow in on this message.

              We look at your clients, their desires, the archetype that they are drawn to, and the words and feelings that’ll appeal to them. That usually makes websites giddy up. 😉

              We pull all of that into a nice concise message – the core message.

  9. I will help your business increase
    profits while lessening your stress
    using proven methods that will
    insure lasting success.

  10. I don’t know if you are still able to take time to review core messages, I’ve been playing around with mine and here is where I am at

    “I coach professional women in their 40’s who are overwhelmed juggling career, family and life and help them make positive changes to reconnect, achieve balance and live harmoniously”

    1. Hey Claire.

      Overall, I like that you’re specific to who and focusing on their benefits.

      I’d make it two sentences, “… and life. I help them …”

      But let me ask, what do we mean by reconnect, achieve balance, and live harmoniously?

      What would that translate to in their lives? Productive at work, taking care of loved ones fully, and feel a peaceful sense of control?” Maybe better words.

      I like “juggling” … “juggling but struggling” might be a fun alliteration.

  11. Hi Kenn, thank you for offering to review our drafts. Here comes mine based on the video.:

    Tania Lösche is a success strategist for high achievers who struggle with anxiety and unproductive behaviors.
    She offers transformative coaching for you to gained strength, self-confidence and authenticity.
    She does it in a way that’s simple to implement so you start feeling in control from day one.

  12. Hi, I’m Kate Ensor and I’m a coach who helps people realise the best version of themselves. I work with people facing life’s big transitions – like moving into a leadership role, changing career, living as an expat or becoming a parent. Different changes, that require you to answer similar questions: Who am I? What matters to me? What is my unique contribution? If you want to answer these questions and find more joy and fulfilment in your life, give me a call to book your first session.

    1. Interesting.

      If you work your immediate network of people who know, like and trust you, you should be able to get conversations and then secure new clients. Most coaches get clients that way at the start.

      If you want to take over the world, and get clients coming to you in droves, being specific, say expat execs in career change or new role (combining some things there), and then get the word out in targeted areas where those folks place their attention – I can see that easier for income, clients, marketing.

      I like how you start pointing out specific areas – it helps me know what you’re about. The “best version of themselves” while nice and probably what we all want … I wonder how many lay awake at night thinking, “I need to fix the problem of not being my best version” so I’d probably not lead with that too much. Nice to have in drips and drabs.

      But I know people lay awake at night about their careers issues, relationships woes, and problems with kids. Gray hairs. Nervous breakdowns. Anger fits. You name it.

      Just some reactions as I read your core message.

  13. Hi Kenn,
    I just had a quick question regarding core messages. I’m wondering if you can recommend where I should have the core message located on my website. Since I also want to have a captivating headline on my homepage, I am just wondering where might be the best place to insert my core message so its not too close to my headline that pops up on my homepage.
    Do you ever have people insert their core message as the headline that users see when they first land on the page? OR should the headline and core message be two separate entities. Thanks so much for any input or tips you can provide,
    Andrew Smith
    Kickstart Running

    1. Good question.

      I’d think about the experience you want people to have.

      If your headline is a part of a story that you want people to get pulled into, and then read an article, then I’d save the core message for the About Me page, for online profiles.

      If your homepage is meant to have a quick summary at the top (I often do this), then the core message could go right there and then you lead them deeper -> like join email list, or read a blog post, or other.

      Yes, think about the path you want people to take. The adventure you want them to go on. Just make sure that the journey is all about their situation and challenges.

      Feel free to post it back here when the site goes up.

  14. Claudette B, your Dreambuilder Coach.

    I work with Go-Getters – male and female who lost sight of their dreams to life’s circumstances. I help them to master the tide of life by discoverig and reconstructing their dreams, and transforming them into reality so that they can luve the life they absolutely love living.

    1. Great that you posted it here Claudette!

      I like the length of it and “go getters” word to describe your clients. Nice!

      Wondering if “tide of life” is something they’ll quickly get or wonder about. I’d probably go for more specific challenges like “work, relationship and health challenges” … or probably better, pick among those that relate most closely to them.

      I suppose go-getters who have been drowned by life’s tidal waves want to be on top, surfing productively to their big dreams again.

      Would that be in work/business/career/endeavors? I sense so …

    2. Thanks for the awesome, brilliant idea Ken. Beautifully crafted. After listening to your video on “ Creating a Compelling Core Msg, I finally decided to tie the ‘tide of life’ piece. I really like the way you reframe my core msg and making it highlight my domain name. I will definitely work with it. Blessings

  15. Here’s my pitch, it went from about 3 paragraphs to this. It’s going on the header of my Home page so I need it to be super simple, clear and short.

    “If your a super busy coach who’s confused about how to create a Website that’s not only beautiful but also Connects and Converts, hit the booking button below and let’s find out if together, we can make magic happen”

    My client’s are heart-centred, soulful entrepreneurs just starting out and are normally in the woowoo industry 🙂

  16. Hi, I’m Gwendolyn Needham. I inspire and motivate teachers and parents via Human Development Workshops to “Take Charge of Your Lives!” and become strong, healthy, happy, wise, – not stressed, overwhelmed and overworked, and far too busy.
    Why teachers and parents? Because they hold the keys to empowering our next generation in their hands; they’re the most important people in the world!

    1. I like the content. I like the focus. Nice.

      To make a short 1-2 sentencer you can use everywhere (bios, online profiles, author boxes), tighten it up to hit on the key end/big benefits, which appear to about parents and teachers beoming wise leaders and kids becoming _______? ((probably responsible and productive).

      Nice first go at it … run it by some of these teachers and parents.

  17. Hi Kenn, thank you for your extremely helpful posts.

    I’m Janice, a Personal Fulfillment Coach for burnt out Professionals.

    I will help you go from stressed and stuck to gaining clarity and direction for a life that inspires and delights you.

    1. Hi Janice.

      Very welcome. LOVE how you end i with “inspires and delights” you. Nice.

      Wondering if “satisfies your soul” or something deeply rewarding, meaningful would play in here, being a “fulfillment coach”.

  18. I’m a trasitional & career coach. I help People who are unhappy with their life & career find fulfillment and purpose.

    If you are stuck and confused about your life & career journey, then you are in the right place.

    I help people move from where they are in Life to where they want to be. I can help you find your most authentic self so you can live a successful, impactful and fulfilled life.

    Emem Nwogwugwu

      1. I have worked with people with different challenges.
        Most of my clients are in New careers journeys, new lifestyle to healing and even helping others.
        Though I started only last year. My best client was a woman who was in a bad marriage and personal life. Today she is doing better. Left the country to start a new life. Also working on her career now. She is also a new coach. She has been able to identify her core niche.
        I have literally seen client identify their real purpose during our sessions. And seen many healed emotionally after talking to me.
        As a Project Manager- I have helped loads of client make important business decisions on the spot. I am a creative thinker. I provide life and business solutions. One of my most sort after niche is in project planning. People need solutions that are viable, cost effective, within budget and quality. I provide solutions that meets the criteria of the business and overall project team.

  19. Hi Regan,
    I like where you are going. I find the second sentence a bit confusing though. I’d take out the ‘your own’ and use a comma after partner, career, etc. Leave out the ‘and’ there.

    “I help creative women negotiate mid-life changes in the personal and professional life. Together we can find those answers within you to changes of partner, career, aging parents,, and empty nesting. Together you will learn how to regain clarity and confidence. You will be able to fully/comfortably discover and inhabit the person you are today.”

    I think most readers read in shorter sentences – especially on mobile phones so breaking it up will bring more clarity to the reader and that’s what you are aiming for.
    You’ve done a wonderful job of defining your work and the benefits. My suggestions are simply on contextual changes to make it easier for the reader.

    Love, Hugs, and Prayers,

  20. Hello Kenn, I love the practicality and simplicity of your blogs!

    Regan du Closel – Transition coach
    Clarity Coach Solutions

    I help creative women negotiate mid-life changes in their personal and professsional life. Together, we can find your own answers to changes of partner and career, aging parents and empty nesting and help you regain clarity and confidence and fully/comfortably inhabit the person you are today.

    1. Hi Kenn, how does this work? “I work with creative women negotiating mid-life changes in their personal and professional life. I help them find the clarity and confidence to create a life project that fulfills them.”

  21. Yeah! You’ve finally retired! But – Now what are you going to do?
    What legacy can you create?
    Let me help you explore the footprints you can make in retirement
    That will be lasting.

    Sandra Cerul, Opportunity Coaching

  22. Hi Patti. I like the fun energy in it. Great! If you’re staying quite broad in your client base, give that message a go and see how people respond. That “direction” challenge is definitely an issue for many. Direction and Passions … I bet you can say a lot about that in your materials/articles/talks or other content.


  23. Nice Jane!

    I think you can cut that in half to tighten it. I like the “life and work” part. If you can juicify that like “thrive at work, and take care of your family” (which would be aimed more at working moms), I think it will have more oomph!

    Try running it by a few of your idea (or could be ideal) clients.

  24. Here is a draft of my core message:

    Are you ready to make a life change but lack direction? Do you struggle with connecting to the things you are passionate about? Hi. I’m Patti Wheeler, Life Purpose Coach. I am excited to help you unlock the doors to your fullest potential. Together we will find that path that will lead you to the successful and fulfilling life you want.

  25. I’m a health coach and I’m passionate about working with motivated clients to develop healthy habits around weight control, energy exercise and, stress . If you are struggling with any of these I will help you change and maintain healthy habits so you get the most from your life and work.