It can be tough to get started on your website and get it online.
A lot is going on, from tech to content, to visuals and branding — you’ll go cross-eyed, freeze in place, or collapse from mental exhaustion.
I know the frustrating feeling when I first started designing websites around the turn of the century, 2000.
I’d overthink, overdesign, overly add functionality, and overly obsess about my wording. I thought my brain was going to explode — or implode — it hurt.
- It was hard to stay focused as ideas would come in a flurry.
- It was easy to keep clicking away at technology with minimal progress.
- It was crazy how much time you can spend looking for the perfect image.
But, I’ll tell you, you’ve got to keep steady progress and “launch” if you’re ever going to succeed as a coach.
Remember this, clients are out there and need your help. You’ve got to make it happen, get out there, and show up so they can discover you and find the help they really need.Kenn Quote
Furthermore, your biz dreams are at stake here too. You owe it to yourself to walk the talk and pursue your goals. Messing around with your website for months to years (I’ve seen it) is no way to go.
Take to heart these three keys below — they are the reasons why my students and book-buyers launch in as fast as two weeks — and not with one of those crappy overnight sites, but a real powerhouse marketing machine.
Let’s dive in and get your website project started on the right foot.
Key #1 – Begin With the End in Mind, and Create a Site Map
I believe Stephen Covey gets credit for the quote, “Begin with the end in mind,” as it’s one of his seven habits of highly effective people.
But, I bet you already now this from coaching your clients.
How often do you find that your clients’ struggles are largely due to a lack of clarity around their goals (end-points)? Often I suspect.
Just the same, it’s a good move to get clear about what exactly your “goal website” is going to be.
If you don’t get clear about your website, it’ll be hard to know when you’re done. It’ll also be difficult to make decisions along the way about things like fonts, colors, software, and wording.
There’s a good chance you’ll get stuck trying to make it perfect as you can always find something new to add, tweak, or improve. The word is called “scope creep,” and it’s a sneaky troublemaker.
For coaches who want to build high credibility, attract good clients, and keep their practices full into the future, I personally love using the expert website model I wrote about in The Coaching Website Guide.
The expert website is structured to build your professional image, show the value of coaching, and lead the right people to contact you for support. It’s for generating leads both now and into the future.
But that’s a massive topic left for the book. For now, here are some good things to get clear about on your website:
- details about the ideal person you want as a client
- the way you want people to feel
- the pages you want to have
- visuals and imagery needed
- colors, fonts, and textures
- the functional components like a blog, email list
- the platform it’s built on, like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or other
- the strategy of the content and calls-to-action
Draw a diagram, make a list, sketch out a map — make clear (as possible) notes of what you want.
Pen and paper (and coffee) work fabulously for this.
If you struggle with your site map, perhaps some quality time with Kenn would help. You can reach out to me here.
KEY #2 – Set a Deadly Deadline
Think about any college paper you had to write, or race you ran, or art project you’ve completed.
They all had a due date, an event day, or exhibition day. They all had a deadlines.
Even though they induce stress, deadlines help you get things done — and your website project needs one too!
But there’s a little more to it.
A self-chosen go-live dates like launching a website often fails because of a lack of accountability.
It would help if you got someone else on board. Someone (or people) who are waiting for you and you cannot let down.
Without this pressure, then procrastination, perfectionism, and shiny-object syndrome can easily take hold as you extend your due date with seemingly little consequence. You do take a small self-esteem hit, and your biz dreams do start to dampen.
So in order to reach a 99% chance of launching, you’ve got to make your deadline “deadly.” You’ll need some extra accountability measures.
I’ve done this with course students in the past, and it works like a charm.
We declare our launch date to each other, and then to our Facebook friends (*evil grin*), and then I throw in some juicy rewards as well -— and voila! — an unstoppable surge of energy and momentum gets the job.
It works well because you both (1) risk looking like a loser if you don’t launch and (2) miss out on some special rewards.
This is whip-cracking at its best.
I know, tough love. But hey, when your website is up, launched and things start happening, you’ll be thanking me to no end.
Your dreams are that important. Clients need help badly. Let’s not let a little thing like a website stand in the way 😉
Set that deadline and kill it!
KEY #3 – Craft Your Core Message
One foundational piece of your website and marketing and business is your core message. It’s simply a few lines of text saying what you do in a compelling way.
This is a must-do as all of your copy, your visuals, your calls-to-action, blogs, and marketing messages depend on it.
Here’s an example from a past client:
“I help successful singles over forty who are tired of empty, unfulfilling flings to find exciting, meaningful love that lasts.”
With a summary like that, can you see how direction for the associated website can start taking shape? Can you start seeing what topics for blogs might be on that website? Can you see what colors and visuals might be there? Can you start to “feel” something there?
That’s the power of a solid core message.
In addition to your core message, I go page by page and help you craft engaging copy in The Coaching Website Guide. So many find it handy.
Without some succinct centralized marketing essence, it’ll be hard to create and organize content.
Maybe you’ve run into these three common problems that stem from trying to write about coaching when there’s no focused message are:
- you get too many ideas because you write about anything
- you may get writer’s block because you don’t know where to start
- you rethink and rewrite your content over and over to make it just right
A few good things to get into your core message include:
- who you work with – some words identifying them
- what struggles they face and desires they have (most important)
- who you are like a “coach” or that you offer “relationship coaching”
Oh, by the way, I’ve got a pretty beef tutorial on this that I usually share with list subscribers only, but shhh, don’t tell them — it’s over here: How to Craft a Compelling Core Message.
Please hit LIKE and tell me what ideas are coming to mind for you.
Where are you at in your site creation process? Perhaps you have a domain name or are in the middle of researching different software platforms? Just post below.