It can be tough to get started on your coaching website.
There’s 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. Also, the amount of information and the number of tools you can use is staggering.
I know this “failure to launch” frustration first-hand when I started designing my website around the turn of the century, 2000.
I’d overthink, overdesign, overdo the tech, and over-obsess about wording. At points, I thought my brain was going to explode.
- It was hard to stay focused as ideas would come in a flurry.
- It was easy to keep clicking away at technology with no real progress.
- It was crazy how much time you can spend just looking for the right image.
But, I’ll tell you, you’ve got to keep steady progress and launch it if you’re ever going to succeed as a coach. Three three tips below will help.
Hindsight is 20-20, yes. And over 20 years later, if I had to advise my younger self, I’d smack in the ass and give the advice below so he could sooner realize the dream — earning a good income, doing work that you enjoy, and having the time-and-location flexibility to live it up.
I’d show him these pictures of life living on a beach, playing volleyball, with good friends, warm weather, cool creative spaces, and plenty of adventure around (this is New Zealand where many adventure films were shot).
But back to the task at hand, some getting started tips for your website, and ultimate business success.
To motivate you to get it done fast, remember this …
There are lots of clients are out there with life struggles and they seriously need your help. They’d hire you if only they knew about you, had a talk with you, and you invited them to work with you. So get your site launched and show up big for them.Kenn Quote
Do add gasoline to the fire, let me also pep you up with …
Your biz dreams are at stake. You owe it to yourself to walk the talk and pursue your important goals. Messing around with your website for months to years (I’ve seen it) is no way to go. So, find your simple solution to get it up and get it out there.Kenn Motivation
And so, in this article, take heed of these three keys to getting started right — these have helped students and book-buyers launch in as fast as two weeks — and not as those crappy overnight sites, but a real powerhouse marketing machines.
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 sitemap.
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 know this from coaching your clients. In fact, how often have you simply helped clients get clear about their goals (dreams, vision, outcomes, call it what you want), and all of the sudden they are unstuck and back in action?
Just the same, it’s a good move to get clear about what exactly your “goal website” is going to be — all of it including pages, tech, visuals, and functionality.
If you don’t figure this stuff out, it’ll be hard to know when you’re done. It’ll also be difficult to make decisions along the way — on things like fonts, colors, software, and wording — because there are endless pathways you can down the website rabbit hole.
You’ll get stuck trying to make it perfect. There will always be new things to add or tweak. And with all the attention grabbers out there (ads, notifications, emails, etc) you can get sucked into another direction easily.
For coaches who want to build high credibility, attract good clients, and keep their practices full into the future, I use what I call “the expert website model” which 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.
I’ll heave the hi-def for the book, and give you top items to get clear about on your website for a fantastic start:
- details about the ideal person you want as a client
- the way you want people to feel at your website
- the pages you want to have
- visuals and imagery needed
- colors, fonts, and textures
- the functional components like a blog, email list, contact form
- the platform to build your site upon 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 and make it very clear with scribbled notes, arrows, and chicken scratch.
Pen, paper, and a double-espresso work fabulously for this.
KEY #2 – Set a “Deadly” Deadline
Think about any college paper you wrote, a race you ran, or an art project you’ve completed.
They all had a due date, an event day, or an exhibition tiem. They all had deadlines.
Even though they induce stress (healthy stress), deadlines help you get things done — and your website project needs one too!
But there’s a little more choosing your go-live date than making an X in your calendar.
A self-chosen go-live date like launching a website often fails because of a lack of accountability. It’s too easy to just pick another date.
It would help immensely if you got someone else on board. Someone (or people) who are waiting for you to finish your website, and you would feel terrible if you let them down. Terrible like not showing up to your daughter’s graduation day.
Without this pressure, then procrastination, perfectionism, and shiny-object syndrome can easily take hold as you extend your due date with little consequence (except your dreams fade away, which should be reason enough, but often isn’t).
So in order to reach a 99.9% chance of launching, you’ve got to make your deadline “deadly.” You’ll need some extra accountability measures.
Here’s what I’ve done 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 to those who get the work done -— and voila! — an unstoppable surge of energy and excitement sets them off like superman leaping into the air.
It works so well because of both, (1) the risk of looking like a loser if you fail and (2) you miss out on some special rewards too.
This whip-cracking tough love is a good move. Your dreams are important. And when your website is up, launched and things start happening, you’ll be thanking me to no end.
Like I said above, clients need help badly, and it’s your job to connect with them. Let’s not let a little thing like a website stand in the way 😉
Set that deadline and kill it!
KEY #3 – Craft A Compelling 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.