The Out-of-Place Attraction Factor for Engaging Visitors

Why the BLEEP! does my coaching website suck?

Why does no one go to it? Why doesn’t anyone do anything at it? Why aren’t they contacting me about coaching? How the hell do I make it more compelling? How do I explain what I do so that everyone wants to hire me?!?!

It can be a rough deal trying to make your website compelling to get people to engage with it.

One critical, core thing that you’re probably missing is the “out of place” factor.

The what?

According to top marketers, expert human behaviorists, and in my own online marketing experience of 10 years, people’s attention goes toward things that are “out of place”.

It’s like when someone who never curses, curses. You notice!

It’s like when you take the same path to work every day, but one day you notice the new advertisement on the street. You take notice.

It’s shocking how big the self-help section of Borders has grown.

It’s the entire wall closest to the café and very close to the front of the store. It must be 30 feet wide and 10 feet high.

Every author, coach, and motivational guru as a colorful looking book with a big smile boasting steps, secrets, and keys to some way of improving your life or career.

When looking at it, even though I love this topic, my attention goes to no specific book.

Nothing stands out.

The point is that, if you want people to take notice of your website and engage with it, it will need something that’s “out of place”.

But just sticking four green elephants with red-painted toes on your website won’t work.

This is because you’re “out of place” attempt is not congruent with the client’s internal “out of place radar”.

True, the elephants will garner some WOWness because it’s very unique. It will probably get a chuckle.

But, the visitor will simply smile, then wonder why the elephants are there, realize there’s no value in it, and then just move on.

What’s happening is that these elephants don’t relate to anything “out of place” in the visitor’s life, work or career.

The “out of place” elephants don’t matchup to something “out of place” in the visitor’s life.

So there’s no reason to continue with your site.

So, how do you create this “out of place” effect on your website?

The key is to think from your client’s perspective. Think about what’s “out of place” in their lives.

And a great question to ask yourself is What are my ideal client’s biggest challenges?

People’s challenges, problems, and pains are the things that are most “out of place” in their lives.

Their radars are on the constant look out and will sound off loudly when things appear that can put their situation in “proper” place.

For example if you’re a coach into parenting and you find that many parents have a hard time with kids who act out, you could have a big bold headline on your website saying, “How to Get Control of Your Wild Child”.

What parent with a difficult child wouldn’t be pulled to this?

As another example, if you’re a nutritionist coach, and many of your clients struggle with binge-ing, you can create a tagline under your business name that that says, “Beat Binge-ing Now”.

What emotional eater wouldn’t want to find out more about at your site?

In conclusion, to get attention and get people to engage with your website, be sure to create an “out of place” factor (challenges are perfect for this) on your website that will chime loudly on people’s internal radars.

And, here’s the The Million Dollar Question: What could be (or is) your “out of place” factor?

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  1. There’s an element of truth to what you’re saying. Creating a good user experience, however, doesn’t focus on what’s out of place enough to get a click, it focuses on quality content that meets user needs.

    And therein lies the real problem with most coaching sites I come across. Nothing differentiates them from the last coach because they all say the same thing instead of engaging in truly thoughtful branding and a strategic UX process.

    1. Thanks Mark.

      Looking back. It think this article could have been tighter/clearer.

      I’m glad to hear you chime in.

  2. Hey Cheryl,

    Yeah … pains to pleasures … great point.

    How about 90% in place, and 10% out of place … and the 10% is where you hook em in.

    10% -> Hey! Woah!
    90% -> Hmmm, ohhhh, oooh, ahhh.

    Then lead em on to sign up for something.

    I appreciate your insights.

  3. This is so true! It is interesting how stating the obvious becomes a revelation. So many TOO much in common; Visions of Serene tranquility, lotus (or other flowers), lots of pastel colors and a wealth of inspirational quotes!

    Unfortunately many are confusing as well, are they trying to help clients or sell them this vision of Nirvana through product placement?

    What this tells me is this life coach is feeling serene and tranquil and has something to sell. Where is the juice?

    Inevitably, they all blur together like water colors.

    I agree, standing out from the crowd could be as simple as promoting how they can help rather than what they can sell.

    Keep up the good work! You always make me think!

    Shira Davida Goldberg

    1. Hi Shira,

      These days, I’m trying to thinking about thinking and do more doing.

      Thanks for your excitement! Love it!

  4. Very well said Kenn. It’s crucial to make “out of place” work FOR your website, not against it. Many websites have so much out of place that the visitor doesn’t stay around, and goes to another site that has a strategic marketing plan like you mention in your post.

    I think you can get a visitors attention by hinting at their challenges and calling even more attention to what the target market is looking for, essentially keeping it more positive than negative. We don’t want to press the pain buttons TOO much.

    Thanks for another insightful post!

      1. When you first told me about the problem being “the fear of” cancer, I was like wow … I know people with that fear.

        Just the word “cancer” itself, to me stands out.

        I can’t personally say if it will “work.”

        Only a test would show.

        Maybe you can write an article with that title, send it to some list of people interested in the topic and measure how many people click to it.

        At the least I’d reach out to 10 people with the fear of cancer and get their reactions.