“I don’t want to work with Leslie*” (The coach’s name has been changed to protect the guilty), a client I was referring said.
“Why” I asked.
“Well look at her website. Her website looks dated, and if her website is stale, her coaching probably is too.”
This actual conversation with a tech-savvy 30-something speaks volumes to those of us over 40. Simply put, your online presence matters. And if your website is dated, it’s not a big leap to assume you’re not staying current with what’s happening in the coaching and business world.
What’s so sad is that it’s rarely true. And in this particular case, the coach I recommended is one of the best in the industry.
But when it comes to prospects, perception is reality.
What Does Your Website Say About You?
So, what does your website say about you? Answering these five questions is an important first step in assessing the effectiveness of your online presence.
- What do your website colors say about you? Research reveals that colors tell a story and greatly influence consumer perception. Some reports go so far to say that color influences 60 to 80 percent of the purchasing decision. Know what your website colors say about you. And to be sure you’re not stuck in the 90’s or worse, ask someone who epitomizes your ideal client for honest feedback.
- What do your website graphics reveal about you? Never, never use clipart on your website. They scream amateur and unprofessional. Instead, use professional photos, like the ones you find on istockphoto.com. Remember, too, that your photos tell a story. Just make sure it’s the one you want to tell.
- Do your logo and tagline speak to your client? Logos are, for the most part, subjective. However, general design principles still apply. You want something clean and professional that not only reflects who you are as a coach but one that speaks to your ideal client as well. And when it comes to taglines, make sure they speak to your ideal client. They should never be all about YOU.
- Is your copy client-centric? Your website copy should be clear, concise, and client-centric. Many excellent, well-intentioned coaches make the mistake of focusing more on themselves than the client in their website copy. And when writing your copy, anticipate the questions clients might ask and address them up front. If you’re not a strong writer, hire someone who is; or at the very least, hire an editor. It is well worth the investment and will likely pay off in more clients.
- Is your website cluttered? If your website is cluttered, chances are your mind is, too. Include plenty of white space on your website, and avoid too many words or images on each page. Too many buttons or advertisements in the sidebar are distracting and create confusion in the client’s mind. Remember, when it comes to coaching websites, less is more.
How did you do? What next steps do you need to take to stay relevant to clients and prospects?