By: Sarit Lotem
A couple days ago, I had a call with a new prospect who is a life coach. After discussing her business goals, particularly what’s not working on her current website, and because her answers were almost the exact same answers as I got from my other coaches’ clients, I realized that most coaches, life or business, have no idea how to engage their potential clients and get them to take the next step with them online.
The way I see it, coaches, therapists, physicians, and light workers are natural givers. This means that they are extremely passionate about what they do and feel that helping other people is their life’s mission. They are generous with their knowledge and just want to be of assistance. Most of the time, it is likely that getting paid is not their biggest concern. And when it comes to their websites, they make the mistake of thinking that the same rule applies. They try to share and give as much as they can.
When one of my clients first came to me, a yoga studio-owner, he had 5 different videos with different messages on his home page alone; one opt-in form for a free feel-better checklist, one opt-in form for a free mp3 meditation track, one opt-in form for a night meditation mp3, and some links to his published articles.
Here's the thing: what comes naturally for coaches and healers and works fantastic for them in real-life actually creates the opposite effect for their online prospects. Instead of feeling loved and cared for, the site’s visitors are actually bombarded with feelings of concern and overwhelm. What gets the offline clients to come back for more will actually make the online prospects run away. It's no wonder the number one complaint I hear from coaches and therapists is that their website is not converting and that their prospects are not contacting them.
Therapists and givers, upon first conversing with someone who needs their help, often possess a first instinct to hug them, to hold their hand, to give a glass of water, to reassure that everything is going to be just fine, to share some advice, and if they could, to start a healing session. But one knows that all this care might just make them want to scream. Instead, one should start with just one or two gestures - maybe just to hold the person’s hand or to give a warm hug.
The same exact strategy should be applied to your website. Instead of jumping at your first-time visitors with many offers and advice, it would be more effective to offer just one gift and only one or two calls-to-action.
A great way to achieve this is to have a system or a sitemap that will direct your site’s visitors in a way that gets them to consume your advice and information and to take action without feeling suffocated.
For example, you can offer a free checklist to download, and in the thank you page you can share a testimony from clients that had the same problem and a link to your online calendar so those hot prospects can immediately schedule a call with you. Nice and gentle.
When it comes to your site’s content, again, it is crucial to eliminate all the noise and unnecessary elements.
Research by Jakob Nielsen’s seminal web usability study shows that 79 percent of web users scan rather than read. So how can you engage your site visitors so they learn more about your services and take action?
1. Start by being very specific about who you service. Just because you know who you are and what your business is about doesn't mean that your site’s visitors know that. If you service moms, make sure they know that. If you serve diverse women or people with back pain, you need to make it easy to understand that on your home page — not just on your service pages. Use big bold headlines above the fold. This will ensure your visitors that they are in the right place.
2. Feature only one idea per paragraph, and keep them short — 3 to 4 sentences at most. If you can, interject one-sentence paragraphs between two 3 to 4 sentence paragraphs every so often.
3. Create bulleted lists as they are easily scanned and consumed
4. On every page, choose 1-2 key ideas/phrases and highlight them. This will make sure that your prospects’ eyes will not skip those important keywords.
5. Try to stick to the one-page-one-call-to-action rule. Make sure to define one goal for each page and blog post and just ask your readers for the action that would help achieve that goal.
6. To make sure that your call-to-actions are visible, choose a different background from your color scheme for them. Try green and light blue as they tend to make people take action, and try stick to one color for all your call-to-action buttons. This will help your prospects associate the color with the action.
7. Social proof is highly important for your conversion. This is where you position yourself as the expert — make it impressive by adding logos of places you’ve been featured at to your home page. Another option is to add testimonies throughout your website, especially in your contact page; not just in your testimony page. This will increase the chances of your prospects calling you or filling out the contact form.
Here’s what you can do today: take some time to think about your website; especially about your home page. Think about whether or not your site’s visitors are engaging with you and if not, what could be the reason? Is it because your site is clogged with too much content and information? Or maybe it’s because you don’t have a system or funnel in place to get your prospects to engage with you.
Sarit Lotem is the founder and CEO of LotemDesign.com. She is a speaker, author and web design and digital marketing expert. She helps business owners and professionals earn exponential income online by building them a powerful, effective and client converting website and online presence. Sarit has been featured in many small business magazines such as “Business Success Cafe” and the "Social Buzz Club."
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