How do you build a coaching practice? Can you attract new clients without an awesome website? Maybe. You might build your business completely based on word of mouth.
Or maybe not. Maybe you won’t attract coaching clients if you don’t have an awesome website. Yes, I’m a marketer and focused on all things marketing. Maybe I’m biased. Or maybe..I want you to grow your practice.
As your prospect, I will judge your potential value by the brand you present to me online. And that brand starts with your website.
Great websites attract great clients
Why is your website is super important? Great design can build trust with your audience. Pair that with content that explains to me who you are, what you do, and whether you’re for me...and you’ve got me hooked.
But there’s a lot that can go wrong with a website. For starters...Blindingly bright color schemes (that are impossible to read). Overly photoshopped (or obviously outdated) headshots. Cliche motivational images. Clutter that crowds out the message. Capital letters that shout at readers.
You can avoid the common website woes that so many coaches (and other solopreneurs) struggle with. First step: before your next website redesign, choose some inspiration sites to pull from. And I’ve made this super easy for you with the following top ten list! (You’re welcome. ;-) )
These seven coaches have great websites
Finding this many coaches’ websites that are super awesome was not super easy, especially once I took Tony Robbins out of the running. I don’t want you to feel like you have to have a huge team and a bajillion dollars to have an awesome website. So this list presents a variety of highly prolific to well-established entrepreneur coaches, executive and business coaches, and more.
I can clearly see from Amy’s head shots, content, and even color scheme that she’s an energetic and motivational coach who works with womenpreneurs like her. It’s all aligned together. I know who Amy is, what I’ll get out of working with her, and how I can work with her. She's action-oriented...and so is her site. The primary call to action is impossible to miss, whether you’re on mobile or desktop. The offer is enticing. And the button is not the default, “submit,” but a brand-aligning, “I’M READY” (yes, this is a totally ok use of all caps). Social media is also front and center, in the header and footer of the site.
There’s a good balance of whitespace, copy, and images. I don’t feel totally overwhelmed by what I’m being offered, but I also have a lot to choose from. There’s social proof in the customer testimonials and media outlets that have covered her.
Talk about a clean and clear presentation! The homepage is uncluttered. The copy alongside Eric’s smiling face explains simply and concisely what he can help me with...and offers some valuable free content. In fact, it’s so clean, the main nav that’s traditionally at the top of the page is only found at the bottom. The color scheme of muted blues leverages a color known to build trust and often used in the corporate brands he’s seeking to attract.
Michael S Seaver
Awesome headshot? Check. Concise brand promise right up front? Check. Main nav that makes clear what he does and for whom? Check and check. And notice this is another trust-building blue color scheme. The interior pages clearly walk through the programs, challenges addressed, results promised, and packages offered. A mix of copy and icons break up the blocks of text nicely. And each page includes a client quote for that extra oomph from social proof.
One of his TED Talks has been viewed nearly 2M times so far. So...not exactly a coach just starting out. But don’t let that hold you back from learning what he’s done well. This one’s especially helpful to look at if you’re planning to build a practice that involves both speaking and training or coaching, or if you have extensive publications you’d like to feature on your site. And notice the way he presents his testimonials. Called “Praise” in the navigation, they’re not just words on a page. They entice you to scroll through to the end.
And finally, style-wise, this is one of the few examples of the all-caps style lending to a website’s clarity and readability without really feeling like shouting. However, you’ll notice his new board training website doesn’t rely on the all-caps style.
Brooke Castillo - The Life Coach School
Everything about this website feels crisp, clean, and high-end. Like walking into a beautiful boutique shop in some tony, sunny town. The video on the homepage is a highly-produced and effective marketing piece, not just a talking head staring at a camera. (Both approaches can work, by the way. It depends on what aligns with your brand. Brooke does a talking head video as well.)
Before explaining with Brooke does through The Life Coach School, she explains the philosophy behind what she does. Copy is presented in concise blurbs. Even on pages with high word counts, copy is still presented in bite-sized bits.
Linda Sivertson - The Book Mama
With a name like The Book Mama, your brand had better be feminine, nurturing, and welcoming, right? Linda Sivertson’s website does this beautifully. And notice that the first testimonial on the homepage is for her free download, not her courses or coaching. She’s got a tagline that says everything she offers: “Author | Podcaster | App Creator | Idea Fairy” and an additional one to establish her experience: “midwifing bestsellers since 1998.” So, right at the top of the site, you know what you’re in for and whether this is for you.
Hey look! It’s more of that trust-building blue. Notice how his headshot is welcoming, but he’s actually looking at the copy he wants you to look at. His headline is his brand promise: “make more time for what matters most.” Who wouldn’t want that? And immediately below this headline/hero section is his social proof: several well-known publications in which he’s been featured. And, followed by that, is a clear journey through what he does, how to discover whether it’s for you, and what you could gain from working with him.
Finally, why didn’t I include the one and only Marshall Goldsmith? He’s got three very distinct web presences: The Marshall Goldsmith Group, SC Coaching, and Marshall Goldsmith, making him more a study of complex multi-faceted branding than of one coach’s website. And picking just one seems problematic.
Do you know a coach who has an awesome website? Or are you one? Send me the link. I’d love to see it!