Chapter 5: Setting Up a Website for Your Online Coaching Business
Some people may tell you that you do not need a website to launch your online coaching business. We strongly disagree with that. The other thing that you may read is that you can use one of the free website platforms to setup a website at no cost. We disagree with that as well.
As an online coach you are going to be charging clients hundreds and later thousands of dollars for your coaching services. If you don’t have a website then it looks like you are trying to do things on the cheap. When you have a free website it definitely confirms that you are a cheapskate!
You need your own domain name, web hosting and a professional looking website. There is no need for you to spend thousands on some fancy design. Your website needs to look clean and professional and that is all. It is not necessary to spend a great deal of time and money on it.
Some people are reluctant to have their own website because they do not know how to go about it. We will cover some of the basics here and there are plenty of good tutorials on YouTube which will provide the necessary details for you.
1. Choose a good Domain Name
Creating your coaching website starts with choosing an appropriate domain name. This is your unique address on the internet. If your own name is unique name then you can use this as your domain name. If your name is John Smith or Mary Jones then this will not be an easy thing to do as the names will probably be taken.
You could go for JohnSmithCoaching.com or something like this. Or you could go niche specific with something like TheDigitalMarketingCoach.com. We have not checked that these names are available.
You will need to check yourself using a domain registrar such as godaddy.com or namecheap.com.
As a general guide we would encourage you to go for a .com domain extension if you can get one. They are the most popular by far and recognized by Google and all of the other search engines. If you can’t get a .com then look for a .net or a .org. You can also check out country specific domain extensions such as .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia and .co.uk for the UK.
Our advice is to make your domain name memorable and as short as you can. This is not always easy to do as most of the good names have gone. But with some trial and error you should be able to come up with a good name.
2. Web hosting
You need web hosting to make your website live on the Internet. It is a place where you will store all of the necessary computer files to make your website operational and available for all to see.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from. They will usually offer different plans and prices per month. You need to budget between $10 and $20 a month for your web hosting. It is unlikely that your coaching website is going to get a lot of website traffic (visitors) certainly not at the start. You can always upgrade your hosting later.
Examples of good web hosting companies are bluehost.com, hostgator.com and siteground.com. Make sure that the web host you choose offers a one click WordPress install facility and has a large amount of disk space and bandwidth. You will also want to add an SSL certificate to your website for security and a lot of hosts now provide this free.
Once you have chosen your web host you will need to connect your domain name to your hosting. This is a bit technical and most web hosts will help you out with this. Alternatively there are a lot of videos on YouTube that will explain how to do this.
3. Install WordPress
The next thing you need to do is to install the WordPress blog platform on your domain name. You can do this easily using one click software that most web hosts provide. Again if you are in doubt ask your web host to guide you through this step.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS). It is very popular and millions of websites use the platform. It is totally free to install and use WordPress for your website. You do not need to know any web coding to add content to your new website when you use WordPress.
What you will need to do is to choose a theme for your new WordPress site. The theme is the web design element of your site. It is how it looks and feels and it is important to make a good choice here.
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available. There are themes made especially for online coaching businesses. Go to your favorite search engine and enter “wordpress themes for online coaching business” and you will get some good results back. Here is an example of a page that compares the themes https://athemes.com/collections/coaching-wordpress-themes/
You will need to log in to your WordPress installation and then you will see your dashboard. On the left hand side there are many options available to you. One of those is to install a new theme. Select this and then upload the theme file that you downloaded. Activate it afterwards and your new theme is ready to go.
Another advantage of using the WordPress platform is that there are many plugins available to enhance your website. A good example here is a contact form where people can send you a message and this will be delivered to an email address of your choice.
There are plugins for other things too such as search engine optimization (SEO), special forms (these are great for asking your coaching clients to fill them out and let you know what their problems are), legal pages and much more.
A lot of plugins are free to use and some are available at a premium. Here is a good page with recommended plugins that you should be using on your WordPress website https://www.techradar.com/best/best-wordpress-plugins
It is very easy to install plugins. Just log in to your dashboard and select the “add new plugin” option on the left hand side. You can then upload the plugin file or search for a new plugin that you need. Install and then activate.
There are many good tutorials on how to setup and use WordPress for your website on YouTube. This is not a technical guide so we will not include specific details here. WordPress really is the best platform to use for your new online coaching website so be prepared to spend a little time learning about it first.
4. Pages and Content
There are a number of important pages that you need to include with your new website and these are:
- Home page – this is the first page visitors will see when they type in your domain name
- About page – this is a very important page which tells visitors who you are and what you stand for
- Services page(s) – this can be one page or a number of different pages whichever suits your strategy. Here you will define the services that you provide
- Contact page – this is where a visitor to your website can contact you directly by typing a message and sending it to you.
- Privacy and Terms and Conditions pages – these are legal pages which explain how information that is provided by your visitors is managed. You can get plugins that will produce these pages for you automatically.
It is important here to make a distinction about pages and posts. A page is usually static. Once you have created the pages above you will not need to change them very often. It is a good idea to test pages out to see how well they are converting for you and then make any necessary tweaks to them.
A post is information that is related to your niche and provides value to your visitors. We recommend that you make at least one new post a week about your niche. So if you are a digital marketing coach for example you can write posts about:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Driving website traffic
Obviously you do not want to give everything away in your blog posts. Use them as a hook to get visitors to contact you about your online coaching services. You need to provide value in your posts but leave some questions unanswered so that your visitors will be able to learn more once they become a coaching client.
The reason that you want to create regular posts for your website is that it provides a reason for potential clients to come back and visit your site again. It is also good for SEO as the more unique content you publish the higher your rankings will be in the search engines.
5. Your logo
We strongly recommend that you create a unique logo for your online coaching business. If you are not a graphic designer then there is no need to worry. There are plenty of talented people that can design you a great logo for a few dollars over at Fiverr.com.
If you want to do this yourself then you do not need to go out and spend a lot of money on graphic design programs like Adobe Photoshop. Just head over to Canva.com and you can choose a logo style and make changes to it to make it yours. This is completely free.
6. Email Opt-In Form
Not many people are going to visit your website and become clients right away. A great way to stay in touch with potential clients is to create an incentive for them to provide you with their email address so that you can follow up with them afterwards.
You can create a special report for your visitors that tells them how to achieve something in your niche. It is best to address one or some of the problems that you have identified your target market has. So for example if you are in the digital marketing space you could provide a report entitled “5 Ways To Grow Your Social Media Presence”.
The trick here is to make the report enticing enough for the visitor to want to provide their email address to you. These days people are reluctant to give their email address as they know that they are going to receive promotional emails from you. So make your free offer as compelling as you can.
You will need an autoresponder service to deliver emails to your email marketing list automatically. Two good services are Aweber.com and GetResponse.com. When you are starting out these will cost you around $20 a month.
You can set up a series of emails that will be delivered automatically to your new email subscribers with an autoresponder. Space these emails out over a few days as nobody likes to be bombarded with these messages. It is important to use enticing subject lines so that your emails will be opened.
It is also possible to send a broadcast email using an autoresponder service. Maybe you want to let your subscribers know that you have a special offer for them such as a 30 minute coaching session for free. You can choose who receives this broadcast. It can be all of your subscribers or just some of them.
You can easily create an email opt in form (where the visitor enters their email address) with autoresponder services. We recommend that you have a professional cover image created for your report and again there are many people on Fiverr.com that can do this for you for a few bucks.
Another thing that we recommend is that you create a professional video of yourself describing what you can do for your clients. These days people would much rather watch a short video than read a lot of text.
It doesn’t matter if you are not happy to appear on a video – just get over this and do it anyway. Coaching is a personal business and prospective clients will want to see your face and hear your voice before they make the decision to become a client.
You can host your video on platforms like YouTube.com, Vimeo.com and DailyMotion.com free of charge and embed the video on your web pages. These websites get a lot of visitors so you may get leads this way as well. Video is a must these days especially for online coaches so be sure to plan out a good video script and shoot a high quality video.
If you need to pay someone to shoot the video and edit it for you then do that. It will be well worth the investment. Doing it yourself requires a high quality camera, possibly some lighting equipment (which you may be able to hire) and video editing software to make your video the best it can be.
8. Social proof
You need to get some testimonials for your online coaching business and add these to your website. If you are just starting out you can offer to provide some free coaching sessions in return for a testimonial.
Social proof is very important for all businesses and particularly important for online coaching. Potential customers will be looking for social proof that you do what you say and will offer them a totally professional service.
The best type of testimonial is video. When you offer your coaching services for free to get testimonials ask your client if they will be willing to appear in a short video. As a minimum you need a photo of the client and their business name and website address in your testimonials. This all adds to the authenticity.
Create the best Website that you can
When you have your own domain name and website it shows potential clients that you are serious about your business. This is good for your mindset as well. You are not embarking on a hobby here – this is a serious business that will generate income for you.
Having a good website makes you a lot more credible as an online coach. It showcases who you are and what you can do for your clients. You can add case studies to your website that explain how you have helped others in the past and the results that they achieved. This is great for your credibility.
Depending on the type of online coaching services that you offer, some clients will want to sign up and make payments using your website. This is especially true if you offer online training courses. It is less likely to happen if you offer one on one coaching but still possible so be sure to provide this option.
We recommend that you use your website as a lead generation tool. You either want prospective clients to contact you using your contact form or sign up to your email list by offering a great incentive.
Also use your website to deliver great value to your visitors. You need to establish yourself as an expert and authority in your niche, so provide them with great content such as blog posts to showcase what you know and what you can do. With valuable content on your site it will be much easier to convert visitors into leads and then clients.
Make it easy for visitors to share your content on social media platforms by providing buttons for the various networks that makes this easy. Make your website work for you 24/7 by adding a call to action on all of your pages and blog posts.
In the next chapter we will discuss how to get clients for your online coaching business…
You have identified your target market and now have your website setup and ready to go. It is time to get some clients for your online coaching business. We are going to show you ways to do this online. It is all about getting your message in front of the right people.