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10 First-Time Coaching Website Pitfalls to Avoid by Kenn Schroder

[Oct 01, 2007] Mistakes cost. They cost you time, money and frustration - all things that can jeopardize the success of your coaching business.

And if, according to statistics, most coaching practices fail to grow to sustainable and profitable levels to begin with, why increase your chances of failure, particularly when your website - one of your most important marketing tools - is concerned?

If you can avoid these common pitfalls when building your first coaching website, you can put yourself light years ahead of the competition. You can also avoid the headaches, and save yourself thousands of dollars. The biggest payoff? You'll build a rewarding practice sooner.

-- Problem 1: Having a blurry vision.

Just like when you coach a client toward a goal, that goal needs to be clear, detailed and time-specific. The goal also needs to be well defined, so that the client can say, "Yes! I've attained this goal!" In other words, the goal is like a guiding light, helping the client to make decisions that will help him get closer to his goal - not farther away from it.

It's like when a person says, "I want to be healthy." While it's a nice sentiment, those words don't paint a clear or detailed vision of what the client really wants or needs. It doesn't get specific enough to tell you what it means to be healthy, or how this state will be achieved, or when it is to be achieved by. It's blurry.

Now consider your website: if your vision is hazier than the smog in LA, it's tough to know what content to choose, what to write about, how to organize your site and, most important, what purpose it will serve. You will struggle to build it and in the end it probably won't be very helpful.

-- Problem 2: Not having a specific audience with a specific problem.

It's not easy to get attention when you tell people, "Hey, I'm a coach. I can help you solve your problems and reach success!" Not only is a message like that general and ambiguous, it's hard to sink your teeth into and really feel.

Such a general message is even harder to spread on the Web, because there are so many distractions and a visitor's attention span is drastically-reduced. Websites that don't reach out and grab don't keep visitors for very long.

However, if your website is targeted towards a specific group with a specific problem - such as expectant mothers worried about their baby's health; operations managers with low division output; overweight teens, to name a few - you would have an easier time gaining interest, holding attention and securing business.

-- Problem 3: Selling coaching services when you are really selling solutions to problems.

Contrary to the intuition of many coaches, you are not in the business of selling coaching. You are in the business of selling a solution to a problem.

Case in point: People don't hire a personal trainer to force them to lift weights or do cardio; after all, this takes a lot of work and effort. What they do want is for the personal trainer to help them look good and feel good. And so, they hire the trainer to help them go from lethargic, unmotivated and out of shape to fit, healthy and attractive.

Similarly, people hire coaches to help them solve a problem and obtain success - like turning a low-paying dead end job into a fulfilling, lucrative career. Thus, your website needs to be organized and written in language that talks about problems, solutions and results - that which people are buying.

-- Problem 4: Not realizing that content needs to be written - and written well.

Many coaching websites go up without realizing that there needs to be this thing called 'content.' These sad sites usually end up bare, with a few uninteresting, empty-looking pages.

To present yourself as a professional, credible coach who can help people, you will need to write good content to:

* Explain what you do in an easy-to-understand way
* Prove to your visitors that you can help them
* Build interest in your coaching services
* Make visitors feel they can trust you
* Connect on a deeper level with visitors
* Encourage visitors to take action

Once you've done that, the rest is gravy.

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About Kenn Schroder
Kenn Schroder helps coaches who are struggling to attract clients. He provides web design, web marketing and search engine optimization to help you build a client-attracting coaching website. Get your FREE report and FREE newsletter to help you build a practice full of clients.
Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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