In my experience, there are two serious website mistakes business coaches make. What are they and how can you be sure you’re not making them? Read on…
Tick, tick, tick…
Here’s what happens when someone visits your website…
0-0.05 seconds: “Is this place safe?”
Google recently did a whole bunch of user tests that showed that visitors form their first (and often long lasting) impressions of a website in the first 50 milliseconds they see it.
And if people are leaving your site fast, it’s probably because of…
Mistake #1: Amateurish looking web design.
Of course, there’s the “Susan Boyle” factor. Sometimes someone or something completely surprises us after the first impression and we change our mind.
But most often we don’t. Usually our first impression biases how we interpret all further information.
So many websites of solo professionals (especially coaches for some reason) look like their nephew built them back in 1997.
Sometimes clients will look beyond an amateur looking website. Sometimes they’ll already know you or you’ll come with a strong reputation that lets them see beyond their first impression. But usually they won’t. Usually they’ll be secretly thinking “how can they be any good, they can’t even get a half decent website”.
0.05 – 2 seconds: “Am I in the right place?”
Next, the conscious brain kicks in. Whatever reason they came to your site for, they want to see if they can meet that goal.
If they googled “sales training” to look for trainers near them they better see in that first 2 seconds that you do sales training, you do it for people just like them, and that you’re nearby.
If they came from a link on a blog that recommended the useful articles on nutrition on your site, they better be able to see that’s what they’ll be able to find.
Mistake #2: No headline, or a “clever clever” one
For someone to know what your website’s going to give them, to know that they’re in the right place and they’ll get something useful, you have to tell them.
And in this case, a picture isn’t worth a thousand words.
You need a headline (or strapline – call it what you will). A sentence or two that explains what they’ll get from the site.
Then they’ll know whether they should stick around or click back and move on.
Now isn’t the time for puns or plays on words. And it’s not the time for you to try to compress what you do into three words with dots in between.
Not · Gonna · Work.
It just doesn’t give enough information to a busy visitor to let them know if they’re going to get something of value here. Do you work with people like them? Do you solve the problems they have?
It’s not time yet to try to “persuade” them either. They don’t care about how great you are or how different you are to your competitors until they know you work with people like them on the sort of issues they care about.
Not easy to do. You’ve got to think about it – hard.
You’ve got to decide whether you want to focus on people who’re coming to your site looking to buy and are checking you out from that perspective. Or like me, whether they’re coming earlier in their decision process and are looking for useful information.
Whichever way you go, clarity of communication is key.
The exact same thing is true when you’re appearing in the media. Or speaking to people face to face.
You need to get across your message succinctly. And it needs to hit the right hot buttons for your listeners. Answer the questions they have right now, not what you want them to know. That comes later.
Ian Brodie helps consultants, coaches, and other professionals to attract and win more clients. He’s the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Email Persuasion and has been named as one of the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales and one of the “resources of the decade” for professional services marketing. You can get more of his in-depth tips on starting and growing your business at www.ianbrodie.com.