There’s something scarily official about pressing the publish button on your new website. You know that you need one to market your coaching services and find new clients, but when it comes to putting the content together and releasing it into the world, it suddenly becomes a hugely daunting task.
Some people take months to put their website copy together, endlessly tweaking and refining. But I don’t want you to have to wait that long to put your site out there. I want you to be ready to hit that publish button so that your website can get to work attracting new clients for your coaching business.
That’s why I’m putting all of my top tips in this one blog post – so that you can feel confident in pulling your content together and launching your website, knowing your copy is the best it can be.
Let’s get started…
1. Website design and content should work hand in hand
Whether you are working with a website designer or going it alone, you want to make sure that your coaching website’s content works with its design and vice versa.
I’ve worked with clients before who had the website design finished and agreed before they ever got started thinking about the content. The result? Restrictive designs that dictate the length of the copy that can fit in each section. This disrupts the flow and means you have to be extremely creative to write copy that converts visitors as it should.
As a content writer, I’m tempted to claim that the copy is more important than the design. I’m sure website designers would say the opposite!
Really, they are both essential. Your design needs to be clean and visually appealing to capture the attention of visitors to your coaching website and make it easy for them to navigate their way around. But then it is the job of your website copy to keep people there and convert them to clients (or email subscribers, or Instagram followers, or whatever the main goal of your site is).
Ideally, I’d say that the copy, or at least an outline of the copy, should come before the design. At the very least, they need to be created at the same time. If you are working with professional designers and content writers, make sure they are talking to each other. If you are doing it all yourself, sketch out your ideas and draft pages on paper before you start building your site.
2. Good grammar and spelling are essential
It probably shouldn’t matter as much as it does. After all, you are selling your ability to transform people’s lives or businesses with your coaching, not your services as a proof-reader. But the truth is that spelling mistakes and missed punctuation make your site look amateurish – and that destroys the sense of trust you need to build in your abilities as a coach.
Even if you are a confident writer, it is a good idea to get someone else to read over your copy to catch any mistakes before you make your site live. You can also use tools like Grammarly to help you identify issues and make sure your content is error-free.
Depending on your budget, you might decide to outsource your copy to a professional. Some website design companies offer copywriting services too, or you can find a freelance writer to help you out. There’s also the midway option of writing the copy yourself and then getting a professional to edit it for you afterwards, which will usually be cheaper than having someone else write it from scratch.
3. Write like a human being
The degree of formality you write with will depend on your target audience. But even if you are marketing your coaching services to businesses, your website copy will still be read by a human.
Way too many websites make the mistake of being overly formal. Especially when you have a coaching business, you want to establish a strong relationship between you and your clients so that they will take your guidance on board. This relationship starts right from the point they land on your website.
So, how exactly do you write like a human being? This doesn’t mean that you should write copy that sounds the same as speaking out loud, but it should carry some elements of that. It is called writing in a conversational style. Here are some tips for how to achieve it:
- Use the first person (I or we) and second person (you)
- Ask questions
- Avoid jargon and technical language
- Use contractions where appropriate (won’t instead of will not, it’s instead of it is)
- Be prepared to break grammar rules occasionally to protect the flow of your copy
- Reference your personal experiences where relevant
- Make appropriate use of slang, cultural references, and colloquialisms
In addition, help readers out by;
- Using headings and subtitles to give your content structure
- Using bullet points and quotes to make copy more engaging
- Breaking up text into paragraphs and using images too so that is not overwhelming to read
4. Write for your target audience
Strongly linked with point #3, writing for your target audience is key to make sure your coaching website is doing its job to turn site visitors into clients. You need to know who your services are aimed at, what issues they are dealing with, and how they are feeling when they arrive on your site. Then you can write copy that meets them where they are and demonstrates how your services can help them solve the problems they are experiencing.
Your target audience will also determine the language and level of formality you use. If you are a health coach who mainly works with individuals, then you will want to sound more informal than a coach who is targeting businesses. Similarly, if you mainly work with older people, you may need to sound more formal than someone who coaches young adults.
Before you start writing, take some time to understand who your services are targeted at and how they speak and write themselves. Mirror this in your own copy.
5. It isn’t about you
A lot of coaches fall into the trap of thinking their website should tell their story. And it should… but only as far as that relates to your clients and the services you offer to them. There is nothing wrong with adding a personal touch or two – it helps your prospective clients relate to you. But you should make sure that you are always keeping your reader in mind when you write your website copy.
This is especially true on your About Page. Despite the name, this page is not about you at all. It is about how you can help your clients.
Equally, remember that your website visitors don’t know what you do. It might be clear to you what NLP* is or what SMART** stands for, but it won’t necessarily be for them. Your services pages should clearly explain what you offer, how it works, and what results people can expect to achieve.
Don’t make false or grand claims that will make people lose trust in you but do be clear about what you do and how it will help them.
*Neuro linguistic programming
**Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound
6. Never leave people hanging
When someone arrives on your site, you are their host in just the same way you would be if they visited your home. You’d never abandon someone on the doorstep without showing them the way to the living room, so don’t do it on your website either.
Every page of your coaching site should have a call to action that directs visitors to what to do next. Although your ultimate aim might be for them to book an appointment, this won’t necessarily be your call to action on every page. You need to consider how visitors are journeying around your site and how much convincing they will need before they take that step.
Generally, you want just one call to action per page, so that visitors don’t get distracted. The exception is your homepage, which acts like the main corridor in your home – leading to the other rooms. Your homepage should link to the other main sections of your site so that people can easily navigate to where they want to go.
As well as well-considered calls to action, structure your site menu logically so that it is easy for people to navigate. This is more website design than website copy, but you do need to name each page something recognisable. Don’t be tempted to get cute or clever with page names – it will just mean your visitors don’t know where to find the information they need.
7. Provide social proof
You are trying to convince visitors to your website that you are the coach for them. Which means you need to back up your claims somehow. The best way to do this is to feature testimonials from your past clients. These provide what is known as ‘social proof’ – confirmation that you can do what you say you can. It is part of the reason Amazon is so popular. From the start, they understood the importance of showing reviews in getting people to buy.
Your site could have a testimonials or case study page that gives an in depth look at how you have helped people in the past (ideally in their words, not yours). If you are new to coaching, this might be trickier – consider offering a friend some free sessions in exchange for a glowing testimonial.
As well as using testimonials on a dedicated page, scatter short quotes around the other pages of your site to help convince potential clients to take the plunge and book a call.
8. Read everything out loud
Before you click publish, read every single word on your website out loud. Doing this is a great way to spot mistakes that you might miss if you are just reading in your head.
It also helps you check the flow of your writing – does it sound natural? Are there any sentences that were difficult to read or too long? Any words you stumbled over? These are all things that you can then adjust to make your content more readable.
Get someone else to do the same. Ideally a client. Ask them to point out any copy that they found unclear, confusing, or boring. Refine those parts or get rid of them altogether.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into how to write engaging copy for your coaching website that will market your services, attract new clients, and help you grow your business.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there are other content writing tips you would like me to cover in the future.