Is Your Health Coaching Website Scaring Potential Clients Away?

The internet can be a scary place sometimes. Picture your ideal client, finally ready to make a change in her life, surfing the net hoping to find a health coaching business like yours. What will she feel when she finds your website?

The feeling you want your website to convey is one of relief mixed with excitement. “Wow, she gets me!”

If instead your website is confusing, hideous, functioning poorly, not relevant to her or just plain dull, she will quickly look elsewhere.

If one of these non-client-attractive website types describes your business’ site, it’s definitely time to make a change.

Attack of the Clones

Your website has the same depth of humanity as a Stepford Wife. It may feel safer to just say what everyone else is saying, but it will not attract clients. Instead, be you.

If you’re using a cloned, or template, website you must update the content to reflect your voice and your unique message so your ideal client knows they’re in the right place to find the help they want.

Your website’s homepage can be a personal letter, from you to your ideal client. Write the way you speak, in your ideal client’s language. Speak to the fears that keep her up at night.

To showcase your brand and attract ideal clients more easily, you’ll want to build a custom website that reflects your message, your style and your ideal clients’ needs.

Ghost of Websites Past

I feel concern whenever I visit a health coaching business website and click the “Events” link only to discover this coach’s last event was two years ago! Is her business still alive, or is it merely a ghost still haunting the internet?

To keep your business current, your website must always appear current. Ideally, you will post new content to your blog on a weekly (or at least monthly) basis. Unless you host events frequently and consistently, it’s better to use your blog to add posts about events as they come up, rather than have a dedicated Events page.

Create a blog category called “Events” for these posts. That way even if the last event was a while back, there’s plenty of new blog content since then. Visitors to your site will know you’re still breathing!

What A Mess

Nothing is as it appears on these websites. Links go nowhere. The content boggles the mind. Punctuation is horrifically missing. Empty frames appear where images should be.

Sites like these make me feel like I’ve entered an M.C. Escher illustration. Nothing lines up evenly, social media buttons float aimlessly across my screen, pop-ups jump out behind every corner, links take me off to other websites. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going.

Forget bells and whistles and keep your website simple and functioning well. The more fancy widgets and plugins you try to use, the more likely it is that one will malfunction and create a mess of your website. Hire a tech savvy friend or expert to help.

Be sure that your website is a user-friendly experience with clear content and links to take action. Have a marketing coach or writer proofread your site for you (be sure to choose someone familiar with the health coaching industry). Test all of your links frequently. Include a call to action at the bottom of every page, such as a link to schedule a Breakthrough Session or to subscribe to your ezine.

Who’s Behind the Curtain?

To me, there’s nothing worse than a website full of blinking and flashing little ads. I move as fast as I can away from these websites. And so will your ideal clients.

As a new health coach, you might think adding a wide variety of affiliate ads and network marketing products to your website will help increase your income. All it really does however is leave your potential client feeling “sold to” and wondering, “who’s behind all of this?”

A good website lets the ideal client know they’re in the right place immediately and that you understand their needs and can help. Even though the products you wish to sell may be excellent, flashing ads at a new visitor to your website will scare them away. A website full of ads gives the impression there’s no one behind it, or that you’re hiding, unwilling to really stand for your products.

The ideal client is looking for YOU, not the latest juicer or supplement. They can find those things anywhere.

Get clear on your brand’s message and focus your website around it. If you’re building a private coaching business, put your energy towards marketing your health coaching programs rather than getting involved with every new product you hear about. Instead of splitting your focus – especially in the first year or two of your business – incorporate the products you sell into your coaching programs.

Your products are best used as one of the many “tools” in your health coaching toolbox. Offer tailored recommendations and samples to your clients and they’ll be more likely to purchase products from you. You may even include something, like a cleanse system for example, as part of a high-end coaching program.

Use your blog to highlight one product at a time, describing its specific benefits for your ideal client – in your own words – with a link to find out more information or to buy. Sharing your love of these products in a personal way is more effective than littering up your website with a bunch of little soulless ads.

I don’t recommend copying and pasting product information directly from the manufacturer’s website. Maintain the tone of your website (your voice!) by writing product descriptions in your own words.

The Doom and the Gloom

Cancer is going to kill you! Don’t eat that GMO corn! Beware of gluten and soy and dairy and…!!! It’s too much.

As a health coach, you know it all. Hearing about people suffering with health problems when simple changes to their diet can help keeps you up at night. That’s why you’re the health coach. You can make a difference.

Now consider your ideal client. She’s already terribly confused by all the conflicting information she reads about nutrition and she’s scared of getting the same illness her mother had. Don’t make it worse!

Let your website be a refuge from all the madness. Speak in her language; show that you understand her needs and that you can help. Create a safe space. It’s far more effective to educate your clients about what’s good for them and coach them to crowd out the junk, than it is to overwhelm and paralyze them with the same doom and gloom the media gives them… plus all the extra-scary stuff you know as an expert.

Use your website, blog and newsletter to shed light on why leafy greens are good for you and how to reduce stress and get more sleep, rather than continue to list all the health horrors that may await them. Yes, it can help your marketing to stir up their fears a bit as a way to inspire them to take action, but don’t overdo it!

Time for an Upgrade

Pay attention to your ideal client’s experience of your health coaching business website. Look at ways you can make it more aesthetically pleasing, relevant to your ideal client’s specific needs and action-oriented.

A welcoming website that provides value and makes it easy for your ideal client to get started working with you will help build your health coaching business.

To your awesome biz,

Heather Cottrell

Heather Cottrell shows coaches, bloggers, wellness pros and other mompreneurs how to grow your business online. Get expert support and coaching around content creation, social media strategies and digital marketing specially designed for creative professionals with a mindset for success. Find Heather Cottrell Business Services at and on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn.

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TarotKate - October 17, 2012

This is a fabulous article. Thank you! This has inspired me to go change a few things on my site – particularly the events page!

    Heather Cottrell - October 25, 2012

    You’re welcome! So glad it inspired you to upgrade your site 🙂

bemorehealthful - October 17, 2012

This was a really interesting read. I’m still in my training to become a health coach and have found myself looking for opportunities to link up with a company for affiliate possibilities. I haven’t found anything that really speaks to me yet, but reading this made me feel like even if I do find something I believe in, I will be better off adding it to my future high-end program rather than adding it as a random offering that people might not understand.
I totally agree with the Doom & Gloom thing – I’ve been seeing that all over, particularly on other health coach Facebook pages. It pushes me away, I can only imagine what their potential customers are thinking!

    Heather Cottrell - October 25, 2012

    Glad it got you thinking about affiliate possibilities in a new way. They can be a great addition to your health coaching practice, if done right. Waiting until your business has taken off, and you have a solid list, will be far more effectual. I agree – the Doom & Gloom is all over Facebook too and it’s not helping. The positive posts with great recipes and actionable tips are far more effective.

KarenRoseTank - October 18, 2012

Thanks for reminding me Geoff that my EVENTS page is about a year behind… I get so busy DOING my health coaching business serving people struggling to control their blood sugars and having diabetes… that I never make time to update my website! It’s been on my TO DO list for a year. I even have a program listed that I offered LAST holiday season.. OUCH!
I do have a compassionate and heart-felt welcome letter to the world on my home page that does draw clients in… so thanks for reinforcing something I CAN feel good about… technology is daunting for me… but I am a GREAT health coach! I start a new client with PRE-DIABETES in an hour… better get ready!
Thank you so much for all the information you provide for us Geoff! SOOOO needed!
Karen Rose Tank

    Heather Cottrell - October 25, 2012

    Hi Karen – I’m glad my article was helpful! You’re doing great. Serving your clients well must always be your top priority, and attracting new clients is a close second. Keeping your marketing tools updated, like your website, is important. Your business tech, when done right, can automate a lot of your marketing efforts. The most successful coaches know they don’t have to do everything themselves. If I can be of service to you – so you can keep serving YOUR clients well – just be in touch anytime 🙂

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