Five expert design tips for your new health coaching website.
*While I wrote this post specifically for health coaches, the lessons below are equally applicable to just about any wellness practitioner and entrepreneur. If you’re a doula, therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor, you can keep reading as well!
So you’re a health coach! There are a lot of steps between being a brand new health coach and a thriving health coach, and an effective website is one very important step. I call myself The Website Doula because I specialize in helping wellness professionals like yourself create effective, gorgeous websites. Just like a birth doula, part of my role as a website doula is helping you make informed decisions about your business – and your website!
So, let’s begin by exploring some of my top tips for health coaches who need a website. You might be a brand new coach without any online presence, or perhaps you’ve been coaching for a few years now but your website just isn’t working for you the way you need it to. Here are five guidelines to help you rethink your approach to your dream coaching website. I hope they will offer some fresh perspective and ideas to help you take the next steps in planning your new coaching website.
1. You really can begin with a simple coaching website.
You have so many great ideas for your business, and it can be tempting to want to bring them all to life at once. The very first thing you need for your health coaching website, however, is literally just one simple landing page. Before you get stuck writing oodles of pages of original content, gathering 30 fabulous photos & mapping out your first three online courses, let yourself begin with Just One Page.
That one simple website page might include a welcome message to build connection with site visitors, a fabulous (or at least good enough…!) photo of you & a short bio and your credentials, a short description of your services, and a link to a booking tool or contact form so they can take the next step.
What about the rest of your website? You can add it on, page by page, over time. It’s ok to start simple & let your website grow with you. Even your design elements can change with you over time!
2. Invest in a website platform your coaching business can grow with.
It can be tempting to go choose the DIY builder platforms such as Squarespace, Wix and and Weebly that you see all those advertisements for. They seem easy enough to use, right? Unfortunately it can be hard to get your content to look as good as their template claims, and it’s challenging to fit your content into a defined structure in a way that meets your business needs. Also, platforms such as these often have issues with mobile display and limitations in terms of search engine optimization.
If you can invest in a simple 1-3 page professionally designed self-hosted WordPress website as a starting point, then you have created a foundation you can grow with for years to come. You’ll have all the functionality and design flexibility to meet your changing needs as your business grows. Or, take the leap and invest in a full custom website from the very beginning.
3. Let your health coaching website grow with you.
This builds on my advice from #1, but I want to go a bit more in-depth here. Even if you launched a gorgeous 5 or 7 or even 12-page health coaching website next week, it wouldn’t be even close to done. This is normal.
As a health coach, you are going to be constantly learning from your coaching clients. You’ll find yourself with a new understanding of the packages they need, important additions to your frequently asked questions page, or what they need to know about your approach to coaching. You’ll wake up one morning with a seasonal cleanse or wellness challenge giveaway completely mapped out in your head that you want to launch ASAP, or a complete redesign for your home page.
This is life as a wellness entrepreneur. You have a deep commitment to your client base, and want to offer them the very best support that you can. This creates an innate need to be able to grow your coaching website over time based on new inspirations and understanding.
There is literally no such thing as a completed website, whether you are a health coach or any other kind of entrepreneur. It is meant to grow and change with you – that’s the fun of it! Your website should be a creative tool in support of your health coaching practice.
4. Understand your health coaching niche before you design your website.
If you were to cruise the internet and visit ten health coaching websites right now, I’m guessing that only one or two of them would appeal to you. A few might feel too generic, another might be too bold, one might be too flashy, another might feel uninspiring. That’s totally fine. Here are a few coaching websites from my design portfolio to get you started!
There’s no such thing as a health coaching website that appeals to every single site visitor.
You know, of course, that you’re not meant to work with EVERYONE as a health coach. Every wellness practitioner, from coaches to therapists and all the rest of us, has a sweet spot. A niche market where we are meant to focus our work. Yours might be stressed mothers with young children, women in their mid-life or entering menopause, individuals experiencing a major life transition….
Knowing this, what style of site will be the best fit for your niche market? Does it need to feel warm and connected? Modern? Earthy? Bold? Look at some other businesses that are effectively targeting a similar niche market and notice the design elements they are using to attract their ideal clients. This simple step will do wonders for your health coaching website design process. You’ll have greater clarity on everything from color choices and fonts to page layout styles.
5. Start building your coaching mailing list from day one.
Seriously. Every single person who visits your site should have the opportunity to become part of your ongoing health coaching audience. Eventually, hopefully, they will become coaching clients – even if they weren’t ready to say yes the first time they checked you out.
Honest question: How often do you find an awesome site, bookmark it or make a mental note of the business name, meaning to go back to it, and then never do? I do this ALL THE TIME. This is a big part of the reason why you need a mailing list.
When we have a mailing list we have the opportunity to show up in our site visitor’s inboxes for years to come. Yes, they could follow us on facebook or instagram, but they only might see a small % of our posts. With a mailing list, you have an automatic ongoing connection with them and the ability to provide value long before they buy one of your coaching clients. Sometimes people aren’t quite ready to take the first step in working with you as their personal health coach, but knowing that they can get your free resources & guidance for as long as they want or need to is a real and very valuable first step.
The best way to build your health coaching mailing list is through some kind of giveaway. Let’s face it – most people like some kind of freebie in exchange for giving you their email address. This is a great opportunity to nurture those intrigued potential clients with some content with real value. So don’t just go with the one-page google docs PDF – try designing something lovely in Canva with their gorgeous FREE ebook templates!
BONUS ADVICE: If you’re a new health coach you also likely don’t yet have a mailing list tool. I adore ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit. Mailchimp is a common 3rd choice, but their free plan has problematic functional limitations and most clients find ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit easier to use. Since you hopefully plan on building a great big thriving email list, and you can do all sorts of awesome things with your mailing list tool (think health challenges, freebie giveaways, client email sequences and more!) you might as well choose the tool you can grow with from day one.
Whew! Well that should at least get you started thinking in a positive way about your new health coaching website. When you’re ready, be sure to reach out for a free discovery call and I will help you talk through your best options for a new health coaching website.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
Hi there, I’m Sarah Juliusson, and yes I really am a Website Doula. I support your practice growth with creative website design, seasoned business guidance, and plenty of great resources to help you find your way. With 12 years in web design, and another 20+ years as a health & wellness pro, I believe in the value of your work as much as you do. Get started today with a Free Discovery Call!