Let’s say you’re a prospect thinking about hiring a life coach. You find one you like in particular. They gave a speech at a local community center: they blew you away with their knowledge, their style, and their presentation.
Then you go home, bring up their website, and find out it’s a total dud. It looks ten years out of date. It gives your browser errors.
Are you really going to hire that coach now? Probably not. How can they help you out if they can’t even put together a decent website?
If you’re a coach, your website says everything about you. If you can’t build a great website, then why should someone trust you with the problems they need to address? Fortunately, building a coaching website is easy if you turn to one of the most popular platforms on the market: WordPress.
Why Build a Coaching Website on WordPress?
Before the pandemic, 48% of coaches “frequently” engaged with their clients in person. But the trends are starting to reverse. Starting in 2020, about 40% of coaches started offering their services online-only. In a survey of coaches, the same statistics found that 77% of all coaches expect the COVID-driven trends to last at least a year.
But it’s easy to talk about an “online pivot” as if it’s a flip you can switch. Not every coach might be so lucky in their site-building skills to think of it that way.
The reason WordPress is so helpful is it provides a foundation for any website you might want to build. As a CMS—content management system—it owns the vast majority of the market share for a reason. WordPress is one of the easiest and most intuitive ways to manage your website.
WordPress helps you handle everything: blog updates, newsletter subscriptions, page design, contact forms. If you want to offer coaching services online, think of WordPress as the foundation for everything else you want to accomplish. Once you have WordPress installed, you can add any number of add-ons or applications to make your site do what you want.
- Want to create useful “how-to” blog posts? You can do that in WordPress.
- Want to launch a free newsletter, including a scrollbar at the top to draw in potential new clients? You can do that in WordPress.
- Want to drive buzz for webinars? Integrate your social media feed to automatically update your website? Schedule site updates weeks in advance?
You can do it all—if you have WordPress installed.
How to Install WordPress on Your Website
Even if you’re new to building websites, the good news about WordPress is it’s become so ubiquitous, some hosting companies (including us here at HostGator) offer one-click installation. We know you want WordPress, and we’re not going to make it difficult on you.
Even so, that leaves the question as to how to get started. If you’re a new customer with a new hosting package, you can use one-click installation with HostGator.
- Log into your Customer Portal.
- Click Create Website.
- This takes you to a fresh page, labeled Build your site with WordPress.
- Click Get Started.
Next, consult your HostGator manual for steps 5 through 1,076. Just kidding. It’s really that easy. But there is one thing left to do.
The site will automatically generate your WordPress login credentials, as well as furnish you with a temporary URL. Copy all of this information down for your reference. Once you have those down, click Go to WordPress. That’s really the last step—you’re officially building your coaching website on WordPress.
Watch this video for a quick walk-through of the entire process:
What Should You Add to Your Coaching Website?
The temptation will be to deck out your WordPress page with every add-on and plugin imaginable. And that’s going to be fun. But before we get to that, let’s consider the meat and potatoes of the site itself.
Let’s say you already have a domain name on your business card. When you hand that card to a prospective coaching client, imagine what they do next. Do they sit at home, take out the business card, and type in your domain name? If so, what do they see? What don’t they see? Here’s everything you should include when you build the site:
A home page
As a coach, your home page has to accomplish two important things: capture attention and establish trust. That makes every decision on your website’s homepage that much more critical.
If you’re not sure what that looks like, use these two simple values to guide your website design.
- Credibility. Right off the bat, your website should list several sources where you have appeared, whether it’s a podcast, local newspaper, or community association. That builds trust right off the bat: it’s hard to get quotes if you don’t have some credibility as a coach.
- Connection. A large photograph should greet visitors above the fold—in other words, above the point we start scrolling down. A “mission statement” on the front page tells your prospective coaching clients what you’re all about.
If you picture a funnel that filters potential coaching clients to your “contact” page, the home page is the very top of that funnel. It’s the widest point. It answers the biggest questions. It assumes the visitor doesn’t know you. And it makes the big, broad strokes of introductions that build intrigue for what kind of coaching you offer.
A coaching services page
Once someone reads up on you, a logical next question is how you can work together.
It’s going to be tempting to put the onus on your potential clients. But “contact me and we can work something out” isn’t ideal. It gives off the impression that you don’t do this often.
Your services page remedies that. Here’s what you’ll need to include:
- A list of potential clients. Do you only want to coach C-suite executives? Are you open to any one-on-one client? Make that clear.
- List your offerings. One-on-one zoom meetings? Webinars? Public speeches? Whatever your approach to coaching, make sure it’s clear what you have on offer.
A contact page
Now we’re narrowing the funnel. It’s time for your potential client to take action.
As such, your contact page should be the simplest on your entire website. There should only be one step forward for the visitor: reaching out. That means a basic contact form with name, email, and a brief message.
If you offer different services, you can customize your WordPress contact form to include a drop-down menu. This way, you can avoid vague messages from prospective clients who aren’t sure what they want. As you go further in your coaching career, you’ll find tools like these are invaluable for properly qualifying prospects before they become clients.
Recommended WordPress Plugins and Themes for Coaching Websites
Okay, we’ve denied you the bells and whistles too long. With the rest in place, you can start adding the fun plugins and fancy-schmancy design themes that make your coaching website pop.
WordPress themes for coaches
- Astra. Astra will give you an eye-popping home page; upload your professional photograph to help establish that trust and authority off the bat.
- Divi. Advertising as the “ultimate WordPress page builder,” Divi is a visual-based site builder that takes the design guesswork out of your page building. After all, you got into coaching, not web design.
- Authority Pro. You won’t get many clients if you can’t establish your authority as a professional coach. Authority Pro is all about building that connection from the beginning.
WordPress plugins for coaches
- WPForms. Your website has all sorts of goals, but ultimately, it’s about one thing: getting people to click “contact.” You don’t get coaching work until you can build well-performing contact forms.
- MemberPress. Have a growing list of clientele in search of a community of like-minded individuals? MemberPress could be the next step in your online evolution, allowing you to create a community centered around the concepts you teach.
- PushEngage. Let’s say you need to hype an upcoming keynote speech or webinar. How do you generate buzz using your site alone? PushEngage helps you post announcements over your regular content, driving the urgent attention you need.
Build Your Coaching Website with HostGator
Drawing in coaching clients is all about authority and credibility. Today’s website is a modern version of the business card. You can either take it seriously, build a great presence, and hand out that address with pride—or you can hope for the best.
With WordPress, you’ll find out it’s incredibly easy to choose the former. And that’s especially true when you have one of HostGator’s reliable WordPress hosting packages that make setting up WordPress a breeze.
Casey is the Senior Director of Marketing for Hosting and has been in the web hosting space for 7 years. He loves the slopes and hanging out with his kids.