Yes, this is going to piss a few of you off, but it needs to be said: most holistic health practitioner websites suck. It's not for lack of trying! We've all got big hearts and big missions, but we're not treating our websites like the marketing machines that they could be.
Because here's what a website should do: bring you paying clients. Without that, it's just a fancy (and usually expensive!) virtual business card.
Let's change that, shall we?
It's really not that hard to shift a not-so-great website to a stellar one with a few tweaks and regular blogging, but it's all about being intentional. You need to know who you're trying to attract (i.e. who do you want to work with?), and then work backwards from there to figure out what that ideal client wants to see.
It's not about you, it's all about them.
So let's examine the 7 main reasons why your website isn't doing it's job in bringing you paying clients:
1. Your website is trying to talk to everyone
This is one of the biggest reasons why most holistic health websites suck, and I believe it stems from fear. Fear of not having enough clients and not making enough money, so let's try to attract and work with all. the. people.
This never works because you end up watering down your message to apply to everyone, and so it doesn't apply specifically to anyone. You know what they say, "jack of all trades, master of none". I broke this down into more detail in this post here.
HOW TO FIX IT: pick a niche i.e. one specific group of people who you want to help. Is it women between the ages of 35 and 50 who are having hot flashes and night sweats? Is it men who want to go from couch potato to running a marathon? Is it busy and overwhelmed moms who want replace the toxic food and chemicals in their house with more natural versions? Write down everything about that ideal client, right down to the proverbial colour of their underwear.
2. You speak in nerd jargon
You're a holistic health practitioner because you know your shit. You probably went to school for many months, or even years. You're smart, you know how to help people, and you're good at what you do. The problem is that you're trying to communicate with your potential clients like you would with a doctor, probably because you're so desperate to position yourself as an expert that you want to use the fancy or scientific language that goes with their issue.
However, this just confuses most people. They'll look at you like you have 2 heads (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis what? What the hell are medium chain triglycerides?).
And a confused person ever buys.
You know those really smart friends that are almost too smart, so you hate having conversations with them because you just end up feeling dumb? Don't be like that with your potential clients.
HOW TO FIX IT: You need to break down their issues in their language. It's not about you feeling important and like an expert, it's about them understanding their health issues and how to fix them. The better you can get at that skill, the more paying clients you're going to have.
But how to you really do this? Ask your ideal clients directly! Ask them to describe how they feel, how they want to feel, and what they've tried in the past to fix their issues. Then, use this language on your website, blog, and social media posts.
3. Your About page is all about you
Wait, isn't your about page supposed to be about you? I mean, it's called an "about page". The short answer is yes and no.
Your about page needs to do two things:
1. First and foremost, get people to emotionally connect with you; and
2. Position you as an expert on a specific topic that they need help with
The best and fastest way to connect with people emotionally is to show them that you believe what they believe.
This is why Apple is so good at marketing. They don't talk about themselves and their products. They don't list that their computers have so much RAM and how their iPods can hold X number of songs. Well, they do, but after they've already hooked you emotionally.
Apple paints an ideal picture of how you want to live. You want freedom. You don't want to follow the rules. You want to live your life exactly how you want to live it, without having to think about what anybody expects of you. You don't want to be chained to a desk, and especially not one with a heavy ass computer that you can't take anywhere. You don't want the status quo. In short, you're a rebel.
If you watch this video here and it makes you feel something in your heart and soul, then chances are that you're reading this right now on an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, or iMac ... and not a Samsung Galaxy, a no name Tablet, or a desktop PC.
You believe what Apple believes, so you buy what Apple makes.
This isn't a marketing ploy, but basic human biology. Simon Sinek explains it beautifully in his super popular TED talk. Apple is FIRST relating to the limbic area of our brain that deals with emotions. Only after you are emotionally invested in them do they appeal to your reasoning part of your brain (the neocortex), where they share why their product has the qualifications to support the emotions that you already feel.
Your about page needs to clearly communicate what you believe so that you can first emotionally attract the people who you want to work with.
Then you can start to appeal to the rational and reasoning parts of their brains of why you're the right person for the job.
HOW TO FIX IT: Don't be afraid to share your beliefs in a very straightforward way, starting with "I believe ...". If the person reading your about page believes what you believe, they'll keep reading to the bottom, which is where you'll put a call to action like join your email list or book a free call with you.
And for the love of God, please remove this sentence if it's at the top of your about page: "Hi, I'm Ashley, and I'm a Registered Holistic Nutritionist".
No one cares what your title is. Seriously.
Instead, say something like: "Hi, I'm Ashley, and I help busy women feel calm and in control of their anxiety with real food, relaxation, and essential oils". No jargon, 100% clear.
4. You send people everywhere else instead of staying on your website
If you have a website now, you already know how hard it is to get people there. Yes, you post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, or a million other places about your website. You're really trying, but only a handful of people are actually clicking to your website.
Then, if you're like most holistic practitioners, they're landing on a page that sends them right back to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Periscope! You're probably asking them to leave your website by saying "Click here away from my website to follow me!".
So let me ask you this question: do you have sales pages on those social media channels? Are people seeing every single one of your posts? Is there a static page on social media that says "Hire Me" or "Work With Me" that they can see every single time they go to your pages on social media?
No, no, and no.
That information is on your website. So why are you sending them away from your website?!
Instead of having your social media plastered everywhere on your website, here are some of the only spots I recommend having a social media "follow me" call-out or clickable link:
- the footer of your website (i.e. the very last place someone is probably going to notice)
- the sidebar on your blog, which, if they're on a phone, they probably aren't going to see anyways unless they scroll down to the very bottom of your blog posts
- your contact page
Notice what's not there: your header, your about page, and your sales pages. And you sure as hell shouldn't have a sidebar on any page other than your blog, as it's super distracting.
Again, a confused person doesn't buy.
HOW TO FIX IT: If you already have a website with your social media call outs plastered all over it, go in and remove them from everywhere but the list above. If you don't have a website but want one soon, make sure to only add "follow me" call outs for social media in the locations listed above.
5. You don't blog on a consistent basis ... or ever
Again, I've got an entire blog post extolling the virtues of regular blogging. There's even a entire years' planner with enough ideas for you to write a blog post every other week for 365 days.
Blogging is not just something you do when you think about it and have nothing else to do in your business (yeah, like that ever happens). Blogging is one of the things that will build your business the quickest.
How can you show your potential clients that you're an expert? Blogging.
How can you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other people who are already doing what you're doing? Blogging.
How can you give your clients a taste of what it'll be like if they hire you? Blogging.
How can they tell you're not an asshole (unless they really want to hire an asshole)? Blogging.
You need to be blogging. Period.
HOW TO FIX IT: If your current website doesn't have a blog, get one. If you're ready to build a website, make sure it has blogging capabilities.
And, for pete's sake, make sure that you blog regularly, which should be at least twice a month. Don't think "I'll do it when I have the time", because you won't. Go into your calendar now and block off at least a half day each week for writing and producing your blog posts. Then, click here to download a free one-year blog planner ... and actually use it.
6. You don't have a lead magnet
Lead magnet, initial free offer (IFO), free gift. Whatever you want to call it, you've got to have one.
This isn't 1998 anymore, and it's not enough for you to say "I send out updates every [insert frequency here], so sign up to my list!". Old Navy even asks for your damn email whenever you check out, and I bet that you get as annoyed about it as I do.
No, I do not want to give you my precious email, I get enough junk mail already.
You have to give them a really good reason to sign up for your email list, which could be:
- a free 7, 10, 14, 21, or 30 day challenge of some sort (check out the details over here of my 30 day challenge that grew my list by 1,250 people in 30 days)
- a checklist
- a free e-book
- a menu plan
- a video or video series
- a free appointment with you
You could tell them what their free gift is right in your email sign-up box, on your "join my newsletter/tribe" page, or by using content upgrades on specific blog posts.
All that matters is that you create some sort of free gift that your ideal client would really like, and tell them that they'll get it when they join your email list.
HOW TO FIX IT: Block a day out of your calendar to create your free gift (again, if it's not scheduled, it doesn't exist). Link it to your email list, and add sign-up boxes around your website (or even social media) that clearly states what they'll get when they join.
7. Your website is just plain u.g.l.y
Let's get this straight: ugly doesn't meant the same thing to everybody. I've had crushes before on guys who I thought were hotter than a freshly boiled kettle, but who my friends thought weren't attractive at all.
Your website only has to be attractive to your ideal client.
What colours resonate with your ideal clients? Do they want pink and girly, or bold and masculine? Do feminine script fonts appeal to them, or do modern, heavy block fonts? If you're not being intentional with your design, it's kind of like throwing spaghetti against a wall: some of it's going to stick, but most of it's going to slide off.
It always comes back to what makes your ideal client feel the way that you want them to feel, so do you see the problem with not knowing who your ideal client is or what you want to help them with?
Overall, an appealing website will have lots of whitespace (i.e. not have a black or textured background), easy to read fonts, colours and photography that resonate with certain people. Remember, you're not trying to get everyone to love it, only your ideal clients.
As Dita Von Teese said:
You're not trying to make a gorgeous website for everyone, you're making one for the people who you want to work with. Your tribe. Your people. You want them to want to stay on your website because they think it's gorgeous. Forget everyone else, they were never going to hire you anyways!
HOW TO FIX IT: The #1 thing is to make sure that you pick a website theme that has all the functions that you need along with an aesthetic that you like. Purchase or use a website theme that has at least some whitespace so that it's not overwhelming when people land on it. When you're looking at previews of website themes, for the most part you're drawn in by the photos. Try to block out the pretty pictures and focus on the bones of the website. Then, fill in the details by stalking some of your ideal clients to see what they're sharing on Facebook and especially on Pinterest. If your ideal client is you 1, 3, or 5 years ago, think of what kind of feelings you wanted to feel, and match your colours, fonts, and photos to this.
I imagine that some of your are pissed at me right now, and some of you are nodding your heads in agreement. C'est la vie when you're online.
If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, I'm holding a free training webinar called "How to use your website to find paying clients". Sound like it'd be something you're into? Here's what we're going to cover:
- What colours and style to have on your website to attract your ideal clients (i.e. who you actually want to work with)
- The 7 steps to writing an about page that makes your ideal clients say "How can I work with her?!".
- How to set up an online store with instantly delivered and downloadable products in minutes.
- What you need to put in your blog posts so you're attracting potential new clients even when you sleep.
- How to use one particular social media platform to get your ideal clients to click through to your website and find out about you.
I'm sure we'll cover a lot more, and there will be lots of time for questions at the end, and maybe even a Facebook live party. Click below to join the training:
Whether you join the training or not, know that it's never too late to make some small changes to your website for maximum results.
With the amazing software available today, you definitely don't have to be a professional web developer or designer to have a rocking, money making, marketing machine of a website!
I wanna know: are you guilty of any of the 7 website infractions above? I totally was a few years ago, so it's nothing to be ashamed of! Let me know in the comments below.