What’s empathy got to do with your coaching brand & website?
Everything, my friend.
What the world needs now is empathy, sweet empathy. So does your business, your brand, and especially your website.
As a coach, you are a catalyst of change for your coaching clients, guiding them through positive transformations. Your methods likely include utilizing empathy to create connection, to communicate, and to gain all kinds of insight into your client to help guide them toward their metamorphosis. But did you know that you can further extend empathy for your clients into your brand and your website?
As a user experience designer, empathy is, hands-down, the most utilized tool within my toolkit. It’s the first tool I reach for when starting a project and I never put it down.
Emphasis on Empathy
I’m not just talking about sympathy: understanding or even feeling compassion for her — I mean seeing the world through her eyes. Through empathy, you’re able to relate to what her version of fresh hell is how your guidance can create the peace and heaven on earth she envisions and longs for. Empathy feels what she feels, experiences things as she does. It means putting aside preconceived notions of what we think she may want, instead, focusing on understanding her passions, goals, motivations, and thoughts. Stepping into her shoes to experience her environment as she does.
(As a huge Depeche Mode fan, “Walking in My Shoes” & “Word in My Eyes” plays on repeat.)
Lacking Empathy = Loss of Visitors
I see a lot of coaching websites that throw everything at their visitors all at once. Whether it’s their acronyms and industry jargon, tons and tons of info, the massive walls of text all about why or how they’re qualified, or out-of-touch stock photos that barely tie into anything relevant to their virtual guest.
I imagine these website visitors popping onto their page as though they’ve been invited into this coach's brick and mortar store. The customer is greeted instantly by a coach in the back who’s shouting at them about all of their products and services over very loud and obnoxious music. They then have a bunch of stuff shoved into their hands: several sales flyers, a form to enter into their contest, another to join their mailing list, “oh and did you see this brochure, and this 500-page, super heavy product catalog? Oh! And you MUST see this massive promo calendar of upcoming sales, and most importantly, don’t forget this kitchen sink!” This guest now has a massive headache and is so out of their comfort zone, they just want to leave.
Information overloaded websites are very much like this scenario. Visitors get everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown at them all at once, leaving them buried under a pile of information they have no idea what to do with. They feel completely overwhelmed and decide within seconds that this place is cringy, not truly interested in helping me, they’re just trying to get a sale.
Now, I understand the premise behind jam packing your site: you have a heart to serve and your goal is to express that you have the experience to create transformations. But the actual result that occurs is quite different. Sites like this typically have high bounce rates (meaning: people leave their site quickly) and low conversion rates (meaning: visitors move on without downloading that freebie, joining the mailing list, or booking a consult). Sites like this result in information overload without any obvious indication of what you want your visitors to do. It turns website visitors away quicker than they can click that X button on their browser.
And it breaks my heart to see coaches struggle with this misalignment when all they want to do is share their heart and create connection with their potential clients!
Empathy Creates Connection
Now I want you to imagine your own coaching business as if it were a brick and mortar store. What kind of experience would you like to provide your customers? How do you want them to feel when they come in? What action do you want them to take when they arrive?
Maybe you greet your customers with a warm smile and a polite greeting that lets them know exactly where they are and what they can expect to find here. You have clearly marked sections within your store that let your guests know where they can find what they’re seeking and also how to get help if they have questions or are ready to check out.
This is where being able to see through the lenses of your one person, your ideal client, unlocks the keys to your business’s growth, reach, and success. You’re able to meet her where she’s at. There is real power in being able to speak her language and walk her walk. Through empathy, your visuals speak to her spirit, your words entice her to take action that makes perfect sense to her, and your methods provide the results she dreams of.
The underlying theme here is that empathy is the avenue that creates real connection with your audience. Compassion constructs the narrative that compels her to choose you as her guide on her journey. Employing empathy means you suspend your own judgement, you set aside your own assumptions, seemingly as though you listened to her very own wants and needs. The outcome: You then are seen as the one who really gets her — and we all know, when we identify that type of connection with other people, it’s exhilarating!
Extending Empathy to Your Coaching Brand + Website
First and foremost, empathy starts with strategy – gaining a deep understanding of your target audience and your one person (aka your ideal client). At Infinity Brand Design, that involves performing a Business Deep Dive (before we even discuss design).
The information mined from the discovery phase provides valuable insights into the behaviors, emotions, and mindset of your client. Why does that matter? Understanding her provides the opportunity to understand the actions she takes when interacting with your brand (including your social media, your website, your email list, etc), and why she takes them. The information uncovered is truly a gold mine. It sets the stage for creating innovative solutions that may result in new services or products that create raving fans. This, my friend, is truly empathetic design. It flows through every part of your coaching business.
Tapping into empathic design approaches like this translate into a cohesive coaching brand that captures the heart of your customer. It sets your business up as the expert that can provide the outcome your clients are seeking. The human-centered design approach serves to help your customers connect with your promise of their transformation.
By applying empathy toward your coaching business, brand, and website, you're creating an experience that makes the process easy for your ideal client to choose you to work with. And that empathetic experience is applied throughout your entire client interaction with your business.
- Your content speaks to the psychological benefits she’ll receive, not just features
- What your brand stands for appeals to her.
- Your brand colors and fonts create the sense of ease (or excitement!) that delight her.
- The way your website is laid out (because it's made with her in mind) removes the effort in taking action (to work with you, download your freebie, buy your digital product or course).
- Your services reflect the desired results she's after
- Your marketing is more targeted and effortless in attracting her
Interested in learning more about extending empathy further in your coaching business?