This may seem like a silly question, especially if you’ve already started your consulting business and have a website.
The question really is, does your website draw clients to you? Or, does it confuse them about your services?
All too often professional websites pontificate about the principles of consulting and do little to “educate” potential clients about the problems the consultant specializes in solving.
Marketing is a Consultant’s Real Full-Time Job!
From our viewpoint, which is all about marketing, anything you do that doesn’t move the potential client along the road to hiring you is a waste of resources. As a consultant, your “product” is an intangible service – difficult perhaps to describe and equally difficult for the client to grasp. Regardless of your consulting expertise, your real job is marketing it and yourself.
And, since you get paid for doing work for clients, you need dedicated marketing assets that work for you even in your absence.
Planning Your Website So It Plays a Key Role in Your Marketing Process
A well-designed website will serve as a collection point for inquiries, some of which should eventually become paying assignments. All your other marketing activities: social media, email marketing, direct mail advertising, networking and publishing should drive the potential prospects to that website. There they will learn about the problems you solve, your process, your credentials, your connections. There they will decide whether or not to move to the next step in the buying process.
So before you pay a designer to make an “attractive” website for you – or you attempt to create your own site – here are some things to think about:
- How will prospects find your site?
- Will your home page be all about you, or will it be about the prospect, giving examples of problems you solve?
- Will you know who views it, and when they did?
- Will you know what visitors to your site were most interested in and what they would like to know more about?
- Will your website be so comprehensive and complete that potential clients will be left with the impression that they know everything there is to know about your services?
- Are your clients more likely to use a mobile device than a PC to search for information?
- Do you plan to add information to your website on a regular basis in the form of a blog or updated case histories, etc.?
These are only a few of the questions you should be addressing before designing the site if you expect it to really produce inquiries for you.
The Website Is a Critical Component of The Consultant’s Sales Process.
There’s no substitute of course for the face-to-face meeting. But there may be a number of touch points of communication before you actually get to that point. Together, all of your marketing efforts should work in concert to move potential clients smoothly through the funnel of your sales process.