I know a young couple that started a business. Well, that’s what they told me anyway, and I believed them. They had a good idea to provide some specific consulting services in a niche market. Nothing wrong with that.
I met up with them a couple of months later and asked them how things were going. “Still working on the website” was the answer I got. “But it should be up and running in a few weeks, and then we can start.” All they did in the first four months of operation of the business was work on, refine, add to, and try to perfect the website.
In the meantime, they had no cash coming in and a lot going out to web designers, video producers, and the like. They spent somewhere in the region of $20,000 in the quest for the perfect website with the belief that business would flow in once it was launched. Unfortunately it didn’t, and the business ended up costing them a lot of money and causing them a lot of personal hardship. The website looked great though.
It’s a sad story and a cautionary one. The obvious lesson is this: don’t let your website drive your consulting business. Certainly it has its place, but not at the expense of everything else.
So why do you want a website, and what do you want it to do for you?
First, a website is a marketing tool for your consulting business, not a sales tool. Yes, hopefully someone may discover your website and subsequently contact you, and that may lead to some work down the line. But it’s extremely unlikely that a contract for work will float through to you just on the basis of someone seeing your website. If that has happened to you, congratulations. Please send me your contact details so I can look at your website.
Most of the time, your website will be used to assure somebody that you’re competent and professional. It’s a backup. If I’ve just met you at a seminar and I’m interested in finding more about you and your company, I’ll go to your website. And I’ll probably do that before I send you an e-mail or give you a call. So with that premise in mind, you need a website that satisfies that need. And you need to allocate time and money to your website in accordance with its place in your overall marketing strategy.
People have different opinions about what they want on their website, the look and feel of it, the amount of detail, and so on. It’s your consulting company, and it should reflect you and your business—and to an extent, your personality. So it’s very difficult to advise specifically on how your website should look and how it should target your market. However, for what it’s worth, here are my two cents on what your website should contain:
Those last couple of items will improve the visibility of your website on search engines.
I think we all struggle to some extent with our websites so I'd really appreciate your comments and insights.
As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian assists consultants, or would be consultants, to achieve success on their terms in their own consulting businesses. Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun.
Contact Adrian at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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