“Designers/marketers have no idea what a website should do for a consultant.”
If you’re struggling to find a marketer or designer who understands what your consulting website should do, you’re not alone.
Chances are you don’t know what your consulting website should do.
You can’t afford to not know in 2019.
“Simply stated, the world is becoming ever more online-oriented. Buyers of all stripes—including senior executives hunting for a consultant—search online for information before making a decision. Therefore, you must have an online presence including, at a minimum, a website. By and large, executives expect firms they work with to have a website and if you don’t have one you risk being perceived as amateur.”
-David A. Fields in Productize Yourself, Chapter 1: Why Your Consulting Website Matters
In this post, I’ll ask you three questions about your consulting website. These questions will help you create a consulting website that helps your business.
1. Does your website create a professional first impression?
When you’re done talking with a prospect, the first thing they’ll do is look you up online.
If they don’t like what they see (or they don’t find anything), there is a good chance they’ll rule you out.
Some people say that your website won’t win you business — but a poor one will lose you business.
My response to that is this: if your website prevents you from losing business, then it’s helping you win business.
So, the first thing your website must do is create a professional first impression.
In business consulting, professionalism is important. There’s a reason why you dress nicely when you meet with a prospective client. There’s a reason why you don’t wear sandals to the boardroom.
It’s a demonstration of respect. It’s a demonstration of confidence. You’re helping your prospect categorize you as a respected (and respectful) professional.
And because your prospects will look you up online, professionalism extends to your consulting website.
If you’re dressed well when you meet with a client but your website is an incoherent mess, it creates incongruency.
Incongruency feels risky. It diminishes trust. It scares prospects away from working with you. Your prospects don’t like risk. And if you look risky, they won’t hire you.
Now, be careful with the word professional.
This does not mean your consulting website has to be generic, jargon-y, or boring.
A professional first impression is one that you’ve taken the time to articulate and present thoughtfully.
EXAMPLE CONSULTING WEBSITE: David C. Baker
David’s consulting website creates a professional and powerful first impression.
Imagine you’ve attended one of David’s speaking engagements. You’re curious about learning more, so you visit his website.
I’ve read and listened to a lot of David’s work. He tells it like it is. He’s not afraid to hurt your feelings. He’s got a dry sense of humor. He has a point of view — always. He’s unconcerned with what other management consultants are doing. He’s not afraid to rock the boat.
All of this is communicated through his website. His consulting website creates a professional first impression — without being boring or stuffy. From the photography and colors to the typography and copy, his website creates a professional first impression — one that helps his prospective clients think of him the way he would like to be thought about.
If you’re one of his potential clients, chances are his website confirms what you think about him (and what he wants you to think) — “the expert’s expert.”
Professional and powerful. Aim for that.
2. Do your prospects learn something when they visit your website?
When prospects come to your consulting website, can they actually learn something that’s applicable to their business?
If no, you have a brochure consulting website. Your website won’t do much for your business.
If yes, then you’re using your website to provide value. You’re earning the right to relationships with your prospects by helping them reach their desired future state.
It doesn’t matter how you use your website to teach. Some people prefer writing. Other’s prefer podcasts.
What matters is that you actually do it. With consistency.
Not only will this create an even stronger impression — but it will give you a way to promote your consulting website without feeling like a sleazy marketer. Your website is helping your prospects while promoting your business. It’s a win-win. That’s how it should be.
Mark Mitchell helps building materials companies increase sales. He has 30 years of experience for hundreds of companies.
It’s one thing to say so — but it’s another thing to prove it with over 70 pages of articles and insights.
If you’re a building materials manufacturer, you’ll learn a lot from visiting Mark’s consulting website. You’ll learn how to get closer to your desired future state.
And if you’re learning from Mark, you’re more likely to hire Mark.
Mark uses his consulting website to demonstrate his expertise and provide value. This helps position him as the trusted advisor.
Show — don’t just tell.
If you create a professional first impression AND provide value through your consulting website, you’re ahead of the game.
3. Is it designed to create conversations with buyers?
Now, ask yourself…
“Does my consulting website prompt my prospect to take action?”
Your consulting website is a marketing and sales vehicle.
That means you must design in to create conversations with your buyers.
From these conversations, you’ll send proposals. And from the proposals, you’ll win new business.
But it starts with the conversations. If your website doesn’t evoke your prospect into taking action — booking a call or reaching out to you — then it’s not a marketing and sales asset.
Even if you create a professional first impression and demonstrate your expertise, don’t count on your prospects to reach out to you.
Make a direct ask for them to do so. Spell it out for them. Make it easy. Make it irresistible.
Offer them a consultation. Tell them what’s in it for them. Tell them exactly how it works every step of the way.
EXAMPLE: Val Geisler
In this consulting website example, notice the buttons.
Val is actively prompting her prospects to…
- “Help me, Val”
- “Tell me how”
- “Howdy partner”
- “Talk to me”
- “Sign me up”
These buttons — her calls to actions — all prompt her prospects to take that next step. They lead to an eventual conversation with her — and, in certain cases, new business.
Each of these actions helps Val fill up her consulting pipeline.
Her website works to generate conversations with buyers. Yours must do the same if you want it to generate new business for you.
You can do this through prompting your prospects to sign up to your email list, book a consultation call, or fill out a discovery form.
Don’t just stick your phone number or email address on a contact page. Use your website and your calls-to-actions to direct them.
If your consulting website creates a powerful first impression, provides value, and creates conversations with buyers, you’ll have a much easier time attracting clients. Your website will do it for you rather than you having to do it all yourself.
Yes, it takes work. Yes, it’s a longer-term game.
But working on your consulting website is like investing. It compounds. It scales. And it helps you productize yourself.
Action Step: Audit Your Consulting Website
Open up your consulting website.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Does it create a professional first impression?
- Can my prospects learn something from it?
- Does it evoke my prospects into taking action?
If it doesn’t, it’s time to get to work.
If you’re consulting website is lacking professionalism, use the best consultant websites for inspiration.
If you’re struggling to use your website to provide value, learn how to share what you know.
And if you’re not using your website to prompt your prospects into taking action, create your first lead-magnet.
P.S. — I wrote a book on to create a consulting website that does all of this for you.
It’s called Productize Yourself: The Consultant’s Guide To Attracting Clients Through Your Website.
You can also check out my Consultant Website Template Kit to for everything you need to set up a consulting website that helps you win more business.