Last year, your consulting website was neglected.
Now, your plugins are outdated, you published one post back in March, and you aren’t even sure if your contact form is still working.
You’ve told yourself this year will be different. This year, you’re going to start using your website so that it helps you.
You want to be successful because of your consulting website — not in spite of it.
How can you make 2018 an outstanding success for your consulting website — and thus, your consulting business?
If you’re a consultant who’s thinking about re-designing your consulting website this year, then this article is for you.
By the end of this article, you will…
- Learn the right signs that means it’s time for a new website for your consulting business
- Understand the “do’s and don’ts” for a consulting website re-design project
- Know the next steps to make this year the best year yet for your consulting website and business
Do You Need A New Consulting Website Every Year?
“You need a new website this year!”
-Any designer or agency
As a design consultant, this advice would be easy and self-serving to peddle.
Consider NOT looking to re-design a new consulting website this year if…
- You are already attracting and developing new business through your website. Chances are, your website is designed well-enough, or you’re providing so much value through your website that your prospects can look past the design. Why fix something that’s not broken?
- You’re not willing to start sharing your expertise through your website. Until you’re willing to commit to your website as some sort of publishing vehicle (either through writing, podcasts, presentations, audio, video — whatever you choose), it’s not going to be helpful to your prospective clients, and it probably won’t help you win more business.
If you’re a consultant who runs their own practice, you have the expertise to share, it’s easier than you think. Start with these articles:
- DIY Content Marketing for Consultants
- Blogging for Consultants
- Consultant Article Framework
- Consultant Website Lead Generation (46 Trust-Building Tips)
- Essential Consultant Website Pages, Part 3: Resources
- You simply don’t believe that you can attract and develop new business through your digital presence. I’m not going to try and convince you: if you’re doing well in your business, keep doing what you’re doing.
But be warned: your prospects are checking you out online before they do business with you, are making hiring decisions based what you have on your website, and will rule you out if your website is unimpressive. It takes quite the business to overcome a poor website, but if you have that, then more kudos to you.
Simply re-designing your website won’t start attracting clients. But re-designing it in addition to creating an irresistible brand (a brand that your website plays a large role in creating) will get the ball rolling in the right direction.
7 Signs It’s Time For You To Freshen Up Your Consulting Website
Here are 7 signs that this is the year when a new consulting website is a good idea for your business.
1. You’re tired of not attracting any interest from your website.
Eight of ten of the consultants that I talk to, when pressed, tell me that they’ve never received any of interest from their website.
(The other two tell me that it’s a central part of their business).
If that sounds like you, then it’s worth revisiting your website and asking why this is the case.
- How many people are visiting your website per month?
- What are you doing to bring people to your website?
- How many of them turn into leads?
When you answer these questions it becomes clear why your website is not attracting any interest.
If you want your website to start working for you instead of against you for the first time, 2018 is the year start. Digital is becoming more and more important for consultants.
2. You feel as though your website doesn’t truly represent you and your firm.
Have you ever put on a piece of clothing that just didn’t fit right, or didn’t feel like you?
You might have felt silly, or like an imposter. You felt inauthentic.
This is exactly how it feels to have a website that doesn’t portray you, your business, and your brand the way it should — and your prospects can pick up on that.
The right designer won’t only make you something that looks good, they will make you something that looks and fits your authentic and unique business. Your clients will value it more, and more importantly — YOU will.
You’re far less likely to neglect your website when you know that it represents you and your firm. And when it fits you, your confidence will permeate into every other aspect of your business.
Don’t walk into the boardroom with bathing shorts and sandals. Walk in with a tailored suit.
I did not buy potential increased sales (which may or may not materialize, for dozens of reasons). What I actually bought was the CONFIDENCE that the new site brings.
This confidence will permeate all of my research calls, outreach messages, and sales meetings. And when my confidence goes up, my sales usually increase
-Jonathan Stark (See Jonathan’s consulting website here)
3. Your website is embarrassing on mobile.
Take out your smartphone and type your consulting website into your address bar. Take a few minutes to browse through it on your phone.
Then, visit your same website on your laptop or desktop. Perform the same tasks as you did on your phone.
How did the experience compare? Was it as easy to use on your phone as it was your desktop?
If not, that’s a sign your website is due for a re-design.
It’s possible that most of your prospects are looking you up on their phones more than they are their desktops. And the disparity of mobile vs desktop traffic is only going to increase.
If you’re not mobile-first, your prospects won’t put you first.
4. You cringe whenever a prospect or a colleague asks for a link to your website.
Imagine that you meet your perfect client. A decision maker in your target audience with the exact problem that you know you can solve. You hit it off with them immediately, he has an expensive problem right now, and it’s looking like he might be open to an engagement in the next month.
He’s about to leave, and he says this:
“Name, it was great to meet you. I look forward learning more about you and your expertise. Could you give me a link to your website for me to check out?”
How would this question make you feel?
Do respond with “Well, uhh…”
“Absolutely! You can find my at my website, YourName.com”‘
What do you think would leave a lasting impression on your client — an impression that sets the tone for the rest of your relationship?
If you cringe at the thought of giving out your website, it’s for a good reason. It’s time for a re-design.
5. You’re going to work on new business development this year.
This year, you want to kick up your business development a notch.
You’re going to network more, attend more conferences, do more speaking engagements, etc.
Although these business development activities are done offline, don’t let that fool you.
- When networking, instead of just handing out your business card, could you update your LinkedIn profile and connect with people on LinkedIn live, ensuring that their a part of your audience and making it easier for you to follow up?
- When attending a conference, instead of just consuming passively, could you publish a blog post consistent of your conference notes and key takeaways, and then sending that to the conference organizers to share with attendees?
- When speaking, instead of just holding your talk and walking out the door, could you hire a videographer to videotape your talk, put it up on your website, and even use it as a lead magnet?
Offline or online, your website plays an integral in all of your business development activities. If it doesn’t directly, then it does indirectly and can improve your business development.
6. You want to rank higher in Google.
Who doesn’t want to rank on the first page (or the first spot on Google)?
Believe me, it’s not easy. But when you do, it produces an increase in traffic, visibility, and credibility for you and your business.
Google and their search crawlers are getting smarter. They want to provide the best search results for their users. And the best search results are on modern, mobile-friendly, fast websites that also contain excellent content that a lot of people link to.
SEO is not just about your content. Half of it has to do with your website’s design. Looking to rank your website and your articles without an optimized website is like trying to race a car without the wheels.
Ranking in Google is no easy task — so make sure your website is up to it.
7. You want to publish your book, produce your course, or launch your podcast.
If you’re looking to launch some game-changing marketing collateral for your business, guess where your new audience members will go to learn more about you?
You guessed it — your website.
So if you spend all of your time writing that new book, producing an amazing course, or launching your podcast, and neglect your website, it’s going to diminish all of the hard work you’ve put in.
Never forget — your website is the centerpiece of your marketing system. It’s the “hub.” If that’s not quality, then it’s going to bring down the quality of everything attached to it by association.
Your website is what ties your brand together. Don’t be quick to hesitate to spend all of your time on a new piece of intellectual property if your website won’t help with the packaging.
Do’s and Dont’s
DO: Produce something before re-designing.
If you want your consulting website to succeed, you’re going to have to get used to “feeding” it with your expertise.
Expecting a new re-design (with no new content) to magically garner up leads is a failing strategy.
Before you think about a website re-design, prove to yourself that you’re ready by producing some type of content to put on this website.
- A 2000+ word article using my consultant article framework (or simply speaking a blog post and using Upwork or Fiverr to transcribe it into a post for your website).
- A 5-minute presentation using Loom and Google Slides.
- A podcast episode using your smartphone and anchor.fm.
There are many different ways to create content. You don’t have to write. But you do have to produce. Try a bunch of different methods and find what you enjoy the most — and what allows you to produce content on a weekly basis.
DO: Get your planning right.
Plan your consulting website project well, and the project will succeed.
- What type of experts do you need to bring on board to help with (and build) the project?
- What type of material do you need to collect for the website so you aren’t pushed for content a month into the project?
- What’s your budget, and what type of quality can you get with your allocated budget for this project?
All of these questions are critical. Designers and service providers worth working with will ask you how you’re going to use what they’re building for you to make money. And your job is to explain that to them the best you can so that they, so they can build it for you successfully.
Forget about the typography, color scheme, and theme — that comes later. Work with your designer and figure out how you’re going to attract leads and new business (make money) from your website.
DON’T: Do it yourself.
Consultants and design don’t mix well. I know you think you’re capable of designing and building your own website. You’re not.
Would you let a designer do your consulting work? I’d hope not. And for good reason.
Take a look at this example of a “DIY” consulting website versus ones that is professionally designed:
Which design looks more credible, distinguished, and persuasive?
Unless you’re a designer, stick to what you’re good at.
Go through the list above, item by item, and mark “Yes” next to the ones that sound like you, and “No” next to the points that don’t.
If you get 3 or more yeses, it’s time for a re-design of your consulting website. If no, then hold it off and re-examine the list for next year.
Either way, you now have direction.
What are some of the goals you have for your consulting business this year?
How do you envision your website to help you acheive some of those goals?
Join the discussion with your answers in the comments section below.
JANUARY 2018 OFFER: Reserve a free consultation with me and I’ll give you three actionable steps to improve your digital presence so it can start to attract new leads for you on autopilot.