Sometimes, publishing case studies to your consulting website isn’t an option. Due to various agreements you might have with your client, you simply can’t.
Publishing case studies with specific names and numbers is ideal. But, case studies are only one way to build trust through your consulting website. Just because you can’t publish samples of your client work doesn’t mean you can’t build trust.
In this article, I’ll explain 4 forms of social proof consultants should use on their website that are not case studies. I’ll also include 2 examples of “nonspecific” case studies.
Here are 4 forms of social proof consultants can leverage on their website:
1. Project Testimonials
Effective testimonials tell a story of how your client was before they worked with you, how you helped them, and how their business looks now. When your prospective client reads them, they see themselves in the shoes of your client. It helps them see you as the solution to their problem — someone who can take them to their desired future state.
2. Content Testimonials
Content testimonials are testimonials for your content — your articles, newsletter, or consultations. Marketing your consulting services through your website requires your prospects to read your content. It requires them to sign up for your newsletter and schedule a consultation. Testimonials for your content persuades them to read your content, sign up for your newsletter, and schedule a consultation. Whenever someone praises your content, you can use their praise as testimonials on your website.
Just like project testimonials, you’ll have to ask for it. Whenever you send someone a piece of content, follow up with them and ask them for feedback after they’ve read it. Asked them what they learned. You can use their response as content testimonials throughout your website. These testimonials persuade prospects that your content is worth reading.
3. Professional Photography
Professional photography — professional headshots, pictures of you speaking in front of a crowd, pictures of your books, videos of you speaking, etc — are important social proof elements. They “show” you as the expert. Professional photography shows prospective clients that you’re investing in your brand and your marketing. It demonstrates a higher level of professionalism. It helps you make the best first impression. It makes your firm more appear more trustworthy and personable — more authentic.
4. Client & Press Logos
Logos of clients you’ve worked with and publications you’ve been featured are another powerful form of social proof. You can use them on your website to create an association in the mind of your prospect. They’ll associate you with these businesses, which adds to your credibility. These logos are especially powerful when used in proximity to photos of you.
Examples Of Consulting Websites Without Specific Case Studies
In this case study example, Focused Improvement Consulting doesn’t use the client’s name. They describe the challenge and their solution without being too specific. They’re able to showcase their expertise without using all the client’s intimate details.
Would the case study build more trust if it included the client’s name, logo, and a testimonial from the CEO? Of course. But this is the next best thing.
In this case study example, McKinsey & Company also doesn’t use the client’s name or specific numbers. They provide a description of the challenge, their approach, and the end result. It still allows them to demonstrate their thinking and problem-solving ability.
The “Result” section wraps up the case study by showing how they’ve helped their client. It doesn’t present an ROI achieved for the client. But, it does show how their solution helped the client achieve their desired future state. And that’s what you want to do with your consulting website.
If you’re a consultant who can’t publish case studies, ask your client if they’re OK with you publishing a nonspecific case study.
If yes, then write one similar to the examples above.
If no, leverage the forms of social proof above: content testimonials, professional photography, and press logos. And use your content to demonstrate your expertise instead of your case studies.