In this video, I demonstrate the 4 levels of consulting websites, and examples for each of the levels.
The 4 levels and consulting websites featured in this article are:
Level 1 – No consulting website
Level 2 – Kent Business Consulting
Level 3 – Jonathan Stark Consulting
Level 4 – Ethercycle
In this episode, I’m going to walk you through the 4 levels of consulting websites, describing each level and then showing you an example of consulting websites at each level.
Now a lot of consultants want to start generating leads and winning business through their website, but they can’t tell me where they’re at with their consulting website.
And you can’t move forward until you know where you are.
This episode will help you find out what level you’re at so you can think about how to move forward with your consulting website.
Level 1 is No Website.
At level 1, you don’t have the budget to hire someone to do your website, or you don’t have the experience to do your website yourself.
If you’re at level 1, you may just be starting out as a consultant.
Or, you may not believe that it’s even possible to generate new business through your website, and that you can only win consulting business through word of mouth and referral.
Now if that’s you, and you don’t believe you can generate new leads and business through your website and digital presence, I’m not going to spend my energy trying to convince you otherwise.
Needless to say, at this stage, you had better have a pretty solid process for generating new business, because you certainly don’t have a website to help take some of that load off your shoulder.
Level 2 is Brochure Website.
At level 2, you have a very simple brochure-style website.
A brochure website is characterized as a website where all of the information is information you’d find in a typical brochure: about us, our experience, our services, etc.
Typically, consultants who have a brochure website tell me that they have never generated an inquiry through their website.
At most, they receive 1 or 2 inquiries per year through their website that has come through a referral.
An example of a level 2 consulting website is Kent Business Consulting. It’s all about their business (and not the prospect), has no real content or expertise, and it’s not designed to attract and develop business — but more so as a supplement to clients already aware of the business, and who want to find out more.
I estimate that 80-95% of consultants and small firms — the overwhelming majority — are stuck at this level.
Now in between levels 2 and 3 is what I call The Gap.
The Gap is where most consultants get stuck. They want to start generating leads through their website, but they don’t know how.
It’s characterized by…
- Struggling to get clear ideal target client or target vertical
- Struggling to write effective copy on for their website
- Struggling to write and produce content in order to attract prospects to their website
- Struggling to create the daily marketing habits necessary to stabilize their marketing
- A lack of technical experience to set up all the nuts and bolts that make up a lead-generating consulting website
- A general fear of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone — and a fear of promoting your content, speaking on podcasts, recording video, creating strategic partnerships, etc
The consultant has to overcome all of these challenges in order to transition to Level 3, and that’s why so many consultants are stuck in the gap.
But it’s the most important transition you can make as far as your consulting website goes.
Level 3 is Lead-Generating Website.
Now at this level, you’re actually getting from 2-6+ conversations with potential clients per month from your website.
You’re starting to create content, use your website to host that content and have a system for getting that content in front of your potential clients.
You have an email database for your leads which you’re nurturing and fostering interaction with.
An example of a level 3 consulting website is Jonathan Stark’s consulting website. You can see the difference between it and the level 2 website by how he’s talking about his prospects, features much more of his expertise, and makes it clear that the next steps are to join his email list, or contact him if you’re interested in the next steps.
Now if most consultants get here, they’re happy with the results they’re getting from their consulting website.
Once your consulting website is actually generating conversations with buyers, you’re in a good place. Going to the next level is optional.
Level 4 is Digital Marketing & Sales Pipeline.
At this level, your website becomes a piece of a larger digital marketing funnel.
You’re introducing things like marketing automation, qualification forms, segmentation, and even a bit of eCommerce.
Not only is your website the foundation of your marketing, but it helps you at every level of your business — from your sales conversations to your consulting projects, and even your client relationships.
At this level, your website and all of the pieces surrounding it determines how you run your business. It’s essentially a big part of how you scale your consulting business.
An example of this is eCommerce consulting business Etherycle. If you look through this website, you’ll see just how in-depth it is.
It is very high-level and sophisticated. And again, getting to this level is optional. Many consultants get to level 3 and are quite happy there.
Your action step for today is to identify which level you’re at, and then think about what’s holding you back from getting to that next level.
And if you feel like stuck at one of these first 3 levels, reach out to me and we can talk about getting you to that next level.