I have been designing and developing custom websites for clients for over 10 years. Some of my favorite websites to make are independent consultant websites.
I like working with independent consultants because in many respects I am one. You have an expertise to offer. A website serves as a platform to communicate your expertise and to offer your value proposition.
Who are you? What is your expertise? Who can benefit from your expertise and how can they benefit? What experience do you have? What social proof can you offer that you can deliver results? Can you share samples of what you have delivered? Can you conduct yourself professionally and reliably?
These and many questions are answered through your website. Not just in the text, but in the design, the presentation, the layout, all of it. How your website presents the answers to these questions is as important as the answers themselves. This is evident in how we assess business colleagues when we first meet them and when we spend time with them. We don’t just assess others by their words, we assess people more by what is unspoken.
So what is said, and how it is said is important. Also important is how it is organized and presented. When you create a website to communicate offer as an independent consultant, you have to consider who you are speaking to, what they are looking for, and how to walk them through answers to the questions they are asking in the back of their minds. Sadly people have short attention spans and multiple distracting devices around to pull them away from their time exploring your offer. So you have to be wise and strategic in how you walk people through your offer, and in how you establish your credibility and authority, and in how you awaken their need for what you have to offer and help them see that yes, you can help them achieve what they are after or be relieved from what is bothering them.
In some ways independent consultant websites are beautifully crafted online brochures, but they are also much more than that. You can invite users to your website through the content on your website by publishing content for your target audience. You can craft a search engine optimized website to rank well in the search engines so as to reach people searching for your expertise. You can have forms on your website to capture information and in this way engage your prospects and clients. For example you can create a qualifying questionnaire for prospects that saves you time in qualifying leads or preparing for conversations.
And your website can be so much more. Get in touch to discuss your website project.
Lets look at some samples.
Sample Independent Consultant Website: Buying Journey DNA
Martyn Lewis is an expert on the Buying Journey. He has years of experience and expertise in consulting and training business small and very large on how to vastly improve their marketing and sales efforts by understanding their customer’s buying journey. Martyn wrote a book teaching his expertise and wanted to build a new website to promote the book and expose his consulting business to a new audience through the new website.
Martyn’s target audience are mostly large businesses that are looking to understand how they can improve their marketing and sales efforts. His desire was for a website that would meet the professional look appropriate for those coming from traditional business backgrounds, but that also had a modern style to it enough to show that what he had to offer was something new.
We talked about what the goals of the website were, who the target audience was, and what would communicate the value of his book and the value of his services to those who made their way to the website.
The result is the Buying Journey DNA website.
Martyn engaged in an active marketing campaign putting himself out there for dozens of interviews and book write reviews. If you are looking for consulting to guide your understanding of the customer buying journey, I recommend Martyn.
Sample Independent Consultant Website: LionHeart Consulting
Paul Werder and Dan Duggan are independent consultants who specialize in training business leaders using heart centering coaching. Like many independent consultants, they offer a unique approach to existing problems and need a way to communicate their offer and the value of their offer to prospects and existing clients.
They succinctly reduced their main topics on their website to “Who we work with”, What we do”, “Free offers”, “Products”, “About”, “Contact”. On their home page they present what they offer along with some free resources for people to get value easily from their style of consulting. And even though they had tons of content developed over the years, when we last re-designed their website, we reduced their content down to its core, so as to better clarify their offer and approach.
I have known both Paul and Dan for many years at this point and highly recommend them for leadership training. Their approach increases success, reduces stress, and puts meaning and purpose back into the workplace.
How do I create a Consulting Website?
If you are on a tight budget and have the time and comfort to create your own website, you can use a website builder program like Wix. However as you know when you are selling your own expertise, the result depends on the skill, expertise and experience that goes into most endeavors. That said, I would recommend contacting a web designer and talking through your needs with them.
- Find a web designer who has demonstrated ability. Look at their portfolio of work and see if their work looks professional and maybe visit a few of the websites they have presented in their portfolio and make sure they work. Do all of the work samples look the same or does this designer have the ability to create something unique that might better fit who you are and what you offer.
- Check out social proof. Are they reviewed anywhere like Google, Yelp, do they have a LinkedIn profile with comments from other professionals?
- I recommend working with someone who is familiar with your culture and language. It is tempting to find someone half way across the world for price, but rarely does it work out well.
- Contact them and talk with them. Does your conversation give you the impression they would be a good fit to meet your needs? Are they going to do the work or are they going to just farm it out to someone oversees? Are they going to custom design something to fit your needs or just fit you into the box of an existing design template or theme? Do they sound like someone who would be a good long term partner to help with this important aspect of your marketing?
A good web designer will take the time to understand your offer and will work with you advising on how to best utilize a website to present your offer and market and sell your services. A good web designer will partner with you, knowing that you are the expert of you and your expertise and they are experts in web design and likely have some expertise in marketing. Think through your goals, your target audience and your unique value proposition and share this with your website designer. They will create the website for you and work with you to get it live which includes getting your hosting set up.
How do I promote my consulting business?
There are many ways to promote your consulting business.
- Start by talking to the people you know, telling them about your speciality and asking them to refer people to you if they are in need of your specialty.
- Write articles on your website or guest write for other people’s websites that target the needs of your target audience. These can be found by people searching for answers to their own questions and lead to you.
- Engage with people in the way you engage socially and again, let them know about your speciality, who you help and how you help them.
- Advertise. You can advertise in multiple ways; online via Google search results or Google advertising, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.; Print advertising; and other traditional methods.
- Network. Find where your target audience goes and go there. Meet people. Tell them what you do.
- PR. Free press is a great way to get out there in front of people.
Those are just a few ways. Share in the comments below what works best for you.
What are the best consulting firm websites?
The best websites are those that meet your needs and reach your goals. Some independent consultants just need a professional online brochure to legitimize themselves to prospects they meet networking. Others need the website to generate traffic as well. Others use their websites to provide content and services to their existing clients or even their own team. Be sure you explain and discuss your needs and goals with your web designer so they know what their goals will be with your website.
If you have any questions about designing and developing a new or improved website as an independent consultant, give me a call 707-965-9727 (Pacific Coast Time) or fill out my contact form and let me know how I can help. You can view more samples of my work here. I look forward to helping you have greater success. – David Tierney