5 Steps to Creating a Consulting Website That Attracts Clients

Are you making the most of your online brand and presence?

Is your website engineered to build your authority status and provide you with a stream of leads?

Listing a physical address on your website clearly shows you’re not hiding something. That you are accessible.

If you are like most consultants, your website has vast room for improvement. So without further ado, let me share with you five steps that can turn your website from being an information source to a client generator.

1. Communicate Your Value

When a prospective client comes to your website it is critical that the first thing they see is your value proposition. Also called a competitive advantage or USP, your value proposition is a sentence to short paragraph that instantly articulates what you do, who you do it for, and what makes you a better choice than the competition.

Here is one website that clearly has thought out their value proposition and beams it right at the visitor the moment they land on the page.

Especially as an independent consultant, if you don’t show your face on your website, well, you remain faceless.

In the example below, although Aweber is a well known company to some, to others that land on this page for the first time…they might find themselves wondering what the company provides.

The stronger your value proposition, the more it will speak to your ideal clients. The greater chance you will have in pulling them deeper into your website to learn more about you and your services. And that increases your chances of landing a new client.

2. Design For the User, Not For Yourself

Here’s a shocker. People don’t read, they scan. Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a shocker, yet many websites are still designed with what the website owner thinks looks good…without taking into consideration how people actually use websites.

Jakob Nielsen, the godfather of usability, recommends that you make your text scannable. That means you should make the most important points (the ones you want the visitor to actually see) stand out.

You can achieve this by bolding certain kinds of text, like Michael is one handsome guy. See how that works? Drew your eye to it, right?

Another way is to make use of bullets and lists. The whole idea here is to break up your text so that it’s easier for the human eye to scan around your site and quickly pick up the most important information.

This is another reason that your font size should be large enough that your target market can actually read it. If your clients are 40-60 year olds, don’t use 8 pt font that only 8 year old kids can read!

Here’s a great example from Sensible:

Articulate Your Offerings
Because visitors don’t actually read everything on your site when they first arrive, be sure to also clearly list what it is that you actually do and your services clearly. Don’t plunge your service offerings into a pool of paragraphs and text. List your services out so the user can clearly see them.

3. Show Them You Are Real

Online commerce continues to grow and will do well into the future. That said, the biggest objection people have online is lack of trust. When someone visits your website, do you provide them enough information to know that you are who you say that you are?

Do you have a picture of yourself or your team on your website? If you work from an office with employees, do you show a picture of your office environment?

Especially as an independent consultant, if you don’t show your face on your website, well, you remain faceless. And in the consulting world, since your whole goal is to establish a relationship with a prospective client and then build that relationship, showing who you are is key.

Most of the time they will either leave the site making a mental note to come back to your site later or possibly (if you’re lucky) add it to their bookmarks.

Do you provide enough background on yourself, your accomplishments and background? It’s critical that you build credibility. You can show logos of clients you’ve worked with. Testimonials from your clients, case studies and more to prove the point. Remember, you want to do everything you possibly can to alleviate any hesitation or objection the visitor might have in doing business with you.

Two other ways you can effectively deal with this issue is to provide a phone number to your office. Even if you don’t pick it up. Even if it goes to voicemail…the idea that you have a number that people can speak with you on is huge. The second big one here is showing your address. Listing a physical address on your website clearly shows you’re not hiding something. That you are accessible.

These may seem like small things but the positive affect they can have is amazingly powerful.

4. Color Matters

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers recently created a video talking about the impact of colors on your website. I will include the video for you here, if you’d like to watch it all (it’s a great video).

To summarize, this is what Derek shares…

There are really two kinds of colors that you need to know about.

Passive colors – these are the colors that make up your brand identity and image. If the color you use on your business cards and logo is blue, then you’d likely incorporate blue into your website.

Action colors – these are colors that tell people that they can take an action. For example, you might use red or orange buttons or links on your website – which clearly tell people they will take an action (go to another page, etc) when they click on them.

The big mistake many website owners make is to mix their passive and action colors. That is, if their passive colors (brand identity) is blue, they will also make their links blue. This problem is compounded when you also have a headline or other text on the site that is blue, but that isn’t a link.

The result is that the user doesn’t know what they can actually click and what they can’t.

So be clear in how you use both of these.

Here’s Derek’s video:

5. Build Relationships

Let’s look at what happens on many websites…A prospective client visits your website. Maybe they found it through an online search, a paid ad, it doesn’t matter. They arrive on your site, try to figure out what it is that you offer, who you are, and can you help them with their problem. Most of the time they will either leave the site making a mental note to come back to your site later or possibly (if you’re lucky) add it to their bookmarks.

This process does little to nothing to start building your relationship with this prospective client. The better and much more effective approach is to capture the visitor’s information. It can simply be their email address, or you can get their name as well.

Here’s how it works. Again they come to your site and go through the same process. Except this time, they see that you are offering a free valuable report, audio, or email series on a topic that they are interested in. They enter their email address to get it (you can use a program like Aweber to do that). Now, even if they leave your site without contacting you, you can follow up with them over the next few days, weeks, months and even years.

This way, you can send them additional valuable information. Offer them a case study, send them a newsletter, or notify them when you’re offering a new service or special offer.

This is how you start to build relationships with prospective clients that are visiting your website.

There you have it. Five quick tips to help you land more clients through your website and increase your sales. Have you found any other approaches that have worked on your website? Do share them in the comments below….

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  • John Latham

    Where are the 2 examples you mention under #1-Communicate your value? Something’s missing, as it doesn’t make sense….

    • http://www.consulting-business.com Michael Zipursky

      John – thanks! Looks like some information was stripped out of the post. We’ve now updated it.

  • sganpat

    Excellent post. Looks like I need to take a deeper look at my own website.

    • http://www.consulting-business.com Michael Zipursky

      sganpat – thanks for the comment. I’m happy this was helpful.

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  • sameer mathur

    very useful michael. most of this was known to us but we never get down to really improving our web site. thanks for reminding us. the part on choosing color was most useful. thanks

    • http://www.consulting-business.com Michael Zipursky

      Sameer – glad this was useful. We all ‘know’ a lot, the trouble is that if we don’t put it into practice, simply ‘knowing’ it doesn’t mean much.

  • waako garvin

    IT IS A REALITY TO THE NEW AGE, AND A VISION SCANNER OR MORE INSIGHTS . GREAT POST

    • http://www.consulting-business.com Michael Zipursky

      Waako – thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed this post. My goal is always that you all will find what I’m sharing of value and that you can take action (even something small) that will make a difference in your business and life.

  • Diana Schneidman

    Michael,

    Thanks for the tips. They are really useful. Not of the “well
    d’uh” variety.

    In addition to the five points, I like the use of large
    call-outs (text) in a contrasting color.

    Does that serve an SEO purpose in addition to making the
    reader’s scanning easier?

    Thanks,

    Diana

    • http://www.consulting-business.com Michael Zipursky

      Hi Diana – thanks for the comment! The call-outs in a contrasting color have no impact on SEO from my understanding. They do definitely help with the readability of the page and therefore can increase engagement.

  • Sheltonn Johnson

    Awesome information! I have been trying to do a website for some time, and this was extremely helpful. Especially seeing as i planned to use black and white colors mostly. I knew I needed colors, but didnt know how, plus I was only building a website that was appealing to me not considering my audience. Thanks a bunch.

    • http://www.consulting-business.com/ Michael Zipursky

      Awesome Sheltonn!

  • zoe

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for that info! Very helpful!
    Do you have suggestion as to what kind of logo/art/font to use in order to attract a prospective client? I am of the opinion a website must be simple (uncluttered), with nice art containing the information you mentioned:
    (what you do (highlighted), full-blown services description, qualifications of the consultant, contact info and feedback, last but not least providing piece of info to establish relationship. I forgot: color and establishing who you are – pictures)

    Thanks,
    Zoe

    • http://www.consulting-business.com/ Michael Zipursky

      Zoe check out services like 99designs.com if you’re looking for help with logo creation. Glad the information was helpful!

  • Varun Arora

    wow.. such a cool explanation of the work of Business developers. Thanks Michael for sharing such a knowledgeable article with us. God bless you !!

    • http://www.consultingsuccess.com Michael Zipursky

      Glad you found it helpful Varun.

  • Kristie

    good info. I’m pleased that I’m right on point with all your tips and already have them in place for the most part. II like that you explained why you recommend this stuff – that is what made me realize that what I’ve done is good stuff because I agree with your points, yet found them insightful and educational. Great marketing too for others on your site. I will be looking into Aweber as that is the only area that I’m significantly lacking in. I know that others do this, because it happens to me when I’m searching for something, I was just oblivious as to how I could do this, also. Very excited about learning more about this. great job – I usually don’t take the time to comment.

    • http://www.consultingsuccess.com Michael Zipursky

      Welcome Kristie. Happy to have you hear and thanks for the comment!

  • Lux Wittier

    Would you send me an Commercial Proposal for Engineering Consultant, plzz,

  • http://www.weboutsourcing-gateway.com/ Web Outsourcing Gateway

    Nice article!
    Your last point made it so well. Making connections to clients means that your building relationship with them That’s one of the most essential thing between a client and you, and also thanks for the tips to do this.

    It is just the fact that connections make relationship. Good Relationship makes credibility and credibility builds name. Thanks Michael, cheers!

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