The importance of that first impression cannot be understated. Consultants should view the home page on their web site or business consulting blog as the front door to their office. If prospects like what they see, they will continue through the door and make themselves at home. If prospects are confronted by typical mass marketing and publicity, they will close the door and run for cover, or, worse yet, to another consulting firm.
First impressions do last a long time. A good first impression begins good relationships. A bad first impression is difficult to overcome and, on the business level, almost impossible to reverse.
Clients want substance. When they open the door, you have about two minutes to make a statement. In those two minutes, the client will decide to continue their research or to close the door on your consulting services. When creating your home page, get your most compelling message out front in concise verbiage that reflects your company’s style, qualities and character.
The ideal home page does not spend those first two minutes welcoming clients. It acknowledges their presence and busy schedules by commanding attention. As previously mentioned, this site is for the clients, not for the consulting company. Greet prospects and current customers with content that stimulates the client. Have confidence that if the prospects like the appetizer they will sample the entrée.
As a basic rule, all site pages should be formatted to include linked contact information. Many successful consultants include a request form for your newsletter or other company material. Be subtle, but provide the invitation.
To Blog Or Not To Blog
The web log is an effective internet platform. Blogs are easier to design and easier to update than web sites. Many consulting companies post to their blogs every day. If your consulting group has a blog and a web site, make sure the blog is linked to your web site’s home page.
Blogs are user friendly. Prospects are likely to visit the company blog. If the posts are current and state positions about industry trends, prospects and current clients are likely to comment. Every comment is a lead. Every hit is a lead.
Blogs also tend to be more personalized than web sites. Consultants post company announcements, activities and accomplishments on their blogs. Typically, blogs are more flexible than web sites. As such, consultants post controversial articles and ask for feedback.
Blogs are also useful for online surveys, suggestions and encouraging direct contact. With today’s technology, a stand alone web log can deliver meaningful content on a daily basis. Consultant blogs can fit into any budget and the main expense is your time. If you can spend the time, the web log is the future.