These days, having an online presence and website that represents your consulting practice is essential to your day to day marketing activities and PR. As a business or freelance professional, your site serves as your portfolio, and your client’s will expect to be able to find detailed information about you and your business online.
A well-designed and maintained site or business consulting blog can be a great marketing tool, however, on the flip side, a haphazard and ill-maintained one can project an unprofessional image, scaring potential clients away before they have even contacted you!
What should your website do?
Your website should, first and foremost, be the online ambassador or voice of your consulting business. It should reflect your company in the best possible light, and include highlights of achievements, information on services, and serve as an education forum.
If your niche is particularly obscure, it can help to educate potential clients on what you do, and more importantly, how it can help their businesses.
As a marketing tool, it is an online vehicle for your branding and corporate marketing strategies, and can be more valuable than any other type of marketing materials you have, even if merely because of the immense reach the internet affords you, in terms of numbers of users alone!
Use your site to provide company information, record awards or achievements, display specific information on your industry, and what your business does, and as a portal for your potential clients to contact you.
Use articles, blogs and forums to create a content rich site that provides useful information. Functionality, and content, above all other things, make for a great website!
How do you register and host your site
The very first step is to name your site. Choose a name close to your consulting firm, and try to keep it short – remembering long names can be tricky!
Once that is done, you can register your domain at any number of online domain registration companies, including big names like Godaddy.com.
Hosting packages vary greatly from supplier to supplier, and it is best to shop around for one that suits your space and budgetary requirements.
Lastly, you need to decide if you are going to build your own site, or have it professionally built. The former has a cost advantage, while the latter ensures professional results. Ultimately, it will depend on your confidence in your abilities, and financial situation, but whichever option you choose, keep it simple and professional.
Design and Content
Again, this is an area that will depend on your capabilities, and budget. Writing your own content will certainly inject your unique personality onto your web page, but it may be an idea to have a professional copywriter “polish” it for you, before uploading.
Likewise, the graphic design aspect of your site can be tricky to accomplish on your own, and it is better to spend a little money on the graphic and general design of your site, to ensure a professional result.
Consider that there are billions of users of the internet, who could potentially see your site. Mistakes are not an option.
Websites and business blogs can be one of the most effective forms of promotion, marketing, and coming up with new consulting clients. Take some time to conceptualize your site, make sure it looks professional, and has a high level of functionality, and learn how to promote your site online.