When I first officially launched my business and first significant website in 2010, I was thrilled when I immediately saw all of my hard work and investment pay off. I was amazed when people from all around the world that I did not know asked for my consulting help…all because they found me on my website. No one was more surprised than me when I landed my first 6-figure gig with a company in the UK, with a client I never even met in person. I can literally trace $500K in revenue to leads generated strictly through my website.
But (and here’s the big but!) I got a ton of “constructive” feedback on my website on everything from the photo on my home page (“You look too much like a party girl”) to the language I used in my value proposition (“I still don’t know what you do…”) And so I made changes. Big Mistake! Huge!
The result of me taking action on the “constructive feedback”: My organic search dropped…dramatically! So did my conversion rates. What I did not realize until much later that with all of these changes, I inadvertently destroyed was the secret of my web success…mostly because those secrets were a secret to me!
So in this article, I want to reveal to you the top 5 hard earned lessons I have about having an effective consultant website so you can sidestep my agony in terms of wasted dollars, time and missed opportunities. With my tips, you can have a website that does even more than establish credibility; you can have one that actually draws in the right fit leads AND converts them into buyers and winning partners.
1. Be clear on the purpose and strategy of everything having to do with your website. Every page needs a purpose and goal which ultimately is a call to action to engage you in some way (e.g. send an email, call you, sign up for your newsletter etc.) If you choose to put articles and videos on your site (which you ABSOLUTELY should) they have a purpose which is to warm up your lead and make them feel trust in your competence and connect with your personality.
2. Install analytics on your site AND use them. There are things on your site that work better than others and that provides you tremendous insight into what draws in your ideal clients and what doesn’t do it for them. If you want greater results, do more of what is working and quickly dump what is not.
3. Use pull vs. push language. Pull language is the leading with the felt need that your client has. The push language is where you hope to get them. While I get that no one likes to feel like they have a problem, but the truth is people rush to Google more often not when they have a problem and they are more likely to part with their money when they have a pain point that they want to resolve.
4. Your blog is more than a fun place to write your latest thoughts and inspirations. It is a tool that allows you to have an online repository of your intellectual property and a critical way to draw in leads and give them immediate value. So, blog posts should:
5. Integrate social proof and ways to connect in all aspects of your site – not just on the testimonial, case studies or contact us page. Whenever you make a promise on your site, back it up with example from your experience and move the relationship forward with an opportunity to connect.
The one piece of advice I have consistently given to new consultants is to invest properly in a web presence to establish your credibility. Now armed with the hard-earned insight from my mistakes, I would add: As you shoot for credibility, also shoot for CONVERSION. Credibility is great, but why leave money and opportunity on the table. Who knows where your next best client can come from?
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