Consulting Firm Websites
In 2009 I wrote a blog post about launching two consulting firm websites. Those were some of the first sites we built using WordPress and we were excited about the results. The websites were simple, clean and professional. WordPress, and the web design team at Roundpeg, have come a long way but the reasons we suggested this tool for consulting firm websites back then are still valid.
Clients Control Their Website
Working with young companies, we were (and still are) committed to giving business owners control of their websites. While the ability to make changes and updates on the fly is important in many industries, it is especially true for new consultants. The first few years of a consulting practice are typically spent testing the waters in a number of areas. WordPress websites let consultants add and remove pages to their website and navigation as their practices change.
Share their Expertise
Consultants don’t sell a product or even a service. What they really sell is their expertise. The ability to easily add blog posts, case studies and testimonials to a WordPress site helps consultants demonstrate this expertise. They can cover a wide range of topics related to their core expertise as they test the waters to see what is of the most interest to prospective clients.
In addition to attracting humans, the steady stream of new content gives search engines a reason to come back time and time again. Particularly for new websites hoping to establish authority around a topic the steady stream of updates helps solidify that authority.
New WordPress Features
Eight years ago these WordPress sites were essentially online brochures. Today, with the enhancements to WordPress they have the capability to become integral parts of a consultant sales process. Take a closer look at two consulting firm websites we built for Elizabeth Carey and Michael Kaplan to see how they took advantage of some of these features.
Mobile responsiveness – Targeting senior managers and business owners, these consultants are both trying to connect with clients who rarely sit behind a desk. Their websites had to be mobile responsive. Every page on each site adjusts seamlessly to the size of the viewing device.
Elizabeth chose to take the mobile responsive look one step further. She selected a mobile design for her navigation, with a small hamburger menu in the upper right of each page. The menu displays in a vertical format, even on the desktop version of the site.
Interactive forms – Both Michael and Elizabeth wanted to use their websites to prequalify prospective customers. For this, we relied on interactive forms to help visitors assess their strengths, weaknesses and overall readiness to being a consulting relationship.
Micheal chose to allow anyone to take the self-assessment and then provide contact information if they wanted more detailed results. Elizabeth took a different approach, asking people to provide contact information to begin the process. The flexibility of the form plug in allows each consultant to modify the process to fit their business objective.
As she launched her new business as a technology consultant, Elizabeth wanted to present a sleek, high-tech feel.
From the navigation style to the use of parallax scrolling, the entire site conveys a modern, almost edgy feel.
We started with a simple high contrast color palette for a fresh, crisp feel. The site is deliberately designed with lots of white space to feel open and welcoming on a desktop and highly legible on a mobile device.
In contrast to Elizabeth’s coaching practice that serves corporate executives, Michael helps small business owners take control and drive their business forward. While the functions of the sites are similar, the design styles are very different.
Michael came to us with several assessment forms which he had designed in Microsoft Word. He was delighted that we could convert the documents into something his prospective clients could fill out and submit through the website.
One of the other elements which both consultants looked for in their new websites was an easy way to offer visitors an opportunity to sign up for their newsletters. Again, in an industry where you are “selling” your expertise, a regular email program allows you to stay in touch and continue to present compelling reasons for people to hire you.
The many options available for WordPress websites make it easy to create a simple submission form, with direct integration into email tools like Constant Contact, MailChimp or Sales Force.
If you are ready to update your website, start by filling out our web design worksheet. Then give us a call. We would love to chat with you.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis web design firm.