Let's face it, LinkedIn doesn't get the job done. Everyone has a LinkedIn, it doesn't set you apart, and, more importantly, it doesn't showcase the specific consulting value you can add to a company. It showcases your experiences, which are helpful, but what makes you uniquely you?
To make a great consulting website, it needs to have some crucial aspects to portray yourself as a professional and make a potential client want to work with you.
- How you uniquely add value to businesses
- Your past experiences (validation)
- Your bio - what makes you interesting?
- Sample projects or case studies
- Expert opinions or content (optional)
- Way to get in touch with you
- Professional look and feel
1. How you uniquely add value to businesses
Ultimately, this is what sets you apart. There are thousands if not millions of people that generally have the same function. How many marketers or strategy experts are out there? Showcasing that you're a "marketing expert" doesn't qualify you in the way you want. You want to get a lot more specific, and a lot more niche. You can do this by looking at specifically what you've accomplished in your career, and what is special about you that enabled you to accomplish those achievements.
This helps you go from "I'm a marketing expert" to "I use social media to amplify a business's brand, and capture millions of impressions, growing top line and decreasing CAC (cost per acquired customer)."
We'll share the example from our CEO, Bradley Jacobs: His most relevant consulting experience was at Uber, launching UberEATS and Uber Freight, and managing the operations within those businesses. At Uber, he'd classify himself as an expert in "Operations and Launch." Again, this is general and doesn't give a business a real view into the specific value it can add. So, he positioned himself with, "I specialize in launching and scaling two and three-sided marketplaces, and automating processes to enable scale without significant headcount additions." To provide further proof, he can point to his top accomplishments.
This niche statement can go at the top, front, and center of your consulting website so when a potential client lands on it, they immediately know what I can do for them.
2. Validate yourself with your past experiences
Once I claim to be an expert in a certain area, I have to back it up. Anyone can SAY something, now I have to substantiate it, and the best way to do that is by pointing to past accomplishments or achievements.
Ideally, if you're an expert somewhere, you have past accomplishments to back it up. For Bradley (building off our earlier example), he can point to launching UberEATS in Miami and Milan, and then Uber Freight in the US as examples that validate him as a marketplace launch expert.
What are validation points for you? They might not be as obvious as Bradley's but you certainly have career accomplishments to point to. When you write these, make them as tangible as possible. Point to business outcomes. Did you raise revenue by x%? Cut costs by Y%? Did you improve customer acquisition costs, get millions of impressions, or reduce the time it took to accomplish something by Z%?
Try to avoid statements like "I streamlined a process" or "I led the strategy" or "I brought together stakeholders" unless there's a tangible outcome from that work. It all has to result in some kind of output for the business. In Bradley's case, this is "launched the market" and he can get away with that in part because of the Uber brand name and people know the scale of Uber's markets. Ideally, you're including the name of the company (especially if it's a recognizable one) AND including the tangible business impact with numbers.
3. Your bio - what makes you interesting?
This aspect of your website enables you to stand out uniquely. Further, it gives potential clients an idea of where you'd like to focus and where you're interested in working. E.g., maybe you're passionate about renewable energy and would love to work with a company focused on solar or wind power.
This is the place on your website to showcase more of your personality and your personal interests. Managers want talented professionals working for them, but they also want to work alongside interesting people that they'll enjoy working with. Showcase your true self here, in addition to pointing out some areas that you're really passionate about.
4. Sample projects or case studies
The best way to legitimize yourself is through showcasing how you added value to a company or individual in the past. Write up a quick case study for how you helping a company. You can structure this similarly to a consulting proposal:
- What were the company's challenges?
- What was their beginning state?
- What deliverables did you execute on?
- What was the impact on the company?
When answering these questions, avoid statements like "worked with stakeholders" or "aligned strategy." Make statements that start with tangible verbs like "created," "grew," "generated," and "captured." Showcase numbers where you made a real difference for the company. Did you grow revenue? Reduce costs? Get eyeballs on their website? Improve the cost per acquired customer? Reduced churn? Anything you can point to for that company will give a potential client an idea of what you can do for them.
It might take a few hours to write up a good case study, but you'll use it dozens if not hundreds of times to help qualify yourself, and will more than pay for itself in value.
5. Expert opinions or content (optional)
Anything you can do to validate yourself to a potential client will help you close the deal. Your past experience is a giant window into what you're capable of doing and what you've learned. The bigger you want to make that window, the better. It's one thing to say you held a certain job or title, but it's another entirely to share what you learned from that experience. Your case studies will give potential clients a window into what you've accomplished in the past, who you worked with, what tools you used, etc.
A blog post or piece of content that expressed your opinion on a subject matter is another thing entirely. It demonstrates you not only executed a project successfully but also learned enough to apply it to another situation. Give yourself some credit here: what is common sense to you might be incredibly novel to someone else. Write up your thoughts on a topic, and share them with a few friends. Ask them if it's interesting to them or if they learned something. Chances are, it is and you'll benefit from posting it on your website.
As an example, Bradley launched UberEATS in Miami. Thus, he could write a piece of content about launching a 3-sided marketplace, which's difficult and important to get right in that process. Immediately, anyone launching a 3-sided marketplace or food delivery marketplace might look at him as an advisor or consultant.
Anyone who has worked with you and is willing to vouch for you adds to your credibility. It's crucially important to showcase these on your website to further validate your experiences to a potential client.
The hardest part is getting folks you've worked with to actually do this. So your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to write one. You can make this easier for them in a few ways:
- Tell them why you need it. If it's someone you've worked with who likes you, they're going to be happy to help you out, they just need some help
- Bullet out some traits or projects they could endorse you for
- Draft up a testimonial for them that they can revise to make true for them
You might not hear back immediately - it's okay to be a little annoying here. Shoot them a reminder if you don't hear back in a few days, and ask them politely if they could take a few seconds to do this for you. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to do it.
Further, once you have clients, ask for these testimonials throughout your engagement in the way of "feedback." We recommend you send over a form that asks overall 0-10 how it's going, what's going well, and what could be better. This not only gives you a testimonial but also gives you valuable feedback on how to improve.
7. Way to get in touch with you
After putting in the hard work to make your website incredible, you need a way for potential clients to get in touch with you. Having a simple contact form or a link to your Calendly is an easy way for they can express interest in working with you. In the contact form, ask for their name, email, company, and some context for what they need help with.
8. Professional look and feel
This should be a no-brainer, but you'd be shocked at the number of websites out there that just don't look great. Let's face it, you're likely not a web designer, and thus shouldn't rely on your own abilities to make a great website. There are a number of templates out there at the various web building websites, but that still requires you to customize to make it feel great, and uniquely yours.