I have all the executive coaching and consulting business I need and never had a website. Do I need one now?
Website aficionados might start a response to your inquiry with, "In today's competitive e-world, having a website is almost a requirement for doing business. Having a presence on the web can provide you with a lot of benefits in marketing your business, etc." However, there is a more nuanced reason to have a website than just your electronic billboard. Consider a few outcomes of having a website:
- It increases your visibility beyond your current market. You might enjoy new types of clients and consulting environments by making it possible for them to find you.
- It levels the "firm size" questions by removing the assumption that you are small-time by not having a website.
- It provides a consistent message about the nature and scope of your services, removing the inquiries of those for whom your services are inappropriate.
- It is a mechanism to create an interaction with your clients and community(ies). Your website is more than just about selling your services - it is an effective way to engage your communities and enhance your perspective, or even your capabilities.
- It can be an efficient way for clients to contract for your services (if your services can be ordered a la carte).
- It provides an around the clock way for your clients and prospects to see what you are doing and weigh in with their own suggestions for possible work or new services they'd like to see. It can keep you top of mind if done right.
Given the widespread popularity of using online searches to learn about businesses, having some type of web presence is almost a necessity for today's consultant. Although establishing a website for your business is a relatively easy and not cost prohibitive, care must be taken to properly represent your business in an interesting, informative and professional manner. Having a site that is poorly organized, unclear, error-filled or difficult to navigate might actually negatively impact your ability to obtain and effectively serve your clients. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA