Why do you need a website?
Let’s face it, if you don’t have a website on the Internet, you are being left behind. Once upon a time, it was a luxury to have a website for your business. Today, you need to be on the Internet, reaching out to new customers. The Internet allows you to do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Internet doesn’t take holidays or weekends off. So the answer is yes, if your business is not on the Internet, you are being left behind.
According to Michael Zipursky, “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.”
Having a website that has been thrown together (think 52-card pick-up) or improperly maintained (think car that burns oil and smokes), is asking for trouble. It projects an unprofessional image which, in turn, turns the potential client away. This is why you need the professionals at Monument Press design and maintain your site. Your site needs to look professional to project your image.
What should your website do?
Your website should be the online ambassador or voice of your consulting business. It needs to reflect your company in the best possible light. It needs to include highlights of achievements, information on services, and serve as an education forum (in the form of a blog and other relevant information culled from the internet).
If you have a niche that is particularly obscure, it can educate potential clients on what you do, and more importantly, how it can help their businesses.
As a marketing tool, it has a wider reach than any other form of advertising available. It is also a method to enhance your branding and marketing strategies.
Your site is used to:
* provide information about you and your company
* showcase awards and accolades from past clients and organizations
* give your clients an avenue to contact you
* tell prospective clients what exactly you can do for them
Design and Content
Bill Gates once said that “content is king” and he was right when he said it and, in today’s world of the internet, the saying still holds true.
On your website, you use blogs to create a site that people want to come back to regularly see what you have to say.
Now you need to decide if you are going to build your own site, or have it professionally built by the folks at Monument Press where building a web presence is not a sideline. The building your own site 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.
Writing content for your site 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 a good idea to have a professional copywriter either “polish” it for you or even write the content for you.
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, branding 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”, according to Zipursky.