Why now’s the time to redesign your consultancy website around its core services
One of the unsettling aspects to working over the past months is that while some businesses flatline, others work flat out. For those working of us in a business consultancy, whether in the financial or marketing sector, there’s a further source of uncertainty — these fluctuations are client-led. With that challenge acknowledged, I believe if you’ve proved there’s a gap in the market for what you’re doing and it’s being managed and serviced well, it will grow. But how best to promote and capitalise on hard-won success? Put simply, we’re in the midst of a digital business revolution. If you haven’t paid attention to your online offering, now is the moment to redesign a consultancy website. No question, it’s the best way of exposing growing parts of your business to the marketplace and to build momentum.
In this article I talk about ways to achieve that pace of work, and how we worked with a client of ours to rise to these challenges.
When a core service resonates with clients, how best to react?
- Ensure it’s fully serviced
When you’ve got a surge in demand, this can lead to service supply shortages. Be sure to manage your audience — for instance listing ‘6 online seminar places left’, so supply and expectation are balanced. For consultants, ensuring a project is properly managed — and hard deadlines met — is vital to the success of relationship. It also has the benefit of billings being more predictable, helping with cashflow.
- Does your core offering have enough prominence on your website?
As a client, there’s nothing worse than having to dig for the product or service you’re after. Ensure your consultancy’s most popular offering is placed front and centre. Provide plenty of information about what you do, current lead times and, if suitable, pricing. The fundamental priority is to ensure your website is completely up to date — particularly if you have a blog — promoting your work.
- Is it worth planning a specific marketing campaign?
We’ve noticed a surge in demand for email marketing recently. More of these custom-designed, beautiful email templates were commissioned and completed during lockdown than in the past five years. It speaks to a desire for branded, one-to-one communication from supplier to customer. In terms of content, we’ve noticed that these new emails aren’t the tired hard-sell promos of the pre-GDPR era, but feature more engaging (and frankly more interesting) content such as pithy, informative articles and downloads.
- One is fun, but have you told existing clients you work across different disciplines?
In business, one of the biggest hurdles I come up against is when you’ve completed one sort of job, clients don’t realise that you do something else as well. It’s probably because you haven’t mentioned it. There’s no room for assumption: definitely get this message across. Showcase pre-existing work which crosses disciplines or set out a joined-up approach in your initial proposal. It could make the difference between profit and loss on a hitherto single-job client.
- Is it worth refocussing a business to directly service your most successful product?
One of the great recent examples of a company that realised that a segment of their offering in fact was the offering. That was Instagram, which was a small part of a bigger app until floated solo — and it never looked back. I’m always careful to avoid recommending being a one-trick-pony, but equally when you’ve got a hit on your hands, let it shine. In terms of putting all your eggs in one basket, the key thing is to avoid relying on one client, not one great product.
Case study: AlgoMe Consulting
In the three years we’ve been working with AlgoMe Consulting, our work has gradually shifted from research and brainstorming to brand evolution and a great corporate website. What’s been satisfying about this latter project in particular is the manner which AlgoMe Consulting have embraced the incremental web design approach I recommend to all my clients. What this essentially means is expanding and upgrading a website in a series of planned stages, based on need, product promotion and budget.
We’ve recently completed a further expansion of AlgoMe Consulting’s site with the introduction of a sophisticated blog. In the time since we launched it, mid-lockdown, this feature has grown steadily with sometimes bi-weekly updates. These have included a variety of think-pieces, their own podcasts and thought leadership article downloads. All these reach a broad audience via the team’s busy LinkedIn accounts — probably today’s most efficient way of reaching a targeted audience with a specific interest in your work.
In particular that last point — audience — is relevant here. Your consultancy inevitably has a strong social or community aspect, with recommendation being central to the business model. Growing that audience is vital. To aid this, one of the key features we’ve just added to AlgoMe’s website is the ability to add downloads, with the request of a subscription to their weekly newsletter. In terms of content creation, this can be an ambitious undertaking but design execution is ultimately a relatively straightforward concept. Even better, for those signing up, it’s entirely transparent.
By taking a long term view and seeing their website as a tool for business growth, AlgoMe Consulting have created interest, engaged with new contacts and built valuable business momentum. Inspiring stuff.
What our client said
Richard Chapman Studio helped us design our maiden website. It was a wonderful, collaborative process from the get-go. Drawing on their experience and insight, Richard and his team guided our entire team through a rigourous, yet highly creative process, with a strong engagement with our Marketing lead. As a result, our website truly captures the ethos and philosophy of our team, and speaks very clearly to our clients. Today, we continue to collaborate with Richard Chapman Studio as our website evolves.
Pierre-Yves S. Rahari, Director
How we can help to redesign a consultancy website
Whether gradual evolution or a more radical programme of change, we’re always interested in a conversation with clients old and new about the best ways to redesign a consultancy website.
Ready to embrace the digital revolution? Get in touch to discuss your project on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.