As a consultant, it’s sometimes hard enough explaining what you do at a cocktail party (check out our earlier post). It can be even more daunting when you’ve got to fill up an empty web page describing your consulting services.
Fear not. If you follow these tips and focus on substance over style, writing your consulting services page will be (somewhat) painless:
- When describing your services, focus on benefits (value) over features. We’ve written about value propositions over, and over, and over. Prospects get excited when they understand how their situation will be improved. Be specific whenever possible about ROI, revenue generation, cost reduction or any other measurable that your clients typically achieve due to your great work.
- Resist the urge to dive into methodologies or approaches. First reason: nobody cares how the work gets done at this point in the sales process. Second reason: do you know how many methodologies are regurgitations of common delivery processes? I have seen so many variations of “Research, Analyze, Plan, Execute, and Support”, that I’m stunned anyone has the gumption to take another crack at it. Third reason: you don’t know your prospect’s problems yet, so why would you presume that you know exactly how to fix them?
- Steer clear of home grown acronyms. This is an extension of the methodologies point. Don’t try to come up with catchy names to brand services, or approaches. I’m talking about giving offerings names like S.P.E.E.D, JumpStart, Quick Start, or S.I.L.L.Y. These names have no brand weight with your clients, and chances are they’ll change before too long. They are best suited to commodity work (i.e. repeatable solutions to discrete problems). This blog focuses on consulting.
- Talk about your ideal client, and common problems you solve. Your prospect wants to know if you help people with problems like theirs. Be as specific as possible. One note: leave out job titles and focus on the buyer’s role and responsibilities. For example, IT Directors have completely different charges and authority depending on the company. You may only want to work with those who oversee buying decisions for infrastructure initiatives. You can apply this principle across functional areas.
- Leverage your credible content. Provide links to case studies, press releases, white papers, or any other content that backs up your pitch.
- Intertwine some testimonials. While I’ve read some opinions that there isn’t a need for client testimonials on a consulting website, it’s hard to come up with a scenario where one wouldn’t benefit. Getting somebody to vouch for you (other than your mother) is extremely important. Check out Alan Weiss’ services page. I’m shocked so few people have copied his application.
- Use industry standard terms, if applicable. If you offer services that typically fall under “Organizational Development”, don’t rename them “Organizational Architecture.” There’s only risk in this approach, as you may confuse the client and waste time you could have spent closing a sale instead of explaining the unnecessary.
- Let the reader know how to get started. You’ve got them this far, it’s time to capture the lead. Make it easy to do business with you. Attach a short request form at the end of the copy with a compelling call to action and include your phone number for “quickest service”.
Update 4/10/2013: To see a good example of a services page, check out our Copywriting for Consultants page. Take note of the page structure and how we move the sale forward. Also, we are running a promotion through May 10: each sales page we write for your consulting website is only $139!