Getting clients can make or break any consulting business. In this article, I’m going to be breaking down a consultant’s website to show you what I’d be thinking through if I were that consultant when it comes to positioning my website for success to acquire new clients.
The example we’re going to use today is a consultant in the education technology space who essentially provides copywriting services for different companies. So we’re going to dig into what her website is like today, as well as some suggestions for her to go through and then potentially tweak in order to better attract more customers for her business. These are principles that you’ll be able to apply whether or not you’re just running a consulting business, or you’re just looking to scale out the landing pages on your websites to be more effective in communicating your message.
Digging into the website
The example we have today is the site wordsonamission.com. I honestly don’t recall exactly how I landed on this website, but I thought it was a great example of a consultant who has a generally pretty good website but could improve it a little bit further.
Digging into the homepage section
So the first thing you’re going to want to look at when you are looking at your own website is, is your value prop really clear to your potential customer? So in this situation, this person is saying that she helps EdTech speak to educators. So email copywriting for EdTech companies. That’s pretty abundantly clear, and then it says the outcome of exactly what they’re getting for their work. So in this case, it’s so your company can win big contracts, reduce churn, and do the most good. So what I’m assuming is that this individual has essentially found that these are the three outcomes that her customers really value the most.
Overall, I’d say that this is a pretty good header section. It’s nice that she puts her face here, that she has their clear value proposition, but this could overall be cleaner. It could be a little bit more clean in terms of just to the overall text where she’s pretty much saying the same thing, but a few different times.
And so right here, there are already opportunities for optimization. For example, you can see here how it’s all about winning big contracts and reducing churn, but this is the same thing as her call-to-action. And there’s no reason that the end-user should be reading the same thing on her page. In the top navigation, you can see that the options are services, about, giving, and contact.
We’re going to go through each of these pages today, but just scrolling through, you can see that she has some social proof in terms of who some of her past clients have been. That’s great to see. And then you’ll also see that she starts with using the long-form approach of asking. You know what if you had these sorts of situations for your business, how would it make you feel? And so this is an overall pretty good approach towards copywriting when it comes to the long-form approach, especially because she is a copywriter and you can see her name is Erika that I’m now learning, and she’s positioning herself as an expert because she’s both a former educator as well as a district leader as well.
The reason why that’s helpful is because these are probably some of the prospects that her clients are trying to target after as well. So that’s exactly what she says. She can write in the voice that her audience trusts. So what are we learning from this overall homepage? Well, the first thing we learned at the top header section is in the hero section, you want to make it really clear what is your value proposition to your customers and what outcomes are you going to help them achieve?
You should be able to help answer this question
In the next section, you want to help answer the question of why should I trust you? So in this situation, she’s answering that question by putting all the logos of the companies that she’s helped, and then what she’s doing is she’s telling you about herself, she’s telling you why you should trust her, which is because she is the core audience of who these potential prospects of hers are going to be actually reaching out to on their end with their prospects.
So then from here we see that there’s some social proof from Deborah Lee, a former Director of Community Engagement at Newsela. And so essentially you have all this sort of testimonial stuff and background information, which is great to see on a consulting website. What you can also see is that this leads us to the main navigations at the top navigation, so it’s great that below the fold, there are other ways for the person to navigate to other places, but essentially you then see a more detailed why me section here as to what exactly is going on.
As we read through this though, here’s what I don’t like about this particular layout. And this is an area that Erika could improve upon. There are much more visual ways to deliver the information that she’s putting here than the long form, that way that she has approached the building out this page. This requires me to read every single thing on this page in order to actually see where her value is when it could also probably be delivered in some sort of more visual way by using more icons and visualizations of this sort of impact.
For example, just looking at this, there could be an infographic of sorts where she could put these sorts of key pieces of information like the fact that she worked 15 years in schools and districts, or that she won a $24 million EdTech contract with the New York City Department of Education. And these are the sorts of things that you want to think about is how quickly can you communicate to your potential prospect that you are credible, that they should trust you, and why should they trust you.
And then the other things that I don’t like about this is that she talks about how she gets results. But overall, there are no clear examples of what those results are, except for the thing that she referenced earlier with the $24 million contract. So I’m left wondering what do your results look like? What does your copy look like? I understand that on this page, the copy is overall pretty good. But it could be a little bit more clear if I were a prospect on your site.
And then you’ll see that she digs into the process and how she approaches it with customer research and things like that and how she loves her customers. But again, these are all very generic phrasings that don’t really position herself or differentiate herself from all the other potential consultants out there. So if you’re a consultant reading this, what I want you to be thinking about as you get into a section similar to Erika here is how can I make my why section so much more visual and engaging than just having a bunch of blocks of text with a biography and some about us things around me as a person.
And then from here, we essentially have our basic work with Erika contact. Whatever it is, what you want to think about is how can you stop looking at it from the lens of your business, and instead think about their business and put their needs over yours. That’s how you get more prospects.
Digging into the services section
As you start to look at the navigation, I’m going to go into the services section. Here you can see that there is another high level hero section. Your most reliable salesperson is your copy. Great overall hero. And then what you’ll see is that she’s talking about how our emails work 24/7. So it looks like what she does if I were to guess, is she writes effective email marketing for these education technology companies.
And then you can see in the services section, she doesn’t email sequence audit. She does an email strategy audit, and then she has an email sequence audit again. This is a little redundant. I’m not really sure why she has to have the same thing. As you’re going through your products and services section, you want to keep it as simple as you can and as elegant as you can, in terms of being succinct with your breakdowns.
I think the audit is just looking at what actually exists whereas the email sequence is creating it for them, but just skimming it, that was not abundantly clear. So that’s something where I would potentially even just reposition this offer and call it an audit or marketing audit or something like that.
If I were to just go ahead and click into this, tell me more pages, I might be able to look into what these entail. Here you can see that she writes out a basic overview of what her process entails. So deciding which email sequence you want me to focus on, 30 minute call, copy and paste data within two weeks. This is what you receive. All right. So this is pretty clear in terms of what you are getting for that, and it leads to a type form, which you can see here.
I’m just going to go ahead and open that type form. So this is just an inquiry form. Overall, this is fine, but I think what would really make this page stand out and especially if you’re a consultant reading this is actually showing you parts of this process. So you’ve got the seven steps here. So it would be great for you to actually show visualizations of each step, whether that’s through using something like flat icons for icons to support that, or even just actually showing before and afters of what past work you’ve done for your clients are, especially if you’re in the situation like Erika, where you’ve already put the logos of your clients, it would be really valuable to at least provide some sort of samples of your work.
As I start scrolling down further, I see that it’s pretty much just some overviews in terms of process. This is very similar to what she goes over in the tell me more pages. So this isn’t exactly interesting in any regard. Again, the main thing that I would give her and feedback is you need to balance visual with written copy, where you need to be able to think about the fact that maybe not everybody is going to read every single paragraph that you write on your site.
And so it’s really important for you to think about how else you can visualize these sorts of things. There is a potential flowchart of source you could use here, or you could just create some sort of slider that kind of goes through things. You could even make an explainer video that’s just a one-minute introductory video where you can imagine Erika actually just explains the process.
And then instead the call-to-action is, “Hey, it’s me, and let me tell you all about my six step process.” Right. And so here you see, it’s just the same thing with booking a free call, but notice how this offer was not clear on the homepage. Booking a free call was not clear when we are back on the homepage. And so it would be really easy to just be a little bit more consistent with your call to actions or to just make it more clear on all of your pages the value that you’re willing to provide to your prospect to your potential business. So that’s my overall feedback for the services section.
Digging into the about section
Let’s go ahead and take a look at the about section. I like this page. It’s very personable. It looks fun and spunky. And what I will say I like about this is she really likes to use you language, which is great copy in general. We’ll use this more and because it really makes the reader feels like they’re speaking to you as opposed to speaking to just some arbitrary third person. And so in this situation, I love how she has used ‘your’ and ‘you’ a lot throughout. This is something that you’ll want to think about when you’re putting copy on your pages.
And then I also like the overall headers in that, even if I were to just read the main bullets on this page, it would probably make sense. You’ve built something brilliant in EdTech product that solves a real problem in classrooms in schools. The problem schools don’t understand how you can help or why they should care about your products. I’m Erika an EdTech copywriter with an unfair, glorious advantage. I’m a former educator and district leader too.
So what I like about Erika’s approach here is that you’ll notice that she bolds and puts into headers what’s actually important to the reader and this is good in terms of page layout, that’s really nice because if I’m a skimmer, I can just skim these things and it still makes sense. That is really nice layout formatting. And I’ll give her props here on that point.
The other thing that I would say though is I would have loved to see this sort of styling across the website, not just on the about page. So I talked about this a little bit earlier. But it’s all about actually showing some of these examples. So she keeps saying how she helped this EdTech company secure a $24 million contract, but I would love to know exactly how. What exactly did she write? What part of the overall contract was she involved in?
These are the sorts of places where she could really demonstrate her authority to her potential prospects. Overall though, this is probably the best page so far in terms of her about page. It has a really nice formatting in terms of being readable, being skimmable, and then also being written towards the prospect.
So if you’re going to create something similar, that’d be some things to look out for is, are you using you language a lot? Are you writing towards your prospect? Are you being pretty self-centered and just talking about yourself? No one really honestly cares about you that much. They only care about how you are going to be delivering value to their business.
Digging into the giving section of the website
Next thing on the giving page. So you can see here that what she does is she gives, I guess, a portion of her revenues to other places through DonorsChoose and things like that. So this is really nice because it kind of touches back to why you should hire her. This is a good way that she positions herself to differentiate herself from other potential EdTech consultants, because she is also taking the money that you pay her and helping other classrooms around there.
Digging into the contact page
Last page here is we’ve got a contact page. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That we’d go together like eggs and bacon? I love that spunk. I would have loved that continued throughout the page as well. Again, what I do like is that she really is good at writing in the you language in terms of just having another question and things like that.
I think that this is fine in terms of the overall layout. What I would potentially consider is changing something as small as this and changing it to like, how can I help you or something more specific than just like generic message. Overall, what I’d say is that Erika’s website does do an overall good job of explaining the who, what, where, when, why, and how of her services. It’s unclear exactly what her pricing is. And that’s something that I think consultants sometimes waiver around whether or not to post publicly, but I would put probably in the sake of transparency is some sort of price range. That way EdTech companies can know exactly what they’re actually looking for.
What could be improved on?
Other areas that I’d really focus on in terms of area of improvement is the visualizations of how you’re delivering your services. What exactly does your work look like? It’s really hard for me to understand from going through this website what exactly your copy is like, except for the copy that you’ve written on these particular pages where you’re just selling your own services.
I would love to see actual client examples from the past, whether you can redact certain portions and then post it or just provide some samples that might not be actual clients, but just examples of work of what you would do. And then the other thing that I think about is how can I standardize some of the call to actions to position them to be a little bit more succinct and oriented towards the prospect in how you will help them.
Erika had one call to action of booking a free call but that call to action also would have been way more effective if it actually shared what the benefits of booking that call actually are. An effective copywriter should know the importance of the CTA buttons on their website. So I’m a little surprised that Erika hasn’t done that for herself.
That said, though, she does have some great usage of hero sections, as well as some overviews and her about page for skim ability. And she does like to use you a lot, which I love to see, especially when it comes to a consultant page.
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