Skip to main content

What's the Primary Purpose of your Consulting Firm's Web Site?

Woohoo, look at all the cool services we provide! We're awesome! Did you see all the companies we've worked for? We won awards too!

Weeeaaaaahhh . Wrong. You just missed the boat, pal.

What does a consulting firm do? They solve problems. How do they solve problems? Occasionally they leverage products but for the most part, consulting firms solve problems with smart, experienced, motivated people. The industry-accepted term is intellectual capital.

So, what's the most important thing to a consulting firm? Well, cash flow and profitability rank number one but where does cash flow come from? That's right: services. And who executes on those services? People.

When is the last time you got a call like this? "Well, I was searching the Internet and your firm came up so I thought I'd give you a call." Never happens. I expect anyone handling calls for a consulting firm wouldn't even know how to route this call. Business operates on relationships. If I'm a company in need of help, I'll first contact folks I know and ask them for advice on finding services. Or, perhaps my company is big enough to leverage a procurement department. But I'm sure not going to waste my time on Google looking for service providers.

If this is all true, why do consulting firms focus their web sites so heavily on marketing to potential clients? I believe that's a mistake and a huge missed opportunity.

Consulting firm web sites should focus on acquiring talent. The target audience is talented, smart folks who are looking for a new opportunity. Everything about the site from the home page to employee blogs should scream: "We're the best place for you to work!" The site should be an extension of the firm. It should be as personal as possible--a hand extended and a warm smile to potential candidates sincerely saying, "We're absolutely thrilled to be speaking with you today."

Along with overall theme, here are a few elements I see as must-have's for a great site:
  • Personal profiles - get to know the folks. Here's what Lindsey does during a typical day. Cool, huh?
  • Culture expo - photos from the last outing. Hey, I could picture having a lot of fun with these folks.
  • Staff blogs - what excites these folks? What are they passionate about? What sets them apart?
  • Events - where are they speaking? What have they published? What can I learn from this firm?
  • Communities - how do they make their presence felt? What circles do they travel? How do they contribute to the community and make us all stronger?
Chances are, the potential candidate already established a connection point with your firm. They saw someone speak, they read a published article (you are presenting and publishing, right?), they attended an industry event you sponsored, etc. You've got them checking out the firm but now you need to sell them. You need to be so compelling that they become convinced they need to create an "A" task of reaching out to your firm and prompting for a meeting, or a lunch, or a coffee.

There's no better way to bridge the gap between initial connection point and establishing a relationship than an effective web site. Stop targeting potential clients and start treating your web site's primary audience as potential candidates. It will fuel the flow of candidates into your ranks.

Comments

Arnulfo Wing said…
I 100% agree with your point of view. It is always refreshing to peek into other companies's cultures and not just the marketing stuff they put into their website.
Unknown said…
great point. I have been meaning to build one of those website thingies for my company. going on a dozen years; now, its kind of a joke that I build them for clients, but don't have one myself. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Get Your Team Foundation Server Hate On!

[Google ranking skyrockets... ;-)] I'm a big fan of TFS/VSTS. However, there are a good pocket of folks who take issue with the way TFS handles or implements a certain feature. Well this is your chance to vent! I'm planning a presentation around the "Top 10 TFS/VSTS Hates and How to Alleviate Them"...or something along those lines. But I need your help. Post a comment below detailing your dislike. If it's legitimate, I'll highlight it in the presentation and [hopefully] provide an alternative, resolution, or work-around. Thanks in advance! Update 7/19/2008: Version Control and Microsoft

Rollback a Ooops in TFS with TFPT Rollback

Rhut roe, Raggie. You just checked in a merge operation affecting 100's of files in TFS against the wrong branch. Ooops. Well, you can simply roll it back, right? Select the folder in Source Control Explorer and...hey, where's the Rollback? Rollback isn't supported in TFS natively. However, it is supported within the Power Tools leveraging the command-line TFPT.exe utility. It's fairly straightforward to revert back to a previous version--with one caveot. First, download and install the Team Foundation Power Tools 2008 on your workstation. Before proceeding, let's create a workspace dedicated to the rollback. To "true up" the workspace, the rollback operation will peform a Get Latest for every file in your current workspace. This can consume hours (and many GB) with a broad workspace mapping. To work around this, I create a temporary workspace targeted at just the area of source I need to roll back. So let's drill down on our scenario... I'm worki

Shrinking WSS (Sharepoint) SQL Server Log Files

Yesterday, while migrating a source repository from StarTeam to TFS, I received the following error: "TF30042: The database is full. Contact your Team Foundation Server administrator." Excuse you? Sure enough, my 100+ GB drive was full on the server. But I'd only migrated around 1000 items. Surely SQL wasn't consuming 100MB per file. Turns out (yes, there was a lot of crud on the drive but...) the majority of the space, almost 40GB was being consumed by the Windows Sharepoint Services WSS Content data and log SQL Server files. Huh? I still need to investigate and understand why this portal, which is 100% unused, grew so large. Regardless, here's what I did to resolve: Since this is not yet a production database, I flipped the SQL recovery option from Full to Simple for WSS Content and several other databases. Detail here and here . Executed the maintenance plan for all the databases to get backups and clear out some of these files. That didn't help much. T