Rhonda is an Evaluation Consultant who helps “philanthropies, non-governmental organizations, and other change makers use evaluation to strengthen their work in service to a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world.” She came to me in the summer of 2021 wanting a new website.
When we first talked it was evident that she really wanted her online presence to reflect the professional level of service she provides to her clients. Word of mouth was (and still is) how potential clients hear about her, so she wanted them to see her as a legitimate authority in her field of expertise when they found her website.
Establishing Authority and Legitimacy Online
As an individual who has the ability and network to pull together a team to work on larger projects, but whose competition may be an agency, she knew having a professional website built to highlight her expertise was vital to attracting future opportunities.
Basically, she needed more than the DIY site she had created when she was just starting out, which was starting to look out of date and no longer reflected the level of work she was looking to take on. But as a consultant working with mostly organizations, Rhonda knew much of the advice she found online for entrepreneurs wasn’t right for her (like offer a freebie to grow her list, post to social every day…) so she decided to work with a website designer and hope to piece together something that would work.
The first step in my process is a deep dive conversation, and that conversation with Rhonda was so informative! It’s through these Focus sessions that I learn more about my client’s business, what they’ve tried, where they want to go…asking a whole list of questions that help me truly understand what they are trying to accomplish as an individual with a business so I can create a website based on their actual needs.
The Focus session (what I call that deep dive conversation) gave her clarity on what she was actually needing at that point in her business, and with a plan in place she could move forward in specific ways to show up as she needs to in every way she shows up, not just with a new, more focused website.
This clarity also helped Rhonda to write her site. Rather than just guessing at what needed to be written for her site, she had the guidebook and confidence in where her business is heading. Together with my website copy guide this clarity gave her the confidence she needed to write the copy that her ideal clients need to know she’s the expert consultant they need to work with.
It [The Focus, deep dive conversation] was helpful in MANY ways, but I’ll point to two. First, it outlined a clear vision and plan for my brand. Second, that it so clearly conveyed my brand helped crystalize my own thinking and gave me confidence moving forward with the website. I firmly believe I wouldn’t have written the content I wrote without having this solid anchor in my brand that you provided.Rhonda, Evaluation Consultant
After the deep dive it was even more obvious that Rhonda needed a website to build her authority and legitimacy in the online space. Knowing she (still) gets most of her clients by word of mouth, potential clients expect to land on a website that confirm she’s all they’ve heard about, is qualified, and if she’d be suited for their projects. A DIY website can achieve this, but a website based on the clarity from The Focus session accomplishes this and looks professional.
To set Rhonda apart as a legitimate independent evaluator, we created a well organized website that was centered around her as the brand, placing a professional image of her on the home page for visitors to connect with immediately. We clearly outlined her areas of expertise and ways in which she can help organizations with evaluation, along with providing example projects so visitors could learn more about outcomes.
Using what we uncovered in the deep dive conversation, Rhonda had a plan for her website content. She was able to focus on the overall goal of her site, rather than stuffing it full of her professional writing, every service she ever offered (including those she doesn’t want to do anymore) and writing in a robotic voice in a way that didn’t reflect her values and passion. Her site is focused on what potential clients can expect working with her.
To highlight Rhonda’s authority, we created a portfolio for her writings, and broke them into two categories so visitors could actually experience her expertise. Making it easy for her to upload newly published articles to her site on her own was essential, as authority-building is an ongoing process and shouldn’t be hindered by a designer not being available to do it for her.
Her website has multiple buttons leading the visitor to her contact information to start the conversation, as her process of working with new clients isn’t as simple as filling out a form. Making it easy for people to contact you and start a working relationship is something I’ve seen many websites miss out on.
My website is serving its purpose to help current and potential clients learn more about me. So, my “success” metric is that current and prospective clients visit the site and glean something new about me that helps define who I am and what I can offer them. I think it’s an important piece in the mosaic of my client engagement–even more critical in this Zoom-exclusive world where I haven’t had face-to-face engagement with my clients for some time. So, while I didn’t expect or want to see more business driven by the website it is serving my business in exactly the ways that I hoped it would!Rhonda, Evaluation Consultant
See More Results
Head on over to my portfolio page to learn more about other projects I’ve worked on, for consultants and other service providers.
Does this sound like the process you need? Getting clarity, recommendations, and having the option to move forward on your own, or having it taken care of for you? Reach out for a free 15 minute call to see what’s right for you.
Not quite ready to change your website, but know there are more things you can do to improve the way you are perceived online? Sign up for a free, Instant Access / Watch When You Want workshop to learn 4 steps to take to get more eyes on your business.