Last week Wellington Grey from Silver Clipboard asked me about how best to advertise his own services as a consultant/coach on his blog. His question was:
“How should a blogger incorporate non-blogging services into his website? Here’s my situation, several months ago I started a website about getting organized. I would like the site to attract people who may, ultimately, be interested in hiring my services as a productivity coach. How should I best promote my services on the blog? I don’t exactly want to end every article with …and HIRE ME! as that would seem tacky and needy. Any suggestions?”
My response to Wellington went something like this):
I think that you’re wise to avoid the continual self promotion. Sometimes less can be more when it comes to promoting yourself. Here’s a few thoughts that come to mind (you may not do all of these things on the one blog):
1. Develop a Prominent About Page – have a page dedicated to explaining who you are and what you do. If you do consulting on the topic of your blog make sure you spell this out clearly. Also on your about page include a strong call to action and have a clear way for potential clients to contact you.
2. Advertise Yourself – I would avoid selling advertising on a blog that’s primary goal is to sell YOU as a consultant (or at the very least I would not use AdSense which might allow your competitors to advertise on your blog). Instead I would put prominent ads for your services pominently on your blog. Place one on your sidebar and perhaps another underneath posts (above comments).
3. Navigation Links – another tactic to consider is to have a ‘consulting’ or ‘services’ tab or ‘hire me’ link in your main navigation areas. For example if I were to take on consulting work I would have a ‘blog consulting’ link in my top horizontal menu (up near the ‘Job Board’ link).
4. In Post Plugs – from time to time mention what services that you offer in your posts. Avoid doing this in every post but if you can include it in a ‘by the way’ type way it just reinforces in your readers mind that you do what you’re writing about for a living. Attempt to do it in a way that is subtle and on topic. For example if you’re writing on a topic that you’ve helped someone else in recently get permission from your client to share that experience (either with their name or anonymously).
5. Case Studies – taking the last point of sharing your experiences of working with clients a step further – doing an occasional ‘case study’ is probably one of the best ways to highlight the services that you offer. You can do these with actual clients (with permission of course) or can offer to do it for free for one of your readers. Alternatively if appropriate it might even be worth picking another blogger to do a case study on. For example back in 2005 I did a case study on how prominent blogger Jeff Jarvis could optimize his AdSense ads better. I did this because Jeff had started using AdSense and had written about it publicly. I didn’t ask permission to do it – but hoped that he’d take the advice and that it’d highlight my ability with AdSense. The day after I published the post Jeff linked up and I had 5-6 people email me willing to pay me to do a similar thing on their blogs privately.
6. Recommendations and Testimonials – another effective way to sell your services is to give your previous clients a way to recommend you. This might be by having a testimonials page on your blog that are real comments from previous clients – or it could even be for you to negotiate as part of your services for them to link to you from their site or blog to you. This is most common in web design with most designers asking for a link giving them credit for their blog’s design – but could be extended to most industries where clients have websites. The beauty of engaging your previous clients in this way is that you are not the one doing the ‘selling’ of your services – others are.
What other advice would you give on promoting your consulting services on a blog?
PS: all of the above counts on your having something worthwhile to sell as a consultant on your blog. Developing your consulting repertoire and growing it into a business is a whole other post.
Hwy Darren, Its not only useful for consultant or blogger and also for non blogger webvilles.
Great tips, very helpful,
Thanks for the tips! I’m currently working on trying to incorporate links/info about my web design services into some of my blog posts… without being overly pushy.
A very fine line, I’m sure – while you want to promote yourself, you don’t want to do it too much and turn off your readers. This is the thing I’m currently focusing on – I’m sure I’ve got a lot to do to perfect this Art… hopefully sooner rather than later! :)
I do a lot of the above in a highly specialized niche and I have more business than I can handle. :D
These are all great tips. I generally give the best advice on my blog that I can, and that generally leads to clients approaching me for help. I find that the better I present myself, the better chance I have of gaining clients, although this isn’t the primary goal of my own blog.
Thanks for sharing! *=)
My blog for my marketing company brings in a ton of business. Some people like the way I think, whereas others just find it through stumbling in from a search engine. I highly recommend using a blog if you’re a consultant (or wanting to become one).
Nice round-up of the key inclusions, but lots tougher when the consulting service is confidential, creative, and covers a variety of professions in one field. Thinking I’d better look for marketing/blog tips for a parallel professional, like a Therapist (in the “nothing wrong with it, but it’s nobody’s business” tone.)
Can anyone point me to posts/blogs that may touch on this? Any personal experience with this challenge?
Thanks for the smart checklist, Mr. Rowse!
I’m an Italian nanopublisher, very very thanks for your post and your problogger.
Good Work Forever!
Daniel – GennitronSviluppo.com
Another possible way is to blog about your experiences doing consulting jobs and how you’ve won the day for your client. Chris G does a good job at it.
This post offers very useful advice. I was just wondering myself how best to go about promoting consulting services on a blog. Many thanks!
This is a great post Darren,
I run a financial blog, and even though I am not a financial ‘advisor’ I would one day in the future love to offer training services/conferences for people who read my blog.
All these tips will help me in the near future.
Since last August, I have been writing a blog about my public speaking engagements. Every post includes at least one valuable presentation skills tip for speakers at all levels (I have just published my 200th tip!)
There are also web pages which advertise the various presentation skills consultancy and speechwriting services I offer but it is the blog entries, every one a case study of a presentation I have just given or my opinion of some public speaking-related item in the news, which I believe best advertise my abilities and services as well as offering a useful free resource for speakers and giving me the opportunity to thank those who have booked me for their hospitality (Mission Statement: Acknowledge, advise – and advertise!)
Speechwriting work and plus the odd booking for talks are now coming in.
I do carry Adsense which shows competing services but I honestly believe that a combination of good value fees and the knowledge I demonstrate in these blog posts mean that I stand the best chance of getting the job – as well as a little revenue from the ads! Testimonials are added as they come in.
I guess having an “About Me” page and a testimonial page would work great.
The content that you present on your blog would be like a free sample for your prospective clients – if they like it, they’ll want to get personal, dedicated help from you. And the “About Me” page can provide the details of the services that you offer for a fee. A testimonial page would be icing on the cake :-)
On further thought, many of the reader comments can themselves act as testimonials!!
I’ll update my About Me page.
Thanks, Jason M. Blumer
Darren, thanks for the thorough article, I’ve been showcasing some of my latest works through a flickr feed that houses my portfolio. The one thing I could improve are the calls to action that you outline. Banner ads and the About Me page are brilliantly simple and effective. Nice.
This is still really helpful!
Thanks for sharing!