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.