Do you need a digital presence as a solo consultant?
I think you do, but there are at least two other clear options which have a better ROI then the $5-$10K a full blown website will cost you.
The first option is the simplest and least expensive – develop a great LinkedIn profile. It offers you all the critical pieces of a website and more. Your LinkedIn profile summary is your ‘about’ page. References are easily captured and more ‘real’ then any ‘testimony’ page you might create. You can create ‘positions’ for your client engagements which represent great ‘client’ and ‘services’ examples. There are all manner of complimentary applications which can make the profile even more useful as a website. For example, you can use SlideShare to post a PowerPoint presentation about your services. You can post a picture. You have your own vanity URL to use on your business card. Mine is www.linkedin.com/in/edcallahansprofile. And all the items I have mentioned are free. You can upgrade for additional services but you can start for free and find it very valuable. Can you think of anything else you need to get started that a website would provide?
The other inexpensive option is a blog. WordPress offers hosting and tools for free as well. And for a small investment, you can purchase a URL and have a professional WordPress consultant put a site together that most people wouldn’t recognize as merely a WordPress blog. If you read this blogpost at www.edcallahan.info you already know that is what I did. In case you read this post in an RSS reader, the image in this post is a screen shot of my site.
So there you have one man’s opinion. Save your money and don’t build a website unless you need more then one of these options offer you.
For more advice on how to launch your consulting career you might want to visit my my friend Peter Osborne’s website, Consultant Launch Pad.