In the business of consulting, there’s a lot of gray area. For starters, it’s such a vague field that many people might not even be sure exactly what it is that you do. Then, there are several types of consultants out there so even if they have an idea, they’ll still have tons of questions. Fortunately, you can set yourself (and your audience) up for success with a well-planned FAQ page.
The FAQ page is the single-most popular resource that people use online today when it comes to finding knowledge. And, as many as 82% of consumers expect businesses to offer some type of self-service, which could include an FAQ page. You might think that your existing page is doing the job, but when’s the last time it was updated? And are you sure you’re asking (and answering) the right questions?
In this guide, we’ll talk about how to set up an effective FAQ page for your business consulting website and what questions you need to cover. Of course, you can include as many (or as few) as you’d like, but make sure that you provide the comprehensive education that your audience deserves.
Today’s audience wants instant answers, and they want to be able to help themselves as much as possible. They want you available, of course, but not until they’re ready. By providing things like an FAQ page, you’re giving people the resources that they need to get more out of their experience. They’ll respect you as an authority and appreciate that you are providing them with information without having to ask. Plus, you’ll earn reputation points for making sure that people get the facts, regardless of whether they hire your consulting firm or not.
Of course, it helps if you know what to ask and how to ask it—we’ll cover that, and more. It’s part customer service, part marketing tool, and all about giving people reliable information they can use.
There’s a lot that goes into building an effective website these days. One of the great things is that you have resources like this to help you. Plus, when you do your FAQs right, you’re also going to boost your SEO efforts. Before we dig into the most pressing questions for business consultants, let’s talk about how to set up your knowledge base of FAQs the right way, the first time.
Today’s audience has the shortest attention span ever. You’ve got less than five seconds to capture their attention and only a few moments more to keep it—make it count. That’s why you need to plan a strategy for your FAQ page that includes providing people with easily accessible answers. If you have a single page, organize the questions by topic and consider adding a Table of Contents so people can easily scroll to the information they seek.
If you choose to have multiple pages of FAQs, start with the main page offering general info, and then branch into various topics like consulting FAQs, services and rates, about your agency/consulting business, etc. The list is endless, depending on how specific you want to get with your categories. Don’t go too crazy, of course, because no one needs 500 FAQs about anything, let alone business consulting.
Another thing to keep in mind is to stop thinking like a business owner. Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your audience and consider what you’d want to know. Then, consider how you’d find it easiest to access the information. And as far as the questions go, remember to phrase them like you’re a user. This makes them easier to find and as a bonus, can help boost your SEO efforts when people search specifically for the FAQs on your page.
Structure and navigation are the biggest factors here, but there is more to it than just putting the right questions in the right order. You have to think of this as a knowledge resource for your audience and a marketing tool for your business. Capitalize on being able to provide people with information, which bolsters your reputation, and promotes your services in the answers that you provide.
Now that you have a better idea of how to get started, let’s take a look at the 10 questions you can’t overlook. Remember, you’re not limited to these; they’re simply designed to help you get a good start.
This is always a good place to start—consulting is a vague field to the average person. Therefore, many people might not even realize that they need or could benefit from consulting services. This is your chance to educate them and to show off your skills. If people don’t know what a consultant is or does, how can they know that they need one? It might seem like a simple question to you, an industry expert, but to the average user, it’s a big question that gets huge hits in search engine results.
Explain all the details of what you do, what you don’t do, and give people room to ask more questions if they’d like. This is a great place to encourage people to reach out to you via email, live chat, or another means of communication to ask questions and discuss their specific needs.
First, note that we ask “why”, not “if”—this eliminates the chance for people to think they don’t need a business consultant. Use this question to point out all the perks that come from working with a consultant and help people see what value you have to offer for their business. SMBs, especially, can stand to gain a lot of valuable insight because they may not be as familiar with the consulting industry as others in business.
This question gives you a chance to sell your services and show people all that you can do. It also allows you to inform them of just what a business consultant does.
This is a question on everyone’s list. People like to know prices, even when they don’t realize it’s something that can’t just be quoted outright. Sure, there are “average” rates for consultants, and you can use this area to discuss what your rates are or how much the average business spends on consulting, but you will never be able to give people a locked-in price.
The point here is to be transparent about your pricing and make sure that people understand how you charge more so than what you charge (plus, that’s another question we’ll cover in a minute). Your explanation of the pricing and variables in estimating costs is more valuable than the actual numbers, anyway.
Businesses in need of help often find themselves struggling to figure out what coaches and consultants do, and what makes them different from each other. After all, at first glance, they seem like they offer similar services. However, that’s far from reality. Coaches are trained to actively coach businesses on how to become successful and build a better company. They also coach the leader(s) of the business on how to be confident and improve personally to help their professional career.
A consultant is more of an advisory type of person—they will consult on various processes and practices within the business to help make improvements and will generally not offer a lot of personal advice or focus on personal growth as much as the business itself. In either case, both can benefit a business in the right situation.
Some consultants work in certain industries. Others may specialize in certain areas of business. This is an important question to answer for multiple reasons. Primarily, it allows people to quickly determine whether you can assist them with their needs. It also allows people and businesses to see how wide and deep your expertise runs, as well as what types of solutions you can help with in case they may have future needs.
Explaining your specialty also allows you to showcase your skills and brag a little, giving you another place to promote your company specifically.
Carried on from above, this is another common question and a different way of phrasing the good old “how much does it cost” question. Consultants have different price structures and ways of charging for services. Some charge hourly. Others offer services on a per-project basis with pre-determined hours or involvement. Still more may charge per service, per appointment, or in some other fashion.
You need to make sure that people understand how you will charge for the services that you provide. Explain to them how and why you chose this method and how it benefits them (for example, if you do project rates, they save on hourly costs and generally get more for their money).
This is a big point of contention in the industry—most people will offer at least a phone call or quick chat without a charge, but some balk at the idea entirely. However, if you do offer some type of free consult to your clients or potential clients, you could gain a lot more business than you might expect. Be sure to explain exactly what you can do for people and how you can assist them, and then discuss what your fees will be if they decide to continue working with you. When you focus on problem-solving more than pricing, so will they.
Businesses don’t want to hire someone who just got started to help them grow and build their business. Sure, everyone needs a chance, but the more experience someone has, the better they will be. Take this opportunity to talk about consulting work that you’ve done in the past, how long you’ve been doing this work, if you have any certifications or relevant educational background, and so forth.
You could also use this space to link to your portfolio, testimonials, or other relevant info or pages on your website. It’ll help support your credibility and encourage people to continue to explore your site further.
Of course, here’s the million-dollar question. And yet, how are you supposed to answer a question of such magnitude and with so many variables? Here’s where you can point out examples of what you’ve done for clients in the past. You can also explain how you help businesses set goals and make strategic moves that help propel them forward in their growth, and so forth. It’s another chance to sell yourself and the value of consulting services in a way that informs people but also inspires them to take action.
Since you are working as a freelancer, make sure to set the terms upfront. Are you offering a 6 month or year long contract? Are you working month-to-month? Make sure the client is aware of your terms so they know what they are getting into. Also, do you offer a non-compete within industries or are you able to consult for competitors? No matter what your answer is, just make sure you let the potential clients know.
We know you’re busy, but you still don’t want to neglect your audience. So, what are you to do when you’re on a limited budget and can’t be in two places at once? That’s where we come in—the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can provide dedicated support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to handle everything from phone calls and website chats to SMS messages and even scheduling and intake, and so much more.
Plus, we’ll collaborate with you to create a solid strategy for total communications management and integrate with your CRM and other software to keep everything streamlined and keep you informed. Even when you’re busy consulting, we’ll make sure that you never miss a single call, chat, or customer inquiry.
To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can help your consulting firm streamline communications. You’ll also find us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.