In today’s market, having a portfolio that showcases your work is a must. Whether you’re a solo handyman, commercial landscaper, or a contractor building skyscrapers, you need something to show prospective clients what you’re capable of.
In the construction world, much like in that of freelancing, you will rarely find a company surviving off of one gig at a time. In fact, only 13% do. More than 70% of contractors have more than three jobs going at the same. A diversified portfolio is crucial for showing what you can do, as well as provide peace of mind by seeing stories of satisfied customers.
A commonly overlooked practice, when building a portfolio always consider your audience. Your portfolio is often someone’s first impression of your company. What do you want that to be like? Who do you want your portfolio to appeal to? This is something to consider when putting together your best work to showcase what you can do.
Here, you’ll learn our top five tips for highlighting your construction portfolio and why they can help.
Photographs allow your clients to see what you can do. Most importantly, through before-and-after photos, your potential clients want to see the change. They want to see what was versus what is, something you can take credit for. It’s good to get in the habit of taking before and after pictures, but somewhere in your portfolio should be at one (but no more than three) pictures in the middle of the project.
I’ve found that residential clients are often wow’d by seeing their bathroom gutted to the studs, only to see their dream bathroom be built in the old one’s place.
Quality of Photos
Thanks to modern technology and smart phones, high quality photos are easy to take, if you know what you’re doing. However, if you don’t know what to look for with regard to lighting and perspective, you might want to hire a professional. It’s important to have the photos look as professional as your work does.
An old trick I liked to use was to take the before pictures with slightly bad lighting, then take the after photos is lighting that was much better. This enhanced the changes that were made.
2. Put it Online
Again, considering your audience, what is the first thing someone is going to do when they have the idea to hire you to build something for them? They’re going to look you up online.
Everything is online these days. Which is a good thing. Your online presence allows you to make a great first impression with prospective clients with good branding, an introduction to team members, and most importantly, your portfolio. Your online portfolio should be the only place clients have to look in order to trust your work.
Luckily, web design is Onsharp’s bread and butter. Here is a website we built for Samson Construction out of Fargo, ND.
3. Add Testimonials
- You’ll build trust
- You’ll establish authority
- You’ll qualify potential customers
4. Use Examples of Unusual Solutions
Customers like to know they can trust you with anything that might pop up, especially the unexpected. One great thing about a portfolio is you can highlight those moments when you thought outside the box and figured out a creative solution.
This sets you apart as your creativity may be more in line with what the customer is looking for. Having a creative aspect to your construction business is appealing to customers, in my experience. Again, marketing is about trust, and creativity personalizes your business more.
5. Keep It Minimal
Your portfolio should be short and sweet, with minimal design. You don’t want to overwhelm your clients with a mess of photos and blocks of text explaining every last detail of a project. You should have your photos along with brief descriptions of each step of the process.
Donald Miller says that in marketing, “if you confuse, you’ll lose”. That meaning, projects in your portfolio should take potential customers from start to finish in about twenty seconds.