How to Build a Contractor’s Portfolio
You’ve got the business, and the referrals are coming in. They want to see a portfolio of your past work. But what does this mean, and how do you give it to them in an ideal package? How do you distinguish between your residential and commercial services? Here’s what you should consider putting in your contractor’s portfolio.
Make Details Easy to Find
The first thing that people want in your portfolio is information about:
- the kind of products and services you offer
- the quality of your work
- past projects you’ve done
- future availability
- how to best communicate with you
Focus on readability and customers’ ability to sort through the documentation to find what they need. If you want to organize it by project, put some pictures mixed in with details about the size and scope of the job. You may also wish to break up certain things by topic, with separate pages about pricing or contact information. This way, people can use the portfolio as a regular reference while they negotiate a bid with you.
Take Great Pictures
People are amazingly visual. They may look at the same kind of structure 500 times and still want to see the way you build it. Photography of work you have personally completed, especially as part of your business, serves as one more piece of proof that you know how to do the job beautifully. You may not be able to fork out for a professional photographer every time you finish a project, but it could be a wise investment from time to time. Photographers know how to stage the pictures for the right lighting and appearance so that every picture you show reflects everything you did in a positive fashion.
Provide Enthusiastic References
Potential clients often request references they can contact to get more information about your work style. When you complete a project that makes you feel really satisfied, ask the customer if they are willing to act as a reference for your future clients. If you can get them to write a positive testimonial that you can publish in your portfolio, even better. Collect references that cover the various services you offer. For example, if you do some residential and some commercial work, make sure that you have references for each client type.
Customize It by Project Type
Over time, you might expand the types of services you can do. Busy people want a portfolio that includes all the information they need, but not much else. To satisfy them, you need to compartmentalize your portfolio information. That way, you can easily customize it for the kind of customer you’d like to get. Sort out your projects by the product or service and the kind of client. In printed portfolios, create a cover page that you can change by the company or property owner name, for a personal feel.
Put Your Portfolio Online
Have you ever gone to check out a business, only to discover that their online presence is basically nil? You need one just as much as any other professional. People are less likely to request information from you if they can barely track you down in the first place. You want to create the sense for potential clients that you’re a reliable choice for them. A sleek website with links to pictures and data about previous jobs you’ve done will help to establish your work ethic and ability to sustain your business. Just remember to update it regularly with new projects, so that it always feels fresh.
The way you present your business could make or break it. The better your business looks, the more secure clients feel in choosing it. Build a beautiful portfolio, and your business will look more enticing as a result. To learn more about how you can start your own contracting business, visit us at CSLS today!