September 13, 2007

Improve Your Portfolio - Improve Your Sales

Your probably know that your professional portfolio is an important selling tool, and that a great one will put you ahead of the competition. But have you made yours the absolute best it can be? I've seen and heard of too many lost sales due to poorly designed, unorganized, or even no portfolio (gasp!).

When your portfolio shows you off as a talented professional, you not only turn more consultations into sales, but you start feeling more confident and proud of what you deliver to your clients. Your confidence leads to more sales, which helps you feel even more confident...what an exciting cycle to get caught up in!

Here are some quick tips and ideas to improve your portfolio:

  • Make sure all your photographs are the same size.
  • Use large photographs - 8x10 or larger. Small snapshots tend to look amateurish.
  • BUT, do include small "before" snapshots next to your finished work when you can. These will add to the impact of your beautiful designs.
  • Hire a professional photographer. My business took a giant leap when I finally hired a photographer. One more sale could pay for the expense!
  • If you're not ready to lay out the expense of a photographer, make sure you at least learn a few tips for taking the best photographs you can. Even if your designs are incredible, poor photography will make you look like a less professional designer. My friend (and personal photographer), Barbara Lane, wrote a great book on how to photograph interiors - especially for people like us (I could never seem to take a good interior photo until I learned some of her tips). You can see info here.
  • Include clippings from any press articles where you are mentioned.
  • Update your portfolio on a regular basis (every 6 months or so). Replace jobs from several years ago with fresh, new ones.
  • Limit your photos to about a dozen. Use only your most impressive work. Small, modest jobs can be kept as snapshots in your briefcase to pull out when necessary (if your client needs to visualize a certain style or example).
  • If you are computer-savvy, create a digital portfolio. Pulling out your laptop to show your designs can make you look very current and knowledgeable.

Remember: When your portfolio is well-maintained and professional, selling is a whole lot easier.

To your increased sales and confidence!

No comments: