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Improve Your Portfolio: Create Simple Project Spotlights

By on March 3, 2012 in Marketing with 17 Comments

I often find that contractors use photos to showcase their work to potential clients. They have albums (either online or off) of project photos they’ve completed, and often have a “portfolio” button on their website that presents some of their best work to visitors. Even though these photos are stunning, they don’t even come close to providing the impact that you need to compete in today’s market.

In today’s world, it is easier than ever to shine a light on your noteworthy projects and create a memorable impact – by writing a simple project spotlight.

Although photos are wonderful in showing off the detail and the high-quality level of work that you do, they only tell half the story – to create the “wow” and memorable impact you are looking for from prospects, you need the story part, too.

Don’t fret! The story to complement your photos doesn’t have to be lengthy. Some of the best project spotlights just give minimal details of the project. They are simple.

Here’s a project spotlight that only uses two photos, but look at the impact it makes. The copy provides the background of what the client wanted, and the solution this remodeler provided – using minimal details. Short and sweet (pun intended).

What do you do when you have a lot of photos but not much “story” to go along with them?

With this project, we created a collage of “Before” and “After” photos to help the readers (i.e., potential customers) understand all of the “little things” this remodeler did to update the home – from the exterior to the basement to the kitchen.

What if some of my projects are boring?

Let’s face it. Sometimes a contractor’s work isn’t “sexy” – not the most exciting to photograph. Contractors replace windows and fix doors, and painters refinish tired-old surfaces – all of which (it would seem) would be difficult to turn into a project spotlight. However, I have an excavating contractor client who has taught me that even within the dirtiest jobs a story lies.

In an issue of its online newsletter, the excavator used this photo with the caption: 18” of snow, 4+” of rain and a “spring thaw” – all within a 7-day window – did not deter our team from completing a 1.6 million gallon impoundment under the allotted time.

If that doesn’t make an impact to his potential clients, I am not sure what does! Furthermore, if an excavating contractor can make pushing earth exciting, imagine the possibilities for your specialty!

So instead of only posting photos on your website’s portfolio page, why not take a cue from these examples and give your visitors a “story” to accompany them. I guarantee your visitors will spend more time on your website – and when it comes time for them to hire a painting contractor, you’ll be remembered.

Tess Wittler
Tess Wittler is a content creator and consultant for the construction industry. She takes pride in truly understanding contractors and the home improvement industry - because she’s spent her entire career promoting it. Over the years, Tess has built a solid reputation of being the “go to” content writer for contractors - because of her understanding of the industry, knowledge of content and social media marketing and careful attention to detail - to get the words just right. Tess is thrilled to be involved with Blogging Painters to share knowledge and collaborate on ideas to help painting contractors grow their businesses.

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There Are 17 Brilliant Comments

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  1. nick dunse says:

    Excellent article could not agree more!

  2. Heidi says:

    Great article Tess. I absolutely need to incorporate more of these kinds of project profiles on our website. They are also great for SEO.

  3. Chris says:

    It is a great idea, and very easy to put in print form and add to your “leave behind” folder!

  4. I am finally seeing that come true. Friday I posted a few pictures of a job we completed last month. I have already sold one bathroom remodel from those pics, and have another meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

    I have been rewriting my site’s landing pages as well, and am working on presentation packets to give to designers, and contractors I want to work with. I think I will take this example further and dedicate a page to each project under my portfolio link.

    I would also like to include something from the client there as well.

    Nice article Tess.

    • Tess Wittler says:

      Sweet! It is always great to hear that your efforts to explain your projects a bit more are paying off.

      I like your idea of developing a page per project. It doesn’t have to be every project, but adding the best ones will pay off. I have a renovation client that did this in his recent website rewrite and it looks sharp. Visitors spend a lot of time on those pages.

  5. Jen says:

    Absolutely agree with the before and after photos. They are a great way to present projects and really get customers interested in how you can transform a room!

  6. terry miller says:

    Tess, Thanks for reminding us of what we should be doing. We have a professional photographer and local writers to help us obtain the proper handouts for our clients. It is just doing it. The article was great, very informative and open our eyes a little more. Thank you.

    • Tess Wittler says:

      Hi Terry – Another way to really connect with people by using a project spotlight is to have it online, too. That way, as you are talking about a particular skill or service you provide, you can pull it up on your iPad or laptop and show the homeowner … along with leaving a “leave-behind.”

      Thanks for commenting! Good Luck!

  7. Mike says:

    Hi Tess,
    A bit late on this post, but a question:
    What did you use to lay out the Project Spotlight page? I see two layouts (9 photos, 2 photos before and after overlay). Is that two templates?
    Hints for a moderately adept WordPress user?
    Thanks very much for going back in time. :)

  8. nehajason says:

    great article, all points are very helpful.thanks for sharing your ideas on the post.

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