Monday, May 20, 2024
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Improve Your Portfolio: Create Simple Project Spotlights

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.

25 thoughts on “Improve Your Portfolio: Create Simple Project Spotlights

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

    1. Heidi – as I illustrated, sometimes just a few photos and a brief description will really bring the “wow” factor to your portfolio. Give it a whirl! 🙂

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the idea. We take a lot of pictures if we think they are interesting only to get back to the office and wonder what were thinking when we took this. We often get a couple of good shots and now i will use them as a project spotlight.

    Thank you again

    1. Hi Ron, thanks for commenting. Tess has some great ideas, and I agree that adding text/descriptions is vital. Especially when you solve a particular problem. It’s really nice to say to a potential customer, “We had this same challenge here and this is how we solved it”.

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