Create a portfolio page that shows the impact of your work

portfolio page

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In my last post, I explained how testimonials and reviews on your website tell potential clients how great you are at what you do.

How about taking it a step further and showing them the results of using your services or products on a portfolio page?

The way you go about it will depend on the nature of your business.

Work Samples

They say that a picture speaks a thousand words, so if it’s possible to show outcomes visually, you should do that!

Let’s say for example that you’re a photographer or a designer. You can talk about your work until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, we need to see what you’ve done before we’ll know if you’re any good. That’s why Amy Lippert includes a graphic design portfolio on her website and why I have a web design portfolio on mine.

On her site, award-winning resume writer Adrienne Tom states that “Each executive resume is a unique creation with the common goal of showcasing experience, top skills, and big business wins in a relevant format to garner employer attention.” Those are powerful words, but if you’ve never seen her work, it’s hard to imagine how it might differ from other resumes you’ve seen, so she backs it up with a page of resume samples.

Before & After Photos

Before and after photos are very popular in industries such as home renovations, fitness, organizing, and many others where a visual transformation takes place. They work well, and Derek Halpern explains why in this video:

Before and after photos may be presented side by side, in a video, or using a slider.

I shared some tips in How to Take Powerful Before and After Pictures. Although it was written for professional organizers, some of the principles will apply to other fields as well.

For extra impact, include stories along with your photos, as shown on Free Your Space Organizing.

Case Studies

If you’re a coach or consultant, the transformations you bring about probably can’t be captured visually, but you can demonstrate the value of your work through case studies, as seen on Speaking of Leadership.

If you’ve never written a case study, Jeff Bullas provides a quick template in 6 Reasons Experts Include Case Studies in Their Blog Posts.

Check out the latest edition of the Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival for examples of case study blog posts.

If you choose to publish your case studies as blog posts, consider displaying them on their own page where potential clients can easily find them.

Next Steps

  1. Search your digital and physical files for case studies and/or photos you already have that could be used on your portfolio page.
  2. Think about client success stories and write about them following the formula suggested by Jeff Bullas.
  3. Add one or more work samples to your website.
  4. Schedule a telephone call or Zoom session if you’d like to talk to me about your Portfolio page.

Previous posts in this series:

  1. Is your website giving you strong results? Creating an Effective Homepage or Welcome Page
  2. Creating an About Page that Clicks
  3. How to Create an Effective Contact Page
  4. How to Create a Captivating Blog Page
  5. Do you have (or need) a Privacy Policy?
  6. How to Create a Services Page that Sells
  7. How to Make Your Products Pages More Irresistible
  8. Attract new clients with a powerful testimonials page

Photo by georgejmclittle / DepositPhotos

Janet Barclay

I'm a Website Design and Care Specialist who loves helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Comments

  1. I am a big fan of doing before and after videos. I created slideshows that included the before and after photos and shared them on my YouTube channel. It’s still there even though I haven’t done home organizing in a while. It’s nice to look at the videos now after so many years. Thanks for reminding me about my prior video work.

  2. This is a tough one for me. To get good photos, I really need lighting and a photo shoot. I need to ask for this, since I don’t have those things when I am working. I know many of my clients don’t want photos of their spaces out on the internet, and I understand that. I can also acknowledge that having good photos really “sells” your business. This is sort of the whole way that Instagram works. I’d like to do better with these!

    • That is a real dilemma. Even if there was a way for you to bring lighting and other needed equipment with you, that might make it even more intimidating for clients who aren’t comfortable with you taking photos in the first place. It might be something to bring up after the client has booked their first organizing session, but before you actually show up.

  3. I recently had to update my photo release form. I’d previously been asking permission to use any photos. Since my clients are new to the process they were feeling insecure and didn’t want their spaces photographed.

    I actually made after photos mandatory and explained that those photos are critical for me to get new clients because it’s part of my portfolio. When I explain it in that way, I’ve had no problem getting photos for social media and my website.

    I need to update my website now! Great reminder of how important this is.

  4. Janet,
    You always have helpful and solid suggestions. I’ve had a tough time photographing client’s homes and here’s why. Either I forget to take the before picture, so I’m left with the after, which is better than nothing. Or, more often than not, my client is hesitant to allow photos of their personal space.

  5. First of all, I LOVE the video. It was a compelling push for using before and after photos. And while I enjoy seeing them, especially transformations of every sort, I don’t use them. I understand why they are useful. The issue I have has to do with trust. Many of my clients are highly sensitive about their organizational challenges. When I first begin working with them, I’m building trust. It’s not a good time to take photos. That continues along the way. I have encouraged clients to take photos for their eyes only. Even if a client gave me permission, I wouldn’t want to expose their challenges on the Internet in that way. It could make potential clients think I would do the same to them. My objective is to build trusting relationships that respect my clients’ privacy.

  6. It sounds like many of you have valid reasons not to use before and after photos. You can possibly get around that by using photos from organizing projects you complete in your own home.

    However, there’s another reason not to on this post by Porter Knight, Before and After Photos: Yea or Nay? (be sure to read the comments as well).

    It’s quite a dilemma, as potential clients look for them, yet actual clients are often reluctant to agree to them being taken.

  7. LOVE this idea Janet, I never thought of a virtual portfolio page….hummm….nice add to a website for sure or even pinterest pages.

    I have done my own home picture make overs but never thought of adding them to my website or “Portfolio” Thank you for a wonderful idea!

    Lisa

    • Yay – I love to inspire! And just because you didn’t get paid to do something doesn’t mean it took any less skill, right?

      Perhaps one could even explain “these are pics from my own home to protect the privacy of my clients” – that should alleviate any concerns from potential clients that you might share their “dirty little secrets.”

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