Building a Portfolio to Increase Your Contracting Client Base

For any contractor looking to get their new contracting business off the ground, attracting new clients and building a client base is a vital part of this approach. There are several methods you might go about while doing so, and one of the most well-known and useful in many cases is building a strong portfolio for prospective clients to reference.

At QuickED, we’re happy to offer a wide range of resources for contractors, including several forms of continuing education and license renewal for those who are just getting their business up and running. What are some basic ways you can go about building a quality portfolio that will reflect your best work and help you create a growing client base? Here are a number of themes to consider.

building portfolio contracting client base

Importance of Photos

The world of contracting is visually-based in many ways, including in how many clients consider their options for a given project need. Clients want to see what they’re getting, and good photos are an important part of any portfolio.

Even if you’ve only done a few jobs as part of your newer contracting business, it’s vital to document these jobs with strong photos. This will show clients the work you’re capable of performing, and it can make a big difference in terms of winning over new business.

When taking photos on a job site, be sure to get multiple angles of each project area. You should also take close-ups as needed to show off any important details or features of the work that you completed.

Keep in mind that your photos should be high quality and properly edited – clients will often only spend a few seconds looking through your portfolio, so it’s important to make a good first impression.

Hiring a Professional Photographer

If you’re reading the above and wondering where you’ll find the time to both take and properly edit photos between your other responsibilities, you might consider hiring a professional photographer instead. There are many freelance photographers who specialize in taking construction and contracting photos.

By hiring one of these professionals, you can be sure that you’ll get high-quality images that will make your portfolio look great. They’ll also assist you with themes like professional editing and photo composition to give you the best chance at impressing potential clients.

Not only will good photos help to win over new clients, but they can also help you stay top-of-mind with clients you’ve already worked for. By sending them quality photos of the work you completed, they’ll be more likely to remember your business when they or someone they know needs contracting services in the future.

Utilizing the Best Photos

Whether on your own or with the help of a professional photographer, another vital part of this process is selecting the best photos to use in your portfolio.

When putting together your contracting portfolio, be sure to only include photos that are high quality and accurately represent the work you’ve done. Don’t cram too many photos into a small space – instead, focus on a select few that will make the biggest impact.

Also be selective about which projects you’re featuring. You might have completed a wide range of different types of contracting jobs, but it’s often best to focus on a few specific project types that you excel at. This will help you attract clients who are specifically looking for those services.

Project Summaries

In addition to great photos, clients also appreciate concise summaries of each project you’ve completed. Summaries don’t need to be long, but they should give potential clients a good understanding of the project at hand.

Be sure to highlight any unique aspects of the project that you’re proud of, and make it clear why a potential client should choose your contracting services over those of your competitors. You might also include a quote from the client about the work you did for them.

Where Portfolios Should Go

As you’re building a quality contracting portfolio, just as important as its actual creation is where it will live and who will see it. There are a few locations that should be considered here:

  • Business website: First and foremost, your portfolio should be easily accessible on your business website. This is often the first place that potential clients will look to learn more about you, so it’s important to make a good impression here. Many contractors will utilize their most expansive portfolio format on their website, often in the form of a photo gallery. While doing so, be sure to include links and calls to action that encourage visitors to contact you for more information about your services.
  • Social media: If your business has a social media presence – and it should – you can also feature some of your best contracting photos here, along with project summaries and calls to action. This is a great way to reach potential clients who might not otherwise come across your website or portfolio.
  • Print materials: If you attend trade shows or other industry events, it’s often a good idea to have a printed portfolio to hand out to interested prospects. This is a physical way for them to take your information with them and review it at their convenience. You can also send potential clients print portfolios in the mail, which is a great way to stand out and get noticed.

By following these steps, you can be sure that you’re well on your way to building a strong contracting portfolio and client base. With a little time and effort, you’ll be well on your way to winning over new clients and growing your business.

For more on this theme, or to learn about any of our continuing education or other resources for contractors, speak to the staff at QuickED today.