Your portfolio of work tells the best story possible about the work you do. When a client is choosing which interior designer to select, it is your portfolio which can sway their decision. The client may have had a look at some of your work on your website, through a marketing campaign, or maybe through a recommendation. When they meet you, they are interested to find out more about your work, your approach, what you have achieved and how you did it.
Communicating with your portfolio
Being able to communicate with a potential client about the purpose of a project you completed and how you achieved the goals set out is an important part of the interview process. This is where you show your ability to identify problems and create unique solutions for the client. It’s true, a picture speaks a thousand words, however, a few identifying concepts helps to get your message across clearly. Thinking about these concepts, writing them down and presenting them with images from your project, in the form of a case study, is an important part of your marketing and selling tools.
What to include
Some basic information to include in your portfolio case study:
- Client name (if you have permission to use this)
- Type of project (for example, residential, commercial, contract etc.)
- Number and type of people involved (for example, a family of two adults and two children, 100 call centre employees, 49 room boutique hotel, etc.)
- The time scale the project was completed in
- The project budget
- When the project was completed
- Any particular furniture or brands that you worked with that were particularly important or remarkable
- Any professionals or contractors that you partnered with (for example, an architect, a lighting contractor, a builder, etc.)
This is not an exhaustive list; some projects may include different details compared to others. However, identifying the key components for each project and how they reflect your capabilities is the most important thing to communicate.
Make the project come to life
Your task is to make the project come to life for those who haven’t been involved in it. What was unique about the project? What did you achieve and why? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome these? What have previous clients said about your work?
Include a paragraph in your portfolio case study that addresses these questions and highlight client testimonials, provided you have written permission from them. Showing the client a professional case study will help you gain their confidence.
Growing your portfolio
As your portfolio grows, you will be able to target case studies to your clients’ particular situations. This will help to increase their confidence in your ability to manage their project with creative solutions. A consistent and uniform approach, that reflects your brand, makes for a successful story.
What do you include in your portfolio case studies? What have you learned from presenting your case studies to clients?