7 Tips for Creating an Interior Design Portfolio that Attracts High Net Worth Clients
As a designer, showcasing your work is paramount to onboarding new clients. But, bringing in high-ticket clients takes a different kind of portfolio, one with images that will capture your target audience, build trust, and help establish you as an expert designer - one that can deliver the sophisticated and luxury interior spaces they have been dreaming about.
So how do you ensure your interior design portfolio is geared toward your dream clients? You know I'm here to spill the beans, so keep reading, and I'll show you the way.
Why Interior Design Portfolios are So Important
Your portfolio serves a very specific purpose. It's proof that you can deliver beautiful, well-designed spaces. Sure, you can tell potential clients that you're a design wizard, but your design portfolio is the cold, hard evidence that seals the deal. If the proof is in the pudding, then your portfolio is the pudding.
Clients may or may not (more than likely the latter) hire you based on your personality or what you say you can do for them, so a carefully crafted portfolio helps to build trust and respect and affirm that you and your design expertise are exactly what they need.
Building a Portfolio that Targets High Ticket Clients
There are some key steps in the process of building a portfolio, especially to attract and delight high-net worth clients who respect your talent and boundaries and can afford the premium rates you deserve.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you're assembling a portfolio that speaks to your ideal client…
Choose an Online Portfolio Platform
Online portfolios are the way to go. You don't have to worry about bringing it with you wherever you go, because It's already existing out there in cyberspace. There are lots of different directions to go when it comes to where you want your portfolio to live.
You can use your own website for your portfolio. But, if you need help in creating one, these websites are a great starting place:
Your portfolio is a direct reflection of your work and acts almost like a first impression. Make sure to choose a portfolio building program that shows off your high-end, luxury aesthetic.
It is also imperative that you’re honest with yourself when choosing a portfolio platform and respect your limits.Choose a program that has features that will help you through the process, not create more work.
While it might seem like designing your own portfolio from scratch is the only way to stay on-brand 100%, unless you have hours and hours to commit, this isn’t the way to go. I’m here to give you permission… use the templates, babes. It’s easier to edit and adjust an existing template than building an entire portfolio from nothing. Little things like symmetry and measurements can take you hours to perfect, while those elements are already done in templates.
Show Off Your Experience
Generally speaking, being a show-off is frowned upon… but not here! Not now! This is your chance to toot your own horn all over town. Your portfolio should list every single project you've worked on, carefully worded to make sure it's featured in the best light possible. I recommend thinking through and writing to convey your client’s situation or challenge and how you delivered - how you addressed their goals, wants, and needs and even their challenges with impressive interior design choices.
Use active language that shows your projects in the best possible light. Be direct and succinct. Your clients are going to focus mostly on images, not words. Make sure that the words you do have are very purposeful.
Include any and all awards you've won along the way and your certifications and training. Clients that are willing to pay for professionalism and expertise want to know that they're in the best hands, so every bit of experience counts.
Customize Your Portfolio Content
I know you can't create a custom portfolio for each client, but you can tailor your portfolio content to what your target audience wants to see. If your ideal client is an older, established couple, they're not going to want to see a lot of kids' rooms. Or, if your target audience is younger, growing families, then make sure to add in those beautiful yet functional children, teen, family, mudroom, and outdoor living spaces.
As I mentioned, it’s important to think through your client's potential challenges and include images that showcase your solutions. Include photographs of that lake home you designed last year, with a stunning outdoor living area designed to support the family’s little athletes and Mom’s love for outdoor entertaining, but one that will also withstand the extreme summer temps and direct sunlight. And don't forget that luxurious primary suite with luxe bedding and the most exquisite sitting area!
Include Your Process
Part of what makes interior designing so cool is the before and after, right? And how you get there is one of the most fascinating components, especially for those outside the field. If at all possible, include your before and after photos, along with renderings and other drawings. I use Foyr for all my projects, so it's easy to share from the app.
Make it Easy for Clients to Access
Don't make your potential clients jump through hoops to access your portfolio. It should be an easy process that doesn't take more than a few seconds.
If clients have to spend all of their energy logging into your portfolio or they have to create an additional account to view it, then they're already going to be annoyed by the time they get to the actual content, so let's avoid that situation.
Add Video Footage
Videos are an easy way to deliver an idea quickly. There's nothing to do, nothing to read into, and little to no action needed on their port. They simply watch. If you don't have many videos to share, now's a good time to start gathering some. Just ask your photographer if they do videos, and if they don't, ask for a videographer recommendation. There are many professionals that do both, but as always, it's better to ask and not assume.
Stay on Brand
It's easy to get distracted with all of the gorgeous templates and clever graphics, but your portfolio has to align with your brand. Stick to your branding guidelines and your overall design aesthetic.
Clients will associate your brand with the images, again building trust in you as a designer and showing them that you're kind of a big deal. Think cohesiveness.
Does Your Portfolio Attract High Ticket Clients?
If you think your portfolio might not be sending the right message, then it's time for a revamp. The tips and tricks above will help you land clients that want and need your services, and are ready and willing to pay for it. High-net worth clients understand and appreciate great design from experienced and talented professionals and are willing to pay a premium for it. They just need to see it and trust it.
Beyond your portfolio, there are other ways that you can land these clients without spinning your wheels and being completely overwhelmed… all. the. time. I've got some more tricks up my sleeve, and I share them all inside my Business Bakery. From fabrics to finances, I'll coach you through the business side of running a thriving, profitable interior design business (without boring you to tears — and that's a promise). Click here to learn more, and start baking your way to high-ticket design projects.