Your portfolio is one of the most important parts of your online presence. It needs to be visually appealing and easy to navigate. This article will help you improve your portfolio to showcase your best work and attract more ideal clients. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite interior design portfolio examples from past client projects for inspiration.
I was also recently on the Business of Design Podcast where we discussed this same topic, how to improve your interior design portfolio in order to convert more website visitors into clients.
Over the years, I’ve found that the best portfolio websites have a few things in common. These strategies help attract more ideal clients, build relationships, solidify trust and convert website visitors into inquiry customers.
This article will walk you through a few portfolio strategies and share some of my favorite interior design portfolio examples.
1. Use cohesive, professional photography.
iPhone photos are impressive and there is no doubt that you can take some fabulous photos with your handheld device. But a website is no place for iPhone photos. It’s vital your interior design portfolio uses professional photography.
The right interior photographer will take multiple shots varying in light, orientation, and style so potential clients can immerse themselves in the rooms just by browsing the photos. They’ll also use Photoshop, or a similar photo editing software, to polish and perfect the images before delivering. This extra step is key! Once you find a photographer you love, hold on to them. Using the same photographer will ensure all of your photos (even if they’re from different projects) have a consistent feel and finish to them.
Below is a portfolio example of a client, Ingrid Porter Interiors. She knows the value of investing in professional interior photography. Her interior design portfolio and website is polished and cohesive.
2. Lean on different geographical locations.
Unless you work virtually, you’ll have a preferred locations you want to work in. By including the geographical location you’ll boost your SEO. When people are searching for interior designers in your area, every photo and project you add to your website is another chance of them finding you and your website.
If you have several projects in one location, try mixing things up by using the neighborhood name for one, the city name for another, and maybe the county name for another. They might all be in a 3-mile radius but you can pull different geographic details from each to expand your SEO reach.
Another client, Marker Girl Interior Design, works in and around the Houston, TX area. She makes this known by featuring mentioning the exact locations in her interior design portfolio.
3. Give each portfolio project a dedicated page.
Each project likely speaks to your audience in a different way. So rather than featuring one page with a large gallery of photos. Consider giving each project its own dedicated page and/or blog post. On these dedicated pages, you’ll be able to invite visitors to learn more and dive deeper into the details of the project that piqued their interest.
Elements to consider adding to each portfolio project page:
- A Unique Project Name – Choose a clear and consistent naming convention. Consider keywords your ideal client will be looking for.
- A Project Location – As mentioned above, use the town, city, state, or county to connect with others from that area and give you a boost in local SEO.
- A Project Story – Talk about the project and client. Briefly share what they were looking for, the process you took, and the outcome.
- A Project Gallery – Of course, you’ll want to feature the project’s photos. A masonry grid works great here to organize multiple photo sizes and orientations.
- A Testimonial – If you have a testimonial from the client, be sure to highlight those details, too.
Another client, Corine Phillips Interiors, features each project from her portfolio on its own dedicated page. Below you can see an example from her portfolio that includes a geographical location, project title, professional copy, and of course the gallery of photos.
4. Showcase testimonials.
Including client testimonials throughout your website but also on your portfolio page adds immense value. Some of the most powerful words on your website will come from your clients.
When including a testimonial, use a snippet of their actual quote, not the whole thing. Your website visitors are busy and skimming fast. If you use the entire testimonial you run the risk of them missing it. Use the most impactful segment that relates to the content on the page you’re placing it on.
5. Use clear calls to action.
No website page is complete without a well-placed call-to-action button. And this is true for the portfolio page, too. This is the time to guide visitors where you want them to go. When a website visitor is browsing your portfolio… where do you want them to go next? When a visitor is on a dedicated project page… where should they go from there? They want the ease and simplicity of being guided through your website.
My recommendation is to lead them either to your services page or your contact page. Using something simple as Book a Call or Contact Us is perfect. Each page on your website should have a primary call to action that leads the visitor closer to working with you.
Using Marker Girl Interior Design again as an example, below you can see how she uses a standout testimonial and clear call to action at the bottom of her individual portfolio project page.
6. Avoid including every interior design project.
The best interior design portfolios feature the best of the best. Only feature projects you loved and want more of. Consider what clients and projects were your absolute favorite and include them front and center. You don’t need to include every project but rather choose a carefully curated collection of your favorites.
Your portfolio page will grow and evolve as your business does, so remember as new projects come to an end and are photographed, you can choose whether you want to add them to your portfolio.
7. It’s okay to start small.
If you’re just getting started or have a plethora of in-progress projects, it’s okay to keep your portfolio small and simple. Those with smaller portfolios should still have a portfolio landing page with a gallery. But perhaps this is of work you’ve done in your own home, or a single project you’ve worked on. Feature as much as you can until you can begin implementing more of the ideas on this page.
Last but not least, Monica Andrews Interiors has a great example of a one-page, simple interior design portfolio page. She has a thriving practice but hasn’t had the time to photograph all of her projects. Instead of waiting to launch her brand and website, she kept her portfolio page small and straightforward with a single gallery.
In summary, showing a bit of detail with each featured project can a long way. And by being selective with each project shared, you can attract more of the right clients. Along with inserting testimonials, CTAs, engaging copy, stunning photography, and geographical locations you will start turning website leads into dream projects in no time!
If you need assistance putting your website and portfolio together, I am happy to help. With 10+ years of experience in building smart and visually appealing websites, I know what it takes to build a brand and website that’s authentically yours. Click here to get in touch.