Architecture Portfolio Tips
Is your Portfolio Helping Your Firm Grow?
Five ideas to help make your Architecture Portfolio Stand Out
Is your online portfolio a lonely gallery or a magnet for new clients?
When was the last time someone searched your architecture portfolio on your website? Did they contact you?
Sure, you have great projects, but if no one finds your online portfolio, it’s just a collection of pretty pictures.
That’s the harsh reality for many architecture websites that rely primarily on images. When we reviewed and tested the websites of more than 400 architecture firms in Florida, we saw that some of the most common problems directly relate to the tendency of architects to default to creating image-heavy portfolio sites. For a prospective client checking out many architecture firm websites, all those portfolio images start to blur together.
So what’s the solution?
Of course, portfolios are a necessary tool for every architecture professional. It should help you stand out and highlight your strengths, and it should appeal to specific prospects with projects that align to your firm’s primary focus. Most of all, it should help pull people into your website to learn more about your firm and contact you.
In this blog, we cover a few secrets to creating a better online portfolio that will attract prospects with projects that fit your architecture firm..
How to Make Your Architecture Portfolio a Better Client Magnet
When a prospective client is deciding between architects for a job, they'll look at prior experience, credentials, projects, even education.
How you present your past work should help them understand what you do, how you do it, and why they can feel confident hiring you.
The portfolio section of your website is an important element to help your architecture business thrive.
Here are four ideas to help you make your architecture portfolio stand above the rest — and attract more of your ideal clients:
1. Consider the Client
Start with your perfect client in mind and adjust your portfolio based on the types of projects and clients you want to attract.
If you want more office building projects, make those the emphasis of your portfolio. That doesn't mean you don't include other projects, it just means shift the balance to the type of work clients are most likely to bring to you — and the type of work you want to do.
As you move into presenting to a prospect, and creating a select portfolio specifically to share with them, highlight projects that most align with theirs and your vision.
2. Be Selective
While some architects include all of their previous projects in their portfolio, it is not the best approach.
Not only should you try to include only the most relevant projects, but you should also choose only your best design projects.
Including every single job you've completed only waters down your greatest accomplishments. Having a "too large" portfolio can also leave a prospect feeling bored, overwhelmed, or just plain confused and disinterested.
Having five standout projects is better than 15 average ones!
You want the prospect to feel excited about your work and easily find something they connect with in your portfolio.
3. Design and Style
Your portfolio is your chance to showcase your design philosophy in a creative way.
The design of your portfolio should also reflect your branding. You should be using your brand’s fonts, color palette, images, etc. When someone looks at your portfolio, they should know immediately that it’s your firm. Using the right visuals is crucial because it will help you make a strong first impression with potential clients.
With each project you showcase, it’s important to use high-quality images. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of the projects you know you'll be putting into your portfolio. Trust us, this will make a huge difference, and will give your portfolio that wow factor!
When laying out your portfolio, you may feel inclined to use up all of the available space. However, this is not a good idea.
Putting too much content on a page will leave it feeling overcrowded and difficult to read. Don't be afraid to leave blank space. This is better than inputting unnecessary information.
Let your work speak for yourself, and if it doesn't take up all of the page, that's completely fine.
4. Tell your Story
Sure, an image is worth a thousand words, but on their own, those images don’t answer the questions your website visitors have about how you work and the value you bring to a project.
Look for opportunities to add some storytelling to your portfolio. Start with one project and explain what challenges you had to overcome. Maybe share your insights about how your approach to design helped the client get what they wanted, or highlight a particular design aesthetic or material choice and why that works.
Think about the questions that came up during the project and use the portfolio to answer the questions for other searching for a similar solution. This can help boost your firm’s website SEO performance and help you get found the next time someone searches for “architect for office renovation” or “modern beach home design” or … (you get the idea).
5. Always Keep it Updated
Make sure you are regularly updating your portfolio with all of your best projects. Be sure to add diversity as you gain more experience in different types of architecture, so clients know you've worked on a variety of design styles.
You don't want to keep giving clients the same architecture portfolio for years because design preferences change over time, and you want to show that you're growing in the architecture field.
Having a high-quality architecture portfolio and website will lead to more clients and more jobs, allowing your business to truly thrive.
If you aren't sure where or how to start, we are ready to help. It's what we do every day.
Archmark works with architects to help them build a strong brand foundation for business growth, establish authority to take a leadership position in their market, and create awareness that attracts qualified leads and better clients.
We focus on how to build up your business, so you can focus on leading your firm. It starts with a free 30-minute architecture marketing strategy review call to help you:
Get clarity on why your current digital marketing efforts aren't working
(re)Define your competitive advantage
Discover insights into your ideal clients that you never would have thought of on your own
Find out how we can help you. Schedule your strategy review call today to see how we can help your architecture firm go even further.