CHALLENGE: My colleagues have been pressuring me to create a portfolio of my work online. Is this really necessary? I am from the old school philosophy that the hands-on experience of showing off my portfolio of work is the only way to go. Will the digital portfolio really give me an advantage in the workplace?
SOLUTION: We must admit the online presence of visuals will be to the advantage of the interior designer, window specialist, retail business, wholesaler and manufacturer. It is a fact of the computer age and interior design firms large and small are catching on.
A simple or detailed digital portfolio will assist more than you know! Vast amounts of clients, both residential and commercial, are pre-screening potential firms by searching online for any information that will assist them in making a firm decision. The most important part of the digital portfolio, along with the great design of the Web site itself, is to make sure once a client has accessed your site you respond quickly and efficiently. Inquiries as to your services are often judged as to the quick response you give the potential client.
I recently was speaking with one of my colleagues. His Web site was accessed by a potential client in regards to the remodel of a church facility that was quite large. He immediately responded—within 24 hours. The potential client was so impressed by the great customer service and the impressive portfolio of work he saw, my colleague friend landed the job.
And what a job it was! The front area of the facility included a wall of draperies that spanned 75 feet. In fact, not only was the drapery job secured, the balance of the facility was in need of new flooring and church pews and this part of the job also was secured. One thing does lead to another, even though it was not in the original budget at the time.
For information on how to view portfolios online, there are a few ways to go. The first one is to connect with a Web site of a professional trade organization such as ASID, IIDA, AIA or IDS. Designers may pay to have their portfolios listed on links for each of these sites. Another route is to conduct a search through Google and place a few phrases such as “Interior Designer Portfolios in Phoenix, Arizona,” or “Interior Designer Window Treatment Portfolios.”
The most important part of your search is to also contact the person by phone to make sure it is a legitimate site.
Photographs, descriptions and additional material should be clear, concise and the best quality, including larger photographs of your work. Remember, there is a lot of competition out there so yours must be the best of the best!
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies &
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013