Any business has to juggle real-world performance and general marketing efforts, but some areas of the workforce have a more difficult time of it. General contractors, in particular, are in a unique position. They combine firm architectural standards with a heavy dose of personal preference. The end is a business that’s equal parts art and engineering. It makes for a more difficult marketing task than many other fields face.
But at the same time, it also offers up some unique opportunities. The main point which one needs to focus on is versatility. It’s not a field where identical parts are churned out minute by minute. Instead, almost every job involves something unique and personal.
The project might or might not have an emotional resonance to you as a contractor, but coming into someone’s life to repair or build up a structure for them is an incredibly personal task. It touches lives in a unique way that you might not even be aware of. It’s one of the main things to keep in mind when considering how to market oneself as a general contractor.
Different sides to the same project
There are two sides to every project. There is the technical side that you see. For you, it’s a project that you’ll start, finish, and walk away from. But it’s something else entirely for the client. For them, it’s often a change to how they’ll greet each and every day of their lives going forward. It’s taking care of issues that they’ve worried about for a while. It’s expanding things so that their family can grow. It’s about as many different things as there are people.
This is part of why an online portfolio builder can be an especially good marketing tool for general contractors. It’s a chance to leverage both the practical and emotional aspects of a project at the same time. And it’s among the best ways a contractor can show prospective clients his best work.
Proper use of a portfolio
One can’t simply put every single project into a portfolio though. It would be cumbersome and defeat the purpose of highlighting projects that could catch a client’s interest. The portfolio needs to highlight two particular things for a new client. It should highlight the various types of projects you’ve done.
People involved with construction have to deal with some shared issues One of the most difficult involves communication. It’s simply not an easy task to convey the scope of a project to clients, but a portfolio which allows them to see similar projects with their own eyes can accomplish just that.
However, it’s important to keep things as organized as possible. The work needs to be carefully categorized, and it should also stay formatted within a simple before and after system. This helps clients more easily see their own needs reflected within the work.
It’s important to note that image quality is vitally important. A higher-end smartphone camera might be enough. But one should ideally have a higher quality camera, or even photographer, to ensure picture clarity. You never know which details might catch a client’s interest. And that might not happen if the photograph isn’t clear enough.
Next, there are some non-image related items that can increase the value of a portfolio. One of the biggest possible draws are sincere testimonials. But it’s important to emphasize that these need to be a real draw. If a client seems particularly appreciative, then it’s fine to ask if they can be used as a testimonial. Trying to force a testimonial just ends in lackluster results which are better avoided.
Next, one can also include technical specifications as an addendum to images. Too much text can break up the mood of photographs. But a small details button, or the like, which leads to detailed specs, can integrate perfectly into the portfolio’s flow.
What to expect from a portfolio
Finally, it’s important to consider just what one hopes to accomplish with a portfolio. Some aspects are obvious. Contractors obviously want to help showcase their work for potential clients. But another important thing to consider is how it can showcase dependability.
Story after story in the news has demonstrated that people’s biggest construction related fear is a lack of reliability. People want to know that they’re in good hands. Using a well-constructed portfolio, with before and after pictures, can showcase that dependability.