How to build a portfolio

How to build a portfolio

When starting your own home-based desktop publishing business, it’s important to build a portfolio of samples to show prospective clients. You will want a nice presentation, something you can be proud of, that shows potential clients what you are capable of doing for them.

You should include in your portfolio a large variety of projects so your clients can see an accurate representation of the work you are able to do. It’s nice to include final-version, finished samples so your clients can see what colors and paper choices are available to them. If that isn’t feasible for you, then at least include high-quality laser printed copies.

It can be tough to build a portfolio when you’re just starting out, as you probably haven’t had very many clients, and thus, very many samples. A way to get around this lack of samples is to do some volunteer work. Offer to do some DTP work for a small, local business or organization. You will be helping out someone who will appreciate your donation and you’ll get a sample to add to your portfolio. You can also offer your services to anyone you know who runs his own business; friends, acquaintances, and family members will all be delighted to get high-quality DTP services for free. And they’ll refer you to other clients as well.

You might also add to your portfolio testimonials from satisfied customers. Testimonials show potential clients that others have been pleased with your services and can generate more business, even if you have few samples. In order to get testimonials, you can ask any client who has expressed satisfaction to put it in writing to show other clients; most will be happy to do so.

You can also ask for testimonials from the organizations for which you did volunteer work. When you do good work, the word will get out. You’ll get more jobs and more samples. If you work hard in the beginning, it’s just a matter of time before you have a large variety of samples to show potential customers.

Once you get a large number of samples, you probably won’t need to show them all to each potential client. Your client may feel confused and overwhelmed when presented with a large array of your work. Instead, take only samples that will pertain to that particular client’s needs. Put your samples in a three-ring binder with clear plastic inserts.

Even more professional looking is a large leather portfolio, with handles and zippers, that can accommodate your larger samples. These also usually come with plastic inserts. That makes it easy for the client to remove your work from your portfolio for a closer look. It also enables you to quickly and easily switch samples around to customize your portfolio for each individual client presentation.

You can also display your portfolio in your office for clients who stop by. Arrange your samples on a bulletin board, displaying a wide array of examples of the services you offer. Or you can keep your samples in a large binder on your desk or table where you meet with clients. Label it as your sample book and invite clients to sit down and peruse it.

Marketing your work and selling your services is an ongoing-process, one that you can never neglect if you want to continue doing business. Having a nice portfolio makes that challenge a little bit easier.

Marketing your work

Leave a Comment