The Unexpected Sales Tool

Setting Up Your Portfolio

How you organize your portfolio will depend on the services or products you offer and your target market. Here are some tips for ways you can set up your portfolio:

  • If you are selling products, it's best to break them down into types. Cabinetry designer, Matt Taylor organizes his portfolio of cabinetry, molding work and ceiling treatments into different styles, such as modern, casual and traditional. This enables him to show a client a particular "look" without having to flip through the entire book. Use tabs to help you locate desired sections quickly.
  • If you offer a service, such as consulting, you can break the portfolio down into sections, such as the programs you offer, your biography and credentials and testimonials.
  • Consider your target market when designing your portfolio. If you would like to attract more business in a particular field, then highlight the jobs you've done in that area.
  • Don't overcrowd pages with too many pictures. Make sure each page has a focal point. Create impact by including different picture sizes.
  • When choosing pictures, use some restraint. It's much better to have 20 great photos than 50 mediocre ones.
  • Keep the portfolio neat and professional looking by not handwriting descriptions in the book. It looks more professional to have words printed on a laser printer.
  • Perhaps most important, you should update your portfolio on a regular basis. Add new photos and remove outdated ones every three to six months.

Contact Sources

Paradise Designs Inc., 915 Calle Amanecer, Ste. B, San Clemente, CA 92672.

Training for the Future, 7605 Palos Verdes Cir., Reno, NV 89502, (702) 856-1409.

Wildwood Designs, 1607 E. Edinger Ave., Ste. Q, Santa Ana, CA 92705, (714) 543-6549.

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This article was originally published in the July 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Unexpected Sales Tool.

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