Tip 8: How to start your portfolio

by debra on June 6, 2018

The best way to show potential clients what you can do for them is your home staging portfolio. Everyone loves a good makeover story and your before and after shots will get potential clients excited about what you can do for them too.

A word of caution about portfolios though: The worst thing you can do is copy other home stagers’ images (you’d be surprised how many people think they’ll get away with this). This mistake is followed closely by using stock images to represent your own work.

What if a potential client has already seen these photos somewhere else? Or what if they start asking you questions about that project and you have to make something up, or admit you didn’t actually do the staging.

Yikes! Once you’ve lost your credibility, it’s very hard to get it back.

Now, I know you’re thinking, “But how can I get a portfolio together when I’m just starting out and I have no clients?”​​​​​

That’s the exact challenge all of us face at the beginning. Just like my students, I built my entire staging business, starting with before and after photos of my own house.

Gradually, as I got new projects I started replacing my original shots with ones I had taken at my clients’ homes.

All of us start out this way, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

In fact, you can build a portfolio in a single weekend when you put your mind to it.

For example, think about how much you can transform a bathroom with reduced clutter, a nicer shower curtain and matching towels.

Or, take a few photos of your current living room (tidy it up first, add some flowers and perhaps additional accessories). This will be your “after” photo. Then move the furniture around to a less ideal set up, remove the accessories and take your “before” shot.

If you think this is too contrived, I want you to realize that most people (who have no decorating talent) live in surprisingly badly arranged homes. Your home, even when it’s messy, probably looks better than most of your clients because they really have no sense of style.

If you want to know my secrets to creating a portfolio that will “wow” everyone who looks at it (even when you’re just starting out), check out the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients with the Perfect Home Staging Portfolio.

A complete home staging portfolio actually goes beyond just your “before” and “after” shots. Here’s what it should also contain:

  • Your personal profile answering why you’re the right person to hire
  • Articles about the benefits of staging
  • Testimonials

This guide will let you follow the steps I learned through painful trial and error. I wasted a bunch of time, but you won’t have to when you follow my instructions for each and every part of your portfolio.

Best regards,

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President, Voice of Possibility Group Inc.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: