Building Your Event Planner Portfolio
A portfolio, when used correctly, can be your greatest sales pitch. It won’t land you a client, but it might just get you some prospective customers if they like what they see.
Building a well-rounded portfolio is one of the most important elements for a successful event and/or wedding planning business. In this short video, QC Tutor and Expert Planner Candice Coppola explains how you can build a portfolio that tells a story and gets you noticed!
Here are some key takeaways from this video
Your company’s website should host your portfolio. Try to separate the portfolio into different types of events so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for. For example, Candice has her portfolio separated into three categories: Weddings, Celebrations (parties), and Styled Shoots.
In Candice’s opinion, there’s no need for a print portfolio (though they are nice to have). An online portfolio should be sufficient for most planners. Just make sure it’s easily navigable so you’re able to pull it up quickly in client meetings.
Need some more tips on building a website? Check out this article: Building Your Website: What You Need to Know
Tell a Story
You can feature anywhere from 35-40 pictures from a single event. Try to organize these pictures in an order that tells a story about the event. You’ll want to also include a full write-up of the event, describing it in your own words.
Clients want to identify with people in your photos!
When looking at your portfolio, clients will look for people who look like them, and events that feature a similar style to what they’re hoping for their own event. They’ll also look for events that took place at their ideal venue. If a potential client looks at your portfolio and envisions themselves in those photos, you’ll likely be getting a call!
Check out these helpful tips on how to build a client base!
Keep it Legit
When first starting out, if you don’t have any images of your own work for your website, it’s okay to use stock photography. But stick to images of items that suggest a particular theme. For examples, try using close-up pictures of floral arrangements, wedding bands, balloons, etc. Don’t use photos of full venues or that feature people if you haven’t worked on the actual event.
It’s important that clients know what they’re getting into. Candice suggests including a clause in your client contract which specifies that your company has the right to use photographs of the event in any way you see fit, and give examples of the context in which you might use these photos (in your online portfolio, on your social media, through advertising mediums, etc.) Clients must agree to this clause before you can use their photos. (And of course, you should always let them know where and when their photos are actually being used.)
Finally, be sure to have your photographer’s full support in posting his/her photos. Some will only ask in return that you credit their work or refer clients their way. Either way, never post photos taken by a professional photographer without his/her express consent.
Nothing Beats your Confidence
Candice makes a point to mention that when you’re just starting out in event planning, you might not have a lot of past work in your portfolio to fall back on. And that’s okay. You can definitely try organizing a styled shoot to gain some traction. And in the end, what matters most is that you’re confident in your own abilities. No matter what the event or your past experience, clients will respond to your self-confidence more than anything else.