A Freelancer’s Guide to Creating a Better Proposal

19/08/2019 |

Freelancers will regularly need to pitch ideas or projects to potential clients. The best way to do this is by making up an excellent business proposal that could make your idea easier to sell. How do you create a better proposal that has a higher chance of success? The key is to focus on your clients- their needs and how your idea fit in the general picture.

Business Proposal Outline

A proposal isn’t just something you’d write up in less than 10 minutes. When used right, it can be the ultimate sales document that means more business (and revenue) for your freelancing business.

In professional terms, a business plan is the culmination of values that directly solve a prospect’s problem. When writing, it’s best to use strong and confident words to impress your belief upon the reader. Also, make sure you cover your bases by eliminating beginner mistakes such as incorrect formatting, spelling and grammar errors, and using too many fonts or colors.

You won’t need a document that’s boring and about 5 pages long. Do yourself and your client a favor by going straight to the point and covering everything in a couple of pages. Being concise equals a better business proposal, but don’t forget to include these necessities:

Proposal Title

‘Proposal to X Company’ is just too boring. Why waste a huge potential to make a great first impression when you can do better?

Think of a one-liner that encompasses your idea and is engaging and eye-catching at the same time.

The Statement

Here, you’ll show your customer that you truly understand their problem and their needs using simple, everyday language. You must leave an impression that you understand their issues better than your competitors.

Recommended Solution

The majority of this section should talk about your strategy or product to address your client’s concerns. Elaborate on how you can meet each stage with details and a customized approach that’s uniquely yours.

Action Plan

After the recommended solution, deliverables will be how you intend to execute your plan of action. It should answer ‘what will have been accomplished and when?’ More importantly, your deliverables should always be on-point and accurate.

Estimated Project Schedule

A completion date should give your client an idea on when the deliverables will be completed.

Proposal Budget and Fees

The all-important proposed budget. More often than not, a client will read this section first before going over the rest of the documents. Therefore, you should spend quite a bit of time distilling and making it competitive while being fair to all.

When you think about it, clients are always on the lookout for a partner who can provide the best value, i.e., the best product at a good price. Include a timeline of payments, e.g., a deposit, payment in full or 50/50, with half upon completion of said deliverables.

Freelancers can place the emphasis on their value rather than the project price. Doing so opens up the possibility that you’ll get repeat business when your clients are fully satisfied.

Make Sign-Offs Easy for Clients

After completing an online business proposal and using all its available technologies, you can make signing off on the agreement a painless affair.

Traditional sign-offs are tedious to say the least. When a prospect agrees to your pitch and wants to close the deal, they will have to turn the digital proposal into a paper document, sign it, use a scanner to turn it back into digital form, then either email it or send it back to you via a courier or delivery service.

In other words, you can eliminate these extra steps when you use a proposal template with integrated payment systems. When they agree, all they have to do is to is pay for your product or proposal using their preferred payment method with just a single click. Digital signatures can quickly get the proposed project up and running sooner compared to traditional paper files.

Get Your Client Involved Along the Way

Science has proven that building a relationship with your prospective clients can have an impact on its overall success.

You’d normally think that creating a business plan is a singular affair, but it should be more of a collaborative effort between freelancer and client. Meet with them and discuss things at the discovery level to strengthen the quality and provide them with a sense of ownership. Human nature proves that people are more reluctant to reject something they had a hand in.

Ask for feedback so you can make changes for the better and show that you’re listening. It also presents you with several opportunities to engage the stakeholder at a deeper level.

In the end, making a great business proposal is all about keeping it simple for your prospective clients. It should be clear and detailed so that your prospect will want to sign the agreement right away. Engage and ask for ideas for greater collaboration and to foster a relationship. You’ll soon see your freelance career going according to plan.