As a successful freelancer, it’s important to learn how to write a business proposal that appeals to potential clients and protects you from misunderstanding about the project and/or payment arrangements. Fortunately, writing an effective proposal is pretty simple. You just need to practise your business writing skills and know what details to include.
Include General Project Information
Including general project information on your proposals helps both you and your potential client stay organized. So at the top of your proposal consider including some basic information such as:
- Client’s name
- Client’s contact info
- Your business name and contact info
- Project name
- Estimated start date
- Duration of the project
Outline the Project Goals
When you write a business proposal that includes goals, it helps ensure you and your potential client are on the same page — you both understand what you’re trying to accomplish. But it also gives you a chance to highlight the benefits of working with you. For example, if you’re a freelance writer who is writing a proposal for a blogging project, you might say something like “The main goal of the project is to create SEO blog posts that drive visitors to your website and encourage email opt-ins.” This way your potential client sees exactly what your blog posts will help them achieve.
Have Multiple Package Options
While you could send a proposal to a potential client with only one option, it’s a good idea to give them the option to pick and choose the services they need. Consider creating three package options for each proposal you send and make the middle package the option you really want to sell. Many clients want to get a feel for what it’s like to work with a specific freelancer without making a huge commitment right away, so there’s a good chance that the majority of your potential clients won’t accept the highest package offering right away. If you keep your smallest package basic, chances are, your prospects will accept the middle package to limit their risk and test your abilities.
Include a Scope of Work Section
The scope of work lays out what you will be doing for the client in detail so there’s no confusion over what you’re providing. For example, if you’re a freelance writer creating blog posts, you might be responsible for writing the posts but not responsible for completing the keyword research. These details should be laid out in your proposal by saying something like “(your business name) agrees to provide four SEO blog posts using the keywords provided by (the client’s name).”
Outline the Next Steps
You shouldn’t assume that someone reading your proposal will automatically know what to do next. Instead, you should tell them what to do. To do this, include a section at the end of your proposal titled something like “What to do next.” Then, tell your potential client exactly what they need to do to accept your proposal. For example, your “Next Steps” section may say something like “To accept this proposal please indicate which package option you want, sign it, and email it to (your email address).” You should also tell them what to expect after they’ve accepted the proposal by saying something like “You’ll receive an invoice within 48 hours, and work will begin once the first project payment is made.”
You don’t need an elaborate proposal to land freelance clients. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep your proposals as simple and straight forward as possible. This way your potential clients understand exactly what they are purchasing and how to move forward and retain your services.