Are you still sending quotes to potential clients? Here’s why you should send a proposal instead: a proposal is a document that includes not only the project cost, but also a detailed description of what the client will be getting, what your process is, and more. If you are only showing the client your price the client sees it as an expense. But when you send them a professional proposal you are explaining to them why they should work with you and showing them what they will be getting for their money. When I was starting out as a freelance graphic designer I was sending quotes to potential clients. Almost no one was accepting my quotes. But when I started sending proposals suddenly I was landing client after client.
Interested to hear what I include in my proposals that make them so effective? Here are the sections I include.
What to include in your client proposals
Client name and contact details and your name contact details. Personalise your proposal. The client wants to see that you are writing it just for them.
A quick description of the project. Simply describe what this project is about. Are you designing a brand identity, a WordPress website, or writing an “about page” for a client?
Project timeline. The time it will take to complete the project. You can also include your start date if you are booking this client in advance.
A quick outline of your process. This is so that the client knows what to expect and so they can see how much work goes into their project. You can go into more detail about your process in your “hello packet” – a document you send the client when they first contact you.
Exactly what the client will be receiving. If you’re designing a logo you can write here what formats they will receive. If you’re a web designer you can include what pages you will be designing for them, how many photos you will upload, etc.
Tell the client why they should work with you. Do you pay attention to detail? Do you have 10 years experience? Include something (it doesn’t have to be long) to assure the client that they’re picking the right person.
Now you include the project cost. So after seeing all the hard work you put into a job the client finally sees the price and thinks, “wow, this a bargain!”
Include some terms. How long the proposal is valid for? Is this a confidential document or can they go and send it to other designers? I think not.
Next steps. The next section is important because it tells the client what will happen now. For example, if they accept the proposal you will send them the agreement to sign.
So now you might be asking in what format to send the proposal. Should you send them just a plain email? No! Send them a professionally designed PDF or create and send it with Pancake (this is what I use) . What I like about it is that the client can click a button to accept or decline the proposal.
If you just want to send a PDF for now you can design it in InDesign or if you’re not a designer you can create it in Canva or Microsoft Word.
Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments.