May 9, 2018

A freelancer’s guide to writing effective proposals

proposal - a person using his workspace with a laptop, calculator and notebook

A proposal, as the name suggests, is all about putting forward a scheme, an idea, a solution, or a plan. It is a fundamental part of any business project; essentially the ‘pillar’ that finalises the deal. So it is very important that your proposal is written in such a way that the deal doesn’t fall through.

A good proposal should describe the concept and benefits of the project in an engaging manner. The tone should be persuasive, but at the same time it should not cross the line of overselling. Here are some things freelancers should keep in mind while writing effective proposals.

Know your client

Before starting on your proposal, it is imperative to be familiar with your client and their requirements. A proposal written without proper knowledge of the client and their demands is doomed to fail. If your proposal can showcase your knowledge of the client, it will stand out and most likely close the deal for you. You could even go beyond the call of duty and do some research on the client’s competition and the general trends in the industry. Going the extra mile will definitely add merit to your proposal.

ALSO READ- How to understand your core audience

Work hard, work smart

Proposals can sometimes be lengthy, sometimes crisp. New projects can come with fresh requirements and demands. However, there are certain sections that would be exactly the same. These parts – and patterns – can be identified and used as templates for subsequent proposals. It will not only save you time but also ensure that you don’t inadvertently leave out any important bits. It is not necessary to use your templates in every proposal, but incorporating them in the projects you usually take up will allow you to reuse your work, thereby saving you the trouble of doing research from scratch.

Go easy on the options for the proposal

When offered too many options, clients tend to get confused. They might end up bailing on the project. So give them just enough options that meet their requirements and demands; this will help them choose a solution that is appropriate for their needs. Also make sure the client does not have to think too long or too deep. The more effort they have to put in to understand your proposal, the harder it will be for you to close the deal. So make sure you keep it effective and to-the-point.

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