Steps to writing a great proposal
Proposal writing can, at times, seem somewhat daunting. Many proposal writers fear offering up not enough or too much information to potential clients, making the process confusing and potentially losing the business. Creative proposals should be specific and to the point, allowing the audience to easily navigate through the information and get to the heart of the proposal–budget.
Including these 5 parts and following these simple tips will allow you to write an intelligent and thoughtful creative proposal.
1. Understanding Your Audience
Be sure to include a one pager on the your client’s business, mentioning also the scope of work at hand as you understand it, and what hurdles the partnership may need to tackle along the way. If you use a proposal template (as many often do), be sure that you are speaking directly to your client and their industry throughout the proposal. Clients want to work with firms that take the time to understand their business and profit model.
2. Revealing Your Approach
Clients want to be sure that they understand exactly what they are paying for, and that the strategies and tactics you suggest within the proposal will effectively assist in their communications and creative efforts. Ease their burdens by providing a clear outline of the approach and process. Include all recommendations and considerations for their business within this section as well. Furthermore, break up the monotony of reading a lot of information by adding easy to read graphics to illustrate your thought process.
3. Solidifying Your Budget
The budget section is the meat of the proposal. Here is where clients conclusively make the decision to either invest in your approach or walk away. Break up your approach into different sections within the budget, e.g., website, collateral and brand identity. Include all elements and steps of each creative strategy within the budget section, and how much each individual step will cost. If you are proposing a website, include a budget line item for research, one for design and one for construction. Try to include payment options (such as retainers) and payment schedules, so that there are no surprises once work gets underway.
4. Showcasing Your Team
This is the section that allows your personality to shine. Use this section to provide the client with a little background history on your firm, your mission statement and the main players. Be sure to include a bio for all members of your staff that will be involved in the creative process. Including pictures of your staff adds a nice personal touch to the proposal and helps to make you more amiable to the potential client.
5. Providing Excellent Case Studies
Within each proposal, provide no more than 5 and no less than 3 case studies. Use the case studies as a means to explain your approach and process as it pertained to previous clients and projects. Make sure to include visuals of the scope of work whenever possible and keep each case study to a one-page minimum. Also, remember to pull from past work that is relevant to this potential client. You would want to include B2B work for a B2B client for example, versus showcasing a product launch to consumers.
Including these 5 parts in your creative proposal will certainly assist you in writing a concise, and well-defined proposition that will be easy for potential clients to understand, and surely succeed in getting you the business.