Getting ahead in the world of freelancing is no walk in the park. The competition is tough as more and more people choose the flexibility of working from home. Market competition has undeniably gotten stronger, and you'll need to be sharper and smarter to stay ahead!
When applying for freelance assignments, freelancers are generally required to submit proposals. It might occasionally be difficult to prepare a freelance proposal. Still, to tackle this work more successfully, there are a few things to bear in mind. Differentiating yourself can seem like a mammoth job with the abundance of freelancers on the market today. So how can you stand out from others and convert potential leads?
Don’t know where to begin? Worry not! Keep reading as we share the 10 easy tips for creating a winning freelancing proposal.
Ten Tips To Create An Irresistible Proposal
Here are some tried and tested methods to create an irresistible proposal:
- Attention-Grabbing Opening Statement
The first impression of your proposal sets the tone for the rest of it, just like it does in any engagement. Your clients may remember you if your opening conversation is interesting and captivating. It's your first chance to make a good first impression, pique the client's curiosity, and persuade them to read the remainder of your proposal so they can learn more about your credentials and how you can satisfy their demands.
Take into account the following advice to write a strong, attention-grabbing beginning statement:
- Start by creating an opening statement that captures the attention of your potential clients.
- Try asking a compelling question, sharing a surprising fact, or telling a relatable anecdote related to their project. The initial hook of the proposal sets the tone for the remainder of the document.
- Keep the opening statement brief and to the point. Avoid unnecessary jargon or filler content.
- Address the Problem and Offer a Solution
In the background, some serious research work needs to be done on your part so that you exactly pinpoint the problem of your potential client. Because a generic proposal with a generic problem and solution has a high chance of getting ignored.
Your proposal should explain clearly what the client's problem is or what the challenge is. Ensure you understand your audience's pain points and that you've done your homework. Once you've stated the problem, it's time to transition smoothly into offering your solution. You can present the solution in an infographic to make it more interesting. With the help of visuals, you can provide a clear path or a roadmap, explaining how you intend to tackle the problem, step by step. This can include milestones, deadlines, and any other relevant details.
- Showcase Your Experience and Skills
Make sure your skills and experience are relevant. You can do this by demonstrating your expertise in tackling similar challenges by sharing examples of your past projects. Whenever possible, use quantifiable metrics to illustrate your accomplishments. For example, you can write sentences like "We increased website traffic by 40% through SEO optimization." These quantifiable results can instantly grab the attention of the clients as it is straightforward and simple to understand.
To maintain client confidence and trust, you must show them you can do the job for them. Make sure your credibility and trustworthiness are highlighted throughout the business proposal.
- Unique Strategies and Approach
Offer a unique approach to solving the client's problem. What exactly do we mean by a "unique approach" then? It all comes down to utilizing your abilities and excelling at what YOU do best. If you write content, for instance, your strength may be storytelling. That right there is your special strategy. You will already be ahead of the game if you can demonstrate to your client how your narrative abilities can significantly benefit their project. You can stand out from the competition and become remembered by using strategies that are specific to you. Showcase your capacity for original and creative thought.
But it's not just about your skills; it's also about your ability to think creatively. You bring a unique perspective to the table as a freelancer. You might approach the project for your client with a fresh set of eyes. That fresh perspective can lead to some seriously creative and innovative solutions. Using your unique approach allows you to stand out from the competition and shows that you are invested in their success.
- Outline Deliverables and Expectations
Transparency is key to ensuring that your clients are satisfied with your work. The project deliverables, milestones, and timelines should be presented in detail. To avoid misunderstandings in the future, it is essential to establish clear expectations in advance. The client values transparency and appreciates knowing exactly what they are receiving.
- Transparent Pricing and Payment Terms
When it comes to life values, money isn't everything, and this is true in many areas of life. Money, however, can be a deal-breaker in the business world, particularly in freelancing. Clients prefer freelancers who can maximize their return on investment rather than merely the lowest bidder.
What steps can you take to make sure your customers understand your pricing? There are various payment methods that freelancers use for different clients. For instance, using a per-project basis ensures that all deliverables are covered and no information is missed. You need to decide on a reasonable hourly charge based on your level of experience and skill. Your customers should always be aware of what they are buying and how much it will cost them, regardless of the type of payment you take. Everything comes down to gaining someone's confidence and demonstrating your worth.
- Assure Regular Updates and Progress Reports
Keep your client informed about the project's progress by providing regular updates. Regular updates keep your client engaged and involved in the project's progress. It indicates that you value their input and that you are here to help with any concerns or suggestions they have. Right away, you and your client can decide on a communication schedule. Consistency is important, whether updates are provided daily, monthly, or biweekly.
Additionally, don't be afraid to bring up difficulties or obstacles. Instead, share how you're addressing them and any adjustments you're making to overcome them. You can even ask for any feedback if they have any. If you promise your clients that they'll get regular progress reports, it indirectly implies that you have a clear plan and are actively working toward the project's success.
- Showcasing Testimonials and References
A recommendation or review is a great way to prove to prospective clients that you're capable. This is why LinkedIn, Upwork, Fiverr, and many other freelance platforms have sections devoted to recommendations. It is similar to how online buyers consult friends and online reviews before buying online, clients trust recommendations from other clients.
In your proposal, include direct customer quotes or videos to show your client how many successful projects you've already completed. Using testimonials and quotes can emphasize the effectiveness of your solution, workflow, and process. Here's a little secret for obtaining excellent testimonials: Consider crafting testimonial templates and sharing them with your clients for their input and approval. Your clients will appreciate this approach, and you'll get testimonials that match your expectations. Once they provide their approval, you can seamlessly incorporate these testimonials into your proposals.
- Close with a Strong Call to Action
Don't forget to include a compelling call to action (CTA) at the end of your proposal. A CTA directs your client on what action to take next. This clears up ambiguity and gives them a sense of how to proceed if they want to work with you.
So whether the client signs a contract, schedules a call, or provides feedback, encourage them to take the next step. Ensure that they can move forward easily with you. You show professionalism and willingness to work with others by clearly stating your call to action. Some examples of a good CTA are
- “To get started on this project click the 'Accept' button below."
- “You are one click away from having an amazing work experience”
- “For further details about the project, Contact us.”
- Addressing Danny Margulies' 3 "Invisible Questions":
According to renowned freelancer Danny Margulies, your proposal should address three "invisible questions":
- What makes you the best candidate?" - Describe what makes you unique and what you can offer the job.
- How does hiring you work?" - Describe how your work will benefit the client. Your proposal should make them see the future that your service can create for your clients.
- How do I proceed?" - Explain how the client can initiate the project at the end of your proposal. Reducing friction in the decision-making process will make it easier for them to proceed with you.
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Go Get ‘Em!
If you do not have a strong freelance proposal, it may be challenging to get new employment. Remember that every customer wants to know why they should hire you over any other freelancers who apply for the position, regardless of your degree of expertise. Well-written, creative proposals that offer clients solutions will land you the next project.
Hence, start working on your freelancer proposal today and land on your dream project.