Create Juicy Proposals Your Clients Can’t Say No To

Proposals are an important part of freelancing. There isn’t “one way” to write proposals. Different situations require different kinds of proposals. However, we can always improve, and here are some strategies that will help you write great proposals your clients will love.

1. Cut the fluff

Your clients are busy people. They are CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, etc. They don’t have time to wade through a giant proposal filled with extra “stuff” designed to make it look important. Streamline your proposals so they can be digested in five minutes or less, but be sure to include all the information your client may need.

2. Do a discovery call

The key to a good proposal is information. You need to find out what your client is thinking, what their problems are (in depth), and sell them on how you will be able to fix those problems. Do a discovery call, and make sure you ask as many questions as you need to get a full understanding of what their problems are, their timelines, and your deliverables.

3. Streamline one-time job proposals

One-time jobs are always a good source of income, but they don’t need to eat up a lot of your time. Use apps and tools to help streamline proposals, but be clear to your client that they can always ask more questions.

4. Spend more time on bigger proposals or retainer work

It’s worth it to spend more time on proposals that involve more money, such as large projects or retainer work. Here are some things to keep in mind with these proposals.

Give them a scope of work. Outline what their problem is and the solution you will implement to fix it. Be sure to explain your process and how it will solve the problem they’re hiring you to fix.

Give pricing options. Add options for your pricing. This will have a dual effect of allowing you to up-sell a bigger package (and make more money), and it will also put the client in a position of picking at least one of the options. Giving people options forces them to think about which option to chose, rather than a simple “yes” or “no”.

5. Iterate with your client

Your ability to create custom proposals and do custom work is what will set you apart from other agencies. Let your clients know that they can always ask questions and work with you on your proposal, so that they are more inclined to sign the contract.

“If you don’t have a good foundation for your proposal, your proposal is not going to be the best, and it’s not going to be one that they’re going to want to jump up and down and say yes to.”

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Main Takeaways

  • Streamline. Whether it’s for one-time work or big projects, make sure that your clients can quickly digest what you’re offering.
  • Be thorough. Make sure you’ve done your research, made calls, and provided them with in-depth information if they need it.
  • Iterate with your clients and make them feel heard. Work together to get your proposal, deliverables, and price to a place where you’re both happy.


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