Freelance proposal example

Freelance Proposal Example: A Winning Proposal Framework

Writing a proposal to help win new business can be super stressful and time-consuming. If you want to write proposals that win you amazing clients and help you make more money, then you need to steal our freelancer proposal example — a winning proposal framework that helped us close nearly a million dollars in business in the last two years.

Let’s say you’ve got a potential client, you’ve had your first meeting, and now they want you to give them a proposal. You’re soooooo close to winning a new client, but now the real work starts with you creating a proposal.

Most people dread proposals. (This used to be me until about two years ago!) They’re stressful to create as you really want to win the business, but it’s just one more thing on your to-do list. Also, let’s face it, creating a proposal requires the commitment of your valuable time and energy.

I used to spend so much time agonizing over proposals to the point of being paralyzed when it came time sit down and create one. But that’s a thing of the past since Brit and I created a proposal template that we know works. Now proposals take much less time, and I know what we have works!

To help you get proposal-ready, we’re going to share our winning proposal framework with five sections you must include.

#1: Situation

It’s absolutely critical that your proposal demonstrates that you were listening and fully understand their business problem. This is where you get to position yourself as the solution to their problem and explain your approach.

You’re the expert, and this is the place in the proposal to show your skills.

#2: Scope of Work

This is probably going to be the most detailed part of your proposal — where you outline the recommended strategy, how you’ll do the work, deliverables, and possibly the timelines. The important thing to remember is that details matter here.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming they “get it” — take the time to explain what you’ll be doing for them. If the project is complex, then break it into steps or phases so they can see how it rolls out and everything that’s involved.

In your scope of work section, feel free to include things such as add-ons or additional elements if the scope of work is ongoing. Often, we tackle a kickoff project before talking about retainer work as it’s too hard to estimate without learning the ins and outs of their business.

#3. About Your Company

Yes, they’ve talked to you, but this is a way to remind them why they’re picking you. There’s a reason you were asked to submit a proposal, so now is the time to reinforce that decision.

In this section, we always include a “need-to-know” that paints the picture of what it’s like to work with us. This helps set the stage for how we’re different and ultimately why they really would want to work with us.

#4. What to Expect

This section carefully outlines HOW you’ll work together. Here you want to set clear expectations and boundaries about things like office hours, response times, and how you communicate.

The idea is that you’re answering questions they may have and putting your potential client at ease. They can get a feel for what it’s like to work with you. By taking the time to outline this, it means there are fewer surprises around how your day-to-day relationship works and what they can expect.

#5. Professional Fees

As much as many of us don’t love talking about cold hard cash, you can’t forget money as that’s a big part of this. Make sure your fees are simple to understand and easy to read. Let them know what is or isn’t included and what the fees involved are.

Also, notice I said professional fees. You’re a professional so act like it and don’t sell yourself short!

That’s just a start on what should go in your proposal. To help you along, we’ve got a resource you’re definitely going to want so you can steal our winning proposal framework. This gives you the other must-have sections in your proposal. Just enter your info below to get the resource now.

By investing some time in setting up a “master” template that can help you create winning proposals, you will save time when the next opportunity arises that you need to prepare a proposal and increase the odds of getting a “yes” from your potential clients.

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