How to create a winning freelance project proposal

One major step to landing new clients is creating project proposals. Learn here how to create a winning project proposal that doesn't oversell.
How to create a winning freelance project proposal

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Did you know that in the U.S., 59 million Americans performed freelance work in the last year? That's 36% of the U.S. workforce!

Yes, it's true that there are several niches within freelancing. But there's no doubt that regardless of which one you're in, you face a sea of competition when you try to reel in clients.

This means that your project proposal can be the golden ticket that unlocks fantastic and lucrative opportunities. So you shouldn't just throw together something passable. You need to make sure it shines and is eyecatching!

But how can you smash your freelance project proposal? Read on to find out!

Hook them in your intro

If you're a freelance writer, then you'll know that the introduction is one of the most important parts of your articles. If you can't write a good intro, then you can forget about the rest of your article, as the reader won't want to proceed.

The same goes for your project proposal. If you can't hook your clients in the intro, then you can forget about landing the job.

So make sure you put some good thought into it. Think of what the clients' pain points are and acknowledge them in your opening sentences. Or hit them with a stat that'll astound them.

In any case, you'll want to hit them hard. Get the potential client to sit up in their chairs and widen their eyes!

Make sure all pertinent info is in your proposal

You wouldn't turn in a form for anything else half-filled out, right? So make sure you don't do this for your project proposal!

You'll want to have all pertinent information in your document so the client knows exactly who you are, what you're able to do, and how to reach you if they're interested. For the project proposal format, you should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your freelancing business, address, and logo (if applicable)
  • Your client's details (name, address, client number, proposal number)
  • Date

In addition, you'll want to tell them approximately when you can deliver and how much your services will cost. For those on a tight deadline, they'll know immediately whether or not you're the right freelancer for the job.

Be organized and succinct

Clients are busy people, so they're not likely to spend hours poring over your project proposal. The more likely scenario is that they give your file a once-over, maybe a second readthrough if you're lucky.

So what you want to do is not only catch their attention with an excellent intro, but an impressively outlined proposal. It's a good idea to sit down and come up with a project proposal outline, then go back and flesh it out. This allows you to organize all your information in neat little packets that are easy to digest for readers.

Don't drone on and on about things either. Nobody likes a showoff, after all. Making your points short and sweet will certainly get the point across.

You should also choose a visually appealing layout for your proposal. It might be worthwhile to work with a designer on this, as they'll know what colors, shapes, and other visual elements will pop and make clients read through your document.

Not only does all the above make your proposal easier to read and more attractive to clients, but it also has another benefit. This shows that you're a detailed person who knows how to break things down and tackle them in an efficient manner. Needless to say, your potential clients are going to be impressed!

Showcase your skills

We know that we just said that nobody likes a showoff. But there's such a thing as underselling yourself as well. You've got to find that right balance so you don't get overlooked.

Think about your experience and skills, things that you can bring to the table. For example, maybe you've been a project lead before, or maybe you've worked on a certain type of blog for years. You want potential clients to know these things because they're not mindreaders!

You should also list your strengths, such as the ability to problem-solve, take the lead, and make good use of time. These are all highly desirable traits that good freelancers must have.

And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you need to attach your freelancer portfolio. The proof is in the pudding, and you can bet your portfolio is that yummy dessert! Without it, you have nothing to corroborate what you're claiming in your proposal.

Double, triple check your proposal

We cannot stress how important it is that your project proposal is free of errors.

And it's not just enough to rely on Spellcheck, Grammarly, or whatever newfangled technology you have installed on your computer.

Have you seen some of the things they suggest? Sometimes, you'd swear the AI's drunk! Plus, these technologies don't always catch some of the trickier grammatical errors.

In the end, the human touch will always prevail, so make sure you go over your proposal carefully, even if there are no red squiggly lines. Have a few other friends proofread your proposal as well, as fresh eyes definitely help.

Write a project proposal that stands out

If writing a project proposal had you frozen in fear before, or worse yet, half falling asleep in boredom, our article is certainly here to change all that! By following our tips, you'll be able to put together a project proposal that clients just can't refuse.

So tackle your proposal with ease and start sending it out to potential clients. We wish you luck and hope the offers start flowing in!

Need more help with freelancing? Then join Hectic today! We'll provide you all the tools to freelance smarter, not harder. Like our comprehensive proposals and contracts tool to help you win those contracts.

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Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
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