How To Write A Good Proposal

Many freelancers – particularly those that haven’t been doing it that lengthy – take an analogous method to quote their initiatives. They ask the consumer what they need, guesstimate how lengthy it’ll take them to do it, after which throw over the wall a proposal that lists out a bunch of deliverables with time estimates, in the end, multiplied by an hourly fee.

This makes a whole lot of sense should you’re a painter. You have a look at what you’ve acquired to color, estimate how a lot provides you’ll want, after which estimate how long it’ll take your crew to do the work. Tack on some labor and materials markup, and that’s what you cost.

However except the work you do may be very turnkey (which it shouldn’t be), you then owe it to your self and your purchasers not to estimate and value your work as a painter.

Promote a narrative

Fairly than simply developing with a laundry record of necessities, you’re going to pitch a story.

How folks purchase the type of inventive consulting you need to promote isn’t the identical as they purchase portray providers.

Whenever you’re hiring a painter, you’re principally saying one thing like: “I’ve 4 partitions in this room, and someone must get paint on them. What is going to you cost me to do the work?”

The scope is fairly outlined. 4 partitions. 4 hundred sq. toes of area. 9-foot excessive partitions. There’s not a lot of room for creativity right here.

But with consulting, there’s a very good probability the room isn’t but outlined. And even when the consumer believes they know what must be performed, that doesn’t actually imply a lot. An important advisor isn’t going to simply ask what must be performed; reasonably, they’re going to deal with what must be achieved.

There’s a distinction. A giant one.

Achievement is a conclusion, or attainment, of a purpose. It’s efficiently reaching Level B after setting out from Level A. There’s not one proper technique to attain a purpose.

However, there is just one technique to paint a room (for essentially the most half.) The end result will largely be identical: a painted room.

Let’s have a look at what the 4 traits of an ideal proposal are:

Good Proposal Trait #1: Empathy

To promote an amazing story, you first want to point out some empathy: “I perceive the place you are actually, and I understand how that is holding you again.”

I can’t stress how vital it’s to point out your purchasers that you just perceive them.

That is the one largest technique to scale back danger. It even trumps a moneyback assure. If a consumer believes that precisely what’s at stake, they’re going to assume that you have a good suggestion of each what must be performed – and what shouldn’t be performed.

Whereas a moneyback assure would possibly assist a consumer assume you’re low danger as a result of there’s no monetary danger, they’re nonetheless risking their very own time and alternative in doing doubtlessly the flawed factor – two assets that may by no means be recovered. That’s why it’s so vital to your purchasers to know that you just actually “get” them.

Good Proposal Trait #2: We’re going to get to the promised land – collectively

After making it crystal clear that you just perceive precisely the place they’re right this moment, warts and all, the following step is to color them an image of a greater tomorrow.

Have a look at this future David described:

“I’m excited in regards to the video course, however first, this: you’re part of the small tribe on the earth that really is aware of and expects high-quality work. Judging by your weblog’s design and content material, your course (that I simply bought yesterday— tremendous pumped), and your emails, it’s apparent that you’re intentional about giving and doing all your greatest.

I do know you’ve seen a few of your acquaintances’ movies or programs that they’ve produced, and you’ll actually inform that, eh, they actually tried, nevertheless it actually didn’t impress. The variations between these sorts of movies and movies that you just had been blown away by are surprisingly few by quantity. There are particular small parts that, if performed accurately, take the distractions away and interact and focus the viewer straight into the content material. These small parts contribute to a stellar, thrilling, first-rate (not odd, boring, novice, or acquainted) product.

That is vital, as a result of I actually need to your college students to see and discern one thing: past what’s popping out of your mouth, what your hand gestures are relaying, or how nice the screencasts are, your college students actually need to see your coronary heart.

You see, the eagerness that you’ve comes out of an incredible, uncommon need to easily assist. This character trait, a humble helper, oozes out of each e-mail and weblog put up that you just write, and also needs to ooze out the movies that you just produce. The rationale that you’re profitable is as a result of folks understand that you’re there to assist. You’re serving to to construct higher companies and higher lives in consequence.

Right here’s why I’m excited: we’re going to be an amazing crew in making this venture successful as a result of we each have a imaginative and prescient for high quality and excellence, and we each need to assist the world succeed. There’s no method that this isn’t going to grow to be implausible.”

Good Proposal Trait #3: How massive of a deal is that this?

You need to make it clear to your purchasers that you have a plan for the way hiring you’ll yield some type of monetary return.

(Keep in mind, irrespective of who’s footing the invoice, someone is on the hook for guaranteeing that no matter work you do goes so as to add some materials profit to their enterprise.)

You’re going to need to just be sure you’re spelling out what your plan is for aligning your deliverables with the desired end result. Should you’re Roadmapping, developing with what this end result is must be a no brainer – it’s what you uncovered throughout your Roadmapping engagement.

Good Proposal Trait #4: A well-anchored value

This would possibly shock you, however placing a price ticket on a venture is essentially the most simple a part of this course.


As a result of when you’ve instructed a compelling story and identified 3-Four massive concepts (and their related ROIs), you’re going to have the ability to are available in and supply a value (or costs, do you have to package deal – which you need to) that works for you and makes monetary sense to them.

Likewise, for the proposal I despatched within the above part, I had a really strong understanding of what was at stake:

  • I knew how the consumer was at the moment producing income
  • I had a fairly robust understanding of their present deficiencies and will superimpose my very own expertise onto their enterprise mannequin and give you fairly correct projections
  • I understood how their present mannequin/enterprise processes had been holding them materially again

All of this got here from Roadmapping performed properly.

Should you’re promoting your self like a painter, and estimating out how a lot of time it’ll take you to finish a venture after which multiplying that point estimate by an hourly fee, I’d severely encourage you to ditch your line-item quotes and transfer towards promoting a narrative.

Leave a comment

Shopping cart