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Useful Insights about a Winning Design Proposal

For a freelance designer like yourself, it is really important that you know how to write and proposal and write it effectively for that matter. If you can draft an impressive proposal, you are fulfilling an essential part of the freelance business where you can not only stay busy but also make money. The best strategy of writing the proposal is to break down it into parts as that will have more chances for the client to give you the work. 

It is observed that most freelancers consider writing a proposal quite intimidating while in reality it is not much of a difficult task if done with through the few tried and tested steps. Mentioned in our article are the few tips that can help you write an effective proposal so that you land on the job of the client you have been wanting to.

Figuring out Your Client’s Wish List:

Figuring out Your Client’s Wish List
Figuring out Your Client’s Wish List

The main thing that you need to know before forming a proposal is the needs and wants of a client and a complete knowledge of what the project is about. Obviously, a project that comes up to the expectations of the client and what he’s looking for will have the most chances of landing you your required project. Some designers rush through this initial yet important stage of getting acquainted with the client and the project that he is offering. Most definitely, such a proposal won’t catch the attention of the client as he wouldn’t be seeing his needs fulfilled.

Once you have known what your client wants, it will really help if you also know some of the specific things he needs and add them in the proposal and add the details as to why these would prove beneficial for him. Even if the client chooses not to take you up for the job, you would have the satisfaction that you have played your part in providing a complete package.

Breaking Down the Project to Balance Cost:

Breaking Down the Project to Balance Cost
Breaking Down the Project to Balance Cost

The total price of the project can overwhelm a client. Sometimes it’s because the price quoted is higher than they are expecting and sometimes it’s because they don’t consider than all the things involves really does make up this much cost. You can still justify the cost by breaking your proposal down into sections and tag a price with each one which will all add up to the total.

For example, layout, coding, development and testing can all be different parts of the projects. If you can mention the estimated time with each section, that will help make your proposal look like you have made effort in making it and it will impress the client.

Write the Proposal in Simplest Words:

Write the Proposal in Simplest Words
Write the Proposal in Simplest Words

Without question, the proposal that will be most clear will be the most effective as the client will understand it easily and there won’t be any conflicts arising later because of the misunderstandings. Prepare a proposal that is free of industry jargon and is easily comprehensible by the client.

Once you have sent your proposal, ask the client whether he has any questions or any points that need clarification. If the client feels that you will understand towards the issues, you are most likely to get the contract. It is easy for a client to trust you with the project if he feels that you will always be willing to listen to him and sort out issues. If you can gain that trust, consider the contract in your bag. If the client is confused, he will think you have something to do with it and they will be reluctant to hand you over the project.

Setting the Limitations of the Project:

Setting the Limitations of the Project
Setting the Limitations of the Project

The main purpose of preparing a proposal is to set the terms in black and white so that all the aspects of is cleared out and specific. Leaving it open ended just not serves the right purpose. If you want, you can add limitations in the proposal that you want to set out for before the project. The specifics that you have not quoted in the actual fee of the project can also be mentioned here. This also helps you avoid any potential conflicts.

Different Options of the Proposals:

Different Options of the Proposals
Different Options of the Proposals

There are some situations where you would feel the need of giving your client options to consider alternatively. For example, if you have a client that does not have that much of a budget that you can cover everything in, you can provide alternatives. The first one can have all the things you can over with your price tag and the other one can have the things that can be covered up with the client’s project but not giving them everything. That way, the client can decide whether he wants to have everything covered or increase his budget.

Backing Up the Proposal with a Conversation:

Backing Up the Proposal with a Conversation
Backing Up the Proposal with a Conversation

The ideal practice is to go over the proposal with the client with a formal conversation to explain the points to him in person. Having hesitations and hitches can be natural but talking them through helps a lot and to settle any differences. A conversation is also good to make slight adjustments in the proposal on the spot. If you skip this step, there might be some specific aspects of the contract that you will overlook.

Following Up on the Proposal:

Following Up on the Proposal
Following Up on the Proposal

Clients do not usually make up their minds right away. They take time to think through things and in the process there are a lot of chances that they forget about your proposal. Therefore, you will need to be active in following up with the client if he hasn’t reply as yet. Assuming that they must have hired someone else for the job just because you haven’t heard from them is wrong.

Many a times, reminding the client does the trick and he takes you as a responsible person. You just need a phone call or an email to ask the client whether he has made any decision as yet. Asking them if they have any questions is also a good thing to do. To make your clients quicken up the decision process, mention an expiry date with your proposal as your prices and availability may subject to chance in the future. This is a totally reasonable and justifiable thing to do as the said project is not the only one you are aiming for and will go to another if you don’t get this.

Final Words:

There are just a few basic points that one needs to consider while writing a proposal. The basic thing being; you have to keep in mind the type of the project and what the client wants. Framing your proposal around his needs is the best way to make it effective. Set out the limitations and budgets clearly, removing any room for doubt or potential conflicts that could arise from false understandings.

If you don’t hear from the client for a few weeks, follow up on your conversation which will add up to show you are efficient and as a reminder. If your budget is way too high and you give an alternate option with it, the client will at least know that you are making an effort to get the project and you might actually get it.

About Arfa Mirza

EuroPakistani and Media Studies graduate, Arfa Mirza is a whiz writer and self-taught designer, where creativity is her blood and bones. After successfully co-creating Dzineblog360 and Webblog360, she has launched her sole blog CreatiWittyBlog to claim her share in the virtual realm.

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One comment

  1. This is good & very useful information for freelance graphic designers. Welldone Arfa.

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