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February 9, 2021

How to Write the Best Proposals for Freelance Projects

Learn the most effective techniques for creating persuasive, inspiring project proposals to win over freelance clients – and how Liquid makes it easy.

How to Write the Best Proposals for Freelance Projects

Freelancer Tips

Before you can gain the freedom and flexibility that freelancing provides, you must first win clients and potential business. Writing a persuasive and impressive project proposal is key to getting hired by clients. Competition may be stiff, but if your project proposal stands out in terms of content, clarity, and formatting, then you’ll already have a leg up. Here’s how to get the most out of your project proposals and how Liquid can help you do that.

An overview of your proposal

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Before writing your proposal, make sure you know all the relevant information that your client will want. Don’t forget to include these five essential elements in your proposal: 

  1. Include your general business information (your name, contact information, proper titles for projects/deliverables, and dates). 
  2. Address the client’s goals and how you’ll achieve them. 
  3. Write a timeline of milestones and the expected dates that accompany those
  4. Outline the fees/payments that accompany the work you do

Liquid’s project proposal feature creates an easy “fill in the blank” template where you can input dates and titles that will be formatted for you. Plus, timestamps and company names are automatically included so you can focus on writing the important content in your proposal.

Writing a proposal that will impress your client

Now onto writing the proposal – you’ll need more than just the basic elements above. Your proposal will have to persuade the client that you can achieve their goals to win new business. Keep the following things in mind when writing a proposal oriented to your client.

Use appropriate titles and make a good first impression

When titling your project, it’s good to keep the name short and descriptive, like “Website Development” or “Sports Photography,” so that your client knows exactly what they’re getting at a glance. After the title, though, you’ll want to write a detailed proposal that demonstrates you understand what the client wants. You can do this by showing that you researched the company/individual’s work. You can also mention past work you have done and how that prepares you for the work at hand. Don’t worry about flowery or jargony language – just show that you are immersed in and committed to the project.

Be sure to incorporate ideas or comments that your client has made to you when writing your proposal. If you received a project description, use that to dictate your proposal’s tone and decide what you should cater to.  

A successful first impression on the client can lead to a long-lasting business relationship. Through Liquid, all projects you create together will be automatically tied to your Master Contract / Master Services Agreement (MSA) with the specific Client. This will save you time and money by eliminating the need to negotiate legal terms each time you start a new project. You’ll be able to send and receive projects / work orders easily and message each other through the work order page.

Incorporating your strengths 

You have plenty of talents and skills as a freelancer, but you have to make these known to the client – they won’t see it unless you show it. The key to demonstrating your strengths is making sure you highlight skills that are relevant to the work at hand. Your client won’t care about your photography skills if they hired you for website development. Tailor your message such that your featured skills and knowledge directly solve a problem the client has. You can also share relevant past work samples to emphasize your credibility further.

Create clear deliverables that solve problems for the client

Break down your tasks 

Your project will likely involve multiple steps or items. Instead of lumping all of that into one big paragraph, it is clearer to break these down by deliverable (by each good/service you provide in the project). Liquid allows you to create multiple deliverables within one project, giving you space to include a title and descriptions.

Pick a succinct title that describes the deliverable focus, like “New Website: Pete’s Pizza Place,” and then write out a summary of the work that goes into that item, being sure to include the time and steps that you will take. Your deliverable should clearly outline how you will solve a problem for the client or achieve a specific goal. 

Set a schedule and outline concrete milestones

Next, it’s a good idea to set a specific schedule for the deliverable (i.e., when the final product will be finished and what that final product includes). This way, your client has a concrete idea for what work they will receive and the date when that will happen. Liquid’s project proposal feature allows you to select a start date of each deliverable, add a description of a milestone that shows the project is completed, and the option to add a due date or estimation of the completion date. 

When writing your milestone, it is smart to be specific about what a high quality finished product will look like (in terms of quantity, appearance, content, etc.). For example, for the new website deliverable, a milestone might be “Completed ‘About us’, ‘Menu’, ‘Locations’, and ‘Leave a Comment’, tabs. The site design is consistent with brand guidelines. Everything will be submitted through Adobe Dreamweaver CC.”

Define payments

A good project proposal will be upfront about payment plans and the next steps the client will need to take (i.e., payment dates, providing supplies, handing over passcodes, etc.). Make sure you know how much your time and work will be worth, and figure out if you want to be paid hourly, daily, upon project completion, etc. Outlining payment terms is not only important for the client to know – it’s also essential for your business so that you get paid the appropriate amount on time.

Liquid offers a hassle-free way to set up a fee schedule. While creating your proposal, there’s a drop-down menu to choose from a flat fee option to hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly payments. You can also choose to describe the payment plan in your own words. Additionally, Liquid includes a feature that lets you cap the maximum hours spent working and set the date you’ll invoice your client. When you use Liquid, your payment plans operate with utmost clarity and efficiency.

Formatting

Having a properly formatted, clean, and appealing proposal is important. Sending in an unorganized word doc will get you nowhere. Thankfully, as you fill out your proposal, Liquid automatically incorporates your company’s info (e.g., logo) and formats your inputs, creating various sections in appropriate corresponding sized and colored fonts. Your client will be able to open up and click through your finalized, neat proposal at any time.

Win that freelance work!

Writing a project proposal doesn’t have to be a scary task. Breaking down the process into steps and making sure you address the client’s needs while highlighting your strengths will lead you to a clear and attention-grabbing proposal. You’ll win over your clients and business partners with your well thought out plans for collaborative projects.

Ready to simplify managing, onboarding, and invoicing your clients? Try Liquid today!

Category: Freelancer Tips

Updated: February 9, 2021

Quick note: This is not to be taken as tax advice or legal advice. Since tax rules and laws change over time and can vary by location and industry, consult a CPA / tax advisor and/or attorney for specific guidance.

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