Any successful freelancer will know that securing new business comes from producing the perfect proposal.
Companies in the law, finance, technology and consultancy sectors are opening their doors to freelancers at a rapid rate. The freelance ecosystem is abuzz with excitement and endless opportunity – the expert economy is booming.
According to Forbes, 66% of freelancers say the job market has changed over recent years, and 50% of the global workforce will soon be freelance. More and more businesses are taking advantage of a healthy expert economy to provide full-time freelancers with an average of 36 hours-a-week. It’s a growing workforce.
Once you’ve transitioned into the freelance marketplace, maintaining your position in a growing gig economy is crucial to long-term success. A fundamental part of securing new business is by creating a groundbreaking proposal that will win over any client. With this in mind, not only is creating a successful freelance profile and networking paramount, but producing a perfect proposal is key.
You are your own boss. The only person who needs to convince clients to spend with them is you. Once you’ve attracted new customers, it’s important to seal the deal with a well-rounded business proposal.
Writing a proposal isn’t easy, but once you’ve mastered the art you could reap extremely ripe rewards. It’s all about creating a winning formula that conveys your message, demonstrates your expertise, outlines what you can offer, what you’ve achieved and how you can benefit the client.
Following our top tips for creating a proposal to win a client will help you stand out and lay the foundations for a successful career as a freelance expert.
Why write a proposal?
Any successful freelancer will know that securing new business comes from producing the perfect proposal. The proposal will outline the goals of the project, what you will deliver and in what timeframe. It’s important to formalise what you’ve learned about the client, how you will help their business and what you as a freelance expert can offer. If successful, the proposal is in effect the contract forged between freelance expert and client, which not only outlines work specifics but also payment terms and length of contract.
According to Inc., the purpose of a proposal is to make a persuasive case that leads to a sale. Basically, you are your own brand so sell yourself! It’s important to have a good online presence and word of mouth recommendations can provide you with extra brownie points.
Big pluses for winning new business include:
- Forging a personal relationship with the client or have a previous working relationship with the client
- Does the proposal deliver what they’re asking for?
- Is it compliant with the template and for what the client is seeking?
- Does the proposal make sense?
- Can you deliver what you’ve outlined in your proposal?
Research the client
Really do your homework. Research the client and make sure you know them inside and out before even attempting a contact. Once you’re familiar with their business and with what they are looking for, you can focus your efforts on producing a proposal bespoke to their needs. Different sectors have different criteria so make sure you’re familiar with what your industry requires in order to succeed. Businesses seeking legal experts will require a completely different criteria to those seeking finance experts.
Plan of action
Once you’re ready, come up with a plan of action. Make sure the ideas you have are realistic, and can easily be delivered. But remember to be innovative, groundbreaking and think outside of the box. Clients want people who know what they’re doing, know their industry and can do their job well.
Brainstorming is an important part of coming up with some great ideas that will blow your proposal out of the ball park, as they say. Here are some top tips to consider when brainstorming your proposal:
- What does the client want?
- What is the problem they need a solution for?
- How will I tackle this problem?
- What can I offer them?
- How will I do the work?
Structuring the proposal
Once you’ve come up with your ideas, it’s important to structure a proposal that will impress a client and make you stand out. According to Fundera, you should know the key objectives before putting your proposal together. Once you’re sure of which direction you are headed, it’s all about getting it down on paper in a tight, succinct and structured way. Using an already existing template which can be found online is a good start. Use that as a structure to build your own proposal, one which will astound clients and secure you new business.
Here are the basic bones of a successful proposal:
- Introduce yourself.
- Answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions in a well-crafted executive summary.
- Outline the project details.
- Describe each deliverable you are offering the client.
- Be clear on the budget and timeframe.
- Finish the proposal with a punchy conclusion.
The perfect accompaniment to any proposal is a strong online presence. It’s important to set yourself with your own website or a profile on a leading freelancing platform to promote your expertise and to demonstrate your skills. Remember to showcase your portfolio of work and the clients you’ve previously worked with.
One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, tech, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to skilled vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads.
Find out more about Alifery.