The competition for design projects is fiercer than ever before, as your potential clients have a large number of agencies and freelancers to choose from.
So where can you make the difference? What is the missing piece that will make your offer stand out? It’s the design proposal.
With all the great creative work you do, designing and writing a breathtaking business proposal can seem like a waste of time.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. There’s a way you can write effective web design proposals that convert even the pickiest of prospects.
Why Should You Create a Project Proposal
Businesses and individuals who need website design services will request a proposal before they give you a green light on a project.
Your answer comes in the form of a business proposal that clarifies the client’s needs, deliverables, schedule, and cost of the service.
How does a web design proposal help you land a client?
- Lets Clients Compare Vendors: A project proposal allows decision-makers to objectively compare vendors. With a project proposal before them, your potential clients have a better insight into your prices, processes, and projected outcomes.
- Helps Them Understand the Project: A project proposal ensures that both parties agree on what the project ultimately includes. This makes clients feel more confident to work with you.
- Builds Credibility: By giving details on how the project will be completed, the proposal shows the decision-makers that you are capable of completing the project and meeting their expectations. Your proposal can also include visually stunning statements of work that show your prospect what you are capable of.
8 Tips for Creating a Graphic Design Proposal
Step 1: Find Out What the Client Wants
Ask around any business and they’ll likely tell you how difficult clients are to please. And I agree that clients can be very challenging from time to time. But for the most part, they want the same things you’d want if you were in their shoes.
For the most part, clients want to be understood. They want to see that you know their business, their industry, and their way of thinking.
No matter how competitive your prices are, they don’t want a cookie-cutter approach. Therefore, before you start, find out what your client’s problems are. This is the most important part of the proposal process.
By customizing your design proposal template for every client and getting the offer and messaging right, you can show that you’re on the same page from the very start.
Step 2: Spot Their Problem
First, you need to define the problem that your project will address. Point out why it is a problem and why it needs to be solved. Involve a fear factor if you need to – what happens if the problem remains.
Keep in mind that decision-makers usually have little time to look over a proposal. Make sure you describe the pain point clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. Don’t use jargon that only web designers will understand.
This is where you need to use facts, not opinions. Clients love numbers, so back up your assertions with data from your research.
Step 3: Offer Your Solution
Next, you need to present your solution, explaining why your solution is better than other similar ones. You should explain why other solutions don’t work in your client’s case.
For the best results, talk about the solution’s larger impact. Clients are always more excited about long-term effects than those with a limited radius.
Step 4: Define Deliverables and Success Criteria
In this section, you want to present a scheme and attributes of the deliverable, plus the criteria that determine if the project is successful.
Include the delivery date and define what your project will deliver. If the project has several stages, say when you plan to complete each deliverable.
The success criteria will show that the project has been successful, so your solutions must be SMART – (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.)
Make sure you also share your pricing for the prospective client and briefly mention add-ons they can take advantage of. These can include social media management, SEO, search ads, and so many other things. This way of upselling can boost your revenue significantly.
Step 5: Reveal Your Plan
This is the most important section of the proposal as it discusses how you plan to achieve the project objectives.
Start with explaining why your approach is relevant and effective.
Introduce project strategies. Are you going to use the waterfall model? Do you plan to use third-party contractors or in-house team members only? This is where you should introduce the reason behind the decisions you are making to solve the problem.
Step 6: Provide a Clear Schedule
In this part, you give detail on how you plan to meet the deadlines.
Give concrete dates as related to project start and end times. Point out of certain sections of the projects can be completed simultaneously. You might also want to inform them about how many redesigns or revisions you offer and how long this will take.
Step 7: Write a Bit About Your Experience Working on Similar Projects
You can talk about the project as long as you like, but if you want the client to sign and start working with you, you have to show them your amazing previous work.
Including your full portfolio with the proposal is not convenient for two reasons. First, the decision-makers probably don’t have time to look into it (especially if they’re on the phone or on a video call), and second, you want their full attention on the proposal.
Step 8: Provide Social Proof Through Testimonials or a Case Study
You need a section with proof. This is why each Better Proposals template comes with a proof section that contains testimonials from previous clients, followed by a few examples of your previous work.
Try to share the most relevant examples. For example, if your client wants an ecommerce store built with WordPress, you should share sites you build with WooCommerce or another WordPress builder. While if they want you to design a logo or ebook, you should share samples of logos, ebooks, and white papers you made for other clients.
You might also want to mention that you have experience with tools like PhotoShop, Illustrator, Procreate, and Indesign, as clients prefer working with graphic designers with the best tools.
Make sure you present all of this information in a neat proposal with an attractive cover page and a table of contents with page numbers.
You can also provide mockups to give them an idea of what you can help achieve.
4 Design Proposal Templates That Make Your Job Easier
Writing proposals can take up a lot of time. This is why it is good to use copy and paste proposal templates at hand to save time. Of course, you will need to make some modifications to ensure your proposals are custom-made for each client. We’ll take a look at some of the best free web design templates you can readily use.
What if I tell you that in 2021 alone, this beautiful template closed over $155 million worth of new deals? It starts with an impressive cover image to grasp your client’s attention and take them through the custom-made journey through your services and exemplary previous work.
If you still prefer clean WORD or PDF formats, this HubSpot website proposal template has everything you need to describe how you’ll improvise your client’s online presence. On the downside, you need to fill in the information about your company before you can download it.
Now impress your clients with a professional graphic design proposal
A great business proposal is an essential part of your web design business. Ticking all the boxes and nailing all the steps takes some time and practice if you start from scratch.
Luckily for you, there’s no need for that. Instead of writing the whole proposal from scratch, you can start winning new business right away, by using the design proposal templates from Better Proposals.
About the Author: Nikola Gemeš is a content writer with extensive writing experience in SaaS and Tech niches. He prefers working closely with website owners and marketing teams to help with their brand management projects. The teaching experience from his previous life helps him reach the audience on a person-to-person level