To survive and excel as a freelancer, you need to be able to market and sell yourself. First impressions really matter and specially in freelance business it’s important that you make a good first impression with your proposal. That’s why writing an effective proposal to a prospective client is one of the key skills you can develop to be more successful.
Many freelancers make various common mistakes in their proposals, from talking too much about yourself and what you want, from not knowing what the client wants, to rambling on. You should avoid these common mistakes to make your proposal effective. Here is a list of tips to make your next proposal more effective.
1. Know the client. It’s always good to know who are you dealing with. If you know the client well, you’re in a better position to handle his/her request. Spend some time on research in getting to know their product, company, or publication. Google or find out more via LinkedIn. The more you know, the better you can cater to their needs.
2. Understand what they want. This is probably where most of the freelancers miss the beat. Unless you understand what the client wants, the proposal cannot target how you can help them. You should know what the client hopes to achieve, read the job description well. In case you have doubts about the requirements or what they are trying to achieve, communicate and clarify before making your proposal. Clients always notice when someone is asking them relevant question about the project for understanding their requirement better.
3. Propose how you can help them? This is something every proposal must have. If you don’t answer how you will help the client reach their goal, the proposal is never going to be effective. You need to make sure that you tell the client what service will you provide that will help them achieve their goal. Show how you will be valuable to them and how you are right person for this job. If you want them to hire you, don’t show why hiring you would be good for you — show how it will be great for them.
4. Keep it short. Send the proposal, don’t try to get a meeting or phone call. Those take too much time for your client who might be really busy and mightn’t appreciate it. A few lines, a couple of paragraphs and that’s it. Make it easy for them to read your proposal and respond quickly.
5. Be professional. Try to be enthusiastic while being professional, never have a casual attitude. Your proposal are an indicator of how much of a professional you are. Make sure you check every detail on your proposal and that they are correct.
6. Introduce Yourself. All you need to express is why you’re perfect, in a sentence or two. You need to show that you’ve done this successfully before, but try not to brag too much about yourself.
7. Provide relevant links of your work. You should always mention some of the relevant work that you have done before and provide a link for them to read more. A website with a portfolio, or a link to your best published work, are great for this.
If you think we have missed out on more tips to an impressive proposal, share with us with your comments.