How to Create a Simple Project Proposal

Good job! Your new lead is interested in your service/offering after the consult call. 

So now your next step is to bundle up all of the info from the call (plus all of your research) and come up with an action plan to show them why they should work with you.

And that plan is the project proposal.

Learn what to include in your project proposal so you can easily get that YES! Plus, know what free to low cost tools and resources to use.

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So the main goal when creating a proposal is to show and tell:

  • What’s in it for them
  • What you know about their biz
  • What they’ll get when you start working together
  • And how you can help them get the best results

And like the Intro Packet/Guide, no more back + forth emails, and everybody involved is on the same page.

When to send your proposal

Right after the discovery or consult call. If there’s a request for a proposal (RFP) from a large company or agency. Or, if there’s no set price on your sales page and need to give them an estimate (for the “starting at $2,000” services).

And it’s a good idea to send this proposal within 24 hours so your new lead doesn’t lose interest.

What to include

  1. Intro – Have a short welcome and thank you note, plus a description of what’s in this proposal. You can also create a video walkthrough of the proposal.
  2. Overview – Summary of the project – what’s the project, who’s it for, why they contacted you, why they need to do this project now, and the problem you’re solving (Example – “By doing…, [client’s name] will be saving [40 hours, $3000] per month.”)
  3. Needs – Their needs and what their audience needs
  4. Solutions – List the benefits of doing this project
  5. Project details/Timeline – List goals, the purpose of this project, start and end date, what to expect in each phase/week (Example – [Week 1: Discovery Phase]), what you’ll need from them and when it’s due
  6. Proof/Sample work – If you have a previous project related to this, share your case studies, past work, and testimonials (“[Past client’s name] struggled with getting subscribers for their blog. After [what you did for this project], they gained 100 subscribers in 2 weeks.”)
  7. Price/Investment – Tell them about your package options or signature service/offer related to this project, share what’s included and the cost, plus any recommended add-ons they can choose from
  8. FAQs – Answer common questions, bring up objections, what’s not included, and a quick bio about you – skills + background
  9. Call-to-Action/Next steps – What they need to do to get started and accept this proposal (E-signature, with a link to pay the deposit, or add your email in case they have questions). A timed proposal creates urgency, so add a deadline at the end – “This proposal is good for [# days].”
  10. Terms/Agreement – What you’ll both agree on – responsibilities from both parties, payment terms, late fees, cancellation fees

Related: 5 Guides to Help You Refresh Your Brand + Online Business, Guide to Improving Customer Experience

Learn what to include in your project proposal so you can easily get that YES! Plus, know what free to low cost tools and resources to use.
Don’t forget to pin this!

Tips to create proposal

  • To make this easier, have notes from the inquiry form, consult call, and from researching their industry and business. 
  • Proofread your proposal with Grammarly. Make sure it’s easy to understand (no tech jargon).
  • If you can, hop on Zoom to walk them through it, and then you can answer any questions they’ll have. Add a link so they can quickly book a call with you. Or use Loom to screen-record the walkthrough and embed the video in the Intro section.
  • Try milestone payments where they can pay you after each phase – “25% deposit due to secure spot, 25% due at discovery/start date, 25% due after design and development, and then balance due before launch”. Or, you can keep it simple and ask for 50% deposit and 50% due before launch date. 
  • To turn features into benefits, ask yourself why they need this specific feature. “Needs [this feature] so that/so they can [benefit].”
  • Follow up 2-3 days later if you don’t hear from them to go over the proposal.
  • Create a proposal template you can quickly edit and use over and over for future projects. (For ready-to-use templates and email scripts, check out the Essential CX Toolbox below!)

Tired of being stuck on how to set up Dubsado or HoneyBook?

Want to know the right things to say to new leads and clients?

Ready to focus on connecting with your audience knowing everything is running smoothly in the backend?

Get instant access to done-for-you templates to help you improve your client experience!


Tools & Resources

Watch Dubsado tutorial or HoneyBook tutorial 

Tools to create your proposal – Bonsai, WP Proposals (WordPress plugin), some proposal templates for inspiration (all industries) – Proposify, Bidsketch, Better Proposals, Canva, Google Slides or Docs, Notion

Create and Send Contracts – Docracy, HelloSign, Streak, check out resources page for more business tools

About

Atlanta-based Digital PM & Tech Implementation Consultant. Loves long walks at record stores + helping service providers simplify operations and launch online projects without tech stress. Liked this post? Join the Brief Gems email list to get more content like this, plus instant access to the free resource library.

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