Proposals are fundamental to the success of any new client project. Without them you have no clear objectives. You also have nothing to measure your success against. Perhaps more importantly, without a proposal your client has no idea whether you understand their problem.
A common problem for those new to writing proposals is knowing what to actually write. What the hell should you include in a proposal anyway? Too many clients are lost to poorly written proposals and that needs to stop. Today I'm going to tell you the secret(s) to winning more proposals.
In this week's Ultimate Guide to Proposals series I talk to Nick Hance. Nick is head honcho over at Reenhanced and has some great ideas on proposals and the process behind them. Nick is all about the business, and what better perspective to approach a proposal from.
The more I learn about business and design, the less importance I give to aesthetics. Design is a distraction. Don’t hate me yet! There’s so much more to a successful business than just good design. Design needs a reason to exist, a purpose. By itself design is art, and I’m no artist. I’m not saying you should neglect your design skills, but I would suggest there are more important aspects to our profession. Designer's need to put business goals before pixels as results will trump a pretty design any, and every day of the week.
One of the worst things you can do when engaging a potential new client is fall into “geek speak” mode. It’s a real turn off… If you've ever tried to buy a car then you’ve probably experienced something similar, "The full frontal buzzword attack".
In this week's ultimate guide to proposals series I talk to Marcus Blankenship. Marcus is former CEO of a successful agency in the States. With 18 years of experience and a $750-million track record of success, I figured he'd be a great guy to help us learn what makes the ultimate proposal.
If you’re reading this then chances are your proposals are under-performing and you don’t know why. As designers we dislike writing proposals. We worry about all sorts of things: Am I too expensive? Am I too cheap, too eager, too slow to respond, have I understood the client, do I even know if I can provide real value…? The list is endless. But you might be surprised to hear that most proposals don’t fail because they're priced to high, too low or look like they were thrown together in Word. Most proposals fail because they...
Let’s not beat around the bush. Nobody likes writing proposals. They eat away at billable time. They can be tedious, and a portfolio is all you need anyway, right? UUUURHHH! WRONG. An amateur designer can make do with the traditional “quote email”, the one that says, “That’ll be $3,500, please”. But a professional sets themselves apart. A professional woos their client with a project proposal.
Nobody’s born knowing how to write a great proposal. Invariably we learn through trial and error, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t the best way to learn. One of the reasons I decided to publish The Designer’s Guide to Proposals free on the blog was to help design professionals get over this immense hurdle. I think every creative professional should understand how to write a winning proposal. So to aid the process I’ve put together: The Ultimate Proposal Cheatsheet and here it is for FREE!
If there's one thing guaranteed to ruin your day, it's losing out on a contract. Rejection smarts. But wouldn't it be nice to know why you lost out? Wouldn't you like to know why all those hours spent writing kick-ass proposal were wasted?