As freelancers, our primary approach to getting clients is sending a proposal which is normally through an email. A proposal is a document that specifies the services that you will be delivering. It plainly outlines what a client can expect if they choose to hire you. A strong proposal tends to make clients think that you fully grasp their needs and targets and that you are providing a high-quality product or service. It also comes with an in depth outline of the client’s concern and how you are going to resolve it. Furthermore, it comprises the deliverables of the job, a time frame for completion, a breakdown of charges along with a number of terms and conditions.
Through a proposal, you are persuading people to hire you. Crafting a very good proposal is your only opportunity in getting the client’s attention. Given that more people are going freelance, your proposals have to do an excellent job in promoting your services. In this particular competitive environment, you have to stand out from the crowd. Adhering to these strategies in creating your proposal template brings you favourable results in obtaining a freelancing job.
1.) Create a brief and catchy subject line.
The subject line is the short summary of your email. It gives you the chance to make sure your email gets read. Consider it as your email’s headline that consists of 3-8 words. To make your email get noticed, keep the subject line short, concise, and customized. Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume stated in Business Insider that a standard inbox shows around 60 characters of an email’s subject line whereas a mobile phone displays just 25 to 30 characters. Get direct to the point in about 6-8 words. Position the most significant words in the beginning.
In addition to this, Dmitri Leonov, a cofounder at an email management service called SaneBox, explained to Business Insider that 50% of emails are read on mobile phone devices. Since you have no idea of just how much of the subject line will be seen in a smartphone, it is advisable to place the most significant information at the start. Otherwise, necessary details might get cut off. Furthermore, customize the subject line with the recipient’s name or business name. You need to know who you’re submitting to. Using their name or company name makes the recipient more likely to open the email.
2.) Start with a professional greeting.
Be ethical and maintain professional etiquette. Your greeting must be professional and brief. It is usually more suitable to address the recipient using their name, however it might not often be the case. Begin with Hi [Name] or Dear [Name] as an introduction. If you don’t know the name of the recipient, you may just say Hi or Hello in your greeting.
3.) Customize your proposal for each client.
Research your prospect. Know something about them and use that as a reason why you are contacting them. Include that in your first paragraph and introduce yourself as well. This is an attempt to build an instant connection to the client to spark their interest. You can create an email template for convenience but always customize them to each prospect. This may take time but this has higher chances of getting your email to be opened by a client.
4.) Sell your skills with relevant samples that solve their problems.
This is an opportunity to present your portfolio on how your experience can help them. Select a few of your projects in the past and illustrate the ways on how you can apply your experience to resolve their dilemma. Emphasize your specific skills or area of specialization. Incorporate a live link to your portfolio or previous publicized samples of work. Ensure you choose only the best and most relevant samples to include in your proposal. Concentrate on the skills they are looking for to market yourself that makes you the best fit for the job. If you’re new to freelancing and don’t have any relevant samples to send over, produce a few of your own. Create a portfolio website, write a blog, design your own logos, etc. Likewise, positive testimonials from your previous work guarantee the clients that you can execute high quality services.
5.) Outline the scope of work and your rates.
The Scope of Work (SOW) plainly documents the tasks that you will provide for the client with an estimated timeline including your rates. This set the expectations straight to avoid future disputes. Also include the payment terms. You can ask for a down payment for the total cost of the project before working to avoid non-payment issues for your labor.
6.) Include a call to action to receive response.
A call to action (CTA) is a declaration made to get an immediate response from the recipient. It’s typically used in business as part of a marketing strategy to get your prospect to react through action. It’s usually placed at the end and serves as a short sales pitch to convince potential clients to hire you as soon as possible.
7.) End the message politely.
The closing message merely signifies that the email has finished. Although it is not a prerequisite in contemporary email writing, a short, courteous phrase will properly complete your email. Phrases like, ‘Thank you for your time,’ ‘I look forward to your response,’ and ‘Kind regards,’ are normally used in any proposals.
8.) Include related attachments for reference and to back-up your proposal.
Any referenced attachments needs to be included in the email just like resume or work samples. Label the files to distinguish them clearly after you mentioned them in your email. Make sure that the files are included and correct. Neglecting to add an attachment calls for an unnecessary response that can delay the job and waste some time.
9.) Include an email signature with your contact details.
Your email signature is a form of an electronic business card that is supplemented to your email. It should contain the most essential contact information. Attach your picture and logo if you have a website for the client to recognize you and your brand along with your contact information such as your mobile phone, website or social media accounts to give the client numerous venues to reach you. There is a free email signature generator online such as mail-signatures.com that you can use to create your email signature.
10.) Proofread your proposal.
Before sending your proposal, make sure your letter is devoid of grammar and punctuation errors and flows properly. Typos and incomplete sentences signals that you had written the letter in a rush or aren’t careful in what you do which affects the client’s perception about you. A simple fast proofreading plays a role in your professional representation.