Things to Know Before Writing a Freelance Proposal

This is the second article in our series covering freelance proposals. 

In the previous article, we explained the five elements that every freelance proposal should have – if you haven’t read it yet, check that one out first before diving into this one.

Now you know the elements you need, let’s look at some tips that will help you put effective proposals together quickly and efficiently.

Things to know before writing a freelance proposal

Table of contents:

Add personality and use your tone of voice

While it’s important to make a good impression, and present yourself professionally, that doesn’t mean that you have to be overly strict and formal.

Don’t be afraid to use the same tone of voice that you use on your website, social media and emails. Stay clear of technical jargon and don’t be afraid to include a dash of your personality.

Anyone who asks you for a proposal has probably already browsed your website or social media, so aim to be consistent and write a proposal using similar language.

Remember, people hire people. So don’t be afraid to add personality to your proposals – this is one of the things that can help your proposal stand out from the crowd of dry alternatives.

Match your proposals to your business’ visual identity

Your freelance proposals should be consistent with your branding and how you present yourself online. So be sure to keep the design consistent.

Use the same colours, fonts, and your logo on the document you send.

If you are using pre-made proposal templates, you can quickly take the time to tweak the colours, fonts and layout to match what your audience expects from you.

Personalise them a little, so they are consistent with your visual branding.

Don’t go overboard, though. There’s a balance to be struck, because you want to keep the reader’s focus on the actual content of the proposal.

Don’t copy everything from your website

Each proposal should be personalised to the client you are sending it to.

You don’t have to create everything from scratch for each proposal though. In fact, you can – and should – reuse and repurpose content you already have. Just be careful about how you do it.

Look for portfolio pieces, case studies and testimonials that are particularly relevant to the specific project.

Don’t just copy chunks from your website because this will be obvious and looks lazy.

Instead, take relevant chunks and spend a little time polishing them to make them personal and relevant. If it’s not relevant, don’t include it.

Build a content library for your proposals

The first few proposals you make will take you the longest amount of time and effort.

One way you can significantly reduce the time you spend on creating proposals is by reusing and repurposing content. That’s why it’s good to be organised and keep a library of every proposal you send, as well as testimonials, projects and case studies. Collect anything that you can use in future proposals.

Once you’ve worked through a few, you’ll have built up a library of content, which you can then reuse elements of.

So start now by creating a folder and organising everything that can come in useful for your proposals. If you are using a proposal template, you can see what section you need content for, or create your own template and start collecting content that you can reuse over time.

Tips on writing a freelance proposal from experienced freelancers:

We asked some other freelancers to share their best tips on writing freelance proposals – here’s what they had to say:

Don’t make it any longer than it needs to be

“I previously built out multi-page proposals for clients I’d already spoken with, and they got into too much background/scene dressing details for no real reason— a waste of space and everyone’s time! I’ve lately started challenging myself to get the proposal text as close to a single page as I can, forcing me to be clear, precise, and get to the point without all the extra throat-clearing.

– Allison, copywriter

Be specific

“Specify as much as you can about proposed timelines, budget, payment terms/schedule, etc. I’ve had plenty of clients all but copy/paste proposal texts into contracts, and even if they don’t do that you want to avoid any vagaries or surprises later on.”

– Yash, graphic designer

Know your clients

“I would firstly prepare a full scope description of my client – who he is, how he spends his time, what are his pains and why would he need me. Only after that, I would compose my proposal in a way that he would feel I have a solution for his pains.”

– Ewelina, business coach

Freelance Success Winning Proposal Templates

The best solution for mastering freelance proposals is to build up your own, or buy a template to get you started and customise. This will be an investment that will save you hours of time and wasted energy. Our freelance proposal templates are designed to save your time and make a great impression on potential clients. They are easy to use, tweak and adapt quickly.

These proposals will give you the professional touch and help you to stand out and win more clients. The proposal templates are launching soon, so keep an eye out!