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Pitch Perfect: How to create proposals that win work

Tips on creating the perfect proposals or pitches, for freelancers, from freelancers

Published : January 3, 2023

Author : Sam Baldwin

Whether you are a freelancer writer, freelancer translator, freelance videographer, freelance developer, or any other type of freelance worker, getting your pitch (aka proposal) right, is vital for winning work. 

In this post, we share advice from freelancers on how to craft a perfect pitch and why using tools like Craft can help freelancers to impress (and win) new clients. Use our free client proposal template to get started quickly.

The 7 elements of a perfect pitch

When we asked successful freelancers about the ingredients of their proposals, we found these were the common elements.

1. A Great Cover

Despite the general advice not to - clients will judge your pitch by its cover. So make sure it looks amazing. As the first thing the client will see, it needs to make a good impression.

2. An Executive Summary

An executive summary is a must. It should be short, snappy and to the point, highlighting the key points of your proposal.

3. State The Problem

Start your pitch by identifying the problem that the client has. This will make it clear that you understand their situation and have a solution for them.

4. Offer The Solution

Once you’ve identified the problem, present your solution. This is where you get to show off your skills and expertise, and convince the client that you’re the right person for the job.

5. List The Benefits

After you’ve presented your solution, highlight the benefits for the client. What will they get out of working with you? How will you make their life easier? What exactly will you deliver?

6. Give The Cost

Clients need to know how much your services will cost in order to be able to approve your proposal. So be upfront about your fees, and don’t try to hide anything in the small print. Give your client a choice of three price options, enabling them to select the package that works best for them.

7. Outline Your Process

Finally, you need to outline the process that you’ll follow to complete the project. This will give the client a good idea of what to expect when to expect it, and how you work.

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Why freelancers love using Craft for their proposals

Freelancers find that Craft works so well for creating proposals because it enables them to:

1. Create perfectly organized proposals - impress and win potential clients 

2.  Share easily - generate a link and share this with your client. No messing around with email attachments, PDFs or Dropbox files (although you can generate multiple formats from a Craft doc if you prefer) 

3. Edit any time - last-minute change? Make any edits you need; your edits will appear instantly

Use our free client proposal template and get started now.

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More tips on how to write proposals that win clients

Research your client and speak to their problems

Writing a proposal is like writing your personal resume. You need to know who the client is and what their needs and problems are. Then you must present your services as the perfect solution to their requirements, tailoring your proposal to demonstrate that.

Before you start writing your proposal, think about who will be reading it. What are their needs and concerns? What type of language will they respond to? Be sure to read through their website, LinkedIn profile, social feeds, and other marketing materials. in detail.

Don’t use generic wording; personalize your proposal to ensure it fits your client’s needs. Include data if you can.

Pro Craft Tip: If your prospective client has a product you are able to test out yourself, do it. And be sure to refer to that in your pitch. The more you understand the client’s product, and show that you’ve done your homework, the stronger your proposal will be.

Sell Your Solution

Your proposal should convince your future client that your solution is the best option available to them. To do this, you'll need to present the benefits and solutions you’re offering, in a clear, convincing way.

Your proposal should answer the following questions:

  • Why is your service a great fit for the client?
  • What is your experience and how will that benefit the client?
  • What results have you delivered for other clients and what could you do for them?
  • What is your pricing?

Pro Craft Tip: use Craft’s card layout to make selling points stand out and your proposal easy to document.

Make it clear, concise, and easy to read

Looks count when it comes to proposals. 

Clients rarely read every word from every proposal they receive. So you need to deliver the most important information upfront and make your proposals very easy to consume.

How? Think about your format: 

  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Use bullets or numbered lists whenever possible
  • Use simple language, and avoid jargon or technical terms

Pro Craft Tip: use Craft’s unique formatting options like pages, cards, and color gradients, to make your proposal easy to navigate and eye-catchingly good. See how one documentary filmmaker won funding for their film by using [Craft to create their film treatment]

Use Strong visuals

Make an impact with pictures.

Your client is probably scanning over dozens of competing proposals. Make yours catch their eye by using:

  • Strong imagery 
  • Infographics
  • Charts 
  • Other visuals to break up the text and highlight key points.

Pro Craft Tip: adjust your page background colors to match your branding - or add a bespoke image to make it stand out.

Proofread and Edit

Typos are a big turn-off for clients. 

Before you submit your proposal, be sure to proofread it carefully. Get at least one other person to check it, (preferably more) and make any necessary revisions.

Pro Craft Tip: Turn on Craft’s spellchecker and get at least two other people who have not been working on the proposal to proofread it and provide feedback. You can also use Craft’s AI Assistant to check your spelling and grammar.

Follow Up (but not too soon)

The journey doesn’t end after you hit send. 

Show that you are keen to work with the client by following up, about 7-10 days after submitting your proposal.

Pro Craft Tip: do NOT pester your client! Use Craft’s analytics to see if your proposal has been viewed. Give them time to review your proposal before politely contacting them.

If your proposal is declined, ask for feedback. Were you too expensive? Was your pitch not clear? Use this vital feedback to improve your proposal and win the next client you pitch to.

Using these tips should help you create better client pitches and proposals. Find more free resources for freelancers on the Craft blog, in our template gallery, and in our Craft For Work community area.

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