You've just had some positive back and forth with a prospect. Perhaps you've just hopped off a call, and they've requested to see a more formal, itemized breakdown of what was discussed in the form of a project proposal.
If you're already a pro with proposal writing, then feel free to skip ahead to the template at the bottom, download the PDF or duplicate the Notion template into your workspace and steal whatever bits might be useful for saving you some time going forward.
If you are already in the habit of writing proposals, but feel like your process could be improved--hang tight, this is for you.
And if you're not used to writing proposals, but would like to get started, then this will likely be a great addition to your business and client-winning flow.
Why bother writing a proposal?
Writing proposals takes time, after all. And when there's no guarantee that you'll win the project--spending 90+ minutes crafting the perfect proposal can feel a little excessive.
So, why bother? Particularly when you've had a positive interaction with your client and you think they might just go for it if you give a list of bullets.
Things look different in writing, and clients know this. You can be an excellent talker, breeze through an introductory call and both parties feel that everyone is on the same page. But there will be lingering questions in the client's mind, and seeing these addressed in writing, with a clear plan for how the project will be completed, is the best way to quell any remaining doubts;
It shows professionalism. If you deliver a clean, well-structured proposal upfront--before even working with the client--they will have a better feeling of what it's like to work together; and if you send a neat proposal, they can be more confident that you do excellent, professional work through and through;
And finally, writing a proposal actually helps you clarify the project scope, timeline and what a fair budget for your efforts will be. It helps set you up for success, and clarify in your own mind whether or not you feel confident delivering on the project as described.
Most important proposal elements to include
Remind the client why they are doing this project in the first place. If you've had a chance to get on a call with them, be sure to ask them directly--then take note and put it right here in the proposal.
Key Project Outcomes
What exactly will the client get out of this project, for their business? These should be plainly valuable. Things like, 'Bring in more revenue through higher sales volume', 'Increase clarity of messaging for higher conversion rates', etc.
Outcomes are what the client really wants, but it's also important to explain exactly how these outcomes will be delivered on. Will the final work be presented as a website? A deck? A spreadsheet, PDF, folder? Will it include a set number of calls and video sessions or meetings?
Be explicit about what the client should expect to take away from the project and 'hold', so to speak.
Timeline & Budget Summary
Don't make a big deal about this. Just make sure it's clearly stated, in unambiguous terms, and plain for all to see.
If the project is at a higher price point, or a longer timeline, and you feel it justifies clarifying how exactly you'll move through the project together--having a section to break this down can be key. Particularly if your area of expertise is something that the client is less familiar with (Desgin, Marketing, Software Development, SEO, etc.), it can be reassuring for them to get a slight 'look inside' the project to better understand what exactly they are getting into. Which topics will be covered? In what order? And how much time spent with each, roughly?
Use this section only as an indicative outline (and be sure to mention that this is not set in stone) so that you have flexibility to move throughout the project.
How We'll Work Together
Typically, it also helps to give the client a heads up on the types of things to expect from an engagement together. Things like daily work hours, available time windows, calls expected, communication tools, weekends availability, etc.
Other things you might want to include here:
Willingness to sign an NDA
Rights to work;
Payments schedule and details
And finally, be sure to give a closing few lines about the prospect of this project together, and what the next steps look like going forward.
Get Started with this Notion Proposals Template
You can start using this template in your Notion account, free. Just hit 'Unlock this template', or log into your existing Landmark account and hit 'Your member template' in the side menu of this page.
If you'd like help integrating this Notion Proposal template into your other Notion workspaces (say, your task and project management systems), don't hesitate to be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can always check out our Freelancer and Clarity OS Notion models if you'd like to start from a premium, integrated Notion business template.
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