8 Steps to Craft a Winning Freelance Project Proposal

8 Steps to Craft a Winning Freelance Project Proposal
Anoosh Kotak28 February 2024

A good project proposal shows how you think”, says Avani Miriyala in the 6-Figure Freelancer podcast. But why is that important? 

“Demonstrating how you think helps the potential client understand that you have understood their problem well and can solve it for them. A clear proposal helps them visualise the project plan, and determine whether you will be the right fit”, explains Miriyala. Therefore, you need to lay out an actionable plan to grab their attention. 

This blog provides a step-by-step process for how to write a project proposal to secure well-paying freelance opportunities.

Step 1: Define the Problem & Solution

1. Define a clear problem statement

Analyse the prospective client's current position and specify what's holding them back from achieving their goals. For example, “Despite high website traffic, the customer conversion rate is low due to confusing navigation and lack of clear call-to-action (CTA).”

2. Offer an effective solution

This is the section where you showcase your expertise. Here is an example of a crisp solution statement:

“Redesign the website and divide the tabs into clear categories and strategically place clear CTAs.”

The key here is to offer a customised solution and use data to make it more effective. For example, in the above solution, you can add how you will use Google Analytics to understand user behaviour and the points where they leave the website.

Step 2: Demonstrate Value 

1. Quantify the benefits

Add potential output data to create more impact. For example, add that the lead conversion rate will increase by XYZ% in 6 months. 

It is best to add visuals such as charts and graphs to add more impact. 

2. Evidence & Impact

To create an impact, “Mention your strongest attribute up front”, says Stuart Crawford, the Managing Partner at Inkbot Design.

Add your unique selling points (USPs) by showing snippets of results generated for other similar projects. 

Also include testimonials or case studies to highlight your expertise. 

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Step 3: Provide a Project Roadmap

1. Phased Approach

Create an overview of a project roadmap to demonstrate your expertise. Add visuals such as a Gantt chart or a flowchart to show the step-by-step process to achieve the goals.

2. Mention Milestones 

Go a step ahead and add milestones for each project phase. This requires mentioning the overall strategy or actionable steps to achieving those milestones. 

Explain how each phase contributes to the overall goal and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure progress.

Step 4: Introduce Your Team

1. Show Expertise & Experience

Provide your team's details to build trust and add a personal touch. Add the expertise and experience of members for that particular project.

2. Collaborative Strength

Explain the team dynamics briefly by mentioning how they collaborate. This gives reassurance to the client that the project will be carried out smoothly and efficiently.

Step 5: Present the Budget 

1. Share a Detailed Budget

Proposing a budget at the initial stage saves time and effort spent in negotiations after the project gets started. 

Presenting options makes it easier for the client to choose and understand the value they will get. Read here to understand how to price your services

2. Provide a Budget Breakdown

Provide a clear breakdown of all expected costs of each tool or resource and the budget for different project phases.

Step 6: Address Potential Risks

1. Identify Potential Challenges

You must inform the client about the potential challenges that might impact the project outlook. It helps set realistic expectations and shows transparency.

Here are some challenges you can specify:

Identify Potential Challenges
  • Change in scope of the project leading to an increase in budget and delayed delivery 
  • Technical issues such as the inability to integrate tools into the client's IT infrastructure
  • Loss of access to resources
  • Delay caused due to dependency on third-party providers or vendors
  • Sudden changes in market conditions

2. Provide Mitigation Strategies 

The strategies can include clear and consistent project documentation to ensure transparency, defining deliverables and developing contingency plans. 

It shows your problem-solving approach, thus increasing your chances of getting hired.

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Step 7: Define a Communication Plan

1. Emphasise Open Communication 

Demonstrate your commitment to maintaining open communication for feedback and problem-solving throughout the project through transparent project reporting and constructive feedback.

2. Define Your Communication Plan

Suggest a project management tool you and the client can use to collaborate and track project status.

Also add other channels of communication such as email, WhatsApp or calls. Moreover, you can suggest scheduling periodic meetings once a week or biweekly to discuss task updates or queries.

Step 8: End with a Clear Call to Action

1. Add a Compelling CTA

Add a statement prompting the client to take action at the end of the project proposal such as “Boost your lead conversion rate.”

2. Mention the Next Steps

This involves adding how the client can reach out to you if they like the proposal. Mention your contact details and LinkedIn profile. You can also add a line asking them to call you in case of any queries.

Additional Tips for Indian Freelancers for Project Proposal Writing

1. Personalise Your Proposal

Customise the freelance project proposal template for each client based on the project requirements. It shows attention to detail and boosts credibility.

2. Highlight Unique Selling Points

Create a small section in the project proposal with some brief pointers highlighting your USPs and what sets you apart from other freelancers. 

Some USPs you can add are: 

Highlight Unique Selling Points
  • Open communication
  • Proven track record in generating desired outputs
  • Industry know-how
  • Value-added services like free consultation or follow-up support.

3. Ensure a Simple and Clear Proposal Format

The best formatting practices for project proposals include:

Ensure a Simple and Clear Proposal Format
  • Applying visual design principles like a formal font, limited colour palette and 1.5 line spacing
  • Proofread the proposal several times
  • Highlight important information
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists wherever possible

4. Send Follow-Up Emails 

You can use email tracking tools to check when the client has opened your proposal. If you don't receive a reply within 2-3 days, send a follow-up email. 

The email should express gratitude for going through the proposal and ask them if they have any concerns or queries. Here is a template you can use: 

Send Follow-Up Emails
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Growing your freelancing business also involves automating processes to improve efficiency. This is where Skydo, a modern payment solution, helps. It automates invoice generation, payment reminders and FIRA generation, thus helping you boost productivity.

Sign up on Skydo today to streamline freelance payment processes and improve work efficiency.

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Frequently asked questions

Q1. What is proposal writing?

Ans. Project proposal writing is creating a formal document that freelancers use to pitch their services to a prospective client. Its purpose is to showcase your skills and expertise and convince the client to work with you.

Q2. How to write a proposal for a project?

Q3. What is the best title for a project proposal?

About the author
Anoosh Kotak
“The 0 to 1 journey filled with interesting problem solving & learning experiences.”Sports, Travel & Binge-watching