What is a web design proposal? How do you write one?
Writing a web design proposal is a time-consuming and monotonous task – when done right, it can be a successful business foundation for your design business. Knowing and building your copy around important aspects of the work will help you craft an effective proposal that will match the complexity of the proposal to the complexity of the project. Whether you are working for an agency with a team of other creatives or a freelancer trying to sell your own products and services, writing a strong proposal can help you set the right expectations, find work and win clients.
In this article, we will discuss how best to tailor your projects to win the right clients, present your work and make your case as to why you are the best person for the job. You will take away some important tips, best practices for your presentation and a free template to help you get started.
What is a web design proposal?
A web design proposal is a document where you outline your services, pricing, and details on how you are going to bring value to their team and the project. It is basically a summary of what you are going to do for the client and a detailed break down of how you are going to solve their existing problems. Writing your proposal is an important part of winning a client so it should include your understanding of their company, their goals, the project and why you are the best person for the job.
There is no definitive formula for writing a great proposal but here are some important rules to consider when writing one.
- It is important to understand your client and the needs of the project in mind when writing your proposal. Clients with a smaller budget and project scope do not need a detailed break down of your process- writing a few pages about what they are going to get, your pricing details and anticipated timelines should do. Generally, the larger the company, the scope of the project and the budget, the more detailed your proposal should be
- Ask questions about the nature of work, timelines, budget, and other details. Once you have these details hammered out and out of the way, you will be able to focus on the work itself and find ways to deliver your promise. Here are some important questions that can help you better understand the nature of your work. 1. What are your budget expectations? 2. What is your timeline expectation? 3. What is your design aesthetic? 4. What integrations are required?
- Understand your client’s needs before writing your proposal. Understanding their challenges will help you to put yourself in their shoes. This will help you create a highly effective and personalized proposal that will ultimately help you win clients.
These rules are not set in stone but putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective client, asking the right questions up front can help you tailor your project proposal that can help you land clients.
Building blocks of a great proposal
It is important to showcase that you clearly understood the needs of the client, the business, the budget, timeline, and other expectations. You don’t want to overwhelm your client with unnecessary details. Breaking your proposal down to these sections can be helpful to show them that you have clearly understood their needs.
- Cover Page – Try to keep this page simple. This should be addressed directly to the client with the project name with your name and date. Include an overview of the suggested brand colors, themes, and other brand elements. You can also add a 2-3 paragraph overview of the proposal.
- Confidentiality Statement – A brief statement outlining your need to keep the information you have provided confidential will help them agree to the required terms.
- Project Overview – This section includes the general framework of your proposal. It should include your understanding of the project, requirements, goals, your objective, the vision of your project and why you are the best person for the job.
- Approach – This section should include your process. By breaking down your approach, you are letting your client know your methodology and this transparency will help you and them be on the same page. This section should usually include – Process, capabilities, fee/rate structure, team composition
- Fee/Estimate costs – All the listed information provided in your proposal should tell your client why your estimate is what it is. Breaking down your pricing will make it easy for them to digest it.
- References – You want to include people you have worked with here. Add their names, titles, email addresses, project name and a testimonial under each section.
- About – This section should include the history of your Company, Key team bios, Values, Client list, and selected work.
Making your case
In order to communicate effectively about your designs and approach, it is best to secure some time with your client. This will give you the opportunity to showcase to your client why you are the best person for the job. Clients usually chose a person they can trust and have a good working relationship with. So it is important to share the details about the project in person if possible. Here are some presentation tips you can follow when you are going to meet a prospective client:
- Get the key stakeholders in the room
- Understand your audience
- Focus on the important parts of the project
- Check in with your client on key points
As designers, we have a huge responsibility to create a positive influence in our industry. A good design proposal gives your client an overview of the project and how you can help solve their design challenge. A well-written proposal is a selling document that can push someone to hire you. So make sure to structure your content effectively by following the above guidelines. By now you should have a better idea of what a web design proposal is and what it should include.