The Pro Guide to Creating a Bangin' Proposal Pitch

Confession time:

we were long overdue to up our proposal game.

What's a proposal, you ask?

Well, let me tell you! In the graphic design world, a proposal is your all-important design pitch to a client. Here's how it works: after an initial meeting to talk through goals and determine the scope of a project, we put together a proposal pitch for our clients.

In addition to restating the key points from the face-to-face meeting, it's also a great opportunity to sell yourself one more time, prove your professionalism, and outline your plan. For the designer and the client, the proposal pitch is an essential step to making sure you're seeing eye to eye.

T Swift agrees, we usually see eye to eye. Thanks, T Swift.

T Swift agrees, we usually see eye to eye. Thanks, T Swift.

But back to that main point:

We were LONG overdue to up our proposal game. ๐Ÿ˜“

And here's the problem: In the past few months since we first switched up our attitude, began committing major time and resources to creating original content for our blog, and really made the leap to  a strategic, consistent plan on social media, we've getting more proposal requests than ever before.

Let me prove to you just how in need of a proposal pitch makeover we were.

Our previous proposal template looked something like this...

Our previous proposal setup!

Our previous proposal setup!

It wasn't terrible.

It was clean, had all relevant contact info, and got straight to the point. The problem was, it didn't tell clients the WHY.

This proposal assumed you were already on board with hiring us and that you just wanted to see our pricing "in writing."

What I wasn't taking into account is the big issue here: The proposal almost always has to go through people who were not in the room during that face-to-face meeting. So those people aren't sold yet!

The question I should have been asking myself as I created our proposal is How do I help this employee sell our offerings to their boss, their colleagues, or the rest of the marketing team?

Another big red flag: This previous proposal template asked people to go to our website to learn more about us. If you ever find yourself including that line in a need-to-know situation, it's a CLEAR indication you aren't done making the sell! And as busy ballers know about "please go to our website to learn more," ain't nobody got time for that. 

But good news.

we finally revamped the proposal! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Oh yeah. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Yesterday was my first new business pitch using this proposal document. And let me tell you, it went SO much better than previous discussions. Before yesterday, I would generally just talk about what we offer with no real structure to the conversation.

But this newly revamped 24 page booklet allowed me and the client to walk through essential info together:

1. Who we are ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

2. What we offer ๐Ÿ“ 

3. What RESULTS look like ๐Ÿ“ˆ ๐ŸŽ‰

4. Our custom recommendation for you ๐ŸŒŸ

5. Contract and pricing ๐Ÿ’

You can imagine, the real kicker here is the results part. Results go hand-in-hand with the big question that landing a client contract is all about: WHY should they hire you?

Eeeeee we're so prepared with this proposal!

Eeeeee we're so prepared with this proposal!

I think clients should hire us because we are kind and ethical and fun to work with. But you know what clients really want to see? They want to see results coming from those people who are kind and ethical and fun to work with! ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“ˆ

So in our new proposal, I walk through some amazing metrics from Hoot's analytics as well the concrete numbers from recent campaign we ran for Iron Wolf Crossfit.

YES! I mean it! Concrete numbers and results! 

This addition made all the difference when explaining to my client why original content creation and a streamlined digital marketing strategy really work. Showing the return on the investment in concrete, verifiable terms made the selling process more straightforward, convincing, and smooth!

And guess what? I'm making best friends with those metrics! Analytics aren't something I gravitate towards (that's Avery's shizz ๐Ÿ˜‰), but since I've really taken the time to digest them I feel more confident about our services than ever before.

Wanna see this new bad boy?

Behold! The HDco Project Proposal 2.0!

Here's a snapshot of our GORGE proposal booklet!ย ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

Here's a snapshot of our GORGE proposal booklet! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

To pull this together, I started with a great template from Creative Market just to get the ball rolling. I'm a strong believer in starting with a template for something like this to save on the time investment it takes to lay out a spread in order, hitting all the points you need to cover. Though the template had many spreads I didn't use or want, there were also pages I wouldn't have thought of adding, and those suggestions made it stronger. If you know how to use InDesign, an affordable template like this can save hours of time. Two thumbs up on Creative Market, guys ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

So what do you think of our new proposal?

Let me know! Tweet me @hootdesignco or you can catch Avery @averyenderle, or leave your thoughts right here on the blog if you prefer. We love to hear your comments, as always!

Love KGB.