Small business

How to Make a Professional Proposal: What Software to Use

Freelancing gives independent professionals a lot of leeways to make suggestions to clients. Although this adds a lot of potential for creativity to the work, it also creates a back-and-forth that can eat up your precious work time.

One of the best ways to simplify this process is to use software designed explicitly for freelancing proposals. Basic word processing software and spreadsheets aren’t optimized for proposals, especially if you want to use them as a template for future clients.

Best Features to Look For
Proposals should contain the included deliverables, cost estimates, and a timeline for completion. All this information needs to be contained in a clear and sleek format without unnecessary visual distractions. Your software should also let you create a separate section at the beginning with a reminder of your background and skill set.

The very basics of a proposal include fields for who is writing the proposal, who the proposal is for, and some text defining the proposal. Since proposals come before contracts, the client still has time to back out if they start to worry about your competence or professionalism.

Some proposals, especially those for design work, may need images and visuals to define the work’s scope. Because of how complex proposals can be, your proposal software should make it easy to drag and drop parts of the proposal to rearrange. This may be especially helpful if you have to revise a proposal to do the work in a different order to meet your client’s needs.

Proposal forms should also allow you to ask for the client’s signature right away. Although this isn’t the same as a legal contract, it helps cement the deal and may be considered in case of a dispute later.

Top Proposal Software Programs for Freelancers

  • Prospero

There is heavy competition among freelancers, and when you are up against the clock vying for a gig, you need a speedy software solution to take the hassle out of proposal writing.

With its content generation and reuse functions, Prospero allows you to create a professional proposal, complete with images, graphs, or videos, within minutes with the click of a button.

  • Indy

Simple, easy to navigate, and ideal for impressing clients, Indy is an all-in-one proposal program that lets you customize your proposal template so you can build your brand. The Indy proposals template offers online signatures or a convenient click to approve button so you can secure a project faster and get to work. What’s more, the program automatically generates an invoice draft the minute the proposal is approved for easier payments.

  • Better Proposals

This software program allows you to create a proposal that showcases your skills as a freelancer and create visually appealing documents that integrate multimedia elements, including videos and a live chat feature, to enhance your marketability.

Better Proposals also offers digital document signing and comes with direct connections to popular payment portals, PayPal, GoCardless, and Stripe.

  • Propospify

If you are a freelancer who regularly collaborates with others in related fields on a project, this software is the ideal choice.

Propospify allows you to control who has access to your proposal document and manage each member’s role, controlling who makes edits by tracking changes and comments. The software even comes with a function that enables the client to sign directly in the document without needing to send it manually, saving you time and increasing the likelihood of winning the project bid.

Keeping it Professional
Once you’ve identified the right software to use, make sure to put just as much effort into writing the actual proposal. Use a template if needed to make sure you articulate the scope of the project clearly.

Make sure to keep your terminology consistent throughout the proposal. If necessary, define a term in precise measurements. For example, an illustrator might want the size of each illustration in pixels or at least provide a range of sizes that the proposal covers.

You might also need to define what your proposal does not include. If you’re redesigning graphics for a client’s existing website, you may need to specify that you won’t be uploading them to the website or putting them in their correct places in the website’s coding.

Some terms, like the number of revisions included, should go in your contract where they’ll be legally binding. However, your proposal software should allow you to propose most terms in advance if you want to make them explicitly open to negotiation ahead of the contract signing.

Propose With Confidence
Making a freelancing work proposal may seem intimidating at first, but with a professional-looking template and online submission system, you can make a great impression on your client. You don’t have to overthink it by drafting a novel-length list of details. Stick to what the client needs to know, then include a few reminders of how good your work is to shore up their confidence in you.

If your contract is just as well-written as your proposal, you’ll likely win the job. Stay confident and receptive to client feedback about the proposal, but stand firm once the contract itself is signed. Remember to value yourself and your time, and you’ll be able to make a solid living as a freelancer.

If you have any questions, please ask below!