Freelancers often have to write proposals in order to receive projects. My suggestion for how to write a great freelance proposal would be, to revisit your career goals and see how the assignment fits into your plan. Make sure that you are sincerely interested in the job and will be motivated to perform it, if hired.

However, writing proposals can sometimes be very tricky, but having a couple of things in mind can make a great difference in the way you approach this task, and more importantly, in the way clients evaluate your proposal. Therefore, find out what you know about the client or company, industry etc.; then, start your proposal with an offer of helpful suggestions right in your cover letter; including an example of similar work.

Potential Clients

At times, potential clients, especially individuals, nonprofits, and small business enterprises advertise by posting jobs asking for proposals. It means that the agency wishes for potential freelancers to peruse their needs, and put together a proposal of those needs, along with estimated costs, to which you would respond as the person with the requisite skills.

First of all, when a proposal is requested, do your due diligence by checking the client’s history, to ensure it is genuine. Then, read the job carefully and ask yourself the honest question, “Can I do this?” Now, if your answer is “yes,” start writing your proposal. Refer to the client’s requirements in the beginning, and do not forget to talk about your skills and previous project related to the job.

Focus on You

Most freelancers find it difficult answering “What makes you better than other candidates and why should we hire you?” Here is a good response, start with a disavowal stating that you do not know other candidates or skills they may possess, answering the question with confidence. Focus on yourself and what you do or what you can do, rather than on what others cannot do. Discuss the skill, strengths, and qualities that qualify you for the position, to do the work and deliver exceptional results. Why? Because you possess a combination of skills and experience that make you stand out from the crowd.

However, when getting ready to talk about what sets you apart from everyone else, remember to keep your answer relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Think about what strengths are needed for the job and let them know how your skills and experience make you the best fit over all the others.

Here are some particularly important questions to consider:

How would you describe yourself as a freelancer?

Introduce yourself; talk about your experience helping clients, employers, or friends and family with this or similar problem. Share your relevant credentials, training or even awards. Talk about why you started your business, and why you got into this field, or why you are so passionate about what you do.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

A simple technique for answering “Tell Me About Yourself” would be to bring into focus your present reality. Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a significant recent accomplishment. Talk about the past! Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

What are your strengths?

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:

  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Determination
  • Dedication
  • Enthusiasm
  • Patience
  • Respectfulness
  • Trustworthiness

What are some of your weaknesses?

Here are a few examples of the best weaknesses to mention in an interview:

  • I focus too much on the details
  • I have a hard time letting go of a project
  • I have difficulty saying “no”
  • I get impatient when projects run beyond the deadline
  • I could use more experience in…

What is your biggest weakness?

The best answer to “What is your greatest weakness? Would be something like, “My greatest weakness is that I am a cautious and nervous person by nature. I have a difficult time speaking up in groups. Even if I have good ideas, I have a challenge asserting them.”

General Format for a Proposal

As you can see, a proposal generally consists of the following:

  1. Introduction – A brief overview of the problem, solution, costs, and benefits.
  2. Issue – The main definition of the issue, including subject, purpose, main argument, background information and importance.
  3. Solution – The main definition of the solution, including your step-by-step plan, the benefits, and how potential obstacles will be overcome.
  4. Qualifications – Overview of the personnel required, experience.
  5. Conclusion of the costs and benefits, and wrap-up – Balance the cost against the benefit, reinforce your point one last time.

Read the job descriptions thoroughly; because, if you want to be successful in anything, you have to read with interest. Do your research and check for reviews. Also, have confidence in your talent; write down all relevant skills then write a draft proposal complimenting it with the client’s tone.

Steps to writing your own project proposal

  • Step 1: Define the problem
  • Step 2: Present your solution
  • Step 3: Define your deliverables and success criteria
  • Step 4: State your plan or approach
  • Step 5: Outline your project schedule and budget
  • Step 6: Tie it all together

In conclusion, confidently offer the benefits while stating the reasons why you are the right person for the job. End your freelance proposal with a statement or phrase that is just apt to invoke a positive response from the client. Ideally, your closing statements should push the client to ask more questions and these further discussions will optimize your chances of getting hired.

Now, since time is money having a proposal template at hand is key for any freelancer. Generally, you will use the same documents over and over again, so having a template to work on is a great idea to save you the trouble of retyping what is essentially the same message every time you get a new project.