You’ve just created the perfect project and have submitted your proposal to all the contacts in your designer’s network. Now you’re patiently wait to hear back from anyone in hopes to add another project to your business portfolio.
With Ilise Benun’s new book, Marketing Mentor’s Designer’s Proposal Bundle, she guides you to creating and sending out your proposals and to avoid the waiting period of hearing back from potential prospects. You won’t need to wonder if you’ve done something wrong in your proposal, if you need to add to your project or simply question if you’ve reached out to the right prospects.
Her helpful tips along with her expert advice will guide aspiring and experienced designers alike with this proposal process.
9 Basic Proposal Principles
- What exactly is a Proposal? Benun defines the basics of a proposal which will outline your objective and strategy. Your proposal document “proposes” what you intend to do for a prospective client.
- Pre-Proposal Checklist – Gather the information needed before you start your proposal including your project time-frame, budget, objective, the market for the project, amount of research, and your experience. This gives you a solid foundation from the very beginning.
- Types of Proposals – Here you will find clarification on the four different types of proposals, depending on the scale of your project.
- What should be in your Proposal? There isn’t one right way to create a proposal, but it should contain these 5 elements – Description, Deliverables, Costs, Timeline, and Sign-offs. Also listed are the additional elements for larger proposals.
- Presenting your Proposal – It’s important for YOU to present your project in real time and to dialogue with your prospect. What makes your project better than your competitors? Your presentation is a key component to success!
- Responding to objections – Nobody wants their project to be objected, but the reality is, it may happen. She suggests ways to dialogue about your project in your real-time presentation which may give you a second chance with your prospects and keeping them tuned into your ideas.
- Closing the deal – In this section, Benun does a fabulous job of helping you to “Be patient, but not passive” and securing your next big project with some basic selling techniques. She offers suggestions with real-time dialogue to make your prospects even more onboard with your fresh ideas.
- Black Hole Syndrome – While you may never hear back from prospects and your project may seem to have disappeared into the “black hole”, don’t let yourself disappear either, stay with your project and stay connected.
- What if you don’t get the project? Unfortunately, regrets are part of the business. But don’t lose hope or focus of your project. Take the opportunity to learn from it and to ensure your next project is better prepared. Keep in touch with your prospects, which you’ve now started a relationship with, and inquire about impending projects. Always ask for their feedback on your proposal and learn from your experiences.
Benun doesn’t leave you hanging with her expert advice. She gives further insight about which proposals are worthy of sending, how to make follow-up contact with possible prospects and even how to increase the chances of your proposal being seen and chosen. She even shows you samples of successful proposals to help guide you in creating your template. You can follow these same proposal patterns or simply use them as models to create your own unique template.
Benun states, “…don’t put too much weight on the proposal itself because there is more to the process than what’s on paper. What matters more is how well you communicate and follow through, how reliable you are, how you speak to them and how well taken care of they feel, including through the follow-up process.”
The one goal of this book is to help you gain success from your creative ideas in the graphic design industry. Your proposal is an important step to achieving this goal and the guidelines in this book will boost your confidence and steer you towards this accomplishment in an ever-growing career field.