When you walk into a job interview, I certainly hope that you don’t wear jeans with holes in them and your favorite tee shirt. I hope you don’t slouch and talk to the interviewer like you would talk to your friends at a party. If you get my drift, you have to carry yourself into an interview showing respect and that includes what you wear and how you act.
It’s the same game in this online explosion. Just because you might be sitting in your shorts and sandals writing a project proposal doesn’t mean your proposal can be lacking in professionalism. You have to put your best foot forward and there are definite signals that will have your proposal flagged for the can or chosen for further consideration.
The first thing in writing a project proposal is to identify what the client wants. Freelancers make the mistake of thinking that a template project proposal is all they need. I have to admit that it gets tedious writing the same things over and over. But, a good client does not want a template project proposal. They want to see a proposal that identifies their needs.
It’s ok to have a well-written template in place. But, read over the project and identify the specific goals and strategies of the project. If they want a how-to manual on building shelves, it doesn’t do you any good to tell the potential client that you’ve written books about baseball. This by the way is first hand experience.
If you can make writing a book about baseball relevant to the potential client’s needs, then add it in that way. Don’t simply mention the fact. Make it relevant. Let the client know why you are telling them that you wrote a book about baseball. What does it have to do with building shelves? It’s not hard when you think about it. But, it is crucial. Modify your template so that it addresses every single need the client has raised.
After you have identified all of your client’s needs, follow the outline of your project proposal. There are different project proposal outlines and this isn’t the end all to be all outline for everything. But, it is a good outline to follow for your template and modify per proposal that you write.
First, introduce yourself and make it very clear what project your proposal is addressing. Some clients will have many jobs out at once and it serves you best to indicate which project you want. After you have introduced yourself start listing your experiences as they relate to the client’s needs. Every experience you have ever had will not be appropriate for every proposal you write. So you have to think it through.
List your best experiences that are relevant. Normally, a client will be happy with two or three jobs that you have done showing the experience you need. Don’t simply list them in order. Talk about them a little. Explain the relevance and the technical experience involved. Make the client understand your expertise.
Now, it’s time to tell the client how you will do the job. They like to know that they are in competent hands. They like to feel safe that you know what you are doing and you have a plan for them. Think about them. Quit thinking about yourself. That’s the toughest thing to do.
When you are writing a project proposal, it is all about the client. It has nothing to do with you. There are details that can be discussed later. So, they have no purpose in your proposal. Wrap your brain around your client’s needs and you will most likely write the proposal so that your words reflect that you understand what they want and you know how to give it to them. There is so much more about writing the dynamite project proposal, so I’ll see you next time and we’ll continue.