The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Design Proposal

Graphic designers and illustrators probably know about the struggle. You got a new lead, but you have no idea how to make them convert. A great design proposal will help you get your next client. Here’s the ultimate guide to writing a design proposal that works.

Do Your Research

You want to be doing a lot of researching throughout the whole process. Right after getting a lead, do some research based on the information you already know about them. After you have a conversation with them to understand what they want, do even more extensive research to further understand who they are, what they do, and how you can help them.

It is crucial for you to keep conducting your research at every stage before and after you create your design proposal. This will ensure that you are on the same page with your client and can even be ahead of them on one step proposing different ideas all the time. After all, it’s in your own interests to look professional.

Try to figure out beforehand who your client’s competition is and what they are doing. Check the brand awareness factor of your client’s company so you know whether or not that factor should be improved through your future design.

Talk & Communicate

It is always important to remember to communicate properly and talk to your client before and during the process. You want to know what to expect from your work with them and how much of that work you will be doing.

Figure out what their problem is and think of the solutions you can find for them. Keeping in mind your skills and expertise is also important here so that you don’t sell yourself short. You want to be paid for as much work as you do.

If you got in touch with your client online, you may be wondering how you could get a proper conversation with them. It’s best not to limit yourself with emails or messengers and schedule a call via Skype or a similar program.

Use Appropriate Tools

Crafting a great design proposal doesn’t come without its challenges. This is why using professional tools for creating your proposal is essential for you to succeed. There are both paid programs and ones that have free trials so you have space for consideration.

Some notable ones include PandaDoc (proposal software to generate, negotiate, and eSign professional proposals), Proposify (business proposal software for creating contracts, quotes, and other sales documents), Bidsketch (proposal software for sales teams, salespeople, and anyone closing deals), and Proposable (smart proposal software for teams to create, deliver, track, and eSign sales material).

You can also use some tools to help you in writing and editing such as Grammarly (finds grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors), Trust My Paper (an online writing service to write your proposal for you), Hemingway Editor (highlights complicated sentences, passive voice, and adverbs), and Google Docs (allows you to create, edit, and share word documents online).

Structure Your Proposal

Let’s say you are writing a proposal for a logo design. Just like with any other design, you must have a clear structure for your logo design proposal. To help you with the structure, here are the usual sections of a design proposal (you can give them your own names):

  1. Problem: The first section must talk about the main issue of your client as well as some minor problems. You should focus on the challenges your client’s business is facing. They probably already explained it to you, but you must still show that you understood it properly. Moreover, some clients might not know what their issues are so it’s your job to point it out to them. By the way, a great idea would be to use graphs, diagrams, and statistics to show that you are serious about the problem.
  2. Solution: The next section is the solution you are proposing. You need to persuade your client that you are the right person for the project as you have an effective solution to their problems. Propose a specific course of action and outline all the individual steps you will be making. Explain how this solution will help your client and include stats to support your claim. Don’t forget about the part with opportunities for reviewing the strategy you chose. The solution gets the spotlight in your design proposal, so you absolutely must make it persuasive.
  3. Finale: The last section is all about the further steps your client must make to finalize a working relationship with you. Include such things as general terms and conditions, payment terms, and timeframes and deadlines. Don’t sell yourself short when considering the payment and take into account such factors as the complexity of the project, the time and effort it will take, its urgency, and your experience and expertise. All the terms and conditions, as well as timeframes and deadlines, should be outlined in great detail. Also, don’t forget to add some calls to action and motivational persuaders at the end of this section. You want your potential customer take action and become your client.

Take Your Time

Lastly, don’t forget that writing a great design proposal takes time. You should be aware of the fact that you might have to dedicate a lot of your time and put in much effort to create a design proposal that will do its job.

In fact, even the researching part will take time as will the stage where you meet your client to discuss the project. Of course, you will get better at it with time and practice, and someday, you will be able to write your design proposals much faster. For now, the tools mentioned in this article will be the ones making your job easier.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you shouldn’t worry about messing up your design proposal if you know what you are doing. Read this guide attentively once again, make notes, and follow the advice given here to create a design proposal that stands out.

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About the author

Author of this post
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at SupremeDissertations and GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.

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