A Proposal is a persuasive piece of writing that is written to convince the reader to take a particular action. Most of the time, the proposal is written to make people lend you money for a particular task. In the freelancing terminology, Proposal Writing has one purpose: to make the employer hire you for the job. In the real and virtual world, the process begins with bidding on a project. Numerous people bid for the same project.
The things get interesting here. You are propelled into throat cutting competition. You face people with similar skills. To stand out against your competition you need to write an effective proposal highlighting your strengths and unique skills that make you perfect for the job. Here are five things that you need to follow to write a project proposal.
5 Things to Follow When You Write a Project Proposal
Collect the Necessary Information
The first thing for writing any piece of writing is to gather all the relevant information. For writing the project proposal, read the project description carefully. Read it twice or thrice to make sure that you don't miss any important point. Note down the important things and requirements. Now, you need to match your expertise, abilities and qualification to the project. For this use notepad and make a rough draft. For example, the project reads: “ We need an experienced software designer”.
Write how long you have been in the field. e.g., 2 or 3 years etc. Similarly, for the skills, qualification and time limit write so on and so forth. Usually freelancer websites provide a template. If you intend to use them, then don't forget to customize it according to the project. The beginner freelancers should use the template, once they get experienced, then they can write their own proposal. Again, even working with templates don't forget to change it according to the project.
Reply Any Question Asked
Sometimes, the employers ask some questions. Be sure and courteous to reply to those queries. Sometimes, the employer is a novice. So, you should not only answer the question, but also give more information. This will not only serve the purpose (reply to the question) but it will also make you stand out from the crowd (as being kind and courteous). You can answer the questions in the beginning of your proposal or adjust them in one of the paragraphs. Some question are explicit which means these are stated with a question mark, others are embedded in the text. Answer both types of questions.
Market Your Skills and Expertise
Project Proposal is after all a marketing tool. It is similar to the ads you watch on TV or read in newspapers. Marketers use a terms AIDA to describe the process of attention grabbing and making people try your product. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Interesting or intriguing beginning can grab Attention. You further develop the interest through facts which creates a desire in the reader which ultimately leads to action. Write in a paragraph that what are the strong points and qualities (including hobbies) that distinguish you from the competition.
In Proposal writing, you are selling your skills, interests and qualification. What can attract the employers' attention? this can vary from project to project. For example, a job requires a particular qualification (e.g., Masters in Film/Screen writing) you can highlight that in the first paragraph. Some jobs need skills, so getting right on it will be the best choice. Some employers need experience, so explaining your experience in the first paragraph or in bullet format would do the job. In some instances, the employers ask for completing a job within a limited time period, so describing how you aim to do this in the limited time could lend you the job.
Accurate Time and Cost Estimates
Now, you are left with the most important part of the proposal. You need to provide the employer with the estimated time and cost of the project. All the paragraphs in the proposal leads to this point. Be realistic and professional. You need to aware of the cost of similar projects. Similarly, you need to see your requirements. You have to strike the right balance between the two. Some freelancers think that the lowest quote can win the project. In some cases, it could be true, but if you charge more than the other bidders than you need to justify it. You can highlight your past successes.
Testimonials can also convince the employers of your claims. Your high quality work can also do the magic. Ultimately, as pointed out in the previous section, you need to strike the right cord with catch phrases and keywords. Plan out how you would complete a project at the limited time. Professional and reality based estimates are difference between the winning and rejected proposals.
Be a Good Person
Don't forget that you are interacting with a human beings.Be kind and courteous. Use the rules for business communication. Read some articles on the Internet or get a book on business communication to get a hint of good communication. Concise, complete and courteous proposal letter will make the impression on a personal level. Even if you are not selected for the given project, the employer may hire you for future project. Greetings at the beginning and appropriate salutations are as necessary as the proposal body.
People like to work with people who are not only professional but also kind, good natured and mannered. Make your point politely, if you disagree on something. In rare cases, you need to report the employer to the site for some breach of terms. Make your case politely and logically.