Freelancing Tips: Win More Proposals and Double Your Revenue
Proposals. Most of us love them, and we kind of love to hate them. If you dread proposals, you’re not alone. Which is why I want to show you how to win more proposals AND double your revenue.
It wasn’t that not long ago that I used to dread consult calls because while they meant potentially more money (yay!), they also meant writing a proposal and the stress that came with it. Immediately, I’d start to wonder how we’d fit writing a proposal into an already busy day. And what in the world would I say?!
The reality is, to double your revenue and grow your business, you need to win more proposals. And to win more proposals, you’ll have to keep writing them. For most businesses, they’re a necessary and important part of getting potential clients to say yes.
Here are five tips to help you win more proposals and these are proven tips that we do here at Small Business Boss and that we’ve taught to our mastermind members and community. In fact, when Better Proposals 2017 Annual Report was released, it backed up a lot of what we teach about proposals.
#1. Get Your Proposal Process Handled
If there’s one place to get systems in order for your freelance business, it’s your proposals. It will save you so much time and energy. If it’s currently taking you longer than 30 minutes to write your proposals, then there’s definitely room for improvement.
One of the biggest factors for us winning more proposals came when we started using Bidsketch, which is a tool designed for writing proposals (very similar to Better Proposals or Dubsado). The reality is, before using Bidsketch, we used Google Docs, and while it worked OK, having a tool dedicated to proposals was an undeniable game changer. (And time saver!)
#2. Stop Sending PDFs
According to the Better Proposals 2017 Annual Report, your proposals are over 45% more likely to close if you DON’T send them as a PDF.
Why? A PDF encourages people to print them or save them to their hard drive where they may be lost forever. (Only partially joking!)
The biggest reason why a PDF proposal is less desirable is due to the fact that you lose any real ability to track activity around views of a proposal. When you use a tool like Bidsketch or Better Proposals, you’re able to track when and how many times a proposal is viewed, meaning you can follow-up in a timely fashion. (Also, if the potential client hasn’t viewed the proposal, you also know to nudge them.)
#3. Keep It Around Six Pages
This may seem like a lot of pages for your proposal or it may seem like not enough. The Better Proposals report found that the most common number of pages in a “won proposal” was six pages compared to just four or fewer or eight or more. Six pages is enough to feel weighty and thoughtful but not so much that you run the risk of overwhelming the potential client.
#4. Save Your Pricing for Last
This is one of the lessons we’ve carried over from our corporate days. Build up what it is that you’re selling them on without mentioning how much it costs.
You want them reading and nodding along so they buy into what you’re proposing first. Then, by the time you mention the fees or the investment, they’ve already bought into the value and what you can do for them. They’re ready to work with you, and they see the value you’ll deliver versus quickly deciding based on price alone.
#5. Don’t Procrastinate
Get your proposals DONE. Stop being precious about your time, and just get them out the door. Not convinced? Proposals sent within 24 hours result in a 26% higher conversion rate and a faster time to sign too.
In fact, when you send your proposal within 24 hours, it takes just six days to sign compared to ten days if you wait 48 hours.
That fast turnaround time says to the would-be client that they’re a priority, so when you have a consult call, add in extra time to prepare a proposal that same day. (And, no, this doesn’t say you’re not busy enough; it says you want their business. Period.)
Creating winning proposals should be a priority for any freelancing, creative, or consulting business. The more proposals you’re able to win, the better you’ll be able to grow your business and be on the way to doubling your revenue.
While you most certainly don’t have to pay for a tool to send proposals, it may be worth trying one out for 90 days. A small monthly fee (we’re talking like $30/mo or less) to help you close more proposals and double your revenue, is a very small drop in the bucket.
Using Bidsketch and getting this process systematized for us, revolutionized how we approach consults and proposals, AND it’s been a huge factor in us being able to double our revenue multiple times over the years.