Being able to write a high-quality project proposal is an essential skill for many freelancers and solopreneurs. Yet it’s not just the words that are important. The design can also have a huge impact. While the written content is the driving force, the design is what frames that content and supports the message. That’s where professionally designed project proposal templates can really help you as a freelancer.
Well-written and presented project proposals are vital to your success as a freelance professional, whatever industry you are in. They can help you land lucrative clients who respect your skills and experience. Proposals can also open doors to new opportunities and allow you to raise your income to new heights.
But this happens only when the proposal’s content and design work seamlessly together. An exceptionally written project proposal framed with an attractive and professional looking design, will make you the client’s only credible option.
So what are some of the ways you can make your freelance project proposal template look more professional?
Use a simple modern design
From the moment your potential client sets eyes on your project proposal, they need to know you mean business. The proposal document should ooze quality and leave the reader in no doubt as to your level of professionalism. A good proposal design is simple, modern, well-rendered, and above all, supportive of the content. Whatever design elements you include, everything should frame and accentuate the words.
Select a project proposal template that has all of these qualities. You can then adjust it to suit your individual business identity, subject-matter, and client requirements.
Adapt the design to suit your audience
A great design doesn’t necessarily mean an appropriate design. The look of your project proposal document needs to match with the expectations and reality of your target audience. If you provide freelance services to more creative businesses, for example, then adding more photos and infographics can make the proposal more appealing.
The opposite is also true. Some prospects in particular industries may prefer simple chart tables with a heavier emphasis on facts and figures, rather than imagery.
Consider the industry you’re targeting and the style of documents they are most used to reading.
Use a recognizable brand color scheme
Brand continuity is vital for all businesses, including freelancers. Prospects are able to quickly connect a brand look with a particular professional. The colors and designs of your brand identity need to be incorporated into every document and page clients will see.
Ensure your project proposal also contains your brand color scheme and graphics. This strengthens their association with your work. Your brand’s colors can be used in background highlights, header graphics, sub-title boxes, bullet points, and as elements in tables and charts.
Create an intelligent layout
Project proposals follow a general pattern which it’s important to maintain. Clients will expect a certain structure. Anything which deviates from what they are accustomed to might result in confusion. It’s vital for your proposal to be easy-to-read, flowing, and without complications.
That said, within the traditional layout there is room to add your own unique design elements and features. For example, using two columns instead of the traditional one, can work well. This depends on the subject matter and intended audience. You can even use a combination of both, on different pages or the same page.
Use neat content formatting
Just like with the layout of the project proposal, the formatting of the content needs to generally follow what your intended audience are used to. However, there is plenty of room to format the content in an attractive and unique way.
Use plenty of small paragraph sections, bullet points, headers & sub-headers, tables, charts, and indentations. These features make the proposal look more attractive, easier to read, and show you’ve put effort into the document’s creation. They also make the written content stand out further.
Select a readable font
It’s the words that are the vital element of your project proposal. You can have an exceptional design and fantastic proposal content but if the words are hard to read, then you’ll be put at a huge disadvantage. Treat the words like the actors on a stage. They need to be clearly seen and understood, without delay or obstruction.
Select an attractive font which can be read quickly and easily. Make sure background colors don’t camouflage the text. Maintain the same font throughout the document.
Ensure the proposal is suitable for printing
Many project proposals will be digital in nature but some clients might want to hold a physical version of your proposal. If you create printed versions of proposals, then it’s important these are printed on the best paper and use professional binding. Such documents might also need some modifications and additions, such as resizing and formatting to suit the printed page.
The printed project proposal should look flawless when in the hands of key decision-makers within the company you’re targeting.
Decide before selecting and modifying a template whether the project proposal will be printed. If so, choose templates which will look just as good printed onto paper.
Fully customizable project proposal templates
Project proposal templates, just like your invoice templates, allow you to present your freelance brand in the best possible light. They also help you to speed up the proposal development process by giving you a ready-to-use format in which to slot in your text. This saves you time, which in turn speeds up your productivity and improves your cash flow.
Once you’ve adapted one proposal template, you can then use it again and again, especially if you’re a freelance specialist in a particular industry.
At Invoice Ninja we have a range of professionally designed proposal templates – and invoice templates – from which to choose. They are all fully-customizable and easy to adapt. You can add your own unique and distinctive brand identity and modify the format to your liking.