Writing the Ultimate Freelance Consultant Proposal and the Top 5 Things to Avoid
Creating a pitch or a proposal for a project is never easy. Unlike punting a product, you are your product. Yet, as a consultant pitches and proposals will become an integral part of your life. It’s one thing to approach a potential client, but it’s quite another to land the contract. Most potential clients will request that you send them a pitch or proposal before committing.
What Should Be in My Freelance Consultant Proposal?
There are a few key elements to any proposal that must be included in the information provided:
- The details surrounding the project (why you’re needed in the first place).
- The to-do list (what needs to be done and achieved).
- The timeline in which you as a freelance consultant can do it, taking client expectations into account (they might need to complete the project before the Christmas rush for example).
- The expected outcomes and the metrics in which the success of the project will be measured once completed.
The Anatomy of a Proposal Document
While each of your proposals will obviously differ since it’s different companies and projects with different problems and solutions, the layout and structure of your proposal will remain the same. This is what your proposal should consist of when writing a consultant proposal:
Even in a proposal, it’s pretty rude not to say “hi”. The only difference is that you’ll do it in a more formal manner.
As is the case with any good piece of writing, you’ll need an intro. An intro needs to be enticing enough for someone to want to read further. Your intro will usually be a summary or overview of the project as well as some information about you and what you bring to the table. But don’t write an essay. An intro should only be one or two paragraphs long.
The scope of the project
This is essentially your to-do list in bullet point format.
This section serves a variety of purposes such as outlining your responsibilities, managing client expectations as well as avoid any scope creep where you soon find yourself doing tasks that you are not being paid for. Needless to say, your to-do list should be incredibly specific.
Don’t just state “make calls”, state how many phone calls.
This is essentially what you would like to achieve in terms of the various deliverables – the goals.
This is where you detail the end results/end product. Is it a business analysis report? Is it a brochure? What is it that you will ultimately leave your client with?
In the previous sections, you have already addressed the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, so now you need to address the ‘when’. This should be incredibly detailed with breakdowns of tasks and at which dates they will occur or be completed. Your timeline will also outline the dates regarding certain project milestones.
The client obviously cannot expect all this value for free, so in this section, you need to detail your freelance consultant fees and when you expect payment.
The John Hancock
This is something that not a lot of freelance consultants think about adding to their proposals. Instead of waiting on feedback regarding the proposal and then wasting even more time with contracts in order to finalize the deal, include a space where the client can sign off on the proposal. This means that the basics of the contract have already been agreed upon and the work can start while more formal documentation is drafted (if need be).
Your Contact Details
Your proposal should always end with a CTA along with all the various contact details they can use to reach you.
5 Things to Avoid When Writing A Consultant Proposal
1. When You Shouldn’t Have Started in the First Place
This is a skill that often (and unfortunately) comes with experience. When starting your freelance consultant career, it might be very tempting to grab every possible opportunity that comes your way. But many of these are only masquerading as opportunities. You will receive many who are just putting out their feelers.