In the nearly two years that I’ve been freelancing, I have prepared and submitted close to a hundred project proposals.
Not all of those proposals successfully led to paid projects, of course. And because I’m too lazy and can’t be bothered with tracking my results (as Juliet Dupreez recommends in her ebook, “The Winning Proposal”), I can’t even tell you what my success rate is.
What stands out in my mind are the proposals I’ve sent out that have been less than stellar. Yes, I confess. I didn’t always put a lot of effort in my project proposals, especially in the early months when my fees were way below market standard and — again, I’m being perfectly honest here — when I was treating my freelancing more as a hobby than as a business.
Now that I’ve “grown up,” I put a lot more thought and effort into my project proposals. I’ve taken the time to learn how to prettify my template. But more importantly, I take the time and energy to really “listen” to what my prospective clients want and need, and where I fit into the process of them achieving their goals.
Looking back, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my project proposals. I’m exposing myself for your sake, because I hope that by reading about my own foibles, you will avoid them for yourself.
Here are the top 5 project proposal mistakes I’ve made: