By Brandon Eley

Tips for Designing an Amazing Proposal

By Brandon Eley

We recently overhauled our proposal, and what we ended up with was pretty amazing. We started with a document that was all about us, from the design to the language in the proposal. When you picked it up, you knew who it was from immediately. But as we were working on a proposal for a very large project recently, we thought the proposal shouldn’t be as much about us as it is about the client.

So we started redesigning our proposals based on the client or project. We have always broken out our proposals into sections, and we decided to use large, full-color photographs to separate each section. We sprinkle additional color photoraphs throughout the proposal. The graphics relate to the client – not us. If the client is a real estate company, think homes and agents. If they are a restaurant, think gorgeous photos of food. You also should use their logo – it should be as big or bigger than your own.

We seriously reworded our proposal too. Instead of being bland copy about our agency that we simply copied and pasted into each new proposal, we tailored the copy to this specific project. We wrote about how our previous experience prepared us to do a great job on this project. We went into details about specific questions in their RFP by describing recent project we’d worked on.


We also went further than the RFP required. As we were researching the client and project, we had a lot of ideas that went above and beyond what they asked for, and we really wanted to make sure we included those in the proposal somehow. While we stuck to the required proposal structure in their RFP, we included additional suggestions in the sidebars and interstitial pages.

When was the last time you looked at your proposals? Is it time to give it a refresher?

  • I was only talking to someone about this today, in 2012 we are going to try having a generic proposal that with send to people initially, then if they are interested to move forward we try and either meet with them in person or via phone/skype, THEN we would develop a specific proposal based around their needs and their goals – still trying to get the words down on paper, great post Brandon.

  • I always write project specific proposals all the time, never copied same thing everywhere. I use to send very less proposals but they keep me busy all time.

    But the point of using the pictures related to client industry is new and my favourite. I loved it. I am going to use it for sure. Thanks a lot for such fantastic idea and I know it will work for sure.

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