Tips for Designing an Amazing Proposal

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?