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Writing a Project Proposal5:04 with Pasan Premaratne
Writing a project proposal involves taking everything you have learned about the client’s project and proving that you are the best person for the job. In this video we will take a high level view at what a proposal is about and what sections we need to focus on.
[Pasan Premaratne] In the previous videos we went over the types of questions you can ask your client 0:00 at the start of a potential project. 0:05 With all that information in hand we can go about creating a project proposal. 0:07 Now let's assume we have gone over the list of questions, understood the needs of our client and the project, 0:12 and we've come up with a great solution. 0:18 We also figured out how much time it would take take us to implement the solution, and thereby what we'd like to charge for it. 0:21 All of this stuff is very important information and needs to be conveyed to the client in a succinct manner. 0:28 The most common way of doing this is to write up a project proposal and pitch it to the client. 0:34 The proposal, along with another crucial document we'll cover later, sets the groundwork for the entire project. 0:39 This is where you let the client know exactly what to expect, when to expect it, and what it will cost them. 0:46 Proposals come in many shapes and sizes. Some freelancers prefer short proposals that get right to the point. 0:53 Others like to be more descriptive. 1:00 While some of the sections in the proposal are absolutely essential, others you can do without. 1:02 We'll go over most of the common sections covered, but spend most of our time on the needed ones. 1:08 Let's take a quick high-level look at what a proposal looks like. 1:14 First up you have the cover page. After that you have an optional non-disclosure statement. 1:18 Then you have the company statement followed by client information and client goals. 1:24 Now that stuff is optional. 1:29 Then we have the proposed solution, project specifics, project phases, and quote. 1:31 These are absolutely essential. 1:37 There are certainly other sections that you can add—things like special considerations— 1:39 that lists all of the specifics of the project outside of the norm. 1:43 Of this list, though, it is absolutely essential to spend your time with the last 4 items— 1:47 the proposed solution, project specifics, project phases, and quote. 1:52 The other items make for a great and complete proposal, but they're not as essential as the last 4 items. 1:56 Nonetheless, we'll go over it all. 2:03 Let's start with the cover page. This is a really simple page that introduces the proposal and outlines what is contained inside. 2:06 It gives the client the same high-level view of the proposal that we just went over. 2:14 Mention who you are, your contact information, and what the document is. 2:18 The cover letter mostly serves to introduce and give a bit of professional look to your proposal. 2:23 It is a great idea to include a non-disclosure agreement along with your proposal. 2:30 If you have a great relationship with the client your working with, this might not be necessary. 2:35 But lots of clients can unknowingly share your designs with other designers pitching for the project 2:39 or show your proposed solution to the designer who gets chosen in the end. 2:44 You also don't want them sharing information such as your pricing structure or rate. 2:49 Your competitors can use this information against you. 2:53 The non-disclosure agreement can be a complicated, long legal document that your lawyer puts together, but it doesn't have to be. 2:56 If you want to keep the proposal nice and simple, it can simply be a paragraph stating that everything within the document 3:03 should not be shared with anyone without prior written authorization. 3:09 That being said, the more you can do to protect your sensitive information, the better. 3:14 Most freelancers include a section where they talk about themselves in the proposal. 3:18 This company section is a chance for you to separate yourself from the competitor. 3:23 Differentiate yourself, highlighting your unique skills over everyone else. 3:28 This isn't necessary, but if you're pitching a project with multiple freelancers competing, 3:32 it can be a good idea to showcase your uniqueness. 3:37 Also if there are many stakeholders involved with the project, if you expect the document to be passed around, 3:41 then this is a chance to introduce yourself or your company and your skills set and highlight why you are good for this project. 3:47 Okay, so everything we've discussed in the proposal has been about ourselves. 3:54 This is stuff that the client won't really be bothered about, though. 3:58 They want to know how you can help them, so keep that previous section kind of short. 4:02 The next section should talk about the client. 4:07 This is your chance to show that you really listened and are taking all their needs into account when working on this project. 4:10 Start with the client's information. 4:16 Show that you have done your research by including a very short blurb of the company and their goals 4:18 and a brief description of the project they want you to undertake. 4:23 Client goals—now this is where the client is probably going to start reading because this information that is relevant to them. 4:27 If you followed along, you have a list of questions that the client answered prior to writing this proposal. 4:34 Show the client that you understood what they were saying by listing out their goals for the project. 4:39 List all the objectives that you discussed. And if possible, relate these project goals to their business objectives. 4:45 Now those sections all serve an important purpose, but they're not 100% necessary. 4:51 If you're strapped for time, you can skip them. 4:56 Next we'll tackle the absolute necessary sections of our proposal. 4:59
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