How to Create a Client Proposal [Step-by-Step Guide]
There are a lot of skills you have to learn and processes you must set up when you first set up your own social media or digital marketing agency. One of the most important things you must figure out if you want to be a success is how to write a proposal for a project or for a client.
When you meet a prospect client, you need to figure out the next step to ensure you land their business. Thankfully, I’m here to help! In this blog, I’m going to take you through my step by step process of presenting a proposal to a client.
When to Present Your Business Proposal Ideas
Though you might be eager to close the deal, the first meeting is not the time for you to present your proposal. This also means that you shouldn’t start off your acquaintanceship with a prospect by sending a proposal email to the client. Instead, your first interactions should focus on establishing a connection and building a relationship.
It isn’t until the conclusion of your first business meeting that you should inform the potential client that you will follow up to set up the second meeting. The purpose of the second meeting will be to present and review your proposal.
What Your Client Proposal Should Achieve
Of course, big picture, you want your business proposal to ultimately land you the client. But there are specific goals you’ll need to achieve in order to get the outcome that you want. First and foremost, your proposal needs to demonstrate an understanding of the client’s needs and show how you are going to meet those needs.
Your client proposal should:
Identify the Client’s Business Needs
In order to achieve this, you’ll need to perform research on the client. Determine the target audience, industry/niche they serve, product/services they offer, and, if you can, figure out their financials. The financial aspect will help you get a better idea of what their marketing budget might be and the services you can propose.
Additionally, you need to find out their pain points, as this will give you a better understanding of how to market their product or services. While doing research prior to your first meeting with the client, you should also be gathering information during that first meeting to include in your business proposal.
Offer a Solution
After you’ve presented the client with an assessment of their needs, you need to be able to show them why your agency is integral to solving their needs. You proposal should show the client what their business would look like once their digital issues are solved.
Answer Any Questions Your Client Might Have
A strong client proposal will anticipate not only the client’s needs, but also their questions. Make sure you cover your bases
What Your Client Proposal Should Include
Basically, your proposal should consist of a marketing plan, which is a step-by-step process that explains what your agency will do to increase the value of the business and how you will convert customers to sales.
It should also review everything that was discussed in the initial meeting. To reinforce the budding relationship and your attentiveness to the client’s needs, use phrasing like, “When we talked last…” With the information you’ve gathered, you should briefly go over their goals, how much marketing they want to do online, what they are currently doing to market their business.
This can be a quick synopsis that you can go over at the beginning of the meeting prior to presenting the physical proposal. It is important that you make the client understand that they are the ones who told You what they want, as this adds value and authority to what you are saying.
Important Tip: Take several copies of the proposal with you to the meeting. Higher level clients most likely will have more than one person attending the meeting. You could also use a projector to ensure everyone is able to see the proposal.
Here is a breakdown of what your client proposal should include:
Begin the proposal with an explanation of your business, how many years of experience you have, past businesses you have worked with, and other information that shows your authority.
Provide a list and explanation of the services you provide and why you are the best choice to solve the challenges their business is currently facing.
Timelines and Project Deliverables
Include estimated time frames for deliverables. This includes:
- Specific marketing ideas/campaigns
- Creative and technical services used to meet the client’s needs
- Social media calendars
- Graphics and other pieces of content
In addition to the specific projects, you need to specify what these projects will achieve and how long it may take. This means things like increased website traffic, better engagement, more conversions and ROI, etc.
Projected times for deliverables are big factors in whether prospective clients decide to move forward with the contract process. A great way to present this could be a timeline showing the client the project visually, in additional to what will be completed, when, and by whom.
Scope of Work
Give an outline of the scope of work that the client can use as a reference point that they can return to and understand what they are getting. This can be displayed monthly, quarterly, or both.
For social media marketing proposals, this may include a content calendar, automating posts, and analyzing social metrics.
Plus give supporting evidence that the ideas and outlines you propose will work. This could mean including past results from campaigns you’ve run yourself or from case studies. DO NOT try to pass case studies off as jobs that your agency has tried to perform.
Cost and Terms
In your business proposal, you should go line by line through each cost and briefly explain the pricing break down. Summarize what each charge is and why they are necessary, including any fees.
You should have an idea of their marketing budget from the research that you should have completed before the first meeting. Stick closely to the marketing budget so that the client isn’t shocked or put off by the fees you’re outlining.
So you’ve made it through the business proposal presentation, how do you close the meeting (and the sale)?
Close the Sale
At the end of your meeting, ask the client to act and give them several different options on how to accept your proposal. If the client agrees to everything, with the pricing you’ve outlined then present them with a CC auth form to sign.
There is also electronic signature software that can be used. The client will be able to view and sign this proposal on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Send Business Proposal Email to Client
Whether the client agreed to your proposal on the spot, or has asked for slight adjustments, you should send a copy of your business proposal to the client over email. Summarize the meeting and present your next steps—whether that means speaking or meeting again to finalized revisions to the plan, or setting a date to get started with your services and receiving access to the accounts you need to get started.
Presenting your business proposal to a prospective client can feel very intimidating, but keep in mind that the vast majority of clients are looking for sustainable solutions that generate more traffic, leads, and customers over the long haul. Your proposal is the perfect opportunity to assure them that’s exactly what you can deliver.
To get clients’ minds off the expense and focused on the value, you can use your proposal to reassure them they’re making the right investment.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a business proposal sample doc so that you can close the deal!
If you want to learn more about how to land more clients and grow your social media marketing agency, enroll in our online Digital Marketing School today! You can also stay up to date on the latest strategies and techniques in digital marketing by following us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, or check out our blog for more FREE training!