The Freelancer’s Guide to Creating Effective Proposals

As a freelancer, one of the most important skills you need to master is how to write effective proposals that can land you more clients and projects. A proposal is not just a pitch, but a preview of what it’s like to work with you. It should answer three key questions that clients have in their mind:

  • Are you capable of doing my project?
  • Will you make my life easier?
  • Do I like you?

In this article, we will share some tips and best practices on how to write proposals that can address these questions and impress your potential clients.

1. Write clearly and to the point

The first step to writing a good proposal is to understand the project requirements and expectations of the client. Read the job description carefully and make sure you know what the client is looking for. Then, write a clear and concise introduction that summarizes who you are, what you can do, and why you are interested in the project. Avoid using generic or vague statements that could apply to anyone. Instead, tailor your proposal to the specific project and client.

For example, instead of saying “I am a web designer with 5 years of experience”, say “I am a web designer who specializes in creating responsive and user-friendly websites for small businesses. I have worked with clients similar to yours and I can help you design a website that suits your brand and goals.”

2. Sell your strengths

The next step is to showcase your relevant skills and experience that make you the best candidate for the project. You can do this by providing examples of your past work, testimonials from previous clients, credentials or certifications, or any other proof of your expertise. However, don’t just dump a link to your portfolio or resume and expect the client to go through it. Instead, curate a few samples that are most relevant to the project and explain how they demonstrate your abilities.

For example, if you are applying for a content writing project, you can attach a few articles that you have written on similar topics or niches, and highlight how they match the tone, style, and quality that the client is looking for.

3. Keep the proposal short

One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is writing long and rambling proposals that bore or confuse the client. Remember, clients are busy people who have limited time and attention span. They don’t want to read a novel about your life story or your philosophy on freelancing. They want to get to the point quickly and see if you are a good fit for their project. Therefore, keep your proposal short and simple, ideally no more than one page or a few paragraphs. Use bullet points, headings, and formatting to make it easy to scan and read.

For example, instead of writing a long paragraph about how you will approach the project, you can use bullet points to outline the main steps or deliverables that you will provide.

4. Do a spell check and grammar check before submitting

This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many freelancers overlook this step and submit proposals that are full of typos, grammatical errors, or poor punctuation. This can ruin your credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the client, who may think that you are careless or sloppy with your work. Therefore, before hitting send, make sure to proofread your proposal carefully and use tools like Grammarly or Hemingway to check for any mistakes or areas of improvement.

For example, instead of writing “i can write seo optimized content for u”, write “I can write SEO-optimized content for you”.

5. Do I like you?

The last question that clients have in their mind is whether they like you as a person and as a freelancer. This is not something that you can directly answer in your proposal, but it’s something that you can influence by your tone, style, and personality1. You want to come across as friendly, confident, enthusiastic, and professional. You want to show that you are easy to work with, proactive, and communicative. You want to build rapport and trust with the client by using their name, asking questions, showing interest in their project, and adding some humor or personal touch if appropriate.

For example, instead of ending your proposal with “please contact me if interested”, end it with something like “I would love to hear more about your project and how I can help you achieve your goals. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions or want to discuss further. Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.”


Writing effective proposals is not a rocket science, but it does require some practice and attention to detail. By following these tips and best practices, you can increase your chances of winning more clients and projects as a freelancer. Remember, a proposal is not just a pitch, but a preview of what it’s like to work with you. Make it clear, concise, and compelling, and you will stand out from the crowd.

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