How to Structure Your Online Proposal
Getting to the proposal stage in the lead management process indicates that you’ve warmed a lead closer to booking. Typically after someone’s interest has been piqued of the solutions you offer, they’ll want to know the specifics in some sort of proposal. You will want to structure your offerings in your proposal in such a way that does three things-- provides clarity, gives transparency, and shows a clear value. Here is how I recommend structuring your own offerings in a proposal.
Brand Your Proposal
Maintain your visual professionalism with a branded proposal. No matter the format--printed on paper, in a pdf, on web page, or in a slide show, be sure to brand your materials with your company’s style elements, if applicable. It’s a very simple element that can often go overlooked, but is a fine detail to help set the precedence of the professionalism within the enclosed proposal. Branding style elements can include your company name (with appropriate fonts), logo, colors, symbols, etc. Even the copy, or word choice of your proposal is important to maintain.
The beginning of your proposal should include an introduction to the services which will be presented. Think of where in your client’s process they might have found you. If you’re a wedding photographer, they may have found you while looking for someone to take their engagement photos. If you’re a maternity photographer, your client may be preparing for the arrival of their baby. Perhaps you mention a few pain points your client may have. Remind them why they need your services and then suggest the transformation they can experience after they’ve hired you to help. As photographers, we have the ability to show this visually through our images.
Now that you’ve set the tone in the introduction, it’s time to set the expectation. State your goal for presenting the proposal and the steps that need to be taken. This is most helpful in either a numbered or bulletproof list of simple instructions.
List of Services/Offerings
The list of services and offerings is what most people think of when a proposal is mentioned. It is the component of the proposal which sells your value. Lay out your packages in the following order: category, price, variation.
Start with your core, main services. If you are in a niche market, listing these first assures your potential client that they have landed in the right place. Introduce your complementary services afterwards.
List your offerings in order of descending prices. For example, if you have a $5000 offer, a $4000 offer, & a $3000 offer, list them all in that order. Doing so takes your potential down a value ladder. Starting with the highest price sets a frame of reference to what solutions they can expect at each price point. By the time you get to your lowest offer, it should appear as if your middle offer is the most attractive. Set your lowest offer at the highest price point that your minimal service can be booked.
Particularly on an a la carte service menu, you may have variations of an offer— think print sizes, album sizes, etc. If you include these variations in your proposal do so in the order of highest to least cost
If you’re using Dubsado, you have the option to send your proposals with features like form fields, check boxes, radio buttons, and more. You can use an online proposal to confirm your client’s selections before moving on to the contract and invoice. This is especially helpful when there is no consultation period for gathering a verbal commitment. Not only does this assure the client that they are communicating their service needs clearly, but it helps you better serve them.
Next Steps/Call to Action (CTA)
What’s next? Call to book. Click here to book. Be sure to let your client know what the next step of action will be. You can do so with an automated email, completion message after submitting a form, or simply indicate the CTA at the bottom of your proposal.