Once you've found a client who's interested in hiring you to do their website, the next step is sending them a formal proposal. A well-crafted proposal is essential for not only winning the job but also for making the details of the project clear so there's no confusion later on.
Two Sample Web Design Proposals
You can use either of these proposal templates for your web design business. Download them by clicking on the image and you can edit, save, customize, and print them. If you have any issues, see these helpful troubleshooting tips for Adobe printables.
Simple Web Design Proposal
This proposal works best for a small web design project that does not require a lot of detail. When you're first starting out, this can be a good starting point for pitching simpler web sites. It's also a good option for sites you may be doing for friends, family, or as a pro-bono project and you want something in writing but it doesn't need to be in-depth.
Complex Web Design Proposal
This proposal template builds upon the simple template and provides more detail as well as your recommendations and a clear list of client deliverables.
- It also includes a section where you "pitch" your business as an introduction. This is important whether you're a freelancer or a full company because you want to highlight first and foremost why you should get the job, but you also want to keep this as simple as possible and not overwhelm the potential client with detail.
- Providing SMART goals in your recommendations is critical for a larger project because you need to demonstrate to the client exactly how your work will help them and that they can measure it. It can also set you above other proposals that may focus heavily on design or technical details which are less relevant to a client who wants to know why this site will make their business better.
- A section on "project scope" is included because experienced designers can often tell you that a large project can balloon into something much more than was originally discussed. You want to make it clear to the potential client that these are the items you will be doing, and anything outside of those specs requires an additional contract and fee.
Web Design Proposal Tips
Every proposal should be written with your specific client in mind. Use the templates as a guide, but make sure you are writing with their business in mind and not just using boilerplate text.
- Always focus on problems and solutions when you write your proposal. You want communicate that you have researched the company and understand their "pain point." You also want to demonstrate that you have a strategy with the website that will alleviate their issues and grow their business.
- Including an addendum with images of your portfolio is an option you can add to your proposal, but it is not necessary. You can provide the client with a link to your website or online portfolio. A better strategy would be to include some "case studies" that discuss who your clients were, what their business goals and problems were, and how the site you built helped them.
- Unless you have a client with content 100 percent ready to go, do not give exact dates on your proposal. Instead provide estimates and make it clear both in your proposal and with your communications with the client that you cannot commence work until the content is received.
- If you have an idea of the design, you may want to include that in the proposal, but this may backfire on you. Some clients may review your proposal, see your printed design, and then turn around and hand the design to a cheaper designer. Until you have a signed proposal, and a properly executed contract, it's safest to keep your visual design ideas to yourself.
Creating Your First Proposal
With these easy-to-use templates, you can create a professional web design template for both basic and complex clients. The key to having your proposal accepted is to keep your client's needs foremost in your mind when writing each section of the proposal. Good luck!