Looking to close more content marketing projects? Well, you’ll need a convincing proposal template to get the deal done. And here you have it.
If your job is content creation then you know where your value lies... in the awesome content you produce. It’s easy to promise your clients authentic articles, jaw-dropping creatives and killer copy but how do you convey this value before you’ve had a chance to work with them?
With a compelling online proposal that shows you “get it”.
Your Content Marketing proposal needs to sell value from the very beginning. It should illustrate to your [potential client](/blog/potential-client/) that you’re capable of producing authentic and effective content.
Of course you can use our content marketing template with minimal edits but we always recommend freelancers and agencies to customize them to their clients. And this couldn’t be easier with Nusii. We make it a breeze to add videos and photos to your proposal. Think about it, the first piece of content your client will see is your proposal. It needs to be on point to convince them you can roll out the rest of their content successfully.
Ready to start? Get your content marketing boots on and send your next proposal online with our trackable proposal templates.
Content marketing is an effective way to establish authority on a topic and raise brand awareness. It relies on high quality material which for many companies can be hard to produce internally. And that’s why they ask you for a content marketing proposal!
Your content marketing proposal will need to convince them that you can deliver on quality but also on relevance and that you will truly add value to their brand. Starting with our template is the perfect start but we’ll help you a little more by teaching you how to customize it for your business. Let’s walk you through the basics in 7 steps:
Content is King, they say but there’s an awful lot of it around and making yours standout is kind of tricky. Whether you are producing blog posts, ebooks, guides or email newsletters, the first impact is usually visual and that’s the exact same thing with your proposal.
Our first tip, then, it to pay close attention to the cover image. Make sure it resembles what you intend to produce and entices your client to read on. In essence your proposal template is a piece of content so it’s the perfect opportunity to show off your ability to captivate an audience visually.
You will have a chance later to show off your copywriting skills so for the title we’d advise you to keep things simple and descriptive. Content Marketing Proposal is a completely legitimate title. If you offering is more of an Inbound Marketing Strategy then you can call it Inbound Marketing Proposal. At this stage the goal is to be clear about what the document is.
Other than that, treat it like you would any other image and text you would use in your regular content. Adjust for contrast, legibility, etc. If you’re here, we’re sure you know more about content production than us, so do your thing!
Alright, so we have an image and a cover title. Now we need to establish the problems that we are addressing and the goals of our project. Maybe you weren’t expecting this step and were ready to churn out your sales speech on how great your content marketing services are. Here’s why defining the problems and goals is important.
If your client needs you to produce their content they have a problem. Either they lack internal bandwidth to produce it themselves and they need to outsource this part of their marketing strategy or maybe they don’t have the expertise to create more advanced forms of content such as ebooks.
Hopefully, before starting to write your proposal you reached out to your prospective new client and had Zoom call. If you didn’t or are unsure how to handle these kinds of calls, check out our guide to client interviews. If you did, well done! We can see you’re a pro!
In that call , you will have picked up the reasons the client is requesting help and the specific needs that they have. In this section you will just concisely articulate that so that the problem is stated. You will then write the goals of your proposal and these will match back one to one with the problem.
Let’s a do a quick example:
Problem: “We want to produce 50 blog posts a month but our content team only has the capacity to do 30.”
Goal: “Produce 20 blog posts a month in the voice of the brand and style of the existing content.”
Notice how the goal is the answer to the problem. Your client will feel you have understood them, perhaps that you have understood them better than that other agency who is also sending a proposal.
This is probably what you have in mind when you think of a proposal and it is the main part of your template so be sure to personalize it to your client. Make them feel that your solution is bespoke, show them how you add value and, of course, show off your copywriting skills!
What we’d advise you to do is resist the temptation to oversell. A proposal is by definition a sales pitch and most people tend to over do it. You don’t have to. Instead, be confident in what you know. Trust your reputation and ability. Let your solution be what entices them.
Tell them about your process and why it works. Tell them about your team. Perhaps illustrate this with successful past projects you’ve executed at well known brands. If you don’t have well-known brands, use the client that most closely resembles the one you are targeting. This will give them confidence that you’ve been there, done that and that they are in safe hands.
Above all, what you are trying to convey in this section is the value that you bring to their brand. Yes, we know that this isn’t a branding proposal but for a client trusting you with their content is trusting you with the voice of their brand. By focusing on value you can also justify your pricing (coming up!).
Final tip – don’t waffle. We know you wouldn’t but just in case! The winning proposal is rarely the longest one (or the cheapest!), it will likely be the most professional which best justifies its pricing.
This is a short section which you can insert later if you prefer but we think it sits well here just after you’ve described your solution. Be clear and what is and isn’t included to avoid any misunderstandings. For example, are the deliverables those blog articles or does the client expect you to provide imagery with commercial licences as well? Or do they actually want you to access their CMS and build out the posts yourself. Be clear what you have priced in and what you haven’t.
Scope creep can turn a profitable project into an unprofitable one so it’s good to set clear boundaries. Don’t worry about sounding negative, you are just clarifying what you are proposing and you’ll come across as professional.
So we’ve almost reached the pricing section so we need to mentally prepare our client for it! By now they should be convinced of your ability and expertise and will be eager to see what it will cost. It’s time to get them a little more excited.
Remember those goals? Now we’re going to turn them into benefits. We don’t need a ton of text here, just bullets will do but we want to make it clear why hiring you is a hugely beneficial decision.
If they are struggling with resources, you might want to state how hiring you will allow them to scale. If they had issues with expertise you might want to highlight how they will effortlessly end up with market-leading content, produced and packaged according to industry best practices.
Try to keep thinking in terms of value. Highlight how their brand will benefit from hiring you!
Show me the money! Well, actually, not so fast.
Yes, we want to land this client and we don’t want to have made all that effort for nothing. On the other hand we don’t want to short change ourselves or take on a project with very low margins. Pricing is a (insert expletive)!
Luckily for you’ we’ve analysed a lot of proposals here at Nusii and many of them were content marketing ones. We came to the conclusion that you shouldn’t settle on a signal price. Offer optional pricing instead.
That means putting the power back in the hands of the client and letting them choose your “lite” package, standard or “full”. They can choose according to their budget and if you’ve written a good proposed solution, they’ll find it hard not to go for the full package. One thing is for sure, you won’t be left wondering, what would have happened if you’d dropped prices by 20%.
If you’re using Nusii, we make it easy to build your pricing in this way
Timelines are a simple way to show you know how to commit to a deadline and to make them want to accept the proposal asap so that they get their content as quickly as possible. That’s why your timeline should start from the sign-off date.
We know you might not be a Nusii user yet but we do recommend leveraging e-signatures to get that sign-off. Why? Well, firstly clients love them. And secondly we don’t want them to get distracted, capture the sign-off right from the browser
What can Nusii give you that more traditional methods cannot?
Not only will Nusii keep you in the loop about everything that happens with your proposals, but we’ll also help you see just how often your client is interacting with your proposal, whether they’ve downloaded a PDF copy and of course whether they’ve accepted!
Knowledge is power.
The easier you make it for your client to get on-board, the better your chances of closing a deal. Digital e-signing or online signatures is a great way to reduce friction. Gone are the days of scanners and email attachments. Let your client accept their proposal right from the browser.
Having an offline record of your proposals can be very useful, especially when accounting season comes around. Which is why at Nusii you can export PDF copies of all your proposals.
Our customer support is done by us, no outsourcing...and we’re pretty quick on the draw. Being a small team means if we want to succeed, you need to succeed first.
Really! If you work with 500 different client types and you need a proposal template for each of them, no problem. Create templates with the click of a button and save yourself countless hours of writing and proposal preparation.
Business is about maximizing profit. Knowing who your most profitable clients are can help you to find more, just like them. Nusii lets you drill down into your Revenue on a per-client basis, showing you exactly who your best customers are.