The better your proposal game the more graphic design jobs will fall your way and.. the best way to start is right here with our graphic design template.
We’ve all been there. We know that our design skills are up there with the best. We’re conscientious and always make sure the client gets what he/she wants and what he/she needs. We’ll go the extra mile and that’s why clients come back for more. How, though, can we communicate that to a prospect who’s never worked with us before.
With a compelling online proposal that shows you “get it”.
A Graphic Design proposal needs to sell more than just design. You need to demonstrate value throughout your proposal. After reading it your prospective client should be convinced not only of your technical or artistic expertise but of all the added value you bring to the table.
Our template is free for you to use. You could just send it as it is but we strongly believe you should customize and adapt it to your situation. That’s how you maximize your chances of landing the gig. If you’re not sure how, just read till the end of the page and you’ll be good to go.
If you are using Nusii to send proposals, you’ll find it’s built to make customization easy. Just drag and drop items and reuse sections as you please. We even have variables that will update automatically for each client profile. If you’re just sending the one proposal, you probably don’t need software but if you are an agency sending at scale, you’ll love Nusii.
Ready to start? Come check out our templates and tools.
Typography, Infographics, Illustrations and more. The world of graphic design is large and varied but whether you are a full-service agency or a busy freelancer, you have one thing in common. Graphic design is project based and you need to send a lot of proposals to keep bringing in a steady stream of clients.
You will be competing with a bunch of other designers and artists each with their own portfolio, so you’ll definitely want to make a memorable proposal. Our number 1 tip is to customize as much as possible which doesn’t just mean using your own unique artwork. It means understanding your client and tailoring your proposal accordingly.
The good news is you can use a template as the basis for all your proposals. Our graphic design proposal template is pretty neat already, but you’ll need to adjust it to meet your needs.
If you’re not sure what the best way to do this is, just read on. We’ll go through the 7 key parts of any proposal template and show you what they are, what’s supposed to be included in each section and, more importantly, how to increase your chances of landing that high-paying client!
Let’s start with the basics. You need a cover and a title. As a graphic designer you’re probably comfortable with this and might even have ideas in your head for a good cover image. Well, you know graphic design better than us so we’ll limit our tips to 2:
Firstly, make sure you choose a cover image that will resonate with your client. We all have our favorite artwork but try to think about what fits this specific project best.
Secondly, be sure to use your own work. Yes, it’s quicker to grab something that already exists but this is your chance to show off your abilities and stand out from the crowd. With Nusii proposal software, you can drag and drop your images straight into your template. Nice!
Finally, you’ll need to settle on a proposal title. In our experience simple is effective. If it is a Graphic Design Proposal then, just state that. The last thing we want is to confuse the client before we begin. Also, it’s good to remember that several people often read a proposal and they might not be the people you spoke to before sending the document.
The key to winning a graphic design proposal is to truly understand what your client is looking for. No amount of research will make up for not arranging a client interview. During this interview you will get a feel for your client, introduce your services but also listen attentively and use probing questions to discover what the underlying needs are.
Why are we telling you this? Well, because the problem and goals section of your proposal will come directly from your client interview. Just state the problem in clear and simple terms. The client will be pleased to see that you not only understand their needs completely but you’ve understood what you need to aim for.
Once you’ve stated the problem, also state clear goals that the project will have. This should directly address the problem. For example, if a client has muddled visual identity you goal might be to unify all visual components under a clear and coherent look and feel.
When it comes to the main section of your proposal, you might want to include a link to your portfolio or embed examples of your graphic design work. That’s fine, and it’s great to show examples of your artistic ability but don’t forget to emphasize the value you will add to the client.
This is what will help you stand out against all the other agencies. Instead of trying to be cheaper than others, try to demonstrate more added value. You can do this by highlighting your experience and ability but also how you add value in this specific instance.
Think back to your client interview and frame your proposal in terms that they will recognise as valuable. For example, if they operate in a specific way or in a certain sector, show how your strengths align with this. Or, if during the call you picked up on a soft need, be sure to build this into your proposed solution. This might be the ability to deliver quick turnarounds or the need to work hand in hand with the branding team
Although this is a graphic design proposal, the text you use is still important. Build trust by using your prospective client’s language in your proposal and showing you really understand them.
The goal here is to leave no doubt that yours is the highest value proposal. We do this, not by being arrogant, but showing superior understanding of the client’s needs.
“Just one final revision.” How many times have you heard this? Maybe the briefing wasn’t great or there are too many stakeholders. Either way the only proven method to reduce the scope of your work is to state it clearly upfront.
That’s why we suggest you include a short scope section which details what you’re including, in what formats and crucially what the limits are in terms of time, revisions, etc.
If the client has an existing marketing department, you will need to be clear on the lines of responsibility. Particularly, where yours start and where they end.
We like to put this section after the scope to and before the pricing to remind your prospects why it’s such a good idea to hire you! This is not the place to drop an extra part of your proposal or to include add-ons. Instead, it is a summary of the benefits of working with you.
If you scroll back up to your problem and goals from the beginning of the proposal template, you can use this to detail the benefits and tie them back to the goals. For example, if they currently have disjointed graphics across multiple channels, you might frame the benefit as effortlessly unifying their visual brand experience across all of their properties. If they are lacking internal resources, you might frame it more in terms of having best in class graphic design on-tap whenever it's needed without having to hire new employees.
You might want to include less tangible benefits that line up well with the client profile. This might be related to the impact of good graphic design on brand awareness or how it helps cement leadership positions in crowded markets. It all depends on what you discovered in the client interview.
Finally, keep it short! It’s better they remember 2 or 3 clear and relevant benefits than forgetting a long laundry list!
What we often see with graphic design proposals is a menu style pricing structure where the client can pick and choose what to add and then pay the total of the line items. We totally get the temptation to itemize. After all, the client might want 5 medium rectangles or 15.
However, when you itemise your entire proposal you end up destroying the value you are supposed to be offering. You lead the client into thinking about individual deliverables and what each is worth.
Instead, we recommend using packages with optional pricing instead. What this means in practice is that you bundle up your graphic design into a package and you offer 2 or 3 different packages, each at their own price point. This way you protect your margins and still offer something for every budget.
Once they’ve signed, every client wants their art done yesterday. For this reason, it’s a good idea to set a reasonable expectation of how long it will take to complete the project and how many extra days any revisions will cost. That’s why we suggest adding a simple timeline.
Finally, you will need a clear call to action to get land that deal asap. If you are using Nusii you can increase your conversion rates by using digital signatures. Clients love them and it makes signing off so quick and easy.
Being able to quickly agree to the proposal from your own browser is just so easy for the client but the best bit is you can track when they’ve read it and when they’ve signed it. No need to chase them constantly and looking desperate. Yup, the product team here at Nusii really did think of everything!
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.