1 Persuasive Social Media Proposals How to Write Persuasive Social Media Proposals
2 How to Write Persuasive Social Media Proposals! You got started in social media because you wanted to connect with people not send them proposals. While you might equate writing and submitting proposals with unpleasant tasks like organizing your entire schedule, they are too important to skip. Writing a proposal isn t fun, but no matter what you do in social media, it s the only real way to get high-end clients. As a social media expert, your pitch is your chance to get a potential clients attention, and turn it into a job. While some social media marketers will just send a portfolio, resume, or cost estimate, they re not going to stand out. A wellwritten proposal is crucial for telling the client what you can do for them, how it will benefit them, and what they have to pay for it. Plus, if you do it right, you ve already sold your skills in several ways, because that s what a proposal is all about. As a social media manager, proposals probably aren t your forte. Even if you absolutely suck at writing proposals, you still need them to land the big clients that everyone wants. Many larger companies won t even consider hiring you without a proposal. The better your proposal, the better your chances of getting the high-end clients with the best pay, the most reach, and the
3 biggest marketing budget. You have to learn to write killer proposals. While you can t escape from proposals if you want great clients, you can take steps to make writing them easier. Taking a basic proposal structure and using it to create a proposal writing system will help you by cutting out a lot of the manual steps involved. You ll get better and faster at writing proposals, and you ll land more of the high-end clients you want. Take a few minutes to go over the process and you ll be glad you did! By using a template system, you ll save half the time or more on future proposals. Let s get started. The Anatomy of a Persuasive Proposal 5 Essential Elements Every Proposal Should Have Writing a proposal isn t as complex as creating a social marketing strategy, and it shouldn t have to be. While each of your proposals will vary in length and style depending on the
4 client and the scope of the project, you can typically leverage the same basic proposal structure. These five basic elements make up the structure of any social media proposal, no matter how complex or simple the project. 1. The Problem Statement Your proposal should start off with a problem statement, which is exactly what it sounds like. You have to tell the client that you understand the project, its scope, and the issues behind it. Use your problem statement to point out the root problems behind the social media project at hand. A good problem statement doesn t state just the obvious facts, but digs deeper to tell the client about their actual issues. You will, of course, have to research these issues for most clients. For example, if you were writing a proposal for someone looking for a social media marketer to create a Facebook and Twitter campaign, you could deduce the actual issue by looking at the root of the campaign. Both you and the client already know that they re looking for someone to manage their marketing. So instead of telling them that they need a media marketer, you should talk about the actual issues. Let s say that you were
5 making the hire and not the client. What would be your main goal? As a company, that goal would probably be to make a profit (Unless it s a charity). Anyone can manage social media, so why do they want a professional? Your problem statement follows this line of thoughts. Tell the client why they re hiring you, not what they re hiring you to do. Addressing this issue at the front of your proposal will grab their attention, and let them know that you understand their needs. Here s an example: ABC Company is looking to hire someone to manage their social media marketing campaign on Twitter & Facebook. The campaign should include increasing engagement, social ads, and incentive programs. Here, the social manager lists what ABC Company would have offered in a job advertisement. It s nothing really special, doesn t explain the actual issue, and would most likely be passed over fairly quickly. It s not a good problem statement. In fact, the majority of readers might not even continue to read past this problem statement. If they did, they wouldn t be impressed.
6 This problem statement doesn t tell the clients what they really need. If the social manager who wrote the problem statement above had written it more like this, the reaction might be a bit different: ABC Company has recently launched a new store branch and they need to push awareness and sales in the area. While relatively well known in other areas, the new branch needs hype and increased interest to take off. For that reason, ABC Company is hiring a social media marketer to launch a campaign on Twitter and Facebook. The campaign should include a new Facebook local page for the new branch, as well as twitter profile management, a photo sharing campaign on Twitter and Facebook to build reach, and a direct incentive program should also be introduced to increase sales after the pages grow to 500 followers. See the difference? This problem statement lists causes and results not just skills. So an incentive program stops being just an incentive program and instead becomes something that increases sales. A Facebook page stops being a page and
7 becomes something that increases hype and local awareness. And the opening line doesn t just say you need a page. This problem statement tells the client that you understand the real issues that are leading them to make the hire. Any good problem statement is going to require research. Take a few minutes to find out why they want to hire you instead of just accepting that they have to. While some clients will communicate this information on their own, many of them won t, so it is up to you to do the research. Identifying the actual problems facing the client will help you create a winning proposal. And by communicating that you re on the same page as they are at the beginning of your proposal, you automatically grab their attention. Why does this company need a social media expert? Tell them why they need you at the start of your proposal, and you re already well on your way to landing the client. Let s move on. 2. Your Proposed Solution You ve taken the time to research and find the issue at hand, and now it s time to solve it. Your proposed solution tells your client how you can solve their problems.
8 Where do your skills come in for your client? How can you help them? They don t need to know that you re a social media manager or marketer; they get that. You wouldn t even be sending the proposal if you weren t. If they just wanted someone to post stuff on Facebook, they could just do it themselves. They re hiring you for results, and that s what you have to talk about. Your qualifications for the job are less important then the results you provide. This client doesn t need someone to manage their social media profile. Anyone can do that. They need someone who can do it well enough to solve their problems. Just describing skills or tasks isn t enough because they don t need a to-do list. What do your skills solve for the client? Here s an example: We recommend starting a new localized Facebook page and matching Twitter account. Each profile would then launch unique marketing campaigns for each profile. Here the media manager is mentioning exactly what they will do once hired. This is good, but the statement is a list and not a solution. You re not actually helping yourself with this sort of solution because it isn t one.
9 This proposal doesn t work because it doesn t sell solutions. If you want to catch the client s attention and have them thinking This person can make me money, then you have to connect the dots, tell them how your solution works and what it does. What will the client get from hiring you for their social media? Take this new example: In order to improve sales for their new branch, ABC Company has to start a localized Facebook Page and Twitter account. Each profile would then launch its own marketing campaign to drive unique traffic and sales to the branch. This would include direct incentives designed to increase sales, incentives to review and share product photos to increase hype, and direct consumer interaction for better customer satisfaction. The campaign would also include promotion to build followers and fans on each social platform, as well as hash tag and share campaigns designed to increase reach. The result would be more in-store
10 visits over the period in hopes of creating a solid customer base for the branch. See what happened there? This proposal offers solutions to the issues presented in the problem statement. Like your problem statement, your solution requires research. You also have to be confident in your results if you plan to sell them. You can t just promise 500 new sales; you have to make them happen. For that reason, it is almost always better not to list specific figures unless prompted to do so. A good solution statement doesn t say This is what you need to do, it says This is what you need to do and this is how it will effect you. Make connections for your clients and tell them how your services can provide solutions to their problems. Taking the time to explain how your services solve their issues puts you a lot further ahead of the game then just telling them what you will do. 3. Benefits You ve told them what their problem is and how you plan to solve it but what is their motivation to hire you? Let s say that you re not the only person to send a proposal. In fact, you could be one of dozens! The fact that you ve offered a solution isn t going to be enough to convince them to hire you. You have to tell them how you can benefit them as a company.
11 Yes you ve already put a lot of work into the proposal, but now is the time to upsell your services and tell the client how you will change their company for the better. Why are your social services better than those of your competitors? While you might think that the benefits of your services are obvious, the client probably won t think so. You re the social media expert. Most clients will be too busy, too ignorant, or both, and won t understand how your services can help them. And none of them will have the time to research and find out. While you know what your services offer in terms of benefits, your clients quite possibly know nothing about them. You wouldn t approach a stranger on the street and ask them to understand social marketing, and you can t with your clients either. You have to tell them what you can do for them. The benefits section in your proposal does just this. You get the opportunity to create a convincing outline of why and how your services will improve the client s business. How do you make your clients money? Here s an example: We ll begin by setting up a localized page on Facebook, as well as a Twitter account
12 and market to local customers. From there, we ll research your target demographic to create a marketing plan that targets people most likely to purchase from ABC Company. We ll integrate sharing, reviews, and hash tags to try to get customers to share their experiences and increase hype to increase fans. We ll also get started on a full incentive program for fans to start direct sales conversion with the intent of building longterm customers. Notice the difference? Instead of just saying what you re offering, you re taking the time to say why it helps. Here, you re offering not just building fans, but building targeted fans. You re offering a localized page that appeals to people looking for stores in their area, and you re offering direct conversion to sales, which means money. By outlining the results that separate you from your competitors you ll make you pitch more appealing, and the client more likely to hire you. Tell your clients the direct benefits of hiring you.
13 4. Pricing Information If you ve pitched your services right then your prospective client should have just one question left. How much is this going to cost? A higher budget isn t going to mean automatic denial, unless you re researching for a university or other budget industry, but not outlining your costs effectively will. At this point you have to set a budget that benefits both you and the client. A higher budget won t turn them off so long as they get a decent ROI out of it. What will turn them off is a pricing list that they can t understand. Make your pricing schedule easy to understand. Organizing your pricing, breaking prices down at a high level, and keeping things as simple as possible are key elements to creating a persuasive proposal. If you make them work to see what you cost, you make it harder for them to hire you. A typography grid format is the easiest way to create a simple pricing section. Social Media Marketing Campaign $2,470 Per Month Initial Meeting We ll meet with you to create an initial marketing strategy tailored to your company and your goals.
14 We ll research your customer demographic, and we ll get a feel for how you like to do business. Facebook We ll set up a localized Facebook page to market to local consumers. We ll also initiate a growth campaign to increase followers and likes, as well as reach via share campaigns and viral promotion. Twitter We ll build a following for you on Twitter and then use hashtags and viral content to create hype, build sales, and increase traffic to your web based sales funnels. Direct Social Marketing We ll utilize direct marketing tactics using incentives like fan-only coupons to drive sales from your social. Project Total $2,470 Per Month The first things you ll notice is that you re giving one price for the entire project. However, this sort of pricing doesn t always work, because some clients are going to prefer to pay you per hour, and some will pay you per month, or even per 6-month period. In either case, you ll have to set up milestone payments for when you actually receive the money. Most importantly, remember to keep your budget breakdown at a high level to avoid confusion. That means don t individually price items unless specifically requested by the client.
15 It is important that you price yourself according to your value and the return on investment that you can offer. Psychological price hacks are a great resource for looking at how pricing higher sometimes means adding perceived value. Present yourself as more valuable, and you become more valuable. The pricing information section is usually known as a Budget Summary, but can also be called Budget or Bid Summary, depending on your preferences.. A budget schedule is the most appropriate type of budget for social media projects, because most are ongoing. These projects list per month payments, milestones, or other payment options rather than a single bulk payment. 5. Call to Action Finally, you have to add in a call to action at the end of each proposal you write. Your call to action takes a minute to ask the client to contact you and get the project started. It doesn t presume that the client will act, it asks for something to happen. While you could just leave it out of your proposal and assume the client will get back to you, this can be a disastrous mistake. Even if the client is impressed with your proposal, they might not get back to you. Chances are that they re just as busy or busier than you are, and they ll go about their day intending to get back
16 to you. Things happen, problems crop up, and new proposals arrive, and yours might be forgotten. A call to action does something that most of your competitors won t. It asks them to get in touch with you. Not everyone needs a call to action, but you should always use one. And while a call to action is a bit of an obvious include for many people, you d be surprised by how many people forget it. Because you can t expect clients to have the time to go out of their way to contact you, you have to include a call to action. Most importantly, business owners are busy, stressed, and often won t have the energy to hunt down your contact information. Make it easy for them to contact you. The best call to action tells the client how to move forward with the project, what happens next, and how to contact you. Like this: To get started with the social media campaign, ABC Company should do the following: 1.Call us at (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or to accept the proposal as is or discuss desired changes or specific terms. 2.Finalize and sign contract.
17 3.Submit initial payment of first monthly payment towards the total project budget. Once these steps have been completed we will begin the project with a kick off meeting to discuss the social media strategy, and then get started setting up your accounts. This call to action is a great example because it starts off telling the client how to proceed with the project and where to contact. It then moves on to discuss important contract information, talks about payments to ensure that the client is on the same page, and then closes with a quick look at what they will get immediately after signing the contract. This call to action makes it easy for the client to hire you. Plus, it encourages them to take the final step and actually hire you. A call to action is a crucial part of your proposal and you should never write one without it.
18 Putting It All Together Structuring a Persuasive Proposal Now that you know what goes into a persuasive proposal, it s time to put everything together into a whole unit. Each element fits together in the order discussed to create a basic structure. When you put it together, you have a proposal template. That structure goes like this: 1.Problem Statement 2.Proposed Solution 3.Benefits 4.Pricing Information 5.Call to Action You can also go with a few alternative name options. Depending on the size of your client, the type of project, and the length of the project, you may want to go with one of the following: Problem Statement can also go by Client Needs, Client Goals, Client Objectives, or Goals and Objectives.
19 Proposed Solution can also go by Recommended Solution, Recommended Strategy, or Recommended Action Pricing Information can also go by Budget Summary (for shorter projects), Budget Schedule (for longer projects), or Project Budget. Making Proposal Writing a Repeatable Process Turning It into a System Yes, you may hate writing proposals. But skipping them would be foolish. Most large clients, especially those looking for social media services, are going to expect a decent proposal. Plus, even if they don t expect a proposal, sending one puts you ahead of your competitors and singles you out as a true professional. A proposal is your chance to win your client from the first impression. The right proposal tells the client that you re the right person for the job. You can make them money.
20 Because you can t avoid writing proposals entirely without loosing money, you have to improve your proposal writing skills. Work smarter not harder. By leveraging the proposal structure into a template, you can skip many of the manual tasks to save time and effort. Proposal software is the easiest way to do this. Software creates a system for you so that you can simply fill in data. You ll also get professional templates and designs from software, which you would otherwise have to design or purchase yourself. If you can t use the Bidsketch proposal software, then you can consider making your own proposal templates. Creating Your Own Proposal Templates A Manual Alternative to Proposal Software Templates aren t as easy as software, but they are a great deal faster than doing everything from scratch. By creating a template, you can streamline your proposal writing process so
21 that you can fill in the basic proposal structure rather than starting at a blank page. Microsoft Office is the best option for writing proposals, but OpenOffice is a popular alternative. To get started, you will want at least one template for short term or low budget proposals and one for long-term social projects. Ready? Small Proposal Templates Creating a small template gives you an ideal start for short term or very small social projects. These are best for shorter-term options that do not require a lot of price breakdown. While you won t use them every day, they are useful to have around, especially if you bid on social projects for small businesses. This template shouldn t be more than 2 pages in length because this about perfect for listing your services, solutions, and prices. You want to be as informative as possible without making it too long. If you don t know how to create a template, Microsoft Office offers basic instructions for creating one in Microsoft Word. OpenOffice users can find instructions here. Here s a basic structure for the small proposal template:
22 Client Needs (problem statement) Recommended Solution (proposed solution) Benefits Fee Summary (pricing information) Next Steps (call to action) Large Proposal Templates Many social media projects are going to require a longer proposal. In this case, you can create a longer template to suit these projects. This is perfect for most projects that extend for over a month, or that require multiple milestone payments. This template is perfect for the majority of your projects. Here s a basic structure for the large proposal template: Goals and Objectives (problem statement) Recommended Solution (proposed solution) Benefits Fee Summary (pricing information)
23 Fee Schedule: outlines different points where you ll receive partial payments or milestones of the total project cost for completed work Estimated Project Schedule: gives prospective clients an estimated timeline for reports, estimated results, etc. You don t want to offer any concrete data delivery, just reports and updates. Check out the project timeline from this free web design proposal template:
24 Next Steps (call to action) Terms and Conditions: these are important to ensure you get paid and to set client expectations. It s also important to have in case legal issues arise. Here is a sample Terms and Conditions section from the sample web design proposal template: Note: You have to create your own personalized terms and conditions based on the specific conditions of each project. However, most will follow the same basic structure. If it s an especially large project, consider consulting a lawyer for advice on the phrasing.
25 The long template should naturally turn into a proposal that is around 4-5 pages long. This is perfect for most social projects. You ll want to set client expectations and give them the information they need without talking too much. Making It Look Professional First Impression Is Everything The design, template, and layout of your proposal set the standard for how the client will view you as a professional. Think about it like a social media page. You wouldn t present a Facebook page without a header. You also wouldn t want to present a proposal without design. You wan to establish yourself as a professional with an eye for detail, style, and appearances. Your proposal will do that for you. Your proposal is also your only chance to make a good first impression.
26 If your proposal doesn t look as good as your pitch sounds, it s going to turn the client off. Who wants a sloppy social media manager? Design is an important element, so make sure you utilize it. If you ve chosen to use software then you can just use one of the many free themes available. Otherwise, you ll have to design your template manually. 1. Elegant Design Elegance is the key to professional luxury and it always makes a good impression. The right design will tell the client that you are a professional and that you present nothing less than the best. Unless you re a graphic designer in addition to your day job then you probably want to purchase a theme. Your best bet is to go with something that s understated and subtle. Draw attention to the content, not to the design. 2. Helper Text While the Bidsketch proposal software will provide helper text for you, you might not be using it. In this case, you ll want to create your own placeholders to copy into your proposal structure. This ensures that you fill in the right information at each section.
27 Eventually you won t have to use placeholders because you will have a natural idea of what should go in each section. For now, it works as a creative guide that will help you write a better proposal. Sample text will save you time because it lets you know what to write in each section. If you don t want to write your own helper text, try copying examples from the Anatomy of a Persuasive Proposal section. Proofread after writing! While helper text is great for you, leaving it in can prove to be a disaster. No one is going to hire you if you ve left your placeholder text in. Make sure you remove all of it before sending the proposal or you will lose the bid. Another thing to watch out for is generalized text. It may sound fancy, and it may sound professional, but if it doesn t directly apply to the client s situation, then it is not necessary. Taking out general text allows you to target your proposal directly towards the clients needs. If it s not about your client, don t include it. Once you ve removed generalized text, you have a shorter, more focused, and more unique proposal. The result, it sounds like you wrote it from scratch instead of using a template. It s also 100% relevant to the reader, which is sure to increase your chances.
28 3. Should I Say Something about My Company? Most social media managers think that including an about section, or a list of previous accomplishments and clients is helping their chances. In fact the vast majority of your competitors probably include this sort of section in their proposals. Unfortunately, they couldn t be more wrong. Most clients don t want to read about you or your clients. They want to read about how you can help them. Including too much information about yourself can literally ruin your proposal. Your proposal structure adds enough incentive to hire. (I.E. your problem statement, proposed solution, pricing information, etc.) If you have a website or portfolio designed to attract clients, then by all means include it. This sort of personal information allows interested clients to pursue you further and interact with you on that platform. It also allows anyone who isn t interested to skip it entirely. If you feel that a Company Info section is a must, then insert it after your pricing section. Placement is the key element to creating a successful pitch with company information.
29 While talking about yourself at the beginning or in the middle of your proposal is a sure way to turn clients off, you can place it at the end with a better effect. Putting your about section at the end of the proposal allows clients to read about you without interrupting the flow of your pitch. Plus, anyone not interested can just skip it. Tools, Resources, and Next Steps Hopefully you have a better understanding by now of: 1) what a compelling social media proposal looks like; 2) how to create one that will separate you from your competitors; and 3) how to make proposal writing as painless and efficient as possible by turning it into a system. You ll have to keep writing and submitting proposals that s just the name of the game but you can make it easy to get them out to clients quickly and save you time and trouble. The easiest way to do this is to use Bidsketch proposal software. This gives you the structure and presentation you need to get your proposals out quickly and effectively. You could also follow the directions above to create your own proposal templates manually. It ll take a time investment, but
30 you ll set yourself up for more free time to focus on clients going forward. If you are going the template route and don t quite know where to get started, we offer a number of free example proposal templates. You can model one of them for a little inspiration to get started. Another thing you can do to help grow your contract research business is to check out the Bidsketch blog. There s a ton of free, actionable content available whether it s about negotiating higher rates with clients, being more productive, or marketing your research or lab and we update it often. Finally, if you haven t done so already, hop on to the Bidsketch list. You ll receive a free ebook about marketing strategies to get more clients, along with fresh new content delivered straight to your inbox as soon as it s released. Best of luck in creating winning Social Media proposals!
Persuasive Marketing Proposals How to Write Persuasive Marketing Proposals How to Write Persuasive Marketing Proposals! While your job as a marketer may be to promote and sell other people s products and
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What you should know about: Windows 7 What s changed? Why does it matter to me? Do I have to upgrade? Tim Wakeling Contents What s all the fuss about?...1 Different Editions...2 Features...4 Should you
Your Portfolio A portfolio shows examples of your work and may include the following items from events you have planned, or been involved with: photographs of the event collateral materials from the event
Thinking about College? A Student Preparation Toolkit Think Differently About College Seeking Success If you are like the millions of other people who are thinking about entering college you are probably
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Building a website As discussed in the previous module, your website is the online shop window for your business and you will only get one chance to make a good first impression. It is worthwhile investing
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Good Call A Guide to Driving Calls with AdWords Introduction Some people want to talk to a real person when they re looking for information. In fact, 70% of mobile searchers have called a business directly
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UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMAIL STATS Table of Contents Introduction Understanding Your Email Stats with SCOUT Sales Clicks Opens Unsubscribes Traffic Deliverability How to SCOUT in AWeber Quickstats About AWeber
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Advertising, Design & Creative Aspects of Marketing Communications Chris Price- International Director, MJD Consultancy If you don t do any advertising/marketing promotions (with good creative) something
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7 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You about Marketing Your Cloud Backup Services Have you looked at how your competitors are going to market? Outlined below are 7 things that your competitors are doing
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How Can I Get the Money Flowing? (Transcript of Lecture found at /moneystuff.html) It seems to be a fact that when people start to learn about the Law of Attraction, the number one thing they want to attract
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xxx Lesson 18 Thinking Skills Overview: This lesson provides basic foundational information about two types of thinking skills: critical and creative. Students have used critical and creative skills each
- December 2004 - Greetings, Welcome to our end of the year special issue. This month I want to discuss the most important marketing and practice building issue that is most frequently overlooked by doctors.
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Smart marketing for small businesses» 2 Contents» Welcome 04 05 Small businesses: thriving in 2016 06 07 Building relationships with existing customers 08 09 Acquiring new customers 10 11 Using multichannel