A potential client reached out for a design project. Nice.
You’ve got two choices:
The first one is to compile a quick proposal with your thoughts/ideas and put a price on it. After all, you won’t get paid for it. Or, you can use this opportunity to impress them by going the extra mile for them.
The second choice sounds better, right?
The road to impressing the client and making them choose you begins with a design project proposal intro.
There are many things to take care of, but no worries. This guide is here to write a compelling, on-point, and value-focused intro your clients will love.
We’re going to cover such intro sections:
- Problem overview
- Project score
- Project summary
Plus, pro writing tips to set you up for success!
A design project proposal is a document or a presentation that describes a design and how it solves a client’s problem.
Having a design proposal helps clients compare the value and work of different designers. That’s why they often request this document from chosen contractors.
Crafting a compelling proposal with the best value is a must to get design jobs. Clients pay special attention to introductions, where you give the project overview. This is where you sell, too, so it has to be just right.
Design works when it meets client expectations.
That’s why your design proposal process begins with:
- Client interview
Client interview. Have an online meeting with your potential client to discuss the project. Find out more about their company and what goals the future design is supposed to achieve.
Every little detail from the client is important. Let them talk and listen intently - you’re there on an investigation mission. To remember as many relevant details as possible, by the way, make sure to take notes during the meeting.
Client research. Go to the client’s website and social media to learn more about them. Find out their vision, mission, values, biggest customers, current struggles, brand image, and other relevant details.
Check out the design from competitors, too. This information will help you understand what design techniques and decisions work in that particular industry or niche.
A good design project starts with an overview describing the problem faced by the client.
To them, it’s an indication that you understand their needs and care. This is huge, obviously, and helps to attract the client’s attention.
How to write problem overview:
- 1st sentence template: “[Client name] is looking to design a logo to [achieve a goal or resolve a problem]”
- 2dn sentence template: “[Client name] sees the perfect logo as [qualities and characteristics].”
- 3rd sentence template: “[Client name] was inspired by [competitor logos, company’s vision, customer survey results - everything relevant mentioned during the interview].”
Pro tip: Try finding out a business opportunity the client is missing because of a lack of design. Adding it to the introduction shows you’ve done your homework.
The project scope section is where you describe the project’s goal in one or two sentences.
Here’s a project scope template (logo design):
“Work with [Client Name] to create a logo to help [Client Goal].”
The project summary consists of about 250 words. Yet, it has to give a nice intro to the project. Being super concise is the only way to make that happen.
This is where the “Problem-Agitation-Solution” formula comes in.
It won’t help you with being concise - see ratings of writing tools if you need writing help - but it gives you a framework to make the intro structured and focused. Having a clear structure will help to be concise and more confident about your writing.
Here’s the formula, step by step:
- Step 1: Client problem or need (2-3 sentences)
- Step 2: What could happen if no design is made (2-3 sentences)
- Step 3: Your solution and how it meets the client’s goals (5-6 sentences).
The point here is to remind the client about their goal. By doing so, you’ll get them in “the right mood.” When you refresh their memories, drop your design on them, and explain why it meets that goal.
This way, you’ll make the intro logical and structured. Plus, you’ll make the client want to know more.
The Deliverables section in a project proposal is where you describe what you will deliver to the client.
It should be a bullet point list like this.
A logo design proposal deliverables:
- Primary logo design in four pre-agreed file formats
- Three logo designs in different layouts (horizontal, vertical, etc.)
- Business cards and invoice-ready designs
- Logo usage guidelines in digital format
- Design details of the logo (font, size, color, etc.)
Simple and to the point, agree?
Your proposal intro should have terms, jargon, and other words used by the client.
Two reasons for this:
- The client is comfortable and used to that language
- It’ll show them that you’ve done the homework and understand their needs.
Plus, it’s a great way to be empathetic - something that will score you new projects and awesome reviews in the future.
Try to copy the client’s style of language, too. In most cases, it’s going to be a very casual, conversational style - the one we’re using to talk to our friends.
Many professional writers use it for concentration.
A “distraction-free” mode is a mode in a text processing app that hides all buttons and controls. It lets you focus on writing rather than worrying about formatting, font size, and other non-critical things at that moment.
Most writing apps (and even browsers) come with this feature:
You don’t want to get embarrassed by something as silly as a spelling mistake. Feel free to give the proposal to someone if you feel like you should. Believe me, with a fresh perspective, others can spot a lot of mistakes.
Writing a design project introduction is a lot of work.
To make that lead become your client, try following these tips. They’ll make your writing simple, on-point, and engaging - the kind that’s good enough to beat competitors!
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your success.