The Freelancer's Guide to Crafting a Winning Proposal [With Sample]

Jan 19, 2024

Quick Topics

  • Why Do You Need A Proposal?
  • Strategy for Writing a Winning Proposal
  • Focus On What The Client Wants
  • Give A Brief Introduction Of Yourself
  • Include Proof Of Work 
  • Explain How You’ll Approach The Project
  • Make The Call To Action A No-Brainer
  • Finalize Your Proposal
  • Proposal Example

Did you know that roughly 1.57 billion people are self-employed worldwide? They represent nearly 46.6% of the global workforce. This number is expected to grow fast as Gen Z is more likely to make freelancing normal.

So, It’s obvious that freelancing is a booming industry where the first step is knowing how to sell yourself. In other words, you need to learn how to write a quality winning proposal that gets you hired. The proposal you submit will be the client's first impression of you, so you need to make it lasting and memorable.  

In this post, you will learn the strategies with examples to help you write the best freelance proposal that will impress your potential clients and land you more gigs.

Let’s get started!

Why Do You Need A Proposal?

Think of a proposal as your project's golden ticket. It's like Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate bar in a sea of opportunities. The lucky finder of the golden ticket gets a special tour of the magical chocolate factory. Similarly, a well-crafted proposal opens doors to exciting projects. Without a winning proposal, you're simply a traveler without a map, missing out on the journey ahead. You also need to avoid the most common mistakes freelancers make when writing a proposal.

Strategy for Writing a Winning Proposal

So, in fast freelancing, grabbing clients is all about nailing your proposal, right? I mean, you gotta really grab their attention. Check out these points below and learn how to make a proposal that will solemnly impress and get you some great new projects.

Focus On What The Client Wants

The sooner you realize that the client is the hero of the proposal the better it will be. Before writing the proposal, make sure you understand what the client actually wants. The first paragraph is the most important part of your proposal better yet make it the first two lines. 

Try to find common ground with the client or the project. Write something intriguing that will tempt the client to read your proposal. Be empathetic and show them that you care about their project. 

It’s always a good idea to address the client by their name rather than a generic greeting. Sometimes it's not easy to find this information so you can check out the reviews by previous freelancers to see if they have mentioned anything about them.


The client owns a streaming website. He is looking for a React Developer to help him fix some UI and UX issues on the site.       

Give A Brief Introduction Of Yourself

Make this section a quick breeze. Mention your experience and skills, but make sure to keep yourself from overselling yourself here. Try to link your experience and skills with the client’s problems or needs. Kind of like forming a coherent story that influences the client. 

Rather than making a forceful pitch, concentrate on how your experience can directly solve the problems of the client. Create an engaging story that demonstrates your capability and industry knowledge for the customer. 

Build authority and show that you know your stuff. This section is your opportunity to establish a personal connection and position yourself as the ideal solution to their challenges. 


The client owns a streaming website. He is looking for a React Developer to help him fix some UI and UX issues on the site.

Include Proof Of Work 

Next up, establish credibility. The past projects that you mention will give a sense of fulfilment and make a stronger impression on the client, and even better, include your portfolio if you have one. I suggest that if you are a student with no experience, you must have a portfolio that is a visual representation of all your skills and experience.

The key here is to stay relevant. There is no point in linking your best project if it doesn't align with the project requirements. The goal is to provide tangible proof of your work that builds trust with potential clients and increases your chances of winning the project.


The client was looking for an experienced freelancer who has worked with ReactJS and has built similar websites.

Explain How You’ll Approach The Project

Here, cut to the chase and lay out clear steps of how you will approach the project or solve the client's problems. Give suggestions to strike up a conversation. Provide a realistic timeline for each stage of the project.

Clearly define the outlook of work to avoid any misunderstandings later on. Use a professional yet friendly tone to engage the client. Ask open-ended questions about the project. Make it a quick but detailed section.


The client was looking for a React Developer who could effectively interpret their design specifications into well-structured and optimized code.

Make The Call To Action A No-Brainer

Think of it this way the call to action is the last puzzle piece in the project - it brings everything together. Keep it as a clear and appealing step for the client.

Prompt the client to contact you with any questions or concerns they may have about the project. Propose a convenient next step, such as suggesting a quick Zoom call for project discussion. It’s these little extra touches that set you apart from the competition.


The project is a streaming service website that needed a few quick fixes to enhance the website.

Finalize Your Proposal

Just like a chef tastes the dish before it's served, checking for typos, grammatical errors, or any formatting issues in a proposal is a must. Make sure your proposal is error-free and effectively communicates your abilities to the client's demands by taking the time to thoroughly assess it.

And voila you have an excellent finished cover letter!

Proposal Example

Take a look at the below example which aptly shows what your ideal proposal should look like. Remember it’s not necessary to follow this exact order or incorporate every strategy mentioned. Play around a little and see what works best for you. 

Want to create more such proposals like this one? Enter BidBuilder. A tool that helps you craft the best cover letters that get you hired. Start impressing clients and securing more projects today!

On a parting thought, one must understand that there is no such thing as a proposal template. Every project is unique and so is every client thus so should the proposal. You need to tinker around a bit to figure out what works best for you. But until then you have this beautifully laid out blueprint to write a proposal that will make your work a hell of a lot easier better yet try BidBuilder!