Take the Pain out of Proposals & Pricing: Think, Simplify and Engage | Emily Cohen | Skillshare

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Take the Pain out of Proposals & Pricing: Think, Simplify and Engage

teacher avatar Emily Cohen, Principal/Lead Consultant

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Guiding Principles & Qualifying Clients


    • 2.

      Guiding Principles & Asking The Right Questions for Proposals


    • 3.

      Proposals - Content Strategies


    • 4.

      Pricing Strategies


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About This Class


Do you write more proposals than you win? Are you continually under valuing or over pricing your design services? This class will provide seasoned design firm principals or independent designers with best practice strategies to better qualify new opportunities, write winning proposals, and price more effectively. The methodology presented is developed for design professionals that want to take their business to the next level and price themselves to reflect their full value.

Emily Cohen, a leading consultant to creative professionals and frequent speaker at industry conferences, will share her passion, insight, and expertise on writing winning proposals and creating smart pricing strategies that help you get paid what you’re worth. Having consulted and collaborated with thousands of emerging and recognized leaders in graphic design, Emily’s approach is tactical, honest and results-driven. Learn how to write winning proposals that effectively communicate your services, qualifications, voice and vision.

What You'll Learn
This class will teach you the steps to pre-qualifying clients, defining objectives, communicating project parameters and impactfull ways to customize your proposals. Discover common mistakes and ways to structure and communicate project information and pricing structures to capture client’s attention and interest. While there are no magical industry-standard prices, there are successful ways to talk about, negotiate and present your numbers that will ensure a more successful negotiation. 

The Project
The resulting project will be to write your own customized proposal and price a representative project. This is an ideal opportunity to learn the necessary skills to improve how you communicate your services and price projects. With all attendees working on the same project, this is a great time for you to get feedback from your peers and an expert consultant to ensure you are communicating impact-fully to your clients.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Emily Cohen

Principal/Lead Consultant


Emily has consulted with design firms and in-house corporate creative departments for over twenty years. During this time, she has provided confidential, best-practice insights and advice on staff, client, and process-management strategies, conducting client surveys and writing winning proposals, creative briefs, RFPs , and contracts.

She helps creative teams improve operational effectiveness and helps companies build efficient teams and processes. She served on the board of advisors of InSource, on the AIGA In-House task force and as Secretary for the AIGA/NY Board of Directors. Emily has also taught classes and conducted seminars for many leading design schools and organizations.

Emily is a frequently-requested speaker on business-related issues for the creative industry a... See full profile

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1. Guiding Principles & Qualifying Clients: - Hi. - My name is Emily Cohen. - I'm really excited that you're joining me today to discuss, - um what Today and Siris of videos to discuss writing effective proposals and how to price - projects. - This this class is designed primarily for people that are just out of college or just - starting their careers, - Um, - and or people who just want a refresher course. - So I hope you enjoy it. - And at the end of the class, - I will be giving bring you a typical request for proposal, - or RFP, - that is posted online at the school share site That will allow you to write and executable - proposal based on the guidelines I'm giving you as well cry as well as pricing a sample - project. - I thought it would be very helpful to us first introduced myself. - I I've been a consultant for 20 years. - I started my career as a designer, - actually went to design school, - and I actually understand turning. - So I get what designers dio and I really love what I do, - and I love design. - But what I realized pretty quickly in my career was that I was better at the business end - and wasn't great a design I actually stuffed at it, - and I really wanted stand design, - but leverage what my experience was in my interest was which turned out to be about - organization and project management and client management and running studios. - And so I did that for about seven years. - I managed a studio that I grew from about five people to about 30 to 40 when I left. - Um, - I was there for about seven years, - and then, - pretty concurrently, - I started in my practice in my consulting practice, - where I work with design firms, - typically small to midsize design friends and agencies, - um, - and help them with a variety of Mrs needs. - Including I Started My career is writing a lot of proposals and pricing, - although that's now only about 10% of my business on large proportion of businesses is - consulting around how to write effective proposals and placing their projects effectively, - as well as staff and process management, - client management, - anything to do with kind of the operations, - all the kind of stuff that designers hate doing. - I love to dio um, - and I went with clients across the country and actually have a few claims now in other - countries So it's really exciting on love. - Love what? - Ideo and I'm hoping that communicates through this class. - So what I thought we would start with is before we get into proposals, - which will be lesson to I really want to talk a little bit about a few things that guide - may so my guiding principles. - And I think this is really a point because this influences everything I consult about, - but particularly around pricing of proposals. - Um, - so the first guiding principles is you? - Absolutely. - If you run your own business. - And by that I mean, - you're you're not a freelancer that gets paid hourly and works on site. - But somebody that really works independently, - um, - and has their own business, - or is even if their sole proprietor, - that really independent in terms of direction. - And they have clients. - Um, - they're not Nestle designed friends, - but really true clients. - And so these guiding principles and for those paper people, - um, - and the most important thing is you need to be very comfortable with money. - If you're not comfortable with money, - it's a very hard thing to run your own business. - And, - uh, - no matter what skills I teach you about negotiating or things that I talk about pricing. - You're never going to be able to really do an effective job without really having - confidence around money. - Um, - so if you don't have confidence around money, - that's something that you should look into, - um, - and improve its not something I can help you with today. - Unfortunately, - it's definitely something that it has learned over time. - But the minute you don't feel comfortable talking about money, - um, - your clients are going to feel that and and that's gonna hurt your relationships, - and also just how you price in your value of your company or your services overall and - related Lee um, - the other you need to do is not only feel comfortable around money, - we have to be feel confident about who you are as both a designer, - and about what you're offering your clients in terms of everything. - So the proposed puzzles to the creative briefs to the work itself. - If you're not confident, - the client's gonna feed off that fear, - and that is a really bad thing. - So none of these skills I could teach you today. - These are skills that you need to learn over time and, - um, - are something that's inherent in running a business. - You have to be very confident in who you are and what you provide your clients cause the - minute you feel or show a little bit weakness, - the clients, - of course, - gonna take advantage that, - um and that's the last thing you want. - Thea other things. - I'm a real bigly of big believer and under promising and over delivering come. - So what? - What does that mean? - And I'm sure you've all heard that before, - but that means, - you know, - in your writing, - your proposals and we're gonna talk about that during lesson to you can give a lot of - details around what you providing, - what the process is, - what the delivery bubbles are. - And it's important that you really provide what you're left with your writing about and - what you're promising, - but not to promise too much, - so that when you are actually working on the project, - you can over deliver a little bit. - Make yourself look fantastic to the client, - but you have to let them know that you're over deliberate. - Um, - which is, - if you promise, - say, - 23 concepts and, - um, - and one round of revisions, - friends example later on when you're working on the project and the client asked foot, - um, - second round of revisions, - you can say, - Well, - that wasn't included in our fee and our proposal, - and you could refer back to the document. - But I understand why you want that, - and I will provide that extra round for afraid. - No charge. - Aren't I great? - I'm gonna love you. - Um, - but the next time you if you do require more concepts beyond this, - then that's when I need to charge. - So it's really about under promising and over delivering so that you can really The - client's gonna love you later on that you're showing all this stuff that you didn't promise - , - but you're still delivering and then love that for you, - and they love that, - and that really enhances relationships. - So I'm a big believer on under promising and over delivering. - Um, - and the other thing that's really important to me. - The other guiding principles is that whatever you dio, - whatever action you take, - however, - you represent yourself as a designer or as a creative person, - you represent all other creatives and you represent our industry. - So whatever you do have to people ethical and right, - um not only to you but the industry overall, - so that's really important. - I think we, - no matter what we dio it really reflects on everybody else in our industry. - And so if you act badly or if you're the prima donna that everybody thinks designers are, - um that's gonna hurt us as a professional overall. - And I'm a real believer and being super professional, - but also being authentic on being ethical. - So I'm not a big believer inspect our work on pitch, - and that's a whole separate lesson. - But there are a lot of things that really hurt our industry that alleges on his deal. - You have to remember that we're all competing against each other, - but we all should be colleagues as well. - And so, - um, - we should all be transparent in our business practices and really share what is right and - what's wrong. - And there's lots of great resource is around. - What's ethical practices, - particularly? - The idea has some ethical guidelines that I find are quite good as well as the graphic. - Artists Guild has a few, - um, - so really being ethical M practice, - practicing what our industry preaches and acting as if you would like your competitors act - is really important both in both how you negotiate and how you price your services, - as well as the quality of your work and how you talk about your work and just in day today - , - daily interactions. - Um, - that's really important. - So whatever we do really represents our industry, - and we have to act accordingly. - Um, - I know some of these seem obvious to you, - but they're not. - I think I find that a lot of these things are not is obvious, - and it's really important to kind of lay the foundation for what I think are these guiding - principles. - And the last guiding principle overall is, - and I mentioned a little bit about this is being transparent, - Um, - aligned with that is being honest. - So, - um, - what that means is, - obviously being honest means not only being authentic to who you are and not mistress - presume misrepresenting yourself. - But it's really about being honest to the clients, - being honest to your staff, - being honest in your daily relationships with vendors. - Um, - if you're running late on a deadline, - tell them. - Don't try to hide it by you know, - something like, - you know, - dog ate my homework. - Um, - and believe it. - And I have heard all kinds of excuses, - including I left the presentation in the car in the cab on the way here. - Um, - so really keep if your client, - if you keep your clients understand kind of honest and you keep them updated bill, - they'll recognize that you have flaws, - and that will be OK, - but if you do not and you try to hide them in any way, - they will again detect that and not trust you. - And you have to build trust immediately because trust is at the core of most relationships - . - Um, - and they have to trust and feel that you are honest with them. - You also I'm a big believer in transparency, - which is related to honesty, - which is transparency with your clients. - Transparency were staff, - um, - very important transparency with your colleagues. - I think we all should be talking to each other, - talking about placing on and you'll hear that when I talk about pricing, - um, - talking to your clients about budgets and schedules and being honest with them and - transparent about your business practices without letting them know what your bottom line - is. - They have to understand how you run a business and and your staff do as well. - But this is your job to kind of educate your team as well. - So that's kind of my core guiding principles. - I have some dining principles around proposals and pricing, - which I will talk about it in the subsequent to lessons. - But those kind of general dining principles that will kind of influence what I talk about - and how you should, - how you should take my recommendations. - Um, - the other thing I'd like to talk about is qualifying clients today, - So I really don't think we're in the business of any proposals When the business of doing - great creative work that solves all Collins problems. - Ultimately, - that's to me. - Argo, - as s creative professionals were not in the business of running proposals yet that is a big - part of what we dio. - And so the reason why I would like to talk about qualifying clients in is really more about - first talking to the clients to see if they are the right fit for you. - And are you the right fit for them so that you can avoid writing unnecessary proposals and - thus that increases your win rate? - So I'm really big believer and asking the right questions and really looking at clients and - the projects very deep lady. - See if event This is a project that really is something that's winnable and that you want - so that you can avoid again writing unnecessary proposals that you know are time consuming - and take up a lot of, - um, - just energy that you might not normally have, - especially in a small business. - Um, - so I want to share with you if I can do this correctly, - a slide or to, - um, - this 1st 1 is a common way of and an easy visual way to qualify clients so you can look at - the graph in several ways. - The first war, - the first ways that is it the same work for the same client. - So this means that you're working a large part with the same client doing the same kind of - work, - and some people like that cause it's consistent. - But it's kind of a dangerous business model in a lot of weight. - It's because you're not growing and you can have one behemoth client, - and the general rule of thumb is you shouldn't have any client that takes up more than 20 - to 25% of your business. - Otherwise, - you're in really kind of dangerous area. - Um, - then you could move up and say you like the same client, - but you'd like to do a little bit of different work. - So you expanding your expertise, - um, - you could be doing the same work for different clients. - That's also a goal that you might want to have what you can dio ideally, - different work for different clients. - So you constantly, - you know, - expanding your client base and offering different opportunities. - That's a simplified way of qualified clients. - And when you're first starting out, - that might be just the first way you start looking at it. - But there's a lot of subtleties in in qualifying clients. - And, - um, - I like to show this graph this lots of different ways of qualifying clients. - And I have a proprietary methodology around providing metrics, - actually giving new clients or new um, - prospects at actually well, - number that, - um, - on a scale of 1 to 1 to five on where they fit in the chart. - But this is an it allows you qualify clients, - but this is a simplified version of that for those that are just starting out, - Um, - and this disqualifying funnel ca NBI different for each of you, - you might qualify clients completely differently than other people. - For instance, - The way I can't qualify clients is I'm a New Yorker. - I'd like to talk fast, - and if I get a new client, - that takes forever to get there thought out, - that drives me crazy. - And that's often a client that I don't want to work for. - Um, - so that's my qualifying. - I've heard other people who don't want to work with other types of people, - so you have to look at that. - But these kind of general qualifiers the 1st 1 is, - Do they have the right money? - And that's a very important question that will will learn to ask over time and is one of - the questions I will outline under the precise the proposal area of the pricing area. - So making sure that they have the money, - or can they afford you? - Um, - so that's the 1st 1 The second thing is, - are they the key decision maker? - That's really is another important qualifier, - and what that means is, - are you working with the person that has the right to approve the work you're doing. - If you do not work with the key decision maker, - that often causes a lot more agita our nation and involves a lot more revisions. - And that could mean that you're working with, - You know, - maybe somebody that's under the decision maker could be that it's 1/3 party like a PR firm - that has an end client doesn't mean you shouldn't work with them. - But what you're looking at is in qualifying client. - You're looking kind of at all these factors in deciding, - deciding if they have so many of these factors and they're low on the way you qualify them - , - then it might be not a qualified client, - so it's not working. - A key decision maker is not in itself the only way to qualify flying. - It's just to me, - one of the big areas, - as long as. - And so if you look at the funnel, - these air kind of, - in my opinion, - going down and most important, - so you're slowly now in which of the clients you want to work for. - Not all clients for projects are appropriate for everybody. - The other one is, - Do they value design? - Do they do they understand that the the value of design. - Which means do they are they putting appropriate budget and resource is and time against it - if there are uneducated clients, - that requires a lot more education and a lot more time on your part, - educating the client about the value design and the process of design. - So sometimes people set separate out the the education of the designer versus of the client - , - first of the value they place on design. - Then you should read some of the red flags. - So what are the red flags? - So they keep you on the phone forever? - Do they cancel appointments? - What are the some of the red flags that you have noticed and really meeting those And being - aware of those, - I think too many designers just so excited to get a client and a new opportunity that they - don't really look at those red flags. - The other things you have to make sure you like each other if there's a miscommunication or - if you're communicating in a different way and you don't understand each other, - or if you don't like the person or if they don't like you and it feels uncomfortable, - then more than likely that's gonna be the way of the weight relationship functions once you - get the project. - And is it really a project or a relationship you really want? - Or that will be easy enough to really work within budget and within the time? - Usually if it's not a good personality fit that is ripped To me, - one of the biggest red flag is if you don't get along with the client that where the client - doesn't like you for any reason, - or if it's something you have to convince them to work with you on, - it doesn't make for an easy or seamless relationship. - Um, - certainly one of them's might be reasonable timeline. - Do they have visible expectations around? - How much time a project will take is another way of repeating those qualifiers. - Some clients, - some designers of mine, - really actually don't care about timelines because the more compressed the time well, - it is. - In some ways, - the last time is involved and thus your more profitable. - So some of my clients do not mind. - The rushes is one of the reasonable rushes providing the client has a reasonable budget - because you'll actually make more money, - then projects that go for go on and on and on. - So sometimes I think a reasonable time line is one that's too elongated, - too much time because that could be very expensive. - Um, - the other thing is you might look at is this client Ah, - high profile client or project? - So it might be that, - And since it might be a nonprofit, - um, - that has no money spend, - maybe you're not working with the teeth key decision maker. - But it's such an important project in some way, - either is going to take your business to the next level. - What's really intriguing project that you can use in your portfolio or it's somebody that's - connector that will recommend you what potentially has wide reaching, - being new business opportunities for you that will expose you to a new audience. - There's lots of reasons to look at the client itself to see what does the client offer you - , - you as a designer and where will they take your business? - And sometimes that's more important than anything. - Um, - if if it's the right fit and the last thing is and this is designer's always feel like this - , - is this the right project for you? - Is it a global enough project that's gonna get you excited if it's a really awful project, - and you simply do not think it's something that's in your wheelhouse or that gives you - passion and excitement, - then maybe the only real and to do it is for lots and lots of money. - S o What I'm trying to teach you today is that, - um I'm just stabbing skill share. - Screen share. - Um, - what? - I'm trying to teach you that you have to qualify your clients and qualify the project. - So you're doing a few things. - Your qualifying, - the client. - Are they right? - 50. - You. - Your qualifying the project is the project. - The right fit for you were at work that you dio eyes it new and exciting. - Is that something that is within your wheelhouse? - Is it something that's gonna be different? - But it's gonna take your business to the next level? - Um, - always it kind of boring work. - Um, - And then the other thing is, - you want to qualify yourself. - You're the right fit for the client. - Is there a communication? - Do they like you? - Do they understand the value of design? - Um, - are you the right fit for them? - So if you could, - um, - think about all of that before we talk about how to write proposals. - Um, - I think that Will Mitt make a diff Princeton Really thinking about Are these the right - proposals for us? - So that's it for lesson today. - Um um, - looking forward to the next lesson. 2. Guiding Principles & Asking The Right Questions for Proposals: - Hi. - Um, - today's lecture is about the guiding principles that drive me in terms of writing proposals - as well as some of the questions you might ask a client before you write a proposal. - The next lesson will be about the contents of the proposal. - But today we're focusing on the guiding principles and questions. - The right questions ask. - So I believe in, - as I mentioned the last lecture, - some guiding principles that really drive my recommendations on how to write the most - effective proposal. - The 1st 1 is that proposals and contracts are very different documents. - Proposals are something that follows after you've qualified the client based on less one on - . - But it's a document that basically the client is already fallen in love with you. - They like your work. - You've already qualified them as a client and they've qualified you. - So you met them. - You made a personal connection, - and proposals really meant Teoh. - Tell them the scope of work and your fees. - So what, - you're gonna dio when? - How much you're gonna charge? - If you build in the terms which are the legal conditions, - like a contract, - then the client will just simply focus on those and we'll stop the conversation dead. - So what you really want to do is continue following that kind of the client falling in love - with you path. - So first you qualify them that fell in love with you on your work. - Now the you qualify, - make sure that they are the right fit for you in terms of your scope of working your fees. - And they really want to work with you. - And then the contract, - which is issued after the proposal. - Is that going to be a much, - much easier sell? - Um, - and it will be a negotiation. - Eso By then they will have already decided to work with you because they've agreed to your - fees on the bozo, - and you might have to go through several drafts of the proposal to get it to where it needs - to be. - But once you've agreed to that, - the contract again is so much easier to sign, - and then it's just a negotiation because they've already agreed to work with you. - So proposals and contracts are very different documents. - The exception is if it's a client they worked with before, - whose senior terms, - or if it's a really rush project like a two week project where you don't have time to issue - both a proposal and then a contract. - Thea other thing is that proposals are not your primary marketing or communications or - qualification toll. - Ah, - lot of designers this kind of fear, - talking to design or not clients they are. - They don't like promoting themselves, - and they use the documents that they have either its capabilities brochures. - But in a lot of cases, - the proposal to really sell themselves and my point is you should have sold yourself and - your work prior to writing the proposal. - So very rarely do proposals need kind of qualification betrayals or promotional materials - like your BIOS and your case studies. - And you know anything that describes your scope of your services because by then they - should have already know who you are and who you work for him What you dio. - The exception is if it's an R P requests where they actually require this kind of content, - or if it's going to other stakeholders that you have not met yet and who have not seen your - work and kind of still have to prove your value, - so proposals are not your primary mark, - internal communications kind of promotional tool. - Uh, - the third guiding principle is that every project and every client is different, - which means that you can't really use generic templates for proposals. - Designers are sort of lazy and that they always want kind of give me a template. - But the thing is that not every project is gonna be the same. - And not every client is to be saying some clients you have to communicate with differently - . - Some clients are very narrative in their approach, - and they like the light words. - For the most part, - most clients don't like words and just wants naturally don't want, - like high level, - um, - statements like bulleted copy that they can kind of scan. - So you have to really right to who your audience is. - The everything you don't want to use generic terms like client, - you can actually customize it and use the client's name. - So it really sounds like it's speaking to that. - That really is a great way to get a proposal toe. - Teoh do all the work for you. - If the proposals really feels like it's written to that client in a voice that really is - reflective of what the client needs and who? - The client iss. - Um, - the fourth, - uh, - guiding principle is that you should designers always like to kind of make assumptions - about projects rather than ask client questions. - And I absolutely hate that word assumptions because designers you should ask clients your - questions. - Ask them as many questions you have to. - I don't believe in that rule. - They only have one time to ask the client on the ask the questions. - Otherwise, - you feel like an ad. - Sometimes you have to neck to get all the understanding of the projects so you can ask as - many questions as you want. - Obviously, - you should feel the client. - And if the client is feeling a little pressure or is annoyed by your phone calls, - then you got a tailor. - But for the most part, - if you have another question, - you can email the mature, - ask them, - you know, - call them so I don't like making some just, - you know, - when I ask clients things like, - Well, - is it a CMS site? - Or is it you know how many pages of the brochure they might? - Same? - The designer who's my client will say, - Well, - I assume the brochure will be 12 pages, - or I assume it will be a mass site but don't make assumptions, - asked the quiet. - Do you need a CMS site? - It's much better to educate them and ask the right questions so that you really are pricing - a project as accurately as possible. - So don't make assumptions and ask really good questions, - which we're gonna cover next. - The other thing is clients the last guiding principles, - and this is sort of related to that. - Everything has to be customized is in my belief and writers. - You're gonna hate me for saying this, - but most clients do not read. - They scared and documents. - They don't have attention spans. - They're pulled in so many different directions. - Ideally, - they probably are just gonna go right to the price. - But you want to try to, - ideally get them to tell it. - Ideally, - get them, - give them a story that they can understand and get to the price. - So I love bulleted copy over narrative text whenever possible and sound bites as much as - possible because clients simply do not read. - So not a big believer in narrative text. - So now that give you my guiding principles. - There's three rounds of questions that you typically need to ask. - The first round of questions is to ensure that your and this is related to the - qualification part of the conversation, - which is you have to make sure that you've qualified your firm. - So during the qualification process and certainly before you bring in the proposal some of - the questions you should be asking and there's many. - But here are some of my top five. - The 1st 1 is estimate. - They've seen your website because that's gonna really be important because they've done - their research. - Have they seen your work? - Do they understand your value and then ask them of the work that they've seen? - What appeals to you? - So that's a really good question. - To see what they're kind of insight is what what They're responding to what you know seems - appealing to them. - You can also ask them what appeals to them to them about your firm. - And this is really great, - because you will be able to hear some things that they like about your firm that you might - want to point out in the proposal. - You also country to that question. - I want to ask what are the challenges, - what do you think are some of the concerns you might have been working with us, - and I know that sounds negative, - but I actually think it's a really good thing to get up front, - which is what other things you concerned about. - So then here you might hear the messages like your I'm worried about size or I'm worried - about your location. - So those are really the questions asked, - because then you can respond to the things to those questions of those concerns in the - proposal. - So all these questions are about Tala ring the proposal to address any issues that the - client has raised. - Um, - you can also ask them What qualities are they looking for in the selected firm? - That's really important, - because what are they? - What is important to them in selecting a firm? - What are their selection criteria? - That's really, - really important on, - and then the last thing, - and this is to judge their education. - Their ability to work with designers is just say, - what was your last experience working with a design for him? - In most cases, - they may say, - Well, - we haven't worked with the design firm, - so then you know there's a level of education that you need to build up with them in terms - of demonstrating the value of design. - And that might mean a different kind of process, - because you really need to show that design as value. - Um, - but in some cases, - the clients have worked with designers and you can get some sense of what their struggles - were and what worked for them. - Also, - to be able to discover if there is already on agency of record, - that you might not have known about the WAAS. - So those are questions, - really? - To qualify your firm and see that they qualify. - Qualified you? - The next round of questions is to call, - apply the client. - So is this Is this the client right for you? - Um, - and this again really drives how you're gonna respond. - How you gonna write your proposal? - The first question is, - who are all the decision makers and stakeholders? - This is a really, - really important question Asked before you write a proposal, - people always ask this when I start the proposal by then, - it's too late. - One if you can identify that, - there's a lot of stakeholders that already is gonna raise your feet just simply for the - aggravation factor alone. - The second thing is going to do is, - if you find is a lot of stakeholders, - you might build in several rounds of interim presentations to cover presenting first to an - administrative person or to a non decision maker than presenting to enough getting their - around the feedback, - then presenting to the next layer and then presenting to maybe the board of directors. - So it's really important to ask how Maney decision makers and stakeholders and what - everybody's role is. - So when you're going to a meeting to discuss your proposal or to discuss the project, - you'll be prepared for knowing how many people are in there and then can also help them to - understand that some of those key decision makers need to be more involved in the up front - of the project when you're presenting concepts that at the back when it's too late. - So this is a great time for you to kind of educate your client about how you like to work - with with various people, - and if they have a lot of stakeholders, - they might not be a qualified cliff, - so that might be a way to simply say now that you can't work with somebody that they have - 20 people floor they have. - You know, - you're working with a junior person who then has somebody above them who then has a board - of directors about them. - That is a recipe for disaster. - Thea thing, - And this is a really important question is who else is competing? - Who else are you considering this boy, - This project and there's absolutely nothing wrong to ask this now. - It doesn't mean that clients are gonna answer that on. - And if they say, - well, - it's not your business, - You could say, - you know, - at the reason why I'm asking is I really like to know at least what types of firms, - if you can. - If you don't feel comfortable, - give me the names of the firm's I can understand. - But I would love to know what types of firms and how many firms are competing against so - that I could tailor my proposal to tell you what makes us different. - So I know who are competitors are really helps me make you give you the information to make - your district and easier. - Um, - and in most cases the climb will definitely tell you how many competitors and what types of - competitors. - So here's you want to find out what they consider writing like and you know, - there. - And these were never anywhere they considering a freelancer that works out of their home. - Are they conceding a huge agency like a land door or future brand? - Because if you know that you could mentality your proposal to say, - Here's what makes us different, - especially if you know your competitors. - You'll know what makes your different. - So it's really, - really important. - And there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking that question. - Who am I competing against? - How many firms? - Because also the other things. - If you're competing against 10 firms, - then they really have not qualified design firms appropriately, - and you might not want to work with them. - Or you might realize that the winning rate of this proposal will be lower because they - simply are sending it out to anybody and anybody without qualifying them. - Um, - it's ideal if they say two or three friends cause then you feel like and I deal if it just - like did you because they fully qualified and then the few will be a much easier and - negotiation. - Thea things you want, - and I mentioned this before. - We just ask them how How did they weigh their selection criteria? - So not only what is important to them and selecting a firm, - but then, - based on the proposal, - what's gonna mean one to them to evaluate all the various proposals and don't give them the - answer? - Don't say. - Is it feet? - Or is it you know our capabilities? - Let them answer it for them cells. - What are the ways that they are going to vet the right firm and a lot of clients will have - not even thought about that. - So it's a great way to push them to think. - How are we going to select the right from what's really important to us? - And then, - once you hear that, - you can really tell your proposal again. - This is all about tailoring a proposal to meet the client's needs to increase your win rate - . - The last thing is asking them what is their approval process, - and this is related to their decision makers because you want to know how, - what they kind of typical presentations they like, - how many rounds of revisions so that you can build in with their average revisions is, - especially if they worked with design firms in the past. - They'll tell you were kind of a nightmare client, - and we really do let require, - like 34 to 3 to four rounds of revisions. - At least then you know that and can build it into your face. - So those are the questions regarding them qualifying you qualifying Mamma's as a client on - the leaves. - Last questions are to qualify the project, - and these are the most important questions in terms of writing your proposal. - It gives you the content in the direction to write your proposal. - And the most important question is what is the project? - You know, - if they say we don't know, - you're you're supposed to tell us what we need. - You can say I agree. - That's my expertise, - and I am the strategist. - So why don't we start with a phase one where we dive deep into your needs and we have a - discovery and we have some interviews and then at the end of that will develop some kind of - communications plan, - but you're paid for that serve. - Your proposal is not meant to be paid to help them to find the project as much as possible - . - Either convince them that they need to hire you to define the project and or at least say - to them, - because you're getting a lot of firms bidding on this. - Let's all have apples to apples comparison. - Let's kind of decide generally what you need, - and if later on the project changes, - we can always adjust our fee. - But for now, - we need to make sure that all comparing at the same level. - So if they say we need a brochure, - you might need to know how many pages. - And if a cell for plus cover you absolutely don't know to need to know size or printing - specs at this point because we really don't want to get involved in estimating printing so - early in the project. - And if it's a website, - you might want to know if it's a CMS sight of its responsive. - If there's going to be back in your database stuff or if they're gonna need site nothing. - Some sites don't need site maps they've already developed. - It s so you want to really asked several questions around What are the project components - and what more what are their specifications as they know it again, - They might not know it, - and your job is to help them define it. - So if they say we need stationary system, - you can say Well, - station system typically includes letterhead, - business, - corn envelope and a mailing label. - Does that seem sufficient for you? - Do you think you need, - You know, - no car and a president stationary so you can help them think about what they might need so - that everybody that is competing against you are kind of compete kid, - competing at the same level. - So you absolute. - But we have to ask one of the project parameters you can also ask them are what have one of - the internal processes that they have gone through before. - So what have they done already? - So you can understand what you're being provided with, - what's like They might have said we develop content or we've already done the market - research for they might say, - we've not done anything, - so it's really important to ask them what they've done and then what they will be providing - again. - This is related to Are they providing the content or they providing development? - Because a lot of clients don't tell you that information and they assume that designers - will provide everything. - Or they assume you'll just understand that nowadays a lot of clients assume designers will - provide writing. - Um, - it's a foregone conclusion that designers are providing writing at this point, - and so they wanna they might not tell you. - They'll just assume we're providing writing. - And if you don't put that on the estimate, - they will kind of be bewildered. - So did you ask him what they're providing? - What they need? - Thea Other thing is, - Are there any third party entities are There's like a public relations firm, - an event planner, - You know, - a developer who was involved, - And can you meet them or find out when they will be involved in the process? - If it all. - So it's really important to understand who you don't be working with them with and what - their level of interaction is and what their responsibilities are. - Um, - the other thing that translators things like that you absolutely isn't there is the next. - The next question is always one that I'm like, - Oh, - I can't ask cycling. - Ask the client, - which is you have to ask them What is their budget? - There's nothing, - nothing wrong with happened, - asking that question, - they might say to you, - You don't know or it's not your business. - You can say, - Well, - it really helps me to know what roughly what your budget is so that I think craft a - proposal that again meets within your budget. - And if they say they don't know a budget and we're gonna talk about this during the pricing - stage, - then you can say, - Well, - let me call you back and what I wanted to before about the proposal. - Let's give you a full range of what I think roughly the project will be so that before I - write a proposal, - I want to make sure we're on the same wavelength in terms of feats. - So then I would call them back after you thought about it, - really number and call them back in. - Vet them by the right number because you don't want to work on a project that say has $500 - for a logo. - Um, - so it's important to really ask them what is their budget. - And for the most point, - Yes, - I would say, - you know, - 75% of the mother say no, - we don't know, - But then you could at least get a number out to them for a beastly 50% of them to get them - to improve a number before you write a proposal. - Because then the proposal will not be about the fee but will be about the scope of work and - the value U will provide for that defined fee. - There are exceptions where clients don't want to get to have any decisions about numbers up - front, - especially with Oropeza, - especially government. - R P is they have to keep it kind of all on the same, - um, - equal footing. - But as much as possible, - I would really bring up that conversation. - And if you're not comfortable going back to my original guiding principles from the first - lesson, - if you're not Cough comfortable talking about money, - that's gonna really be a problem in writing and working with writing proposals in working - with clients. - Um, - the last questions is what your timeline is. - Very basic question. - One of the deadlines you don't have to answer like what are the detailed schedules, - but specifically, - what is the deadline, - or how many weeks do we have, - or how many months do we have on this project because that will also define your fee. - So it's project that is running for a year. - It will be no matter, - even if the project is small. - If it's a year long project, - that is a lot of time. - And so your fee might be more expensive than a project that actually is rushed. - That only has a two week deadline because two weeks you have a lot less time involved in a - project. - So asking what their timeline is is very important. - And the last thing you can ask questions that are more related to strategy, - like who your target audience is, - what your objectives are, - but I really don't. - Most designers like focusing on that because it really set about doing design, - and they're already thinking their heads spinning about, - what can they designed for the client? - And they're not thinking more about the questions that are related to the proposal. - So you can ask a few questions just to sit. - Show that you are interested in their project, - are interested in their business, - but not enough that you over sell yourself in things that you're gonna be selling as a - value. - Add later on such questions as, - you know what? - Your positioning statement. - You know who's your target audience? - Do you have a target audience profiles? - But you can ask some of these broad questions just so you can demonstrate you have some - thinking, - but really, - I would not cover those. - And a lot of designers. - That's the biggest mistake. - They talk too much about the project in terms of things that affect the design matter than - then issues that affect the proposal. - So those are my guiding principles and some questions. - The next lesson. - We're gonna actually cover content areas, - so thank you and I'll see you. 3. Proposals - Content Strategies: - Hi. - Um, - today's lesson the one of the next one will be a pricing, - But today's lesson is the key content areas that a proposal must have. - Um, - I've also enclosed or attached a are a sample R p that you can use to write your assignment - , - which is to write a proposal by the next lesson. - So your goal is not to put the pricing it, - but just to write the proposal based on the content areas that I'll be discussing. - This lesson is largely all slides, - so we will proceed with slides now and talk about key content areas. - Okay, - so, - uh, - the most important area so you'll see this document. - And basically this outlines not the specific proposal itself, - but the key content areas. - The first column is the must haves of any proposal. - The second column are so optional areas that some proposals have, - but most proposals will have. - So if you combine these 1st 2 comes, - which is mostly what we're gonna focus on. - This is what a proposal typically includes, - although some proposals only include the information on the first first column, - and I'll talk about what makes which proposals need that kind of content, - and the last one, - which is the last column, - is the optional area, - which is promotional material on. - And we talked about that on the last lesson, - which is that hopefully you qualified the client and qualified yourself enough that you do - not need include things like bios and case studies. - So the qualification sections air Onley included in projects where you have not. - I had the opportunity to qualify yourself, - and in most cases you really should have on and in those options. - Those situations are usually like government RPS when you really can't talk to the decision - makers and it's all a long process or it's a proposal that's going to a lot of stakeholders - that have not met you beyond the first person. - So it might be to being sent to somebody that you already have qualified yourself. - But it might be also being reviewed by several of the people that really need to understand - your friend. - So the last section of proposals I'm not really talk about a lot. - That's more about marketing and promotions, - what types of materials you need to submit to a client. - But this typically includes BIOS, - case studies, - sample projects which reported your case studies. - Um, - list of clients. - List of services, - sometimes references. - Mostly. - I'm gonna focus on the the 1st 2 content areas on gonna give you some examples of each of - those. - What? - You might go back to this live back and forth. - Oh, - So the first thing is, - every proposal must have a cover letter. - A cover letter is not the email. - It is the actual cover letter that makes the personal connection. - So a cover letter usually is about three paragraphs long, - one page and the first foot paragraph is always about making that personal connection. - So I enjoyed meeting you where I hope your trade show went well, - anything that you could make that personal connection with the client so that they - understand that you're speaking to them personally. - The second paragraph is a little bit why you're qualified, - like, - high and level. - What makes you the best firm for this? - And also it shows you're excited about the project. - And the third thing is just next steps. - So it's really action where he did the last time it is. - Are you gonna call next? - Are you looking forward for them to call you by this date. - Always give them some data about me that when they should be, - when you expect them to respond or when you'll be calling them. - Don't just simply say, - please call me with any questions. - You could want to make sure you can say, - I might call you next week to follow through to make sure you receive this proposal. - Um, - and let's get set an appointment to meet so I can present my project. - My proposal in person so actually always have a cover letter. - And again, - it is not the email, - because a lot of times I'll just open it the document without even looking at the email. - So it's very important that the cover letter is attached to the proposal itself, - then, - depending on the size of a project. - So if it's just one kind of component, - like if it's just a brochure or just the logo, - then you could just have a project description area. - That's kind of one paragraph that describes what you're a bidding that what you're with the - proposals off face on. - But most projects need to have much more description, - so you might have a project overview so, - as example, - you might have an integrated communications program, - and that integrated communications program might have several communications like a - brochure. - It might have an email blasts might have some sign Egil, - Whatever, - whatever. - So you might have. - You might begin the project proposal with an overview section first, - which is just one a two sentence statement that you're excited about this project and - you're the following proposal is, - um, - in response to their R P or the following proposal. - Outlined your scope of work like in fees for an integrated communications program for X y Z - company. - So you might have a project overview section and then a project description or Project - Component section, - which gives much, - much more detail about what you are, - one of the components that you're bidding on. - So in the Project Description Area, - you're gonna have very detailed things, - though if it's a brochure, - you're gonna say eight pages plus cover or whatever. - The specs are 8.5 by 11 although size does not really a matter tremendously, - unless it's like a, - um, - you know, - a hateful. - It's small like gate folded brochure. - So for the most part, - you don't have to focus on size and then for the website you might want to talk about, - You know, - either what size the how large the website is. - Are you going to be site mapping? - Are you going, - Teoh? - You know, - is it a CMS site is a responsive site. - What kind of the functionality basic that they've talked about. - So here you want to give a little detail that they've given you about the project. - These that the project description or project component section is usually around. - Not the scope of work that Europe can provide, - but the final undeliverable. - What is the end? - Deliver ball in terms of the printed or and, - you know, - programmed element that you can provide or document that can provide so details around the - specifications of what that project is. - So once you've done the cover letter, - the project description Project overview, - it's always really nice to have a project objective section. - And this is the objective. - This is the section that often bulleted um, - it's and I have examples of this, - and it's a way to repeat. - But the client has told you, - without giving them too much without giving them too much of Mason, - just enough information to show them that you're really thinking about what you've heard - from them and what they need for the project. - Before I show you an example of that, - I want to talk to you about a lot of proposals. - Have a Project background section, - which is often pay a page long, - if not longer off. - Basically, - they're spewing forth everything they've read about the company or they heard about the - company. - And it's a narrative format, - and it's always ridiculous to have that because, - you know, - clients know who they are. - They know their background. - They don't need to be told that. - And I will tell you almost 90% of clients will not read that section. - And designers spend all their time writing this beautifully crafted way to describe the - company on Lee to find out the client doesn't meet it. - So I do not ever believe in project background areas. - Uh, - so I want to move on to showing you some examples of, - for example, - objective section, - and now all the examples I'll be showing you today are just examples, - and it's very generic. - This is not exactly the wording you should be using. - Um, - and you need toe absolutely customize it for each client and each project, - but this gives you an idea. - Typically, - you need about 5 to 75 to eight objectives, - and you might start with the first statement like this one, - which is in developing a strong, - impactful and memorable integrated communications program for X y Z company. - Arab doctors will be, - too, - and you might say things like considering any existing brand standards if needed. - A line with X y Z companies positioning and marketing objectives. - These are very generic. - So if you know the position in marketing objectives, - you might say that you know, - aligns with their mission statement, - and you might actually include their mission statement in here Appeals X y z's target - audience again, - customizing if you know their target audience. - You might put that in there, - you know, - reflects key editorial messages and Tang lines on, - and you might want to say here that they're provided by you or the client or work with key - stakeholders to develop and maintain a responsive and results oriented process. - So it's both about the project it's about, - with the end deliverables might need to achieve as well as what you might achieve in - working with them. - So an objective sector is a really great way for clients too quickly in soundbites. - Understand that you had listened to them and that you care deeply about what the end - project does for them that doesn't meet their objectives. - So here's a great way to just simply summarize anything that they if it might be a r p. - It might be through meeting anything that you've learned about the client. - What it should didn't do is include things that you're guessing on where that are on their - website, - because you never know if they're changing completely that positioning stand strategy. - So be careful of repeating stuff that are not actually necessarily current. - So that's an example of objective section. - Um, - the next thing you might have is a schedule section again. - This is an optional area, - and I never really recommend unless the client absolutely asked for it, - and I often try to talk him out of it. - A detailed schedule. - I never included detailed schedule because you know that the start date changes the end - dates changed. - The client, - never, - ever it keeps to a schedule, - so it's a really waste of your time to develop a detailed schedule too early in the process - before you're actually starting to work with them. - But a schedule section might include kind of high level schedules, - such as on end eight, - that this project needs to be done by this end date or we have 3 to 4 months to do this. - So some some high level date did schedule would be helpful. - Or you can say each phase will take 3 to 4 weeks. - You might have a schedule, - a schedule that's very general about each face. - Phase one would take two weeks based to would be four weeks so that they have some sense of - parameters. - The fee is gonna be defined also by the schedule. - So it's important to have some kind of scheduled parameters in the proposal not always - required. - But it's always a nice kind of optional area again, - not a detailed schedule when the most important section is the scope of services section - and here I'm gonna give you some examples. - So sculpture services section is not about the components, - the end deliverables of what they need, - like a brochure, - but what you're gonna provide, - What is the working to develop over time to get to that a final beautiful boat brochure - includes. - It's a way to demonstrate how much work is involved in the project and exactly a way to - come yourself so that they can tell they know exactly what you're providing for the fee. - So this is this area needs the most thought most thinking the most, - um, - customization, - because every project has a different process based on the question do best. - So I'm gonna give you an example, - but this is set. - Usually skull pops up. - 17 section is usually by phases, - and it might be each phase might be the up civic and Conan like. - Phase two is the website, - and Phase one might be in the Bush tour, - but a lot of times it's more around the phases of relationships. - So Phase one in this case, - in my example case is the development of strip strategy and concepts. - And so here this examples more for an integrated communications problem is using as our - example again, - This is generic and must be customized. - But this gives you an example of the level of detail, - yet simplicity. - Ah, - scope of worth section usually requires and again. - I'm a big believer and short narrative sort of side. - Short, - bulleted copy. - So phase one would be development of strategy concepts. - Again, - this is cost generic. - You should really customize it. - And here you gonna talk? - About what? - What kicks off the project? - Is it a full day meeting? - Is it? - You know, - several interviews, - Whatever it is that you know, - is it gonna be competitive research? - So here, - you gonna outline specifically how you can take off the project and really high level what - you might seek to understand or discover during that initial kickoff meeting or a pickup - buff discovery process. - Um, - Phase one might also include some kind of written deliverable that summarizes all your - learnings from the interviews or from the planning meeting on from the competitive research - . - I'm a big believer and creative briefs. - I think that fantastic document that really summarizes in a narrative in a in an editorial - way, - not in a visual way. - Sometimes it might include Mood Boyd's high level mood boards, - but it's a document that they can that summarizes all your learning things and summarizes - some key recommendations or some strategies that you'd like to recommend before you - actually draw before you actually designed something on, - and it allows the client to really understand what you're thinking is to make sure that you - have a mutual agreement on the old little direction and objectives of the project. - And it's used to measure the progress throughout the the project. - Creative briefs are much more about getting rid of the subjective criterion, - really, - this defining objective criteria. - But there's a whole other lesson around writing creative briefs, - so that might be the second deliverable. - The third deliver a little, - but be where you start developing concepts. - And again, - this is just an example. - Your process might be entirely differently. - Might be entirely different on here. - You're being very specific about how many concepts everybody in you don't just say present - and you know, - different concepts, - because the client then will read that to mean you'll present as many concepts is needed - within with as needed, - to get the project done. - But that really leaves you for ah lot of rounds of revisions. - So you want to be very specific about specific but yet flexible about how many mounds of - concepts. - So in this case, - I'm saying to the three different concepts I'm giving a little bit of flexibility. - Might be, - too. - Might be three um, - you might present initially to and then the 3rd 1 later on, - um, - and then I'm also defining because it's an integrated communications problem by simply - saying to the three concepts. - It's not quite clear if you don't define what you're providing those concepts for, - they might think it's for all the components, - when in fact you might be only applying them. - As you see later on. - I'm saying he specifically applied to three sample communications, - and here I'm being more specific around the cover and spread a brochure, - an email blast in a home page. - So and then I'm also talking about what these concepts might show. - So again, - this is I just want to show you this as I don't want to copy this and pasted and use this - exactly for every proposal, - cause again every proposal is different, - but it shows you the level of detail yet simplicity that is required in the proposal. - And then you might proceed with providing some rounds of revision. - So how many rounds of visions are the new concept to refine concepts? - What did these revisions being applied to on. - And then what is their action at the end that X Y Z company has to approve the concept - perceived to face to. - So that's an example of a Phase one. - Yeah, - Phase one, - but there's lots of lots of phases that might be in the scope of services section, - but that gives you the gives you a sense of what kind of format it should look like, - how how it should sound and what kind of information that is required. - Eso some proposals might also have client climb responsibility section like a bulleted list - of what what you've heard the climb will be providing. - It's more about, - you know, - the provided content that they're providing the there they're paying for the printing - things like that very simple Client responsibility section is usually just either, - you know, - parent, - like a short to descendants. - 23 sentence description where 3 to 4 bullets. - Then you go into the fees and I'm gonna have a whole separate. - The next lesson will be around how to define the fee. - You'll definitely have a few section. - You'll also have an exclusive section, - so exclusive section is usually anything or miscellaneous information section, - which is anything that the proposal that defines the proposal and are red flags that a - potential red flags for the client or that are not included in the fee so that they know - right away. - So one of things is expenses. - If expenses are not included, - you need to say so that expenses un included in that you charge more because you don't want - all of a sudden throw the markup at them later on during the contract, - you want to really tell them anything that potentially could be a red flag for the client. - Um, - it might be specific if it's unusual usage rights. - So if you're basing it on very limited, - like if they have very little money and you're both facing the project on usage rights for - only one year or something like that, - you need to specify that in the proposal. - If they're normal usage rights, - you do not need to clued included in the proposal. - So the exclusion Areas section is things that are not included in the proposal programming - printing illustration, - and it's not the fees for it is just saying that this speed that this proposal doesn't - include these kinds of things. - The other thing you always end with is that the um under the exclusion section is based on - approval of this proposal. - We will then issue are standard terms and conditions along with a payment schedule. - You are not doing the payment schedule at this point. - There's no need to don't want to scare them off, - and that will be in the contract. - But you need to warn them that a contract is sports coming. - The other thing. - You this again, - I talked about this earlier on in the last lesson is there are exceptions to the rule that - I said We're a proposal in contractor to separate documents and if it's if it's inset in - the if the proposals, - in fact also a contract, - then you must need to include your terms. - Those were kind of legal, - of legal conditions again, - a whole other lecture. - So that gives you a sense of the key content areas of her proposal. - And I've given you some example of the objective section examples of global war exception, - and now I want to talk to you about the common mistakes made by most designers and writing - proposals, - and this will really give you some good guidance as to what? - Not to on what is actually very common that most most designers have made one of these - mistakes. - When I evaluate proposals, - the first thing and you've heard me talk about this a lot, - which is that it's very generic. - And it's not customized to the client in project that is the worst, - the state because you wanted to be, - but one of the worst mistakes because you want. - If it sounds generic, - and it sounds like any design firm can have written it where it could be written to any - client, - then you've not made that personal connection with but the client. - And really not talking directly to them is a big mistake because they want to feel like you - care about them. - You want to work with them and by using their names, - you know. - So instead of saying client, - you call them, - you say X y Z company, - you know you really specifically talk to them because they will love that, - and that is really important. - So customizing its the client A project is very, - very point. - I've also seen too much about US content, - meaning that it's more value than about them. - They want to hear about them. - They want to know what you will do for them. - They really at this point should not carry as much about you. - Or at least you shouldn't be showing them how great you are at a level that kind of - ridiculous. - A lot of times I find that those if the proposal has more qualifications than scope of work - and other things that relate to the client, - then you've done you already made a mistake. - If you do have to have qualifications, - I'd like to end the proposal with the possible vacations, - not start the purples With the qualification so less content about you, - more content about them and what you're gonna do for them, - not about how great you are because hopefully again. - By the time you've done a proposal, - you're already qualified yourself. - I've seen proposals that have a lot of redundant information. - They repeat themselves endlessly, - and that is just endless words that they do not need. - The Onley time you made redundant information is where it's a red flag that you think the - client you know, - you've read a red flag, - that it's a point to restate with the client. - So if it's something that you concerned about, - what the project in terms of working with the client, - you might need to repeat yourself once or twice simply to just get the point made. - But for the most hit quite a place most for the most part, - you need to keep it as simple as possible. - Do not repeat yourself. - There's no need to. - So I've seen that objective section include included in the Scope Aware Exception and the - saying the same thing over and over and over again. - You do not need to do that. - The other thing I've seen is completely information. - So if you have, - if you've used the level of detail I have. - So if you look at this last bullet where I say present one around refined or new concepts - applied to the same three sample communications. - If at the end of your proposal you have some generic language that says this proposal - includes £3 revisions, - then it's It's confusing because is it the three rounds of divisions including this round - here that's described here? - Or is it it's separate from so don't have things that are conflicting on sometimes quick - comes like the information is a result of not customizing the proposal. - I'm using a template without really looking through it to make sure so be careful of - information that conflicts with each other. - Um, - the other thing I've seen this proposal is a way to simple. - They don't give enough detail of that about the process and the deliverables to put fee and - context and guy the relationships. - So, - you know, - designers always tell, - May I just want to get this proposal to one page, - you know? - And that's almost almost impossible for any project. - I have a proposal that once that's one page, - most proposals on average and 3 to 10 pages any longer and that's the next mistake is too - much, - um, - and overwhelming in the client will read it any shorter, - like a one. - Page doesn't give enough detail, - so you need to. - The whole point of a proposal is to guide the client, - understand what you're gonna provide for the fee outlined. - It gives the feet context. - That's the main goal of the project. - Other proposal is to put the fee in context. - You have to provide enough detail in order to do that, - um again, - I talked about this too lengthy or never again. - Clients do not read. - So I've seen proposals that are so beautifully written. - And so long no one reads, - Um, - so don't waste your time. - Um, - I've seen proposals in this relates so the not customized that, - like a personal way. - So if it doesn't sound like it's coming from you if you have more of a casual guy or you - know you don't like kind of God, - you know what's the word? - I'm unneeded Vered Ege. - Then don't do that. - If you were using words like I have a client that hates the word branding, - don't use words that don't feel comfortable to you make it shorter that it sounds like it's - from you. - If you're humorous or if you are very buttoned up, - then you need reflect. - The voice of your proposal needs to reflect who you are as a firm or is an individual, - and the last thing on this relates to that proposal contracts with three separate documents - is that it's to legal Um, - so that is also sometimes a mistake is it's just too much about legal information, - and it can really potentially scare a client so that that's this lesson. - Toles tells you this the type the content that's involved in a proposal. - I give you some examples. - Not enough. - I do not like to give sample proposals simply because then called his honor's I want to - just copy and paste. - And so I found that that makes it That is a huge disservice in the The assignment today is - to really think out Think about what kind of proposal you want to dio based on the - guidelines I've just provided. - So, - uh, - based on the RPS provided it gives it was much admissions possible that I think you will - need, - um you don't unfortunately have the opportunity to ask questions of the client. - So you gonna have You are gonna have to make some assumptions. - Even I told you that I don't like assumptions, - but I tried to give you as much information. - That's possible for you to write a proposal. - Do not focus on the fees right now. - Just focus on and the less I like this idea just fresh writing what the project is before - you write the feet, - design is focused too much on the feet and then developed a proposal. - I think it's much, - much more point. - Figure out what? - You obviously wanted to get it if you have the right amount of money for the project. - And so you discussed budget with the clients, - but you don't need to this really think about the feet too much until after you've - developed a scope of work. - So the hands this lesson and the next lesson will be about pricing strategies, - Thanks. 4. Pricing Strategies: - Hi. - This final lesson is round pricing strategies. - I've given you information on how to qualify yourself, - how to ask the right questions and some key guiding principles around. - Proposals on and I've given you some content areas. - This lecture is gonna be about my guiding principles around pricing. - Those are very simple. - And then how to how to develop pricing? - I will say the most important thing you need to know and you might end this broadcast right - now is there's no magical answers. - Don't look for online guidelines. - There is no magical answer. - Pricing is mostly intuitive, - But I'm going to give you some strategies around things you should not doing things you - should be considering when developing your final numbers. - So I'm not gonna give you with you If you are attending this lecture to know exactly how - much a charge for a logo. - This is not a lecture, - because, - honestly, - every project and every client is very different. - I've told you that many, - many times. - You have to customize your pricing as well as your proposal to each client. - Um, - and pricing is ultimately intuitive, - and it's based on the value of the project to the client on. - Sometimes it's a little based on time, - but not a lot. - Um, - so let's start with some guiding principles. - There's a very easy you just have to simple guiding principles that hourly based fees. - So if you were telling them exactly how many hours and when your hourly rate ISS it - positions you as a vendor and not as a trusted advisor, - so you should not be doing hourly rates unless you're freelancer. - And then, - in that case, - you don't even need a proposal on you don't need to listen to this lesson. - Never show pretty pretty much. - Never. - There's gonna be exceptions every rule, - I think. - But for the most part, - 99.9% of the time you give flat fees, - you never give project. - You don't give. - The project estimates you might determine hourly hours for yourself for internal budgeting - purposes. - But you never tell the clients how many hours a fee includes, - because then you're based on not the value of what you're providing in your value of years - of experience, - but really just based on time and honestly, - you're your fee is based on the value of your expertise. - So if you have three years of experience, - you're probably enjoyed a little less. - And somebody who is 20 years of experience, - whose knows a lot more about the industry and can work a little bit quicker. - So it's really about the value of the expertise. - So always think about that. - The other dining principle is that there will always be somebody that charges less than you - , - is always to be charging somebody charging more than you. - And I'd rather you be the person that's just right in the middle or high. - But there's always, - always gonna be somebody. - Product pricing less than stop being activated by that design is always call me like we're - never We weren't low and you know there's something lower than us. - There's always gonna be always somebody lower than you. - So accept that and move on. - Um, - so some for some pricing strategies. - The first thing is, - um, - contracting, - and I talked about that before. - You absolutely need to look at at past historical records, - and in order to do that, - you need to track telling, - so you need to talk track time at a project level you do not need to track at a task level - say, - like concept were typesetting necessarily. - You just want to know in the past. - Okay. - I didn't another brochure like this one. - How many hours did I spend on it? - So tracking time is gonna be an absolute essential Um, - Thea Thing is, - you can't track time without first calculating a true hourly rates. - So whenever I ask people that are really made So I always tell my Oh, - it's 1 50 an hour and I'm like, - Where did you get that member? - Well, - it's kind of what industry standards are. - I don't really care about industry standards. - What I want is your true hourly. - And if you don't know that there's lots of formulas for that that you can look for, - um, - on my site, - I listed a book called The Business of the Graphic Design That by eco Bubble, - but this But that's out of print. - Now. - It's a fantastic book, - this other books by Shell Parkins and others where they have hourly rate formulas. - But you really your accountant or bookkeeper can determine that essentially an arrow and - true hourly rate is to salary plus overhead press. - Uh, - your salary. - Plus, - I would have your sorry, - your salary plus overhead divided by the hours You work in a typical year explosive of - vacations and personal time, - plus a profit margin of a target profit margin of 20 to 25% on that equals your two hourly - rate on and you need to have. - If you have a larger team, - you need to know everybody's to hourly rate, - not a blended rate, - because you really want to know at the end of the day when you're trapped. - Time did I make money on this project, - and you have the historical record for future prices. - So time tracking and having true hourly rates is on must have from or praising strategy. - The other thing is that you should praise and I've talked about this based on value, - not ours. - So I just talked about hours. - I was going to be important. - But it is only one part of the propelled the project, - So example Ah, - a logo and Milton places talked about this several times, - which is that an idea comes to you sometimes really quickly. - You might dream about it, - and that's when you have the solution. - Think about Polish air in the city to the sea logo with with the merger of Citibank and I'm - Travelers, - she literally came up with that idea on a napkin in one second. - Now that she just charge them $5 because it came up in one second, - or did she charge the value of her expertise that she's really knows the brand and knows? - You know what is needed and really can captured that idea very quickly and shouldn't charge - based on time. - On other times, - ideas stick to you, - and they don't come out there. - Your you know, - your for you. - It takes you weeks and weeks to develop a great idea. - You're frozen then until you really come up with that moment of genius, - so you really should not base your fee solely on ours. - That's certainly a consideration, - but mostly on the value off what you are providing, - what your acts expertise is as well as the value to a client. - So logo again going back to our example. - Ah, - local for a huge brand company that's international has a different feed value, - then a local for a local company or a local for a one time event. - Uh, - still, - you can't just have one feet for logos because a logo for different environment for - different usage is gonna be a different fit. - So basing your feet on the value and the value is again not an easy thing to determine, - but it's based on what kind questions us a client and understanding how they gonna use it. - And what the value is they in value to the client is if it's one time for only a year, - you know, - if it's a one time event and then I'm gonna use it again, - then it might have a more limited fee than something that has longevity. - That's gonna keep growing the brand if it's something that internal facing versus external - facing kind of a different value, - unless their internal facing business, - a business environment is their environment and is their target audience, - and that might have more value for service to the company. - So really understanding what the project is and how it's to be used, - and what value it adds to the client is gonna be part of how you determine the fee. - And again, - that's not a mathematical formula. - But it's it's a it's ah factor that you must consider in determining the fate so, - uh, - pricing strategies. - The price is not based on values. - Eyes based on value, - not on ours. - Um, - yes, - guiding principles that you have to be firm and confident. - If you are not confident in your number. - In the final number you give. - Do not give that number because the client will feed off that fear. - You just get back to my first guiding principles. - We have to feel comfortable talking about money. - Do not give them a number without knowing that you feel 100% behind that number very, - very important to be firm and be confident. - And that is actually ah, - lot about how with number you give them a the end if it's rounded off number, - that shows much more confidence than if it's a number like 2350. - Because that looks like first. - It looks like it's a number that's determined by hours, - and second, - it looks like it's a number that is flexible. - But if you say 3000 or 5000 round off the numbers, - it shows much more confidence, - and it shows that it's not determined by it. - Our so be fair and be confident and and how you talk about numbers and how you present the - numbers? - Um, - and you absolutely another guiding principles. - You should have project minimums in relationship minimum. - So what is the minimum amount that is worth your time to work on a project? - Um, - everybody should have a price minimum. - Sometimes it's $1000. - Sometimes it's $10,000. - Sometimes it's $100,000. - It's entirely up to the size of your affirm and how much how successful you are. - Um, - but you should work for projects any lesson that up for placing minimum and then that's - used in negotiating with the client. - So you can say if you find out you working with the clients a startup and you already - detect that they have no money or nonprofit, - you can say, - you know, - before we turn for before we talk too much in detail, - I want to make sure you understand that are prized Proposal Mental Illness 10,000. - This project might be more than that, - but we don't work for last in 10,000 so it's very important to have those kind of - conversations up front and have that information. - So, - um, - pricing minimums are very, - very important So some of those kind of my guiding principles. - I'm sorry. - Those air, - my strategies, - some considerations in pricing. - These are all the things is that you get. - You use all your tools that you can use to determine the final magical number. - So this is my mathematical formula, - if you will, - but it's much more intuitive. - The first thing is, - now is your instinct. - Um, - think value, - not ours. - We talked about that. - That's the first way you defied fee. - What is that magical number? - What is that number you think the projects worth Come up with that right away. - Um, - and the more you work on, - the more you have your own business, - the more where that you can nourish your instinct. - So very important. - And when I say nourish, - that means started talking to your colleagues. - And I'm gonna talk about that later. - So it's not only just a magic number, - it's, - but it's a number based on what you've priced projects in the past and what you do, - you talk to your colleagues about. - The second thing is referred. - Historical records. - That's also very important. - I talked about time tracking. - Um, - then the other thing that you want to ask the clients for their budgets? - We've talked about that. - Another way to think about numbers. - These are all factors in thinking about the number you asked colleagues. - So you This is where I believe in transparency. - I don't believe that. - I think businesses should be very transparent with each other. - So if you have colleagues in your neck of the woods or college that you compete against, - get to know them, - be friends with them, - share business information. - But you have to have speed mutual. - So don't be a user, - because I've seen that where you share numbers, - but you forget to give them the number and they've only giving you their number. - So if you're if you're open to discussing with colleagues, - you can call a colleague and say, - I've never just no price of restaurant. - I know your friend's restaurant. - How much do you think it used by price of that? - And then you give them information on a project they might need help with. - So I really love to talk to colleagues. - I think that's really very, - very important. - Um, - so be pant transparent and share with colleagues. - That's the fourth factor in concerning pricing. - The 5th 1 is tactical. - It calculate the aggravation factor. - So here is where you want to have read all the red flags. - It might be that you increase the fee based on unreasonable schedule or really long - schedule. - It might be based on too many stakeholders. - It might be simply because you do not want to work on this project unless you make a kind - of money. - So add an activation fee to an activation factor to the face. - So sometimes that's 10% more. - Sometimes that's 100% more. - Um so really think about one of the levels of red flags here, - or what's the aggravation factor? - Um, - that night increased the fee. - If the client is uneducated, - that might know another being a nag ovation factor that that means is to be a lot more - phone calls involved. - And that's gonna increase your time. - Um, - and as you noticed, - I really haven't talked about time yet. - Other than historical records, - that's not that's the most important factor. - It's really these other things I've talked about. - Um, - it's again nourishing your instinct, - thinking, - value, - not ours, - referring to historical records asking clients for their budgets asking clients being more - transfer, - testing colleagues being more transparent, - calculating the aggravation factor. - You should also established your project and relationship minimum. - So it's thinking that I talked about that and then Onley then is about calculating hours. - So once you have that number, - make sure that it covers the hours you think is involved in the project. - You know, - you're never ever gonna be able to predict all the hours, - so don't spend a lot of time doing this. - A lot of designers hours now is trying to figure out exactly how many hours they need. - You can't plan concept ing. - You can't plan revisions. - You don't know how long things I'm gonna take. - You could never estimate that you can only do your best based on historical records, - So don't spend a lot of time saying okay to spend this 13 concepts. - I'm gonna spend this on to revisions just overall. - This is six week project. - I need to work on this 20 hours week. - That's X number of hours. - Do big picture. - Not very detailed. - It's not worth the time. - I just see those formulas no longer working. - And it's just a waste of your time and simply where all time challenge. - And that just is one way to save a lot of time. - Don't think about it too much, - but I think to make sure that the price of you come up with now, - by this time you come up with the number you're making sure that at least covers the hours - . - You roughly anticipate the project won't go, - Um, - and then on Lee them as a last case scenario you might want. - Compare the number you've come up with against published pricing guidelines. - And, - like the graphic Artists Guild has pricing guidelines. - I do not recommend that as the primary resource. - It's only the last taste resorts, - and it's only after you've already come up with the number. - It's for comparison purposes only, - but I really don't like those pricing guidelines and forgive me graphic artist Gil, - because I think it's a wonderful organization. - But I think the tool itself is a dangerous thing. - There's no way. - As I said, - every project is different, - and this very it's almost impossible to have pricing guidelines simply because there's too - many variables, - depending that that creates the right price. - So, - thinking about that, - think about all these factors again, - nourishing your instinct, - thinking about value, - not ours, - referring to historical records, - asking clients for their budgets at some colleagues for how much they price that things - calculating aggravation factor. - Looking at big picture hours, - thinking about your project minimum and possibly consulting pricing guidelines. - That is how you get to the article number. - Um, - I will not give you a number here. - It's just a way to calculate pricing. - But more important is how do you negotiate Sisic? - Um, - so a lot of times you might have a big a number of mine in the client does so some things. - Some ways to negotiate, - um, - is to tell your services to meet the clients budget. - Um, - so if the client has less money, - you can say, - rather than just lowering your feet, - which you should never dio because that shows that you were making up the number and you - are not confident in the number. - You should just simply lower your number willy nilly. - But talk to them about OK, - so what's the compromise here? - You know, - if we have, - if you are significantly reducing the budget or reducing budget slightly, - we can get the less concepts of less rounds of revisions. - Or we need you to provide more of some services like maybe you need to do the proof reading - when you need to do the writing or you need to hire the programmer. - And a lot of times it's really an effective tool. - So it's It's tailoring your work for the client. - And a lot of times they might say to you, - we've asked before one of the revisions and the fees too high, - you could say, - Well, - you know, - the real reason the fetus i its allies, - you asked before around the revisions. - If you can tell her to two rounds of revisions, - we can lower our fee. - Um, - so it's important to have them understand that what they do impacts the fee, - what they provide, - how how many rounds of revisions they provide. - Sorry. - Just build a water on myself. - Um, - is very important se um, - so tailing your service to meet the clients budget is a great way to negotiate prices the - other ways you can reduce or put restrictions on their use of rights. - Um, - you said tries in general for logos. - Um, - obviously, - you're gonna give them unlimited usage rights. - But there are some exceptions. - If it's a start up, - you might say, - You know, - I understand you have less money and because you're a startup will give you the will give - you the logo for usage for a year. - If after a year your business, - you continue to be in business, - then you need to pay us our full thing. - You don't base it on like what they're you know how successful they will, - because it's very hard to define success. - And they were really rarely will tell you the real numbers. - So it's important to define usage right sometimes for clients, - and that's a great tool to negotiate fees. - So, - for instance, - if you doing the restaurant and it's a very low money, - you know they don't Restaurants don't pay a lot. - You could simply say it's but one location only, - and that if they expand to other locations, - it will be an additional fee. - Uh, - so putting restrictions on usage rights is a great negotiating tool is not one that clients - love because they always want have unlimited user rights. - But it's a it's a good way to go to stand your ground and give them from some flexibility, - you can ask for more samples, - so if it's a project that you really think will be great for your portfolio, - you can certainly ask for more samples. - Um, - sometimes you can get unlimited samples, - and sometimes you can't. - So it's always good. - But it's great to have more samples. - If you want, - you can ask for prominent credit, - so this is a great way for non profits. - You can have things or websites where your name is prominently credited books anywhere - where they could publish your name in their in their promotional material in their press, - as well as in the pieces self. - So if you're doing your band posters, - you know band posters don't pay a lot. - But if you can get prominent credit on that poster that people have seen, - the poster and other bands might come to you. - Although if you are not making money, - I don't know how many band posters you wanted to, - um, - but it's a great It's a great It's another way of thinking about his prominent credit. - You can ask for creative control that is very rarely provided, - but you certainly can ask Fort where they have no feedback, - and you do what you think is the best solution for them. - And they have to approve it, - no matter what. - Um, - you know, - some, - most people will not accept that, - but it's just something to think about. - Uh, - and you could tell your payment schedule you could be a little bit flexible And how when - they pay you, - I don't love that. - But it is just another way of thinking about it and even all the border if you need to. - Um, - so it might be if you're working with, - you know, - I have my favorite. - Barter is a leg waxing. - You know, - my client was a four person firm and they were all women. - And the a leg Waxer slash spot wanted to do you have a logo, - but they had no money. - So they said, - give us a year of leg waxing for our entire staff and we'll do it for this budget. - So it was kind of a great border, - so you might want to think about water, - bring opportunities. - Um, - there are exceptions. - When I talked about not billing hourly, - there are some exceptions to the rule. - Um, - and I meant to scare a share with you. - I did not do this. - The price and consideration. - So as I'm talking, - I thought it might be helpful to so you can have this. - Life is the pricing considerations, - all the things that help you get to that number. - Um, - but as you see the slide, - I want to talk to you about some exceptions to when I talk about not feeling hourly. - There are some exceptions to the rule. - Some exceptions are production related projects and revisions. - So when this tactical work, - it's purely production work, - and it's not trendy evaluated. - If it's really just hours like you're doing type changes and extensive time to induce, - then you might be able to charge hourly. - Or if it's a monthly retainer, - where you're doing purely production works such as, - like, - newsletters. - You've done the newsletter you designed it, - and you're just completed in putting new content each month. - And there's not a lot of design. - My people do it based on hours alone, - Um, - so if its execution base not value based, - you possibly can do it by hours. - Although I still don't love it, - it's it's one way to protect yourself. - It also is for clients where the hours that you work exceed the value over project. - So if you've worked with a client before and they drive you absolutely crazy, - they, - um, - constantly keep you on the phone A, - um they just post that they, - you know, - they keep you busy. - They call you all the time. - They give you a million's revisions. - You might say, - You know what? - This project's getting crazy. - Let's re negotiate based on my hours because the hours on spending is much more than the - project extended, - Exceed is starting to exceed what we anticipated. - So facing. - Sometimes if you've worked with a client before, - you can say, - Look, - Ben, - based on the last relationship, - I really feel like it's almost impossible to determine how many hours you need. - I'm just gonna bill you hourly and a lot of clients like that. - I don't love that, - but it's sometimes a way to deal with those clients is very activating. - Um, - one last live that I love, - but I wanted to show here, - um, - this was a light bike shop. - So this goes back to the activation factor and just loved this life. - You know, - your base rate is this be but you If they watch, - if they involve themselves too much, - if they helped too much or if they think they can do it better than you, - you charge more. - I just love this. - It's it was for a bike shop, - but I think it could be the final answer for how the price of projects. - Um, - lastly, - I wanted just thank you, - Um, - for just saying this lesson. - I really enjoy doing it. - I'm hoping you guys enjoyed it. - Um, - and here's my information. - If you need some consulting or if you want to get additional information My, - um I am on Twitter. - Um, - here's my block on my website and my mail and you're welcome to contact me. - So thank you. - Grand again. - And I hope you enjoy the class. - I'd love your feedback. - Have a great day. - And again, - Thank you.