Freelance proposals

Use our proven proposal templates to showcase your design skills in an engaging way. Our pre-written templates are designed for freelancers of all kinds, including web developers, graphic designers, writers, and marketers.

What are Freelance Proposals?

Freelance proposals let you, as a self-employed, reach out to potential clients to pitch your services. Unlike general CVs, these documents are usually tailored to a specific project or client and showcase relevant examples of your past work and achievements. 

With a professional proposal, your chances of winning projects can increase ultimately as it portrays you as a more competent and trustworthy candidate. Browse through the extensive collection of freelance proposal examples on PandaDoc, which you can customize online and tailor-made to suit your specific requirements.

How to Structure Your Freelance Proposal

The purpose of any self-pitch presentation is to hook your potential client and persuade them to buy your services over others. You may even think of it as creating a business proposal for your client where you present only relevant information. For inspiration, you may check our collection of free business proposals

But in practice, no matter the service or domain you work in, all proposals are structured more or less the same. Here are some essential sections that should be included in any proposal for a freelance:

  1. Introduction. Begin your proposal with a personalized greeting and a hook that captures the client’s attention. This is your chance to make a good first impression and to give the client an idea of who you are and what you do. A hook can be a compelling statistic that demonstrates your expertise in the field or a question to the client that touches on his pain point.
  1. Project Scope. Explain what the project entails, what you will deliver, and what the client can expect. You may want to organize this section into subsections like in freelance project proposals, such as Timeline, Deliverables, and Milestones for better clarity.
  1. Skills/ Experience. Describe your qualifications and expertise in the area relevant to the project. You can include your testimonials from previous clients or mention brands or clients you have worked with. If your work is visually oriented, such as in graphic design, including relevant samples will speak louder than words.
  1. Approach. By summarizing your project approach and methodology, you can provide the client with a clear understanding of how you will get from the start to the end goal. This will surely improve their confidence in your abilities.
  1. Timeline. Most freelancer jobs have fixed duration. Provide a clear and realistic timeline for the project, including any milestones or deadlines that need to be met. 
  1. Budget. Include a proposed timeline for the project and a budget that covers your fees, expenses, and any other costs associated with the project. Mention any additional fees that may apply to make your freelance bid proposal sample transparent and final.
  1. Contact details. Thank the client for considering your offer. Then suggest the next steps, like having a call or moving the discussion forward. Make sure to include contact details like links to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, website, or another way he could reach you.

Remember to proofread your offer and ensure it is conversational, easy to scan, and free of slang or typos. 

How to Pitch Your Proposal Effectively

A well-crafted proposal can give you an edge in securing your first projects. However, it’s not enough to simply create a proposal; you need to pitch it effectively to potential clients. To make your proposal stand out, you can follow these tips.

  1. Address your client in a letter and propose your services in a more personalized way. You can find the sample freelance proposal letter at PandaDoc freelance templates and write your one.
  1. Customize it based on the client’s needs and goals. Show that you have done your research and understand the client’s pain points rather than just sending it out blindly.
  1. Present benefits, not just features. When listing your skills, emphasize the benefits your services will bring. Example: your proficiency in analytics tools will let the client build their business more effectively than competitors.
  1. Include social proof and data to back up your expertise. You can place links to customers who can give feedback on your work or mention specific measured benefits to demonstrate the value you delivered to other clients. This will make your proposal more persuasive.
  1. Keep it concise. Text walls, cliche claims, or technical jargon can spoil your pitch and make your strengths get lost. Make sure to clean your proposal from them.

You may be good at your job, but you don’t have to be good at writing proposals. So, using a PandaDoc tried-and-tested freelance proposal example with organized sections, headings, and subheadings make your self presentation look professional and easy to understand.

Finally, keep this in mind. If you pitch the client outside job platforms and the client accepts your offer, you will still have to communicate all the details and document them in a formal employment contract before you start to work. Without it, the freelance proposal itself doesn’t have any legal force.


How do I write a good proposal for a freelancer?

To write a good proposal for a freelancer, you need to clearly communicate the scope of the project, your goals, and your expectations. Introduce your services, giving a brief overview of your domain and target customer. Outline the details of the project, including the expected timeline and deliverables. Make sure to include any references and competitor’s sites if that applies to your project. You may close your proposal by asking for an estimate or suggesting the cost for the job to be done.

What should be included in freelance proposal details?

A typical freelance proposal includes an overview of the project, the scope of work and tasks, deliverables, and timeline. It outlines the price and payments making sure both parties are clear on the financial terms. If you are a freelancer, you may also list any additional services not stated in the scope of work. Make sure to include your contact details – phone number and email address. You may also attach a copy of the contract to be signed if you’ve already reached an agreement with a client or a freelancer.

How do freelancers get projects for beginners?

The easiest way for beginner freelancers to get their first projects is to join several online platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer and bid on projects to create a portfolio. You also need to create a profile on professional social media platforms like LinkedIn and communicate with HR specialists. And give it a try reaching out to potential companies and pitching your services directly since your first job offers may often be a matter of luck. Use one of the PandaDoc freelance proposal templates to create a catchy pitch and win first clients.