By Lisa Lopuck

Writing up web design proposals burns a lot of time — design firms and independent contractors all feel the same pain. Nonetheless, you must invest this time in order to even have a chance to win the web design project, so make your time count.

The agencies that win the bids to redesign websites often have these characteristics:

  • Demonstrated project relevance. Proposals that discuss specific creative ideas and solutions for the project do better than generic proposals — some proposals only give background on the agency itself, its awards, its methodology, and then go into the project’s timeline, schedule, and budget. Blah, blah, blah. Clients want to know how you would approach their specific project and hear some of your ideas.

  • Provided sample visuals. Great designs that you’ve done for similar projects go a long way toward winning the bid. In fact, some clients even ask agencies to provide sample design directions for their particular project in the proposal. Such “work on spec” is risky, but it’s often the only way to win the bid in competitive situations. For the most part, however, sharing case studies of related work and pointing out relevant features (so long as that work is live and doing its job out in the market) can create a powerful, and lasting, impression.

  • Touted solid team members. Include a section in your proposal that provides a brief bio on each team member who would be working on the project. Clients want to know they’ll have an all-star team dedicated to their project. And if you win the bid, make sure those team members are in fact on the project.