My proposal close rate for 2022 was 90%. That’s a huge number and my projects often come in at multiple 5-figure rates. So if it weren’t clear yet, focusing on improving your proposals really makes a difference in your bottom line. If you’re a new service provider trying to figure out how to do the same ASAP, this is for you.
Fun fact: I was rejected A LOT in the early days of freelancing, and that trial and error is part of how I cracked the code to book more clients.
My copywriting proposal has gone through multiple evolutions over the years before getting to this point. Now, it takes 5-20 minutes for me to customize and send a proposal after a Discovery Call. A few years ago, that same work would be at least an hour, if not 2-3 for every single proposal I sent to a potential new client.
I made a few key changes to my proposal creation process since then to make everything so much easier.
If you want to increase your proposal close rate, the bottom line is that you have to make it super easy for your clients to say YES. The easiest yesses come when they feel:
✨ Confident that you are the expert they need.
✨ Are aligned with the process, timeline, and scope—no questions or miscommunications.
✨ It’s literally EASY to check yes. No back and forth or daunting task.
So how do we make that happen? Let’s talk about the types of sections to include in your copywriting proposal if you want to book more clients.
Even if you were talking to the key decision maker on your discovery call, it’s always good to include an introduction of you and your team just in case there are other decision makers who will be reviewing your copywriting proposal. This way, you don’t have to rely on your lead remembering and/or relaying all the correct information about who you are and what makes you special—you can explain this clearly in your own words and rest assured knowing that nothing is missed if they need to share this information with their team or other decision makers.
Channel your strategic copywriting skills to not only show your lead that you listened to their needs, but you get them and their needs. At the end of the day, business is human and people just want to be understood. So show them that you do understand them AND can help. This tactic works when writing copy to be read by mass audiences, so of course it will work in the same way for an individual lead (or their team).
Over-explain and over-communicate everything. Sure, it’s more upfront work. But it can be systemized and duplicated for future projects and it will save you the headache later because everyone will be on the same page right now.
It’s so important to over-communicate the scope of the project. Think line by line for this part! The more details, the less that can be confused later on.
Not sure what to add here? As copywriters, a scope doesn’t always just include word counts. Maybe you’re also creating the strategy or outlines, offer a consultation call or wrap-up call, X number of revisions, and email communication. All of these things can and should be listed in the scope section of your copywriting proposal for extreme clarity.
What makes YOU so special? There’s probably a handful of things. Those unique features of your client experience can be included as bonuses here.
For example, a bonus of becoming a client of the done-for-you JW Studio is that you get to skip the line for updates and day reservations. Our brand messaging and website copywriting package is the entry point to work with us, but from there I act as a fractional CMO for many of our clients helping guide the marketing efforts of their business as a whole. We also offer a specific suite of services to existing and past clients only.
This isn’t the only way to do things either.
Examples of bonuses that a copywriter may include:
✨ Strategy or consultation.
✨ Extra support afterwards—for example, page optimization post launch.
✨ Continued email support for 30 days post launch.
If you’re really not sure what makes you unique or how to position yourself next to other copywriters, check out Conversion Class. This course will help you develop the foundations of an attractive brand message and turn your website into a lead generator for your freelance business, so you can get more leads on autopilot.
When those leads are coming in consistently, you can focus on improving your copywriting proposal too.
There’s so many other things you can include in your copywriting proposal to increase your close rate, but hopefully this list gives you something to start with! Overall, you want your copywriting proposal to showcase the value of working with you, but also the experience—give them a taste of what it’s like in your inner circle.
For me and my business, communication and clarity are so important. So we show that in how we deliver the proposal, what type of information we provide, etc.
What other questions might come up and what else can you do to increase your proposal close rate? Digging into this next!
If you’re looking at the above sample copywriting proposal inclusions, you might be wondering: How many pages should a proposal be? Good question!
My non-answer might be annoying, but it’s the truth: The page count doesn’t matter. What really matters is the quality of information inside your copywriting proposal. Worry less about page count or word count, and more about hitting all the key points that you need to help a new client feel good about working with you.
One of my most recommended productivity “hacks” or tricks to streamline your day-to-day as a freelancer is this: Templatize everything you possibly can.
It’s super easy to turn your standard proposal into a template to reuse with every single lead. With my copywriting proposal template, it really only takes me a few minutes to customize and send to a qualified lead after the sales call. Even though my clients and their needs are often very different, the process is similar. And templates always save time!
Okay so you have a better idea of what to include in your copywriting proposal now, but what else? How can you improve your proposal template overall to increase your close rate? Let’s get into specific tactics and tips that you can implement ASAP.
When I first started freelancing, I was great at writing copy for others, but not so great at selling myself. It was mostly a lack of confidence, but also because I just didn’t know what to do or say. I didn’t know what made me and my services so valuable. This is where the method freelancers learn inside Conversion Class was starting to be formed, and further refined by going through the process for myself and clients.
After you get clear on what makes you so special and how to sell your unique position in a way that feels ALIGNED and AUTHENTIC, the details (like creating a solid copywriting proposal) get a lot easier.
Some specific tactics to use in your copywriting proposal:
✨ Reinforce your unique value first. What’s your big promise? What’s your competitive edge or position within the market?
Example: My unique position at first was being a proven conversion copywriter with big picture strategy experience and know-how too. Now, I’ve developed my own methods and a specific style that sets me apart—and attracts ideal clients because we’re a perfect match.
✨ Parrot their exact words to summarize their needs. This is a well known copywriting strategy that you can use in your proposal template! Show that you listened during the sales call by describing their wants and needs using the same language that they use.
Example: If a lead tells me they have a hard time pinning themselves down long enough to execute their email marketing well, I could highlight that working with me means I’ll help with the pin down and focus on their email marketing as a core channel. It’s true AND it’s using their words.
✨ State the package inclusions or features last to legitimize and frame the decision. By this point, your lead should be emotionally sold—they’re definitely IN, but they want to logically decide that it’s a good decision too. This is where attractive package details and strategic bonuses will help them feel comfortable saying yes to you!
Client experience matters from the moment a lead hits your website. What does your digital world FEEL like for them? You can shape this experience from start to finish, and that includes setting up your copywriting proposal in a way that makes things super easy for them.
✨ Hit all key discussion points from your sales call… And tell them your proposal will include everything so they don’t need to take notes. They can focus on your conversation instead of frantically writing everything down.
Sidenote: Increasing your proposal close rate also requires attention to how you conduct sales calls, and all the steps in your pipeline prior to the call as well. It’s more than just a quick fix of 1 component!
✨ Recommend a clear path forward with minimal options. I’m talking about a maximum of 2-3 options… And even 3 can feel like a lot sometimes. People want you to tell them what they need when they consider you an expert. Don’t make the decision difficult!
✨ Over-explain the process and timeline. The more clarity, the better for everyone because nothing will fall through the cracks.
✨ Make it on brand. A custom branded experience not only impresses clients, but it feels cohesive—and cohesive feels good. It builds trust and shows that you really do know what you’re doing. You care about the details! For this, I don’t just mean visually. Consider the brand voice and tone you use to guide them through the process of working with you. Everything internally should align with your marketing externally.
Dubsado is the platform that I use to automate the entire lead inquiry to onboarding process, making it super easy for me and my clients. It’s a huge reason why I’m able to put together custom proposals so quickly now.
Some features that Dubsado helps me implement in my copywriting proposals…
✨ All paperwork is in a single digital location. Through just 1 link, they have access to the proposal, contract to sign, and fee schedule. This minimizes steps like back and forth through onboarding. They’re able to accept, sign, and pay a deposit all at the same time. Each step auto-populates the correct information on the next page as they complete the form.
✨ Easy checkboxes to select packages. The proposal sometimes includes optional add-ons, so it’s simple for the new client to choose additional packages and services. These are automatically added to the contract and fee schedule.
✨ Simple e-signing capabilities. All of my proposals and contracts are digital now, which means that e-signing is the standard practice. Dubsado makes e-signing super easy for clients.
✨ Optional: Set up an automatic payment plan. One of Dubsado’s newer features is the ability to set up automatic payments on a set plan. I’ve always offered payment plans for services over the mandatory minimum dollar amount, but this makes it even easier because clients no longer have to remember to pay their invoices as scheduled (and we don’t need to send reminders).
The above is just the tip of what the process looks like to send a proposal and onboard a new client. This is a specific aspect of my client experience that I’ve worked on perfecting for YEARS and will continue to do so.
Sidenote: If you want to know what other tools and platforms I use in my business, check out this page. Some of these are affiliate links, but I truly love and recommend them if you’re a freelance copywriter or if your service-based business is set up like mine!
Want to keep growing? There’s so much more to say about this topic, and always room to improve. I actually filmed a YouTube video talking about the above ideas in more detail. You can watch that here.
If you like this and you want to learn more about how to position yourself in a saturated market and grow a sustainable copywriting business (or any business—for that matter), enroll in 4 Steps to Profit. This is my free 4-day course that teaches you the basics of how I help clients achieve those big milestones everyone wants.
And when you’re ready to go all in, Conversion Class is a great place to start. New freelance copywriters LOVE this course. That’s honestly about half of the people who have taken it to date. If you want to be known as the expert in your space, develop a brand message and personality that aligns with your authentic self, and turn your website into a lead generator, enroll today.
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