Brayden asks, “I am currently doing my first design proposal (freelance) and am kind of confused on what exactly they want. I was told they want a scope of work and a scope of pricing. I guess I am really confused and just want to make sure I am heading in the right direction.”
Brayden had sent us the proposal he had prepped for the client. But rather than get into the nitty-gritty of what he sent and we were able to help him, we thought we take a moment to talk more generally about proposals, what they should include, and how to protect yourself. We also want to make a quick mention about fees, and what is good practice when you provide pricing for your clients.
In terms of proposals, there are three main things all proposals should include:
- Scope of work
- Terms of the contract
- A place for signatures
For the scope of work, you should define in tedious detail what the proposed fees will cover in terms of work. In our proposals, we call out the number of comps and rounds of revisions we’ll tolerate, the overall steps of the design process, and deliverables. This is important so that when the client asks you to do something outside the scope you have the legal backing to say, “I can do that, but it will cost extra.”
The terms are the legal muscle to protect yourself and the client. You can scour the web for examples of proposals, or download an example of what we have used (we’ve stripped our branding and company name/contact info). These are important so that you and the client are protected if the project goes south, or there are things that happen outside of your control. There are a lot of things you don’t want to encounter, and this will help you cover your butt.
Lastly, make sure you get their John Hancock. And of course, make sure you get a signed proposal and contract before you start the work.
A Word About Fees
My biggest comment about fees is: price perceives value. When you charge what you’re worth and don’t discount your prices often (if ever), clients will value your opinions and work much more than if you’re just a “hired hand.” As well, this practice really doesn’t help the industry as a whole. When clients can get logos done for $50, we’re failing to raise the collective bar for our industry. Don’t be fooled, good branding and identities take serious thought, consideration, and work to be done right. Charge for it. Lastly, if you set this standard for your clients at the get-go, they’ll expect it moving forward. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do less work and get paid more, not the other way around.
Download A Sample of Our Proposal