What is an InDesign Proposal?
An InDesign business proposal is a document that you can use to propose new Adobe InDesign projects to prospective clients. InDesign projects typically include print and digital:
- Business cards
An InDesign proposal template is also called an InDesign business proposal template or InDesign project proposal.
What to Include in an InDesign Business Proposal
Your InDesign project proposal template is what you use to convince a client or company to work with you over a competitor. It needs to be persuasive, informative, and demonstrate why you’re the best freelancer for the job.
A winning proposal template should include the following elements:
1. A cover page
When creating a proposal template, the first thing you need is a cover page. This will help to identify your proposal and make a professional first impression. You don’t need to include a lot of information on it, just make sure to have:
- A title (for example, Monthly Newsletter Project Proposal)
- The name of the business and individual you’re sending the proposal to
- Your name and business name
- The date you send the proposal
2. Client and contractor information
You’ll need to have your client’s business name and contact information, as well as the names of any decision-makers you’re sending the proposal to. You should also include your business information, such as your name and logo, email address, and phone number.
Make sure that the client — or anyone else who reads your Adobe InDesign proposal — can easily reach out with questions or to let you know they’re ready to move forward.
3. An “About Us” section
A brief but well-written About Us section is a great addition to any business proposal. It gives you an opportunity to tell a client or company who you are and what makes you a fit. Highlight any specific skills and past projects that may pique a potential client’s interest.
For example, consider whether you have:
- Worked in a similar industry before
- Completed similar projects for a client’s competitor or a well-known brand
- Any business-related similarities, like you’re both full-time freelancers or have the same company values
Customize your About Us section for each client and project so that you boost your chances of leaving them feeling impressed and like you have a professional connection.
4. A project description
In this section of your InDesign business proposal, you need to define the project. You need to address:
- What the problem is
- How you will solve it
- The skills and services you will provide
- Details about the process
Here’s an example of a project description in a business proposal template:
[Client or company name] wants print and digital flyers designed to help promote their charity fundraising event for stray animals. These flyers will be posted on social media, handed out to the public, and posted in pet supply stores. The event is open to anyone, but the target audience is adult animal lovers and pet owners.
The purpose of this project is to create an engaging and stylish design using trending design elements, a branded color scheme, easy-to-read fonts, and images to grab attention and quickly and easily communicate information about the event.
[Freelancer] will create 2 social media flyer drafts and 2 print flyer drafts in InDesign for the client to choose from. Once selected, the chosen design will be edited and updated to include any requested adjustments and a final version will be sent to the client by [date].
5. A timeline
Just like you, clients have deadlines to meet. That’s why including a timeline in your proposal template is so important.
Review your schedule and priorities to come up with a feasible timeline. If you happen to know what the client expects the turnaround to be, do your best to meet it, within reason.
For small, one-off projects, do your best to provide a specific date as your deadline. For large or ongoing projects, break up your deadlines into pieces. For example, monthly newsletters will be drafted by the 15th of each month.
6. Work samples and testimonials
Work samples show clients what you can do and how skilled you are. Curate the collection of samples you feature in each business proposal template to showcase your most impressive and relevant past projects. If you have a professional portfolio or website, feel free to use it here.
When possible, include testimonials from happy clients to demonstrate that the project was a success. Not only will this show clients that you have what it takes to produce high-quality work, but it will also highlight your ability to maintain positive relationships with your clients.
Just make sure to customize the samples that you feature in your proposal template. For example, if the client’s company wants a travel brochure, showcase travel brochures you’ve made in the past.
7. Pricing Details
Pricing details are essential in InDesign business proposals. For many clients, this information will be a major factor in whether or not they choose to work with you. This section should be relatively detailed and should include the same information that you would put in a quote, such as:
- An hourly or per-project rate
- Additional fees or discounts
- The cost of materials or supplies (like printing costs)
- A breakdown of each service and its cost
- An expiry date
- A total cost or estimated price range for the finished project
You can also include payment information in this section, such as whether you require deposits, which payment methods you accept, and what your billing cycle is.
8. Next steps
At the end of your proposal template, you need to let your client know what the next steps are. As in, are you going to reach out next week to follow up, or do you plan to wait until you hear from them?
Whether you meet in person, schedule a call, or send an email, be clear about what the next steps are and who is responsible for getting in touch.
To encourage your client to respond sooner, add incentives to your proposals. For example, offer a discounted rate if they accept your proposal by a certain date or highlight a quick turnaround for projects confirmed within 3 business days.
Who Should Use an InDesign Business Proposal
Anyone who uses InDesign to create digital or print content for clients can use an InDesign business proposal template. For example, you may want to use one if you’re:
- A graphic designer
- A marketer
- A publisher
- An artist
You may also want to use an business proposal template if you’re a product manager, user experience designer, or web designer.
When to Use InDesign Proposals
Since InDesign project proposal templates play a major role in whether or not you win a job, it’s important to send them at the right times. A business proposal template should always be sent before a job takes place, but after you’ve had a chance to talk to the client about what they’re looking for.
Use an InDesign business proposal template when:
- You’re planning to pitch an InDesign project to a new client
- You’re trying to sign a corporate client
- You know a client is getting quotes from other freelancers as well
You can also use a business proposal template if a client has specifically requested you use Adobe InDesign for a project.
How to Write an InDesign Business Proposal
How you write your InDesign proposal templates heavily influences whether they’re accepted or rejected by a client. When putting yours together, keep these tips in mind:
1. Get the details ahead of time
Either meet with the client in person, over video, or through a phone call to gather as many project details as possible. Find out exactly what they want, why they want it, and whether their expectations are reasonable.
The more information you have before drafting your proposal template, the easier it will be for you to tailor your proposal and come up with an accurate budget.
2. Research your competition
If you know of any other contractors or companies the client has reached out to, learn as much as you can about them. This will help you to determine what sets you apart. For example, do you offer more affordable pricing or are you more experienced in the client’s industry?
Take a look at what makes you stand out and how you can meet the client’s needs better than the competition.
3. Use a professional proposal template
Using proposal templates will help you to save time compared to drafting a custom document for every new client. While each proposal template will need to be customized and updated for every new pitch, you won’t have to make one front scratch.
Either design your own proposal template using a word processor like Google Docs or use a free template from Bonsai.
4. Focus on design
Since you’re likely proposing a design-heavy project, it’s important for your Adobe InDesign project templates to be visually appealing. Make sure to:
- Use a clean, easy-to-read font
- Be aware of whitespace
- Use appropriate graphics sparingly
- Create a print-ready design with letter-sized pages
5. Edit your proposal template
Before sending your design proposal template to a client, edit it to ensure that your clients receive a correct and clean proposal. Use these editing tips to avoid typos and grammatical errors:
- Have a friend, colleague, or professional writer or editor review your proposal template
- Read your content out loud to yourself to catch strange phrasing or awkward wording
- Don’t rely on your word processors editor to catch everything
- Triple-check important information, like the client’s business name, and ensure it’s capitalized and spelled properly
Creating an InDesign Proposal is Simple with Bonsai
Using a design proposal template is a great way to give your business a professional edge, save time, and win more clients. With Bonsai, you can create custom proposal templates, send them to clients, and manage your projects.
All you have to do is create a free account, choose a proposal template, and add your content.
InDesign Proposal FAQs
What questions should I ask a client before I make an InDesign project proposal?
Before you start drafting your InDesign business proposals, you should ask your client questions like:
- What is your budget?
- When would you like this project completed by?
- What is the goal of this project?
- Who will be in charge of this project?
The more you know about a client and their project, the easier it will be for you to tailor your proposal template to their needs.
What format should I send a business proposal in?
It’s best to send your business proposal through email in a standard format, like a PDF. That way, all of your design elements and formatting are maintained.
If you meet with the client to go over the proposal template, bring along a printed copy for each person who will attend the meeting so you can review it together.
What is the importance of an InDesign project proposal template?
Your project proposal template serves many purposes.
First, it lays out project requirements and details upfront, ensuring that you and your client are on the same page. If there are any issues in the proposal, you’ll find out before the project starts, potentially saving you a lot of trouble in the future.
Second, a project proposal template helps you to sign bigger, better projects. Not only does it come off as more professional than a basic emailed quote, but it also demonstrates why you’re the perfect fit for a client’s project. This also gives you an opportunity to stand out when compared to the competition.
Third, project proposals help to keep important project and client information organized. For example, you can use your InDesign proposal templates to inform your contract and future invoices. If the client tries to expand the project scope, you can refer back to your proposal template to remind them of the agreed-upon services and budget.
Contract Template: Use this template to draft a contract outlining your responsibilities and obligations to and from a future client.
Invoice Template: Use this template to create custom invoices for clients to help you get paid on time and in full.
Quote Template: Use these templates to draft detailed quotes for potential clients.
Graphic Design Proposal Template: Use a graphic design template to pitch general graphic design projects to prospective clients.