Agencies: Learn How to Write a Compelling Marketing Proposal

by Christina Hooper.
Last Updated on September 27, 2020

Writing a compelling proposal for a prospective client is not a quick or easy task, even if you’re a marketing agency owner who is already doing the marketing thing. But often, we as professionals get hung up on the ‘compelling’ part, or even the proposal itself. We know what we want to say in the proposal, which can lead to difficulties when nailing down what a client could be looking for.

The thing is, there is no wrong or right answer here. There isn’t a perfect marketing proposal that will work for everyone. What there is, though, is the perfect way to create a marketing proposal that will work for you. 

You need something that will work for your specific agency. In your particular situation. For your specific set of clients. It may seem like there are a lot of variables, and when it comes to putting it into word form for proposals and documentation, it can be. 

You’re excited. We get that. Your churning out leads, and those leads are turning into callbacks and potential clients. That’s worth being excited about. Now you need to present your best-written proposal to these could-be clients. It's crunch time, and you're worried about getting it right.

Maybe you’ve written a proposal for your client, and you’re questioning whether it’s good enough — wondering if you’ve left out important factors that may cost you the client. 

Or, maybe you’re trying to convert a client that seemed excited and eager to get started during the sales call or video chat meeting, but once you sent the proposal — crickets. 

You don’t understand why they suddenly ghosted you and walked away after sending them the proposal.

It’s possible you didn’t hear back from the potential client because you made one of these common mistakes while writing the proposal.

  1. You focused too much on yourself and your marketing agency’s achievements.
  2. You waited to talk about price, and now the client is seeing it for the first time in the proposal, so they are experiencing a bit of ‘sticker shock.’
  3. You positioned your pricing as an expense rather than an investment to the client.
  4. You went into detail about all the features, but not how your customer’s life or business situation will improve when they use your marketing agency’s products and services.
  5. You were speaking as if you were addressing another marketing agency, with way too much insider jargon and terminology that your potential client doesn’t understand.

If you’re a marketing agent who struggles to write a compelling proposal or you’ve written a few, and they didn't get your agency any clients, you’re going to want to keep reading. In this article, we will show you how you can write a compelling proposal in 5 steps. 

And once you land that new contract, Content Ninjas can help you meet your clients’ content demands so you can focus on managing your marketing agency. You can get free article for your agency — no strings attached — just by giving us a try

Step #1: Don’t Talk About You — Talk About Them

You wrote your proposal. You sent it off to the potential client, but you got carried away talking about yourself and your marketing agency’s achievements. While you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished, there’s a right way and a wrong way to share this information. 

Most marketing agents lead with how long their agency has been in business and how many certifications or training programs they’ve completed. This tends to turn off potential clients because they’re positioning themselves as the hero — rather than the experienced guide who’s been there and done that and knows how to help them solve their problem or improve their situation.

To win your client’s trust and get them to work with you, you need to relate to them. They need to know that you’ve either been through what they’ve been through, know someone who did or have some experience with the situation. 

As a marketing agency, to position yourself as the guide who can solve the problem, you need to empathize with their unique situation. Talk about their external issues (they’re not getting enough needs and need to drum up more business) and their internal problems (how they feel because they’re stuck in this situation).

Step #2: Position Your Products/Services As the Medicine For Their Pain

Once you’ve gotten your potential client's interest in how your agency can help them, you’ll need to position your products and services as medicine for their pain. 

As an agent, you’ll do this by painting an empathetic picture of their situation to show them you know how they feel.  If you’ve helped another client with something similar or have been through this situation personally, share that. And then focus on how your agency can help, what products or services do you offer that will benefit them.

Now you can tell your potential client how your products and services will help them increase their business. You can show them that by using the tools and tactics you recommend, they will get more leads and create a sales funnel that drives traffic from social media and Google to their website. And then, explain how you will help your client convert this traffic to paying customers through Call To Actions (CTAs.)

Your agency can track the return on investment (ROI) through data and metrics such as subscription signups, lead magnet downloads, click-through rates, and conversion rates. If you have examples, show them. Always have visuals for your clients when available. 

Whatever you do, don’t just list a bunch of features.  Tell a story to show them how your products and services will make your client’s life much better — increased leads that mean increased revenue, and businesses can hire more workers and scale their business. 

Step #3: Give Them A Three or Four-Step Plan

You’ve got the client’s attention. Now you want to keep them reeled in. Now’s the time to tell them how they can do business with you and what this process will look like. Don’t make this unnecessarily complicated or confusing by using marketing jargon that they aren’t going to understand. 

Write out a short plan of action, in 3 to 4 steps. No more than 4 because research shows that after 4 steps, the conversion rate will drop. You want to keep this client interested. If you add a 5th step, conversions take a nosedive. 

Keep it short and straightforward. Simplify the process and use layman's terms — it should pass the “grunt test” — meaning it’s so simple that even a caveman can understand it.

Step #4: Position the Price as an Investment

Don’t wait to talk about the price. As a marketing agency, you don’t want to hit them with the price at the end and have that ‘sticker shock’ happen. Talk with your client about pricing throughout the meeting. You can even include some in the plan of action list we mentioned in the previous step. 

Do not position your pricing as an expense to the client. We, as humans, are hardwired to avoid spending money - especially a lot of money.  Instead, you want to position it as an investment. 

To position it as an investment in their business’s future, show your client how much value they’ll get, and remind them that you will produce an ROI on every penny they invest. This will help them justify the purchase and push them through any objections they may have. 

Create a deadline to add a sense of urgency and give you a legitimate reason to follow up with them later. 

Include images that demonstrate the benefits your products and services bring. Here’s where you showcase your portfolio of your best websites, samples of blog articles, data, and metrics that prove you can get real results.

Offer 3 options for them to choose from. Having choices makes them feel in control and makes the pricing less intimidating. It puts them in a comparison mindset, and most people choose the middle of the road option. 

You can offer lower, middle, and higher-priced choices with optional add-on products or services they can have for an additional charge. You can create packages to meet the needs of each type of customer you service — such as small business, mid-larger, and enterprise. 

Or you can offer various packages that include different products and services, such as a sales funnel package that could consist of a website, email newsletter campaign, and social media posts.

Step #5: Position Yourself as the Guide and Provide Proof to Back it Up

As a marketing agency, you want to position yourself as your prospective client’s guide, and you will need to provide them with proof to back it up. Setting yourself up as the seasoned guide who has experienced their pain, who has been down the same road and had to solve all the problems they’re currently facing, demonstrates you have the authority to help them. 

It also shows you can understand their situation and empathize with their pain points. Include real customer testimonials or case studies that demonstrate your expertise and show you can help that client solve their problems — just like you did for someone else.

Try Us Free — No Strings Attached

Now that you know how to write a compelling proposal for your marketing agency and are ready to attract an army of new clients, you might be wondering how you’re going to get all of this done. 

You’ve been struggling to get new clients. You find yourself overworked, and you're getting overwhelmed. You need to keep your existing clients happy, so they stay, but you’re trying to wear too many hats. When you perform too many roles within your agency, it's all but impossible to keep work flowing smoothly.

At Content Ninas, we understand just how hard that can be. Our roots are in marketing, and our COO, Christina Hooper, has run a marketing agency for over 8 years. She started as a website designer and graphic designer over 14 years ago and has learned how to do every part of creating and scaling a business — 6 times over (she currently owns 6 growing companies, Content Ninjas being one of the newest.)

One of the biggest challenges she faced as a marketing agency owner is getting high-quality content that’s SEO and conversion-optimized consistently and on time — meeting strict deadlines. With Content Ninjas, we’ve set out to solve that problem.

One of our clients has always had difficulty finding writers to provide quality blog articles for their SaaS company. Our writers created the content she needed while adhering to their strict style guide and incorporating all SME and requested information. This is what she had to say (the client’s information is not included because we’re a white label agency — meaning we don’t divulge who our clients are and what we’ve written for them).

While you take care of writing that compelling proposal and the other heavy business tasks, let Content Ninjas help you get the most important and relevant information to a client in a way that allows them to see the value quickly. 

You can have high-quality content without putting in hours of research, writing, and editing. You don’t have to stress these details. We can do it for you.

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