What do you think is the best format for proposal for marketing services such as SEO, content marketing, social media, etc.? How should you structure the presentation? What should you include and what you should not?
This is a very wide area to discuss and there is no magic bullet. You need to tailor it to the specific market/client.
I like to keep proposals short and sweet. Make sure you include the following:
- Scope of Work (exactly what you'll be doing)
Also, relationships tend to sour when expectations are not in alignment. Make sure everything that you'll be doing is clearly articulated so that there's no room for misunderstanding.
I have had a lot of success sending the proposal after I have clearly demonstrated that I can have a profound impact on their business. If you send them a quote or proposal without building trust by demonstrating your expertise, they will get sticker shock. I would recommend you read the free ebook from the founder of FreshBooks called ""Breaking the Time Barrier." http://breakingthetimebarrier.freshbooks.com/
You need to envision yourself on the other side of the client's desk. You may be thinking about marketing, promotions and advertising, but that is about 10% of the client's equation. They are thinking bottom line, ROI, meeting daily and monthly numbers, brand, resources of all types, fulfillment and a myriad of other things. They also do not want to introduce more heartburn or problems. Calls from above about something gone wrong are feared. The best presentations I have seen come from those who understand my business and present ideas on how to solve my problems not just today, but long term. Therefore, you need to understand the client's business, competition and industry.
Have a template that defines the project's goals, the plan (who does what, and when), the price, and any terms and conditions. Then, ask the prospect what they would like to see in the proposal. If they don't know, or completely agree with what you already have, just use your template. If they say "I need to show XYZ to get approval", make sure you include XYZ.