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Proposal Breakdown: Keeping Your Proposals Personal, Yet Professional

Building a personal relationship through a proposal

A lesson in putting your best foot forward from Cheryl Laidlaw, founder of The Reyl Design Group

Proposal Format

Cheryl is a Better Proposals customer so she's created a professional proposal using Better Proposals and sent it to her client.

Cover and Branding

Very simple. She's used a really nice grey with her flat, simple and elegant branding and it looks stunning. She's opted not to use an image on her cover but it looks so smart, it really doesn't need it. This continues as you click through to the proposal itself.


Fantastic. It's personally written and gets right to the point of what she's going to do. She has a brilliant line on the following page which literally is perfect and should 100% be the opening line of her introduction. She says in 1 sentence exactly what the objective of the site is. Tip: Don't bury this information. Get it front and centre so you can remind them instantly that you "get it". This is so important.

The Work

The information is all here and it's all good information but it's not in the clearest format. Some of these pages should be merged as they're pretty similar. The idea is to create one page where if this was a toy on a shelf in a shop, this page would be it. One page where they can read and just see everything they're going to get.


The details on this page are spot on. Perhaps include a testimonial on this page to say it's great value for money or something quantifying it like "I got 6 new leads last week with my new website". Anything that makes it tangible. I'd also steer heavily away from using words like Price, Cost, Estimate, Quote. It all screams either "I'm guessing" or "judge the price". None of which are good. I love the word investment because it implies that there's a return.

Testimonials and Examples

The examples are fantastic. She's used a mockup of the websites on a Mac screen and on the iPhone too showing it's going to work nicely on mobile. This is awesome! What she should do too though is include the testimonials on the same page so people can see the testimonial against the work. It makes it more real. It would be even better to get a head shot from LinkedIn and stick that next to the testimonial.

What do I do now?

Cheryl needs a 'Next Steps' page here. Just a small page detailing the next steps which are usually something like this: 1. Type your name in the box below and click 'Sign Proposal' 2. We'll invoice you for the deposit 3. We'll start work Then include the Digital Signature box so they can approve the proposal there and then. Lastly, I'd put the contract on a separate page and put it at the bottom.


Despite all my recommendations making it seem like there's lots to be improved here, there really isn't. It just needs moving around and it'll be in much much better shape. That said, Cheryl is one of the busiest web designers I know and has people queuing up to work with her and quite rightly too. If your website isn't performing as well as you'd like it to then I'd recommend getting in touch with Cheryl. She'll set you straight and get your website performing how it should.

If you want to get your proposal reviewed then send your proposal through to adam [at] betterproposals [dot eye oh] and I'll get yours in the queue.

Don't worry, if you want any details like costs and company names blocked out, we can censor them.

Adam Hempenstall's profile image
Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals. He started his first web design business at 14 and has since written four books and built an international movement around sending better proposals. Having helped his customers win $500,000,000 in the last 12 months alone, he’s launched the first ever Proposal University where he shares best practices on writing and designing proposals. He co-runs a once-a-year festival called UltraMeet and is a massive FC Barcelona fan.