Who knew running a photography business would need you to be more than just a good photographer?
With the rise of digital photography, it’s safe to say that the photography industry has become fiercely competitive. Suddenly, everyone is a photographer and you have to go the extra mile to stand out in a crowded market.
One of the ways to appeal to your prospective clients is by writing a compelling business proposal that positions you to be well-suited for the project and helps you close deals.
Let’s take a look at how you can write a winning photography proposal that lands clients.
1. Design a Stunning Cover Page
As a photographer, you are expected to be the creative mind and that needs to be reflected across every section of your photography proposal.
The cover page is the first thing your clients will see and in many ways, it sets the tone for the rest of the proposal. This is why it’s important to design a stunning cover page that echoes what your business is about while being neatly laid out and visually-appealing.
The most important elements of the cover page include:
- The title of your photography proposal
- Company name
- Business logo
- Background image
It’s a good idea to choose a theme for the proposal. This helps you stick to a consistent color scheme and typography throughout the entire document.
Here’s an example of a well-designed cover page. It is simple and features a striking hero image along with the essential elements.
2. Showcase Your Portfolio
While you can write volumes about your company, what your clients are really interested in is your past work. Use this space to showcase your portfolio and demonstrate your abilities.
Creating a portfolio is not about just compiling your past work. The key lies in the ability to select the right pieces of work that will appeal to the client you’re sending the proposal to.
An Fstoppers article summarizes this well: most photographers tend to treat their portfolio as a dumping ground for as much work as possible with the intention that quantity is the key to building their credibility. More often than not, the opposite is true.
So, take a moment to understand your target client and the project you’re pitching for before you include your past work.
3. Detail Out Your Services
As a photographer, you’re aware that your services don’t end at taking photos. There’s a lot of work that goes before and after the photoshoot.
For instance, some of the services include:
- Pre-production or strategy meetings
- Studio or location setup
- Half-day or full-day photoshoots
- Post-production: photo editing, color corrections and retouching
- Photo delivery
Detailing out your services upfront gets everyone on the same page while letting your clients get an overview of everything you can offer.
It’s a good idea to use visuals in the form of infographics, illustrations or icons to visually communicate this section so that it’s easier for your clients to scan and read it.
Here’s a simple template you can use to list your services. Notice how it uses icons to make the information engaging and more memorable.
4. Explain Your Working Process
In addition to introducing your prospective client to your company and the services you offer, it’s extremely important to outline the project roadmap, deliverables and timelines.
The idea behind this is to demonstrate your way of working and set expectations upfront.
It shows proactiveness and attention to detail on your part while helping clients get a deeper understanding of how you plan to structure the project.
The most effective way to communicate this is by visualizing your project plan. This gives clients a quick overview of the project and aids decision-making.
Here are some visual tactics you can use to explain your working process:
- High-level roadmap to show the evolution of the project over time
- Simple project management timeline, outlining the major events or deliverables
- Gantt chart to highlight the key tasks, team members and timelines
Take a look at this project management timeline template that outlines high-level goals and project deliverables in chronological order.
5. Include Social Proof
It’s interesting to note that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This shows how powerful social proof is, making it a must-have in your photography proposal.
While showcasing your portfolio is one side of the story, social proof helps build credibility as it serves as third-party validation. When prospective clients see what your past clients have said about you, it gets easier for them to trust your services and expertise.
Here are the different types of social proof you can include in your photography proposal:
- Client reviews and testimonials
- Marketing case study
- Awards and recognition
- Logos or names of clients you’ve worked with
Here’s a case study template you can use to demonstrate social proof. It makes good use of icons, colors, and impactful pattern designs, making it an engaging read.
6. Share Pricing and Payment Terms
By the end of every business proposal, clients will want to know what your services are priced at. This can be a tricky section because a poor pricing strategy is likely to drive clients away.
But a lot depends on how you present your pricing structure and payment terms.
According to a Freshbooks article, “clients often don’t reject proposals because of the price. Instead, we’ve found that clients say no to a proposal not just because of sticker shock, but because of the way the price was presented.”
It’s a good idea to present your client with payment options, thereby giving them some room to consider it. You can use a price comparison table to chalk out the different pricing structures along with what they include.
Take this price comparison table for instance. It breaks up the pricing in stages while clearly letting the client know what they’re paying for.
You should also include payment terms such as mode of payment, invoicing details and payment schedule in this section.
The takeaway: write a compelling photography proposal
Whether you’re an independent freelancer or are running a photography business, what’s important is positioning yourself as the expert and selling your services such that it appeals to your target client.
These six tips will guide you to write a compelling photography proposal that stands out, wins clients and helps you grow your business.