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Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Content Marketing Proposals

Seth Richtsmeier
Seth Richtsmeier

As a marketing freelancer, it can feel as though we spend just as much time trying to land clients as we do work with them. This is why it’s important to create a tight and persuasive proposal when vying for any marketing project.

After discovering that a potential client is looking for content, you must put together a content marketing proposal. Many articles will tell you what you should include when creating one, but here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1. Don’t Deliver Sloppy Work

Ensuring your content marketing proposal looks clean and is free of simple mistakes is a given, but it’s also important that your ideas are clear and cohesive. Allow your proposal to be the first demonstration to your potential client of the type of work you deliver.

As a content creator, potential clients will expect the content of your proposal to shine. If you wouldn’t submit something to a paying client, don’t submit it to a prospective client either.

Key factors you should pay attention to when giving your content marketing proposal a final review include:

  • Without relying on spell check, have you checked spelling and grammar?
  • Do your section headers where the order of these make sense?
  • Is the font and formatting consistent?
  • Is the language you’ve used accessible for someone who doesn’t work in marketing? Is it free of jargon?
  • If you weren’t a marketing expert, would you understand your ideas and their purpose?

2. Don’t Be Vague About Your Services and Scope

If it’s not clear exactly what you do and what you’re offering in a marketing project, your client could misinterpret what’s included. Or worse, they’ll move on to another freelancer with a better-outlined proposal.

Ensure that the content marketing proposal clearly describes what’s within your content creation skillset and be specific about marketing project deliverables and timelines. A proposal should outline the type and length of the content you’re proposing, as well as the steps involved.

3. Don’t Overpromise or Leave out Project Goals

Your content marketing proposal presents an opportunity to outline key performance indicators that will help your client to understand and measure the impact of your work. Soft metrics such as brand loyalty are difficult to measure, and it’s not expected for you to predict quantifiable outcomes (such as increased time on web pages) with absolute precision.

However, it’s still important to know your realistic impact and goals. According to Reuters, “the KPI is held as tangible proof that a new initiative has delivered – or not – on its expectations.”

This can also help protect you from dissatisfaction due to misaligned expectations down the line, should you land the client.

4.  Being Unclear about Next Steps

Let’s say your prospective client is interested in working with you. Fantastic!

Do they know what they want next?

Calls to action at any stage of a marketing project not only provide clarity – they prompt your client to get the ball rolling through specific provided guidance. To do this effectively, map out how you’d execute the entire project with a high level of detail for your own notes. Ensuring you have a clear sense of what’s involved will allow you to provide an accurate quote and speak confidently if your potential client has any questions.


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