Captain’s log, stardate 20210318

Proposal-palooza

A bunch of the current TPS participants joined me today for a live teardown of the proposals we’ve been workshopping.

Unfortunately, I can’t release the recording outside of the TPS community, but there were 3 common themes that I can share with you here:

1) Use clear language

Write short sentences.

Use simple words.

This isn’t about dumbing things down, it’s about being crystal clear.

2) Write like you talk

Don’t try to puff yourself up.

Don’t try to sound professional.

If reading your proposal out loud feels unnatural, rewrite until it doesn’t.

3) Answer every question

The client should have ZERO questions after reading the proposal.

In fact, a STRANGER should have zero questions after reading the proposal.

Show your proposal to a friend who knows nothing about the project. If they have questions, rewrite it until they don’t.

Here’s the thing...

We talked about a bunch of other proposal writing tips, like:

...and a jillion other things, too.

I mean, it was two solid hours of me reviewing actual proposals, so yeah... we covered a lot of stuff.

That said...

The writing tips I shared above are probably the easiest to implement and will have the biggest impact on your proposal success rate.

Give ’em a try next time you have a proposal to write, and I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Yours,

—J

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