One of the most important things that a freelancer can do is get their client agreements in writing. I’ve said this over and over again, yet many freelance writers still fail to get a written agreement before starting a project.
I get it. I do. Writing a client proposal is hard.
What do you do when you receive an inquiry from a prospective freelance writing client? If you’re like me, you ask them questions or meet with them (or both). Next, you open your word processor and write a proposal or cost estimate for their project. Does that sound right?
The entire process of creating a writing project proposal can take hours. And you’ll probably forget to include something important. No wonder so many freelance writers skip this important step.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. Enter Quote Roller(Affiliate Link, I receive a small fee with each purchase)…
I love tools that save me time AND make me appear more professional at the same time. For the past two years, QuoteRoller has done both.
That’s why I’ve come to rely on Quote Roller to create proposals for my freelance writing business. It’s also why I’ve decided to review the tool here on WritingThoughts.
(Note: I am an affiliate for Quote Roller. This post contains some affiliate referral links.)
How I Used to Create Quotes
Before Quote Roller, I relied on a word processor to create project estimates.
Even though I saved my created project estimates for re-use, I often found that the projects were different enough that an earlier proposal didn’t work. I usually ended up creating a new estimate totally from scratch, or completely rewriting an earlier estimate. Invariably, I left something out that I really should have included.
Of course, this approach was filled with problems.
Once, I switched computers and I lost many of my saved proposals. Also, when a client contacted me while I was on the road, I was pretty much on my own to create a new estimate since my saved proposals lived on my hard drive in my home office.
Finally, after the proposal was created, I had to get the client’s acceptance in an email or via fax. It was up to me to save their acceptance to show that we actually had an agreement.
How Quote Roller Works
The Quote Roller tool (Affiliate Link, I receive a small fee with each purchase) makes the proposal creation process much easier:
- Log in.
- Create a customized professional proposal based on a template or from scratch.
- Send that proposal directly to your client from within Quote Roller.
Your client receives a link to the quote you created for them through email. They can view the proposal within the system. They have the option to comment on the proposal, accept the proposal, or decline the proposal.
If your client accepts the proposal, their electronic signature is recorded and saved in the system. The archived proposal serves as documentation of your agreement.
9 Ways to Save Time and Look Good
With Quote Roller, most of my problems creating proposals are solved.
Here’s how Quote Roller features help me to save time and look good to my clients:
- Templates. My days of creating a new proposal each time a client contacts me are over. Quote Roller provides easy-to-use templates for a variety of freelancing projects. I can also create my own templates or write a proposal from scratch.
- Pricing table. The pricing table alone makes this a valuable tool. It allows you to decide a price for each part of a project. The prices you quote can be used or adjusted for future estimates.
- Organization. Quote Roller walks you through each section of a professional quote–including the cover letter, executive summary, pricing, and terms and conditions. Add or delete sections as needed.
- Content library. Save even more time creating proposals for your writing clients by using the content library to create standard blocks of text to re-use. Do you have a standard revision policy? Add it to the library.
- Electronic signature. Did the client actually agree to your estimate? The Quote Roller tool not only sends each quote to the client, but also allows them to sign the quote electronically so there’s no confusion.
- Archive. Quote Roller allows you to archive old estimates on its secure system. So, even when you are traveling you can still log in to Quote Roller and view old quotes or create a new one.
- Client list. Quote Roller keeps prospective client information used on quotes in the system. That’s good news for me, because I do a lot of repeat business. With Quote Roller, I don’t have to re-type contact information.
- Expiration date. I love this feature. You can set an expiration date for each proposal. This creates urgency. Also, you don’t want a prospect contacting you years later and demanding that you honor an old price quote.
- Customizable. Add your own logo to each proposal and to the screen the client views when they receive your cost estimate. This helps your proposals to match your other branding.
Of course, there are many other features available to users, including some I haven’t even tried yet.
A Worthwhile Investment
When I first learned of Quote Roller (Affiliate link, I receive a small fee with each purchase) several years ago, I have to admit that I hesitated. I didn’t want to add another monthly subscription cost.
Over the years, however, the tool has won me over. So much so, that I’d hate to have to go back to my old way of creating quotes.
Quote Roller has a limited free version for personal use. A business subscription starts at $29 per month for up to four users. This is the level that most freelance writers will use. While that price might seem expensive, if it helps you to win a few extra freelancing projects or saves you time, the cost is worth it.
If you’re still not sure, you can sign up for a free trial.
How do you make sure your cost estimates are professional and complete? Do you have a system or do you rely on email and your word processor to create project agreements?