• Advice

How to use 'Success Triggers' to nail your proposals every time

You ever wonder how travel hackers accomplish twice as much as someone sitting at a desk working fifty hours a week?

The secret would shock you, and that’s why I’m sharing it.

Freelancers who make the most, get the best clients and do it all from exotic locations succeed because they have mastered Success Triggers.

What are Success Triggers?

Success Triggers are tactics or strategies that multiply your results while saving you time and energy. Below I share a cheat sheet I use when writing proposals.

I use this cheat sheet for every proposal I write. That includes Upwork clients, clients I’ve been referred to or clients that I’ve found through marketing.

I’ve made the proposal cheat sheet easy to use.

I’ve broken it into a step-by-step guide. Follow the guide and you will write the best possible proposals using the least amount of energy in the greatest amount of time.

Why It Works

I designed the proposal cheat sheet to meet client’s Subconscious Check Lists while including relevant Key Convincer Phrases (don’t know what these are? Check out my Freelancer’s Guide to Always Saying the Right Thing.

Quick Note: This cheat sheet works for everybody. Not a marketing consultant or copywriter? Don’t worry this check-list will work for you.


Simple. This cheat sheet is designed so, if followed, every proposal hits the key psychological triggers to create social proof, value and success indicators.

Let’s get started!

Proposal Cheat Sheet

Part 1:Introductions

This is where you introduce yourself. If you know the client’s name be sure to use it. Make sure to include a one sentence description that re-states the client’s problem in clear language.

Example: Hello John I see you want a copywriter to increase email conversion on your landing page.

Part 2: Create social interest

If you know something about your client that you can relate to be sure to mention it.

Example:If I see someone is working out of San Diego I’d mention I spend time in Encinitas (an area outside the city).

Being relatable is important. Relatability personifies you in the client’s mind and increases their willingness to keep reading.

This is important: Proposals aren’t about closing sales. Proposals are about starting conversation. A great proposal is one that clients read and want to hear more about. Being relatable means clients will spend more time with your proposal and want to hear from you.

If you can’t relate personally to the client through shared interests (where they live, their business, interests, etc.) relate through the service they need (“you want outdoor photography? That’s great! Not only am I a photographer I am an avid outdoor enthusiast. I have lots of suggestions for shots, setups and layouts).

Example: I do B2B marketing. I understand the frustrations, efforts and rewards inherent to it. This experience makes it easy for me to book B2B copywriting gigs.

Communicating shared experiences with clients personifies me and creates social proof.

Part 3: Make Yourself Unique

Position your service with a unique angle. Have you worked on a massive project? Do you have unusual results? Do you have a unique take on the problem?

Mention angles that give you unique perspective to projects.

Perspective makes you appear effective.

Pro-Tip: Most freelancers won’t dig into what makes their service better, faster, and more convenient than others. Dig into why you matter and be sure to share it with the client.

Part 4: Social Proof

There are two types of social proof. Be sure to include both in proposals.

Type 1) Testimonials: Testimonials provide relevant proof from others. People believe other people saying things about you than you saying things about yourself.

Type 2) Key Convincer Phrases: Using language your clients understand and responds to is important. Being experienced and well versed in your field means you can communicate problems and results to your client in a relatable way.

Part 5: Close with a ‘Call To Action’

SO MANY freelancers skip this part. Skip this and you will lose work.

Call to actions make readers take the next step. Call to actions are not a place to sale. Remember: Proposals are about starting conversations. Use a call to action as a conversation opener.

Example: “You see my style, the approach I use for crowd funding campaigns and that I get six figure results. Are you interested in seeing if this approach would work for you? If so let’s talk. You’ll know in two minutes on the phone or Skype if we’re a fit for each other.”

Final Takeaway:

Interested in learning more? Every month I’ll be updating my members-only group Success Academy. Be sure to join my Freelancers Insider List to get up to date information about my best stuff.

Jesse Gernigin I'm an author, consultant, copywriter and an expert in social interaction. My site, Live Gold Rich, is designed to help entrepreneurs learn the power of purpose, psychology and persuasion.

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