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How Much is TOO MUCH in a Proposal?

I mentioned I love custom proposals. I fought this concept for a loooong time. However when I analyzed that I was not making enough money to cover my time/worth, I did some rethinking. And fast.

A lot of planners will fret on what to include in their proposals. How much is too much? Will your inspirations and ideas be stolen used and you won’t be hired? It’s happened to all of us. My opinion is that you run a higher chance of not making a potential great sale if you aren’t proving to the client that you are pretty darn exceptional, with some killer concepts.

That being said, there is no exact science to this. That’s why it’s so important to ask a lot of questions and LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to your potential client during your consult. People show themselves pretty easily and you can tell whether or not they are serious about your services or just using you for free vendor referrals and design concepts.

Ask yourself? What would impress you on a $15k wedding planning proposal? 1-2 pages of summarized wedding services or a 8-10 page detailed list of every service you will provide, an example of a budget summary (which includes your fees — this is great because it really puts in perspective how your fees “fit” in the overall budget), some photos of your previous designs that may get them excited OR ideas written in a story format, and a  press packet for your business?

Seems like an easy answer. Never live in fear of someone stealing your ideas. Chances are; someone already has.

Happy Selling!


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4 Responses to “How Much is TOO MUCH in a Proposal?”

  1. saundra says:

    Thanks Lisa! When I wrote that part, I figured someone would say….well bride’s want something “different and unique”.

    All true, BUT with all the hoopla about “stealing” ideas on inspiration boards, then maybe it would be okay to show some of your previous work that may simply “prove” that you can do the design.

    Just an idea!

  2. Lisa says:

    I love the idea of including photos of past work in the proposals. I usually just do a layout of the services I would provide, along with the proposed fee but after reading this I see how mediocre that is :).

  3. Juliet says:

    Great post! Lisa, this post had me second guessing myself too. My proposal basically includes a list of my services with the fee. But Saundra has a great idea about including a possible inspiration board.

    You’re right Saundra. There aren’t too many true original ideas. Most have been stolen or recycled. Just like in music or movies. I never live in fear that someone will steal one of my ideas. I love sharing!

  4. Juliet, I’m with you. I regularly asked my readers to ‘steal this idea’ when I wrote a mediation business blog. I had so many ideas and so little time, it felt great if someone else carried them into reality.

    And, on the rare occasion when someone does run with an idea I’d hope to do, I know they won’t be able to execute it with the style, grace, imagination or personality that I can. You can put lipstick on a pig, but…

    Greatly enjoying this conversation. Thanks, Saundra!


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