The Futur – The Perfect Proposal Toolkit | The Futur Academy
Crafting the right proposal can change everything.
What if you could start winning more work, even if you don’t generate any new leads?
What if you could stop worrying if your clients will disappear after they get your proposals?
What if you could close one job for double, triple, even 10X what you’re charging now?
Hi! My name is Ben Burns.
I’m the author of The Perfect Proposal and The Complete Case Study, I am the Digital Director of Blind, and I’m the guy who went from selling logos for $50 to $30,000 (we sell logos for a lot more now, btw).
This is (another part of) my story.
A great proposal saved my business.
I didn’t always work on six-figure jobs. In fact, I used to work on UpWork (oDesk in my day) and eLancer. I would do work for pennies on the dollar. I’m not lying: I used to do $50 logos, $300 websites… and I thought I was making good money!
I remember the one job that literally changed everything. It was an entrepreneur in the automotive industry (making car mats or something like that) who needed a logo. The budget he listed on the job was $60.
I submitted my application for—you guessed it—$60.
few days later, I heard back from the entrepreneur with a counteroffer… of $40. He was literally haggling over what was equal to… a lunch. A measly twenty dollars.
At that moment I knew I had to get off of oDesk. I knew I had to find a better way to find more work. But there was just one problem…
I had no idea how to do it.
Working my way into what we call client-direct work (meaning there’s no middleman: Bye, Felicia oDesk) was a whole new world. Finding leads and opportunities was challenging… but when I actually found one that looked promising? That was terrifying.
Even when we agreed on a budget range on the phone, and I felt great about the phone call, I still had so many unanswered questions about putting a proposal together… things like:
What kind of proposals do bigger studios put together?
Is this proposal too long? Is it too short?
Should the client sign the proposal?
How do I structure my price so that the client doesn’t negotiate?
What does the client actually want to see?
I say this a lot: I learn by getting punched in the face. It’s the truth. And to be honest, I didn’t find the answers to those questions right away. In fact, it took me a long time, and a lot of lost revenue to figure things out.
I honestly had no idea how much timing had to do with getting proposals won. I didn’t know that asking for a proposal is an easy way for a client to say no. Not to mention putting proposals together that didn’t work!
I’d send proposals that consisted of a simple email, or proposals that were hundreds of pages long. I’d put way too much information about me, and not enough about them. One time I did the work first… then sent it in a proposal… before actually getting the job!
It seems like a simple thing, but not sending the right proposal in the right way has massive consequences. You probably know what I mean if you’ve experienced:
Losing great projects to competitors
Having to haggle over your price
Having a client laughingly say no, then hanging up (it happened)
And worse: never hearing back from people…
I get it. I really do. And I’ve learned these lessons the hard way. And that’s precisely why I’ve created The Perfect Proposal. I packed over a decade of experience into over 200 pages worth of content for one reason: so you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did.
The Perfect Proposal is everything you need to craft effective proposals that win jobs and close leads. It’s the same template I used to get a $30,000 logo project before I joined Blind and The Futur. Since then, we’ve used this exact template at Blind to:
Get multiple identity design projects for over $250,000 each
Close over $3,500,000 in design business in a single year
Sell a simple website project for over $200,000… even though it was “just a WordPress site”
35+ Page Guidebook
The Perfect Proposal guidebook is full of tips, tricks and guidelines that will help you build and send your next proposal. There’s no fluff here- everything is tactical, actionable and ready to be customized to fit your business.
Real Blind Proposal
A real-life proposal that we sent to an actual lead. The only thing we scrubbed out of the document was the client’s information. Everything else is exactly how they received it. See how we wrote the deliverable descriptions, structured the flow, how our introduction letter read and more.
Blank Proposal Template
A stripped-down, Helvetica-only, black and white version of our Blind template. With all the layout and typography styling removed, it’s a clean canvas for you to adapt to your brand. All of the page templates that we use in our proposals are present, ready for you to plug and play. Delivered in Keynote, PowerPoint, and PDF format.
If you work with clients, you need a great proposal.
I’m an architect UI designer, will this work for me?
What about me? I just have a little side-hustle.
Will this work for an established studio with a large team?
Get rid of that imposter syndrome. Just because you have a side hustle doesn’t mean your work is less valuable!
Working nights and weekends means there’s not a lot of time to get proposals together. Follow the guidelines once and use your template over and over again.
Charge just as much or more than those full-time freelancers
Achieve your financial and business goals: Get a head start on quitting your day job or saving for that new home.
Whether you’re working with bigger agencies or directly with your clients, getting better, bigger clients is the name of the game:
Quality over quantity: finally achieve financial freedom by doing fewer jobs for more money.
Prevent having awkward conversations about money by framing your price in a meaningful way.
Start measuring how many proposals you win, so you can start reliably predicting your revenue.
Increase your close rate by sending the right kind of proposals at the right time. Borrow Blind’s 23+ years of experience on:
Winning large jobs with clients like Microsoft Xbox and Anime Expo
Getting that close rate up over 60% and beyond
Delegate following up with new opportunities by standardizing your sales process and proposal construction