Bidsketch vs. Proposify: Why We Switched
As a freelancer, one of the things you do over and over is create proposals, and believe me when I tell you — I know firsthand how time-consuming this can be. The reality is that if you’re going to land clients, you need a proposal that stands out, so I want to introduce you to my secret weapon — a tool that saves me massive amounts of time. In recent years, I’ve used two of those tools, and I want to break each one of them down for you in this post on Bidsketch vs. Proposify.
Creating Proposals Can Be Stressful
I’ve been fairly candid over the years about how proposals were something that used to stress me out. It always felt like there was so much riding on each proposal, and I would throw myself into trying to create the perfect one and obsessing over the details. Sure, I booked plenty of clients thanks to those proposals, but I could have done without that stress!
What I’ve since learned is that having a proven proposal system and the right tool makes all the difference. Having everything in order and ready to go so that I just have to plug in the right information and make some minor tweaks for each new client has been nothing short of magical.
So, if you find yourself wondering how you can uplevel your proposals and are on the fence about which platform to use, this post is what you’ve been looking for. I’m breaking down my lessons and some key considerations for two of the more popular solutions — including why we switched to Proposify.
Making the Switch
After three years of using Bidsketch, we moved to Proposify in early 2019, and it has made a tremendous difference in the amount of time and effort that we now put into creating proposals.
At the point we implemented Bidsketch in 2016, it was a great way to uplevel from the PDFs we were using, and there wasn’t a lot of affordable solutions on the market. It was a quantum leap forward for my agency, and it helped us save a lot of time in creating proposals.
Plus, our close rate went up as we presented a more professional looking proposal, and we knew when potential clients looked at the proposal, meaning we could follow up in a timely manner.
One of our biggest challenges with Bidsketch was how plain the proposals were. They were a bit on the lackluster side and not in line with our overall branding. (It is worth noting that they can be designed, but this wasn’t quick or easy for us.)
As a team, we wanted a tool that would grow with us as we were planning for growth in 2019, which always means writing a lot of proposals. (For the record, we’ve written more than 30 so far this year!)
We started to look at alternatives, and when we landed on Proposify, we decided to make the move.
Getting Started with Proposify
Once our account was set up, the first thing I did was to get a new template for our proposals created, and I used one of their existing templates as a starting point. Currently, there are 100+ templates organized by industry and with different styles to choose from.
One of my favorite features with the setup was the “edit styles” where you can set up universal formatting across the entire document.
Setting up our template went relatively quickly as we have specific content for our proposals that we tweak for each potential client. It was just a matter of adjusting the design to our branding and getting our content added in.
A few of the reasons we switched to Proposify were these features:
Proposify’s fee tables are easily set up and managed. Fees are presented in a way that’s easy to understand and with a clean look/feel. Plus, you can customize by fee type, add taxes and so on.
Proposify offers alllll the notifications, which I love. I know when someone looks at the proposal, how long they look at it, and even what sections they looked at and for how long. This intelligence helps me customize my follow-up and also provides some insight in terms of areas I could perhaps make information clearer or more detailed for future proposals.
And I adore this message when a proposal is approved:
With Proposify’s content library, I’m able to drop in sections from the library for different types of projects. Now, I don’t waste time digging through old proposals to find content. The content library feature lets you set up things like descriptions for your products or services along with other content, like fees, images, and bios. This central library makes it easy to drop in a new section making it that much quicker to create new proposals.
Look and feel
Overall, it’s very customizable, which means it’s easy to keep proposals looking on-brand. It uses Google Fonts and allows you to customize colors with hex codes, so you can keep everything matched up to your brand.
How Proposify Has Saved Time and Helped Us Make More Money
In the first eight months of the year, we’ve written over 30 proposals, and without Proposify, this process would have been much more time-consuming.
The reuse of content across multiple proposals in a matter of seconds has been a huge time saver. Now a proposal is something I can confidently deliver to the client within 48 hours of our consult call, which helps create confidence that we have the time and expertise to deliver on what they need.
Best of all, this investment has paid off big time for us as we frequently get positive feedback from potential clients.
In competitive situations, I’m confident we have an edge as our proposals are done quickly, customized to the client’s needs, and ultimately, they’re that much more professional. That’s meant a higher win rate, and as we’re focusing now on higher-value corporate clients, we need every edge we can get.
In fact, one client told me they hired us based on the proposal because it’s the best proposal they’ve ever seen. That client has become a significant part of our retainer revenue for 2019.
If you’re trying to make up your mind between Bidsketch and Proposify, the fact is that no matter which way you go, your business can’t afford NOT to be creating the best proposals possible.
While you may be feeling like your current proposals are “fine,” a tool like Proposify is a small investment with a big return. By wowing people at the outset, you’re increasing your odds of getting a “yes,” AND you’re also saving yourself valuable time in the proposal creation process.
The bottom line here when looking at BidSketch vs. Proposify is that no matter which tool you choose, the better your proposals are, the greater your chances are of them getting accepted. More clients mean more dollars coming into your business. And, really, what’s not to love about that?