20 Mar A Guide To Bid Writing For Creative Professionals
Bid writing for the creative sector is a different experience from writing bids for other types of service.
Whereas traditional bids use minimal formatting, graphics, and design elements to create a sleek and professional response that cuts right to the point, the aim of a creative bid should first and foremost be to showcase your abilities as a creative professional.
This means that you have much more leeway to use images, design techniques, diagrams, charts, and tone of voice to express exactly what you offer.
Let’s explore how to make an impact with your creative bid and establish a brand identity that will stand out from the competition.
Tip 1: Check The Bid Requirements
Checking the requirements of a bid opportunity is the most important step towards hitting your client’s criteria – and it can stop you from wasting time on bidding for contracts that are not appropriate for you.
First and foremost, check that your business is eligible for the work you are applying for. For example, some buyers may specify that they are looking for applicants who have a certain level of experience, or who hold specific qualifications or certifications.
When you are certain that your business ticks all of the client’s boxes, check the formatting guidelines. This will prevent you from exceeding the word count or spending unnecessary time on creating design elements or imagery that are not accepted under the guidelines.
Tip 2: Understand The Project And Research The Client
Before you begin writing, you should always have an in-depth understanding of what the contract involves and what the client is looking for. You may find that it helps to make notes of the specific requirements of the job, the tasks that you will be expected to carry out under the contract, and the client’s expected outcome.
Read the job description, but don’t just leave it at that – you will be able to find out more about the client, their values, and the company ‘persona’ on their website.
Consider how your business can not only meet their requirements, but also how you can be consistent with their company culture. Then ask yourself how you can evidence this in your bid.
For example, if the buyer prioritises sustainability and environmental protection in their work, how can you show them that you have similar values, and use these to inform your approach?
Tip 3: Identify Your Unique Selling Point And Emphasise It
Identify where exactly your strengths lie and use this to inform the style and tone of your bid.
For example, if you are promoting yourself as an informative non-fiction writer, you may find that it is most effective to showcase these skills by presenting facts and data using a formal tone of voice. Similarly, if you are promoting yourself as an engaging writer for the public, consider how you can use high-impact, customer-focused language in a manner that remains professional.
Or if you are a photographer, use images that make an impact and showcase your specialisms in the context of the brief. For example, if you are a food photographer who is applying for a contract in the health and wellbeing industry, consider using images of healthy, nutritious food and of models enjoying a healthy diet.
Also, make sure that your writing style, design scheme, and imagery stay coherent throughout the bid, and remain consistent with the required tone.
For instance, using busy or chaotic imagery and ‘in your face’ design will likely not be appropriate for a formal bid. In the same manner, using simple, corporate imagery and design may not be fitting with a bid that is written in a more engaging style for an attention-grabbing project.
If you’re finding it difficult to identify your USP, ask yourself what sets your business apart from your competition, and what can you offer that others don’t?
Tip 4: Read The Questions Closely And Take Care When Answering Them
When responding to a bid opportunity, the key is to read the questions carefully.
You may find that your initial impression of what the client is asking for is not what they actually requested. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to read each question several times before formulating your answer.
Once you are certain that you know what the client is asking you, consider how you can demonstrate that you meet the criteria.
How can you show that you have the resources and the experience to meet the requirements of the contract? And what outcomes can you offer the client?
Tip 5: Put Your Service Front And Centre
What you offer as a service should be the heart and soul of your bid. And remember, you need to evidence that you can deliver what you are promising to the client.
For example, having a well-designed and eye-catching bid proposal is great, but if you are advertising your services as a writer and your writing style falls flat, or is not appropriate for the requirements of the contract, it is unlikely that you will make a good impression with your potential client.
The tone of your bid, your writing style, design scheme, and imagery should be informed by your skillset and unique selling points; this will help you to demonstrate your abilities and maintain a consistent theme throughout the bid.
Likewise, if you are attempting to promote yourself as a designer or a creative visual professional, your writing skills may make a good impression on your client, but if it is not backed up with striking design and photography, your readers will not have any evidence that you can deliver on your claims as a designer.
Want to know how to create bids that will win you more work and grow your business? Give us a call!