In the proposal, I provide my bid, and describe the scope of the work of the project. Sometimes it’s beneficial to list the amount of hours you estimate the work will take; in other situations, you'll just give a flat “project fee.”
Here’s an example which I used for a small advertising agency that needed a writer for a full-color brochure for its client. (My fee was based on my hourly rate at the time.) My comments appear in green:
Re: Smooth Stone Brochure
It was a pleasure speaking with you this morning about the referenced project; thank you for giving me the opportunity to bid on the Smooth Stone brochure.
My bid to provide the copy on the project is $1,200, which includes:
• Phone calls with client re: theme and purpose behind brochure;
• Trip to Smooth Stone to visit site;
• Initial draft of copy;
• Reviewing and discussing copy with client;
• Phone calls with you and client re: copy, layout, etc.;
• Editing and revising copy; and
• Final copy for production. [I like that I've explained the amount of work writing the brochure will entail; in this case, the ad agency's client insisted I visit the company in person so I could see firsthand what kind of work they did. That meant more time, and a higher bid. In retrospect, though, I would have clarified how long the brochure would be, either in pages or words, to keep the project from growing into a larger one than I expected.]
Thanks again for your interest and I hope we’ll have the chance to work together.
Very truly yours,
Readers, this is a simple but effective bid, and it got me the job. You should have a similar template on hand for any work you do that may require a proposal. Next up, a longer, more substantial bid for a book proposal.