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Chapter
3

Develop your approach and strategy

At this point, you have the client confident about your knowledge of the business and excited about your abilities. This opens up the opportunity for you to show the vision you have for the project and lay it out for them.‍

Your client (hopefully) knows what they want out of this project, and this is your opportunity to show the process for how you’re going to get there. It’s important to display your “secret sauce” here which will make you stand out. 

Lay out the killer strategy and plan

Here is where you share your approach, process, and frameworks. Show the client that you have outstanding knowledge in the space that is proven to drive results. You want them to read this feeling of relief and excitement now that you’re here.

To do this, start by laying out high-level information about the project plan. If you go too far into detail, you might lose their attention. We recommend communicating this in terms of project phases and strategies.

  • Project phases are what they sound like – the phases you will move through. The point is to show the client what the plan looks like. You want them to easily see how this work fits into their deadlines.

  • Strategies are the special sauce that makes you hard to say no to. Clients react well to proposals that show an intentional approach.‍

The structure of this section really depends on what the project is about. Treat it as your opportunity to show off the hard-earned principles and insights that make your work top-notch.

A common mistake we see is not being specific enough about scope and strategy. In this section and the deliverables section (coming next), we recommend being upfront about what to expect in the project. This sets clear expectations on the timeline, scope, and deliverables from the beginning.

Here’s an example from that same SEO strategy proposal:

You can see they follow the approach of going through the phases and then detailing their strategy.

Our process

With the goal of equipping the [COMPANY] team with clear strategic guidance and a roadmap to success, we will:

1. Take stock of where we are at

  • Audit existing documentation and previous execution

2. Investigate the opportunity available to [COMPANY]

  • Research the entire topic universe available to [COMPANY]’s product offering

  • Perform competitive analysis to see where we can compete and understand content requirements to beat the competition

3. Develop a strategy to win

  • Create an overall content strategy for editorial, product, and landing pages

  • Define the bounds of the SEO topic universe regardless of existing content

  • Identify overlap with existing and give a roadmap for updates

  • Recommend best practices for unifying content portfolios

  • Equip [COMPANY] content team with writer briefs that will win target keywords and editorial support to assure quality

Our SEO strategy

Winning SEO is about fulfilling a user’s search intent with high-quality content.

  • It starts with keywords: Select high-traffic keywords that [COMPANY] can rank and convert users from.

  • Content is key: Write high-quality, brand-friendly, content to drive ranking and conversion.

  • Technical SEO as a foundation: Ensure technical SEO sets us up for success.

  • Learn and experiment to continue improving: Create enough content across a breadth of categories and lean into what works.

Now it’s your turn

For the client you’re developing a proposal for, write out the project phases and strategies you will use to complete the project. Here’s a template to work off of from your workbook:

Our approach

With the goal of [ goal for the client ], we will:

  • Phase 1

  • Phase 2

  • Phase 3

  • …as many phases as you need!

Our strategy

A one-sentence summary of your strategy.

  • Strategy pillar 1

  • One sentence explanation

  • Strategy pillar 2

  • One sentence explanation

  • Strategy pillar 3

  • One sentence explanation

Recap

  • Show the phases you’ll work through to help the client understand your process.

  • Showcase your strategies – your special sauce!

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