by Jessica Wolstenholm | Feature Contributor
Once you’ve asked all the important questions and decided to pursue your big idea, it’s time to create a proposal for possible partners. Depending on the nature of your idea, your pitch may vary a bit but generally a successful proposal will include the following components.
1. Title/Tagline. This is the idea. It needs to arrest the attention of the reader.
2. Sales Handle. 2-3 sentence elevator pitch of the idea. The copy you would find in an ad.
3. Benefits. Outline how this product/idea will benefit consumers. 4-5 bullet points should present solid features.
4. Idea Summary. This should include a compelling overview of the product/concept in two to three paragraphs.
5. Timeline. Where are you in the process of this idea? Have you created a prototype? Have you established a platform? Started a manuscript? What is your anticipated date of completion or desired launch date?
6. Audience. Who will you target with this idea? Different than your list of benefits, this section will focus on the person who will benefit from your product. What kind of lifestyle does s/he lead? Where can we find them online? How old are they?
7. Comps. List 4-5 competing products/ideas already in the market. It’s important to find successful comps but to greatly differentiate yourself from those ideas in order to prove the need for your product.
8. Bio. Introduce yourself to the reader. Wow them with your resume. Give them reason to believe YOU are the person they need to partner with to pursue this great idea. What expertise/experience do you bring to the table? Include a photo.
9. Marketing. Explain your current platform and what marketing power you have. Share ideas and ways you will go after your idea. Although you are looking for a partner to help you pursue this idea, any partner worth linking arms with will expect you to passionately promote your product as well.
10. Outline/Samples/Visuals. Any samples you can provide will only help excite the reader about your idea. . . IF those samples are excellent and ready to be shared. Spend some time preparing this portion of your presentation. You need to wow your consumer but you will never get the chance if you can’t first wow a potential partner.
It should go without saying but make sure your contact information is up to date and clearly presented on your proposal. Create an email/cover letter that is professional and formatted to stand out amongst a sea of other pitches in the recipients inbox.
We have not discussed financials in this post because often, these discussions will come once initial interest in peaked on the part of the potential partner. Don’t scare them away with numbers. Let them fall in love with your idea first.
Remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Gone are the days when long and overly thorough proposals impressed the recipient. People are too busy to read a 10 page proposal. You should be able to adequately present your idea in 2-3 pages. If you can’t interest someone in you and your idea through these 10 simple components, it’s time to go back and refine your idea.
Download a simple proposal template PDF here -> Sample Proposal
What do you think is the most important component of an idea pitch?
Jessica Wolstenholm – Product Development Maven, former Brand/Marketing Manager, Nashville, TN
Before getting her dream job as a stay-at-home mom, Jessica Wolstenholm worked in the music and publishing industries for over 15 years serving major labels and publishers in marketing and brand management. Although her transition from the corporate world to the playground has been quite an adjustment, she’s learning to love the juggle of home life and various entrepreneurial projects that allow her to keep creative juices flowing. With an extensive background in product development in which she helped artists, authors and speakers take their dreams from concept to reality, Jessica could not help but apply her experience to her own ideas. Co-author of The Pregnancy Companion and The Baby Companion books, Jessica also writes to encourage moms at graceformoms.com. She lives just outside Nashville, TN with her husband and two children.
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