Whether you run your own digital business or work in as a full-time employee of a local agency, B2B collaborations can add a lot of credibility and revenue to your business.
According to Finances Online, 60% of organizations claim that B2B collaboration brought on 35% of their annual revenue, with 66% of companies putting more and more effort into building their collaboration networks.
They want and need for inter-company collaboration and long-term partnership exists no matter what industry or niche your business operates in. However, writing a well-balanced, informative and professional collaboration proposal to suggest just that can be difficult.
The reason for this is simple – companies often rely on cookie-cutter, cut-and-dry collaboration proposals without any personalization or research into their potential partners and their existing networks.
To amend for that shortcoming, certain marketing and writing secrets can be applied. With that said, let’s dive into “why” and “how” of collaboration proposal writing and how you can make the most of your future partnerships through some tried-and-tested secrets, tips and guidelines.
The Basics of Collaboration Proposals
In order to get a better understanding of collaboration proposal writing, we should reflect on their role in B2B networking. Collaboration proposals are also known as “partnership proposals”, often referring to letters, forms and documents sent from one company to another with the goal of future collaborative activities.
Whether you want to work with a company in your own industry or business which may complement your own products or services, collaboration proposals can help you achieve that goal. However, your lingo, terminology, tone of voice and other writing details should be modified depending on who you target with your collaboration proposal.
Proposals can also be retrofitted and sent to affiliate marketers, social media influencers or customers whom you may want to work with on social proof content for future advertisement. It is a powerful networking tool capable of helping you grow your business, attract new customers, spread into new territories and achieve better brand recognition and public image if it’s utilized correctly – which brings us to our next topic of discussion.
Benefits of Writing Collaboration Proposals
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at why you should take collaboration proposal writing into consideration. While you can always cold-call or cold-email a company or a potential business partner with a few short sentences of information, it may not result in a collaboration.
Proposals, on the other hand, encompass a much larger spectrum of data, formal information, calls to action, visualized content and other materials which may turn the tides in your favor. With that in mind, the benefits of collaboration proposal writing for your business include but are not limited to:
- Extensive self-reflection and self-company research
- Opportunity to present your brand in a professional and trustworthy way
- Higher engagement and conversion percentage of potential B2B partners
- High return on investment in terms of allocated proposal writing resources
Writing Tools to Consider
It’s worth noting that writing collaboration proposals should never be done ad-hoc or without proper tools and platforms to back you up in terms of editing and formatting. Traditional text editors such as Microsoft Word or Open Office will only get you so far in terms of grammar checks and proofreading.
However, cloud-based online tools which are constantly updated with modern writing trend, stylistic textual choices and other forms of everyday lingo are a great fit for collaboration proposals. Make sure to include these (and other) tools in your writing process to ensure its quality and legibility no matter if you target B2C or B2B collaboration partners.
Evernote is a well-known online text editor with cross-platform synchronization features. You can write your collaboration proposal wherever you are and on whichever device you choose with basic access to the internet. Evernote also features a plethora of formatting and exporting options, making it the perfect go-to place for writing collaboration proposals.
Once your writing takes shape and you have sufficient text to create basic formatting, you should check out Grammarly. It is a professional spelling and proofreading tool with a comprehensive content grading system which will allow you to shape your collaboration proposal. Check it out if you are unsure of your sentence structuring, tone of voice or other elements of your writing.
Chances are that your collaboration partners won’t have unlimited time to go through your proposal once you submit it. It’s essential that you make your writing as smooth and simple to read as possible. Hemingway is a legibility platform which can help you streamline your writing into a cohesive whole in order to make it understandable for both professional and casual readers.
While not strictly a “writing” tool by itself, Canva can be an amazing addition to your collaboration proposal creating process. Canva is a GUI-based cloud platform with an emphasis on visual content creation, presentations, infographics and visualized data. This type of content can complement your proposal writing to a great effect and showcase that you are a versatile business worth collaborating with.
Collaboration Proposal: Marketing Secrets
1) Choose your Partners Wisely
The most important aspect of collaboration proposal writing is to choose your partners wisely. Explore your industry in terms of businesses which may be open to collaboration and networking before making the final decision on who to partner with. This will help you create a specialized network of collaboration partners which will complement your business and service portfolio.
For example, a digital marketing company should seek businesses which offer copywriting or design services, eCommerce sales and other related niches. Reaching out to businesses whose products or services don’t coincide with your own won’t bode well for your future reputation or public reception even if they agree to work with you, resulting in a disjointed and poorly thought-out collaboration.
2) Your Title Page Matters
The first order of business in terms of your collaboration proposal writing is to formulate your title page correctly. Since this is the first impression your potential partners will have of your brand, it should be well-designed, informative and free of proofreading or formatting errors.
Use the title page to present your reader with the title of your suggested project, your full name and job position (as a company representative) as well as legal business information. This will serve as a great hook for further reading and ensure that you are taken seriously as a potential collaboration partner.
3) Write, Edit & Format the Proposal
Once your title page is formulated, you can proceed to the collaboration proposal writing itself. It should be noted that your proposal needs to be backed up by factual data, benefits of collaboration as well as long-term effects the project will have on your companies.
Outline your proposition clearly and without bias to ensure that your reader can understand the reason behind your proposition. This can be done with bulleted points, bolded letters and other text-editing tricks to allow for skimming and easier reading throughout the project.
Offer external links to any data, research or case study which supports your claims and works in your favor in terms of convincing the reader to accept your offer. Once you are satisfied with the proposition, make sure to proofread it to eliminate any grammar or spelling errors which might have crept through before moving forward.
4) Create a Milestone-Centric Collaboration Timeline
In order to make your collaboration proposal as understandable and presentable as possible, you should create a rudimentary collaboration timeline to complement it. A simple left-to-right timeline of events in terms of your businesses’ collaboration can do wonders in your favor.
Offer simple milestones and KPIs between the start of your collaboration and the final product of your partnership to drive your point forward. The milestones you create should complement the final goal of your collaboration and allow the reader to get a better understanding of how the process would work, what it is that you need from them and what they can get from the partnership.
5) Write a Complimentary Cover Letter
While your collaboration proposal may include all the technical details of the proposed partnership, it may not be enough to convince your reader of its benefits. This can be amended through a complementary cover letter, similar to those written for job applications.
Your cover letter should be written in a personalized tone of voice, by you or one of your representatives. Be honest about your intentions as a business and state that you would be honored to collaborate with the reader’s company because your goals are aligned. Again, proofread your writing before you consider sending it to any potential B2C or B2B partner to maintain your professional integrity.
6) Visual Data & Social Proof Matter
Any textual content you create can and should be complemented with adequate visuals. Visual content such as your brand’s visuals, patterns and visualized data such as infographics and charts can do wonders for your proposal.
Create a balance between written and visual content to ensure that your proposal comes off as professional, curated and well-informed in terms of current industry trends. You can also incorporate existing social proof data, client testimonials and other stakeholder-centric materials to drive your collaboration proposal home.
7) Create a Table of Content
Once your collaboration proposal is complete and you are confident of its contents, you should create a table of content to complement it. Make the table of content simple and informative without excess details or new information not present in the collaboration proposal itself.
A table of content will allow your reader to quickly jump between paragraphs and data points in your proposal on repeat readings. It will also showcase that you are UX-centric in terms of your content optimization and business presentation which will add positive points to your networking efforts.
8) Summarize your Proposal
Lastly, you can summarize your entire collaboration proposal in a separate page at the end of your document. The summary should be treated as online metadata or a snippet of your collaborative project proposal. Write two-to-three paragraphs of what your proposal entails, the benefits it would bring to both parties as well as how it would impact your industry going forward.
The summary can also be used by your reader to present the proposal quickly to their coworkers and business partners without going over minute details in a short time span. Bookend the proposal with a thank-you note and a call to action for your reader to get in touch with you in the near future.
Writing collaboration proposals may seem like a waste of precious time and resources at first glance. However, most large international corporations won’t consider your partnership offer if you come from a small startup or a local agency. Do your best to present your brand, business, portfolio and project idea to potential partners in a written format and you will undoubtedly attract lucrative partners to your company.
Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper writing services and is trying to improve herself and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people.