All articles

How to Write an Effective Virtual Assistant Proposal

Dan Lever|Updated Feb 28, 2024
a woman wearing headphones is sitting at a desk using a laptop computer

With the rapid growth of the virtual assistant and IT outsourcing industry, virtual assistants find themselves competing for work with candidates from all over the world.

This means a sleek, persuasive, and professional proposal of services is essential for any VA looking to stand out from the crowd.

Using the steps outlined below, your world-class proposal will provide your prospective client an immediate overview of what you can offer them, why you’re the best fit for the role, and how you can give them more of what they need - time.

Key takeaways

  1. A professional virtual assistant proposal is crucial to stand out in the competitive VA industry.
  2. Proposals should be personalized, showcasing understanding of the client's business and needs.
  3. Include relevant portfolio links and follow specific instructions enhances proposal effectiveness.
  4. Automation of certain proposal elements can save time and improve efficiency.
  5. A successful proposal demonstrates communication skills, professionalism, and includes a clear plan and pricing breakdown.

What is a virtual assistant proposal?

A virtual assistant proposal is a business document that virtual assistants use to present an offer of services to a potential client.

A professional proposal is a key part of any well-defined sales process, and creating an assistant proposal template is an effective way to streamline your onboarding, increase deal velocity, and improve your customer experience.

When creating your virtual assistant proposal template, it’s important to distinguish between templated elements that can be automatically generated for each proposal and elements that need to be individualized to the prospective client.

When writing your sales proposal, there are a few aspects that must be tailored for each new proposal.

You can see a visual example below inside our virtual assistant proposal template.


Your proposal should show that you've done your research. You want to show your prospective client that you understand their business, industry, communications infrastructure, and the tasks for which they’ll need your assistance.

The time you spend looking across your client’s marketing channels (their website, social media accounts, and paid ads) will pay off, demonstrating your diligence.

Following specific instructions

If you’re familiar with 80s rock legends Van Halen, you may have heard of their infamous backstage rider request for bowls of M&Ms with all the brown candies removed.

On the surface, this might seem like the pampered demand of an overindulged bunch of hedonists - but this specific instruction was actually a highly effective business tactic that has been borrowed and adapted ever since.

As the band’s original singer, David Lee Roth, explained years later:

“Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights — huge lights — around the country.

"If I came backstage, having been one of the architects of this lighting and staging design, and I saw brown M&Ms on the catering table, then I could guarantee the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we would have to do a serious line check."

It’s now commonplace for businesses recruiting freelance service providers to follow Van Halen’s lead, including highly specific (if slightly less ridiculous) instructions about what to include in email headings, links to be provided, Google Drive procedures, and formats to use.

This allows clients to quickly disqualify candidates incapable of properly following instructions - an essential trait of a good VA. Ensure your proposal reflects any instruction given by the client.

Relevant portfolio

While it can be useful to create a large and impressive portfolio site (or use a portfolio platform such as Behance), you're more likely to impress clients with a carefully selected set of links that demonstrates your ability to complete the specific tasks they require from you.

If you’ve created a bank of resources for this purpose, it’s easy to keep them cataloged in a way that allows you to gather the relevant links and materials quickly.

We've also got a detailed resource on how to write a case study.

Automated template elements

If you’re taking the time to personalize your research and portfolio to each specific client, other proposal elements can be automatically reproduced. These could be resources you duplicate for each proposal - for example, an introductory video to give your prospective client a better idea of your personality and vibe.

Alternatively, you could use sales automation software tools to help personalize aspects of your proposal - using Calendly or Chili Piper is one way to do this, allowing your prospect to check your availability and identify whether your schedules can be aligned. This can be a sticking point for VAs, who often need to make themselves available during specific working hours for clients across multiple time zones.

Key elements for a successful virtual assistant proposal

Virtual assistants taking on the tasks of a client are often asked to directly represent that client - on emails with suppliers and customers, in social media posts, and in many other public-facing functions. The VA is effectively an online representative of the client’s business.

Your proposal is ideal for demonstrating your communication skills and professionalism and letting the client know you can be trusted to operate on their behalf.

Well-written, concise copy is a must. Explain yourself clearly, using the active voice and in a tone that aligns with your client’s brand where possible. Ensure your proposal is formatted correctly and free of grammatical and spelling errors.

Visual presentation is equally important - especially if the client wants services with a design element. Your proposal should look modern, attractive, and easy to read. Ideally, you’ll create your proposal on a responsive, fast, and mobile-friendly platform, too - avoid sending a PDF file if possible.

Remembering that your client needs your services to save them time is also helpful. Create your proposal accordingly, using your preferred sales methodology, and try to find the quickest, most economical way to achieve the aims of each section of the proposal.

Your proposal should be structured around the following sections.


Your clear, succinct introduction provides your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd. This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, you can use your tone of voice to engage and entertain the client. Establish quickly that you’re confident and assertive - you can even use humor to help the client understand that working with you will be fun and that you’re relaxed and flexible.

Secondly, you can use the introduction to demonstrate your research by explaining why you respect them and want to work with them. They may have a novel approach that distinguishes them in their industry or a strong brand voice that could be entertaining to use on social media. Find their strengths and their USP, and highlight them in the introduction.

Depending on the style of visual presentation you prefer, you might also want to include an attractive cover page featuring both your own and the client’s brand (if you have strong graphic design skills, a beautifully designed cover can be a good opportunity to showcase that).

Services and benefits

This section allows you to outline the specific services you intend to offer the client. Don’t assume that the client understands each service in the same way as you do - it’s very likely that when they complete this task for themselves, they’re rushing it or taking shortcuts to get it done - there’s a reason they’re outsourcing it, after all.

Explain your approach to each service, and be sure to emphasize the benefits of each service to the client.

Previous experience and social proof

The section should contain two distinct subsections. In the first subsection, you’ll want to show why you’re a good choice for the specific tasks the client requires. Break down each requirement and detail your expertise and training as persuasively as possible (while sticking to a tight word count).

For example, if you’re offering email services, list your previous experiences handling client emails, along with any tools you might use for these services, such as Mailchimp.

In the second subsection, you can provide a broader picture of the quality of service you provide to demonstrate to the client that you’re the right person for the job. Include links to portfolio materials and sales collateral here, along with social proof such as reviews or testimonials from previous clients.

Like your portfolio samples, your reviews and testimonials should be selected as carefully as possible to reflect occasions where you’ve provided the specific services this prospect needs. Depending on your level and duration of experience, this may not be practical, but it’s something to aim for as you refine your processes over time.

Plan and pricing breakdown

This section is where you’ll provide the nitty-gritty details of your services. Outline the scope of your deliverables and a clear set of timings so the client knows when they can expect tasks to be completed. It can be helpful to provide turnaround times here, too, to start to manage expectations and boundaries.

Include your prices here, too. Whether you charge an hourly rate or a project-based fee, try to give the client an idea of how much you might charge for additional work outside the scope of what’s being asked for. If, further down the line, they find they’re happy with your services, there may be additional tasks they might need you to assist them with.

Other details that can be added to this section include contract terms, termination procedures, confidentiality agreements, and NDAs (if the client doesn’t already use their own).

The plan and pricing breakdown section is also a good place to build cross-sell and upsell opportunities - especially if you have a specialty that the client may be unaware of. With enough experience, a confident VA can adopt a solution-selling approach to provide maximum value for clients.


In keeping with the overall approach, make sure you don’t get weighed down with a lengthy and unnecessary conclusion - if you’ve done a good job with the other sections, there really isn’t too much to add here.

Provide a few different ways for the client to get in touch with any questions - not everyone likes a phone call/email/contact form, so cater for a range of preferred communication styles.

A call-to-action (CTA) is useful here - let the client know what their next steps should be. E-signature functionality is an ideal way to assist the client in closing the deal right there, clicking accept without leaving the proposal or opening another document.

Example of a virtual assistant proposal template

Qwilr’s virtual assistant proposal template provides everything you need to streamline your proposal creation, win new clients, and start every project on a firm footing. This is a common trait of the best proposal templates.

You can immediately create your proposal following the professional format outlined here.

  • Introduction
  • Services and benefits
  • Previous experience and social proof
  • Plan and pricing breakdown
  • Conclusion

Qwilr proposals are professionally designed and mobile-friendly. They’re instantly adaptable and customizable with any content you want to introduce. You can import your branding elements and seamlessly incorporate interactive elements such as embedded videos, image galleries, and interactive pricing tables for added impact.

Alternatively, you can try our AI proposal generator for free and create your own professional looking proposal in minutes.

Save more of your time for your clients

When you’re offering to take over important administrative, data entry, and communication tasks for your client, they need to trust you to work quickly, responsively, and professionally.

These are all qualities that you can demonstrate using a professional virtual assistant proposal template. Using Qwilr’s template means you won’t have to spend hours of your own precious time creating your template. You can increase your sales productivity, allowing you to concentrate your efforts on providing the best VA services you’re capable of.

Try our 14-day free trial if you’d like to see how much definition Qwilr can bring to your sales process.

About the author

Dan Lever, Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever|Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever is an experienced brand consultant and copywriter. He brings over 7 years experience in marketing and sales development, across a range of industries including B2B SaaS, third sector and higher education.

Frequently asked questions

VA proposals should be engaging, visually appealing, and easy to read.

They should include:

  • A short introduction (preferably with an attractive cover page)

  • The assistant services you’ll provide and their benefits

  • Previous experience with each service and social proof (i.e., reviews and testimonials)

  • Plan and pricing breakdown, outlining deliverables

  • Conclusion (with e-signature functionality)

Becoming an exceptional service provider - going the extra mile - and strong, consistent communication are the key factors that differentiate an excellent VA from a good or average one.

If you’re struggling to sell yourself due to lack of experience, you might find it useful to take qualifications associated with the tools and processes you’re looking to provide services with, for example, business-specialized Excel training.