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EP012: Leveraging Your Brand Energy in the RFP Process – with Arlene S Pedersen


Quality branding gives a small business instant credibility. But how does that translate to the way you present yourself in an RFP? How do you convey the energy and expertise of your business in the pages of a proposal?

Arlene Pedersen is the CEO of Be Freaking Awesome, a consulting firm that helps passionate entrepreneurs and nonprofits increase their revenue and express their values in a powerful way. A branding and messaging expert, Arlene has more than 25 years of experience working with startups, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies, and she has been featured in GQ and Wired magazine.

Today, Arlene explains the value of branding in establishing credibility and connection. She explains how to craft a polished RFP that engages readers, communicates the energy of your business and its culture, and leverages the expertise of your ancillary resources. Listen in for Arlene’s advice around choosing quality images, writing bold headlines, and starting the RFP process with an inventory of your success!


Key Takeaways

  • Why business owners struggle with messaging

  • Arlene’s background in corporate RFPs

  • The challenge of conveying energy in writing

  • Arlene’s insight on treating RFPs like a magazine

  • The value in creating a connection with readers

  • How to craft a crisp, beautiful RFP cover page

  • Arlene’s advice on establishing a theme/metaphor

  • How to answer objections with headers or testimonials

  • Why it’s valuable to call out your disadvantage

  • How to leverage the expertise of ancillary resources

  • The value in choosing images that make you feel good

  • How to create powerful headlines

    • Bold statements of philosophy, approach

    • Quantifiable numbers

      How quality branding/logos create instant credibility

  • The definition of branding

  • The danger in repurposing content for RFPs

  • The heartbreak of missing an RFP deadline

  • Arlene’s top tips for writing a proposal that stands out

    1.      Well branded, easy to read

    2.      Own your accomplishments

    3.      Use high-quality photos