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Best Websites for Finding Design RFPs

By Robert Williams | Last Updated: October 22, 2020

I prefer RFPs to other types of job listings because RFPs generally indicate legitimate companies with real budgets. Even some of the best design agencies in the world use RFPs when looking for new work, including famous designer, Mike Monteiro, as mentioned in his book Design is a Job.

That’s why I believe knowing how to find high-quality Website Design RFPs (Request for Proposals) when you have gaps in your schedule is a super power. Knowing you have 5-10 high-quality RFPs and other leads you can reach out to any time you want, can make your sales pipeline a lot less stressful.

But did you know you can find 5-10 RFPs in 30 minutes or less with just a few sites? You can. And if you wanna learn how, you’re in the right place.

The Best Place to Find Web Design RFPs:

My Top Pick

Web Design / Development RFP Newsletter

You get 50+ of the best website design and development RFPs and other leads on the web sent directly to your inbox every Monday. That means you save hours of research and can reply to the best RFPs every week in just minutes.
Try it now

So technically, this isn’t an RFP marketplace. But since I’m writing this guide for you I thought I’d mention what I believe is the absolute best option first.

I’ve taken everything I mention below about how to find RFPs and created a done-for-you RFP-finding service that puts the best Web Design (or WordPress) RFPs into one weekly email you can skim over your morning coffee.

Finding the same web design RFPs yourself would take 10+ hours per week. For a look at the ROI you’d get by signing up, multiply that by your hourly rate.

Now it’s easy to claim we have the best RFPs on the web but let’s break down what makes the RFPs we find high-quality:

Where the best Website Design RFPs come from

As mentioned above, great RFPs are actively looking to hire a web design / development firm right now. That’s why our RFPs are sourced directly from decision-makers at companies who have either reached out to us directly or have posted publicly in search of a freelancer or agency.

Commonly, this means they’ve posted their job opportunity or RFP on a company newsletter, LinkedIn post, Slack community, or Job Board.

Or they’ve emailed us.

In short, it means every lead we send must be a WARM lead. They KNOW they need help and are actively looking to hire that help RIGHT NOW.

This increases your chances of hearing back because you’re exclusively sending proposals to companies looking to hire. This is not the typical “spray-and-pray” approach that most design agencies take when contacting cold leads online.​

How we qualify our RFPs

On top of sourcing leads who are already in the buying process, we hand-qualify each opportunity to make sure they’re great opportunities usually worth $5,000–$50,000 in project work. The way that we ensure this is by reading the RFP thoroughly before featuring it. This is often where a big time-savings happens for our customers.

Because we look through thousands and thousands of RFPs per week it means you don’t have to. If you’ve ever tried doing something like this with sheer willpower alone, you know how difficult it is to muster up the willpower to do a mundane task week-in and week-out. 99% of people won’t do this RFP search and qualifying on a consistent basis.

That means these great RFPs aren’t getting responded to by the number of firms they should be. (One of our customers even reported the RFP project he won had only received 6 proposals!) And honestly, it means that the RFPs we send you have a higher chance of responding.

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How the RFP bidding process works

When you buy a monthly or yearly subscription to one of our newsletters, you get instant access to every RFP and lead sent each week. There’s no pay per bid or referral fee system.

So you can respond to every RFP we send you or you can just reply to a handful each week at no difference to you. This a feature that our customers really appreciate, especially when they’ve come from other RFP sites that require referral fees which can eat up tens of thousands of dollars of profit each year.

When you identify an RFP you want to apply to, you reach out to the decision makers at the company directly, typically via email. We recommend sending at least one follow up each week after your initial email but you can test and tweak your approach to best optimize what works for you.

Because they’re no longer having to go find RFPs yourself, our customers are able to fine-tune their pitching process and develop high-converting proposals, email templates and other processes.

When you receive a RFP from us, you’re done paying us. Whether you land one project or make hundreds of thousands of dollars in follow up work from that client, you won’t have to pay a cent more. Ever.

How much it costs

Both the Web Design and WordPress RFPs newsletter cost $97/month. If you pay annually, you’ll even get a 20% discount, which comes out to about $1.50 per RFP/lead sent. One of the most common things we hear from customers is that landing just one client paid for their subscription for life.

Last year, we found over 200 high-quality RFPs (Requests for Proposal) by private companies looking for website design and development, branding, marketing and other services.

But the RFPs are the only thing members receive.

Finding an RFP is only half of the process; you also need to know how to win the project! Once you’ve identified a great RFP read it carefully, you now need to put together a proposal. And this can be tricky. That’s why we also include training and resources to help members, like:

Over $1,000 Worth of Free Proposal and Time Tracking Software Included.

You also get 3 months free of both Bidsketch (the best proposal software on the web) and Noko (the best time tracking software on the web).

One of the most important things I’ve learned when it comes to landing RFPs is that, in addition to knowing where to find them, you also need to be persistent in your efforts to get the gig.

Sure, your proposal is important, but opening a line of communication with a potential client—and keeping that line open—can help differentiate you from other freelancers who have applied but failed to follow up. That’s why another benefit of using RFPs is that you can save time in the proposals process by repurposing elements from past proposals.

It typically takes more than 3 follow-up messages to get a response to your proposal. If you’re sending multiple proposals this can get tiresome quickly.

Bidsketch and Noko will help you make every RFP you land more profitable from day one.

That’s just some of what we include for members of our Lead Newsletters and we’re always looking to add more value.

I believe we’re the best option for 99% of Web Design / Development agencies looking for RFPs, however, if for whatever reason it’s not for you, here are some other options:

Other Options for Finding RFPs

Google

Because of the vast number of sites indexed each day, Google can be a great source of RFPs. The way we use it to get anywhere from 5 to 10 RFPs every week is:

  1. In the search box, type in “RFP [your work type]”, similar to how you’d do on LinkedIn below. But, for Google, I add “filetype:pdf” because most companies will create and upload a PDF when they write an RFP. 
  2. Then sort your results by “past month” so you can narrow things down to recently posted RFPs.
  3. Use the keyword: “website design” or whatever your specialty is.

You can find dozens of companies and organizations RFPs directly on Google this way. Now that you’ve set your search up for success, make a reminder to come back to this task every week.

LinkedIn

The next site I recommend for finding RFPs is LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn is a social networking site geared towards professionals looking to connect with others, why not use their network to find RFPs?
Here’s the process I use to find anywhere from 5 to 10 RFPs on LinkedIn each week:

  1. Again, in the search box, type in “RFP [your work type]”. For example, if you’re a website designer, you’d type in “RFP website design.”
  2. Make sure to click on the “Content” tab to filter results by stuff companies have posted.
  3. Then sort the results by “Latest” to get the most recent posts. 

LinkedIn is actually my favorite place to go for RFPs because hiring managers and decision makers post RFPs on the site directly. This gives you an awesome opportunity to meet and talk to the right people. A customer of mine even shared how he used this aspect of LinkedIn to win an RFP on the platform recently.

Note: you will have to sift through a fairly high amount of content marketing to find quality RFPs on LinkedIn. For a full in-depth walk-through on how to use LinkedIn to find RFPs and other clients go here. Lastly, I will mention that you should probably have a strong LinkedIn profile listing if you’re going to messaging clients on LinkedIn. I cover a ton of ways to do that in that link.

The RFPdb

Another source of RFPs is the RFPdb. I like it because it gives you access to a wide variety of RFP types. It’s a pay-per-bid RFP site that we use to find about 3-5 great RFPs on each month. The site is actually a co-op where agencies share RFPs with one another. There’s lots of categories, so you’ll likely be able to find one that makes sense for the work you’d like to do. Just know that you’ll usually need to go through a few RFPs to find a good one on these sites. There’s a lot of long, overly-bureaucratic type documents on the RFPdb (and RFP marketplace sites) in general, which I recommend you steer cleer from.

(I don’t include those in my RFP Newsletter, because I find that the juice is often not worth the squeeze.) So be prepared to throw out some of the RFPs you pay for before you find something good. I always pick the short, reasonable, high-budget RFPs when I’m curating my website design RFP newsletter. The good thing is there isn’t as much manual labor required when searching through these sites. You’ll typically just need to pay anywhere between $2-10 per RFP.

Facebook

In recent years, a ton of organizations and companies have taken to Facebook for promoting their RFPs. Like Linkedin, you’ll have to sort through a lot of content marketing and irrelevant spam – but if your particular niche is Facebook-centered, it might make sense. Unfortunately I rank them last because of their clunky UI. You’re going to want to limit your search to RFPs posted in the last month, but that’s frustrating to do. The major bug is having to choose this filter every time you alter your search because Facebook doesn’t save your preference.

Other RFP Sites I Rarely Use:

Lastly, these are my top RFP sources, but keep in mind that different platforms work better for different freelancers/agencies. It’s important to experiment with what works for you. You might discover that for your specific type of work a site not listed here has all the RFPs you need.

Ready to start applying to more RFPs?

Members of my Web Design RFP and Lead Newsletter receive all of the RFPs found using the sites above automatically each week. Instead of searching yourself for website RFPs online, you get RFPs that meet the following sent to your inbox each week:

You can learn more about how it works here.

Robert Williams is the owner of Folyo and has been in the Freelance industry since 2013. Each week he curates the 1% of jobs that matter to Freelancers and shares market insights with a private list of subscribers for free. His mission is to make finding great leads easy for everyone and he's helped thousands of freelancers add millions in client revenue to their bottom line. You can get his private newsletter with the latest market insights by signing up here.