What is BidSketch?

BidSketch is a 'cloud hosted' web application that lets you put together proposals within minutes. The website states that proposals could be cut down from 3 hours to 45 minutes, but in our play with this product they take even less time. We were able to generate a proposal in as little as 10 minutes!

Creating great proposals isn't the end of BidSketch it also manages the sign-off/approval of the proposal by the client and offers integration with SalesForce for larger clients making integration with your existing sales workflow quick, simple and easy. 

You can sign-up at

How it works

When you sign-up, you're given your own web address for use with bidsketch, ours is for example. Through this address you and your staff can login to your own portal to create new proposals, print/save/share existing proposals and monitor their status if you've decided to make use of BidSketch's built-in approval mechanism to gain approval from your customer.

When you create a new proposal you first need to create a client, a good feature of BidSketch is that is manages the value of a proposal, and tracks the total against each client across all proposals so if your client has been a long-term customer, you can see just how valuable they've been to you, which helps you to identify what you've been doing right.

Once you've created your client, you can go ahead and create a new proposal with the client selected you begin creating your proposal following a simple and easy to use wizard.


You start by choosing from a template a design, and giving a name to your project/proposal. As you select a template, the system intelligently prompts you with some sections to include in your proposal, you can quickly choose which you do and don't want to include and away you go. 

Default text is initially inserted into each section for you to edit if you want to. What isn't immediately apparent (to us) is that the text includes placeholders {client_name}, for example, which are replaced automatically by the system with information that you've already entered for you, or your client, when the proposal is completed. We'd assumed that we had to make these changes ourselves, which even still wouldn't have been that hard to do, but with the system doing it for us it's a doddle!

All of the default text is editable in the system so that any future proposals use your own text, and it's certainly worth reviewing the language used. We're a UK-based IT consultancy, and the language felt a little 'American' to us. That said, the the content is valuable and therefore gives you a good guide as to what should be said, so it's easy to replace the text with something (UK) English.

The default system is clearly tailored for IT companies, but you can easily add your own templates for your business sector. In a previous job I described this exact system as being invaluable for our business development team as it felt that they were regularly asking various individuals, teams and departments for the same pieces of information for their proposals. Using BidSketch though pieces could be put into the initial template and then included/excluded using the checkboxes when each proposal is generated.

Once the shell of the proposal has been created, you have the ability to complete the 'fees' section of your proposal. From here you can add products and services that you've already stored in the system, putting them into one-off (Project fees), monthly and annual fees.

Once your fees are added, in the same manner that you started the proposal, you are presented with your closing sections to review and amend as necessary before reviewing the overall proposal's design.

Once you're happy with the proposal you can save it where you can generate a PDF, create a new proposal based on this one, or you can send your proposal to your client.

If you do decide to send your proposal using BidSketch rather than downloading a copy to e-mail over your self, BidSketch allows you and your clients to add signature as well as allowing comments to be added to your proposal by your client, and for your response as well. You're notified about everything that's taking place by e-mail notification. 

The benefits

Very fast generation of proposals

Highly customisable

Bank of proposal components to allow inclusion/exclusion at a click

Ability to add fees categorised by types

Ability to tag created reports allowing you to quickly and easily find them again in future to create another based on this one. 

It's limitations

Adding fees could be a little more intuititve, the use is left a little unsure which button they should be clicking to add the fees to the proposal and add more. After a few goes, you quickly get to grips with this though.

Price, depending on the size of your company, the cost of this tool may be off putting, but if you're not already putting effort into creating proposals, the return on this investment will pay for itself allowing you to target better quality, higher value project.

Posted: 23/05/2013 07:56:06 by Kurt Farrar | with 0 comments

This week, we’ve had a number of our customers that rely heavily on Facebook for the promotion of their business as part of their marketing strategy contact us asking what the ‘Promote’ option that now appears when they publish a status update is all about.

Typical questions have been:

  • Are Facebook charging businesses for all posts?
  • Do I have to pay £4 to post?
  • Are Facebook hiding my posts unless I pay?

Let’s try to explain what has/hasn’t happened and what the promote button does… but before I begin, let me point out I in no way agree with what Facebook are doing, or the way they have gone about introducing and communicating this.


A while back, Facebook realised that their users have literally hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook. They’re not all people that we speak to, or want to speak to on a daily basis, but we want to be associated with, and we want to have a nosey about what they’re up to from time to time. Facebook originally would put all wall posts from all of these friends into your stream (that’s the recent stories as it’s called now), and it was quite difficult to see what your real friends and family were up to, the people you were really interested in, and even for that friend, the posts that you’re likely to be interested in.

They changed the way that the stream works, so that it intelligently, only shows wall posts that you’re likely to be interested in based on two real factors, how much you interact with that person, and how much your mutual friends have shared, commented and interacted with your friend.

This change… affected Pages as well. So in summary, for a while now… if your likers don’t interact with your page regularly, and mutual likers don’t interact with your posts often, then those posts aren’t likely to appear on your liker’s stream when they log into Facebook.

It’s important to point out that, in both the friends and pages examples, your friends/likers can still visit your page/wall and view all posts. Facebook haven’t done anything to the way these are shown.

The promote option

So what is this new promotion option all about? Well for a long time, Facebook have relied on advertising revenue, and the promote option allows Facebook to gain a little more revenue by allowing you to pay to force your post to be shown on your liker’s streams whether they interact or not. I see this as an advert, and the pricing is the same model as an advert down the right hand side as well from what I understand.

So, if you post normally, your posts will continue to reach the same people that they reached before – those that interact with your page, and if you choose to pay to promote, you’ll be paying for your post to appear on your likers' streams whether they interact or not.

Your options

So what can you do to appear on your likers’ wall without paying to promote. Well there’s a number of things you can do, but they ultimately all come down to “make your likers interact with your page”.

So how could you encourage your liker’s to interact with your page? As well as posting about what you’re doing, and your latest products (your marketing side of things) ask your likers things such as:

  • What’s your favourite product from our new summer collection? Get them to comment.
  • What do you think we should offer next? Get them to comment.
  • Upload your pictures of you using our product. Get them to upload pictures.
  • Complete the blank: Using our products is like _________. Get them to comment.
  • Post polls, choose your favourite. Get people to vote, their vote will cause your poll to appear to their friends, non-likers.

We’re sure you can think of others, and more creative ways, and you’ll no doubt see people doing competitions, auctions and other things inviting people to comment on the post to enter. They’re not only trying to get more likers, but by encouraging them to comment, they’re increasing those users to interact with their page but… please ensure that you abide by terms of use. Some of these activities are not allowed under Facebook’s terms.

Well, we hope this helps you to understand the new option, if you have any questions, please drop us an e-mail to or write our wall - to interact with our page  Smile.

Posted: 13/06/2012 12:28:06 by Kurt Farrar | with 0 comments

Whilst reading the Metro on my daily commute this morning I was reading how Disney's latest film to hit the cinema (John Carter) is set to be the biggest flop of the year, with the estimated loss for Disney being in the region of $200 million. 
The article then went on to point out that last year's biggest flop was “Mars Needs Moms”. Has anyone seen this film? Had anyone heard of it before I (or the Metro) mentioned it? I hadn't until I stumbled across it one Saturday/Sunday morning on Sky Go for the iPad for my little boy to watch whilst pretending it wasn’t time to get up and trying to have a lie-in of sorts. He loved it, (and I secretly enjoyed it too) so much that its up there in his top films. Granted he's only 4, but it still shows that Disney hit the right notes in this little boy's heart... So why was this film a flop? 
Well... I ask again... Had you heard of it before now? I think the problem lies there. The only reason I put it on at all was because it was an animated film made recently (in the last couple of years) that we hadn't seen before from the selection that was available. Not because I'd seen a poster for it, I knew anything about it or had I heard friends talking/asking about it... So I can't help but think that's the reason for it being a flop.
The studios seem to on each occasion allocate about $100 million for marketing, so (in my view) its not that they're not investing in marketing at all, but instead, they're doing something wrong... Either using the wrong channels, or not giving the right message... Perhaps their marketing agency just were in-tune with the film or the audience this time. Who knows for sure?
One things clear... It didn't work this time.

What has this cost Disney? A lot of money, not only the money they invested into marketing, but also the money that they spent on the film that they're making in the first place, a lack of ticket sales means they didn't cover the cost of making the film. Now Disney is a pretty cash rich business, fortunately the large majority of their films are a success, but small businesses and particularly start-ups aren't that fortunate. Such a failure in marketing could bring about the early termination of the business, or the closure of an established business. This only highlights the need to correctly market your business and your products, first time. Spend time to make sure you get it right as you won't necessarily get a second chance to put it right later. And if you're unsure, why not speak with one of our consultants (for some free advice) about brand, marketing your business and whether you're taking the right approach.

We'll gladly point you in the right direction if we think you need it. 

Posted: 21/03/2012 18:11:53 by Kurt Farrar | with 0 comments

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MyDigitalMedia are a small business IT consultancy specialising in web design, and web development creating high quality bespoke web solutions, and establishing our client's brands online, without a hefty price tag. Based in Widnes, Cheshire we cover all surround areas including St. Helens, Liverpool, Warrington, and Runcorn and have a number of national clients from throughout North Wales, and as far as Plymouth. Thanks to the internet, and online conferencing, we're never too far away. View our portfolio to view examples or projects that we have undertaken to date.