How to brief your copywriter

group of business people having a meeting around a table with laptops and notepads, how to brief a copywriter

If you have never used a copywriter before, or are getting stuck with explaining exactly what you need, you may need to review your briefing process.

A clear (or unclear) brief can mean the difference between a successful partnership with your copywriter, and a disastrous waste of money. Our handy guide can help you avoid the frustration of miscommunication with your copywriter.

Follow the pointers below to ensure that both you and your copywriter manage each other’s expectations. By working effectively together, you will receive an end product with which you are both happy.

 

A detailed brief is worth the time and effort

It is really important to be detailed and brief your copywriter fully with as much relevant information as possible. Background information, future goals, your business challenges, even your personality all assist a copywriter in finding your ‘voice’ – a tone and style which will suit your business and its target audience.

A vague or short brief leaves too much open to interpretation. This can leave both parties frustrated – disappointed clients who have not received the service they expected, or a frustrated writer who feels their client is difficult.

A clear, detailed brief will help any copywriter to deliver output that meets your expectations.

Take the time to have a conversation

Talking through a brief with your copywriter can save time-wasting later on. A conversation or meeting where clarification can be sought, questions asked and notes taken will prevent endless to-ing and fro-ing and false starts. Failure to do this could cost you money!

What do I need to include?

  • Basic Information– The type of copy you are requesting and your agreed deadlines (including drafts)
  • Background– Background information about you and your company including any technical terminology your copywriter will need to know
  • The Situation– Your current business situation and goals
  • The Project– Explain the project at hand and your target audience.
  • The Task– Explain the task, formats you require and desired outcome. Explain the tone and style of your company – formal, informal, chatty, sophisticated etc. Provide all essential details including word count, and point to, or provide, research materials they will need.
  • The Focus– Outline the primary key message for each piece required.
  • Competitors – Know your competition and how they write, what you like and dislike about their output. This can really help a copywriter to get the tone right.
  • Examples – Finding examples of copy that you like, from any industry, really helps a copywriter to find the right style for you.
  • Customer focus – If you are commissioning marketing copy, sharing buyer personas helps your copywriter find the right language for your target audience.
  • The Relationship– be clear about dos and don’ts, preferred methods of communication, deadlines and useful contacts within your organisation.

Follow this guide to provide your copywriter with everything they need, and they will provide you with effective copy that you love.

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