So, you’ve heard of this thing called the brief. And you know it’s something to do with the copywriting process. But anything more? Not sure.
Here’s what it is, why it’s important and how you can create a good one…
What is a copywriting brief?
A good brief tells your copywriter about:
- you and your business
- your product or service
- your audience (i.e. your prospects) and how you talk to them
- what you need producing
It’s essential so they can understand your business thoroughly.
Sometimes people tell their copywriter how to write the copy too – but that’s the copywriter’s job. Would you hire a plumber then mend the loo yourself?
Why is the copywriting brief important?
- It’s a written record of what you’ve asked for. The brief forms the basis of the contract between you and your copywriter and is useful to refer to if you disagree at any point. If your copywriter’s text doesn’t fit the brief do ask for a rewrite – they shouldn’t argue because they’ve got it wrong, not you. But if it’s the style or tone you don’t like you may have to negotiate. In this case, if you haven’t changed the brief since commissioning the work, a good copywriter will be happy to redraft.
- It will save you time. A good brief means your copywriter won’t have to follow up with endless questions. This is time-consuming (and annoying) for both of you.
- It will save you money. Copywriters often include a set number of redrafts in their quote (or even charge by the hour). Anything more will cost extra. So, if you can reduce the need for redrafts, you’ll save money. By putting in time at the start to create a detailed brief (see below) your copywriter will be able to produce the right copy for you straight away.
How you can draft a good copywriting brief
To draft a good brief, you must:
- Know your business. If you don’t know your own business, how can you expect your copywriter to understand? If you need to, get some marketing help before hiring a copywriter. Although good copywriters will have some marketing knowledge, they’re not experts. And you’ll pay extra for the time it takes them to tease out what you want.
- Be thorough. The more detail you can provide the better because they’ll understand your needs. Even if some of your information isn’t included in the final piece, your copywriter ‘s creative response will be better. When they know you well, they can write engaging, informative content that will grow your business.
- Allow time. You’ll need to give some of your time at the start to come up with a good brief. But if you do, your copywriter won’t have to pester you with annoying questions later. So, you’ll still save time overall. But please, only hire a copywriter when you can give time to the brief.
And in case you’re wondering here’s my brief questionnaire.
Contact me if you’d like us to work together.