Good brief! How to give it

A client asked me whether his initial brief was ‘enough’. It wasn’t. We went back on forth on issues for the best part of an hour. It wasn’t his fault as he’d never used a copywriter before, and it was easy enough to ask him the questions. However, if you don’t fancy playing email tennis with a copywriter, look at my ‘five things to mention in your initial brief list’ (below).

And don’t worry, if you do pursue a conversation with a copywriter and you get to the engagement stage, they’ll provide you with a detailed briefing form, and that’s where you will note all the finer details such your SEO keywords, branding, competitors, context etc.

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Five things to mention in your initial brief

  1. What do you want? Is it a blog post, an article for print, web copy, social media posts or other?
  2. Where is the ‘thing’ to appear? Give a website, title or outlet so that the copywriter can take a quick look and gauge style and tone.
  3. When do you need it? Deadline is a crucial piece of initial information. Rather than spend time talking through a project and then dropping in ‘I need it by tomorrow’ get your deadline out there (if you have one). If you don’t, mention that too.
  4. Do you have a budget? If you are defined by a tight budget, it’s best to mention it upfront.
  5. Any experience or background needed, e.g. technical writing or, legal training.

I hope this helps.

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