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.
Five things to mention in your initial brief
What do you want? Is it a blog post, an article for
print, web copy, social media posts or other?
Where is the ‘thing’ to appear? Give a website,
title or outlet so that the copywriter can take a quick look and gauge style
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.
Do you have a budget? If you are defined by a
tight budget, it’s best to mention it upfront.
Any experience or background needed, e.g. technical
writing or, legal training.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How we offer advice to others yet rarely apply it to ourselves…
Only yesterday, I was in conversation with a guy about his business and started telling him what I consider to be the 3 easiest ways to raise awareness.
His business was exciting and ‘young’. In short, he wanted to know if it was a good idea to pitch to editors etc. rather than send out a press release. What should he do? Well…
How to raise awareness for cat body lotion
I started by saying that to pitch you’ve got to know your market and media. To over-simplify, there’s no point pitching your story about your new body lotion for cats to the editor of Goldfish Monthly (that wasn’t his idea by the way).
Of course, understanding and knowing the ins and out of every mag/paper other media is time-consuming, especially with so many national, regional and locals not to mention the little matter of online. But, with a little bit of research care of Google, you can find the details of one or two editors and take it from there.
With pitching, choose the most
relevant site/publication and pitch your feature idea to them first. Wait and
then give them a poke if they don’t reply. If they ghost you, or you’re keen to
get moving, send your pitch to the next person on your list. Do not send your
pitch to hundreds of people at once. Editors generally want to use a unique angle.
Keep your pitch short,
well-written and friendly. You never know.
2. Press Releases/shout outs
A press release is a great way to reach out to a wide range of on and offline publications in one swoop, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can use free PR services such as PR Wire. From this, you might get a few sniffs of interest which you’ll need to chase up. Also check-out HARO and Source Bottle as you can offer your services as an expert in a particular field or, promote your business to writers as a potential story.
So, this is the part I was
alluding to at the beginning of this post. ‘You should blog’ I told him. ‘Get
your story out there, start building up a relationship with people who might
need your services. Share your knowledge. People like helpful people.’ PENNY
Blogging is very straight forward
and it doesn’t need to take forever. Just a few lines about something that the
average ‘cat body lotion’ shopper will be interested in. Your ’10 ways to
soften a Manx’ might be the tipping point for a reader to turn into one of your
Oh, and if you want to get clever, you can start trying to work out what keywords will get you noticed in the search engines. For all things SEO I suggest you look at Neil Patel or the words of wisdom from a certain Kate Toon. She’s taught me absolutely nothing about SEO – yet – but one day I’ll sign-up to one of her much-lauded courses.
So, 3 easy ways to raise
Until the next penny drops…
PS: Are you looking for body lotion for cats? I can’t help you there, but I can write your blog posts, articles or web pages. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org