The low-down on creating a great brief - By Abby Beswick

Great writing starts with a great brief. Regardless of the type of content you’re after, if you’re using a copywriter to get engaging, effective writing, the starting point is always the same.

I’m not going to lie, writing a clear and detailed brief takes time. However, it’s worth the effort because doing so will save you time and money in the long-run. A good brief gives the writer an understanding of the business and what you want to achieve. It also means they’re more likely to give you the result you want, faster, by removing the need to ask several questions during the writing process and without the added expense of rewrites.

So if you’re looking to engage a copywriter and want to make the process as fast, easy and price-effective as possible, read on. This simple guide will provide the information they need to create exceptional copy for your business.

Project

This is about what you’re trying to achieve with the piece of writing. Include details about the client, where it will be used — such as print, web, marketing campaign —  and most importantly, the key objectives. What’s the bottom line? Keep it clear and concise. If you had to explain this in 30 seconds, what would you say?

Audience

Who is the intended customer or readership? Knowing your target audience will enable the copywriter to connect with them effectively and deliver the right messages in an appropriate way.

Content

Now it’s time to drill down into what you want the text to say. The copywriter’s job is to work out how best to say it.

Remember to include the following:

-    What are the key points or messages you want covered?

-    What’s the call to action? Ie What do you want the audience to do as a result of reading this?

-    Do you have any specific material you want included or references the copywriter can use for inspiration?

-    Are there are keywords that need to be included?

-    Is there anything you don’t want mentioned?

General

Are you after relaxed, conversational language or a more formal approach? The tone and style of the text will create a certain feeling with the reader so it’s important the copywriter understands what you’re looking for. Also include in this section, the word count, and a deadline date for the first, and hopefully only, draft.

So there you have it; a ready-made template to help you write a great brief for your next copywriting project. It’s also the first step towards delivering some fantastic writing that connects with your target audience. Let’s get started!

Abby Beswick is a freelance writer and one of our talented villagers. Check out her profile here