June 2, 2015 How to brief a copywriter successfully

By Alexandra Hallam

List for the copywriter of web pages that need to be writen

Deadlines are the one thing all copywriting briefs we receive have in common – you need the content, and you need it yesterday! At Avion Communications, we understand, and we do everything within our power to get your quality content to you within your time frame.

However, there is one thing you can do, at the very start of the project, which will help to:

  • reduce the time we need to devote to project planning
  • cut down time in revisions
  • speed up the initial quoting process of your project, and
  • boost your peace of mind knowing you and we are all on the same page.

Submitting a comprehensive brief of what you need from your copywriting project is the surest way to make sure you’re getting what you need. A brief can be formal or informal, but is essentially an explanation of everything we need to know about your project.

Read on for our tips for creating a successful brief.

The basics of briefing a professional copywriter

Like most explanations, it’s best to break your brief into five key points: who, what, where, when and – most importantly – why.

Why:

  • Why do you need this content; what is its purpose? This is the absolute first thing we need to identify. As SEO copywriters, we can help to boost your search engine results, and use our marketing skills to inform potential customers about your services, persuade clients to join your new campaign – anything!Maybe your potential customers aren’t finding you, your current website doesn’t represent what you do anymore, or you’re just feeling a bit outdated – these are all common problems we overcome for you.  By knowing what your expectations are, we can meet them.

Who: 

  • Who are you as a business or organisation? What do you do? What makes you different to your competitors, really? Anyone can say that it’s their customer service that sets them apart, or that their prices are lower. What action do you take to make your selling points a reality?
  • Who are we writing the copy for – who is your audience or customer base?

What:

  • What content do you need written – a small website? a brochure? a revamp of hundreds of pages of existing content?

Where:

  • Where will we find our source information? This might be a meeting with you, from your current website, notes you can provide, or our own independent research.

When: 

  • When is your deadline? An important detail for us to be sure of!

Extra, extra!

The basics are the first step for any brief – but once you’ve got those covered, the extra information that backs up your request is what completes the picture and helps us help you the most.

Supporting information gives us a crystal clear idea of what you’re expecting, and all the context we need to bring your vision to life. This kind of information might be:

  • a sitemap or wireframes
  • your company’s communications or branding guide
  • examples of what you do or don’t like, and
  • any keyword analytics or customer research you might have.

By this point, we have a pretty strong idea of what you’re expecting, and how we’re going to deliver it, so you can rest assured your project is in good hands, no matter how tight your deadline is.

Have a project you want to brief us on? Get in touch today, and start explaining your ideas.