The secret is to nail the brief down right from the start.
There’s really nothing more certain to make a copywriter’s blood boil (besides constant interruptions from your well-meaning partner while you’re trying to write…) than a vague, incomplete or worse – non-existent – creative brief.
The brief is your writer’s roadmap. As a copywriter, it lets me know exactly what I’m going to be writing about, for whom, where and when it will be read, and perhaps most importantly – why I’m even writing anything in the first place.
Without a solid brief, I’m fumbling blindly through a maze to an unknown destination. If I don’t have a roadmap in place before I start writing, it’ll take far longer for me to write copy that you’re happy with, and that achieves the job it’s supposed to. And when you’re paying an hourly rate, all that time I spend stumbling around in the dark only ends up costing you more.
So how do you get awesome copy without paying any more than you need to?
Nailing down the brief at the start of the project (and not changing it half-way through, if you can avoid it) will ensure you get great copy at the best possible price.
Your copywriter should always discuss the project with you at the start, and help you develop a brief if you haven’t already got one.
So what’s in a copy brief?
A good copy brief needs to answer the fundamental questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Here are the questions I ask my clients before starting any writing work:
What’s the objective?
This answers the ‘why’ question. What is the ultimate goal of this copy? Is it to increase website traffic? Generate sales? Demonstrate expertise? Launch a product? Build a brand? Is there a specific action you want the reader to take, like buy now, enquire, or sign up to a mailing list?
Who is the audience?
The best copy is written as though you’re speaking directly to one person. Who is that person? The more specific you can be, the more believable and effective the copy will be.
Where and when will it be read?
In the advertising industry they call this media and timing. Where will the copy be used? On a website? A blog? A printed brochure? A variety of different media? Will it be read at a certain time of day or a particular season? Or at a certain stage in the buying cycle? All of these considerations will have an impact on the format, style and tone of the copy I write.
What’s the offer and message?
Copywriting is ultimately about selling – so what are you selling? What is the product, service or brand? What’s unique and special about it? Is there any competition, and why should the reader choose yours over theirs? Will you mention the price? Is there a special offer?
How do you want to come across?
I’m writing on your behalf, so we need to establish what your ‘voice’ sounds like. Copy is what you use when you can’t be there in person, so what tone and style do I need to adopt to sound like you? What does your company stand for? What are your brand values?
By taking time to fully consider these questions before we meet, you can ensure we absolutely nail the brief right at the start. And that means you’ll end up with awesome, results-generating copy, and save yourself a whole lot of time and money too.
Want to get started?
Whether you’ve got a rock-solid brief already, or you need help developing one, get in touch today to enquire about awesome, results-generating copywriting.