I’m one of this world’s natural born organisers. I actually enjoy designing gantt charts and writing to do lists.
While I understand this sadistic level of detail is not for everyone, I’ve found this particular personality trait has served me well in almost every aspect of my life.
As the saying goes, ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail’.
The success of any project is dependant on good planning and, when it comes to copywriting, that starts with the client’s brief.
I can hear what you’re thinking, “Wait a minute lady! I’m hiring a copywriter because I want to save time, not create more work for myself.”
I get it. You’re busy, and writing a detailed brief takes time, but providing a high quality brief is important if you want high quality writing.
Imagine you’ve been asked to build someone’s garden shed. Sounds easy, right? But instead of providing step by step instructions and a list of all the pieces you should have, the owner just reverses a van onto your drive, throws the various nails, bolts, screws and pieces of wood at you, and drives away leaving you to it (maybe driving over your prize tulips as they go).
You’ll probably work out what goes where eventually and build the shed, but it’ll take time, you’ll have to pester the owner with lots of phone calls or worse, make numerous failed guesses and waste valuable time. Worst of all, the end product is unlikely to look as good as it could.
The same goes with writing.
Providing a detailed copywriting brief takes time, but it’s a worthwhile investment. It saves you from being on the receiving end of lots of annoying questions and from having to read through several rewrites. It helps us copywriters to understand the outcome you’re looking for and channel our creative juices in the right direction.
Briefing templates vary, but generally cover the following areas:
About your company
- What industry do you work in?
- What are your company values?
- What benefits do you offer above your competitors?
- What is your brand personality?
- What channels do you want to use? (and are you using them to maximum effect?)
- What is the desired outcome?
- What’s the key message you want customers to hear?
- What information does the copywriter need to write that?
- Do you have a tone of voice that the copywriter should follow?
- Who can the copywriter contact with any follow-up questions?
- What is your internal approval process?
- When is the deadline?
If you own or manage a business, I recommend giving these questions some thought. Even if you don’t want to do any marketing right now, knowing the answers to some of the above questions will help you focus on your brand, giving a clearer sense of who you are and where you want your business to go.
And if you do want to commission some copywriting, AMK Communications can help you create a strong brief to get you the best possible outcome.