How do you brief a Melbourne copywriter?

melbourne copywriter briefing

When businesses outsource their creative to other firms, they often approach other Melbourne copywriter companies like us with woeful tales of being “burned” by bad results. This can be avoided by having a brief that aligns with your expectations and our (being copywriters) initial guidance.

Though you may have a vague idea of what you need for your copywriting project (a blog post, a web page, etc.) a brief will tell the copywriter what needs to be written, for what audience, and what the desired outcome. Here we outline what a brief is, what it should contain, and what a good Melbourne copywriter will do to ensure a professional, exceptional result.

What is a copywriting brief?

A copywriting brief is a high-level or abstract overview of the scope of the project, what is required of the copywriter, and contains enough introductory information for the copywriter to “fill in the blanks.” The more detailed a brief is, the better the end result usually is. You may be thinking “but isn’t writing the copywriter’s job?” Of course – but if you can talk, you can write.

If you absolutely loathe writing, you may want to transcribe your thoughts and include that in the creative brief.

The primary goal of the brief is to establish parameters for success and prevent misunderstandings.

Why you need a copywriting brief

Would you begin building a house without a blueprint? Or cook a three-course meal without a recipe? What if you add an ingredient a certain diner is allergic to? A brief works in the same way – it gives the copywriter enough background information about the project to fulfill the expectations of the client.

A copywriting brief will drastically reduce the time taken on the project. An endless raft of back-and-forth emails will always end up with delays. If you are a client being charged by the hour, you could be facing extremely high costs.

Getting as much information and clarity in the brief as possible means some copywriters (like the Melbourne Copywriter) can charge per project, with revisions and rewrites included as a guarantee instead of a matter of course.

What a copywriting brief should contain

At the very minimum, a copywriting brief should contain key information about your business. What your business does, what it sells, and how it serves its customers.

The next is discussing the audience. Does it skew male or female? Is this pitched at business or consumers? What is the age range? What is the education level? Are they readers versus do they just want the information now?

You should also look at the tone of voice. Should it be professional? Academic? Informal? You may want to attach your branding or style guide to the brief at this point, if you have one.

Briefs should also include a short summary of what the article or project is about. “A series of blog posts highlighting the usefulness of Product X.” You will need to tell the copywriter if they are to suggest headlines or topics, of if you have pre-determined topics in mind.

If possible, you should also provide a list of keywords and keyphrases for SEO purposes. If you don’t have this, a good Melbourne SEO copywriter (like me!) can conduct the research for you.

One extremely helpful guide to a copywriter is supplying websites or blogs of competitors you want your copy to look like – not imitate completely. This can be a real time saver in establishing tone and style.

You may also have desired calls to action as determined by your marketing department. This may be to download something, arrange a meeting, buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, and so on. Otherwise, a copywriter can come up with these for you, based on the information in the brief.

Of course, your brief should also include your budget and expected deadlines.

How the Melbourne copywriter ensures the result matches the brief

I know that most businesses are time-poor, so I can create a brief based on a short questionnaire that a client can fill out at their leisure. This will hit upon all the points above, including some others to ensure their copy really punches through.

After the questionnaire is complete, I call the client to discuss the finer points and get agreement on certain aspects. I want to ensure there’s an iron-clad level of understanding across the brief. This may be included in a detailed scope of work and proposal, also outlining my expectations from the client.

I then write a tone and style example, encompassing three variations to choose from. This way there’s even fewer revisions in terms of getting the feel of the piece right.

I’ve helped hundreds of businesses this way, with exceptional results!

To get Melbourne’s best copywriting, contact me below!

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