When you commission someone to work for you, you’re never always entirely sure what the end result will be.

That’s unless you are certain that they have a clear understanding of the task at hand or they have consistently produced high standard of work for you over a sustained period of time and you feel you can trust them.

That’s why it’s essential to write a clear brief that covers everything you need and leaves no room for ambiguity.

Here are some top handy hints on how to write a brief that is easy to follow and will get you the results you want:

1) Project management

First, you need to provide your writer with all of the basic details about the project.

As a bare minimum, you must include a title and a short summary of the outcome that you want to achieve.

Keep it as short and simple as possible, but also make sure that it covers off all of the key messages that you want to make.

2) Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How will you get there?

To start with, you need to set the scene for your writer.

Give as much relevant background as possible on your brand, your key products or services (including their features and benefits), how they are made and/or distributed, your core values and market, your style and tone of voice, and the main challenges and opportunities that you face.

Then you must outline how you intend to move the brand forward, the changes that will have to be made and the communication strategy you will use to do so.

That includes the key messages you want to get across, the style and tone of voice you will adopt, and the format you will do it in.

3) Sources

In order to produce the best possible copy, your writer needs to use a range of different relevant sources, so make it easy for them to access what they need.

These can include arranging for them to talk with experts inside and outside your organisation to get their wisdom and insight.

It should also extend to them doing their own research, and looking at background material and reports that will inform the narrative.

4) Fee and timeframe

Within the brief, you also need to include the agreed fee and deadline for the work to be completed.

This is usually agreed by both parties before issuing the full brief, but it must be included so that it’s there clearly in writing and is adhered to.

Should the timeframe need to be extended for a valid reason, such as the scope of the brief has changed, you should agree this again in writing.

5) Questions and feedback

A well-written brief should leave no room for uncertainty.

But there may well be follow-up questions your writer may have that need to be addressed after they have read the brief, so be prepared to answer them.

It’s also important to seek feedback from your writer once they have fulfilled the brief to your satisfaction to see how the process went and what can be improved upon.

A clear and well-written brief will ensure that you get the results you want every time: your copy will be of the highest quality, you can work more seamlessly with your writer, and you will save time on to-ing and fro-ing with any unnecessary queries.

  • Do you need help with copywriting your website, blogs, articles, newsletters or social media? Give me a call on +44 (0)7949 590213 or email alex@alexwrightcopywriter.com