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February 28, 2023

How to brief your copywriter

Copywriter Sydney

We’ve all been there before.

You have outsourced a job, it was actually a pretty simple job, but you are finding that maybe, you could have done the job yourself given the back and forth and time it is taking to “get it right” or “sound like us”.

So, what’s making it all so complicated, fiddly and difficult to ‘get’ concepts or the company brand message across to your copywriter? Chances are- it’s not them, it’s you.

We see it all too often within this industry, clients don’t brief their outsource work to the best it can and should be. It’s not totally a blame game though, a lot of copywriters read an initial job and think “They sent examples and I get what they want, no need to complete a brief”. Ah and that right their people, is where it can all go so horribly wrong.

When there is no detailed brief and contract between the client and your copywriter, it makes it difficult for both parties to look back and say, ‘But you said…’ or ‘But we agreed…’.

Everything of course, well hopefully, gets there in the end but it’s the time and money wasted that leaves a sour taste. This can all be avoided with a proper copywriting brief. Let’s take a moment and address what exactly a copywriter brief is, why it’s important and how one benefits your business.

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What is a copywriter brief?


Basically, it’s a document that ensures your skilled copywriter just ‘gets it’. It’s the dream that makes combines your industry understanding, business, and ideas, blend deliciously with your copywriter’s talent for quirky or slick messaging and advertising know-how.

Hey, surprise – it’s not a thing that a client and copywriter can read each other’s minds — so briefs are what’s up. A briefing session is a great idea and it can allow you to cover all the essentials you need your copy and content to incorporate. It gets everyone on the same page, and your copywriter delivering the content you actually want.

BUT the only way you’re going to avoid all the headaches and have an easy, smooth sailing experience, is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Investing the time to complete a brief with the below details will pay off faster than you can blink! So, let’s blink!

Most importantly, and obviously, start with your contact details:

  • Your name. In particular the name of the person the copywriter will be sending drafts to or asking questions.
  • Your number and You want to be contactable, obviously.
  • Your business names
  • Your website
  • Your social media handles
  • Any additional platforms where the copy will be used
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To follow this, it’s important to create a brief breakdown of what the copy is going to be used for – will it be for your website? An email campaigns? A pamphlet? A script for TVC? A blog? This matter, trust us – this. matters. so. much. As it defines the writing style and method that’s needed and wanted – winner, winner.

Once you have this breakdown, educate your copywriter about you and the company. It’s nice to make it personal so your copywriter can feel like they are involved with your brand or company’s mission, why you started, how and what you are trying to achieve.

By doing this, your copywriter will be in and out obsessed with the objective of the copy. You will need to clearly convey what you aim to achieve for example, bringing customers into your pop-up store or educating them about the benefit of your new organic product. It’s important to stick to a focus here and own it. If you pick too many objectives, your copywriter may become confused with the mixed messages and focus on only one aim and there’s every chance it’s your least prioritised objective – what a waste!

Knowing what your objective is will also help your own company to understand who the copy is being written for. Like all briefing, it is so important to have an understanding of your demographic, their interests and any further details you can source from your data. Knowing the audience allows your copywriter to build a picture and adjust the language and tone of voice accordingly. For your copywriter, it’s important to let them know if the copy needs to be fun, formal or authoritative.

As well as your tone, it is useful for your copywriter if you can include what makes your company sing differently from your competitors. At this point, you can explain a little about who the competitors are and what you like or dislike about what they are doing. It’s very handy for a copywriter to see your competitors’ sites. They can then see what claims are made, your competitors’ tone and set you apart from this.

We think you get it –

the above information is to help your copywriter “get it right” but what about the mandatory information that they must include in copy. Do you have any?

Briefing mandatory information might include special product names, your trademark, your registered URL and any other phrases or slogans you want to include. You might also have documentation to back up your claims, case studies or reviews. Factor these into the brief for your copywriter or specify links to the material.

For any copy that is going onto the wide world web, make sure you note any SEO keywords or phrases you want incorporated. As the world of ranking is vast and very competitive, it’s important to remember that the longer you can have a keyword phrase, the higher your chance of ranking for it. For example, ‘Efficiency Hub Online Australia’ will perform better than ‘Efficiency Hub’ alone.


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