Whenever you are running a marketing campaign or starting up a new site, you’ve likely wondered, “Do I need a copywriter?” Especially when your business is picking up, you might not have time to write all the content you used to. But still, you understand that copywriting can have a profound impact on your sales and conversions, so you don’t want to pull the plug.
But when you have to pass your content work onto someone else, you can’t assume that your copywriters can read your mind. That is why if you are looking for a copywriter, you need to know how to formulate a high-quality project brief.
A project brief articulates your needs to the writer. A high-quality final product is reliant on your ability to articulate your needs to the copywriter you hire. Specifically, this means you need to give your writers relevant information for what you would like them to write about.
There are three elements of a project brief you should include to set you and your copywriters up for success. By ensuring that you know all three, you can more effectively go from “Do I need a copywriter?” into “How have I gone so long without one?”
Whether it’s a company memo or a blog post, the immediate question which follows “Do I need a copywriter?” should be “Who am I addressing?”
Sometimes this is an analytics question that can be answered by looking at user data. Other times, it’s a shot in the dark about who you hope is reading. Regardless, giving your copywriter a strong sense of who their audience is can have a significant effect on their writing.
Often it’s right after we write something ourselves that we think “I need a copywriter”. And this is a well-placed sentiment. The fact is, certain stylistic choices can significantly alter how a piece reads, and therefore, how your audience responds to it.
This is to say that there are technical aspects of writing which differentiate, for instance, a victory speech from an obituary; while either might inspire reverence, the mood-related nuances of writing each are fundamentally polarized by the expectations of the audience.
When you have an “I need a copywriter” moment, it’s important that this is not to say that you don’t know what to say, but rather that you don’t know how to articulate it effectively.
Copywriters are creatives, but they certainly aren’t mind-readers. If you leave them to piece together an ambiguous outline, your original message may be lost or obscured.
Fundamentally, even the most well-written memo is worthless if it doesn’t get the proper point across. Hence, it is imperative that your project briefing is concise in describing your messaging.
Ideally, the central point should be relevant, applicable, and actionable to the target audience.
For example, a memo on the dress code sent to remote workers is ineffective because it is not relevant. Similarly, a blog post calling for reduced meat consumption would be ineffective when presented to a vegan or vegetarian readership.
Great copywriters already have great researching skills. So when the thought of “I need a copywriter” turns into hiring one, you should consider beyond what your writer can search up.
In other words, definitions and explanations can save your copywriters time, but the real key to every good project brief is the unsearchable information. More specifically, that includes specifications that are particular to you, your company, or your clients.
Sometimes, it is a single anecdote that ties everything you’re trying to say together. Other times, there are specific examples that you feel take precedence over others.
Giving your copywriter the opportunity to incorporate your ideas will make the copy closer to what you would have written. But remember: “I need a copywriter” means that you need someone to write for you, not necessarily think for you.
Though it is true that hiring a copywriter can save you time, it is pivotal that you stay involved in the creative process. And that begins with creating a project brief that articulates details including your audience and desired messaging.
With an effective project brief, you will be on track to continue achieving the results you have been through your content marketing efforts.
So what are you waiting for? Book a consultation with a copywriter today.
Stephen Zhao is a copywriter, an editor, and is part of the Copywriters.com team. He has a background in sales and marketing.Hire Stephen