How to brief your copywriter is a subject I’ve talked about before, but it’s something that’s vital to the success of your copywriting project.
Marketing projects come in all shapes and sizes: website copywriting, content for a brochure, direct mail letters, newsletters, email marketing, case studies, scripts, reports, whitepapers, internal communications – you get the picture.
Although the audiences will be different the basic information required is the same, which is why I make use of a questionnaire that’s designed to extract as much information as possible so I can put together a comprehensive proposal and quote.
Whether this is completed remotely or in a face-to-face meeting, it’s important you give me as much information as possible. Most clients I’ve worked with are delighted to do this. However, on occasion I do get just the bare bones of information because the client assumes, as a writer, I’ll be able to fill in the blanks.
I’m good, but I’m not that good.
Briefing your copywriter
For many business owners, their thought process when considering using a professional copywriter starts with:
“Why do I need a copywriter? You couldn’t possibly know my business better than I do.”
That statement is factually correct. I don’t know your business as well as you do, which is why I’m the perfect person to write for you.
When you write your copy, you tend to write about your business and achievements. Being so involved in it, it’s tough to stand back and see your company from your customers’ point of view.
And that view is entirely focused on what you can do for them. They don’t care about how your business is run, where it is, how many employees you have or how big your premises are, they just want to know is that you’re going to make their life easier.
Do I have to brief you? Can’t you just write it?
On occasion, clients have been somewhat surprised that I need their input on their project.
They seem to be under the illusion that professional copywriters are also crystal ball gazers who know everything about everything.
Taking that approach would be somewhat like telling a builder: “I want you to build me a house. Get on with it.”
He’ll want to know:
- What style you want – detached, semi, bungalow
- How many bedrooms
- How big the rooms should be
- How many rooms you want
- How big is it going to be
And that’s just for starters.
You wouldn’t dream of doing this so why expect your copywriter to write copy from your instruction “I want you to write my website – get on with it”?
Thankfully, these are few and far between with the majority of clients enjoying the collaborative nature of the copywriter/client relationship.
Your copywriter is an asset, not an expense
A great copywriter is a valuable asset to any company and a worthwhile investment.
Using my marketing and writing experience, your company will gain the upper hand. Not only through online exposure, but also because your copy will engage the reader and show them how you will make their life easier.
Understanding the inner workings of your customers’ minds (as I do) will generate content that shows them that they are your priority. You’re a company that cares about them and wants to help them. In today’s world that’s pretty powerful stuff.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter who has worked with many big brands to focus their content on their customers’ needs.