Feb 14

How to brief your copywriter



Hi all,

Today I am publishing a guest blog post of lovely Sarah. She is a copywriter in Essex and she wrote a blog post for you about how to brief your copywriter. Like with everything else that you are outsourcing, your outcome is as good as your briefing. So this is very important. Read through this blog post and you know everything about briefing your copywriter for the next job.

If you would like to know more about Sarah or contact her, here are her details:

Website: www.junipercopy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/junipercopy

Twitter: @sazk

“As a copywriter, I help businesses achieve results with words, whether that’s increased sales, hits, or brand awareness. To do this well, I need to really understand my clients – and that’s where a great brief comes in.

If you want your investment in a copywriter to pay off, take the time to brief them properly; unfortunately, it’s not enough to say you want a flyer by next Monday, and it should be ‘punchy’!

Here’s my list of everything you should include when briefing a copywriter, saving you time and money in the process.

  1. You and your business

You may know everything about your business, but your copywriter won’t. Tell them:

  • What your business does
  • How customers benefit from your products/services
  • What you offer that your competitors don’t (your USP)
  1. The project
  • What do you need? Is it a web page? A flyer? An advertorial?
  • What, in one sentence, should it achieve?
  • What’s the preferred deadline?
  • Is this project part of a bigger project? What’s the context?
  1. The audience

Your copywriter should understand your audience to reach out to them in the best way. Include:

  • Any relevant detail – age, gender, occupation, social activities… (e.g. Students aged 18-25 in the UK who enjoy outdoor activities, but have limited income)
  • Any secondary audiences (e.g. I sell nutrition shakes to health food shops, but I want to attract gyms)
  • Your audience’s current knowledge of your business
  1. The content

Now you can tell them what you want your copy to say. Include:

  • Your key message(s) in bullet points
    • Assume your copywriter knows nothing about the product/service/event you want them to write about
    • Add any phrases or straplines to be included
    • g. For a web page advertising a fundraising event:
      • The date: 25th July
      • The time: 9am for 10am
      • Venue: Longfield Park
      • Purpose: A 3km run for all ages for St Catherine’s Hospice
      • Entry details: Complete form and return by 1st July, with £5 fee. Further details and sponsorship form will come by email.
      • Further info: Email info@stcatshospice.org.uk
      • Include strapline: ‘With love comes peace’
    • Any calls to action
      • What do you want your readers to do?
      • Where should the copywriter direct the readers?
    • Expected word count
  1. The tone and style

Your copywriter will create the tone you want to employ. So what is it? Serious? Humorous? Casual? Formal? Conversational? Educational? Upmarket?

How would you describe your business? Tips for conveying this include:

  • A ‘this but not this’ list – e.g. ‘We are fun but not childish’ or ‘We are professional but not stuffy’
  • Likening your business to a celebrity or ‘type’ – e.g. Taylor Swift, or a 44 year-old businessman who drives a Z4 Roadster and wants to retire at 50

It’s also useful to include any examples of copy that you love or hate. You can also detail your competitors and what you like/dislike about their approach.

  1. Any last words…

I always ask clients to finish with anything else I should know. Maybe they have ‘house rules’, such as never shortening the business’ name. Include that information now to save time (and money) in unnecessary rewrites.

Include everything here, and your copywriter will love you! What’s better, you’ll really love your new copy.”


Work on the content for a copywriter brief in Sicily

Do you need to work out who your ideal client is? What makes you different? Come to my Marketing Retreat in Sicily and work with 10 other entrepreneurs on your marketing strategy whilst enjoying the view over a beautiful vineyard. Early bird tickeets are available until the end of February. More info here.


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Get prepared by attending one of my free webinars about the ‘6 steps to become your own marketing expert’. There are multiple dates available. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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