It is difficult to stress enough how important briefs are. That simple page of information that tells you your job no matter what kind of freelance copywriting you do. Whether you’re writing ordinary copy for an advertising campaign or targeted SEO copywriting – all the information you need is contained in that first brief.
The brief tells you everything you need to know
The brief should give you all the information you need to complete your job and give the client and amazing piece of freelance copywriting. A standard brief will have the date of issue, the writer’s name, the client you are writing for, the type of project and the length of the piece in words. It will also carry the deadline and that all-important piece of information – how much you’re getting paid for the work. In addition you should expect to have a description of the work expected and any specific guidelines from the clients themselves. Briefs can run into several pages or be a short paragraph, but all the information you need to complete the job is contained in that first section.
Focus on the client information
The most important part of a brief, particularly for freelance copywriting, is the client information. This should be your starting point when beginning your research. If your copywriting is to find favour with the client, then it has to be written to fit in with their existing style. This is particularly important when writing SEO copy, as poor quality freelance copywriting on behalf of an SEO specialist will not only make you look bad, it will make the company look bad as well. Once you have researched your client, then you can move on to the actual assignment and begin your background research in more detail.
Make sure you include their specific recommendations in your freelance copywriting
If the client has made specific recommendations, do not ignore these just because they don’t fit in with your interpretation of the brief. The client is always right. If they do not want their name mentioned in the piece, then don’t think you are doing them a favour by adding it, however glowing the terms.
Keep to the deadline
Finally, never ignore the deadline. A copywriter that does not adhere to deadlines is a copywriter that is soon out of work. If for any reason you cannot meet the deadline, let the client know in plenty of time. An entire campaign could hang on you meeting your delivery times, so do not be afraid to turn a brief down if you know you’re not going to be able to make the cut.
Briefs are the foundation stones of a freelance copywriter’s life. Treat them with the respect they deserve.