THIS IS HOW TO NAIL A COPYWRITING BRIEF.
Ok so here’s the scenario: You’re sitting at your desk, a really exciting copywriting brief on your screen from a client you love and you can’t wait to get started. You’ve got a fresh cup of coffee, a banging playlist on your headphones and the next couple of hours dedicated to crafting the most creative, beautiful copy ever written by the hand of man.
Then two hours later, you’re staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor, absolutely convinced that you are the worst copywriter in the history of the world.
Creative copywriting briefs are an opportunity to explore language and writing in a way that will truly appeal to your client’s target audience. But often, the hard work and the graft behind the writing can start even before you start typing.
We’ve put together some handy tips on nailing your creative copywriting brief and impressing your client with your professional writing skills:
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
With every brief you receive, there are certain questions that you should be asking your client before you begin writing. It’s important to understand exactly where your client is coming from, what their goals are for the piece and who they want to target with your writing. You can also ask questions about where the piece will be shared and delivered, when it will be published and how - to help you gain a clear picture of the final product.
We recommend asking some of the following questions to help inform your brief:
Who is the piece going to be read by?
What is your preferred tone of voice for the piece i.e. professional, friendly, creative, etc… ?
When and where will the piece be published?
What is your goal for this piece? What are the desired outcomes?
Do you have any other pieces of work that you feel are similar to compare to or draw inspiration from?
Are there any keywords you would like to include in this piece?
The answers to these questions can help you develop a strong background for both your client and the piece you’re about to write, providing essential context clues to inspire your writing.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
No matter whether your client is a long-term customer or a brand new sign-up, it’s important to do your research before you start writing your piece.
Taking the time to research the industry your client works in, their brand, their style and their products can make a huge difference to the way you craft your piece and the language you use to draft it. From picking up on small lexical differences in the way competitors write to understanding the insider terminology used by ‘those in the know’, your research can help you to craft a strong brand voice that will be relatable and identifiable for all target readers.
Good research can also help to prepare you for future pieces from the same client, as it allows you to demonstrate your efforts and hard work in exploring their industry and organisation. If you’re able to learn the language they use, get to grips with their colloquialisms and dive deep into the nitty gritty of what they do, you’ll be providing them with a solid reason to work with you again.
CHECK YOUR SOURCES
When writing about any industry or product, it’s important to analyse your sources of information for their legitimacy and reliability before referencing them in your piece. The information given on a client’s website or product page is usually a safe bet, but when exploring the wider world of the industry, it’s easy to get sucked in by unreliable writers and websites.
Ask your client for a list of reference sites and sources they trust to provide the essential background information on their products and try to find out how they categorise them as ‘trustworthy’. This can form a good guide for you to measure any new sites with, and help you to distinguish the good source from the bad.
FIND THE RIGHT TOV
Tone of voice is everything when it comes to creative copywriting. Although the word ‘creative’ implies a little bit more freedom and artistic license than formal copywriting, it’s still important to find the right balance of artsy and professional to meet your client’s needs.
If you have the time, it could be useful to write a selection of test paragraphs or sentences to help your client choose their preferred tone of voice. Each paragraph could be written in a slightly different tone, ranging from simple and professional to dreamy and poetic, whilst still describing the same topic or product.
This allows the client to understand the range of your writing abilities and select the TOV they feel is right for their piece.
MAKE A NOTE OF CLIENT FEEDBACK
After pouring your heart and soul into a piece of copywriting, it can be a big blow to discover that client needs to make some edits and changes. However, it’s important to take their feedback on board and note it down as a reference for future writing projects.
Say, for example, the client picks up on certain words or phrases they don’t like throughout the copy - it’s a good idea to make a note of these words and avoid them in your next piece of copy for them. Or if they make any technical changes in the descriptions of products, keep track of them to ensure that your descriptions will be more accurate next time.
Each and every piece of feedback should be seen as an instruction, rather than a criticism, and can help you become a better copywriter in the eyes of your client. Make notes of any comments that repeatedly pop up and make a conscious effort to correct them in future, to prove to your client that you can grow and evolve to suit their needs and requirements.
With every creative copywriting brief you receive, you’re allowing yourself to learn as a copywriter, educate yourself on your client and shape your writing into something exciting and innovative for future projects.
Taking the time to really get to grips with the copywriting process can be a fun and unique journey, and can help you truly nail your next creative brief.
Find out more about our incredible copywriting and creative services from LVE THT and get in touch to chat to our team!
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