If you have found a good freelance copywriter, then half the job is done. That is not
enough though, to guarantee great results. You need to collaborate effectively with
your copywriter to get the best results. Briefing your freelance copywriter effectively
is much more likely to enable your copywriter to deliver precise, persuasive and
1. Define the person you are talking to
Think of your audience as one person and try to describe them in as much detail as
possible: demographically and psychographically. Who are they? What makes them
tick? Your freelance copywriter needs to know this to be able to craft communication
that will touch your audience directly to create the desired impact.
2. State the purpose of communication
Spell out in clear terms what you need to convey to the audience and what you want
them to do next after they read it. Is it a product launch, or an effort to change an
incorrect consumer perception, or a promotion? What do you want the reader to
remember? What do you want them to do? Be specific when you brief your freelance
copywriter so that they can focus on the best way to achieve your objective.
3. Provide relevant facts and pointers
Help your copywriter get off to a running start. Facts are the real ammunition in
developing effective communication. Provide relevant facts about your company,
history, products and customers and include pointers or insights about key messages.
A conscientious, committed freelance copywriter is never shy of assimilating
information because they know that buried in the hard data will be little gems that
inspire big ideas. Your copywriter will take your brief and deliver a creative
translation of the key message.
4. Spell out the tone you need
Using the wrong tone dilutes your message or creates a discord in the minds of your
audience. Don't make your copywriter work in the dark. You know your company and
your customers, so when you brief your freelance copywriter make sure to suggest the
tone you need. For example do you need friendly, formal, technical, chatty or
matter-of-fact? Help your copywriter to ensure that the communication is couched in
the right language. A good freelance copywriter will provide feedback and
recommendations but it all starts with your brief.
5. Be specific about boundaries
Work with your copywriter to demarcate the essentials: What size is the brochure?
Will it be a simple 4-page brochure or an elaborate 16-page corporate booklet? Will it
be mostly text or do you need to allow space for lots of large feature images? If it is a
video script, how many seconds of voiceover are needed? The best copywriting in the
world is ultimately useless if it is too long. A freelance copywriter with skill and
imagination can create maximum impact with minimal words. To avoid ending up
with a round peg for a square hole you need to set the boundaries when you brief your
Arm your freelance copywriter with a good brief, collaborate with them and provide
helpful feedback. Do this and your chances of achieving an effective communication
piece skyrocket. Allan Spencer-Stewart is a sought after freelance copywriter and
Founder and Director of international copywriting and marketing communications
agency, Marcom Write. Online, on paper and on message, Marcom Write copywriters
and marketing consultants produce copywriting that sells.