A copywriting project is no different from other projects.
For it to be successful you need to make sure everything is clearly defined.
Setting expectations early is the easiest way to ensure the project runs to scope, budget, and time. It makes the copywriter and the client's life less stressful.
In this article, I’ll explain each part of the copywriting brief with examples and provide you with a free template you can start using today.
What is a copywriting brief?
A copywriting brief is a document outlining the deliverables, cost, timelines, and any other information you need to agree on before you start a copywriting project.
It’s a necessary piece of documentation since it holds all parties accountable. The copywriter is held accountable for delivering to the specifications and timeframe. The client is also held accountable for acknowledging what is in scope along with the cost of the project.
What to include in a copywriting brief
1. Relevant title
Yes, this is basic. But we’re professionals here.
It’s important to make sure the first page of the brief is titled appropriately. It should include the copywriter's details and the client's details. If you want to include details such as website and address you can include this.
2. Video Summary
A video summary isn’t essential to a copywriting brief.
However, most stakeholders (everyone involved) will skim-read the brief and miss key elements. A video summary is another layer of defense to prevent miscommunication. Most people will also appreciate the effort of putting together a video summary.
This should be done last although it’s included at the top of the document so it’s the first thing everyone watches.
3. Project Objective
The project objective is a summary of what you want to achieve.
Do you plan on writing a landing page? A Facebook ad? Maybe even a long-form sales email?
Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve make sure it's very clear to everyone. You don’t want any room for misinterpretation of the task.
Set the tone early by making the project objective obvious and compelling. You’ll also want to briefly explain how or why you’re doing this. For most people, additional context is important.
4. Scope & deliverables
This is where you need to be specific on what it is you plan on delivering.
You don’t want any ambiguity in your deliverables. The clearer you are the smoother everything will go. Here’s the difference between a poor deliverable and a specific deliverable.
Poor deliverable: Optimized email marketing campaign.
Highly specific deliverable: Email marketing campaign that spans over eight emails with ~3,000 words in total. The campaign will include optimized subject lines, CTA’s, and abide by email deliverability best practices. All eight emails will be written and edited in a Google Doc.
6. Cost Structure
This section is pretty straightforward. Each deliverable should be assigned a cost or price. Even if there’s only one key deliverable you should include it. All stakeholders want to be aware of the cost. You may include a comment that explains the cost, deliverable, or cost per 100 additional words.
7. Copywriting questionnaire
A questionnaire of some sort is usually required for all copywriting engagements.
It’s pretty hard to write effective copy without first knowing who your audience is. The template includes four key questions, however, you can expand this to match your requirements.
8. Supporting resources
This is an optional section.
However, I like to include resources that justify what I plan to do. It builds additional context and trust. If there's a blog post, youtube video, study, or reference site feel free to include it here.
Download your free copywriting brief template
Download your copywriting brief template here: Be sure to copy it into your drive.
When should you use a copywriting brief?
You can use a copywriting brief if you’re a copywriter who wants to send a proposal to a client or a marketer who wants to assign work to a copywriter.
The brief works in both instances provided you tweak the language to suit the recipient. The template can be customized to your preferences or branding.
Related article: How to find copywriting clients fast