In this article you’ll learn the #1 reason writing projects fail…and how to make
sure YOU don’t get the blame!
It all boils down to a simple but very powerful planning tool…the Project Brief.
In advertising and marketing agencies they’re called Creative Briefs, and a job
doesn’t move forward without one. Sophisticated marketers have learned that
certain core questions MUST be answered if the project is to succeed.
Creative Briefs are as individual as the agencies that use them, but they all have
points in common. Their goal is to define the project, clearly state the objectives,
and provide critical information to the team charged with executing the
Some of the most important questions to be answered include:
• Who is our audience?
• What lists are we using?
• What is the product’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
• What are the key “pains” of our audience?
• What is our offer?
• What are the objections we’ll need to overcome?
• Who is our competition?
My business-to-business Creative Brief has 33 such questions, and my business-to-
consumer has 44. What’s more, I have a Creative Brief specific to my copywriting specialty, the software industry.
I don’t write a word until the Creative Brief is complete and I have all the
information I need to write a powerful direct mail package, online promotion,
website, or what-have-you. With a properly completed Creative Brief, you the
writer will be able to write strong copy that’s supported by other essential
elements for success, such as quality lists, a great offer, and a smart strategy.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T USE A CREATIVE BRIEF?
Be prepared for trouble. Not only have I lived it, but I often help my coaching
students out of “hot spots.” Writing without a plan practically ensures you’ll fall
into one or more of these traps:
• Your concepts and ideas are off the mark
• You lose money and time in heavy revisions
• You hand in unacceptable work
• Your client’s promotion fails
• You miss that all-important deadline
The benefit of using a Creative Brief for every writing project has been proven
thousands of times with successful results. Using a Creative Brief dramatically
increases a promotion’s chance for success because both parties (copywriter and
client) have crafted a plan that has considered all of the elements required for
A strong Creative Brief also gives the copywriter an opportunity to assess the
project’s strengths and weaknesses and make changes. For instance, the writer
might argue that the offer needs beefing up. Now’s the time to craft a good
offer…not later, when it costs time and money to make the change!
Best of all, a Creative Brief gets the “grunt work” out of the way. With a well-conceived Creative Brief in hand, you can:
• Tackle the project with confidence
• Work quickly, without starts and stops, and earn more
• Enjoy the process instead of stressing out
The Creative Brief is so important to the business freelancer that I usually
introduce it to my students within the first two or three coaching sessions. If you’re interested in learning how you can take advantage of master-level
knowledge, documents, and processes for the business freelancer, you’re invited to visit my Coaching site and ask for a free consultation at http://TheCopywritersCoach.com.
Award-winning copywriter Chris Marlow has written for the nation’s leading
businesses for more than two decades. For information on powerful copywriting,
Chris has also created the world’s only large-scale survey of copywriter pricing
and economics. Find out what others charge and earn at http://www.FreelancersBusinessStore.com.
And for free information on how to quickly build a profitable freelance business,
sign up for Chris’ Freelancer’s Business Bulletin at http://www.FreelancersBusinessBulletin.com.
PO Box 1134, Palm Desert, CA.
P: 760-340-2045/F: 760-406-6200
© Chris Marlow, all rights reserved.