A preliminary project brief consultation session with your freelance copywriter sounds more tedious than it is. It’s actually quite an exhilarating process--a perfect forum for creativity and problem solving.

Ideas about your project brief are shared, analyzed, expanded, scrapped and reborn. Questions are asked to better understand. The brainstorming is fun and dynamic, and is geared towards developing the most effective marketing message for your dollar.

A meeting like this doesn’t even feel like work—that is, if you come prepared.

Not coming prepared to the initial copywriting consultation is like enthusiastically calling to order pizza, but forgetting what you wanted to order, so you end up spending a few stuttering seconds hemming and hawing until you get it right.

Discussing the details of your project brief isn't exactly like ordering pizza though. If you don't come prepared with a detailed and accurate explanation of your project, you could spend up to an hour scrambling over project details, saying the wrong thing and talking in circles.

That's not very productive. But good thing there are ways to prevent that from happening.

Learn and apply these healthy business habits, and you'll turn every copywriting consultation into a productive brainstorming session:

Explain exactly what your product or service is

Copywriters make your product or service their lives for the duration they work on your project. In order for them to create the most compelling marketing message for you, they need to know exactly what your offering is so they can paint with the right brush.

Having this knowledge ready for the project consultation will allow your copywriter to sooner determine which specific aspects of your product or service are the most unique and compelling so they can be emphasized in the marketing message.

This will then prompt your copywriter to request more detailed information on your offering's flagship features right then and there. Therefore, relevant work can begin right after the session, and you'll free up time and move your project along faster.

Provide background information on your business

This question provides copywriters with useful information on the reputation of the company behind the product or service being promoted. It's this reputation that builds credibility when promoting your offering.

Be ready with your company's background, success stories, customer testimonials or any proof of excellence. The point is to give your copywriter material to use that will position your company as a proven and trustworthy vendor.

Also, supplying your copywriter with this information quickly will allow him or her to seamlessly fuse it with the promotion's overarching marketing message early on.

Hone in and identify your prospects

You probably have an idea of who you want to reach. Or you may have an idea of what features your prospects desire. Either way, you need to emphasize and extract a connection between your offering’s features and the particular prospects that want them and show it clearly to your copywriter.

If you don't know exactly who you are selling to, then give as much information about your offering's features to your copywriter as possible. From there, you can both brainstorm what exact prospect group will want your offering the most.

Provide an offer that underscores the promotion

Will you offer a free trial if prospects sign up? Or will you offer a discount to prospects that immediately respond to the promotion?

Either way, your copywriter needs to know what you're willing to give the prospect in exchange for a response.

If you don't deliver this information as soon as possible, your copywriter might not know where to begin. Many copywriters like to write a promotion with a specific offer in mind. It helps shape the preceding sales arguments. It’s akin to a movie’s ending determining the scenes that precede it.

And your copywriter can’t use an offer that isn’t provided by you anyway, so make your offer available from the start.

Make clear what the promotion is supposed to do

You know you want to get prospects to respond to your marketing message. But your copywriter needs to know exactly what you want the promotion to do so he can write with strategic purpose.

If you want your promotion to make a final sale, for example, then let your copywriter know this, so he or she can request further information to accomplish this goal.  

These crucial elements help determine for the copywriter how long the promotion should be, or, in what tone it should be written in so as to achieve your desired marketing goal.

In other words, making the strategic intent of the marketing piece clear makes it easier for you and your copywriter to ask more intelligent questions, which in turn will ensure that the right selling techniques are applied.

Sooner, rather than later

The aim of these tips is to start your marketing project off on the right foot with minimal confusion and potential for mistakes.

And if you want every one of your copywriting consultation sessions to run as smoothly as an idea-rich, collaborative brainstorm session—where time wasted is kept to a minimum—then follow these guidelines.

Your copywriter will appreciate the astute professionalism you present, and you'll get on-target marketing material at your disposal even faster.
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