How to brief a writer – Part two

writer briefcase

So if you’re coming from How to brief a writer – Part one, you are ready to learn the next steps of how to brief a writer.

You will have already covered the elements of planning a brief.

The benefit of reading this article is that you can get a heads-up on what to expect, what might be happening behind the scenes throughout the process, and tips on how you can respond to achieve your objectives.

An overview of the process from brief to final copy

The brief

So with your planning sorted, where to from here? Organise a meet-up with a writer to see how they can add value to your project. Don’t be ashamed to meet up with more than one and be honest about this with them – this will encourage the writer to really think about how they can be most beneficial to your project and what expertise they can share.

In the meet-up present your brief and allow time for the writer to ask questions, give suggestions and clarify any points that may not have been thought through. In this brief meeting, this is usually the point where I like to get a better idea of who you are trying to target with the writing and what tone you are wanting to achieve that upholds your brand voice, but cuts through to your audience in a way that makes them listen.

At this point, feel confident that you can also be unashamed to ask about the writer’s pricing structure: do they quote by the hour or per project? Will they offer a discounted rate for ongoing work and can you work out a contract or will you keep it quoted per job.

The quote

Within 24-48 hours you should expect a quote to arrive in your inbox.

Now it is important to respond to the writer. Clarify the quote, feel free to ask to negotiate the cost. There may be room to reduce the amount of rounds for drafts to lower price. Whether you choose to go ahead with the writer or not, it is etiquette to respond to the quote with whether or not you will be going ahead.

If proceeding, you can expect the writer to begin work.

Exceeding the scope of the brief

What happens when the work exceeds scope of the brief?

It’s so important to have open and honest communication with your writer.

Something I certainly value most is knowing the expectations of my client and knowing that we can talk about money with no shame. If budget is a real concern for you, I want you to know that I’ll have your best interests at heart. I’ll look for ways to keep costs low and not spring any nasty surprises when the invoice comes around.

It is for this reason that should a job look to be reaching it’s quoted threshold, I will alert the client that beyond that round, additional hours will be charged. This allows the client to decide on whether following tidy-ups can be done in-house or whether to proceed ahead.

There is no shame in having these conversations. It’s helpful and mutually beneficial to understand the ability for a project to expand and change and how each party wishes to respond.

The final copy

Once your final copy is delivered, it is helpful to let the writer know that no further edits are needed. The writer will then send you an invoice to be paid within 14 days. It’s also important to note that if a writer does not hear back from your last draft provided, after 14 days they may send an invoice with assumption that you are happy with the last revision. Of course, every writer’s terms and conditions may vary, but the above is a great framework to have in mind if wondering how the process may play out.

So it’s as easy as that. If you have found the two-part How to brief a writer series helpful I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or feel free to shoot me an email at

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