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  • Alison Haley

How to Provide a Good Brief to your Freelance Supplier

You know your own business better than anyone else and if you’ve chosen a graphic designer, copywriter or marketing services freelancer, to help you promote it then it’s vital they understand what you want from them so they can deliver exactly what you want.

You may have ideas whizzing around in your head but, if you don’t communicate them as fully as possible, you could end up with something you don’t want or like and may even waste your money on extra time your supplier takes to make changes that could have been avoided.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Be clear what you want to achieve and what you don’t want.

  2. Do you have a budget?

  3. What is your deadline?

  4. Have a rough idea of what you think you want, like or have been inspired by.

  5. Be mindful of making changes - these can often incur additional costs.

  6. Ask for a review document.

Be clear about what you want to achieve and what you don’t want. When briefing your freelance supplier tell them exactly what you’re expecting and anything that they need to be wary of, such as anything you really want to avoid or dislike.

It’s always better to give more information than too little.

Do you have a budget? Before you contact your supplier, it may be worthwhile having a figure in mind of how much you want to spend.

Most freelancers typically charge an hourly rate of between £20 right up to £50 per hour (and beyond!). Some prefer to charge a half day or full day rate. Some jobs can be quick, depending on the expertise of your freelancer, but others can take quite a long time, especially if there are many facets to your job.

Some will also be prepared to quote you a fee for the full project. If you tell them what you can afford then there is often room for negotiation.

Do bear in mind that you’re asking for professional help from people who have experience and that does carry a cost.

Also, if you’re asking a freelancer to design and arrange printing, sourcing or have something made for you then these costs will be added to their quote. It’s wise to make allowances for these.

What is your deadline? When giving a brief be clear about when you need the job completed by. Freelancers can have a few jobs on the go at once and will need to schedule time to complete your work. If it’s urgent you can discuss timings but it’s best to be realistic because some jobs can take a lot longer than you think and a rushed job can leave you feeling that you haven’t received value for money.

What inspires you? If you’re hiring a professional to design, write or make something for you, the brief is your opportunity to get across what you want but it’s very easy to not really know what you’re expecting because you haven’t had time to think about it or you have an idea but find it hard to describe your vision.

If that’s the case, why not look for images, articles or similar looking items to those you have in mind and include these as part of your brief. While your supplier can’t copy other people’s work, it will give them an idea of the sort of thing you’re looking for.

Changes can be costly When you’re discussing your requirements be aware that many marketing services agencies and freelance designers and copywriters will charge for any amendments you ask them to make to the proof they send you. Most will offer you one or two changes as part of their quote but will then charge you for further changes, after that, so make sure you know what your particular supplier’s policy is.

Ask them what constitutes a change or amendment - is it one email with a list of amendments on one project, maybe a colour change on your logo, business card or flyer or just one paragraph or image change?

Finally, ask your freelance supplier to send you a review document which outlines what you have told them about your requirements. You can use this document throughout your project to make sure your project is on track.

Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? Do you need help with any aspects of your Marketing? Contact us now.

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