Outsourcing content creation is a delicate process. On the one hand, businesses with less creative talent than their competitors can even the playing field somewhat. On the other hand, have you ever played Pictionary?

Just as it is with brewing the perfect cuppa, there’s an art to briefing creatives effectively. You need to strike a balance between giving them their creative freedom and guiding them towards the kind of content you want.

Give them as much relevant information as possible

We’ve all had those nightmare bosses and project managers who expect their creatives to build cathedrals from a trail of breadcrumbs. If you want something specific, you need to set a clear path and give your creatives everything they need to make your vision a reality.

The more precise your brief is, the easier it will be for your creative agency to deliver what you want.

Aim more like Private Jackson (he’s from Saving Private Ryan if you didn’t know. What? You’ve not seen it!?) and less like a Stormtrooper (I REALLY hope you get that reference, we can’t be friends otherwise).

Provide reference examples

Explaining your brief clearly will reduce the scope for misunderstandings, but providing reference examples of the kind of thing you are looking for should clear up any misunderstandings that might remain.

Whenever you are outsourcing creative work to someone else, it pays to be concise and precise. No one is ever going to complain about having a brief that is too clear for them to work from. On the other hand, ask any creative about the worst briefs they’ve ever had; their war stories will blow your mind.

Proofread your brief before you send it

The clearer your brief is, the more time your creative agency can spend fulfilling it. If your brief is difficult to read or contradictory in its demands (kind of like one of BoJo’s press conferences) it will slow down whoever is tasked with fulfilling it.

Don’t send your brief off until you have read through it and are sure it makes sense (looking at you again Boris!). Remember, the person who will end up reading your brief doesn’t know your business or your goals. Any inconsistencies or unclear demands in your brief are going to slow them down and cause confusion.

Set realistic deadlines

Good work takes time to produce.

You should set deadlines you are happy with; far too many businesses set a deadline with the expectation that they will receive the work before then.

Many of the best creatives do their best work when the deadline is looming. Trust us; it’s all part of being a creative genius! Whatever deadline you set though, you should be happy to receive the work on that day and not a moment before. Just don’t forget to allow time for revisions and amends, this can add 1-2 days onto the process.

When you work with an outside creative agency, it is your responsibility to provide them with a clear and comprehensive brief and doing it well will save you both time (and more importantly) money!

Minimising any potential issues in your brief as much as possible will make life easier, both for yourself and your agency. Stick to the advice above, and you can perfect your brief writing process in no time!