Freelance Brand Language Copywriter
What is a Freelance Brand Language Copywriter?
Ever sat down to write something and ended up staring at a blank page?
Even though you know what you want to say, you have no idea how to say it.
A Freelance Brand Language Copywriter is the person who helps you to position your brand and set its tone of voice.
And that’s where I come in.
How do we go about this?
There are no set rules.
Every organisation has a different structure and way of working.
I’ll tell you how I think I can best help you, but ultimately this will involve me and your team working together. So we’ll have to find a way that works best for you.
However, this is a fairly typical-ish ‘for instance’:
After we’ve agreed scope, fee and timeline, I’ll probably give you a bit of homework.
I’ll ask you some core questions about your brand and how you see it – history, competitors, target audiences and what you’re aiming for in the future.
This will help to get the ball rolling and give me a few angles to start playing with.
I may also ask for contact details of a handful of your clients, to (with your permission of course) ask questions about how they perceive your company and its products or services.
Armed with the information I glean from you, your clients and my own research, I’ll write a workshop that will take in the region of 3-6 hours to run through.
Again, this will totally depend on your unique circumstances.
Brand workshops are intense, very interactive and a lot of fun.
They often throw up all sorts of surprises. They’re brilliant for smashing pre-conceptions and getting key team members on board.
I’ve run sessions with business consultancies, charities, healthcare providers, accountants, engineering companies, estate agents, sports centres, insurers, architects, marketing agencies…
The ideal number of participants is usually somewhere between four and eight people; one or two on this side and three to six on yours. Any more than that and it usually takes more than one session.
During the brand workshop, we’ll work through several different exercises, all aimed at unearthing what makes you special and the best way to position your company.
I’ll go away with a pile of notes and let the dust settle before going back through everything we’ve discussed.
Buried in all of those ideas and opinions will be the germ of something that we can hang all of your communications on.
I’ll come back to you with a Brand Workshop Outcomes document a few days after our group session. You may feel that a few conclusions need tweaking here and there, but this will give me a solid platform to start weaving some creative magic from.
The meat and gravy
This is where we start to see the fruits of our labours.
Remember, this is a totally flexible, one-size-definitely-doesn’t-fit-all kind of thing, but the end results could be:
– Brand positioning (a neat snapshot of what you do/what you are/what you stand for/where you sit in the marketplace)
– Strapline (that two, three or four word hook that your brand carries with it wherever it goes)
– Vision (the goal that you’re aiming for)
– Mission (how you’ll realise your vision)
– Values (the code that defines how you operate)
– Brand narrative (if you only had two minutes to tell your story, this nails it)
All of the above not only helps to pin down what you need to say about your brand, but it’s expressed in the tone in which you need to say it.
Brand language guidelines
At this point I’m often asked to write a comprehensive brand language document. This provides a neat framework for anyone to refer to and write confidently from.
Brand guidelines usually cover all of the above bullet points, but will go into much more detail about tone of voice and writing style dos and don’ts.
These can be supplied as text for you to incorporate into existing visual brand guidelines. Or if you prefer, they can be supplied as a finished design (PDF).
What’s the end result?
Working with me as your Freelance Brand Language Copywriter will give you a blueprint. A ‘how to’ guide for whenever you and your team need to write or commission an external Copywriter.
You’ll have a refined vision and purpose, and absolute clarity about how your brand language should sound.
How much might this cost?
Let’s assume that you need a workshop and comprehensive brand language guidelines (text only, not design) as outlined here. Depending on details, such as where we run the workshop, how long the session needs to be and how deep the guidelines go, I usually charge in the region of £4,500-7,000.
Please bear in mind that every project is different and is estimated accordingly. The above figures are there as a ballpark guide only.
Before you commit to anything, you’ll receive a firm proposal – occasionally with a contingency allowance if the project includes an element of ifs and buts.
Once the fee’s agreed, 9 times out of 10 I’ll ask for a 50% deposit before starting work. The balance will either be paid at project stages or on completion, depending on the nature of the work.
What do my clients say?
“I am so thrilled with how you’ve helped us find our voice. After 20 years, we needed a fresh approach to they way we talk about ourselves and this takes Mountgrange to a whole new level.”
Liz Thomson – Director, Mountgrange Heritage
You can find more client testimonials here.
If you’d like to discuss a brand language project, please get in touch.