A comprehensive brief is a foundational pillar of kicking off just any task, let alone one you’ve chosen to outsource. And while not all briefs are created equal, drafting yours may not always go as seamlessly as expected, notably when tackling a multifaceted project.
To communicate your idea accurately and avoid being misunderstood, make sure to pen your brief according to the following measures.
Outline the scope of your request.
The rationale is pretty simple: you won’t be able to convey an idea accurately if it’s not complete inside your head first. Start by defining the scope of your request, and once you’ve sketched it out clearly, formulate it into one or two sentences that would serve as the opening to your brief.
Provide context and set clear objectives.
Bear in mind that the freelancers you work with, no matter how proficient, are hardly ever as familiar with your business as much as you are, hence the need to put your request into context and provide necessary background information where needed. It is also essential to lay out the objective(s) you’re aiming to achieve through this request.
Chunk things down.
Once you’ve worked out the above notions, filter down the cluster of information associated with your request to a single short outline that your designated freelancer will be able to navigate easily. Bulleted or numbered lists are pretty much the best way to go about it, but a small paragraph would also do the trick when dealing with smaller tasks.
Define responsibilities clearly.
Besides conveying the purpose of your project, your brief should also mention specifically what you’re expecting the freelancer to deliver (end product) and how you’d like it to be delivered (submission phases). Try to be as precise as possible and position yourself in the freelancer’s perspective to better anticipate the kind of info they would most likely need to complete the project.
Be concise and straightforward.
Just as its name suggests, a brief should above all be brief! Keep your sentences short, use active voice as opposed to passive voice for added clarity and refrain from going into unnecessary detail. It’s not about how much you write, but rather about how purposeful it is in relation to the task at hand.
Provide the right resources.
No brief is ever complete without its accompanying resources. Instead of including useful references/resources in the text itself, try compiling them into one or more attachments depending on their number, format, thematic connection and significance, and hint at each of them at the end of your brief to ensure they are well received.