How to write project briefs for freelancers: 6 things to consider


Freelancers can be a very powerful workforce. When you decide to work with a freelancer, you get to choose the best of the best. However, without specific points on what are the obligations of the freelancers during your cooperation, the process can get complicated. Make your projects less tiring and plan your project ahead of time..

When you create some kind of plan, you’ll be able to have a written proof of all your requirements for that project. Also, the freelancer will understand what is expected of them. Before you head on and create the brief, here are a few points you need to consider.

Be specific

This is not the time for generalizations. You need to be as specific and as detailed as you can.

Clearly state everything that you expect from the client. Do you want him do add visuals? Do you want him to edit or test the work? Do you want the project delivered in PDF? Let him know.

Also, specify who is in charge of the different processes of the project. The client might expect more than you need him to do.

Without the details, the freelancer can easily reject or postpone the work. Imagine that you want the freelancer to do some research for you and you expect that he will include the links of his sources. If he doesn’t, how will you prove that he should’ve had delivered that as well?

This is crucial for avoiding any confusions and misunderstandings. 


Set SMART goals

In case you haven’t already used this method for stating objectives, now it is time to start.

This goal setting method is commonly attributed to Management by Objectives, written by Peter Drucker. 

Professor Robert S. Rubin explained SMART goals in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He said that these goals can have a different meaning to different people but in any case, they’ll make your project more achievable. 

Here is what SMART stands for:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant) – What needs to be done, when, where, and how.
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating) – State the metrics.
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable) – Be realistic about your possibilities.
  • Realistic (reasonable, relevant, and resourced, results-based) – Will the objectives contribute to the overall goal?
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive) – When will the project be finalized?

Your project brief needs to include objectives that are SMART if you want to manage it successfully. 


Ask the freelancer to state their requests

Maybe the freelancer expects some sort of help from you. He can call you numberless times for consultation even if you expected him to be completely independent.

By asking the freelancer what he expects from you during the project, you’ll be prepared for your obligations. Besides, the freelancer won’t be able to waste your time on unnecessary requests.

Melanie Sovann, a writer for Best Essay Education says that it is very helpful when you ask the person you are working with what he expects from you. She says that this is one of the key elements for having successful cooperation.  

Tell him to explain what he expects for you. He may need some materials, or he may need your help from time to time. If possible, define in which phases of the project you need to be included.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that he can’t call or email you at any other time. This should just keep your business relationship more defined.

Not to mention that you’ll be able to organize your time and other obligations based on the expected involvement in this project. 


Specify the deadline

If you don’t want to get caught up in an endless back and forth to make the freelancer submit the project, agree on a deadline before you start. 

Even if the project isn’t urgent and you don’t need it for a specific date, it is best to agree on a deadline.

This will motivate the freelancer to start on time and stay dedicated to your project until the end. Freelancers can sometimes work on multiple projects at the same time so if yours is the only one that doesn’t have a deadline, it may end up at the bottom of his list of priorities. 

It is even better if you set some milestones in addition to the final date. This will ensure that the freelancer will stay organized. You’ll also be able to have an insight into how the project is progressing.


Make it readable

The brief needs to be easy to understand. Use simple and plain language to explain the project. 

Any technical terms, jargon words, or complicated sentences can create a problem. Write as if you need to explain the project to someone who isn’t in the industry.

When you make it readable, there will be fewer or none misunderstandings between you two. 

If you want to be thorough, use writing services such as Trust My Paper or Grab My Essay. Their team of professionals will help you create a perfectly composed brief. You can also run it through Readable to find out the readability score. In this way, you’ll be certain that your project is clear and concise. 


State the budget

Exclude the possibility that the projects will dry out all your financial resources. Outline the budget for the project so that the freelancer knows what he has to work with.

Agree in advance on how much he will be paid for the project. If you need a budget for him to use during the process, make that clear as well.

Every part of the process should have a specific budget. In this way, you will make sure that the freelancer doesn’t go overboard.

By presenting the budget ahead, you are putting all the cards on the table. Always leave room for negotiations because you never know whether the freelancer will have a different opinion on it. Objectively consider his remarks if he has any, and make changes if necessary.


Over to you

Hopefully, these pointers will help you have a deeper understanding of your project and your cooperation with the freelancer. All you need is to sit down, dedicate some time to the brief, and it will make the process run smoothly.

Just be clear, specific, and make discuss every detail of it. Once you both agree on every aspect of the project, the work can begin!  


Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana is actively writing for Supreme Dissertations. In addition, she works for Is Accurate, a translation review website. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.


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