Hiring a White Paper Copywriter
One of the biggest hurdles when you start out in your own business is learning how to promote yourself. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if nobody knows about it, who’s going to buy? Fortunately, being your own boss also means planning your own marketing strategy and hiring the right people to help you. That’s not as daunting or as expensive as it sounds, but be careful not to cut corners when hiring a writer for your marketing. After your website, the most important promotional tool for your brand will be one, or a couple of white papers. When it comes to hiring a white paper writer, make sure you don’t sacrifice quality for cost.
What is a White Paper?
Basically, white papers are generated as a general solution to a problem your product or service addresses. It is used in B2B marketing to offer evidence of the need for a new technique or strategy to deal with a inefficient practice currently in use. Although your white paper may contain references to your company, it should not be confused with a marketing brochure or advertising flyer. Its strength lies in the impartial proof it gives of the effectiveness of your solution. So the reader is convinced of the solution before he is presented with your contact details and your invitation to call you or join your mailing list. The reader should not feel over-sold, so it’s important to resist the urge to tell him how much better your solution is, or how great or highly-experienced you, or your staff, are! Leave the unique selling points or strengths of your business to your other promotional materials, or let the Success Stories of your satisfied clients speak for your genius!
How to Hire a Great White Paper Writer
First and foremost, make sure your copywriter has experience. Ask to see samples of previous white papers –it is especially helpful if they have already written content for similar subjects, or have a specialized knowledge of your industry. Of course, specialization comes at a premium price, but this is where you must exercise judgement and see what extra value and benefits lie in a B2B writer who knows his or her stuff!!
Secondly, make sure they know the purpose of a white paper and the standards expected by the potential reader. If they expect to promote your business heavily or include adverts and case studies, this should be a red flag to check that you are, literally, on the same page. If in doubt, a good frame of reference is http://www.quillmouse.com which gives good general advice about getting clear on the aims and scope of your paper, and the specific audience and format you intend to use.
A great added bonus of a good white paper is that you will have around two to four thousand words of well-written copy that you can cut and paste and use for other marketing materials such as Facebook Ads and Tweets or your company newsletter. This makes white papers a great value investment for potentially years to come. This is the case for a buyer to invest in your service, so make sure it is presented well. If you need a second opinion, don’t be afraid to hire an editor for a couple of hours – to make sure the English is polished, professional, and sets the right voice for your company. Remember: most marketing materials will be changed and updated frequently, but a good white paper should be seen as a sound long-term investment. A good reason to get it right first time!