By Sheeva Azma
Words are powerful.
What can white papers do for you? Read this post to find out.Tweet
White papers are a type of writing meant to inform and persuade readers. They are often bite-sized introductions to a subject that feature lots of research as well as insights from subject matter experts. We provide expert white paper writing services in health, science, technology, business, policy, and finance. We’ve also got specialized expertise in supply chain, high-tech manufacturing, biotech and life sciences venture capital, legislative issues, and more. We have even written white papers read by the US Congress!
If you ask me, there’s nothing more persuasive than a well-researched, well-written white paper. Want to learn more about ways white papers can help you? Keep reading for six things white papers can do for you.
1. White papers demonstrate your subject matter expertise.
People are interested in what you know, because it affects what you can do for them. Whether you’re a person or a business, establish trust by providing authoritative information on a topic. This positions you as a trusted and knowledgeable messenger, making potential clients more likely to opt to work with you.
We’ve worked with all types of white paper clients, from single individuals seeking to present a case study of their work, to biotech investors seeking to pitch their newest investment to venture capitalists, to large companies seeking to inform clients on reasons to work with them. The unifying thread across all of our white paper clients is their deep knowledge in a topic. White papers help them share their insights and expertise.
The end result? More high-quality leads (potential customers), new job opportunities, policy change, successful biotech venture capital investing…the list goes on and on (and that’s just for our clients!).
2. White papers bring awareness to an underappreciated topic.
When you are an expert in your field, you have a unique view of the challenges. These challenges vary depending on your particular industry and level of expertise. As a freelance science writer, I can say that, especially now that I’ve spent the greater part of a decade writing, I have a problem-solving approach to writing that I did not have when I started. I also see higher-level issues that I never noticed when starting out. People just starting out in freelance science writing wouldn’t have time or expertise to think about issues in this way.
The same can be said of people gaining expertise in any trade, industry, or discipline. White papers can be a great way to bring awareness to subjects that have, for whatever reason, failed to gain attention. Perhaps it’s now a good time to solve these problems, or you finally figure out a challenge that has been holding your field back.
Part of being an expert in a field is identifying underdiscussed topics and bringing them to the forefront. White papers are a great way to do this. Be the person to start the conversation with a white paper.
3. White papers help readers “nerd out” and share your passion for the subject.
The best white papers teach the reader something they didn’t know. My favorite white papers – both to read and to write – provide a deep dive into the subject and teach me things I would have never even thought about.
One of my clients reached out with a challenge: they needed me to write about their work in the high-tech manufacturing sector, and specifically, challenges in this sector that were holding it back. They had an idea and wanted to take their show on the road, so to speak. To do that, they wanted me to write a white paper to share with members of Congress, the media, and other key stakeholders.
So, I got to work. I packed as much information about the technical details of the problem as I could, not just to persuade, but because I know people like to learn about the intricacies of high-tech manufacturing, if they can understand it. New technology is interesting and exciting. At the same time, I worked to keep the explanations of the technology simple, so that anyone (even without a high-tech background) could understand the white paper.
Fast forward a couple of years, and Congress is working towards enacting the policy changes proposed by my client in the white paper I wrote.
The moral of the story? Help readers gain an appreciation of your subject with an easy-to-read, yet well-researched white paper packed with tons of details. That’s a powerful combo!
4. White papers can help direct your thinking and energies.
I once worked with a client who had performed a complete overhaul of a system in her work. The results were impressive, and she wanted to communicate her work and its value, but didn’t know where to start. Too many ideas were floating around in her mind, and she wasn’t sure what to do with them all. So, I worked with her, over several rounds of edits and phone calls, to develop a problem-solution whitepaper. The document introduced the problems, and then the solutions she created – sort of a “before-after” approach.
Beyond getting words to the page, this exercise also helped her change the way she thought about her work. Based on this one white paper, she was able to come up with several other ideas and writings which helped her direct her thoughts and energies.
Investing time, energy, and resources in a white paper can be a good way to become more intentional about your work and overall goals. Taking the time to focus on a problem and the steps you took to solve it can highlight a number of skills and competencies needed to get a new job. If you’re an organization seeking to write a white paper, it can be a good way to focus your marketing strategy and build leads in an intentional, strategic way.
5. White papers help sell a complex product/idea/service by providing convenient, easy-to-understand information.
Some products, especially those in the science and high-tech sectors, are especially complex. You can’t get all the information you need to make a buying decision simply from a sales pitch. That’s where white papers come in, when it comes to complex industries.
You can use a white paper to talk about the features of your product and the previously unmet need it fulfills. Add quotes from your happy customers or clients on ways your product, idea, or service has helped them.
While the internet has changed how we shop, it hasn’t changed our desire to look for information before making key buying decisions. If anything, the internet has made it easier to find information about products that can help shoppers make decisions. Online research is now a foundational aspect of any purchasing decisions.
White papers that are short, yet packed with details can help fulfill potential clients’ and/or customers’ desire for knowledge. Make it easy for your potential clients and/or customers to get information about your product, idea, or service. Break down the complexities of your product, idea, or service for them. After clients get the information they need from you, a trusted expert, they will be more likely to buy from you, as well.
6. A white paper can help you pivot your business strategy.
Being able to be flexible and adapt goals is a key aspect of entrepreneurship – one which was tested in the pandemic. At the outset of the pandemic, I worked with many clients in the retail space seeking to transition from a brick-and-mortar presence to a digital one. Among my clients was a warehouse automation company working with huge, well-known brands. To stay relevant, they sought to highlight ways their products could be relevant in a digital shopping ecosystem.
I worked with my client to develop a white paper which showcased their technology and the ways it could be applied to innovate manufacturing at a time when the world seemed to be in supply chain chaos. This was instrumental to their COVID-19 business strategy and helped them explain to clients why they were suddenly even more relevant in a pandemic.
A white paper expert can work with you to quickly draft a white paper to help you pivot. The white paper I wrote for my client was relatively short and action-packed, and it only took about two weeks to write.
As you pivot, you can use the white paper as a guiding framework for branding, messaging, and communications strategy as you transition to providing new service offerings. What’s more, handing off the task of writing the white paper can help you focus on your core services and business strategy. It’s a win-win!
With white papers, you can fill in knowledge gaps, position yourself as a subject matter expert, inform key stakeholders, build awareness, generate interest in your work, and build the infrastructure needed to gain new clients and customers – all with just a few pages of writing.
Hire Fancy Comma to write your next white paper. Our white paper clients have come from all sorts of industries, and our writing has helped them achieve new successes: achieving policy reform, showcasing skills and expertise, selling products and services, highlighting industry trends, and more.
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