Hiring a freelance white paper writer for white paper writing
Most savvy leaders of companies, non-profits, and other organizations know hiring a freelance white paper writer to develop their white papers is actually a solid business investment with returns they’ll notice. (And the fact those leaders know they won’t have to write the damned things themselves is just a plus.)
Hiring a freelance white paper writer not only lets those leaders delegate something they really don’t want to do. It also delivers several pretty powerful benefits. Don’t be surprised when you receive legitimate compliments about your next white paper, or when prospects don’t need to be sold, because they already understand your pitch. Or when you’re asked challenging questions about your operations and they trigger ideas getting you closer to solutions.
Can persuasive white papers make all that possible? Actually, yes! White paper writers take what you know and need to convey, then share it with your audience in compelling ways. The business benefits of hiring a freelance white paper writer accrue well beyond the investment in working with an experienced white paper writer.
How is white paper writing different from other writing?
White papers tend to be lengthy documents, and may even remind you of the research and term papers you used to write in school. But white papers about complex issues or technical subjects are very different from what you did in school. The style of writing used by today’s white paper guy or gal is nothing like the stuffy, formal approach you learned in your high school English and college Composition classes.
That’s because writing white papers isn’t about desperately trying to make that cranky teacher happy. It’s about selling. Telling. Convincing. Entertaining. Emphasizing. Even infuriating.
Here’s the thing about hiring a freelance white paper writer: there’s something about your world that gets you fired up. If the white paper writer you hire is the right one, that paper writer will capture your energy and enthusiasm in the written white papers.
In fact, you may even find the wording in the white paper sounds a lot like you. The more your content creation carries a conversational tone, the more effective it’s going to be. That’s because we hear voices. (No, not the voices that keep telling you to break your neighbor’s window.) I’m talking about the way our brains “hear” while we read. A quiet voice deep inside our subconscious speaks as our eyes see each word. The voice varies with what we read.
Hiring a freelance white paper writer can help you make sure that voice sounds like your organization would sound if it were a person.
1. Turn to professional white paper writers
Professional white paper writers are, as the name implies, writers who specialize in writing white papers, and who are compensated for doing so. Many people assume the term “writer” refers to any kind of writer, but people who knit sentences and paragraphs together for a living will be quick to point out the many differences.
While white paper writing demands a certain level of creativity, it’s not what you’d call “creative writing.” And while white paper writers frequently contend with highly technical material, it’s also different tan the work performed by a technical writer. Technical writing generally involves things like instruction manuals and software documentation. Success as a white paper writer demands the ability to explain highly technical or complex material in a clear, easily understood manner. White papers are designed to help somebody understand something, so if they’re written to be too complex or technical, they’ll fail at their objective.
Freelance white paper writers are accustomed to the style, structure, and techniques that are most effective at delivering information. Just as important, they recognize the ultimate goal of your white paper is not to make an artistic statement, but to accomplish some kind of tangible goal. Hiring a freelance white paper writer will give you the greatest value for your investment with less stress and uncertainty.
Hiring a white paper writer not only means you can stay focused on your job’s normal responsibilities, but it also gives you someone who will approach your white paper with more objectivity, an outside viewpoint, and stronger skills.
2. Consider content creation options for white paper writing
When you think about hiring a freelance white paper writer, several options probably spring to mind. As noted earlier, many people incorrectly assume all writers are essentially the same. Different writers have different areas of focus and are best equipped for that type of writing. For example, you might be considering whether to entrust your important white paper project to one of these writers:
- Your nephew the English major. Spending time on the moors can be entertaining, but writing literature is rarely the best way to develop white papers.
- That woman from the weekly paper. Even highly skilled journalists are unaccustomed to developing persuasive material on complex or complicated subjects.
- That cheap website. Many online writing services charge so little because they farm work out to folks overseas who won’t know contemporary, conversational business language.
- Your sister-in-law the wannabe novelist. There’s a big difference between what people learn in “creative writing” classes and communicating the serious information you need to convey.
3. Hiring a freelance white paper writer
You may wonder why you should consider hiring a freelance white paper writer when you’re pretty good at writing. Even if you’re an excellent writer, if you don’t write regularly, it’s probably going to take you more time than you realize to develop your white paper. And what’s going to happen to the rest of your workload while you’re spending hours trying to find the right words and organize them into sentences and paragraphs? Is someone else going to step up and help or are your workdays only going to get longer?
By taking the time to find and evaluate a professional white paper writer, you’re assured of receiving the quality of work you need to accomplish your objectives. Professional white paper writers focus exclusively on helping people like you communicate with key audiences. They’re aware of how to present your messages in the most effective and impactful ways, making your white papers understandable, compelling enough to hold the reader’s attention, and focused on achieving your business objectives.
They’re independent and neutral
A professional white paper writer will bring more objectivity to the process and be better able to point out how your audience might not come away with the same impression of what you plan to say. An outsider approaches the process and your organization with fewer preconceived notions and internal assumptions. They can also challenge the biases and opinions you and your team hold.
They think like your audience
An outside writer is more likely to approach white papers not from your point of view, but from that of your audience. The writer will consider what’s important to them and what they need to know, making your ideas and arguments more compelling and meaningful to them.
No, they don’t know everything
You may think hiring a freelance white paper writer puts the white paper writer at a disadvantage because he or she doesn’t have your level of knowledge. Actually, that can be a big advantage. Because a white paper writer has to develop a thorough understanding before presenting your message to the outside world, they’ll have to ask a lot of questions, including questions you and your team may not have considered. Those are likely to be many of the same questions your prospective customers might ask, so the writer can address those issues in the white paper.
They help you protect egos
When an outsider writes under your direction, you can approach the work with greater objectivity. You’ll have the opportunity to review and edit it without having to worry that your comments will reflect negatively on the person in the next office or department. If someone else finds fault with it, you can deflect those criticisms — but if your boss is thrilled with it, guess who gets the credit?
4. Don’t forget these elements of hiring a freelance white paper writer
So how do you find a white paper writer? There are any number of ways, from searching online to asking people in your personal network. However you choose to find a potential white paper writer, keep these two important pieces of advice in mind:
Always seek references
One way to find a professional white paper writer is to reach out to people whose white papers you admire and ask who they used. If they’re satisfied with the work of a professional white paper writer, they’ll usually be happy to give you a name and contact information so you can proceed with hiring a freelance white paper writer. References are also important if you’ve found a white paper writer on your own. Don’t just assume that the writer does a good job. Ask for names and contact information of the writer’s clients, and take the time to contact them. Ask for their impressions of the white paper writer and whether they would work with them again.
It’s one thing for someone to simply say they can write white papers. Proof of their past work is important. A professional white paper writer will be happy to supply samples of their work for other clients. As you review their sample white papers, pay attention to how the writer explains difficult concepts. Even if you know nothing about the industry for which the white paper was developed, you should be able to come away with a good understanding of the issue being discussed and how the company responds.
Good white papers are well-organized and concise. If the language is confusing, uses a lot of jargon, or seems sloppy, that writer probably isn’t the best choice for you. On the other hand, if the copy is well-written and does an excellent job of explaining the issue and the solutions, you can proceed with hiring a freelance white paper writer with confidence.
5. Finding information for your white paper
Often, organizations hesitate about developing white papers because they’re not sure about where they’ll find the information they need to make a compelling case. Actually, the information you need to write a powerful white paper may be closer than you realize.
Your own experts
There are probably people in your organization (maybe even you) with a deep understanding of the issue you’re planning to write about and why your solution is the best. That may include product engineers, people on the production line, and top management. If you have a sales team, they’re in regular contact with customers and prospects, so they’re aware of the challenges those people are facing.
Conducting a series of interviews with your internal experts can provide much of the information you’ll need for your white paper. You may not want to use what they all say verbatim — for example, engineers frequently use complex language that may confuse non-engineers, and salespeople may oversimplify concepts worthy of a deeper discussion — but those interviews can give you a great starting point.
Your communications materials
Most companies produce a variety of promotional materials, including websites, blogs, brochures, sales sheets, instruction manuals, and more. All that information can provide good reference not only for what needs to be said, but how your company prefers to say it.
No, I’m not suggesting you borrow details from your competitors, but the more you know about them and their products or services, the better you’ll be at identifying your own competitive strengths and opportunities for compelling messages. Compare their language and processes with what your company uses. Discuss their approaches with your team to understand what makes yours better. For example, if your company’s veeblefetzer uses the cross-cutting process to core radishes, rather than the spiral-coring method employed by 90 percent of your competitors, your white paper can focus on the many advantages of cross-cutting. Hiring a freelance white paper writer can give you an independent assessment.
Trade publications and internet sites can also be very educational. You can enter the same search terms that prospective customers may use to find information about your products or services. Just be careful to verify that the information you’re reading is correct, and don’t copy someone’s article or site word-for-word, because you could violate copyright law or embarrass your company.
Developing a white paper can take significantly less time than you might have imagined, especially when you put the power of an experienced white paper writer to work for you. Do you have questions about how you or your organization could turn to a professional white paper writer for help with your white papers? We’d be happy to discuss your needs and share strategies for hiring a freelance white paper writer to achieve your goals.