If you think you should write your own white paper, you may assume that you — or someone on your team — is the perfect writer for that white paper. That’s actually a bad assumption. In fact, you or your team member may know your product, service, or subject so well that you’ll actually be less effective at communicating with your audience.
It’s not wise to write your own white paper
Surprised? It’s often true, and the reason is that most people in decision-making roles about white papers overestimate what their audiences already know. In addition, you and your team may have developed biases about your product, service, or solution that may not be shared outside your company. Your audience just doesn’t bring the same assumptions you’ve developed to their decision-making. For example, you may be proud of a unique manufacturing process your company uses, but your customers don’t understand why it’s better. Or the flaw you notice in your competitors’ approach is obvious to you, but your prospects have no idea it’s a flaw.
An outsider may be more effective
An outsider such as 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. That’s because outsiders approach the process and your company with fewer preconceived notions and internal assumptions about your product or service. They can also challenge the biases and opinions you and your team hold.
A professional white paper writer, I approach white papers not from the point of view of my clients’ companies, but from that of their audiences. I think about what’s important to those audiences and what they need to know about the subject. By putting myself in the audience’s place, I can make your ideas and arguments more compelling and meaningful to them, instead of simply trying to force the company’s message down their throats.
Ignorance can be a good thing
Lacking your level of knowledge can actually be a big advantage for an outside writer. How? Before a professional white paper writer can her to work, they have to develop a through understanding of the subject and what you offer. They’ll have to ask a lot of questions, including questions you and your team may not have considered. That’s important, because it’s likely your audiences will be asking the same questions.
Deflect company politics
If you turn to an outsider such as a professional white paper writer, you can approach the project with greater objectivity. You can review and edit it without having to worry that your comments will reflect negatively on a co-worker or manager. If someone else finds fault with the draft of the white paper, you can deflect those criticisms to the writer — but if your boss loves it, guess who gets the credit?