freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips

Consider for a moment how big a decision it is for a potential client to buy your products or services.

Some things don’t come with a large price tag or commitment, which means the decision-making process for those things isn’t a large burden. But other decisions require a lot of due diligence and study. Literally, the person who has to make this decision may have her job riding on the outcome of her recommendation.

So if what you sell fits in this latter category, you are required to formulate a different sales approach. The approach you use must be to sell your (or your company’s) expertise.

Enter the white paper. In his book, Writing White Papers: How To Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged, Michael Selzner describes a white paper as,

“ persuasive document that usually describes problems and how to solve them. The white paper is a crossbreed of a magazine article and a brochure. It takes the objective and educational approach of an article and weaves in persuasive corporate messages typically found in brochures.

By its very nature, a white paper is both informational and persuasive. As a marketer of a product or service that requires that you sell your expertise to the client, you will probably need to prepare a white paper that makes a case for a particular approach to solving a problem.

Think back to the person whose job depends on making the right decision. Faced with such a decision, this executive naturally welcomes a well-written document that does much of the executive’s homework and due diligence for her. When such a document arrives on her desk, it can be passed on to others on her team and to her superiors.

This is what Michael Selzner calls, “flying under the radar.” No other marketing literature enjoys such access and internal circulation within a prospective client’s firm.

Can you write a white paper internally? That depends on the talent and background you have available in house. Many companies find that their technical talent does not have the writing ability to write an effective white paper. Remember, the white paper must convey specialized information in an understandable manner, much like a magazine. Additionally, it must also be written in a persuasive manner, much like a sales brochure, a talent few people without copywriting experience have.

Generally companies find that seeking an outside writer produces the best results. But here your task is matching the outside writer’s skills with your project. For example, someone with my background as a former lawyer with a Juris Doctor degree works well with law firms or white paper projects requiring an understanding of legal issues.

On the other hand, other white paper projects may require that you go out and find someone with other areas of knowledge, like engineering, software or medicine, who can at the same time write persuasively like a copywriter. Your company may not have such a person in house.

Regardless of whether you plan to write your white paper in house or contract it out, I strongly recommend Michael Selzner’s White Papers: How To Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged. You can read his book’s table of contents and read a sample chapter at

Will a white paper produce results for you? Certainly that depends on how well written it is, how clearly it makes its case and connects the dots between the client’s problem and your solution.

freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips


Excellent. The main thing of a white paper writing is its quality and effectiveness..

12:55 AM

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds