While I am on vacation this week, we are fortunate to have some excellent guest authors. The first guest, Michael Stelzner, is author of the bestselling book Writing White Papers and has written more than 100 white papers for recognized companies, including Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola, Monster, HP and SAP.
So while I am basking on white sands in Mexico, here’s the first of five posts about white papers.
Five Reasons to Start Writing White Papers NOW
by Michael Stelzner, WritingWhitePapers.com
By now you have heard that the hot new trend in writing is white papers.
These are short documents that help people make decisions. Think informative article meets persuasive brochure and births something new.
There are five very compelling reasons you ought to leap on the white paper wagon. White papers help:
1. Establish thought leadership (for yourself, your blog or your business)
2. Create a viral buzz (others send your message everywhere)
3. Generate quality leads (imagine prospects lining up to talk to you)
4. Persuade others (help people need you)
5. Grow a writing practice (develop extra revenue streams)
The Thought Leadership Advantage
Everyone wants to be an expert.
Combining a well-written white paper with other marketing efforts, such as a blog, can help you gain the position of thought leader.
By discussing the concepts that can shift industries or the future of a marketplace, a white paper can be referenced as a "reason to change" by businesses.
For example, FedEx wanted to convince electronics manufacturers that moving product by air from China could shorten the supply chain and provide manufacturers a competitive edge – despite a great sea of resistance (think slow-moving ships).
They crafted a white paper titled, "Speeding the Supply Chain From China: How Manufacturers Are Winning With Full-Service Air Transportation" and proceeded to change an industry.
This article is the first in a five-part series on the advantages of white papers. The next article will examine how white papers can create viral buzz.