Planning Your White Paper
Writing a white paper without a clear plan is like taking a long hike without a map.
Most likely, you’ll get lost.
(But instead of being eaten by a mountain lion, you’ll waste a ton of money on a sub-par result. I guess the mountain lion thing is worse, but this still sucks.)
I’ve seen this happen way too many times.
In fact, I make a lucrative sideline in “rescuing” failed white paper projects — in my experience, most cybersecurity marketing teams have AT LEAST one of these hidden in a closet somewhere. (Get in touch if that’s you.)
That’s where a white paper plan comes in.
The White Paper Plan: Your Map to Success
I start EVERY white paper project with a plan. The process is simple.
I gather all project stakeholders onto a 60-minute Zoom call to discuss:
- Your business and marketing goals for the white paper
- The target audience (demographic, ideal customers, pain points, etc.)
- The purpose of your white paper (e.g., demand generation, closing sales)
- The format, length, and complexity of your white paper
- Possible titles
- The closing “call to action“
- An agreed list of all reviewers
- Research or internal assets already available
- Any previous white papers (and how they have performed)
- Other project responsibilities (e.g., design, proofreading, promotion)
- Your desired timeline (including any “hard” deadlines, e.g., trade events)
- An outline of content to cover and expand
My output from this process is a strategic planning document that covers everything agreed on our call, my recommended route forward (including my suggested format for your white paper), and my firm quote for the project.
At this point, you’re free to take the white paper plan to another writer, or even complete the project internally.
But if we’re a good fit, I’d love to write your white paper for you.
(If I think another writer would do a better job than me, I’ll tell you so. But if you’re in the cybersecurity space, that’s extremely unlikely.)
Why Bother with a White Paper Plan?
Aside from avoiding “death by mountain lion,” this planning process gives you a rock-solid foundation to build your white paper on. In practice, that means a MUCH higher likelihood of achieving your project goals, such as:
- Creating new leads (or nurturing existing leads)
- Spreading awareness of a new solution
- Closing more sales
The process also removes the risk of wasting time and resources on a white paper that fails to deliver on your objectives… and worse, makes your company look bad.
What Are You Waiting For?
My planning process costs just $950.
Does that seem like a lot? I guarantee it’s a less costly than wasting thousands of dollars on a sub-standard white paper that doesn’t achieve your objectives.
To get started today, email me at pete [at] petehugh.com