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Have you considered writing White Papers for your clients, or offering them to your own prospective customers as a lead-generating device?
If you operate in a technical field, I think you should definitely consider a White Paper. You can either write one ourself or have someone else write it for you.
What’s a White Paper (WP)? It’s a short paper providing a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM.
Important: A WP is NOT a product or service pitch. You do not talk about the features and benefits of your own offer in a WP. Instead you identify and focus on your prospective client’s SPECIFIC PROBLEM.
For example, imagine you are selling this fantastic COMMERCIAL SHAMPOO that cleans like nothing else.
The worst approach would be to write a WP with the title “The Wonder of Our XYZ Commercial Shampoo”. Why? Because you’re talking about yourself and nobody is interested in that.
People are NOT interested in helping you make money. They are interested in SOLVING their OWN PROBLEMS. Never forget this simple fact.
So, a better title would be (for example): “How to Minimize Your Cleaning Time for Commercial Accounts?”
We’re not even talking about any shampoo brands yet. The stress is on how to clean an office building the right way the first time so that you won’t have to go back and clean it for a second time. That would obviously drop the productivity and double your costs.
So you write a WP offering tips to your reader on how to clean an office space in the most efficient way possible. And only within such a context you may mention a new kind of revolutionary shampoo that does not leave any residues and cleans carpets and smooth floors equally well.
Once your reader feels that you are genuinely offering a solution to her problem, then and only then would she be in a mood to listen what you’ve got.
You’ve got to GIVE FIRST, give something of genuine value, and give it for free, before gaining the trust and gratitude of the other person and earning the right to offer your services.
One name that is big in the WP business is Michael Stelzner. I can certainly recommend everything he offers, including his book Writing White Papers, if you really want to learn the ins and outs of this terrific information product.
Also recommended is Bob Bly‘s bookThe White Paper Marketing Handbook.
Perry Marshall is another good source. This is what he recommends to getting the word out once you finish writing your White paper:
1) Buy web traffic on search engines (this is VERY effective)
2) Email blast to an at least ‘lukewarm’ customer list
3) Press Release to related publications
4) Send out Postcards
5) Advertise it in print
6) Joint venture advertising with compatible vendors
On a closing note, did you know that Vista Print has registered 5,000 prospective clients within 60 days by giving out a free White Paper; and that 500 of them converted into paying customers? (Source: Michael Stelzner)
A WP can be a terrific prospecting and lead-generation tool if written properly.