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(A Special Report is also called a “White Paper” and it is one of the most frequently commissioned and widely used technical marketing documents.
Many companies, but especially those in the hi-tech sector, have these special reports written both to explain a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM and also to gain publicity and prospects while building up their mail lists through “squeeze pages.”
The article below is a good introduction to writing such special reports.)
It’s shocking how many leads and clients you can get with a special report. A simple 10 to 20 page document powers more punch for your marketing strategy than any other tool. Every day you can have people pounding at your door hungry to hire you when you use a special report (also called a white paper).
And writing a special report doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if you hate writing this is easy to do…well, as long as you use my proven 7 point outline to guide you. Simply answer the following questions and voila — you have your special report ready to be your client magnate.
1. “What’s the big problem?”
Start your special report by waking up your reader. Show them that you understand the core problem they’re facing. Don’t just tell them their problem – empathize with them. Show that you care and you understand how frustrating having this problem really is.
2. “What’s this problem costing you?”
Rub the pain of the problem in their face. I know it sounds tough but remember, you have the solution and unless you slap them across the face to wake them up fully then they’ll continue suffering unnecessarily. Is this problem costing them the money they could be spending on a new car? Are they wasting time without a solution? Does the opposite sex look at them like moldy bread?
3. “What’s the general solution?”
You have two options herein your special report. First, before giving your specific solution give the big picture solution. Show what’s possible. Second, you can show how people have tried other solutions but failed and why. This sets you up as THE solution.
4. “What’s your specific solution?”
Lay out your method or system at this point in your special report. This is the bulk of the special report. Maybe you have a 5 step method to stop divorce…briefly spell it out. You want to show your reader what to do, not how to do it. (For that they have to work with you one-on-one). Give the reader tips and strategies they can use today to start solving their problem. They’ll like and trust you more, the more you share.
5. “What’s the proof that your solution works?”
Share case studies of people and clients you’ve worked with. Don’t just give testimonials. This isn’t a sales letter. Think of it as a magazine article — the writer will tell stories and to show proof. A great formula for telling a case study story is the P.A.R method – Problem, Action, Result. First, state the Problem a client of yours had before they worked with you. Second, show the Action your client took (this should involve how you came in to save the day). Third, tell the Results the client made because they used your method or system.
6. “Why listen to you?”
State your credibility. This can be a single bio page with your credentials or you can share your success story. Tell how you discovered your unique method or system. In doing so, you establish your authority and expertise on the subject.
7. “What’s next?”
This is the most important part of your special report. By this point the reader should be frothing at the mouth hungry to take the next step. All you need to do is clearly spell out a specific call to action. Give them an irresistible offer they can’t refuse and a time limit for them to take advantage of the offer.
And that’s it! Just make sure your special report isn’t too formal. Make it conversational. Think of what you would say to a friend who is a part of your target market if you were both sitting in a coffee shop. You wouldn’t use “sales” language! You’d have a heart-to-heart talk with them – simply sharing your experience and showing them a way to solve their problem.
Remember, the purpose of your special report is to build the relationship between you and your lead so you can move them closer to getting to know, like and trust you, which leads to more sales for you.
Small business marketing consultant, James Roche, shows you how to attract more clients and make passive revenue with information products. Discover his proven and practical marketing strategies with his free special report, “The Shift: Quit Struggling, Make a Difference and Join the New Rich” [http://www.marketingmadeeasyblueprint.com/]http://www.marketingmadeeasyblueprint.com]
DVD Set — Marketing with White Papers
CD Set — How to Write How-to Information