4 Surprising Traits Clients Want in a White Paper Writer

I had an opportunity recently to interview some clients about their experience with white paper writers. (As well as those who write special reports, ebooks, and other types of “long form” content.) The results were interesting — to say the least. Much of what these clients said didn’t surprise me. For example, they were unanimous that “meeting deadlines” was a desirable trait. However, there were a few characteristics they emphasized that I didn’t expect to hear. So if you write white papers — or are thinking of getting into this niche — take a look at the list below. These are traits you may not have realized are so important to clients. (I didn’t.) 1. A fan of white papers. This is the trait that surprised me the most. Many clients I spoke to preferred to work with writers who have a demonstrated interest in white papers. As one client put it, “I want a writer to be a fan, to read white papers, to have an opinion as to which ones are great. And why.” That makes sense. After all, there’s a reason Stephen King writes suspense. He’s a fan of the genre. White papers, too, is a genre. So if you’re going to craft these documents, read them. Study them. Become an aficionado. 2. A strategist. Almost unanimously, clients told me they want a writer who can strategize the development of a white paper. That means collaborating with the client to develop the topic and approach, dream up a great title, and basically be the brains behind the piece. Strategist. And writer. One client put it this way, “I...