A New Online White Paper Class

LEARN HOW TO CREATE HIGHLY ENGAGING WHITE PAPERS THAT GENERATE LEADS AND DRIVE NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines and considering adding this highly influential business information medium to your marketing arsenal, here’s your chance.

There’s a new online class designed to teach writers how to plan, build, and enhance white papers.

 

It’s called White Paper 101 – A Step-by-Step Approach to Creating Highly Engaging White Papers.

 

Jonathan Kantor, a white paper marketing professional who has spent the last two decades producing exceptional commercial white papers, put the program together.

This three-part course will walk you through each step in the white paper development process, from strategizing and planning your white paper project, to writing and developing your white paper content, and sprucing up your white paper with visual enhancements that attract reader attention and deliver bottom-line messages.

Whether you work for a business or are self-employed, this class will take your white paper marketing skills to the next level.  By attending this class, you will:

  • Discover how to create highly engaging white papers that generates countless numbers of leads for your business.
  • Learn new strategies that clearly differentiate your white paper from the plethora of “me-too” text-only white papers currently in the marketplace.
  • Understand the principals of format and design that attracts reader attention
  • Leverage social media tools to read new readers and build your lead generation database
  • Ask questions of Jonathan Kantor, one of today’s leading white paper experts
  • And much more!

 

WHEN:  June 15th, 16th, and 17th.  Noon Pacific/2pm Central/3pm Eastern

Each class will be one hour in duration, with 45 minutes of content presentation and 15 minutes for Q&A.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

 

Here’s a gist of what to expect:

June 15th – Planning Your White Paper (First Session)

  • The Importance of Contracts and Agreements
  • Preparing/Accumulating/Organizing Raw Data
  • Organizing Research Information Sources
  • Finding the Right Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Effectively using Planning and Preparation Tools
  • Creating Outlines to Streamline the Production Process

June 16th – Building Your White Paper (Second Session)

  • Understanding and designing content for the new “Skim Reader”
  • Developing a 6 page White Paper: Page by Page:
  • Creating ‘Call to Action’ statements that create higher quality leads

June 17th – Enhancing Your White Paper (Third Session)

  • Integrating Visual Elements to Gain Reader Attention
  • Crafting a Highly Effective White Paper Design
  • Repurposing Your White Paper Design for Online Promotion
  • How to Use Graphic Enhancements that Simplify Complex Messages
  • Creating an Effective White Paper Landing Page
  • Using Social Media to Promote Your White Paper
  • And lot’s more!

SIGN UP TODAY!

 

What’s the cost of this program?

The cost for the three-day class is only $297.

Please Note: This price offer of $297 is good until June 11th at midnight (PDT) or when the first 100 people are registered, whichever comes first.  After that, the price goes up to $397, so act now!

 

BONUSES:

 

With your confirmed registration, you’ll also receive this additional package of freebies valued at over $497!  Here’s a list of the items carefully selected for your bonus package:

1/2 hour phone consultation with Jonathan to review your completed white paper project (a $200 dollar value alone!)

– eBook: “Crafting White Paper 2.0: Designing Information for Today’s Time and Attention Challenged Business Reader” (167 pages).

– eBook: The Best of the White Paper Pundit Blog: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques. (70 pages)

– eBook: Creating Next Generation White Papers (30 pages)

– eBook: Low Cost White Paper Marketing (16 pages)

– eBook: 3 Way Panel Discussion with Mike Stelzner, Jonathan Kantor, and Gordon Graham (33 pages)

 

Also, you’ll get:

– Unlimited Access to Video Recordings of the Session Presentations.

– All Presentation Slides

– Written Transcripts of the Sessions

CLICK HERE TO SAVE YOUR SEAT FOR THIS EVENT.

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.

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3 Things That Don’t Belong In A White Paper

How is it that as writers we start out with the right subject matter and focus (squarely on our target audience), but somehow (sometimes) end up with content that serves only our egos (a.k.a. off target)?

As a white paper writer, I’ve asked myself that question more times than I care to admit.

Speaking as someone who’d been there and done that, I can truthfully say that a common thread in my less-than desirable outcomes is failure to keep an eye (unwaveringly) on the primary purpose of my content.

In other words, I lost sight of the right answer to the question: Why am I writing this stuff?

White papers are stellar marketing tools used primarily (though not exclusively) in the B2B arena.  Companies that sponsor white papers use them to inform and educate their prospects, while building rapport and credibility.  For these reasons, effective white papers are distinctive marketing publications.

Successful white paper writers know this and apply the necessary discipline to develop persuasive content with superior marketing appeal.  To achieve that goal, it is imperative that the interests of the intended audience drive each project.

In addition to maintaining a clear focus on the target readers, it is important to omit anything that might act as a “turn off” to the audience.  The truth is, there’s no shortage of potential distractions.  This article discusses three distractions that don’t belong in a well-written white paper.

  1. Hyperbole

We recognize it when we see it and know it when we use it.  Hype is exaggeration.  While rhetorical language may sometimes help us make a dramatic point, an unbridled use may undermine the information value of a white paper.

How?  The simple reason is that by definition, hype often stretches the truth and lack full proof.  However, truth and proof are two essentials that enhance the marketing appeal of white papers, particularly white papers that target tech audiences.

So, if hype is a no-no, what helps?  Fortunately, what helps is also simple.  It requires straightforward and factual language that addresses the interests of, and proposes options for the target audience.

The good news is that factual language often is the best way (successful way) to provide useful information, to connect with the reader, and to encourage specific response from her.

2.      Sales Talk

For many (prospective) buyers, a sales pitch conjures up the image of a loud person wielding a high-volume megaphone.  Not a welcoming picture.  It is definitely not the type of image you’d want associated with your marketing effort.

Intrusive sales language has the potential to turn an otherwise informative white paper into a direct mail copy.

If no sales pitch, what helps?  What helps is a more subtle pitch that works from the point of view of the prospective buyer.

One way to create a powerful stealth-style pitch is to include a list (a pseudo- guide) of what to look for in a solution/provider in the white paper.  It is effective because it provides actionable tips that anticipate the needs of a prospect in the buying process.

Without overtly asking for it, the guide has the potential to pull prospects back to your solution when they are ready to buy.  Meanwhile, it reinforces your credibility as a provider.

No megaphone necessary.  Instead, amplify the benefits a prospect might reasonably expect from using your product/service, and make it easy for her to reach the purchase point.

3.      Glitz and Fluff

Viewed in the context of traditional marketing publications (brochure, magazines, etc), white papers are not glamorous.  Slick, colorful, and flashy packaging are typically unnecessary in white paper production.

This is good news.

It means that the cost of producing white papers is concentrated on developing the proven characteristics of effective white papers, namely informative, persuasive, and targeted content.

While glitz looks at exterior packaging, fluff tends to obsess about space – the filling-up of pages.  The downside is that fluff, such as unsubstantiated factoids, does not facilitate the pre-sale affinity-building process.  Fluff does little or nothing to enhance the education value of a white paper.  More importantly, savvy readers/prospects see right through fluff and are not impressed by it.

Leaving out fluff is consistent with creating white papers of desirable length (typically 6-10 pages), with right focus (that respects the time constraint of readers), and tight narrative (appropriate to the profile of the target audience).

No major production required; just good planning and diligent follow-through.

Conclusion

It’s easy for ego and distractions to get in the way of good marketing content.

If your goal is to use informative, credible, and viral white papers as part of your marketing program, leave out distracting hype, overt sales pitch, and unnecessary fluff.  Keep the focus on connecting with the reader, not turning her off.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.

How to Take Somebody Else’s Good Idea and Make it Your Own — Legally

Get your "Mo"Sidebar:  Here is an article I think we all can relate to as professional writers.  It was written by Jennifer Stevens, a master copywriter for American Writers and Artist Inc. (AWAI).  If you’ve ever had periods of creative inertia (a.k.a. writer’s block), you might learn a thing or two.  I hope Jennifer’s suggestions help to re-ignite the flow and keep your pages filled consistently.

Here is Jennifer’s take—

 Recently I read an article with somebody else’s name on it that sounded an awful lot like something I’d written.  Most of it had been lifted word-for-word.  The writer apologized profusely.  Case closed.

Still, it got me thinking about the ways you can successfully approach a topic when lots of folks have written about it before.

Penning articles can be a great way to build your credibility, promote your expertise, and woo clients.  But, copying somebody else’s text — in addition to being illegal — makes you look lazy.

Lifting ideas, though … that’s a different matter.  Ideas cannot be copyrighted.  When you pluck one — and you make it your own — you look enterprising.

It’s not that hard to do.  The trick is to “cook” an idea your own way.  Think about it like this.…

Say you go to an orchard to pick apples with a couple of friends.  Baskets full, you each head home to whip up a dessert.  One friend makes an apple pie.  The other makes an apple tart.  You make an apple cobbler.  You all start with the same raw ingredients: those apples… plus sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon.  But, you each make something unique.

You can do the same thing with ideas.

An easy, surefire way is to draw on your own experiences.  Here are four ways to do that:

Come up with an appropriate analogy that’s all your own.  My apple-picking analogy here?  It came to mind because some friends and I recently took our kids to Happy Apple Farms.  I had apples on the brain.  Lots of people have written about plagiarism, but I seriously doubt any have discussed it in the same breath with apple cobbler.

Peg your ideas to a recent experience you’ve had or to a current news item.  An easy way to freshen a “classic” idea is to relate it to something you just did or read or to some recent newsworthy event.

For instance, if I were to pen an article titled, “How to Write Good Descriptions.”  I could begin by referencing a piece I read recently in The New York Times.  The descriptions were particularly strong.  I’d explain to my readers why they’re so engaging.  I could talk about what that writer did so well — and show my readers how they could do the same thing.

Often you’ll find great jumping-off points in the news.  Say, for example, that you want to write an article about how best to handle a public-relations challenge.  You could open your piece by referring to the recent Toyota scandal.  What lesson would you have your readers learn from the way Toyota handled their crisis?

Aim for a fresh audience.  An idea that might feel pretty standard-issue to a certain group of readers can be truly eye opening to another.  So, think about the ways you can take the know-how you use every day in your own area of expertise and find new folks to share it with.

For example, take an idea like using “picture, promise, proof, push” in a promotion.  That’s not new to you if you’ve studied copywriting technique.  It’s a “classic” idea to an audience of copywriters.  But if you’re a travel writer, in all likelihood that’s new to you.  So, I could write about how you take this proven copywriting technique and apply it to travel articles.  And, that would be a whole new take on the subject.

Start with somebody else’s idea, say it’s their idea… and then refute it, agree with it, or build upon it.  Start with an assertion somebody else makes and react to it.  Say you read an article about how to use vinegar to remove laundry stains.  The author asserts that there’s no more powerful natural stain-fighter.  You could agree, maybe even quote the writer and send your readers to her piece.  But, then your piece might continue, “But vinegar is good for a whole lot more than laundry.  Here are five household hassles vinegar takes care of instantly … ”

Have you ever found yourself reading an article and nodding vigorously in agreement?  Well, begin there.  Tell your readers that you just read this piece, and it’s spot on.  Tell them they should go read it, too.  But then explain why you feel that way.  Use an example from your own life.  Share a story that further supports that other author’s idea.

My point, finally, is simple: You don’t need to copy somebody else’s words.  Even if the idea you want to write about has been written about thousands of times before.  Look to your own life.  Look to what’s going on in the world around you today.  Share your reactions.  Your opinions.  That’s how you take a “classic” idea and make it your own.

End Note:   This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.

Responsibility, Perspective and Success

There’s value in looking back once in a while.  History (personal or collective) often holds clues that unlock current mysteries.  However, I feel genuine personal growth comes from not getting lost in the past, from being able to keep one’s eye on what is to come, what is within reach, what we sometimes refer to as possibility.

Many insightful people have spoken eloquently and written inspiringly on this topic.  Many of their thoughts have helped me “hang tough” over the years.  I thought I’d share these two renditions of the topic.  I hope they help you keep your eye on your goals as we move through this month of May.

I understand that the beginning of wisdom is to accept the responsibility for my own problems and that by accepting responsibility for my past, I free myself to move into a bigger, brighter future of my own choosing. 

I look forward.  I will not let my history control my destiny. 

I am responsible for my success.

 –   Andy Andrews, “The Traveler’s Gift”.

 

But to look back from the stony plain along the road, which led one to that place is not at all the same thing as walking on the road.  The perspective, to say the least, changes only with the journey.  Only when the road has all, abruptly and treacherously, and with an absoluteness that permits no arguments, turned or dropped or risen, is one able to see all that one could not have seen from any other place.

 –  James Baldwin, “Go Tell It On The Mountain”

To be able to look back meaningfully, we have to move forward.  So, move step by step, day by day, and in time, look back in gratitude for lessons learned and successes achieved.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.