You’re in the final stages of writing your white paper. Congratulations! Your hard work is about to pay off when you finally land that client, investor, or team member because you’ll be able to show them how much research and effort went into creating your company’s niche in the industry. You’ve spent countless hours hitting the books (or the web), reading blogs, and following your competitors. You’ve finally come up with an idea that you know will revolutionize the industry, and now you’re ready to write about it.
If this sounds like you, then we’ve got some advice: Don’t copy a white paper example word for word! Sure, research is key when it comes to your company’s success, but using a white paper example is not the way to show that you’re an expert in the industry.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to learn how to write a white paper:
1) The Company Name Is Changed But Nothing Else Is
Adding 2-3 words to the title and nothing else just doesn’t cut it. If you’re going to take the time out of your day to write something, then at least have the courtesy to give credit where it’s due. A great example of this would be if I had titled this article “Common Mistakes When Using an Example White Paper.” It may seem like a trivial point now, but it can be a real turnoff for those who know their stuff and will notice that you didn’t put much effort into your paper.
2) There Is No Clear Call To Action
If we had titled our white paper example “Common Mistakes When Using an Example White Paper,” then there would be no clear call to action at the end of the article. You would have no idea what you were supposed to do next, and most likely wouldn’t take any action. The white paper definition states that your paper must end with a clear call to action, whether it be signing up for a free trial or checking out the company website. This will not only let your reader know what you expect from them, but it will also let them know that you want to work with them. Using a SWOT analysis template might be useful in determining what call to action you want your readers to get from your white paper. Head over to Venngage for a library of SWOT analysis templates.
3) There Is No Analysis Of The Company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
This is hands down the most important part of your paper. When writing a white paper example, three main parts go into an analysis of the USP: Problem, Solution, and USP. It may seem simple, but it is the core of your company’s success. When you’re writing a paper about how to use an example white paper, then there can be no analysis of the USP because there has been no problem or solution discussed in the example.
4) There Is Not Enough Analysis Of The Company’s Competition
This is also a very important part of writing a white paper template. You need to show your readers that you’re not just going to focus on one company, but that you’re going to give them an in-depth analysis of the entire industry, including your competitors and any other threats to the market. If all you’ve done is write an example white paper, then you’re neglecting to address the needs of your readers.
5) There Is Not Enough Data
There’s no such thing as too much data. The more information you have on a particular topic or company, the better. If your paper is short and doesn’t offer any additional sources of information, then it will most likely be overlooked by those who truly want to learn about the industry. A white paper example should only be used as a guide for your white paper, not a photocopy.
Ensuring that your company’s information is accurate, up-to-date, and researched is what will make or break your future – don’t let silly mistakes cost you the success you deserve!
6) There Are No Images In The White Paper Project
If this is your own company, then I’m sure you can provide visuals for what you’re talking about. If not, then maybe this isn’t the industry for you to pursue at this time. Your readers want to see images that are relevant to what you are writing about – otherwise, why would they bother reading it?
7) The Author’s Name Is Mentioned Too Often
Although it is important to give credit where it’s due, you don’t want your white paper example to focus entirely on the author/company. You need to make sure that the company name appears in your document somewhere – but not too often.
What is the white paper? It should include all pertinent information related to your subject matter while grabbing the attention of your readers and clients. All in all, if you want to show off the research and effort that went into creating your company’s niche in the industry, then using a white paper example will not cut it. You need to spend time writing your paper so that you can show your readers exactly why you’re the best choice.