Proper preparation prevents poor performance
Planning is a vital step in the work you do as an accountant – part of what leads to a quality product and quality experience for your clients. Planning helps you to be proactive for your clients. And for managers, planning is essential to getting the right staff on the right project at the right time.
For a white paper or special report, it’s just as important. As H. Stanley Judd said, “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.”
A white paper plan is exactly that – a roadmap that spells out the destination and the way to get there. A white paper plan serves as the foundation of a great white paper. They are so essential that I require them for all white paper projects.
The first step is a conference call or meeting with all the stakeholders and decision makers to discuss the following:
- The objective of this document in the sales cycle
- The target audience you want to reach
- A list of SEO keywords to be included
- Who will be reviewing this
- Sources for research
- Previous examples to use as guidance
- Who will do the graphics
- Timeline for the project
- Budget and payment terms
- The overall type for the white paper
- Possible titles
- Outline of the content
- Call to action at the end
After the discussion, I’ll compile all this information along with my best ideas for the project, along with a firm quote for completing the whole project. You are free to take this plan to your in-house team or to another copywriter, or you can choose to work with me since I’m already up to speed on the project.
Planning a white paper keeps everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal. This investment in planning will save you time and money.
Without a plan, many white papers are never completed. If they do get finished, they may never achieve the desired objectives of attracting more leads because the content has lost its focus. Competing agendas can derail the core message. The process can become an agonizing struggle to agree on the final content. A white paper plan helps to keep everyone on the same page from day one. It boosts the chances for achieving the goals and streamlines the process.