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Quick tip: Using multiple calls-to-action

You’ve heard the standard advice: Use one call-to-action to make it crystal clear what interested prospects should do. But what if you have multiple audiences for the same white paper? What if one call-to-action isn’t enough? There’s a simple way to handle that: Just specify a different call-to-action for each segment of the audience. Here…

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Quick tip: Stop charging by the hour!

yellow alarm clock on piles of US dollars

Whatever you think about AI, it’s fast. And cheap.  ChatGPT-4 can write a blog post faster than you can dictate the words.   And it can revise and rewrite just as fast. For pennies. With no complaints. So if you’re a writer or agency still charging clients by the hour, you can’t compete with your…

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Quick tip: With AI, tackle your most significant tasks first

baby in bathwater

Just because you CAN do something with AI doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Don’t get rid of a perfectly fine workflow just to save a few bucks. For example, people proclaim they now use AI to generate their own graphics so they’ve stopped buying stock photos. Is that…

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Quick Tip: With AI, write your white paper as a numbered list

with AI do a numbered list

ChatGPT struggles to write long-form content. So don’t make it. Keep it short. To write a white paper with AI, make a numbered list.  A numbered list—also known as a strawberry white paper—presents a collage of related points. You can arrange those points in some sort of sensible order. But you don’t have to build…

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Quick Tip: Don’t start your research with Google

Yes, you need a lot of research for a white paper. No, you don’t want to start with Google.  That might send you down countless rabbit holes. And with AI content being dumped online, we can expect the web to get even more polluted with lies and disinformation in the future. So here are three…

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Quick Tip: Read a draft to your reviewers

read a white paper out loud

Did you ever work with a SME who kept putting off reviewing a white paper draft? Maybe English wasn’t their first language. Or maybe they weren’t sure how to express their comments on your draft. But they were too embarrassed to admit it. Here’s a smart way around that: 1. Schedule a meeting or Zoom,…

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Quick Tip: My favourite way to polish a draft

polishing a white paper draft

Read it out loud. That quickly reveals any awkward phrases or run-on sentences. To me, reading out loud is the absolute best way to revise a white paper draft. But it can be awkward to read a draft to yourself and try to make changes at the same time. There’s a simple solution… Did you…

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Quick Tip: Don’t cross the red line

Companies doing their first-ever white paper often suffer from what I call “The Kitchen Sink Syndrome.” They tell me they want to generate leads. But they’re also dying to tell the world about their brilliant new product. And then they come up with a listicle or two. So they dump all that into one document.…

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Quick Tip: Case studies and white papers

You can include a case study in a white paper. But you can’t include a white paper in a case study.  Remember the key differences between these formats: A case study tells the story of one happy customer A white paper describes a better way to solve an industry-wide problem A case study usually runs 1,000…

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Quick Tip: Pick your idea the way Goldilocks does

A white paper needs an idea that’s not too big, not too small. Just like Goldilocks, you need an idea that’s just right. Here’s how to find one. Say you work for a company that makes electric lawn tools, the kind that run on batteries instead of gasoline. And you’re looking for a topic for…

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