Posted Under: Hiring writers,value in content,white papers
One reader writes that a CPA hired him to write a white paper.
Why would a CPA need a white paper? Isn’t that like writing an annual report for a hot dog vendor?
Here’s the story:
I did a feature story on my CPA for a neighborhood paper a couple of years ago and he still keeps it on the receptionist’s counter for people to see as they come in. He wants me to do more work for him.
I saw him a week ago and I mentioned some research I’d done on writing a white paper. His eyes got quite large and he told me he was interested in a white paper for his business, so we’re meeting tomorrow so that I can outline what I think I can do for him.
Any thoughts on what I should do next? I haven’t a clue how to do this without it looking like a complete experiment.
A white paper for a CPA? Sounds like a stretch to me, unless it’s Deloitte, or unless the CPA has some kind of how-to in mind. Have you ever met a CPA with the time to devote to providing material for a white paper, let alone to reviewing it? I’d be surprised if the average CPA uses white papers. It sounds to me like writing a white paper for a grammar school: Overkill and a bad match.
I suggested the writer browse the sites of a few other CPAs of similar size and see what kind of content they’re putting up (case studies, checklists, strategies, quick takes), then ask which kind of content the client wants to pursue. This would serve three purposes:
- It would demonstrate that the writer is more interested in the CPA’s overall content picture than in scoring an engagement.
- It would keep the CPA focused on bite-sized content better matched to his ability to commit to the project.
- It would save the writer from delivering a white (paper) elephant that nobody really needed.