Case Study: White Paper for Non-profit

While not one of my core services, white papers are a powerful marketing asset for any B2B tech company. Use them to explain a complex tech concept, demonstrate your thought leadership, or spark engagement with your audience. I’ve written a few white papers in my time, mainly academic-sounding, stiff white papers. This project was a joy to work on as it was a more conversational, casual white paper that tread the line between advocacy and call to arms, in a more classic problem/solution format.

The Client

That White Paper Guy, Gordon Graham

The Project

A white paper about blockchain for a non-profit rights management organization

The Process

For this project, Gordon & I used GDocs to collaborate on the white paper draft. This way both he and the end client could look in on the progress of the paper, but also comment directly in the doc when we had questions.

  1. Gordon held the initial talks with the end client, gathering information & background.
  2. He then created an outline for the white paper, which he passed along to me.
  3. I wrote the first draft in approximately 10 days and submitted it to Gordon and the end client. The paper was approximately 45 pages in length (9,000+ words).
  4. After a round of feedback & comments, I revised the white paper (nearly completely!) in another 5-7 business days. The paper was approximately 35 pages in length (7,000+ words).
  5. We solicited feedback from a broader group of people at the end client and did another round of revisions. The paper was now approximately 28 pages in length (5,000+ words).

At this stage I passed the draft back to Gordon for the last edit and polish. The final draft was approximately 26 pages and was ready for repurposing into other content assets (a slide deck, infographic, and a blog post or two).

Thoughts on the Project

Collaborating with the team at That White Paper Guy allows TWPG’s team to work on more white papers throughout the year, as well as bring in different perspectives & writing styles to each project. As a member of TWPG’s writing team, I’m tasked with producing white papers according to the outlines, get them done on time, and produce work that requires minimal intervention by the TWPG team. Gordon specifically tasked me with this blockchain white paper as he was looking for a more conversational tone for it because it was for a non-profit organization. I prefer & specialize in more conversational tech content marketing, so I knew this was going to be a good fit.

This experience was a new one for me, as I had not collaborated with someone in quite this way on a project before. Plus, it had been at least 3 years since I’d written a white paper and I admit, they aren’t my favourite content type to write.

Overall, I enjoyed working with Gordon & the TWPG team. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed writing this white paper, and the topic (blockchain technology) was something I’d been eager to dive into. Communication was smooth, feedback was handed back & forth sincerely, and the collaboration was efficient. For both me and Gordon, this white paper project was a success and I look forward to the next one.

If you’re looking to create a more conversational white paper for your tech customers, let me know. I’d love to help.