Consulting White Papers: Develop Authority Status

I received an email from Bruce, a service professional from Texas, asking what I meant by giving away free consulting whitepapers in an article I wrote about Demonstrating Your Consulting Expertise.

White papers are used to demonstrate your knowledge in a particular area.

What Is a White Paper

First let’s define what a white paper is: It’s a report or guide that explores a topic which often solves a problem.

White papers are used to demonstrate your knowledge in a particular area. Say you’re a management consultant. You could offer a free white paper on “5 Management Traps Every Executive Needs to Avoid.”

White Papers Deliver Value

In that white paper you would talk about the 5 areas executives and managers need to be aware of. More importantly, you’ll educate and offer value.

And yes, you won’t charge for this!

The goal of a white paper is to establish yourself as an authority and expert.

But you’ll be giving away valuable information for free, you ask. Yes, you will, but a prospective client is much more likely to hire you once they are confident in your skills and knowledge. And that’s what the white paper helps you to establish.

Where to Use Them

You can use white papers in many places, for example:

  • You can put it on your website
  • Offer it as free content when they sign up to your newsletter.
  • Include it as a call to action as part of an advertisement or direct mail piece.
  • Send it to prospective clients.
  • Take it to and give it away at meetings.
  • You get the idea…

Have questions about white papers? Ask below…

Please Share This Article If You Enjoyed It:

  • Excellent topic and summary, Michael
    Many consultants worry about giving away the store in a white paper, but as you point out, it is one very good way to demonstrate your knowledge as an expert.
    I say give away the store. The people who can afford you will hire you because they trust you can do the job. The people who can’t afford you will take your ideas and try to implement them on their own.
    What have you got to lose?

  • Mario

    What program do you use? What format do you save it in?

    • Mario – I’d recommend setting up a template in Word. If designed properly it will look professional and makes editing a breeze.

  • Ink Builder

    Thank you for this blog, your blog is Excellent. I like it.

  • I agree with the points that you make in your article Michael. Never thought of the idea of giving the white papers/articles out on occasions when I do presentations on Sales and Marketing. I also have my latest article on my website for my potential clients to see. Thanks for the idea.

  • Tim

    Great article. Bob said it best. If you do your research, know what you’re doing and have the drive to work hard to accomplish it, it’ll pay off. Those who try to cut corners will try to steal your white paper, try to implement your research and ideas and look foolish.