You have a highly complex product and need copy to describe it. Should you pick a subject-matter expert (SME) with average writing skills or an expert copywriter with little to no prior knowledge about your type of product? You should seriously consider the latter.
I’m often asked to completely rewrite drafts written by experts in fields I have barely heard about before. How is this at all possible for me to do? Here are three of the main reasons:
- First and foremost, the obvious one: writing copy that grabs the reader and guides them through the learning experience is a science in its own right. That’s why the SME eventually gave up and handed their notes to me.
- Sure, I’ll have plenty of reading up to do. But the outsider’s perspective also comes with a massive advantage. I’m much better placed than the client to see the product the way the customers do. So I can often identify selling points that the client didn’t even think to tell the customer about. I can also reframe the entire perception of a product, and this might make all the difference to the customer.
- Third, and this is where it gets really interesting: I do not necessarily have to understand the finer points of all the nuts and bolts of the product in order to write about it. I only have to understand the concepts and contexts – the relationships between the different components. And since I’m used to speed-reading and interviewing subject matter experts, that’s standard procedure for me.
What I did for OrionVM is a good example. OrionVM develop next-gen Infrastructure as a Service solutions. It’s a territory that comes with so many technical concepts and so much industry jargon, it reads like Greek to the layman. Yet, when they needed to create a whitepaper on their hyperconverged wholesale cloud service, the job landed in my (at that point ignorant) lap.
At the end of the project, I could have stood up to deliver a fiery speech on Creating revenue streams for system integrators.
Link to PDF on the right.
- Client OrionVM
- Industry IT
- Media Whitepaper