I have been there. A lot.
I am not an engineer, or in the construction industry, I don't have a CPA, and I do not know the ins and outs of automated material handling. At least not as well as the engineers, CPA;s and designers who know their stuff.
However, I can and have wrote about the above for a few reasons. Not because I am super intelligent, but because I initially started as a journalism major. Journalism taught me to I listen and learn and maybe more importantly to translate. Translation is essential because as well as the technical people know their stuff, they can’t always write about it, at least from a marketing or sales perspective.
It is vastly different to write about specs and features than to translate those features into benefits and USP’s to successfully perform marketing for industrial companies.
So here is my guide to writing intelligently about subjects where you are not an expert.
Step 1 Read: Take the time and research your subject. You need to find out as much as you can about your topic. Look at your competitor's websites and their collateral. Also don't forget to read your own collateral and website.
If you have any groups that are focused on your industry, visit them and read as much as you can about the subject.
Lastly perform searches online and see if you can come up with angles that you may have missed.
Do the initial research to a have a baseline on your writing and to know what questions to ask for the next part.
Step 2 Outline: From your initial research you should be able to write a short synopsis of your angle for your piece. Also, you should write a framework to keep everything organized. Now you will find that despite your research you will still have a lot of questions.
That’s great. Write down your questions and move on to step 3.
Step 3 Interview: While many of the technical people at your company may not be able to write about their expertise they know how to talk about it.
And they are likely to be passionate about their field and want to talk about it. The problem is that a lot of people may not want to hear about it because frankly a lot of technical information may come off as dull.
So as an interviewer, you have a perfect scenario.
- Someone who is a technical expert
- Who is engaged in their topic
- In a field that many find not that interesting
In short, someone who wants to talk, but there are not a lot of listeners. You will fill that gap.
And you come in as an informed listener because of your earlier research.
- Schedule your interview in advance.
- E-mail the questions to your technical expert, so they have a framework for the discussion.
- Have a defined time limit for the interviews (say 25 minutes). The more specific, the more you sound like it will be concise.
- Schedule a follow-up for any additional questions Ask your technical expert if they would mind reading your writing before you publish
When you are creating a new or updated industrial website, you need a lot of content either pages, case studies, blog posts, whitepapers, etc. Need some ideas on strategy get our Industrial and Manufacturing Guide.