Sometimes I feel like there’s a lot of mystique about what B2B content writers do. In the writing world, they’re the writers that are in demand and command high rates. Why is that so?
What B2B writers need
So you want to be a B2B writer. To be one you need to have:
- strong writing & editing skills (a given)
- a strong passion to constantly learn
- a strong foundation in business/technical knowledge*
- the ability to research strategically
- the skill to distill complex information into content that will grip the reader’s attention
- the ability to write in your target audience’s language*
The ones marked * is what distinguishes B2B from B2C writers, and why they tend to be paid more. And why those who have written more B2C content can struggle … at first.
Because that was me. I’ve spent years writing about entertainment, lifestyle, social and environmental issues as a journalist. In my early years I avoided business content like the plague, a carry on from my secondary school years where I was bored out of my mind with Economics and Accountancy classes.
Transitioning into B2B writing
When I ended up in B2B writing, I felt like a foreigner in a new land where people spoke a different language.
What helped me scale up quickly to competency was my ability to research strategically and distill complex information quickly.
What I mean by “researching strategically” is not just having great Google-fu skills, but the ability to organise your research in such a way that you can refer and digest them quickly. But that’s a conversation for another day!
Companies need to do their part too
However, don’t just depend on their skills alone - companies, please provide your content writers the support they need! So, if you are hiring B2B writers, remember to give them:
- access to subject matter experts
- time to absorb complex information
- onboard them thoroughly on your company products/services
- the freedom to ask questions
Successful B2B content writing happens when there’s a harmonious marriage of skills + support. The mistake I often see is to put the burden 100% on the writer; a B2B writer is a skillful professional, but he/she is still not an expert in supply chain management, for example.
They can Google-fu their way to write a white paper, but that will be distillation of other people’s ideas instead of your company’s expertise. That will be quite a shame. (And a disaster if it happens to be your competitor’s ideas!)
How about you - what makes a successful B2B content writer?
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