How to Write Like an Expert – Even When You’re Not

By: David Tile| Founer @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: July 22, 2014
You consider yourself a great writer, maybe the best at professional business writing in your company. You’ve written about religion, education, medicine and legal matters for your various clients. Then you’re hit with this assignment: Write 800 words on key I&O technology trends.
Come again?
It’s your job as a writer to “fake it until you’re not faking it anymore,” meaning, sometimes you have to sound like an expert on a topic even when you know little about the industry. But everyone has their limits. For some, it’s technology. For others, sports. Writing about legal matters is a whole new ballgame, due to the, you know, legal issues of publishing incorrect facts.


The problem is that if you don’t actually sound like an expert, then your readers will know instantly. Effective business and professional tech writing, for example, is tough to do if you aren’t intimately familiar with the topic.

Case in point: Awhile back, content marketing firm Nimble Media had a big batch of assignments about fantasy football. For some reason, a chunk of those stories were assigned to UK writers. They know football, but they don’t know American football.

So when Nimble Media received its stories, it was painfully obvious that the writers had never seen an American football game. The writers spent more time describing the basic rules than they gave actual decent fantasy league advice. And something like that is immediately obvious to avid sports fans in the U.S.

So How Do You Write About the Cloud and Federal Taxation of Corporations?

Fortunately, you can still pen some of these articles without sounding like an idiot. Effective business and professional writing, remember, takes practice. Lots of practice.

Rule No. 1? Write, write and write some more. Take some of those topics you struggle with, then write about them at least once a week, more if you have the time. After a while, you’ll learn how to cover the topic and where to quickly and easily find information.

A few other tips comes from Jonathan Wray of Copypress Community:

1)      It’s OK to Have a Meltdown: Remember that scene from Jerry Maguire when he completely wigs out? That’s OK, Wray explains. “Allow yourself some time to quickly go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, eventually, acceptance – and move on,” he tells Copypress Community.

2)      Research Effectively: Wray recommends using Google Scholar and trustworthy sites as opposed to user-generated sites like Wikipedia. Make sure, though, that your research is up to date. If you’re using Google, go to your Search Tools and change the date range. You can also click on “news” or even “blogs.” Otherwise, you might get a bunch of company sites rather than actual useful information or worse, you’ll find outdated info. Once you find a good site, bookmark it.

3)      Find an Expert to Review it Afterward: If at all possible, have someone familiar with the topic look over your story before submitting it. If the client is understanding, you could even get him or her to look at it before it’s ready to go. Along those lines, if your client doesn’t mind answering questions, send him or her a list of them before you start writing, and ask for good resources and websites they follow.

4)      Does It Make Sense to Your Mother?: This tip comes from us, and it’s a good one. When you get a difficult topic, think about how you would explain it to your mother before you start proofreading your story. You wouldn’t use the jargon and nonsensical gobley gook industry experts use. Instead, you’d put it in plain English. You’re not dumbing it down; rather, you’re explaining it in such a way that everyone can grasp the concept. The same applies to writing a difficult to understand topic. After you’ve done your research, ask  yourself whether you understand it well enough to explain it to your mother. If not, then you probably need to spend more time researching.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 


Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.