Subject Matter Experts Should Never Be Allowed To Write Content

September 25th 2019       Sally Ormond       copywriter, subject matter experts
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Subject matter experts are worth their weight in gold.

Without them, companies wouldn’t be able to function. 

They are the unsung heroes and heroines who have dedicated their lives to understanding concepts that leave most of us cold.

It is through their encyclopaedic knowledge that your products and services lead the way in their field. 

However, that expertise can also be their downfall. 

I am about to stick my neck out and state, categorically; I have never met a subject matter expert who can write engaging, coherent, interesting content. 

Let copywriters write

I know a bit about a lot of things, but I am an expert in only one area – writing. 

Despite his or her wealth of knowledge, your subject matter expert can’t write for toffee – not in a copywriting sense. 

The problem they have is their depth of knowledge. What they don’t know about their field isn’t worth knowing. They are incredibly zealous about it and will happily talk about it for hours. 

However, that is not what you want in your articles. 

Your readers want to know how you’re going to take their pain away. They’re not interested in the nitty-gritty. Simply tell them you feel their pain and you have exactly what they need to make it go away. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean your subject matter expert’s knowledge is redundant as far as your marketing is concerned. 

Copywriters and subject matter experts are a heavenly partnership

To get the most from your experts’ knowledge you need a professional copywriter working with you. 

This is how it works. 

I am currently in a long-term partnership with a City firm that creates software for use in Capital Markets and financial institutions. 

As you’re aware, the finance industry has had a number of shake-ups over recent years and a growing number of regulations imposed upon it. 

Needless to say, with every regulation, financial institutions have to revisit their working practices to make sure they comply. That means finding new ways to streamline services, improve the transparency of reporting, increase the quality of their data. Of course, all this comes at an additional cost so they want to be able to do all of this while keeping their costs under control. 

When it comes to writing articles about these complex regulations, we work as a team. Of course, my client could get their subject matter experts to write articles for them. However, this presents a couple of problems:

  1. The subject matter expert doesn’t have time to write the content
  2. If they did write it, it would be incredibly detailed, dense, hard to read and far too complicated for the average Joe to understand

That’s where I come in. 

After being briefed on the area to be covered, I research it to get a good basic understanding of the issue. Then, I conduct an interview with the subject matter expert to get their take on it and how my client’s product helps their customers overcome the issues they are facing. 

These interviews are usually taped because when you get a subject matter expert talking it’s a job to stop them. Recording them ensures I have the information to hand so I can go back and tease out the most salient points. 

The next step is for me to merge my research with the information gleaned from my client’s expert to create an informative article that addresses the impact of the latest regulation, the needs of their clients, and then how their product will help (this bit is usually in the by line to ensure the article is a thought leadership/informational piece of content).

Copywriters and subject matter experts unite

Together, your copywriter and subject matter expert are a force to be reckoned with. 

You win because you have two professionals working for you to create strong marketing collateral that give your customers what they want. 

Next time you need articles writing about complex issues, remember this blog post and give me a call. 

Sally Ormondis a professional copywriter awaiting your call. Make sure your articles don’t bore the pants of your readers by calling her on +44(0) 1449 779605.

Tags: copywriter, subject matter experts
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