Do you need a ghostwriter to help you get your message out to the world? If you're a business owner, an agent of change, thought leader, advocate, and someone who wakes up every day seeking to make a difference, I'm writing this article specifically for you.
My goal is to give you the basics about ghostwriting, share why I love to write and where and offer you several essential suggestions for hiring a ghostwriter you can trust to get the job done right the first time.
Born to Write
I was born to write, read, explore the world, and serve others.
When I was 13, I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the local newspaper where I grew up, Laconia, New Hampshire. The year was 1975 and inflation was raging out of control. Hamburger prices at the ski area were too expensive. So, naturally, I had to take a stand.
In 1978 during my junior year of high school, my father made me take a typing class. I thought he was a fool. Turns out my dad was a scholar who somehow knew I would grow up to be a writer.
I started writing marketing copy, sales letters, brochures, workshops, training programs, and other content for the companies who hired me out of college in 1983. In 1990, I started working for myself and wrote almost all of the sales and marketing copy for my businesses.
My first business was a financial planning and investment advisory practice. I sold it in 2000 to a major Wall Street firm. After that, I started a sales coaching business that morphed into a digital marketing and agency model specializing in marketing automation in 2007 when I launched my first blog.
I wrote for work every day and got better. The rest is history. I've been able to publish, speak, train, write, teach, and reach millions of people every year who read my articles, watch my videos, and hire me to be a ghostwriter.
Ghostwriters write articles, ebooks, books, seminars, sales scripts, email marketing campaigns, websites, landing pages, and anything that requires the art and science of the written word.
Most of us get paid by the word and do our own work. The only reason I have a team of other writers behind me is that I used to own a digital marketing agency. I maintained all of the relationships I had with my best freelance copywriters and ghostwriters.
I love my writers dearly! I'm blessed to have great people to help me help my clients. For example, one project required us to write an entirely new website featuring dozens of police and military vehicles with customized specifications. This project required months of planning and hard work. In the end, the client got a great website and we got paid to write.
Be sure to hire a ghostwriter who loves to write. If they are truly committed writers, they will be able to show you their work. Here are some of the books I've coauthored with famous people.
I'm also the guy who worked with legendary, best-selling author, Harvey Mackay. My team and I crafted for Harvey and an entirely new library of online courses we wrote together for www.HarveyMackayAcademy.com.
In this case, Harvey and his staff worked extremely closely under the same brand and umbrella to make our work even better. It's not easy working with a true master, but it was one of the most rewarding, challenging experiences a kid from New Hampshire could imagine having.
Copywriting and ghostwriting has always been more art than science. When you hire a ghostwriter, be sure they love to write the kind of content you need.
Most of us have areas in which we specialize. My ability to improve as a ghostwriter and copywriter happened in business creating sales, marketing, and training materials for my businesses and others.
Trust is a big deal when you hire anyone to write. All great writers have a unique filter or lens through which we see the world. We have biases and agendas just like everyone else. But when our job is to write for someone else, we need to get out of our heads and hearts and into yours.
The Hiring Process Matters
Do you have a process for hiring a ghostwriter? Most of my clients find me online or are referred to me. When you search for the best ghostwriter to hire, you'll do your homework just like we will. The way we normally begin the process is by scheduling a discovery conversation.
The purpose of the conversation is to get acquainted and see if there's a fit to work together. It's kind of like a dance taking place. We feel each other out.
All great ghostwriters have a process for hiring the right clients. The reason we want to hire great clients is so we increase the probability of clear communication, commitment, and long-term success. Nothing, including great ghostwriting and marketing success, happens overnight.
Ghostwriters are creative people. Creative people are innately curious and we approach each client with the best of intention. We seek to know who you are, and what your goal is. We will ask you many questions before we agree to take on the first project.
Clear communication is the key to the alignment and outcome for every project because every project is important for professionals who care about results.
Most of us agree, hiring and managing people can be a costly nightmare. A great sign to look for early is the kind of questions and time a ghostwriter will ask you before you reach an agreement.
Hire With Head, Heart, and Soul
The best way to hire anyone is to invest the time to get to know someone. It's the same when you want to hire a ghostwriter. The best way to do this is to schedule a virtual video meeting or meet in person. Seeing someone eye-to-eye is priceless.
The conversation must be a two-way street. This means you will exchange questions and listen mutually. The goal is to seek alignment so you get what you want and your ghostwriter gets another great client!
Here are some of the first questions I like to ask about you.
- Who are you?
- What is your business?
- What is your timeline?
- What is your goal?
- Who is your ideal audience, prospect, or customer?
- Where do they hang out?
- How do we reach them?
- What is the value you offer?
- Why will it matter to your audience?
- How will you be different?
- What is the call to action?
Conversely, you as the client might as me these and more questions:
- Why do you believe you can do a great job ghostwriting for me?
- What kind of work have you done that is similar?
- What kind of results have you achieved for others?
- Where can I see some of your work?
- What is your capacity right now for new work?
- What is your turnaround time?
- How do I know I can count on you to deliver?
Now you can see the power of having a conversation for the purpose of getting to know each other.
Essentials for Ghostwriting Success
I love to write for myself and others. Based on more than thirty years of experience as a writer and ghostwriter, here are the essentials you must seek when you are the client:
- Your content must carry your voice. If your name is on your article, website, biography, or anything published for the world to see, don't you want to be sure the words sound like you?
- Your content must reach your audience. If nobody sees your written work, what good is it? Great freelance ghostwriters will invest the time to ask detailed questions about your audience. We call this your Avatar, Persona, or Ideal Client.
- Your content must engage your audience. If your message doesn't win the hearts and minds of your ideal audience, what good it is?
- Your content must be consistently visible. Have you ever seen a blog that showcases the most recent news or article and it's three years old? What kind of message do you send your blog visitor, prospects, investors, employees, and others? Not the message you intended.
- Your content must be authentic. In today's world, the quality of your message must be authentic. The B.S. Meter is running on high alert for all of us. We can't begin to assimilate or make sense of all the information being thrown at us. Hire someone who can be authentic with you, for you. This means when we send you our work, you won't like it. You will love it.
For the Love of Writing
Every writer I know loves to write. We write because we love to practice our art. And imagine what it feels like to provide a useful, creative service that is the only one of it's kind.
Whenever you hire a creative person to write for you, with you, and to be part of you, hire with both your head and your heart. Choose wisely and be sure to align with anyone you trust enough to ghostwrite for you.
The best way to align with your ideal ghostwriter is to think of us as your trusted friend who you can tell anything. Our first job is to listen and hear the words not said as much as those said.
Now you know how to hire a ghostwriter you can trust.
Interested in scheduling a conversation about your copywriting or ghostwriting project?
Please click here and find a convenient time on my calendar.
P.S. If you want to see more of my work, click the links below:
- The Business Journals - Contributor
- Amazon Author - Four books.
- Medium - Contributing Partner
- LinkedIn - Contributor
- Huff Post - Contributor
- Personal Blog - My Stream of Business Consciousness
- Harvey Mackay Academy - Co-founder, Managing Editor
- RetireOnPurpose.com - Founder, Managing Editor, Blogger
- ConversionMarketingExperts.com - Award-winning blog.