I’m no stranger to confession. I was raised Catholic, but some things go beyond reciting a few Hail Marys.
I have a secret only known to some but exposed regularly to the world in successful talking points, speeches and articles. In the interests of my eternal soul and journalistic guilt I am outing myself in this post.
I am a ghostwriter.
Maybe it’s not a huge secret. Few bestselling authors, public figures or celebrities actually write their own stuff. At least I hope Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t post six selfies a day on Facebook. I’d have to cut him from my list of fantasy dinner dates.
Likewise, professionals who bill $500 an hour should not spend half a day writing a newsletter article when a ghostwriter could do it for them faster (and better). You don’t clean your own houses, too, do you? After 20-plus years of writing for other professionals, I know at least five things you don’t (about ghostwriting) that can help you attract new clients and make money.
1. Gain strategy plus writing.
You want to write something. Who cares? Let a ghostwriter help you understand your lede — the reason for the article — and if it’s even good. Then you need key points in the article to convince your chosen audience that you are the expert of the experts. I will also listen for your business goals to align your article topics with a marketing or sales strategy. Without a strategy, you might as well write poetry on the bathroom wall.
2. Save time.
When any Google search or social media post could bring you business or send it to your competition, ghostwriters expertly enhance reputations in print and online. Let me worry about the headline and length, the structure and the deadline. You get to talk about what you know for 30 minutes, then go back to billable work — or whatever.
3. Inform, don’t sell.
Unless you are a Fortune 500 company, most editors have never heard of you. What’s in it for them when you call? They want business tips and information to share with a wide audience, and quickly. They want an easier job. As a ghostwriter and former journalist, I want to pitch ideas that editors like. I’ve done it hundreds of times. Let me help you write something that readers want to read, heck, what you want to read.
4. Delivery is everything.
Send a too long, too technical (boring), too specific, too corny, too messy article without the right font or font size. Then send it late. See if you get a second chance from that publication you’ve been dying to write for. Instead, spend a little time with a ghostwriter to format and deliver it like you’ve been doing this for years.
5. Get more bang for your byline.
Ghostwriters make sure your article has a great little bio about you attached to it along with a professional photo. I also include your website address in hopes that the publication will provide a hyperlink to it from their website. Once the article is published, I can help you craft social media posts, a speech or a quick tips blog based on the same information. For a couple hours of your time, you’ve just gained five opportunities (at least) to reach out to prospects and referrals.
Make no mistake. I am not a lawyer. I am not an accountant or an engineer. I am a ghostwriter and media strategist. I collect and tailor the massive data in your big brain to appease an instant gratification, mobile audience. It’s mostly a thankless job, but I do have my fans. Maybe someday I’ll get that date with Ironman.
If you’re not convinced, read about a couple of my clients in future posts. Otherwise, I’m happy to clean up your syntax. Call me.
P.S. I’m training my kids to clean my house so I have even more time!