By Ron Lieback
Editor’s note: This is the first piece in a mini-series discussing the many benefits of hiring a ghostwriter.
1. Ghostwriters Save You Time
2. Ghostwriters Help Build Brand Awareness Quicker
3. Ghostwriters Are Professional Writers
4. Ghostwriters Know SEO
5. Ghostwritten Content Is Authentic Content
Any C-level execs who say writing is a simple task are full of themselves.
Some writers may create drafts quicker than others, but most of the time when this happens the writing quality suffers. And when quality suffers, so does the messaging.
What’s the point of creating content if people can’t relate, especially on an emotional level?
And, more importantly, what does sloppy writing say about a company, or that “quick writing” leader’s thought process?
Getting thoughts down clearly in writing is difficult. When leaders struggle with the written word, it’s then up to the marketing or sales departments to translate a company’s messages to the public.
And the messages should come directly from the upper tier members.
The voices that prospects want to hear from are at the top of the food chain – the founders, presidents, and C-level executives.
Some companies have a writer with two decades of experience on staff, but this usually isn’t the case.
So what’s the simplest solution when you don’t have a skilled writer on staff?
Hire a ghostwriter.
Not just any Joe Schmo. You want a ghostwriter with experience.
The benefits of ghostwriting are many.
I’ve been ghostwriting for multiple company leaders for a decade now across various industries, and have written 500+ articles in publications including Forbes, Inc., and TechCrunch.
I’ve also trained this discipline to multiple members of my agency’s remote workforce, showing writers how to not only speak in the voice of a client, but help build upon that voice.
Some of my clients have attributed my work for sealing investment deals, earning new business, and even getting acquired. These executives – all under strict NDAs, which is a must for ghostwriting success – were able to personally point to their bylined articles that I ghostwrote, and immediately establish social proof.
Remember: we’re not focusing on the typical idea of a ghostwriter that is common within the book-publishing industry; we’re focusing on the ghostwriters for any type of business or personal brand-building content, including the holy trinity of content development:
Here are the top five benefits of using a ghostwriter:
1. Ghostwriters Save You Time.
By delegating writing tasks that are a must for amplifying brand awareness, these executives can have a clear focus on where their focus should be rather than staring at a blank white screen.
Plus, many of my ghostwriting clients absolutely cringe when they have to write an email, never mind a 1,000-word piece for Forbes or the Huffington Post.
And if that 100-word email takes 20 minutes, imagine a full-length article that needs multiple rounds of edits for clarity?
You can never get time back; ghostwriters help leaders and those on a personal brand-building mission to have additional time to focus on other needed tasks.
2. Ghostwriters Help Build Brand Awareness Quicker.
It’s simple. Rather than an executive allocating time to publish quality stories once a quarter – or month, if they’re lucky – hiring a reputable ghostwriter can speed up the process of getting your brand’s story out there.
Leaders have to manage company business; ghostwriters only have to write.
And due to the typical low priority of such writing tasks, they are usually the first task to get dropped from the workflow.
I’ve witnessed it over and over where CEOs would allocate the last hours of their schedule to work on third-party guest posting articles or personal blogs, and the littlest thing would take the writing tasks of their schedules.
It’s a psychological thing, also; when big writing hours are scheduled, many – even the best of writers – will do whatever is needed to not actually write.
Writing is a profession, though many companies fail to hire professional copywriters or editors.
You can have the best service or product within your industry, but if you can’t communicate the “Why” of that service or product, you won’t scale as you wish.
Plus, a fake is noticed immediately.
Great examples are the multiple promotional emails that everyone receives daily.
These emails are loaded with cliches and exclamation points at the end of every sentence – because they can’t clearly make their point, so they need to excite you!!!
Imagine if those emails were ghostwritten by professional writers from the voice of a leader, say the CEO or founder of said company. The email’s message would carry much more energy, and click-throughs would likely be much higher.
Though everyone should educate themselves and write as much as possible to clearly communicate in things like internal emails and memos, let the true writing professionals do their jobs.
Most ghostwriters spend their entire working hours doing one thing and one thing only – writing.
Since it is their profession, the great ghostwriters can also enhance the voice of any company leader or person developing enhanced brand awareness.
If the ghostwriter was trained correctly (more on that in an upcoming column), it wouldn’t matter if leaders like Howard Schultz or Elon Musk actually did the writing – their messages are all that’s needed.
One way I’ve always differentiated my ghostwriting from the others is by discussing the importance of writing with SEO in mind.
This is mostly for on-site content creation, but it also goes for third-party guest blogging – regardless if the published work is on Forbes or Search Engine Journal, the more keywords you can rank for, the better you can fuel a searcher’s intent.
Ghostwriters of years’ past were only about amplification of voices in major publications. When I began, it was all magazine based, also.
Companies today understand that not only is a voice of a CEO going to spread the message better, but that message must be found online.
This is where ghostwriters trained in SEO are crucial for top results.
It isn’t just keywords and backlinks anymore. It’s much more, including quality content that is bylined by an authoritative voice and easily shareable.
The true ghostwriter will be trained in SEO, and know how to not only write engaging and quality content, but how to make sure this content is found online.
Most people think a ghostwriter diminishes authenticity. This can happen if someone (or a company) changes ghostwriters often; their voice diminishes quickly. If these people/companies have built a fanbase, that fanbase will immediately know something is not right – that’s inauthentic.
Reputable ghostwriters work closely with their clients, pinpointing the voice, and unifying it across all writings.
This is an authentic way of doing things.
The leader’s ideas are being transcribed, and the ghostwriter’s task is to communicate those ideas coherently and concisely.
Many CEOs lead awesome companies, such as Steve Jobs at Apple – but did Steve actually create every line of code or manufacturer the pieces for every iPhone or iMac? Nope, he left that to the professionals within those sectors.
This same principle should be used for anyone who lacks the skills of a professional writer.
When some people hear the term ghostwriter, they usually think first of novelists. Most don’t realize the benefits of hiring one for the other projects, such as third-party guest contributions, their brand’s blog, educational articles, newsletters, or LinkedIn posts.
Well before starting my agency, I was a ghostwriter for some great companies, and the synergy I helped create between them and those in their markets was more rewarding than the paycheck.
Some professionals simply can’t get their words down, but why should they worry? Their strengths, whether leading a company into emerging markets or product development, should guide their focus.
Leave the writing to the professionals.
Stay clicked to Search Engine Journal for my next column where I’ll discuss the top traits of well-disciplined ghostwriters, and how to train and work with ghostwriters to make your message clear.
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