How to Hire a Ghostwriter Who is Right for You

While all ghostwriters say they can write for you, it’s important to note not all writers are created equal. When you hire a ghostwriter, it may seem straight forward: find a writer, hire them. But your goals really need to direct your decision, and they should have the portfolio that proves they are not only the right writer for you, but can also demonstrate their success. How do you know if a ghostwriter has what it takes to be your writer? Here are some tips to get your started:

Ask to See Their Related Work

To hire a ghostwriter, ask to see their work. The right one will be able to provide you samples of their work. Hopefully, they have samples in your industry or at least genre, but not having it shouldn’t disqualify them. Look at what they submit to you and read it as though you wrote it. Does it hold your interest and sound like how you would want to sound? More importantly, would it appeal to the types of clients you want to work with?

You can ask for a sample of work where they write a piece for you, however, you should expect to pay for it. It will help you to see how they handle your subject matter and “voice”. Some writers will not be the right fit and that’s ok; just like any service provider, some will be better for you than others.

Ask Them Their Timeline

Ghostwriting is very time consuming. It’s important to understand from the start when the ghostwriter feels they can start and finish your project. Ask for references from former clients and contact them to see what their experience was in working with the ghostwriter. Ask about their adherence to deadlines and how it was to work together.

Ask About Their Pricing/ Contract Terms

According to a recent Huffington Post Article, a good ghostwriter will charge thousands of dollars. I don’t like that they aren’t really qualifying that with an associated word count or quality. I still like the article because I think it helps shed light on what many people don’t understand, however, and that is ghostwriting is difficult and requires time and skill to get it right.

When looking to hire a ghostwriter, ask about pricing and look at what you expect to make in return. Also ask about contract terms such as whether you will be requiring an editor, marketing team, etc. beyond their service. You may think you are buying more or less than you are, so it is important to understand the full scope of services your writer is providing.

Get the Right Fit, First Time 

Bottom line, when it comes time to hire a ghostwriter, it is important to find someone who understands your goals, voice, and expectations. Asking questions upfront, and seeing their work before making a commitment will determine if they are the right fit. If you need help finding a ghostwriter to work with, please contact me – I have a variety of writers on my team who may be perfect for your writing needs.

Featured Author: Kevin Guttman

featured author kevin guttman

Kevin Guttman is the best selling author of The Swiss Army Knife of Retirement Cash Flow.

Kevin and I met in a networking group. As a mortgage lender, he felt somewhat lots in the sea of competitors and wanted to really stand out as an expert in his field while also helping his clients to overcome misunderstanding about an important product in his industry – reverse mortgage. For him, writing a book was a Marketing solution.

Because he is in a regulated field, he couldn’t offer advice, so decided to focus on stories of people, from a variety of backgrounds and life situations, who leveraged their homes with reverse mortgage. The Swiss Army Knife of Retirement Cash Flow is a collection of stories compiled using information from case studies, reworked into fictional accounts to demonstrate facts in a compelling way.

He has used his book to get more clients, open the door for speaking opportunities, increase his industry credibility, and, even went on to create additional compilation books on his own. He leverages these low cost books (and their e-book format) to help promote education in a variety of ways.

Learn more about Kevin Guttman and his books here.

book ghostwriter

5 Ways to Use a Ghostwriter You May Not Have Considered

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a ghostwriter isn’t as creepy as it sounds

Several people have a ghostwriter to help them create written content, (including these 6 authors). As their name suggests, ghostwriters aren’t usually well known, nor are the extent of their ghostwriting services. Who uses them, and why they do, may surprise you. I’d like to share some of the ways I’ve worked with clients so you better understand what ghostwriters do. Whether penning a book, website content, or written collateral, a ghostwrite can help!

When English Is Difficult

The first book that I was hired to ghostwrite was for a bi-lingual client where English was his second language. I interviewed him and used recorded speeches to illustrate and explain the concepts and teachings of the Buddhist faith. He wasn’t confident about writing in English, even though he spoke it well. He had a large following, so ghostwriting made the most sense for him.

Other clients have come to me because they have a learning or other disability or have a traumatic brain injury. Clients who didn’t do well in English class are also on this list as they find it difficult to communicate in written form.

New Product Launch Content

I was contracted to write content about new product launches on a few occasions. Because the product was innovative and not yet a tangible product, I had to explain what it was, how it was intended to work, why it came into existence. Just like the new product needed to be created, so did all the written collateral, as there was nothing to research about it. Of course, research existed around the WHY of the product, but not the product itself. Ghostwriters are skilled at both research and creating compelling content.

Client Stories / Testimonials / Storytelling Marketing

Client stories are a form of testimonial – they follow the full story of a client from their problem to the solution. The great benefit of using client stories is that it really helps potential clients identify themselves to the other clients or customers, and help them visualize themselves as a client. They are very effective and engaging.

A ghostwriter can interview clients to create quality stories that capture the interest of others.

Articles

Articles can be created based on interviews, research, and content that has already been created such as blogs, videos, podcasts, and presentations. These articles can be submitted to trade journals, magazines, and online publications your target audience reads, or even used as a marketing piece at events.

Digital Materials

Web designers are one of my largest referring sources, hiring me to write website content for clients who don’t have the time, skill, or marketing understanding to do it themselves. Digital materials include blogs and social media posts or articles, guest blogs, whitepapers, downloadable products and more. Digital materials need to be very customer focused, but also capitalize on Search Engine keywords.

 

Next time you have a project that requires writing, or if you simply haven’t taken on an opportunity because it does, consider the help of a ghostwriter. A fair ghostwriter will provide you with an upfront quote and have references from former clients and projects they have done. Finding the right ghostwriter is important as well, so let’s schedule a free consultation to determine if I, or someone on my team, is a good fit.

Do I Need Ghostwriting or a Writing Coach?

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Often when I receive a referral, the potential client is looking for a ghostwriter, but upon speaking further, they decide on coaching instead. Because of this, I wanted to explain the difference between coaching and ghostwriting, and when either is best applied.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter writes content FOR you. This means they take content you have already created, such as videos, presentations, blogs, webinars, podcasts, course materials, and/or interviews, and compile it. In the case of my clients, this often means a book. Once I compile the content, the client and I review my work. The client offers feedback, such as filling in holes I’ve missed, giving me a better understanding of their product/service/belief etc.

The clients who are best served with ghostwriting often have one or more of these traits:

  • they have a body of work, but it’s scattered
  • they want to compile their visual or audio stories or presentations into a written format
  • they want to create a workbook to accompany their visual collateral
  • they don’t feel they are strong writers – they likely articulate themselves well, but when it comes to putting it on paper, feel less than confident or capable
  • they recognize writing is not their strong suit, but value having their work in that format
  • English is not their first or primary language
  • they have a brain injury, learning disability, or other situation that makes writing difficult or impossible
  • they just don’t have the time or interest in writing

Why a writing coach?

A writing coach works WITH you, and supports your writing efforts. This means they take content you have created, or will create, and provide a framework, accountability, industry knowledge, and coaching tools to bring your written project to life. Typical sessions include me reviewing my clients work, and then meeting with them over the phone or computer to answer questions, suggest changes, and work through concerns.

The clients best served by this have one or more of these traits:

  • They have an idea but are stuck- they don’t know where to start, or don’t know what to do next
  • They have a body of work and need guidance on compiling it and creating something new
  • They know they can get their project done if they have some support and accountability
  • They have a very distinct voice that is important to capture in their story telling
  • They are fairly comfortable writing, or consider themselves writers already
  • Writing isn’t a struggle naturally, but organizing, finishing, or starting writing is
  • They are motivated and ready

 

The Biggest Differences

After reading those descriptions, you may very easily see the differences, and identify what you need most. Overall, the primary differences are 1) done for you vs. done with you, and 2) price.

Ghostwriting is more labor intensive than coaching, and therefore comes at a higher premium. You will expect your ghostwriter to spend at least as much time writing your book as you would, because while they may be faster and more skilled, they don’t know your subject matter the way you do. Coaching, on the other hand, puts the ball in your court. Because you are doing the bulk of the work, the engagements with your coach will be focused to keep you moving forward with success.

 

If I can help you with your writing project, or you have questions about which options are best for you, contact me. Let’s make your dream of authorship a reality this year!