When Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
Back in 1996, Bill Gates penned a post with the title “Content is King” for the Microsoft website. Since then, content has become even more important than ever in helping customers and prospects learn about a company and its offerings. But not everyone has the time or energy to create the blog posts, ebooks, articles, case studies, white papers or books that are needed to make a splash in today’s ever-expandng ocean of content.
That’s when hiring a ghostwriter makes sense. Ghostwriters, as I said in a previous post, work behind the scenes to help others put their ideas and vision into concrete form. Mostly they work anonymously and may or may not be acknowledged.
Hiring a ghostwriter is an investment, but if done wisely, this investment will more than pay for itself. If you’re wondering if this is the time to make that investment, here are some of the reasons I’ve heard from my clients.
- You have more ideas than time.
Getting your ideas into a form that others can use takes time. Most of my accounting friends are already beyond overbooked, so carving out the time to write a blog post or anything means taking time away from family or sleep. Writing takes brain power, and when you just spent a long day working, it’s hard to muster the focus needed to get your ideas organized into a coherent form. Hiring a writer to take that burden off your shoulders can mean the difference between getting it done and putting it off until that mythical “someday, when I have time.” Last time I checked, “someday” keeps moving further and further into the future.
- You want to leave a legacy of the ideas you’ve been teaching.
Some of my clients have been sharing their ideas and experiences through keynotes, consulting engagements, and coaching programs. But even though they travel extensively (or did, until COVID-19), they can’t reach all the people who need their help. Setting those ideas down in a book or a series of articles gets your ideas out to the people who need it. A book can also serve as a reference manual for your organization when you’re ready to step away and let others continue with your work.
- More than one person has asked you “When are you going to write your book?”
When people start asking you that question, it’s a sign that they recognize you have something important to tell the world. Writing a book is a lot of work. Organizing your ideas and putting them in writing takes time. Then there’s editing and polishing the final draft, plus getting it ready to publish. Hiring a ghostwriter can take that nagging question off your back and make your book a reality.
- You’re willing to make the commitment of time.
Depending on what you need a ghostwriter for, your time commitment might be small or large. If you need help with blog posts, this might mean just a few minutes per week or month to discuss ideas and review what your writer creates for you. Books, on the other hand, can require a substantial time commitment. Some ghostwriters spend an extended weekend holed up in a hotel with their clients doing a series of in-depth interviews that are recorded and transcribed. Others, including myself, prefer weekly or bi-weekly calls that cover a specific topic or set of topics. In either case, the time commitment for working with a ghostwriter is much less than you would spend doing the work yourself. You won’t have to choose between sleeping and writing.
- You have a body of work in audio format.
Transcriptions of podcasts, keynotes, or webinars can all be turned into blog posts, articles, ebooks or books. However, if you’ve ever read a raw transcript of yourself, this can be cringeworthy. Spoken language is generally much less formal than written language. We all speak in partial sentences and make the occasional grammatical error. These are easy to overlook and understand in speaking, but in writing, the exact utterances of even the most eloquent speakers can occasionally come across as word salad. Ghostwriters tend to also be skilled editors, so they can turn a nearly incomprehensible rant into a polished and clear thesis.
- You’ve started a book but can’t get it done.
You started off with great intentions and set the time aside to spend writing every day or every week. Then life happened, and you had to set your magnum opus aside until the latest crisis was resolved. Except another crisis came along, and your life – already busy – got even busier. Hiring a ghostwriter means you can dust off those old files and update them with your latest thoughts, and actually get your book done and out into the world.
Leonardo da Vinci was the original Renaissance Man, and he excelled at just about everything he did. But very few have that range of talents. Finding what you do best and focusing your efforts where you can have the most impact might mean outsourcing the rest to people with complementary skills. Hiring a ghostwriter frees you to do what you do best, while turning the writing over to someone else to do what they do best. Ghostwriters can also ensure that the content you put out presents your ideas with the brilliance that they deserve.
Does this sound familiar to you? I work with accountants and thought leaders in the world of accounting to help them get their ideas out to a wider audience. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we’re a good fit.