Let a ghostwriter put spirit into your business message

Everybody knows that many famous executives have behind-the-scenes help from ghostwriters when they write books on how they succeeded in business, give lucrative keynote speeches, or submit opinion pieces to The Wall Street Journal. What many people don’t realize is that lots of not-so-famous executives and professionals also rely on ghostwriters to help them spread their business messages.

A good ghostwriter can help you gain recognition as a business leader and significantly raise your company’s profile. From preparing a speech for an important trade group to writing the book that puts your company on the map, working with a ghostwriter enables you to overcome the two biggest roadblocks executives routinely run into regarding writing:

Time – Good writing is time consuming. Few business people can block out the significant periods of uninterrupted time required to write a speech that knocks ‘em dead or an op/ed piece that impacts public opinion, let alone a whole book. Working with a ghostwriter significantly reduces the amount of time you need to commit to the writing process. So instead of just dreaming about one day publishing an article, you actually get it done!

•  Writing skills – Even if you do have time to write, you may not have the skills, experience, or confidence needed to write for publication. Most executives and consultants are proficient in the types of writing required for their businesses, but writing for wide spread public consumption is a skill that takes years to master. Just as hiring professionals to handle your legal and accounting work makes sense, it is wise to hire a ghostwriter to help you spread your vision and ideas.

Finding Your Ghost

Here are tips on finding a ghostwriter:

•  Look for experience. Some ghostwriters specialize in one or two industries, while others are generalists. If you’re in a highly technical field, you might be better off going with a writer who has experience in that arena.  If your subject matter is not highly technical, at least be sure to find a writer with solid experience in what you want to do, whether that’s writing speeches, op/eds, how-to articles, or books.  Plenty of highly qualified writers are available; you don’t need to provide on-the-job training.

•  Look for rapport. The relationship between you and your ghostwriter is unique among business relationships. You are counting on this person to present your best face to the public. You need someone with whom you will be comfortable sharing your ideas and getting and giving feedback. Look for someone who is a good listener and who makes you feel at ease. Also, seek someone who is enthusiastic about your ideas but has enough backbone to tell you when you’re on the wrong track.

•  Check references. Even if you hit it off well in an introductory interview, be sure to talk to others about what it’s like to work with a prospective ghostwriter. Everybody claims to be great at meeting deadlines and sticking to budgets; ask previous clients whether such statements are true. Equally important, you want a writer who knows how to take professional criticism and won’t make every word choice a fight to the death; be sure to query references about this vital part of their relationship with the ghostwriter.

A good ghostwriter can be a tremendous asset in helping you grow your business. By using professional help to put your message in its most persuasive form, you can stand out in today’s crowded business environment.


  1. Judy says:

    How does one lying on one side with a detached retina write such good stuff? You're amazing my friend.

  2. Jeanne Yocum says:

    Fortunately, I already had this post written before my retina tried to leave my eye! So I just had to drop it in here once I was allowed out of bed. 🙂

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