Guide to Ghostwriting for C-Suite Executives
Ghostwriting is not as strange as it sounds, it’s part and parcel of effective business communications. With content more king than ever, entrepreneurs and C-suite executives are increasingly using skilled ghostwriters to write their thought leadership content.
The common definition of ghostwriting is the process of one person writing content in the name of another person without receiving credit. Before you ask – no, ghostwriting isn’t just applicable to celebrity memoirs. It’s commonly used in thought leadership today. At In2 Consulting, we define corporate ghostwriting as a customised collaboration between a communication strategist and a business leader to create credible content that’s aligned with business objectives.
Let’s be clear. Corporate ghostwriting is not copywriting where text is written in a persuasive manner for sales and marketing purposes. Corporate ghostwriting is high-quality content writing that reads professionally such as articles, op-eds, columns, press releases, statements, blogs, LinkedIn posts etc. The content is mostly industry-specific and audience- or peer-engaging and must be aligned with the author’s expertise and experience.
Generally, people who use ghostwriters are busy doing important stuff. Their minds are teeming with interesting information, insights and new ideas. They have profound expertise in their fields, but rarely have the time, organisational skills or the writing abilities to write their own thought leadership articles.
Professional ghostwriters can add measurable value to your business by contributing a unique skillset, that might be lacking among your current team, to your business communication. As proficient writers, they can tell your brand’s story, profile your C-suite executives, and manage your company’s reputation with appropriate words.
Founded on trust
When you allow an external writer to be privy to your ideas and business insights, trust is paramount. You should discuss confidentiality before entering into a collaboration which entails sharing sensitive information. Signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) is common in these collaborations, and a professional ghostwriter understands the discretionary prerequisite of an NDA.
In addition to being trustworthy, a ghostwriter should also be reliable in following through on their deliverables and meeting deadlines from you and the media without exception.
A paragon of a ghostwriting relationship is one with a writer who knows you and your business intimately and has consistently created valued content over a longer period. Naturally, this kind of relationship takes time to develop, and if you’re lucky enough to find it, don’t let it go. This kind of collaborative trust allows you the luxury of becoming more hands-off and to let your writer get on with it independently.
What can you expect from a ghostwriter?
Ghostwriters develop high-quality and faultless work. They know the ins and outs of punctuation, spelling and grammar, and can transition from one point to the next in effortless segues. With the ability to process and organise large amounts of information, they quickly grasp the topic in question and ascertain which content needs clarifying and which to eliminate to refine readability. But more importantly, ghostwriters can distil your unfiltered thoughts to identify angles, themes, key messaging, potent phrases etc.
In addition to being accomplished storytellers, professional ghostwriters can develop concepts and strategic brand communications, identify your target audience, capture your real voice on the page, and manage the entire project including sourcing interviews and doing relevant research.
If you realise, when reading this, that you don’t have an established style or voice, an experienced writer can actually help you find your way forward.
What to look for in a ghostwriter
Finding a ghostwriter is easier said than done. Due to the nature of their work, they tend to keep a low profile and are limited in terms of sharing work that they’ve done on behalf of clients. What we can do is share a list of qualities to look for.
- Knowledge of your topic or industry
- Writing skillset in the particular type of content
- Writing skillset in the particular language
- Ability to match your tone of voice
- Quality of previously written work
- Reputation as professional writer
- Open to signing a confidentiality agreement
- Offering clear deliverables and deadlines
Behind the scenes at In2 Consulting, our ghostwriters are a significant part of independent and proactive content creation for a broad portfolio of clients. As communication strategists and experienced writers, particularly within hospitality and tech, we are able to adapt our writing style seamlessly to our clients’ voices. Don’t be spooked at the daunting task of finding the ideal ghostwriter for yourself. We can help. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about corporate ghostwriting. https://in2consulting.com/contact/
By Senior Communications Consultant Cristina Kristensen