Or, how I make my clients sound awesome
In the latter part of 2020, I launched some new services for authors, but I thought I’d elaborate a little on how my ghostwriting process works. I haven’t yet done this for an author, but I’ve got a lot of experience with ghostwriting for corporate clients and I know that will translate well into a book—which is really a long piece of marketable content.
Ghostwriting client 1: A CEO’s announcement
At the end of 2019, I knew I was going to embark on a new profession and I needed a few more projects to feel comfortable with a variety of mediums, namely email newsletters. To get these projects under my belt (or rather into my portfolio), I made a wide call-out for pro-bono clients, in exchange for a testimonial.
Venessa Stonehouse, Owner/Operator of Feed Me Fit, was the first client who reached out to me. She needed a newsletter to announce the new brand of plant-based meat she was launching, and that her company would pivot to serve 100% plant-based food. We hopped on a recorded Zoom call so I could get the content for the newsletter, and that call was under 30 minutes. I spent another 30 minutes drafting the newsletter for her and found that it wasn’t very hard transcribing almost exactly what she said in the call and turning that into written content. Transcribing isn’t enough, but it’s a great way to preserve a client’s brand voice, so I will almost always use Zoom to record content, ESPECIALLY if the client is a better speaker than writer.
What was cool was Venessa ended up using the same content from the newsletter that was sent out to draft a webpage for the announcement and announce the news on social media. I’m forever grateful to her for being my first “test” client for my new brand/service. She’s the coolest!
(Note that the brand has changed from the time of the original announcement.)
Ghostwriting client 2: Experts in leadership & culture during COVID
The next ghostwriting client I have is Six and a Half Consulting, a great leadership training and corporate culture company in Vancouver. I have written some of their blogs under my own name, but a few others are under one partner’s for a few reasons. First, it’s in the first person (i.e. her point of view). Second, the content is from her own head.
With this partner, we’ve got a good flow of setting up a monthly hour-long phone call in which she “talks out” the content of the blogs to me on the phone. Using topics she’s already conceived, I take notes, and then later “translate” them into a blog post. It’s not a straight transcription because some things need to be re-worded, moved, or fleshed out a bit more, but I still consider this a ghostwriting project because I’m preserving the client’s voice as much as possible. I really enjoy this client because she uses words I don’t and has a very unabashed way of speaking (irreverence is one of their core values). Here are links to these blogs:
- Run Away and Join the 6 1/2 Circus
Leadership and corporate culture are topics I’m really not familiar with, so it’s super cool to learn about their work. If they wanted to, over time they could even turn their series of blogs into a book.
Ghostwriting client 3: Spreading the VegBuzz
Blogs are the top piece of content I do, and vKind is one of the great vegan clients I had the pleasure of working with last year. The ultimate app and online resource for vegan consumers, professionals, and businesses, their VegBuzz section has a variety of articles. The blogs I write aren’t attributed to me, but I do share them. Below are just three of the blogs I’ve ghostwritten for the company.
Ghostwriting client 4: HAVN Education
I am the Managing Editor of TruHavn, which is powered by HAVN Life, a public company aimed to treat mental health disorders through psychedelic medicine. Some content on TruHavn gets re-purposed to HAVN’s Education section, but I’ve written a few op-ed articles specifically for the site:
- Do Psychedelics Have a Role in Our “New Normal”?
Ghostwriting client 5: A spiritual x scientific teacher
Through a Cue Creative Consulting, I worked with Dr. Sukhi Muker eight years after doing the local PR launch for his book. While I wouldn’t call this a straightforward ghostwriting client, there are elements of that in the work I did.
A global speaker, Dr. Sukhi continues to do a lot of videos and media interviews. While both the content strategy and a lot of the written content used to draft emails and social media copy were provided to me and simply required copyediting, there were some really great gems from his videos, which I used either in the description of his social media messages, and/or as quotes for images. Some examples I pulled from my three months of work are below. All images were created by Rheannon Armstrong at a Cue Consulting.
While Dr. Sukhi is great at writing his own content, not all authors are, nor do they want to spend the time in front of a computer, especially if they’re a better speaker than writer. This is another reason hiring a ghostwriter would be ideal if a well-known speaker (such as Dr. Sukhi) wanted to publish a book.
Tip: If you’re a better speaker than writer: Get a good video editor! They can cut down your (long) videos into shorter video content GOLD.
Ghostwriting client 6: A plant-based instructor
Plant-based speaker and instructor Dennis Jones was invited to submit an article to a well-known plant-based magazine. He contacted me with part of a written article and asked for my help in editing prior to submission. A self-identified speaker, he used an app called Dragon Anywhere (by Nuance) to create a portion of the article, and also gave me some quotes from colleagues to insert in.
What I love about editing is that it’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. My clients who write (or speak!) first drafts don’t always give them to me in chronological order, so I move the “pieces” around and get them to flow in the right order so that the final product makes sense. For Dennis, I also put in photos and a boilerplate (short bio of the author) before he submitted. Even though I had a hand in re-working the article and correcting all the mistakes, I still consider this a ghostwritten piece since the author credit is his, and he provided all the content without me needing to do any additional research or writing.
Ghostwriting client 7: A vegan marketplace
I just started blog writing for Vejii, the newest vegan marketplace to hit cyberspace. What’s cool is I’ve been working on topics I’ve been curious about that relate to veganism, that I haven’t researched myself. It’s sweet to get paid to research and share your lessons! Here’s one published blog on making the shift to a plant-based lifestyle.