avatarNicolas Cole

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Ghostwriters: Nail Your Client’s Voice (Without Reading Their Mind)

I want to help you with the very first step you need to take in any new ghostwriting engagement.

When starting to ghostwrite for a new client, the very first thing you should do, even before you begin writing, is audit everything you have to work with:

  • Do they have a podcast?
  • Do they have a newsletter?
  • Have they written a book?
  • Do they regularly write on social media?
  • Have they appeared on other people’s podcasts?
  • Have they been quoted in any major publications?

And so on.

The reason this is so important is because ghostwriting is unbelievably subjective. And trying to “read your client’s mind” is very, very hard.

You are much better off removing this subjectivity and, as much as possible, leveraging previously created content — to start.

So, your very first step as a ghostwriter is to…

Find what your client is comfortable talking about — and wants to talk about.

When auditing your clients content library, look / listen for the topics they share and the Proven Approaches they use.

A Proven Approach is simply the different “things” readers are already interested in. Think of every piece of writing you’ve ever found yourself buried in. What did you get in exchange for reading?

  • Tips
  • Tools
  • Steps
  • Habits
  • Lessons
  • etc.

The reason these are Proven Approaches is because they have been “proven” to attract readers!

As you dig into everything you client has ever said, look for clues. Imagine your client is the CFO of a unicorn tech company and they’ve been interviewed on TechCrunch about their career journey. Read through the article or watch the replay of the video.

  • What results have they achieved?
  • What mistakes did they highlight about a company failure?
  • What tips did they share for someone who wants to become the CFO of a tech company?
  • Are they sharing stories, habits, stats, books, lessons, etc.?

Identify all the “proven” ideas they talk about. Then build your own library of everything you know your client’s audience will find interesting.

Here’s why.

You can think of anything and everything a client has created or said as “already approved.”

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

If a client said something on a podcast a certain way, it’s fair to assume they’d be alright saying it that same way again. If a client wrote about this topic and summarized their perspective really well in a newsletter they wrote a year ago, it would make sense to re-use that same summary.

Look for opportunities to “say the same thing, again.”

And then…

Work with the things the client said out of their own mouth and re-format it using Digital Writing best practices.

When you approach ghostwriting this way, what you end up learning is that your job isn’t really to “write.”

It’s to remove. Edit. Chop down. Organize.

It’s like working with a giant, messy, wet lump of clay.

You hack away at the clay. Get rid of everything that isn’t relevant. And then re-format it based on the best practices of whatever it is you’re writing (a newsletter, a blog post, a Twitter Thread, etc.) — polishing as you go!

For example:

If you are ghostwriting viral Twitter threads for the tech CFO, you should be constantly bookmarking other viral Twitter threads from other creators, studying them, and trying to recreate those proven formats using you client’s own words.

Remember, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

By the way — I firmly believe the single most effective way to earn 6 figures as a writer is to become a Premium Ghostwriter.

• Land $5k-$10k clients • Earn a dividend on your talents • Get paid to learn & build your network

Here’s how: Premium Ghostwriting Blueprint

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