Ghostwriting Tips to Sound Like Your Client
Business ghostwriting can be a profitable venture. By writing as someone else or as the voice of a company without your own byline you can get paid a good sum on a regular basis. People who hire ghostwriters do it for a number of reasons. Maybe they can’t write well. Maybe they don’t have the time to write. For whatever reason, they’ve decided to hire a pro. But in some cases you need to find and write in your client’s voice to do the job well. How do you do that?
Some writers find it very easy to switch styles and take on the voice of different clients. Others find that their writing tends to sound the same across various topics. Ghostwriting isn’t right for everyone. Consider trying a few small projects so you can determine where you fit. Perhaps you’ll limit ghostwriting to specific topics, such as business topics, rather than helping someone write their autobiography.
In some cases it’s easy to figure out what your client wants. Sometimes your work is the first for your client, so there isn’t a standard in place that you have to meet and your writing voice becomes their voice. Other times you’re taking over for the client who has been doing their own writing or you are replacing another ghostwriter and you have to pick up where someone else left off. It can take time and effort to hit the right note with your clients so here are some tips to help.
If you are ghostwriting website content or articles for a business, read as much literature as you can regarding that company and their industry. If the client already has a lot of written material, you can analyze their existing content so that you can come up with a style guide to follow.
Reading what they’ve already published will help you take on their voice and the content you produce will sound like it comes from someone who is an expert on that topic. Read their “company history” and job postings on the career section of their website, for instance. These areas can help you determine their core values and help you pick up a few of the company’s common buzzwords and vernacular.
Tip: Before taking on a ghostwriting gig you might want to first look at what the company has published so that you can determine whether or not their writing style is something you’re capable of taking on.
Ask your client what they want. Many writers listen to what a client tells them but doesn’t ask enough questions. A writer’s questionnaire can help you determine exactly what your client’s expectations are and it can help you uncover a lot about their business and their goals. This info will help you boost your effectiveness in writing for that client’s audience. If there isn’t a lot of written content available for that client already, ask for examples of writing styles that they like.
Ask for an outline
Ask your client for an outline of what they want to say. By getting them to start the piece, you can then take their words and expand on them. Having the client’s outline as a starting point can help you bring out what they want to say.
Be open to feedback
It’s not always easy to get it right the first time. Make sure your client knows that you’re open to feedback and that it could take time for you to be able to take on their writing voice. Be receptive to feedback so that you can hone your ghostwriting skills. This may mean that you’ll have to rewrite some of your work, especially in the beginning, but over time your client will find that your writing voice is the voice of their company.
Even though it seems like a lot of work in the beginning, all the analyzing and rewriting will eventually help you become a better ghostwriter who can easily switch gears when you need to write for different clients.
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