The sheer lack of time and at times lack of storytelling talent and writing abilities has meant that many brand leaders and managers would have a writer pen down their thoughts and then credit it to their names. In practice Ghostwriting is an established form of generating content and is not something that’s unheard of. However, the implementation may go awry and in this social media dominated world, you need to be a bit careful. Here are three things to consider before you hire a ghostwriter!
3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Ghost Writer
1. Are You Being Authentic?
The special thing about social media is that it allows you to be seen as you are. Social media expert and the CEO of Boom! Social Media Marketing, Kim Garst released a very relevant “Be You” book encouraging businesses to show who they are and be authentic. Authentic businesses are trusted more and thus attract more business. In his little note for the Be You book, relationship expert and CMO, Brand Innovators, Ted Rubin says,
“BE Authentic, don’t just ACT it. This might seem obvious… but authenticity is on the verge of becoming just another buzz word in social media marketing. TRUE authenticity (not just using that word often in your tweets and posts) will set your brand apart in today’s highly competitive market.”
Now this is true for your business brand as well as your personal brand. For a Startup or a Small Business, the top leaders usually become the face of the brand. Employing a fabulously skilled ghostwriter for your blog post and speaking in your own (but different) voice on social media will be seen through quite quickly by your audience. Always ensure that even if someone else wrote a draft under your name, you add the elements of your own persona into it and make it authentic to the real you. That’s what sets your personal and business brand apart.
2. Have You Considered Sharing?
Recently, I got in touch with a ghost writer and looked through her LinkedIn profile (out of curiosity). She had published an article on Huffington Post under her “Publications” section. This was quite interesting and I clicked. And I reached an article published under the name of a CEO of a small business. What a loss, I thought! In a world where we are oversharing on all social platforms, if your ghost writer and you share the same articles, we’re not sure if that’s the brand projection you want. Ask yourself again: why did you hire a ghostwriter in the first place? And if so, could you be careful about how they / you share the credits online? Does the piece belong to you inclusive of the social media sharing? Are you prepared to be outed so? Think about the trust issues when someone sees an opinion piece about your industry from you, only to realize later that it came from someone else! An absolute no-go!!
3. Is there a better alternative?
Many CEOs and small business owners are writing-shy or do not have the time to pen down their thoughts. Instead of hiring a ghostwriter, did you ever think about having someone interview you? Your thoughts could come across as your own, while the author could pen down the rest of the article in his/her own words. This would even add an element of trust potentially coming via someone else endorsing you in an authentic way. Is public speaking your key strength? Could you create a video or record a series of podcasts? These are just a few examples. Creating content should and can always be a creative exercise and does not need to limit itself to the same things that we have seen others do! Hire a content strategist instead and explore the fun sides of you, while you remain authentic and build a kick-ass personal brand to get your business ahead and differentiated!
I will leave you with my favorite couplet: Be authentic. Be seen.
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