It’s Not (Just) About the Writing

November 12th, 2009

frustrated-writerI have a client that I phone interview and record on a regular basis. I take those recorded conversations and turn it into his newsletter and blog postings. On our last call he confided in me “Mike, I know a lot has happened over the past week, but I just don’t know what to talk about.”

That’s when I knew that the value a writer offers to his clients goes way beyond the simple act of writing - when it’s done right, it’s really a collaboration in the truest sense of the word.

It’s not just about the writing…

A great freelance/ghost writer doesn’t just record great ideas, they help incubate those ideas. They need to be sensitive to understanding when it’s time to ‘birth’ an idea and when it’s time to back off. It’s about encouraging the creative process and knowing (and respecting) when it’s time to push and when to pull back  - and communicating that clearly.

Being a great ghostwriter is more than simply asking timely, thought provoking questions (very important), it’s about actively listening (MORE important) and listening for what’s between the lines (MOST important). Quite often that’s where the nugget, the real passion is found - between the lines.

Writing can be a tough job especially for those whom writing is a secondary skill or merely a means to an end. Helping to hold clients accountable (i.e. to a regular call time for newsletters/blogs) ensures their message reaches its intended audience in a timely, relevant manner  - a great ghostwriter can offer the structure and accountability necessary in the pursuit of success.

If you want to create value to the your information products then a writer can (and should) be an integral part in that value added process -  not just recording word for word but thinking strategically, with the client AND their clients at the top of their mind ALWAYS with an eye for business development and marketing.

So when a client comes to me saying they “just don’t know what to talk about” that gets me sitting up straight. It’s an opportunkity to step into a new level of the relationship and go beyond being merely being someone’s writer - it me into the role of collaborator and investor in my clients’ success - ya gotta love collaboration.

“How to Become a Millionaire and Never Pay Taxes…

November 12th, 2009


…First, get a million dollars…” - from an old Steve Martin stand up routine.

Keys to Boosting Your Expert Status

So how do you become an expert and find more clients? First, become an expert…” 

Experts charge more, work less, are highly respected and get to work with other, really great experts. 

So how do you showcase your expertise so others see you as an expert?

 1) Build a Website 

Ideally your website should showcase your expertise to your particular niche. Make sure to include samples of your work - writing, videos, partnerships, press releases, etc.

2) Publish a book

Books are the new business cards. Whether you self-publish, publish on demand (POD) or get published the old fashion way there’s no substitute for the credibility/recognizably factor a book provides. Feels overwhelming? Start small with articles, newsletters and blog posts.

3) Publish a Newsletter

Newsletters provide repeat exposure to your market with fresh content.  Focus your newsletter on your area of expertise . Once into a routine newsletters are a snap to write.

4) Seek publicity regularly.

Enlist the help of your colleagues, JV partners, associates etc. to promote you - and return the favor. Try sending out a press release and do promos every quarter.

5) Testimonials (with photo) 

People want to know if you can help them. Show them how you’ve helped others. Testimonials should answer: 1) How you helped 2) The result. One great testimonial can seal the deal. 

6) Speak up

Workshops, seminars, guest speaking, etc. gets you in front of a crowd and builds credibility. Hate public speaking? Try non-traditional venues like teleclasses, teleseminars, telesummits…

7) Hang out with experts

When you spend time with experts you’ll be seen as one yourself.

8) Dont’ be Shy

If you’re an expert claim it. If you’re not an expert yet, do what it takes to become one. 

9) Get Regular

Once you build your expert status opportunities arrive faster and more easily. Regular, consistent actions help maintain your expert status.

These strategies may or may not make you a millionaire but they will definitely help build your expert status.