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.

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