Ghost Writer or Not?

Posted November 3, 2020 in
Content Content

Larry Kagan

WANTED: More Qualified Leads

I am the owner of a business and hired a journalist to write our first article using the They Ask, You Answer methodology. I am thinking that all the articles should be ghost written for me. Is ghost writing the best choice for the They Ask, You Answer methodology?
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Connor DeLaney
Larry Kagan While I wouldn't say it's impossible, it's not typically the best choice. It can be very hard to write Sales Enablement / Assignment Selling content that is specific to your organization or your industry without that writer being in the weeds of it with you. If they interview you for each piece and can produce it at a regular rate, it could be possible but isn't typically what we have seen in terms of long-term success. 

Here are some resources for you though to try and help get started either way: 

I'd also recommend you have your ghostwriter read They Ask, You Answer so they have an idea of what you are looking to achieve if they haven't already. 
Larry Kagan
Connor, thanks for your input. Sounds like the goal is to have great content and lots of it, rather than making myself the expert. Appreciate your feedback.
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Kevin Phillips
Larry Kagan , I've worked with several companies that used ghost writers to varying levels of success.

On the pros side, articles from the POV of an expert, especially a CEO, pack one hell of an authoritative punch. Rather than hearing a generic, collective brand voice (we here at Baron Payroll have worked with 100s of clients...) readers hear a singular, assertive voice of a true expert in the field (Since starting Baron Payroll in...I have worked with 100s of clients...).
It lends more credibility and expertise to the article.

On the cons side, I've seen it take much longer for articles to get produced. A lot of time can get spent as the writers try to match your voice. They may need to spend more time with you to dial in your ideas,  perspective, and unique voice. You'll want to review the articles closely to make sure they're getting it right, which can often bog down production as tweaks are made.

Your voice on the blog will make your content much more credible, but it can take longer to produce content as your writers try and nail down sounding exactly like Larry. 

In the end, your name will be on the content, so you'll want to make sure you can own up to the words on the page.

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Larry Kagan
Thanks Kevin. My immediate mission is to generate lots of great content and build my library. Maybe the articles don't come from me, but the videos do. What do you think about that?
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Liz Murphy
Hey  John Becker - would love your thoughts here! 

Larry Kagan  for background, John works in-house as you know, but he does quite a bit of ghost-writing.
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John Becker
Larry Kagan This is a great question! I agree with everything Kevin and Connor said. 

I can only claim to speak for my work at IMPACT, but about 30% of what I write I ghostwrite as company leaders. This, mind you, is a rough estimate that can vary from month to month.

Just as Kevin says, at times, that authority can be very helpful in some circumstances. Your experience and business acumen are assets that lend credibility to a point of view.

At other times, though, it can actually be a detriment. Think about it this way -- movie stars go on talk shows to plug their new films. They can't really stand up and say how great they are in a movie, but if Jimmy Fallon says, "you were terrific in this," the same thing gets accomplished, much more modestly. If you're talking about your accomplishments, for example, having another person serve as your Jimmy Fallon can be helpful.

I tend to ghostwrite mostly for two or three company leaders, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how they sound. However, when someone new gets added, it takes time to get their voice down. 

Whenever I get a new piece assigned to me, I immediately start thinking about the byline and final structure. The form needs to fit the function.
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