In pondering the many ways there may be to encourage and continue the flourishing of good information out there regarding ghostwriting, I decided to research all of the reasons why marketers should NOT hire a ghostwriter. And then engage in a little intelligent rhetorical debate here on a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
As it turns out, most of the information available on the web right now, which opposes ghostwriting is crafted and published by big marketing agencies. As they should! They don’t want you to hire a ghostwriter. They are good content marketers, placing valuable information along with their own slant on things. They want to get your business and they probably have a good shot at it. Likely much more so than a freelancer working from a coffee shop (Now, who do we know that works like that? Hmm).
But money talks. And not everybody is in it to get filthy rich.
There are some big differences between the freelancing ghostwriter and the big biz marketing agency intentions. So read on as we address them, inform, and entertain all at the same time (great content marketers that we are)!
1. Yep, ghostwriters wanna be paid—like now, man.
So, the first thing that marketing agencies suggest, regarding the scary underworld of ghostwriting freelancer, Gen-X, neo-hippie freaks is that (please insert any creepy scary music in your mind here as you read on) they want to get paid in a reasonable amount of time. Whoa.
It’s not common to see someone go through the checkout line at Target and ask if they can pay the bill in 60 days. Yet, in the world of business, accounts payable, and receivable are quite the established pain in the ass.
Everything is the way it is because of lawyers and processes and procedures, and most freelancers do as much as they can to avoid these processes to allow for simplicity. It’s actually one of the reasons why ghostwriters can be some of the most highly sought-after creative and efficient people alive. Creativity AND efficiency are pretty tough to find in the same package and often legalese and company procedure doesn’t fit into that package at all.
Creative precision can’t be argued in court or made a policy and ghostwriting freelancers choose to go against the grain for a reason.
You hire a babysitter, you pay her before she leaves. You buy a car, you might put it on a payment plan, but they almost always want you to put some money down on the loan, so that they know you are serious about the purchase. You buy things at the store and you pay before you leave. You vote with your dollar. And you get what you pay for, pretty much every time.
So yeah, if you hire a ghostwriter, they will want to be paid. But the best writers out there are ghostwriters. They’re not agencies, they don’t waste a lot of time on “the hustle,” they work because they love it, not because they want to buy more stuff with money they don’t need to impress people that they don’t like. But you gotta pay them. You can’t just hug them.
Trust me, I don’t want a hug, I want to pay my bills and go on vacation a few times a year. That’s all.
2. You’re hiring a primo writer, who’s undeniably as good, if not a better writer than you, so your exact voice and artistic flair is lost a little.
Okay, well, if you can write your own stuff, then you must have plenty of time, artistic ability, creativity, enthusiasm and humor, and you don’t actually need to hire a ghostwriter. And if you’re in that position, great!
However, the main reason that even really good writers hire ghostwriters is because they don’t have the time—they are too busy doing other things, like maintaining their businesses, building better relationships with their clients, showing their faces, networking, and stuff like that. After a long day of business stuff and meetings, the last thing most business owners or marketing execs (that wear like 12 hats at any given time) have time for, is writing their own marketing content.
The other side to this coin is the marketing manager who would really love to write content, and doesn’t have much time, but wants to be involved. For ghostwriters, this is great too! It just helps to fuel their own creative mojo because they get to bounce ideas off of someone else while they are working.
Creative people like to work with creative people. And if you find a great freelance ghostwriter, they’ll be up for working with you, using your ideas and verbiage along with their own, and it generally comes out like your voice, only better.
Hiring a freelancer is a much more personal experience than say, hiring a big time marketing agency. The freelancer works because it’s what they’re best at, and they love doing it. Not because they’re on a tight deadline and worried about getting fired. So you’re always going to be heard. And your voice will always come through the writing. This is actually one of the things I do best! ;)
3. Because freelancers work their own schedules (hence the “free” part), there are surely going to be missed deadlines, financial problems, and conflicts that HR will not be able to fix.
I guess there is always a chance that something could go awry. You hire a landscaper and they plant juniper instead of roses. You hire a contractor to put down your floors and they sweep the dust chips into your HVAC system. You hire a stylist to cut and color your hair and you do not like the way you look. And there is always a chance that a ghostwriter writes something that isn’t the exact flavor you wanted to taste.
But that’s just living in the world. If you hire someone to do something, there’s a chance that it won’t be done exactly as you wanted. But there is absolutely no reason to think that if you hire a ghostwriter she will come with an unprofessional or unreasonable mode of operation.
Ghostwriters take jobs based upon the time they want to spend on something—unlike a marketing agency—a freelancer will never over-promise and under-deliver. A freelancer, much like a good subcontractor, simply will not agree to contract work if he or she lacks the resources to complete it.
Ultimately, hiring contractors is one of the easiest and best ways to “hire” really good people to work for you. You don’t have to train them (they’re already experts), you don’t have to give them benefits (they don’t want your benefits), you don’t have to find a space for them to work or concern yourself with their contentedness (they’re thrilled to work wherever they want), you can let them go at any time, and there is never a need to worry about whether the work will get done or not (they earn their money only through billable hours and prefer it that way).
And my personal favorite…
4. One person can’t possibly have the brainpower to do all of your writing for you.
Your freelancer will up and leave you for the next juicy project at a moment’s notice, and so the overall quality of writing that is produced will inevitably look inconsistent. If you hire a ghostwriter, she will leave you hanging.
Sure, if there is a lack of intelligence that goes into anything, what you’re going to see from the outside is inconsistency. But that’s not to say that it’s your ghostwriter’s fault. Have a game plan, and understand, again, that ghostwriters are far less likely to burn out than say, a freshman copywriter at a big biz agency. Because they are really good at what they do, and in order to protect their art, they cycle through work that they choose and then recharge it on a regular basis.
There are plenty of ghostwriters that work on long-term projects and prefer to develop relationships with their clients so that there is a maintenance of integrity and consistency to the work that is being published. And yours truly, your own personal pocket PhD, is one of them.
If you are on the fence about whether to hire a ghostwriter, then get down! And give me a call if you’re interested in getting away from the big biz mentality and into a boutiquey niche, hip freelance ghostwriting kind of groove that produces for you while you work your facetime. I’d be glad to help!
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