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On Becoming (the Voice of) Jennifer Goldman and Ghost Writing

Hey there! It’s me, Olivia Luper. We haven’t formally met yet, but you may know me better than you think. For the past 20-ish months, I have been the voice of Jen Goldman –and boy has it been a wild ride!

I say this in jest, of course, but anyone who knows Jen knows that Jen is a force to be reckoned with in the absolute best way possible. To know her is to love her. There are few consultants I know who match her in dedication, zeal, and passion to see her clients succeed.

When I say I have been Jen’s voice, I mean simply that I have been her content writer. From newsletters to articles and some different projects in between, I have stepped in and become her ghost voice so she could communicate consistently on a regular basis with her audience.

It all started when…

Jen was referred to me in spring of 2019, and since then I have had the pleasure of studying, learning, and ultimately becoming her voice. But, it didn’t happen overnight, of course. It never does. It takes a few pieces together to hit a stride in which I can mimic the client’s style, capture their persona, and build upon a consistent brand voice for us to work with going forward.

It is for this very reason that I like to do a test run with new clients before we commit to a long-term contract. Once I provide topics for the client to choose from that target their ideal audience and address relevant concerns, the client will send me their first choice selection.

At that juncture, I then re-read and re-analyze any current copy the client has published and align those pieces with their ideal client profile to produce a first draft. The client then sends feedback in an email or within the document for me to either edit, add to, subtract from, or simply do a “once over” on to make sure any changes they made still flow and utilize proper grammar. Once we finalize the product, it is good to send out into the world. I also provide clients with social media captions to post with their piece so all they have to do is copy and paste! My goal is to make the process as simple and easy as possible for the client.

This is exactly how Jen and I started our engagement together, and it has gone swimmingly ever since. The longer we worked together, the more near and dear she became to me.

But Jen was Different

But, what happened in my experience with Jen was unlike any of my other client relationships. Working with Jen was like taking an accelerated course in an area I thought I knew well—the challenges that service-professionals like she and my target audience faced day in and day out in terms of writing custom content for marketing.

You may know these challenges well:

  • Strategizing your content approach
  • Finding the time to write
  • Actually writing once the time arrives
  • Moving beyond “analysis paralysis” (Jen’s words) to putting actual words on paper
  • Finding something to talk about
  • Optimizing the content with keywords for SEO
  • Adding in backlinks and checking grammar
  • Trying not to vomit at the thought of having to do it again in a week or two

These reasons are why service-based professionals snub content writing or postpone giving it a go. But, surprise! There is a better, easier, more valuable option, and that is investing in custom content from a professional writer.

The Value in Finding a Ghost Voice

Not only do you receive 100% original custom content (SEO crawlers love this and frown upon reproduced, or “canned,” content), but you can start to build up a library of marketing collateral to share, disseminate, and publish for years to come. As your “library” (aka blog section of your site) grows, your SEO improves and you are able to offer potential clients more resources to show off your expertise.

But, that’s not all. You can also send these articles out to your email lists or in your newsletters (this piece is a case in point). You can print them and hand them out at conferences or include them in client onboarding packets. You can use also use them to create lead magnets for email address collection. The possibilities are not limited to one single publication or share date.

These articles will get the attention of both potential clients and your peers. One of the first few articles I wrote for Jen quickly earned her an invitation to speak at a top industry conference in California last year. The best part is that your end of the deal is pretty simple—review and approve the content once it hits your inbox. See something you don’t like? No problem. I’ll work with you to provide you a finish product you are proud to put your name on.

If you are considering this option, I say Godspeed. Whether you choose to try working with me, or go with another service provider, here’s what you need to know to “find your voice.”

  1. Drop the ego.

You’re successful. You’re smart. You’re talented. With enough time and practice, you could do anything you put your mind to. But, the smartest, most successful, most talented service professionals are the ones that DON’T try and do it all. They recognize their strengths and their weaknesses. They recognize how their time is best spent, and allocate or outsource the rest. If your skill and passion aren’t in writing, your first step is to recognize this and take steps to have the task handled by an expert.

  1. Decide what type of content you want to put out.

Are you looking to produce a lead magnet to capture email addresses? Publish thought leadership to stand out as an influencer in your field? Set up an email marketing campaign for new newsletter subscribers? Chances are, you’ll need a combination of each of these content pieces to build an efficient content marketing strategy. If you aren’t sure where you’re lacking or which types of content will meet your goals, consult an expert who can point you in the right direction.

  1. Don’t know an expert? Ask friends for referrals.

I know when I need a service provider, the first thing I do is “put my feelers out” to my network to get their personal recommendations before I go to Google. You’ll get unbiased opinions on the service provider and can then vet each on your own terms.

  1. Interview.

Once you have a list of potential vendors, do your research. Visit their websites, read their blog articles, see where they have been published. You should be able to get a good feel for each vendor from their website and social media posts—enough to know who you’d like to interview and who you can skip.

  1. Test and hire.

As a content writer, I never ask new clients to commit to a contract until we’ve had a chance to “test run.” You’ll want to make sure the vendor you’re working with delivers quality products on time and is able to capture your brand voice before committing to any long-term arrangement.

You’ll also want to find out:

  • How many rounds of edits are provided
  • Who owns the intellectual property rights to the work in the end
  • How you can best leverage the content to work in your favor
  • How your privacy will be protected

Pro Tip: If the content writer doesn’t ask about your ideal client profile, run in the opposite direction. There is no way to target your audience without knowing who they are first.

Your Voice, Your Story, Your Mark

Differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult amidst all the other digital noise, but is nonetheless essential to building a thriving business that will last for generations. In your content marketing efforts, your voice must speak to your audience in a way that is:

  • So consistent it is recognizable even without your logo attached to it
  • So approachable that prospects accept your invitation to schedule a call
  • So low risk that reaching out feels non-threatening
  • So indicative of your persona the reader feels like you just met

Unsure how to build and maintain a consistent and trustworthy brand voice? Schedule a call with me today. I would love the chance to hear “your voice.”

As always,

Olivia Luper

 

 

 

PS. For a directory of many different providers, click HERE and then filter by “Type”.