5 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Next Writer
Hiring a ghostwriter for your business is the easiest way to gain more time in your busy schedule so you can focus on coaching your clients, attracting new clients, or creating that signature program you’ve been longing to complete for years. However, finding the right ghostwriter for your needs can be a time-consuming journey, one which requires you to ask a lot of questions and be clear on what tasks you need completed.
Here are 5 key questions you should ask when hiring a ghostwriter:
1. What experience do you have?
Anyone can put a website online and claim to be a ghostwriter so you need to play detective here and decipher if this candidate truly has the experience or if they’re a scam artist. Any professional writer should be willing to supply references and samples of their work. At the very least, check out their blog and read a few posts. Are the thoughts clear? Are the grammar and syntax correct? You can even go so far as to copy and paste part of the blog post into Google or Copyscape to check for plagiarism (which, obviously, is a big no no in the online and real life world).
2. Do you have a specialty genre?
In general, writers can write on a variety of topics, from traveling with toddlers to deep sea fishing, but ultimately you want a ghostwriter who truly knows your business inside and out and who can convey your professional voice through every word of copy.
Do you really want to train a travel writer about the ins and outs of a consultant business? Do you want give a fashion writer the assignment of writing follow up emails to your clients? Chances are these specialty writers wouldn’t apply for this type of project anyway but it never hurts to ask.
Otherwise, you may get charged for many hours of research when a writer who has small business or coaching experience could write off the tops of their heads.
3. Is English your native language?
This question is not meant to discriminate in the least; it’s simply meant to qualify candidates. After all, if this ghostwriter is meant to portray your voice throughout the website copy or in your signature program, it stands to reason the writer should have an expertise in your native tongue, right? You’re outsourcing the writing for a reason…to save you time. If you choose a writer who is fluent in another language, you run the risk of having to do a lot of editing so the copy sounds like you instead of someone who is still trying to master the nuances of the English language. There are certainly bilingual and multilingual writers who can write well in English but the question is worth asking so there are no surprises. That being said, I have worked with some really good writers who English was not their first language. So, ask, and then test them out.
4. What is your fee?
This question can be tricky simply because ghostwriting fees vary tremendously! To prepare for this question, it benefits you to know what tasks you’re looking to outsource right away. The fees to write individual blog posts will differ considerably compared with ghostwriting a specialty program. The same for ghostwriting an ebook versus rewriting your website copy. Do your own research ahead of time and determine a budget for each of the tasks so you can also approach this question from a project fee and see who’s willing to work for that fee. A word of warning, however: you get what you pay for. Don’t simply go for the cheapest ghostwriter you can find. You’ll likely get lots of mistakes or need to hold their hand while they run everything by you for approval.
5. What is your turnaround time?
Keep in mind that ghostwriters have multiple clients, much like you have multiple coaching clients, so it’s unfair and unreasonable to expect assignments to be completed in 24 hours. Another question to ask here is do they have a rush fee if you do need something turned around faster. This is another time when having a calendar of tasks will benefit you because you can then discuss your first deadline with the candidates and ask who is able to complete it by then.