If you own a business, you already know that you can’t do everything yourself. You’re probably a bit of an expert at delegating responsibilities; that’s why you’ve decided to hire a ghostwriter to produce copy for your business website, advertisement or Twitter feed. And while it’s a real asset to recognize when you need to call in an expert, it’s also important to know when to trust your own instincts. So, when do let your ghostwriter take the bit, and when do you need to rein her in a little? These guidelines should help you decide.
When to trust your writer – You’ve hired a professional writer; let her do what she does best. When there are decisions to be made about the text you’re paying for, give her her head. For example, let your writer make grammar decisions. She lives with those pesky “i before e” rules every day, after all. You can also trust her to write copy that flows easily from one idea to the next. She probably also has a good eye for the layout of a page, so let her decide when to put in bullet points or subheadings, and when to change the text font and size.
Your writer probably also understands the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO), so unless you’ve really done your homework, let her guide you in the placement of words and phrases that will draw the interest of the big search engines. She will also be able to incorporate them into your text in an elegant and organic way.
When to trust yourself – A writer is a writer, and only that. She’s probably not a business expert, and she certainly doesn’t know your products and services, your customers or your sales record as well as you do. When it comes to your own business, you are the ultimate authority. How does this translate into writing instructions? Know when to put your foot down. Don’t let your writer talk you into being humorous, for example, when you know your clients expect a serious approach. Don’t let her insist on being stodgy and intellectual when you know an informal style works better. You also know when it’s best to to soft sell your product, and when you need to be enthusiastic or bold. Let your writer know which approach to take.
Know your own strengths, but recognize your writer’s strengths as well. If you both do what you do best while working together to create content for your business, you can’t go wrong.
Kate C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.