Some of the questions I’m asked most frequently are about the process of working with a financial ghostwriter. There really isn’t a single “right” answer for these questions because the process between each client and ghostwriter can vary. Since that response isn’t exactly satisfying or helpful, I’ve put together a basic overview of some of the more general points of the process.
- Find the ghostwriter: Personally, I would advise searching for the ghostwriter on LinkedIn or a search engine, using keywords that make sense for your industry. If you’re looking for a financial writer, you would use that term to search for the individual. You can also search by project—as in, financial blog writer, insurance content writer and so on. You may also want to reach out to your network and get recommendations.
- Explore the writer’s site: Look for samples, rates, terms and conditions and try to get a sense of the person. Is this someone you think you would enjoy working with? Do their rates align with your budget? Does their writing style seem versatile enough to match the way you want to present yourself to readers? Ghostwriters have to be able to capture your personality and voice and find a way to deliver it to readers, so they must be able to write many different ways.
- Make the initial contact: Your writer will either have a contact form, phone number or e-mail link through which you can reach out to them. Their response is a crucial factor in understanding what it’s like to work with them. For example, if a ghostwriter has no “out-of-office” auto response and takes several business days to get back to you, that may be indicative of how he or she will respond to your work requests. Of course these days, with vigilant but sometimes incorrect spam filters, oversights can occur.
- Answer a few questions: When you have a very simple project, your ghostwriter might not have any questions about it and may be able to quote a rate immediately. But often, your ghostwriter will need to get a better sense of your expectations before quoting, so he or she may respond to your initial e-mail with questions in order to better qualify the job specs and create a more accurate quote.
- Get the project-specific rate: Once your expectations are clarified, the ghostwriter should be able to respond with a quote. Generally, at this stage, I have a firm quote to give but in some situations, you may get a price range rather than a firm quote.
- Look over the contract: Once a client acknowledges that a quoted rate is within their budget and that they wish to move forward, most ghostwriters will create a contract that spells out all the terms and conditions of the project, including your expectations. While a ghostwriter likely has a contract that protects his or her interests, it should not neglect your expectations, privacy and other requirements. It should also spell out items such as confidentiality and content ownership.
- Start the project: After the contract is signed and the down payment (if required) is paid, the project should begin. Your contract should spell out a timeline for necessary steps, such as phone interviews, proprietary research and materials to be provided, and so on.
Remember, a ghostwriter is meant to be a partner in the projects you create together. He or she should bring her experience and expertise to guide the project, but you must bring your experience and expertise to the table as well. Ghostwriting is about creating a silent partnership of shared skills that increase your professional exposure and support your reputation.
If you need a financial or insurance ghostwriter for your book, blog or article project, I’d be happy to work with you. Contact me to get your project quote.