Tag Archives: content marketing

How Ghostwriting Leads To Spirited Marketing Communications

 

Halloween arrives this weekend, and with it, costumed hordes of kids will descend on our neighborhoods demanding a king’s ransom of candy before moving on to another home. Kids wear costumes to pretend to be something else, such as superheroes, vampires and ghosts, all with the goal of earning a strong candy-based ROI. In the corporate world, when it comes to writing and marketing communications, people also pretend to be someone else. They’re called ghostwriters. I should know – I’m a ghostwriter too.

Ghostwriting does not refer to a translucent, sheet-covered entity scribbling out content; rather it’s a long-standing practice of one person writing content for another. In a typical scenario, a writer authors an article or thought leadership piece on the behalf of another (client or manager). If the content is published, it will appear under the byline of the client or manager, not the ghostwriter.

For example, let’s say I write and publish a thought leadership paper on behalf of a client named Frank N. Stein, and the article is published in a leading magazine. It will appear in the publication as having been written by “Frank N. Stein”. I don’t receive direct attribution (credit) for writing the paper; my client does, hence the term “ghostwriting”.

Ghostwriting is usually associated with publishing the following types of content:

  • Articles
  • Thought Leadership Papers
  • White Papers
  • Books

This content is published through both print and online media, including magazines, self-publishing books through Amazon, LinkedIn and company websites. Some companies have voracious appetites for publishing their own content on proprietary platforms, like LinkedIn company pages, corporate websites and client newsletters. For these firms, ghostwriters play a key role in delivering a regular flow of content, which allows company resources to focus on other high value tasks.

Ghostwriting can move the needle of your marketing communications ROI like an EMF meter in a haunted house. How so? Ghostwriters bring an outside, unbiased perspective to content creation, and with clear subject matter expertise. Every piece of content that a company creates and publishes is an opportunity to expand its influence. A few ghostwriting examples:

  1. A thought leadership paper outlining an effective approach to data management will resonate with investment firms struggling to control disparate data sources.
  1. An article detailing cost-basis accounting and reporting builds credibility and the company’s position as an expert in the field.
  1. A research paper examining complex performance attribution concepts demonstrates expertise and establishes the company as a leading voice in the industry.
  1. A newsletter sent to clients of an investment firm communicating performance results, investment rationale and outlook provides clients with peace of mind, transparency and accountability.

Aside from these examples, ghostwriters add value by writing case studies, crafting tag lines and slogans, creating product sheets, responding to proposals and designing pitches. Having a third-party, objective view removes organizational myopia. It also challenges the status quo and looks for ways to improve the company’s value proposition.

While Halloween is one day per year, ghostwriting occurs year round. It’s not a supernatural phenomenon for companies to fear, but a living, breathing process that adds exceptional value.

No tricks, just treats.

 

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Be Like Mike: 9 Ways You Can Be Successful Like Michael Jordan

Most successful people can point to a defining moment in the evolution of their success. It’s a moment that will stand out as their magnum opus. For Michael Jordan, it happened on June 11, 1997 during the NBA Finals. Jordan overcame a crippling stomach illness to score 38 points to lead his Chicago Bulls team to a critical Game Five victory over the Utah Jazz.

This remarkable testament to the indefatigable human spirit encapsulates Michael Jordan’s career, greatness and success. This one single event, in a sea of many others, cemented his status as the greatest player in NBA history. Michael Jordan’s career exemplifies nine success traits that serve as a primer for entrepreneurs and business leaders alike.

Determination

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Jim Valvano.

Business leaders and athletes rarely nail it the first time. Success is the result of ongoing efforts to produce a better result than before. By the time businesspeople and athletes achieve incredible success, they’ve often failed many times over. Michael Jordan has said that he’s failed over and over, and that’s why he’s a success. Determination.

Fearlessness

“Once You Become Fearless, Life Becomes Limitless.” Unknown.

Michael Jordan was fearless: he was unafraid of his opponents, failure or success. While fear of failure is a motivator for some, fear of success inhibits others. Fear, in one form or another is a limiting factor. Strip away fear and all that’s left is a clear path forward.

Ambition

“Big results require big ambitions.” Heraclitus.

Successful people, like Michael Jordan, are extraordinarily ambitious. Jordan had the audacity to think and dream big, and the results speak for themselves. An oft-used inspirational canard for athletes: Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore, but his strong ambition drove him to make the varsity team the following season. At times, people may try to belittle your ambitions, but ignore the naysayers and follow the path to fulfillment.

Goal Setting

“I’m a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.” Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan, and other business leaders, set goals and the steps required. Setting goals and putting them in writing is a key to success. Doing so provides you with a blueprint to follow, and to keep you on task when things inevitably go awry. Having a plan and following it is what separates great people who achieve tremendous success and those that don’t.

Visualization

“Visualization lets you concentrate on all the positive aspects of your game.” Curtis Strange.

The process of visualizing allows you to see yourself as successful before it happens, conditioning your mind and body to work toward that objective. Michael Jordan has said many times that he visualized taking the winning shot or making the winning free throws long before it actually happened. For business leaders, it’s no different. They visualize success before it happens and use that visualization as a guide to success. Visualize yourself accomplishing your objectives, and it will be so.

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“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” Walt Disney.

You might have ambition, maybe you set goals, and perhaps you visualize success. If you don’t take action, nothing will happen. Successful people take action, without worrying about the outcome. By taking action, you’re moving yourself toward accomplishing your goals. Have the courage to take that first, often scariest, step. Take action, get moving and you’ll never look back! As Nike’s slogan says, “Just Do It.” Michael Jordan did it.

Focus

“The successful warrior is the average man, with a laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee.

In Game One of the 1992 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan set a record with 35 points in the first half. “I was in a zone. What can I say?” said Jordan later. This expression, ‘in a zone’, has been used by athletes to describe their state of mind when they’ve produced extraordinary results. When you have a strong focus on a task or objective, you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. And you won’t let obstacles get in your way. Whether it’s searching for a new job, creating and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan, or bringing a new idea to market, having a laser-like focus will help you become a successful business warrior.

Confidence

“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” Zig Ziglar.

Nothing great has ever been achieved without confidence. Michael Jordan had such unwavering confidence in himself it bordered on arrogance. He didn’t just think he was going to beat you – he knew it. It’s when we have the confidence to go beyond our previous limits that we can accomplish something extraordinary.

Belief

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford.

Underpinning all of the success traits listed above is belief. It fuels confidence, sharpens focus, prompts action, promotes visualization, creates goals, drives ambition, strips fear and strengthens determination. Michael Jordan believed he was going to be a great basketball player; that was the foundation upon which everything else was built. Believe you can do it and you will.

Success is NOT a four-letter word

No one sets out to be below average or even mediocre. The difference between those that have achieved tremendous success and those who haven’t yet can be found in the above traits. We can all be successful if we embrace these traits and define what success looks like. Michael Jordan embodies success like few others, yet anyone can follow his example. Be like Mike – spread your wings and write your own success story.

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