by Kristin van Vloten, Writer, Editor, Ghostwriter, Producer at Salvo Communications
W.D. Wetherell defines admiration as an emotion that ”expands our sense of possibility.” As a ghostwriter, I know that allowing my client to tap into this emotion is the most powerful service I can provide.
If you can help a client to speak like the person that she aspires to be, then that experience of self-confidence and expanded possibility will make you an indispensable part of her entrepreneurial and personal development. Here's how.
This is a delicate thing to pull off. You can’t invent a voice or a point of view that is totally inauthentic to your client. Your job is to take her bona fide qualities and make them shine. Think of yourself as a sort of personal trainer or stylist for your client’s public voice.
Determine the positioning statement
Make no mistake; ghostwriting is branding work. A positioning statement is the summation of everything that distinguishes your client’s brand, service, or benefit from the competition.
Establishing the positioning statement grounds your work in the client’s ultimate goal (to be successful in business), and assures your client that you are mindful of the concrete benefits she would ultimately like to realize as a result of expressing her brand through ghostwriting.
Ask your client for examples of people she admires
Are there celebrities or public figures she especially looks up to? Does she have business contemporaries whose careers or personal brands she would like to emulate? Read the written work that is associated with these people in order to study the moods and nuances of their communication style.
For example, Oprah Winfrey’s voice is conversational and warm, whereas Jack Welch has a straight shooting, slightly hard-bitten style. Just remember that no matter what tone you strike, your aim is to write clearly, intelligently, and with purpose.
Play a game
Have you been at a party where everybody figures out which television character they would most likely be? Ever taken a Buzzfeed personality quiz? As lighthearted as these games are, they can still be quite revealing, since they enable people to talk about how they see themselves without becoming too serious or self-conscious.
If your client seems amenable to it, go through an exercise like this. For example, ask your client which superhero she would be and why. If your client feels like Batman, is it because Batman must rely upon the technologies that he invents with his superior intelligence, having no other inherent super-powers?
Figure out playful ways to gauge your client’s self-image and aspirations.
Helping a client to speak like the version of herself that she dreams of becoming is a unique gift. If you can become more aware of her rational, conscious objectives (as expressed in the positioning statement), as well as her more subtle and emotional aspirations, you will be well on your way to becoming an in-demand ghostwriter.
How do YOU get inside your clients’ heads to capture their voice?
You can connect with Kristin at Salvo Communications, and if you're interested in guest posting - look here.