The Consultant’s Ghostwriter

Help For the Writing-Challenged Consultant

Consultant ghostwriter

Expert at written communications?

As I read about the statistics on the lack of “functional literacy” in the City of Detroit – approaching 50%! – I got to thinking about the world of consulting and the varying degrees of coherency of proposals and reports that I’ve labored through over the years.

During this time my views have also been formed by a Rotary Literacy Conference that I ran in 1991 on the East coast of the United States, and subsequently and very recently by our dealings with college interns coming out of the University of California.

Our educational system seems to be woefully lacking in the quality of language instruction. Of course, reading and writing skills vary widely and, while I’m not really qualified to comment on the skill levels of our teachers and professors, I do wonder how professionals in our society can function without at least a better-than-average command of the language and its proper usage.

How Well Do Your Written Documents Represent You?

Proposals, white papers and reports are at the heart of professional consulting. And, while the “language of business” is distinctly more formal when dealing in the corporate world than with small businesses, communicating clearly and appropriately with the target audience is always important – and a challenge for many. This is one challenge that is not easily overcome without a formal educational foundation.

Professional Business Writers Are worth the Money You Pay Them.

A solution for the independent consultant – at least those dealing with small business owners – might be to utilize freelance writers or proofreaders, or both. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are a good place to start. It may take a number of trial runs to come up with the right resource, but the added cost for professional writing services doesn’t need to be exorbitant.

Since English is becoming the standard language of business, you will of course want to make sure your writing resource/s are fully versed in English. I would probably require that that person’s first language be the language of your audience.  (English in one part of the world may be quite different from English in another part.)

When you consider that a typical consulting assignment will bill several thousand dollars, the value of good communication far exceeds the two hundred or so dollars you might pay a ghost writer.

How Do You Keep Costs Down?

That depends on your communications style and proficiency with the language. Obviously, it you expect someone to draft a document from scratch it will take hours and cost more.

Some ways to be more efficient:

  • Clearly identify for the writer the PURPOSE of the document you want written and what you WANT THE READER TO DO.  (For example, a web page Article will have a different purpose and call to action than the Welcome Letter to a new client.)
  • Then, create a list of sentences (that include the appropriate professional jargon) and put them in the order to be presented.
  • Now, using these notes, take a stab at writing the document the way that makes sense for you.

A professional writer will easily be able to take the list and your first draft and create a good working draft.

The bottom line is that your documents are going to be read or even studied by other people in your target market. Regardless of how good an impression you make in person, you will ultimately be judged on the quality of your writing — by others who may never even meet you.

Joe Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

Have you used freelance writers in your consulting business?  How did it work out?  We will all be interested to hear your story.




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