I’ve read quite extensively regarding the ethics of using a ghostwriter for a website, blog or even a Twitter account. Some individuals have questioned the credibility of a business that would turn to such practices.
Before we set up our firing line, lets take a step back and look at the whole picture here. A business, any business, should strive for excellence in every area that falls under its umbrella of responsibility. Thinking this all the way through, one must come to the realization that certain businesses are branded by an idea, certain businesses are branded by a product, and certain businesses are branded by an individual–but they ALL must operate according to the same standards if they are to succeed. Right? … Right.
If that is true, then why is it that you don’t expect Colonel Sanders to fry your chicken wings or Sam Walton to help you find the new Coldplay CD, but you DO expect Guy Kawasaki to answer your emails. Business is business. Guy Kawasaki’s Internet Marketing presence is branded by a person…himself. But at the end of the day, he still has to do his accounting, attend a live seminar taping, pitch his materials and keep up with his appointments. Do you really think he is sitting in front of his computer all day, waiting to personally reply to the comment you left on his website? Well, wipe the sleep out of your eyes and come on over to reality. That’s not how it works.
Almost a decade ago, I was on staff at a fairly large church in Ocala, Florida. The pastor and staff were well known by all of the big Rhema preachers and we produced a weekly television broadcast along with owning and running our own radio station and private school. It was a fast paced, demanding atmosphere to work in–to say the least. But, I learned more from working at that church than any business school could have ever taught me. Our pastor was awesome, Godly, beloved by the community and always sincere in his actions and motives. He also ran his businesses with the same amount of widom, drive and genious that I would expect from Donald Trump.
There was never a phone call unanswered, a misspelled word in any of his publications or a mark on any of the walls in the school. Even the chairs in the sanctuary were set at a precise distance from each other that was measured by a special stick the maintenance department had created. This was excellence to the tenth power. And do you know what? I have a secret to share with you…Get ready for this. Pastor Tim’s secretary answered all of his emails and written correspondence, most of the time without him even taking a glance at any of it. She would brief him on information that he needed to know, but would conduct herself with full authority to speak on his behalf…(gasp) Can you believe it? His secretary ‘ghost-answered’ his emails. Well of course she did. He was responsible for a church of over 5,000 members, a fully accredited Academy (K-12th grade) and a radio station. He also authored numerous books and took frequent missions trips. Oh, and did I mention that he was a father of five children? Yes, and the church was never in the red, the staff was well paid, and everything went like clockwork, always.
Pastor Tim was the man behind the church. He was who everyone saw on TV and heard on the radio. But he could not have taken things to the level that he did without having the ability to do two powerful things:
- Number one– He was able to convey his mission, his vision and his way of thinking so completely to his staff, that they were able to make decisions on his behalf. Everyone knew what was expected and carried it out without diluting or putting their own personal spin on things.
- Number two– He was able to let go and trust his people to carry out the vision.
If you can’t wrap your mind around using a ghost writer or a ghost blogger to bring your voice and your brand value to a target audience because you feel it isn’t ethical, then don’t expect to grow beyond the limited number of tasks that you can accomplish on your own. People follow Guy Kawasaki because he is an influential leader in his industry. If he is so limited that he can’t properly convey his mission statement to a ghost-tweeter whom he employs to speak on his behalf, then Houston; we’ve got a problem.
Ghost writers, bloggers, and even ghost tweeters are valid resources that will clear your plate and allow you to further carry out the plan and growth of your business. The only logical argument against hiring a ghostwriter is when a business tries to cut corners and sacrifices their very reputation by employing writers who can’t even put two sentences together correctly. I’ve seen this happen all too often. The way around this pitfall is pretty simple, don’t hire someone who writes $5.00 articles. If you do, you’re going to GET $5.00 articles. I know fellow writers who are extremely talented, but have lowered their standards and have begun to write for low pay. If your writer is turning out $5 or $10 articles then guess what?–They are feverishly trying to complete ten or more per day so they can make ends meet. Do you want your blog posts written by someone who wrote it in fifteen minutes or less? I know I don’t. Bottom line, you get what you pay for…Yes, it was true last year, it was true a decade ago, and it’s true today.
If you are thinking about using a ghost blogger, you are thinking correctly…It logically flows in the growth process of any business or industry. You are not a one man band. Just be sure that when you do hire a writer, you do so with care. Don’t compromise your standards. If you are going to spend your time building a business, then do it correctly. Using intelligent and talented writers to properly convey your thoughts and bring value to your industry is just plain smart business.
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