I have an alter ego in Canada, I learned the other day, and another in London. While my business, Say It For You, focuses on ghost blogging for business, Journalist Wendy Dennis, based in Toronto, ghost writes speeches and toasts for weddings, funerals, and other what she calls "seismic life events that require heartfelt eloquence". "It’s still their feelings and sentiments", Dennis says of her clients. "They just don’t have the skill to craft it in a way that’s going to have the greatest impact."
When it comes to business owners and professional practitioners, I find, lack of writing skill may not be their primary motivation for hiring ghosts. Knowing that, in these days of internet commerce, marketing is more about search engine optimization than about billboards and print advertising, many simply realize they lack the time to post blog entries with enough consistency to "win search".
Lawrence Bernstein, who runs a ghost speechwriting service in London, England, agrees with me on that point, relating, in his interview with MacCleans.CA, that his clients are not at all incapable of creating their own material were they inclined to do so. Generally, Bernstein adds, his clients are bright enough to realize that they could do a decent job writing their own speeches. Those who retain him to write on their behalf are "self aware and bright enough to realize that they couldn’t do it brilliantly".
Human resource specialists agree that employees crave recognition for a job well done and often value appreciation even more than their paychecks. In one of my early blog posts, I wrote about ghost writing’s built-in paradox. As a professional ghost blogger, I explained, my job is to fade into the shadows, allowing my clients’ businesses to take all the glory. "A good ghost blogger should not, herself, be seen or heard."
A related practical problem we ghost bloggers and ghost speech writers face is the difficulty in getting referrals from clients. Lawrence Bernstein explained that dilemma in detail: "With any other service-based industry, the better the service, the greater the number of referrals." But when he ghostwrites a great toast for a wedding that everyone thinks is the funniest and cleverest speech they’ve ever heard, remarks Bernstein ruefully, "The bloke never says, ‘Call Lawrence Bernstein in north London!"
P.S. I’m happy to report that one of my best clients managed to figure a way out of this very dilemma, by simply beginning his testimonial as follows: "The last thing I want to tell you is that I’m Rhoda Israelov’s client, because my readers believe I’ve written the blogs. So well has she been able to capture the concepts I want to convey to my readers and clients, she has begun to sound like me!"