5 things that we learnt from ghostwriting for CxOs

My partner and I run a 8 figure content solutions business. Over the last 3 years we have had the privilege to work alongside a multitude of people. Many of them Founders, CxOs, Leaders, Entrepreneurs.

What was common in them all was that they believed that content truly had the ability to distinguish them.

In our 3 years, working with almost 17 Leaders, many of them friends and well – wishers now, here’s what we learnt:

1. These leaders want conversation around their content. This could be content on LinkedIn, their personal blog or on Instagram. But all of them want to generate conversation.

Most of our content for them is open ended. It incites, provokes and makes you think.

That provocation is the call to action. We measure returns in terms of qualitative comments. How many people have we pushed, such that they’ve responded. That is our success factor.

2. They want the real deal. As ghostwriters, making up stories is second nature to us. But. And this is an important one, only real incidents get you traction.

These leaders think nothing of spending time with us in the beginning of our engagement for us to understand them better. Earlier we would send across a questionnaire, now we prefer to meet in person. Sometimes 2-3 times before we start with the content generation.

They pushback initially. But over time they have begun to appreciate the intensity of our process too.

3. They are fiercely protective of who they let into their network. All these leaders, while they are okay with lakhs of followers, they are very private about who they connect with.

It is through them that we learnt that the first 5K and then the next 25K followers should only be those who you can learn from too.

4. They are quick to spot patterns. And thanks to them, now so are we.

  • Stories of struggle, pain, loss, regret, failures- get massive traction.
  • Stories of wins- not so much.

Everybody knows that they didn’t become world class leaders overnight. So the audience wants insight into what made them them.

We leverage what works for their audience.

One of our clients has absolutely forbidden us from talking about his wins.

He says- the reader is right. Failures teach us so much more, success only distracts us.

When one of our posts starts trending or starts being shared, we take that as a signal to work harder to replicate that success. Sometimes we succeed.

5. They are super quick to course correct. Think that’s what make them leaders?

They are extremely high on experimentation. They don’t shy away from pulling all stops. Our best clients have gone with our assessment and participated in tweet chats and hosted webinars and such, even when some of those techniques have bombed on getting them reach.


 

Ghost-writing is a tremendously fulfilling endeavour. It enhances our reach. The more leaders we meet, the more our network multiplies. These leaders themselves have huge networks.

No they don’t introduce us to their networks (that would defeat the purpose of ghostwriting), but you won’t believe how many glowing word of mouth recommendations we’ve got for working with their immediate friends and family circles. Of course, we have had our share of flak too.

Also we get to observe at close quarters what their lives look like. The kind of things that they believe and at their core, they are like the average human.

They just lead very well.

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