Sings: [dum-diddy, dum-diddy] “Ghostwriters in…the sky-y”

Social media – insatiable vampire of time
553242236For the average professional or senior business executive, one major PITA (pain-in-the-ass) and vampire of valuable time is the need to blog, tweet, comment, join, like, endorse, post, ping, connect-request and thought-lead to the point where there would be few minutes left in any working day for anything meaningful beyond keeping up with the recommended level of content creation and social media participation. At a recent LinkedIn conference I attended in Sydney (hosted by Progress Software, as invited by our tech-industry clients CMS) it was suggested that the average executive now spends six hours per week attending to their LinkedIn profile, connections and group activities, along with other business-related social media. Six hours per week? And the explosion only just begun?

How does any genuinely busy person afford almost one whole extra day of work per week on average without chewing-up their evenings and weekends – time needed for family, sport or relaxation – or neglecting this work in favour of more pressing or immediately revenue-generating priorities? Neither personal time nor business imperatives can be neglected, but your professional social media activities and business-related content marketing responsibilities can’t be forgotten either.

How to reclaim your time and keep up with your content creation obligations

Yes, you can outsource your social media profile management in all or part. Yes, you can outsource your comments, quote-me-on-this pieces and thought-leadership articles. Sure, you’re brilliant. You know what you would say if only you had time, or could write yourself (if only you were as awesome at putting words together as you are in operational mode).

I can get inside your head (muwhahaha)

I love every aspect of being a professional marketer. But when commissioned as a copywriter, some of my sweetest moments have been spent ghostwriting for brilliant executives and professionals who allow me to soak-up their knowledge and perspectives to write quotes and articles – in their own names – by ‘channelling’ their mojo, not just ‘interviewing’.

Some of the best writing of my entire career has been happening recently for clients when I’ve been able to draw and distill their essence, through words or osmosis, over the phone, in the office, out for breakfast or dinner – wherever the flow happens easily – whenever my subjects (aka ‘victims’ LOL) are most unselfconscious and naturally expressive.

I would be proud to post some of these links right here, saying: “Look what I wrote for this dude/dudette! Some of their peers have said it’s one of the finest things ever written by anyone in their field in its entire history,” but that wouldn’t be fair to my subjects. You see, part of the age-old understanding with being a ghostwriter is that the ‘ghost’ is invisible. The ‘author’ gets all the kudos, credibility and long-term reward for the words published in their own name. *sigh*

One-liners, paragraphs, articles, presentations or whole books – all written by ‘you’

I’m a versatile copywriter – from short slogans (“SMSF? That’s Billings+Ellis.”) to responsive commentaries, product-related web pages and even long speeches or presentations on prescribed topics. But no single writer has ‘the right stuff’ for all writing situations. When it comes to hard-core technology, there are writers in my crew with IT degrees who can get the technical angles grounded beneath any marketing spin. And when it comes to hard-core storytelling, among my associates are a few of Australia’s most respected mainstream journalists. So, if it’s on your bucket-list to produce a “This Is My Life” or “This Is My Business Journey” in e-book, paperback or hardcover, we’ve got your ghostwriter at the ready.

Posting, tweeting, pinging and ponging for content marketing (um, what’s ‘ponging’?)

The other side of content creation is having to distribute the content for maximum leveraged benefit, depending on its purpose. Wherever it’s posted or published – your website or someone else’s – a sequence of events should then unfold. There is ‘pinging’ to notify search engines and invite more rapid indexing of the new content. There is no ‘ponging’ yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time. There is ‘tweeting’ followers on Twitter, posting links on your other social media profiles, and making sure everything links back to your authorship profile and landing pages (website etc). Good editorial content can be re-engineered and upscaled into multimedia with video and slidesharing – maybe it will even go ‘viral’. Article-type content can be recycled and redistributed in electronic newsletters, with tracking and monitoring to study receptivity and engagement of customers and prospects. Obviously, the pundits suggesting that six hours per week should be enough for an executive to look after their own SMM wouldn’t have figured on the executive doing SMM-based content marketing at this level. But imagine how far out in front of competitors you’d be if you outsourced labour-intensive content marketing and SMM, while they’re still trying to squeeze social media activity between the ol’ beer o’clock and their soft-boiled eggs?

When Rupert tweets, not even the CEO has an excuse for not engaging in social media

It’s very common to hear “too busy” as the reason why executives can’t keep up with content marketing via social media, but what still surprises me is the number of founders and CEOs with scarcely any social media activity going on, let alone any legacy profile. What’s a legacy profile? Things like Wikipedia entries and other types of electronically-published information about you that is intended to stand the test of time. Stuff for future researchers and descendents to find, long after your name and achievements have otherwise turned to dust – that’s how the echo of you can survive as a legacy.

There are also political reasons why CEO-types would want to have their web-based profiles professionally propogated and managed. Whether the closeted ambition is to get asked to write the preface for a textbook, speak at Such-And-Such an event, become a Fellow of This-Or-That Institute, or receive an OAM for services to Something-Or-Another, logic dictates that an impeccable online portfolio of accomplishments, connections and endorsements might really help.

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