Certain skills that most of us depend on when we are presenting ourselves in real-time, real person connections aren’t available when you begin working in the virtual world. You must emphasize a different set of skills. While a ghostwriter isn’t a virtual assistant, many of the skills used by virtual assistants are needed.
Importance of Computer Skills for Virtual Ghostwriting Work
One of the most important skills you need as a ghostwriter selling yourself in a virtual market is strong computer skills. You need to know more than the most popular word processing programs, you need to know additional software programs as well. While you can survive without knowing how to use virtual conferencing software, you should become comfortable with more than one video communication platform.
Learn how to leverage Skype, Yahoo and Windows Live message platforms as you interact with potential clients. Using these message services doesn’t require your clients to spend money and makes the virtual work process seem more personal.It’s easier to trust someone after you’ve seen their face.
You will have prospects who are total novices at using messaging options. Developing your ability to walk contacts through the process of setting up a messaging option will be a valuable selling point for your service. When you connect with someone who is already experienced with a software platform you don’t know, do what it takes to become familiar with that platform.
Knowing how to use design and publishing software is also useful. If you can provide the value added service of designing eBook layouts, etc. you position yourself with additional value. Learn how to work with photographic software as well.
Importance of Communication Skills for Virtual Ghostwriting Work
Your ability to sell yourself in a virtual market will also be enhanced by developing strong verbal and written personal communication skills. You can’t depend on non-verbal cues, so you need to develop “virtual sense.” You will depend on voice cues far more than you usually do, even if you use video.
A ghostwriter should already have good-to-great writing skills. Learning to listen carefully and respond effectively is also an invaluable skill. If you are someone who struggles with thinking “on your feet,” you will find that selling yourself in a virtual market is going to be a challenge.
One way to appear faster thinking than you really are is to prepare answers to common questions beforehand. For example, know what your pricing structure is for different types of work. “How much do you charge for…?” is a common question. “How does this work?” is another common question. “What do you need from me?” “How do I pay?” “How long does it take?” Answering these questions becomes easier as you gain more experience.
Importance of Profile and Portfolio for Virtual Ghostwriting Work
There are two things I’ve found that really helps foster trust in a virtual environment. One is writing an informative profile. The other is developing a website portfolio. Potential clients want to know that you have experience. You can write a great profile that makes you sound like the right person to hire, yet we all know that it’s real experience that counts.
As a ghostwriter, your portfolio demonstrates your experience. There are many ways to deliver a portfolio.
- Provide links to the sales site for books you have ghost written. If the book is for sale on Amazon.com, there will be excerpts of the book available for review.
- Create Amazon.com-style book excerpts on your website. Be sure to place a “rel=donotfollow” command within the header of the web page, or the example will dilute your website keyword’s affectiveness.
- Create pages on your website that contain examples of your work. These pages should also have the “rel=donotfollow” command within the header.
- Consider your website itself a part of your portfolio. It is an example of your writing abilities.
It isn’t that difficult to sell yourself in a virtual market, as long as you have strong computer skills, the ability to write well and the ability to communicate well verbally. Even if you are weak in some of these areas, you can develop your skills. As you do, you will find it easier to sell yourself as a ghostwriter in a virtual market.