Ghostwriters: Nail Your Client’s Voice (Without Reading Their Mind)

Nicolas Cole
3 min readDec 7, 2023

I want to help you with the very first step you need to take in any new ghostwriting engagement.

When starting to ghostwrite for a new client, the very first thing you should do, even before you begin writing, is audit everything you have to work with:

  • Do they have a podcast?
  • Do they have a newsletter?
  • Have they written a book?
  • Do they regularly write on social media?
  • Have they appeared on other people’s podcasts?
  • Have they been quoted in any major publications?

And so on.

The reason this is so important is because ghostwriting is unbelievably subjective. And trying to “read your client’s mind” is very, very hard.

You are much better off removing this subjectivity and, as much as possible, leveraging previously created content — to start.

So, your very first step as a ghostwriter is to…

Find what your client is comfortable talking about — and wants to talk about.

When auditing your clients content library, look / listen for the topics they share and the Proven Approaches they use.

A Proven Approach is simply the different “things” readers are already interested in. Think of every piece of writing you’ve ever found yourself buried in. What did you get in exchange for reading?

  • Tips
  • Tools
  • Steps
  • Habits
  • Lessons
  • etc.

The reason these are Proven Approaches is because they have been “proven” to attract readers!

As you dig into everything you client has ever said, look for clues. Imagine your client is the CFO of a unicorn tech company and they’ve been interviewed on TechCrunch about their career journey. Read through the article or watch the replay of the video.

  • What results have they achieved?
  • What mistakes did they highlight about a company failure?



Nicolas Cole

100M+ Views | 5x Author | Co-founder of Ship 30 for 30 | Want to start writing online? Get the Ultimate Guide: