Guest Post: How I Ghostwrite Business Books…And Bumble Messages

By Megan Okonsky

When I meet new people, I hesitate before sharing what I do for work. My official title shifted from “copywriter” to “ghostwriter” in 2019 and I began fielding quite a few questions about my job. Nervous to take up too much time talking about my 9-5, I avoided bringing up work woes or the fact that I worked from home. These days, my official title is “online account manager”. One might think I cause less of a stir among strangers. But as I explain that I manage accounts on dating profiles, the questions don’t stop coming.

Yes, I ghostwrite messages on dating apps. My daily responsibilities include writing pick-up lines, dropping subtle hints about coffee dates, and letting clients know they have a date on such-and-such day at such-and-such wine bar. (I might also reassure them they can still be attracted to a man under 6’, but that’s for a different blog post.)

No, matches don’t know my clients have a ghostwriter. Yes, we encourage clients to tell matches they had “help” with their profiles. Absolutely, I try to match my client’s voice whether I’m ghostwriting their book or pick-up lines. I aim for success as a ghostwriter and dating profile manager. “Success” in my current position looks like happy couples rather than book sales, but setting up happy couples actually enhances my ability to write successful business books and memoirs. These two jobs go hand-in-hand.

Can You Help Me With This? How I Started “Ghostwriting” Dating App Messages

The first time I logged into a dating account that was not mine (outside of pranking my friends in college) was in 2018. At the time, I worked as a freelance writer, traveling the world and picking up jobs as they came along. I received a message about dating profile management on an overnight bus to Airlie Beach.

Two words came to mind: why not? This job gave me the opportunity to get into the mind of a person completely different from myself. How did this man see the women who popped up on dating apps? What were his beliefs about dating? I’m a naturally curious person so I was happy to ask these questions and dig deeper into my client’s mindset around such a fascinating topic. We had a lengthy interview before I ever opened his accounts. 

The client and I did a short trial that didn’t work out — the time difference was too great to maintain healthy working hours — but I always kept the experience in the back of my mind. Fast forward to 2022, when I was ghostwriting business books for clients. I answered a LinkedIn ad and decided to add a part-time job managing dating profiles for A Little Nudge. This new position has many similarities to my job as a ghostwriter. I hold similar interviews with clients to get into their mindset about dating, how they see themselves, and how they envision their ideal partner. I’ve never seen this job as stepping away from ghostwriting but ghostwriting in a different (quicker, real-time, flirtier) form.

It’s All About Listening, In Ghostwriting And Dating

How do I get into the heads of my clients? I listen and I read. I collect “data” as I interview every client and gather supplemental materials. This “data” includes their answers about what they like to do and their favorite bars in their neighborhood. Data also includes communications like podcast interviews, social media pages, and texts. All of us share more of this data than we realize! I use it all to discover the voice of each client. What words come up frequently? How often does the client use sarcasm or jokes? Even a client’s “haha” vs. “lol” informs how I write for them. I use proper grammar when necessary, but replicating these small details allows the client to see themselves in my work.

When it comes time to write, I focus. I close my eyes and rewind the tape of the conversations I’ve had with clients or interviews they’ve done with others. Jeff Raderstrong recently wrote that he likes to think of himself as doing an impression of the author as he writes. I couldn’t agree more. By getting into the client’s voice through listening and focusing, I can go forward with that voice. (As it turns out, my childhood hobby of acting in community theater productions has helped me in my career. Who knew?)

I am ready to write a client’s messages, blog post, or book once I’ve gathered enough information to state and support their opinions. My client may share an opinion about AI, leadership, or the best wine bars in New York City. Behind those opinions are experiences, stories, and values that form those opinions. The more I know about the why, the more I can write about the what. This is why I may ask silly questions about why my client prefers white wine over red or about the merits of service leadership. I need a well-rounded picture of a client’s mindset. This is the foundation for writing in their voice and knowing when to take creative liberties.

A Ghostwriter Can Help You Discover Your Voice

When I ghostwrite, the client is in the driver’s seat. Their experiences direct how I write their memoirs or their Bumble messages. Ghostwriting, when done well, is a reflection of the author. I love it when clients tell me, “You made me sound so confident!” I love this compliment because it’s a compliment to the client. I often respond with, “I write confidently because I see how confident you are.” Everyone feels good!

I love ghostwriting in all forms. And I love every part of ghostwriting: listening, learning, and writing. Every day, I listen to another person and learn something new. Then, I help them use their experiences and knowledge to help them achieve their goals. That goal may be to find a life partner or share stories with their children. Along the way, my clients have the opportunity to discover their voice and discover themselves.

Ready to share what you’ve learned? Ready to learn something new along the way? Consider hiring a ghostwriter.

Megan Okonsky is a ghostwriter and novelist based in Austin, TX. Known for her conversational voice and wit, Okonsky has worked with C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, and media personalities to produce bestselling business books and memoirs. She is a proud member of the Writers’ League of Texas, the Editorial Freelancers Association, and the Association of Ghostwriters.

You can reach her at hello@meganokonsky.com, or follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/meganokonsky.

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Marcia Layton Turner

1 Comments

  1. Julie Edwards on July 2, 2024 at 12:26 pm

    Hello Megan! Love you!🥰🥰

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