A good part of my client work is ghostwriting. I get to learn about topics I might not have thought about before, get my writing published on high-profile websites, and earn a good income.
But since these are ghostwritten pieces, I can’t claim them as my own in a portfolio. When prospects ask to see samples, I can’t send them and can only explain that I’ve written them. That’s a problem when a prospect wants to see samples from me.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can prove your writing experience, even if most of your work is ghostwriting.
1. Maintain a Testimonials Catalog
Testimonials are the perfect example of social proof and validate your experience as a B2B writer. They’ll inspire confidence in your prospects because they show others have trusted you and have had a positive experience with you.
Be sure to ask satisfied clients for a quick testimonial once you’ve completed a project. Not many will volunteer one without being asked.
2. Use Test Projects as Samples
Many prospects will ask for a test project first to make sure you’re a good fit for them. I do these at a slight discount, so I’m still compensated for my time, and they feel better about the type of work they’ll get from me.
If the test piece isn’t going to be published on their website or used in their business in any way, you can use these as samples for future prospects. Ask if they’re going to use the work in any way, and if not, you’re good to go.
3. Publish Excerpts of the Work
An excerpt is a small portion of a larger piece of work. It gives people an idea of what the rest of the work is about, such as a book or report. You could potentially take an excerpt from your ghostwriting work and publish it on your website as a sample.
But be careful about this. You’ll need permission from your client first, preferably in your work agreement or contract. That way, they know you’ll be publishing it elsewhere as an example of your work and won’t be claiming it as your own.
You may want to state in your contract that you’ll only take portions of text that only give people an example of your writing skills and experience. If you’re not sure about the excerpt you’ve chosen, include it in a quick email to your client, along with a brief statement about how you’re going to use it.
4. Blog About Ghostwriting
Write a few posts on your blog about ghostwriting, your process, and how you work with clients. Write a few anonymous case studies about your ghostwriting projects to showcase how you’ve helped past clients and give prospects a behind-the-scenes look. The posts will show off your writing skills and explain what it’s like to work with you on a ghostwriting project.
5. List the Names of the Companies You’ve Written For
Unless you’re ghostwriting copy or content for a well-known person, you can legally mention their company name. Just don’t cite the exact name of the person you ghost wrote for. (E.g., You could say you ghost wrote for B2B Writing Success, but don’t say you wrote as Lisa Christoffel at B2B Writing Success.)
Many freelance B2B writers ghost write for their clients, so it might be hard to build up a traditional collection of samples. Use these tips to build your portfolio and social proof in a different way so you can grow your business.