Pauleanna Reid is the founder and chief storytelling officer of WritersBlok, a full-service agency that offers ghostwriting services for high-profile leaders. Pauleanna and her team work with a variety of big names, helping them tell their stories and speak out about personal passions and missions.
After 10 years in the corporate world, Pauleanna started offering ghostwriting services and built a seven-figure agency in a few short years. Today, she’s sharing with us some of the tips that helped her reach that milestone!
P.S. We’ll focus on a few of Pauleanna’s tips regarding team and client management, but if you want the full scoop, including her tips on project and brand management, give her interview a listen!
Pauleanna leads a talented team of “content ninjas” at WritersBlok, but her hires have a lot more in common than their skillset…
“I lead an all-women, all-women-of-color team,” she explains. “I’m really proud of that.”
Not only is Pauleanna proud of her team, but she’s also fiercely protective of it—and it’s easy to see why.
For one, agency work is HARD. Pauleanna and her team have pulled plenty of all-nighters.
However, these women are also responsible for ghostwriting the opinions of celebrities, star athletes, politicians, founders, and executives on hot-button issues concerning ethics, politics, and more.
“We are called when high-stakes, high-crisis, highly sensitive content needs to be written,” Pauleanna explains. “We wrote a speech for someone who spoke at George Floyd’s funeral.”
It’s no wonder Pauleanna’s so passionate about team management.
In Pauleanna’s interview, she shares several team management tips that have helped her agency climb from six to seven figures. In this case study, however, we’ll touch on two…
“Oftentimes when you are part of a corporation, you only know 10% of what the CEO sees,” says Pauleanna. “I’ve decided to be way more transparent.”
Pauleanna accomplishes this goal through quarterly one-on-ones (and, on a less formal note, weekly chit-chats). During one-on-ones, she focuses on two goals.
1. Revisit the company mission
When you join a company, you’ll typically get a series of documents and handbooks, which include the company’s mission, vision, and values… then you go about your merry way, and those onboarding documents slowly sink to the bottom of your desk drawer.
“The employee is just supposed to remember it and be excited, but over time you may lose sight of the company vision,” says Pauleanna. “So every time we meet, I go over why our company exists where we’re headed.”
“I do more listening than speaking,” Pauleanna shares.
In her most recent round of one-on-ones, Pauleanna passed out Q&As for her employees…
“I want to know the honest thoughts in your head.”
Another way Pauleanna has managed her team well is by prioritizing mental wellness, and she does this in one key way: an in-house therapist.
“I won’t credit myself,” says Pauleanna. “I’ll credit Billions. Love that show.”
In Billions, Axel is the head of his company and works with a dual psychologist/performance coach to make sure his team is supported well.
“I thought about how we touch so much sensitive subject matter and that my team members may not have the means or accessibility to a therapist,” says Pauleanna. “So, I hired my own Wendy Rose.”
The WritersBlok therapist leads group therapy sessions and one-on-one sessions to help team members work through anxiety, self-doubt, potential burnt-out, and more.
“Whatever they need, she’s there to listen and support.”
In a largely white, male-dominated industry, Pauleanna says cultural competency is the key trait that sets WritersBlok apart.
“Clients don’t just hire us to put pens to paper,” she explains. “They hire us to help them navigate cultural, societal, and generational sensitivities. They trust us to build their legacies.”
That kind of trust isn’t just given… it’s earned.
That’s why she’s deliberate and thoughtful in the way she manages client relationships—both before and after they’ve signed a contract with her.
Pauleanna is certainly strategic in the way she introduces herself to prospective clients, but she has also learned to seek those relationships with patience and persistence.
“One of my mentors connected me to a woman I’ve been wanting to work with for a long time,” she shares. “I emailed her consistently, and after a year and three months, she finally agreed to meet with me.”
“You are the most persistent person I’ve ever met,” this prospect said. “You remind me of myself.”
By the end of that conversation, Pauleanna had a new client.
Pauleanna is careful not to cross the line from persistent to straight-up annoying by prioritizing two things…
“Reducing stress and adding value is how I’ve been able to get into any room,” she says.
In the case of this new client, Pauleanna followed her career closely on social media.
“I was locked in,” she says.
That attention to detail allowed her to reduce stress and add value for this woman long before she was providing ghostwriting services for her.
“There was a post one day where she was talking about her desire to do more public speaking,” Pauleanna explains. “I’ve been a public speaker since 2012, so I would email her and include a link to a conference she could apply to or give feedback on some video content.”
“It’s a snapshot of your ah zone of genius.”
Once a client has agreed to work with Pauleanna, that quality of service only improves.
Pauleanna uses a word to describe CEOs and companies that maintain a this-is-what-you’re-paying me-for-so-this-is-what-you-get policy: rigid.
“I get it. You’re doing that, honestly, for your sanity in most cases,” she adds.
But to Pauleanna, it’s the work that keeps her sane.
“I’m obsessed with my work,” she says. “There’s nothing I rather be doing.”
This is why Pauleanna and her team are constantly going beyond traditional ghostwriting services.
“A client could call me in the middle of the night with an urgent matter, and I’m not looking at them like an ATM,” says Pauleanna.
To Pauleanna, white glove service means going above and beyond what’s on the contract.
“Everything we do for clients is a big part of my personal brand,” says Pauleanna. Skim the WritersBlok website, and you’ll see this clearly…
“The WritersBlok mission is to help our client-partners take a stand on hot button topics.”
This perspective is one of the many reasons why Pauleanna makes seven figures with her ghostwriting services.
Again, agency work is HARD WORK. But to Pauleanna, it doesn’t feel quite so difficult.
“White glove service comes easy when you actually like who you’re working with,” she says. “My clients aren’t family per se,… but we’re really good friends.”
What we DIDN’T cover in this blog post includes…
Pauleanna is passionate about what she does, and her interview (not to mention her revenue) reflects that clearly. If you’d like to learn more from this celebrity ghostwriter, scroll to the top or bottom of this post and listen to the full episode today!