Every so often, I'll have a client ask whether or not I have contact information for someone who has worked with me in the past.
Although I have an extensive Upwork profile, filled with a great deal of positive feedback from my legal blog writing and content writing clients, this question might make sense in other industries such as with graphic designers and virtual assistants. But ghostwriters frequently can't give references.
In fact, it is very common that they are legally obligated to keep the names of their clients private.
Think of it this way: when I'm hired by a law firm to create legal content for their blog or for their website, I'm doing so under their name. The content goes out as if they wrote it themselves.
This means they don't really want to expose that they have worked with a ghostwriter to create their content. I also often have to sign non-disclosure agreements specifically stipulating that I will hold the names of my clients quiet.
This can prove problematic for a legal content writer trying to market their business because they can't give references and contact information without blowing the client's cover.
It is not uncommon for a content writer to share that they cannot give out the names of any of their clients as a ghostwriter. In fact, this should not be seen as a negative when you're working with a prospective blog writer because this means that he or she will afford you the same level of confidentiality, and respect your law firm and your privacy as well.
An Alternative to references
There are other ways to determine whether or not someone has a good track record of working with clients.
As an example, you can ask about their client retention rate. Personally, I have worked with several of my clients for as long as 4 years. To a prospective client, this demonstrates that despite the fact that I cannot share the names of those lawyers, I have a good track record of professionalism and deliverability of the promised services.
If you ask for references for a legal content writer and you hear back that the writer is not comfortable or able to share those with you, look into other ways to vet his or her professionalism and use a trial job to identify whether or not this is the right fit.