Here in the Northeast the thermometer is sizzling above the 90-degree mark, but as we near the end of July we know the lazy days of summer are almost over. From a freelance perspective that means nearly 3 quarters of the year have passed. The end of summer is a good time to take a critical look at your medical writing business to see if you’re on target to meet your year-end financial and professional goals.
If your business isn’t sizzling, ask yourself these questions:
1. Have I focused on writing in only one medium or one therapeutic area without considering others?
2. Am I estimating inaccurately and losing money each time I complete a project?
3. Do I avoid marketing my writing and researching skills to prospective clients when I don’t have the specific subject-matter expertise they want?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, that could be why your business isn’t growing to the next level.
Sure, writing in one medium or therapeutic area is comfortable–and easy, if you’ve done it for a while. But if the particular area in which you write tanks, as CME did a couple of years ago, you could be in big trouble. That’s why we advocate gaining expertise in multiple therapeutic areas and media.
And then there’s estimating. We know estimating projects is challenging. For tips on how to estimate projects more accurately, check out this post from June.
Finally, what can you do to overcome those objections from prospective clients who wrongly equate subject-matter experience with good writing? Sooner or later we all face the challenge of being asked to write in a therapeutic area with which we don’t have much (or perhaps any) experience. When confronted with this challenge, we recommend selling your ability as a medical communicator. After all, the information needed to write in a new therapeutic area, like the mechanics of writing itself, can be learned. In contrast, the ability to communicate information clearly and compellingly comes from talent, which cannot be learned but is inherent, nurtured, and perfected over time.
We’re confident implementing a few of these suggestions will have positive effects on your bottom line. A few minor tweaks can take your freelance medical writing business from simmering to sizzling.