Janet Kennedy

Quick Win: LinkedIn Tips from Janet Kennedy

On today’s Quick Win from The Savvy Scribe, Janet Kennedy joins us to share a few tips on getting your LinkedIn profile up to speed.

Carol:                                00:00                   Hi everyone. Carol here, co-host of The Savvy Scribe podcast. I am so excited you all are making the time to join this episode today because there’s some great information that Janet Kennedy, the host of the Get Social Health podcast and also co-founder at the Healthcare Marketing Network is going to drop some really important information you won’t want to miss. We all know that the key to building a successful business is developing relationships, growing your business takes customers, mentors, peers, and LinkedIn is here to help too. Janet is going to share with you how to make your LinkedIn profile really work for you. Yes, she shares that most of us are really dropping the ball by not taking full advantage of our silent salesperson LinkedIn. It’s available 24-7 for lead generation. Janet, I’m excited to hear everything you have to say. So take it away.

Janet:                                01:14                   Welcome to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers and creatives who want to grow their businesses, your host, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach. We’ll cover a wide range of topics on writing, sales and managing freelance practice podcast episodes. We’ll feature interviews, inspiration, laughter, and important information to help healthcare, freelance writers, The Savvy Scribe is a production of the Healthcare Marketing Network. Now let’s join the conversation.

Janet:                                01:45                   Hi everybody. This is Janet Kennedy of the Get Social Health podcast just stepping into The Savvy Scribe to give you some savvy ideas about how you can make your LinkedIn profile really work for you. Now, be honest. When was the last time that you logged into LinkedIn and change anything on your profile? And I don’t mean just liking commenting and sharing content. I mean actually physically change something. Now, I will say that I teach that LinkedIn can be a set it and forget it, but to be honest, I’m only saying that to people who I know will never ever go back to LinkedIn until they have a major life change. Predominantly physicians or nurses, professionals for whom LinkedIn is not a daily part of their life. As many members of the Healthcare Marketing Network will tell you, they started their career as clinicians. So LinkedIn really wasn’t very important to them.

Janet:                                02:48                   But guess what? Now that they’re focusing on building a freelance career, this platform that they’ve sort of been keeping track of but not really checking into can now become a really important part of their success or failure as a writer. And one of the things I’d like to share with you today is that you’re dropping the ball and let me explain why LinkedIn actually works for you. 24 seven three 65 if you have optimized your profile, your going to come up in searches, you’re going to be able to more easily expand your network. And guess what? You can sell yourself without having to actually be there. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this retail adage before, but assign is a silent salesperson. That’s why signage in retail stores is so important. So think about LinkedIn as the sign that’s going to lead people into your retail store.

Janet:                                03:50                   So when someone goes to your profile, what do they see? Is it that weird blue header with the little constellation looking connections? Or do you actually have an attractive header that tells people who and what you are? Now, I don’t mean a big Ole advertisement or a giant blown out of proportion logo. I need something that’s attractive and subtle, but tells people who and what you are. For instance today, and believe me, my head or could change tomorrow, but today if you went to my LinkedIn profile, you’d see that I have a very small but attractive logo for the Healthcare Marketing Network, a pretty photograph of a working space and then at the little tagline, healthcare writers for healthcare companies, that’s, it couldn’t be more simpler. What are you, what do you want to be when people just pop there because they got there by accident?

Janet:                                04:44                   Does your immediate profile tell the story of who and what you are? So number one tip, please change your header. And my gosh, if you don’t know what you want and you’re really one of those folks that are a perfectionist and you struggle over everything that your external profile says about you, forget trying to create something, please just pick a beautiful photograph. Pick something of the area that you live in. Pick a local photograph that at least gives people a little feel for who and what you are. Again, avoid those bathing suit photos. Never a good idea. Number two, your LinkedIn profile image. I will tell you that I have had a Selfie as a profile image for probably the last seven or eight years. Why? Because when I step out of the beauty parlor, haven’t gotten my hair done, I feel fabulous and that smile you can tell is natural and I feel great and those are the best pictures I feel like I’ve ever had taken his right after I’ve had my hair done so it doesn’t have to be a professional photograph.

Janet:                                05:51                   As a matter of fact, you’re seeing those less and less. If you look like he just came out of the JC Penney portrait photography and there’s a whole blow back there. That’s a long time ago. They don’t exist anymore. But if that’s what your photograph looks like, time for an upgrade. So again, this is the sign that sells who and what you are, a friendly photographic image and a header that says who and what you are. Now go look at the URL for your LinkedIn page, does it say your name and then about 10 numbers after it. That means you haven’t customized your URL and unless your name is Mary Smith, where might be a little difficult to get a unique URL just to you. Chances are you can go in and customize it. Now my name is Janet Kennedy. I was not the first Janet Kennedy to ask LinkedIn for the URL. Darn it. But I was able to use my middle initial, so my URL is LinkedIn.com/in/JanetMKennedy. So I was able to get my name. Theoretically you should still be able to get yours. Just maybe add your middle initial or maybe add something like RN, MD or some other way to customize the URL so you don’t have all those numbers after it. And believe me, this is all the things that people will see when they come to the above the fold. Just like the newspaper of old, the most important thing is that first impression. So you want a clean URL, you want an upbeat, happy, smiling, please, profile image, and you want a header that says you took the time to do something with your LinkedIn profile. I’m going to have some more tips for you later on networking, but these are the things that I see over and over again that are still incorrect and are really losing you an opportunity to connect with people on LinkedIn. There’s my tip. Go out there and make those changes and oh, by the way, connect with me. You remember what my URL was.

Author Nursepreneur

Janine Kelbach – Author, Nursepreneur

Meet the Nurse Writer who keeps the Healthcare Marketing Network on Track!

Today on The Savvy Scribe Carol Bush interviews an author, freelance writer, researcher, and OB/GYN Nurse, and the Operations Manager for the Healthcare Marketing Network, Janine Kelbach. Did we mention that Janine is also married, a mom and has two Great Danes? There must be eating and sleeping in her life but we sure can’t figure out when! Get to know Janine Kelbach on this episode of The Savvy Scribe.

Janet:                                00:00                   Welcome to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers and creatives who want to grow their businesses. Your hosts, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach will cover a wide range of topics on writing, sales and managing your freelance practice podcast episodes. We’ll feature interviews, inspiration, laughter, and important information to help healthcare freelance writers. The Savvy Scribe is a production of the Healthcare Marketing Network. Now let’s join the conversation.

Carol:                        00:34                   I’m so excited today. Savvy scribes I have a very special guest. In fact, I’ve been so psyched for this. I could hardly sleep last night because in our community, so many of you have given us feedback about our episodes and one of the many questions I’m getting is, well, we want to hear your story. How did you connect with Janine and Janet? And we want to hear everyone’s writer’s story or entrepreneur’s stories. So today I am excited to be able to interview my pal, my buddy, my work BFF, Janine Kelbach.

Janine:                        01:11                   Hello. It’s just a normal day on Zoom for us.

Carol:                        01:16                   It is, because I don’t know that people know this, but and this is something to learn that zoom is actually a great tool that we use not only for collaboration and virtual meetings to hold one another accountable in our coworking sessions, but also we use it to record our podcast episodes and we get to see each other. I know in and I think that’s the biggest part about being work BFFs and accountability partners. We definitely do have that connection. Before we dive into the whole power of accountability and your own specific hour of power, which you’re known for in our savvy scribe community. Janine, I’d love for you just to tell us a little bit about your story. What led you to launch your business as a freelance writer?

Janine:                        02:15                   All right, well it started way back. No, not way back. So my youngest little guy, I have two kids. One is going to be 14 it’s here soon and the other one is six. When I was pregnant with the six year old, I don’t know, something told me I’m going to have to be home a little more, whether because of that child or because of life. So it was cause of the child. He’s a little crazy. When he was born I knew that I was going to have to stay home. So I actually had a maternity leave with him that got me thinking after that whole, you know, getting the mom thing down again after having a nice break between the kids, I was at a point of, well what else I do? What else can I do? What else can I do? I started doing a side job because I was sick of picking up the overtime in my unit. I am labor and delivery nurse and I love what I do. I love my patients, but it will get, it was getting to a point that I wasn’t liking it and then I knew I was just burning myself out. So my sister in law who also works with me, we got a job together and we started at a company that we traveled around Cleveland, Ohio, where I’m from and gave high risk pregnant women injections of progesterone if they were high risk for preterm delivery. So we, we’ll do that. It was great. I only had to report to a boss if I had problems. Otherwise I did all the charting from home and I would take a patient load and it was a great cat annuity with the patient. I’d see her from week 16 to 36 so weekly I would go out and see her, which it sounds great, but these are also the inner city of Cleveland, east Cleveland, very, very dangerous areas. So you know, I have this newborn at home hustling, you know, on my days off just to be home more with him and in my other son too. And my husband. But it got to a point, they cut our pay to about a third of what we were making. And I also got bit by a dog down there too. So I was like, okay, something’s got to give here. I actually had to carry a gun down there and got my concealed carry because my patients are telling me to. And it was very dangerous. So my husband made the executive decision because I loved my patients that we had to do something else. So my grandma was also at that time dying of cancer and I was at her bedside a lot. So I was just googling and googling and googling what can a nurse do from home, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t really want to work for like an insurance company or something like that. So I ended up finding freelance writing after many searches. And I always enjoyed writing, but I don’t have like a journalism degree or English major or whatever. So I didn’t know if I could really do it. And so I literally just tried and I don’t want to say blew up, but I got some jobs and I realized I could make some money from home. And that’s the gist of it. Very, very brief story of it.

Carol:                        05:15                   And I love that story. And it’s not an like other stories that we get as we’re working with people transitioning to a freelancing career as a health writer looking for options. Maybe there’s you know, the age transition or as you said, they’ve experienced a cut in pay a lay off retirement for example. So a lot of people are looking for options and also you know, your family balancing career and family as well as another reason that we hear a lot is people are going to care giving role. So maybe it’s caring for your own child you’ve recently had  or an adult parent, etc. Or caring for ourselves because actually we have a lot of people in our community who have chronic illnesses and they’re not able to return to work in the same way and they still want to practice as a health professional. So I love that. All of those multiple reasons really led you to establish your business as a freelance writer. So I like a lot of nurses and healthcare professionals have a creative side that we don’t get to let go because we’re in a very, I don’t want to say structured, but you use your brain a lot in a different type of way as a writer versus a nurse and it’s something that got me to do that. So it was definitely different. And because as you said, you loved the patients and the education component teaching people about health information, wellness processes like self injections or whatever.

Carol:                        06:58                   You already have the foundation of teaching others about health related information as well. So you told us a little bit about what led you to start your business, but about how long ago was that again, at what point did you get traction and what tools or what led to that do you think?

Janine: That’s a good question. So I started, Jimmy was born in 2012 and October, so probably 2013 was the year. I just started writing a little bit and I’m so nerdy. Carol, I saved just to look back on like my first, first time I started making money. I’ve put like February and wrote the number March, and I tell you, because it makes me laugh now. I wasn’t even telling my husband, my sisters, my kids, I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this because I’m like, they’re gonna think I’m crazy. The numbers were just steadily going up. Not Thousands, not millions, you know, nothing crazy but an article here in article there. So then I started having a little portfolio and I was looking not at health care writers, but just freelance writers to see how to do it. And again, it was navigating the waters of a lot of googling. There are some people out there that I didn’t hire anybody because there wasn’t anybody to hire back then that I could find in the space that I wanted to work in. So I looked at a lot of blog posts back then and in 2015 it really took off to a point that my husband and I were like, let’s, I eventually told him, obviously he gets a super secret and making the way I made $10,000 this year. And he’s like, what? I like, I just thought it was kind of dumb. So I didn’t think you believe doing, doing well. I kind of do this when, when Jimmy sleeping. Oh, okay. So I, so in 2015, I launched the business, he helped me get the LLC and everything and that’s when I started like making sure I had a business account versus my personal account. And yeah, so it, that’s usually, that’s when it took off in a point of just writing and then I started expanding it and 2016 with the coaching and things like that.

Carol:                        09:25                   Okay, perfect. So you mentioned for me a very magic number, 2016, right? 2016. I’m a little bit nerdy to Janine because I’ve had to go back and track because everything we do on the Internet folks, right? We can find, I can find you just like Liam Neeson again taken, I always have to quote Liam Neeson. I will find you everything on the Internet, whether we’re making a connection on linkedin or were tweeting or on Facebook and those connections that we make on social media, we can go back and track. And I was very curious to know when exactly the timing of connecting with Janet, you several of our first clients and other people and it turns out that 2016 was the stellar year. So I actually connected with not very many people know this. I connected with Janet via a tweet on January 11th of 2016 and then I saw Janine, you and I met on Linkedin and when was that?

Janine:                        10:41                   October 4th of 2016 and I remember exactly what I was doing because I was so excited to connect with another writer who was a nurse and I want to say excited. I was like also like nervous, like I thought you were like the greatest person ever, Carol. I still do remember my little guy, right? The little baby who was where I started the business. He was what? He just turned four, two days earlier and we’re at the park and you always look crazy. You scream it and play it. And I’m like, oh my gosh, she’s gonna think I’m a bad mom. What is she going to think? I’m so unprofessional because my kid is playing at the park. For what do we do? We just had a normal conversation. We were on the same page and we kind of knew the same kind of story, but it was just very awesome. Like I was like, I remember hanging up the phone going, she is awesome. Like we connected and we have that same vision of helping other people do this too. So it was awesome. That’s what I remember of it.

Carol:                        11:48                   And again, we met on Linkedin but we used him to meet virtually. And not very many people know this either. But we’ve worked together since 2016 and never met in person until last November. So the power of virtual tools and collaboration is definitely huge. What I love about that is also the connections we made. This is something else people might not know and I think this is why as a CEO of our own business, to be successful as a freelancer, we need a community and we need connections and we need an accountability partner. And what I saw immediately that I think helped us connect was I’m very much a quick start personality. So I’m the kind that jumps off the cliff and I figure out how to build the parachute on the way down. And I have known for years that if I wanted to get anything done, I had to surround myself with people who got stuff done or are implementers. And Actually Janine, you’re one of the most productive people I’ve ever met in my life. And I think that balance for us made sense and, and we’ve kind of worked with that through taking a test, basically an assessment that’s called the Colby a k o, l, B, e a. And it’s not a personality test. It determines how we take action. And it’s been fun because we have worked together since 2016 but we only recently took that Colby a and how we take action. And what did you learn from that about accountability and maybe this dynamic, like why we work so well together as coworkers and accountability partners?

Janine:                        13:38                   Well remember back when I said like my husband didn’t know about my business until I started making money. I think you probably think it’s crazy that I did that because you’re building the parachute on the way down. Whereas I’m building the parachute before we’re even thinking about flying the pair of shoe. So I definitely always like to know, not that I know it’s gonna work, but I need to know the steps in which things happen. So for example, just anything, anything that we decided we’re going to do as a project, especially in Hmn or my own business or even life. I research in research and research and research. So much show point that I know more about the topic than I ever wanted to know. And sometimes it’s almost information overload where it’s like, I can’t even think about where to start again because now I know way too much. So in the Kolbie a, what I’ve learned is that I am not a quick start person. I’m a fact finder and it’s a really cool test because the way it tells you at the end is how to basically start your day and how you use the Kolbie to accelerate your day and get more things done, which is obviously what I love to do. I get, I love trying to get things done. Like if I have a to do list I want to get it done or I don’t feel accomplished. And I think to be a successful CEO of her own freelance business because folks, that’s definitely what we are. We need to tackle a lot of mindset issues. So fear. So sometimes we see people who are fact finders, do so much research, they have the fear to start. And then there are those of us as CEOs of our freelance business that are always starting. But we’re always starting starting here, starting there. Oh, rabbit, next little shiny objects syndrome. So this is why the power of our community is, hey, find your work BFF or your accountability partner. And the power of the Healthcare Marketing Network has been that because we have the multiple disciplines, multiple career stages, that we have a lot of people at different stages that can share resources and be an accountability for one another in setting goals, setting those targets, making marketing outreach, et cetera.

Carol:                        15:59                   Well, I think with that, Kolbie, again, another thing that helps us work so well together is because you are the start, start, start. But I’m the one going, wait, we didn’t have a finish. Wait, we never did that. Wait, hold on. Where does this end? You know, I’m that follow through person and it’s great because in it it gives you some strategies for using your strengths to take action. So I learned, I’m very visual and even it’s hard for me to write anymore because I have some perfectionist tendencies. So sitting down to write something, I can’t do it because I don’t have the time. So now instead of writing I speak it. And that has made a big difference and that’s a great strategy for people. And Janine, maybe you can share in some of your writing coaching with writers. Sometimes they’ll say, can you yourself did this actually earlier say, hey, I don’t know that I feel like I’m a great writer. I don’t have a creative degree or I don’t have a journalist decree, but you don’t have to be a great writer. You can use the awesome tools and apps that we have available. And even just a simple thing like the Google docs talk to text is perfect. And then you can edit that. I want to wrap around and revisit a little bit about the accountability and where earlier I said, you know, early on I figured out you’re one of the most productive people I know and in our community you’re actually known now and we coined the term because you are the queen of Productivity, but you’ve done a special thing so we can almost brand. You have your hour of power. So tell me a little bit about the hour of power. How did that get started and how do you use that to move your goals forward in your writing business?

Janine:                        17:56                   So the hour of power, I don’t even know how it got that name. I think you named it that honestly, Carol, well it started when I was by myself doing my business before it was the business and I only had an hour. Well maybe I had an hour and a half. By the time I got my little guy down for a nap, I had an hour. So I had to know exactly what I was doing for that hour, shut off everything, notifications, whatever. After this someone came to the door, they’re going to ruin my plan here. And then I would just work, work, work, work, work. And that carried me through and starting my business, the hour of power, it doesn’t always have to be the same hour. You know, some days we didn’t have, some days we went to the zoo or whatever we were doing. So then my hour of power, he had to change to get up earlier.  And that’s personally how I do better. Like some people are late night, people that can write, I couldn’t. and then it changed when he went to preschool and my hour of power was during preschool time. I was going for my BSN too. So I had to write papers and stuff. Oh, our power kick that in right there. And now nowadays we have hours of power together on zoom. We do our coworking sessions together to brainstorm and batch, which we could talk about in a whole new episode. But yeah, it’s definitely a game changer and it’s something I tell everybody to adapt because it’s just taken an hour and doing the doing the stuff, whether that’s the stuff you don’t want to do or stuff you have to do, but it’s doing the stuff that you have planned already. Don’t sit there and plan because that’s not productive enough.

Carol:                        19:33                   I think that was one of the biggest productivity tip learned from you over the course of knowing you since 2016 was just the value that batching and focus, getting things done and turning off all notifications. I even put my phone downstairs and I’m upstairs. But the power of accountability with a likeminded colleague is really important. so then Janine and I, we not only hold ourselves accountable for in our writing business, for specific goals related to the Healthcare Marketing Network, we’re also accountability partners for health. So he actually, challenge one another when we’re working out or making that commitment to be healthy as well.

Janine:                        20:24                   So here’s a challenge to you listeners. I hope you listen to this when you were walking or something like that. Actually, that’s my favorite thing to do on a treadmill is listened to a podcast or if I’m taking a walk, is listening to a podcast.

Carol:                        20:39                   And that’s perfect because that’s also one of the things when we were dreaming up the saddest bribe, that’s what we’d love to do. We love to walk as we’re to podcasts. And so that’s why we even dreamt up they interim using being very upbeat and powerful and that we hope that we are always encouraging and motivating.

Janine:                        20:59                   Should we share that when we met each other, when we were picking out podcasts, music, we are dancing in the hotel room.

Carol:                        21:06                   I think Janet thought we were crazy. She’s like, yeah, you know, if you pick this music, you’re going to need to be pretty upbeat. I don’t think that’s a problem.

Janine:                        21:15                   So true.

Carol:                        21:17                   So one of the things I am so very excited always for our community, and especially you because you’re my work BFF, is when people really leverage their thought leadership and they tackle a project that they might not ever have dreamt of saying. I’m talking about that you are an author of a book entrepreneurs and it was released in 2018 correct? Yes, yes. Finally. So tell us a little bit about that book and Yes, there’ll be a link in the show notes as well as the link to the Colby a and everything else that we’ve described. And I’m hoping, Janine, I can talk you into autographing a couple of these are listeners and night loves to be able to give a couple of way that are autographed by Janine.

Janine:                        22:10                   Yes. That autograph because it’s so cool. Thank you. So the way it came about, I was interviewing a bunch of nurses for a blog that somebody hired me to write. It was nurse entrepreneurs and we were just going around and I connected with a bunch of people via linkedin and Facebook and Twitter. I reached out to them, had them fill out a short form and then I would connect with them on zoom or the telephone and interviewed them. Everybody was so different, but so the s so much the same and it was all geared towards the fact of there’s other roles for nurses outside the hospital and we aren’t taught that in nursing school. We aren’t taught business in nursing school and it’s so intimidating to so many people. The business side of a healthcare profession in a sense. I put the book together and I structured it.  It was changed a lot because the structure at first I was just going to do like an interview. Then I was going to clump it together, but long story short, I ended up asking a lot of the same questions that people want an answered, how did you start? How much can I make? What kind of degree do I need? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And yeah, so it was like 36 37 different people that I interviewed. So that was awesome. And then, okay, cool. So I wrote it and then I’m like, well now what? Oh the do now. So Deanna Gillingham who I love, she helped me publish it. It was a great experience, an awesome experience like with her. And she guided me right through it and then it got real, you know, like I kept writing it, getting up early, writing it right now, right now. And then when I got it and my hands and it was real, it was probably the best thing ever. I was like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I really did this. Well you know, when did the things I love about this is not only that you set your sails, you said your course and you were persistent and you’ve got the interviews and you made the commitment and you worked with Deanna to publish the book. But the project actually, you didn’t start out to write a book. It actually was a project. Like you said, someone had hired you to do blogs and so you actually made a pivot and repurposed those interviews into your book. So I thought that basically with his permission, yes. Back and forth. And the other thing I, I could have worked with anybody to publish it, right. But Deanna is a nurse and I thought well who better than to have a nurse help? We published. So I thought that was awesome. I had to keep it in the nurse world and also someone who’s a valued member of the Healthcare Marketing Network. And she had offered, I believe at that time too because she actually has some wonderful, she’s built her whole business on publishing a book. The case manager’s studied by. Yes. So it’s phenomenal. And at that time she had offered to coach three people and self publishing a book and I believe two out of the three have yourself included. So all three did. Yeah. So it was awesome.

Carol:                        25:33                   A hundred percent a hundred percent return on investment, their say. So that’s another example of how awesome it is that you can pivot and that you’re knowing who you’re using, your connections and your tribe to ask for. How also the fact that within the Healthcare Marketing Network, the savage describe community. That’s why we really focused on really building a community of abundance where we are lifting one another up for collaboration and encouragement. So I think one thing I would love to know, and you know our community, they’re always asking us questions and one of our tribe members head, but you know, I don’t just want to hear the stories of success. I want to hear about when you failed too. So in our community, as you know, we don’t look at failure as failure. Failure’s just like part of the journey. And I really liked to reframe those and the mindset that their setbacks that we need to go over, under, around or through. So I’d love for you to talk about in your writing career, what back have you experienced that led to the greatest growth in your business and what actions did you take to turn a negative into a positive?

Janine:                        26:56                   There’s a lot of writing jobs up there. Believe it or not. That’s why we do, you know, rising tides lift all boats. There were jobs in the beginning that I would take from people that aren’t what we call good humans in a sense. And I took the job or thought about taking the jobs in the future. I’ll get to how I pivoted it, but I took the jazz because they pay money and I need money to grow. And I thought it was the right thing to do. Didn’t know that there was better people out there. So I took the jabs and there’s something in your gut, you know, I was listening to your gut that made me think this isn’t the best job. This isn’t the best company to work for. This isn’t the best person to work for. I don’t really like working for them. And I was always on the hunt to find something a little different. So I pivoted to finding better clients and meaning the values, what their mission of their businesses and the types of people they hire. And beyond that, I did that in my own life. And in 2018 I remember starting that year and I said, I am not going to be around people that are negative and that will bring me down and that don’t believe in, in me or my family or in decisions that we make. And I still stick to that. And it’s always, are they a good human? If they’re a good human, I like them, I want to work with them. That’s my philosophy. So I learned though, so if I could change that, I would go back and not not do that, but live and learn. Right. And I think there’s a lot of things I’ve done in my business that just didn’t work out. Do you give it a little bit of time and sometimes some money and you realize it doesn’t work and then you got to just pivot a little bit? I think we’ve done that with Healthcare Marketing Network and I think when we met for the first time, finally, right in Orlando, we, we kind of looked at that and we never stopped. We always pivoted towards something different and hopefully better. And it is. It’s a lot of that throw it to the wall and see if it sticks attitude when you have your own business. But I will say the network of people is what keeps you going and if you don’t engage, even if it’s just online, you’re not going to get forward in your business because you’re going to feel alone. You’re going to feel burnout and you’re gonna feel like you can’t move on because you’ve done something and you failed.

Carol:                        29:24                   Definitely because it is, as you said in the beginning, in our business, no matter what, whether it’s your writing business or as a consultant, you are looking at who is my ideal client? What are my service offerings? What brings me joy? Before Marie Kondo made it a seeing, I was like, no, I’m only going to work. Do the kind of work that brings me joy because as you alluded to earlier in their conversation, possibly in our corporate life, we’ve had some dissatisfaction or an environment that didn’t bring us joy. When it’s my business, I want to do things that bring me joy.

Janine:                        30:03                   And in the corporate world, if people out there listening have been there, it’s almost funny. There’s been people to say to me, well why is Janine always so happy? Like they’re actually mad that you’re happy.

Carol:                      30:16                   That’s another great reason that a community, a tribe is important because we’re the ones who celebrate with you and we’re also the people who can support you with strength. You know, you’ve had some difficult times, whether personally or professionally, no one else, but your tribe or going to understand all of those things. It’s important, as Janine said, to, you know, reach out, connect and maybe build a work BFF relationship like we have or working with the Healthcare Marketing Network in accountability. Definitely. So, and then a little bit, I’m going to ask you a question about three things people would be surprised to know about you. But before I dig into that, can you share with us how can people work with you and how do they reach you?

Janine:                        31:07                   So you can work with me by either connecting with me in our Facebook group. You could just message me easy enough or on Linkedin easy enough or you can go to my website, write like you’re writing a book, RN, dot net.

Carol:                        31:22                   Perfect. And then also in the Healthcare Marketing Network, we’ve got a nice team page. What about on Linkedin?

Janine:                        31:30                   Just connect with me on linkedin. Janine Kelbach messaged me, sent me a little note, tell me who you are, a little bit about you. I’d love to connect with people.

Carol:                        31:38                   Perfect. And we’ll have all of those links in the show notes. So now one of my favorite parts of the interview. So we’ve talked a little bit about your beginning story and maybe not everyone knew that you were an author. What is three other things people might be surprised to know about you?

Janine:                        31:55                   I’m lefthanded that sounds good, right? Yay. I have an identical twin and she also is a nurse and she also runs her own little side business. The third thing is that I’m, I’m actually older than my husband and we’ve known each other since we were in grade school.

Carol:                        32:15                   I think that’s perfect. I love it. All of those things and I actually didn’t even know you were left handed. Really? Yeah, that is cool. My brother’s lefthanded creativity.

Janine:                        32:23                   That’s how you get every time you say you’re left handed. Oh, my mom’s left handed.

Carol:                        32:31                   I love that. Janine, thank you so much for taking this, everyone. I know that you’ve getting to know a little bit more about Janine love for you to share the episode if you found it valuable, and we’d love to hear feedback. What are some things that you’ve gotten out of the episode? Thank you so much for the emails, for giving us the ratings on iTunes. We really appreciate that and I think that it’s time to sign off. So Janine, I think I’ll let me do go get your write on.

Janet:                        33:07                   Thanks for listening to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers. For more tips and links mentioned in the podcast, go to Healthcare Marketing Network.com and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at The Savvy Scribe.

The Savvy Scribe

Tony Guerra – Pharm D and Author

Meet Tony PharmD, Podcaster, YouTube Creator, and Author

Carol Bush welcomed Tony Guerra, host of the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast to The Savvy Scribe to talk about being a creator, author, and teaching Pharmacist.


Carol:                        00:32                 Welcome to the Savvy Scribe podcast. Today I’m doing a solo show today without Janine. The productivity queen is working hard or she’s working out or working one of her 10 jobs. I’m very excited to welcome our good friend Tony Pharmd on Twitter, also known as in real life. Tony, welcome to the show and Tony is not only a nurse’s best friend. Okay. Oncology nurses, best friend is the pharmacist speaking from my clinical background and that he is also the host of the pharmacy leaders podcast where he features interviews and advice on building a professional brand and purposeful second income, which is why one of the things I really love about him, he talks about profit and money and managing finances, which is the number one important thing that we want to do as entrepreneurs and CEOs of our own business. Tony is also a writer and author of several books and he has a Marvey youtube following as well. So welcome to the show, Tony.

Tony:                        01:39                   Thanks for having me.

Carol:                        01:40                   Well, we’re excited that you’re here. And also we share a love of the Midwest, you know, in the healthcare marketing network. I was talking with one of our new members yesterday who’s also in Des Moines, Iowa as a matter of staff. Cool. And that we have a lot of people on the east coast and west coast, but not a ton of midwesterners. So, you’re in Iowa and I’m in Kansas.

Tony:                        02:06                   Well, I’m a Washingtonian. That’s where I was born. So I’m from Washington DC. But if you marry a Midwesterner, you end up in the Midwest.

Carol:                        02:16                   That’s exactly right. Well, Tony, it, we’d love to hear in our community. Everyone loves to hear the story of what prompted you as a healthcare professional to begin this journey of creativity, whether you’re a writer or a content creator. So I’d love to hear just in the beginning, tell us about what you do and a little bit about your writing or creativity journey.

Tony:                        02:44                   My full time job as a teacher, I as a chemistry and pharmacology in college, I teach at a community college and part of what I do is also teach pharmacology to students who are looking to become nurses. And I didn’t know pharmacology was such a struggle and I kind of understood why a little bit later in that some nursing curricula have chemistry before pharmacology and some don’t. So it’s kind of like putting the cart before the horse if you take pharmacology that way. And, and my first kind of big hit was writing a book for that group that uh, you know, solve the problem of I don’t have chemistry, I want to succeed in pharmacology. Here’s a book you can listen to over the weekend. And just anecdotally, since I’ve been doing this for some, by almost five years, those that have listened to the book had 11% higher grade in their pharmacology class, wherever they went to school, then if they didn’t listen to the book beforehand. So to succeed in pharmacology you have to kind of take in pharmacology. So it was just really successful. But I also understand your tribe likes to hear about failures too. So you just let me know what you want me to start with and I’ll start there.

Carol:                        04:06                   What’s your first audio book? And they are all audio.

Tony:                        04:11                  I’ve made 14 audio books. Yeah, summer successes. Some are failures, but you want to stick with the 80 20 rule with your writing. And so I think many people beat themselves up when they hear this writing didn’t sell or something like that. But 20% of your writing will generate 80% of your money.

Carol:                        04:32                   Okay, perfect. So, the book and the content creation and you focused on the production through audible, is that correct?

Tony:                        04:43                   Yeah, they just hit us pretty hard with the change in reimbursement. So I’ll lose about 25,000 every year coming up. But I still sell about 10,000 books a year in all three forms. So I’m still making about five or six a month. But that’s all passive income and it’s more because I have three, seven year old daughters and, and besides life insurance and those things, it’s nice to know that royalties will support my family if anything happens to me.

Carol:                        05:12                   That’s perfect. And it sounds like your family is a big quiet, but I understand. And part of the reason that you started the pharmacy leaders podcast is also because as you are connecting with people and you are a thought leader and a social media influencer in that pharmacy space, there’s a very particular challenge for pharmacy students that they graduate having a lot of debt.

Tony:                        05:40                   Oh yeah. The average is now a one 65, I think for the average student, closer to 200 for the privates, one 40 for the public’s. And we’re in a real, real tough job market now for pharmacists. Just as physicians, we’re actually in a tough job market in the late eighties if you’re, I don’t think you’re old enough to remember that, but I am.

Tony:                        06:05                   Okay. But it also, we can talk a little bit about this, but I think the, the one thing that I buy with my money is, I have to, this is maybe pathologic, but I have two years of income in the bank. So My, my nest egg is not a nest egg really. It’s just that provides peace of mind for me and for my family.

Carol:                        06:28                   And I think that’s perfect. As the partner, my husband works for Spirit aerosystems, which is the old commercial Boeing, and he builds the tools who build the planes. And so, especially with the recent issues related to the Max 80, I’m very cognizant of the whole pathological need to put a lot in the bank for savings to weather all kinds of economic situations in downturn. So I totally, totally understand that. So a little bit about as you were writing the books for the folks who now are in our tribe, our freelance writers, so they’re writing for other people, but strategies really helped you get started in focusing on developing the passive income and what, what tools helped you?

Tony:                        07:22                   Well, I think that your guys’ job is a lot harder than mine. I write a book, publish it and hope that it, it brings a return. And most of the time it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. But you guys have to continue to pitch, continue to pitch. And I think that it’s good to have both where you’re actively working as a writer, but then also have that passive income from the larger books. But then the next question is always, well, what do I write about? And what’s going to happen is, is that as you write, you’re going to get feedback on some of those articles and you’re going to find needs. So while you’re writing that article for somebody else, maybe getting paid not a ton for that specific article, they come back to you and say, oh my gosh, you would not believe how many people wanted to hear about that. And I’ll give you an example in the pharmacy space where there’s the pharmacist mom’s group, and I don’t know if there’s a nurse’s moms group, but that group is now 23,000 pharmacists in Facebook. And I’m not allowed in. You have eliminated half of us. Uh, and so there’s 300,000 pharmacists, I think total. So out of 150,000 that means they’re getting close to having 20% of the entire group of pharmacists in that, that one space. And so if you are one of those, Susie Solomon was the one that started it, but when you’re tried gets that big, you’ve definitely hit a chord. So I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see is you’re going to try to get education and like a degree or a writing degree or things like that for something that you might need instead of doing what you should be doing, which is hanging out with you, Janine, Janet, getting the skills that you need to do the project you’re trying to do right now. I think that, uh, the way that you do it as a a lot better. So the, but the answer the question briefly, uh, really what, what someone wants to do as a writer is make sure that they’re tracking the results. Even if they don’t have the direct numbers, give them a call back, give an email back, hey, I just wanted to see how that article did. Did it do well? Did it not? And then that’s when you can find out what your bigger projects should be on those things that really hit home and some of the smaller things that you’ve written.

Carol:                        09:43                   So I really loved it. You’re identifying, you know, really stressing that, identifying the need. And for those in our tribe who maybe create a content related to course creation or those who are in the education space, whether they are, um, you know, nurses, physicians, social workers, whomever, if they’re planning any educational event, they’re very familiar with, they have to do a needs assessment about your audience before you plan the event. So same thing with, um, with the books. So what was the synergy between the books and the pharmacy leaders? Podcasts? So talk a little bit about, was it the book first and then podcast or which was chicken and the egg?

Tony:                        10:32                   Oh, okay. Well, there are actually two different brands and they’re completely separate. Okay. No, they don’t actually fit at all. Really if you want to, I kind of put the cart ahead of the horse here with the pharmacy leaders podcast, which is you really want to get your own gig going, but it feels a lot better to give. So, the pharmacy leaders podcast, I just, what I did with it was I created a revenue model that doesn’t rely on advertising. So at the end of every podcast episode, you’ll hear an advertisement for one of my books. So last year I had 205,000 downloads, I think on that podcast. And it comes from giving status to people when you’re doing a podcast or when you’re writing something which are really providing a status. So just like you where you would, where Kansas state and I would wear Iowa state, we gained status from our Alma maters you podcast and you interview someone, you give them status, and then all of a sudden they come to you to become your Facebook friend and those things.  So instead of create, trying to create a space where I pay attention to me, pay attention to me, pay attention to me. If you pay attention to enough other people, they will pay attention to you. And it was doing last three episodes a week, uh, that, that created those bigger numbers. But now they know about me, then they care about my books and then they share my books and those things. So it’s really give, ask, receive a, which is maybe sometimes the opposite of what we actually try to end up doing in practice, which is, man, I really want people to read my writing. I want people to buy my books. But what you have to do is give status to other people or give free content to other people. And then that’s when they’ll pay attention to you, just like you guys do with the tribe.

Carol:                        12:24                   Yes. Actually that is something that’s very important for our tribe to understand about prospecting clients. It’s the same thing when you’re working in Linkedin because for example, that’s actually where predominantly most of our client leads come up with a website and Linkedin. It’s the same thing. Give, give value, give value, give value, ask and receive it. It’s the same thing. So I think that’s a very, very fascinating about that. So when we’re talking a little bit about the power of your community that you’ve built your tribe, I don’t know that people know this. Tony is a great champion of the healthcare marketing network. And like I said, you know, in the healthcare marketing network, we’re all about multidisciplinary approach. Rising tide lifts all boats. Um, and I think how we connected originally was of course Janet, but we had a project about a year ago that was going to require us to onboard about 80 or 90, writers and the project involved working with. I have really cool client and it was actually internal venture capital that was provided to an executive with the company to do their own pet project, but it was going to require taking pubmed abstracts and translating them into plain language.  And so of course a lot of the pubmed abstracts have medication adherence, a lot about clinical trials, things that pharmacists know a ton about. And we needed to onboard a lot of people. I think Janet reached out to you and said, Hey Tony, would you, you know, put a, put a promo out on your podcast. And O-m-g was, it was pretty big. In fact, I need to look back, go look back and pull the data. But I know we had hundreds of applicants and we in fact, so I have a little number scenario and I do need to pull more numbers because this is a great case study for your tribe, is that with that first part of that project, we paid writers and editors in the healthcare marketing network who qualified and had to go through, you know, a process and vetting and a writing. I particular writing tests, but we did pay them over $60,000 last year and over half of them were pharmacy students or pharmacy professionals looking for extra money. So we actually put to work some of those pharmacy students did not have to work at, you know, quick trip for their summer job. They got to be at home working on this project and earning money. I’m very proud and excited about that because it made a lot of difference for some folks.

Tony:                        15:29                   You’re a writer, you need kind of that group that comes from the national and state associations. So I focused on the National Association and I’ll be going to the American Pharmacist Association meeting in Seattle this Friday. But their email list is about 46,000 and there are certain things that they want and one of them is opportunities to work in non nonclinical or non patient care settings and it’s not that they don’t want to work with patients, but as any nurse pharmacist position knows there’s burnout and it would just be nice if a little bit of your week is non patient care and that’s why I love the writing and I love your writing community is that that writing community allows you to support patient care, patient care job that maybe is 32 hours instead of 40 or 48 or even less and then a non patient care and flexibility to take care of things like my kid has to come home right now because they’re sick or I need a little bit extra money or it costs about $7,000 to take three children to Harry Potter world.  This gig economy provides tremendous opportunity, but I think it saves more careers than anything else in that you’re kind of giving back the humanity to the person who would work 60 hours and it would burn themselves out and does burn themselves out. And I think that that’s a phenomenal thing that your community does is provide this non patient care opportunity.

Carol:                        17:05                   I don’t think we’ve focused on that enough, but predominantly why people do join our community is the transition. They are burned out or they’ve been laid off or they are looking for that creativity. They, you know, they want to surround themselves with a community who have an abundance mindset that lift one another up. Because unfortunately in healthcare cultures that’s very uncommon. And they also, like you said, have the desire to, you know, make that extra, whether it’s take the family on vacation, you know, braces on someone or we are caregivers ourselves of our 80 year old parents, et Sandra. So much generation. Yeah. Oh yeah. Your, your parents and your kids. Definitely. So we talked a little bit about how we connected in the power of both of our communities. So here’s where we get into the, I think we talked a little bit about that success. You definitely verified through the audio books, the pharmacy leaders podcast. I know actually your youtube channel is a huge success, but what are you most proud of in your, in this journey so far? And what were those strategies that our listeners, you know, what’s a simple strategy and it might be a mindset issue. I don’t know. What did you use to employ to achieve whatever you’re most proud of?

Tony:                        18:33                   Hmm, let me, let me take that in two parts. So what, what really gives me joy with the podcast part is to see the parents. So what’ll happen is I’ll interview one of the students as they’re on their third or fourth year of school. And then you see the parent kind of, you just kind of tear up as you see the parent saying, I’m so proud of you. And all of that. That’s kind of the gut wrenching heartbreaker just like, oh my gosh, that’s amazing. That parent child connection is there. And it’s a, it’s a very public giving of status to not only the student, but also to the family. And that is huge. And then every once in a while I’ll get the parent tried to friend me on face, no marriage proposals or anything like that. But

Tony:                        19:22                   So in terms of just kind of a good feeling, those are kind of the successes. Janine talked about the loneliness that comes with writing. And I guess my biggest success is, I want to say there’s a group of 10 of us or 15 of us in the social space. And for example, the, your financial pharmacist group. I’m going to be at their table at the American Pharmacist Association. So I’ll be doing one of their round tables. I had a real estate background, so I’ll be leading some of the students through how to get their first homes. I connected with Brandon Dyson of Tldr Pharmacy, who it is an oncology pharmacist, actually the director of pharmacy down in Texas. And he has Tldr, pharmacy.com and he’s a great guy. If you want to interview another pharmacist and that really knows oncology a, he teaches the pharmacology at Georgetown, their PA program or a nurse practitioner program.

Tony:                        20:19                   I can’t remember which. But basically as a guy, we have very few friends. I think the average is like 0.8 but I don’t even think we’d get to one like good friend. So what I’ve done is I’ve created friends through Todd Uri of the pharmacy podcast network, Brandon dice and Tldr. Add a Mark Adam who is the fit pharmacist, the the YFP team. There’s three tims. So I basically built this kind of like Bro Group and you know, I don’t, I’m not allowed in the moms group. So these are my brothers and social media and we all make money different ways, completely different ways. I didn’t, Matt mentioned Eric Christensen, who’s met Ed one Oh one then barker, who’s happy? Pharm d. So I want to say there’s 10 or 15 of us that have kind of have our own like tried with our own individual work. So I think that this is from my church.

Tony:                        21:17                   But the thing that I’m most proud of is that I made us group within the group. So you’ve got the healthcare marketing network. Every person in your group should at least have a group of maybe four to 15, some smaller group of whatever it is, nonfiction, healthcare writers or oncology writers. I don’t know. But, so the second thing I would be proud of it is creating a group of, uh, fellows in this kind of social media Gig economy, uh, that I’m working with, but not working against. It’s very kind of a unique relationship. But that’s the other thing I’m excited about is that I’m not alone, Janine.

Carol:                        21:56                   That’s huge. Because success as an entrepreneur, if you have a tribe, this multilayered tribe of people, I can’t even cite the data, but it’s a proven fact that those of us who have tribes of likeminded people continue cause their accountability, success and persistence. Because you know, what? 50% or more businesses fail. So just because people are part of a powerful tribe means you’re destined for success at a higher rate than others. So I’m the opposite of success. Here’s where I get into, because one of my members of my tribe, he told me this last week was like, Hey, we’d love to stories of success, but what about the Times people failed? And I like to look at failures as not like, oh, it’s the end. There’s setbacks because setbacks are a part of our journey. And just like Janet and I in our journey of working together, the healthcare marketing network, it didn’t happen overnight. We threw a lot of stuff on the wall to see what was going to stick. Um, so in terms of your journey, what things about like setbacks at first, is there a story that you could share that the setback that led you to your greatest growth today? And what was that pivot that you made that turn the step back  to something of growth? I don’t know if you’re familiar with entrepreneur on fire. It’s one of the biggest entrepreneurial podcast and he’s not as nice as you. He starts with the failure. That’s the first thing is like what was your worst entrepreneurial failure? And then he starts the a few from there. And the biggest failure I had was I had written memorizing pharmacology book, which now sells I think six to 8,000 copies a year. And I thought it was terrible and I thought no one wanted it. Put It on lulu.com which is one of those sites where you know you have the books made and then you know, I needed them for my classes and, and so I thought nobody cared about them. But then once I put it on Amazon or it went on Amazon and then I made the audio book, that’s when it took off. So you may not realize that you just put your writing in the wrong place. And that was the biggest failure was that my writing was in the wrong place. lulu.com is meant for people who need bulk books and maybe bookstores by them for their classrooms. But amazon.com is better than Google because Amazon has a bunch of people with credit card numbers looking to buy something.


Tony:                        24:40                  When you’re talking about your writing, you want to get it on Amazon. And audible as quick as you can. I pay for, I pay for audio talent because I choose not to use my own time to do that. That’s a personal choice, but it’s a lot cheaper to record it yourself and in nonfiction, people want to hear from you. So the biggest failure was putting my writing in the wrong place, calling myself a failure. And many people know that, you know, you’ve pitched a story to one person and they say, yeah, that’s just not for us. And they’re just saying, that’s just not for us. It’s not saying it’s bad, it’s just not for us. And then someone else is like, that’s for us. That’s what I wanted. And I think the biggest lesson I can give is don’t allow it person to say that your writing is a failure, rather, you’ve just failed to go to the right place with it.

Carol:                        25:38                   I love that. That’s perfect. I always like to also client work when someone says no, they’re not saying no to us. They’re just saying not right now and it might not be a good fit next. Okay. Go forth and conquer. Um, but I, I love that analogy and I think that’s a huge takeaway. A lot of folks in our community when they’re pitching, getting that no, feels really personal. You just need to tweak it and get to the right place. So I definitely love, I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice that our tribe could definitely take the heart. Before we wrap up, I’d love to just showcase a little bit about how can people work or connect with you and because we’re about rising tide lifts all boats, what’s, what’s something that healthcare marketing network tried can do for you? Like do you have a cool theme coming up or can we give some social love to something you’re working on the memorizing pharmacology book. Anyone knows? Any nursing students that are studying with pharmacology, if you can share it with them. I make like a dollar 40 a book. So it’s not the money that I know that lives have been changed because what happens is is that if you’re spending a bunch of time on something doesn’t mean you’re going to get through it because you just didn’t have the right mentoring and then once you can kind of get that mindset shift, that would just be awesome. Also, I just wanted to say thanks to you guys because you, it takes a ton of time to maintain the community. There are those Fridays where nobody responds with their great Friday or Sunday or whatever it is and I just appreciate all the hard work do you guys do to help us succeed as writers?

Tony:                        27:24                   Well, thank you very much and I agree. I think a great share would be to connect the memorizing pharmacology because of the data shows. Right? Someone who listens to that book 11% that can pharmacology if they listen to it before the semester.

Carol:                        27:44                   I love that. I love that. So also a little bit of fun at the very end. I love to hear what would, what are like three things or one thing. I know, what would our tribe be surprised to know about you?

Tony:                        28:00                   I’m comfortable running marathons. I got three seven year old daughters, which will one day be three three 17 year old

Carol:                        28:08                   and we’re going to pray for you throughout your lifetime.

Tony:                        28:13                   And then I’m, I’m a crossfitter too. That’s kind of something that’s new in the last six months that just something I love to do. But I think Janine was a gymnast or something like that. So I first strict handstand pushup like a week ago. And then my daughters are now competing with me in the living room. So you’ll see me at 46 years old doing handstands against my seven year old daughters. 

Carol:                        28:40                   since we are connected on Facebook and everywhere, I love following how you support your daughters. You’re a strong support and you’re raising strong daughters as a crazy nema two granddaughters. It’s very, very important. So we’re in, yes I am. I’m 58. Dude. I am crazy. Mima there’s a Hashtag my family, they call me crazy mee Maw, all the kids and the old just dubbed me. She’s a crazy me ma. Uh, so now it’s a Hashtag and yes, and crazy meme. I figure if making any Oliveira’s can be grumpy and you know, promote unhealthy eating of all the Disney foods, I could probably be crazy me, Ma, and maybe promote, you know, strong girls. Well, Tony, thank you so, so much for your time. I can’t wait to share the love of everything that you’re doing and also I that will continue. I know that there’ll be other interviews and we’re going to continue to collaborate very strongly with the pharmacy community because we love, love, love our pharmacy, freelance partners.

Tony:                        29:55                   Okay, well thanks for having me on and if you ever need anything, call pharmacy.


Thanks for listening to the savvy scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers. For more tips and links mentioned in the podcast, go to healthcaremarketingnetwork.com and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at the savvy scribe.

Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach

Launching The Savvy Scribe Podcast

Announcing The Savvy Scribe Podcast!

The Healthcare Marketing Network is proud to add a new podcast to its list of healthcare podcasts. Hosts Carol Bush, Managing Editor of the HMN and Janine Kelbach, Operations Manager of the HMN invite you to tune in to a new podcast celebrating and supporting the life of a freelance healthcare writer. As the host of the Get Social Health Podcast, I was thrilled to have my Healthcare Marketing Network colleagues join me in the podcast universe.

To kick off their first episode I interviewed them to find out why they decided to launch a podcast and what they plan to cover. Give a listen or drop in at the timestamps in the transcript below.

Interview Transcript

Janet:                                00:00                   Welcome to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers and creatives who want to grow their businesses. Your hosts, Carol Bush, and Janine Kelbach will cover a wide range of topics on writing, sales and managing your freelance practice. Podcast episodes will feature interviews, inspiration, laughter, and important information to help healthcare freelance writers. The Savvy Scribe is a production of the Healthcare Marketing Network. Now, let’s join the conversation.

Janet:                                00:31                   Well, this is exciting. It’s the very first episode of The Savvy Scribe podcast and I want to be very clear. I’m not The Savvy Scribes in this situation. It is my partner’s Carol and Janine Kelbach. They are my partners in the Healthcare Marketing Network. They are the writers in our organization and I’ve been bugging them for a really long time about sharing their expertise. They know so much, so I finally talked them into doing a podcast. You are listening to the inaugural episode of The Savvy Scribe podcasts, and I guess I should say welcome to me to your podcast.

Carol:                                01:12                   I love that Janet. Oh my gosh, this is Carol. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the managing editor and as Janet said, partner with the Healthcare Marketing Network and I’m beyond excited that we have you in our back pocket all your podcasting skills, tips and tricks. Definitely, you have been coaching for a long time and we finally took your advice.

Janet:                                01:35                   Janine, what do you think about starting your very first podcast?

Janine:                              01:38                   I am so excited. A little nervous because we all are new at this except you, Janet, you are the expert in this field for sure. Carol and I have been practicing, scripting, and thinking of topics and it even makes us more excited.

Janet:                                01:53                   We know what I work with you in the Healthcare Marketing Network. One of the things that amaze me as you are both nurses and you taught me the true meaning of the word “workflow”. My background comes from “wing it” and you all are not that way at all and so everything is scripted and planned and organized and it’s interesting because I have very much the idea of, oh, let’s just jump in there and see, but that’s not the way you guys operate at all.

Carol:                                02:23                   I think it’s that preparation favors the prepared… but definitely it does come from our nursing background and workflow. Probably the whole care plan where we’re assessing, diagnosing, making the interventions. Yes, definitely we want it to be a conversation and bring our community and our colleagues, healthcare, freelance writers across the globe actually resources that are going to take their business and their craft to the next level.

Janine:                              02:57                   But in nursing, it’s easy to get distracted and pulled into different situations, so prioritizing is always the top of our list. That’s why we do the scripting to prioritize what’s important are actionable steps and whatnot.

Janet:                                03:11                   Well, believe me, it’s not a criticism and I think I can do a lot better if I organize my own podcast with bullet points and the topic. Tell me a little bit about starting a podcast. What is it that you actually want to share with your audience?

Carol:                                03:28                   As I alluded to a little bit earlier, we want to share that actionable information that’s going to help our healthcare freelance colleagues take their business and their craft to the next level.  and I think action of bold as Janine related to is really what we want to come across….. real information from our experience building our businesses as healthcare professionals who are also launching a freelance business. We want to also source the wonderful knowledge and experience of our vibrant community. We have a community of over 600 healthcare professionals who are also freelance writers and creatives, so we’re really looking for practical information, tips, tricks, and a lot of humor too!. We were in it to have fun, so we want it to be actionable in every episode. We want folks to be able to take something away and apply it into their own freelance practice.

Janet:                                04:38                   I know you’ve planned some very specific topics to address on your podcast, so what kinds of things will you be talking about?

Janine:                              04:45                   We’re going to talk about online presence, building your website or portfolio tips and showcasing your skills, productivity, and organization, which is personally my favorite topic. Social media tips, and tools that we use in our business and scheduling platforms. The craft of writing, like how to write and the business of writing where you start your own freelance business.

Janet:                                05:07                   Why did you pick those specific topics to focus on?

Janine:                              05:11                   I think because those are the questions that we usually get from people. With over 600 people in our community, we’re constantly getting questions from different people and usually, I should say the most health care professional questions we get are about starting a business. But, everything else wraps around that so well first to even start a business on writing. Do you even know how to write? So, yes. It really goes back to the basics and then building from that point how to build your website, your portfolio and things like that. I’ll go around the business of writing.

Carol:                                05:44                   One thing I think is interesting that Janine pointed out, regardless of experience level, we can have new writers who are interested in starting a business, but we also a lot of questions about managing business negotiation, networking, how to raise your rates, how to hire and fire. Yes, fire clients from those freelancers who have been in business for several years so it doesn’t really matter. Um, the topics are really important whether you are a brand new freelance writer or someone who has been in business for many years. People that are looking at ways to take their experience and expertise to the next level

Janine:                              06:33                   And, everybody, the work is there. There is no competition because there’s enough work out there for everybody, which is always, I think the newbies fear is, well, these people have so much experience. Will I ever get a job? Absolutely. You will.

Janet:                                06:46                   No. That was one of the things I was going to ask you is what makes a healthcare writer unique from just a writer?

Janine:                              07:03                   Being a nurse has helped me build my writing, not only because of the content expertise where I come from, but that I can speak in the language that patients understand, so unlike somebody who’s a very elite scientist that doesn’t have patient connections, I’m constantly teaching patients, constantly educating co-workers, and even you know, my mom on different medical conditions that when we speak in a layman’s term for patients and for readers, it’s an easier way to write.

Carol:                                07:39                   And I’m just going to wrap it in a bow by seconding that and it really relates to every discipline that are in the healthcare professions typically are really good at teaching and educating really good at telling the story that narrative. Since we all are healthcare professionals, we love science. We love evidence. Clients are begging for people who can craft a story, relate to patients, educate the general public, and it’s wrapped up in facts and evidence, not fake news.

Janet:                                08:19                   Well, let’s talk a little bit about the format of your podcast and I will say, based on my own experience and the fact that it’s my own podcast, I can do whatever I want whenever I want, but generally speaking, what kinds of things will you be in including in your podcast?

Carol:                                08:33                   Here’s where I think it’ll be a tenant were both very upbeat people and our favorite thing to do while we’re listening to a podcast is walk, so we really have picked something very energetic and I hope our tone comes across as being energetic because as healthcare professionals, we want you to be healthy and get up and walk, stimulate your brain function. I’m very excited because we’re going to be asking our community to participate. We’re going to feature them as guests, but they also get to be featured by leaving us some voicemail messages on our website, Healthcare Marketing Network.com. They’re going to be asking questions and we’ll be able to feature those in our podcast as well as every single episode. We’re going to, at the very beginning, give particular shouts out to successes that our tribe have experienced in the last week,

Janet:                                09:35                   So it sounds like an opportunity for some members of the Healthcare Marketing Network to get a little spotlight shone on them.

Carol:                                09:43                   Exactly, and that’s what we’re all about as well. Within our community and the podcast, we’re about giving support, resources, action to take one another to the next level or one another’s businesses to the next level. As Janine said, we’re not about the negative. We’re all about supporting and one of our motto’s is “Rising tides lifts all boats”, so we’re definitely looking to amplify our community and the profession of healthcare, freelance writers.

Janet:                                10:19                   I think that’s incredibly exciting. I think that one of the voids that you feel is helping people who have one career, one level of expertise, expand that and be able to share that out. A lot of folks in healthcare really want to share their stories. They’re just not sure how to go about it and I’m curious about the skill of writing. Do I need to have an English degree before I got my medical degree? How much knowledge about the craft of writing do I need to consider myself a writer?

Carol:                                10:58                   Janine, Do you want to tackle that one first?

Janine:                              11:02                   I do not have an English degree or a journalism degree. I just have a nursing degree, not just in nursing school. You learn to write a lot. I think that prepped me for writing, but truly writing is a craft that you build yourself, so it’s a learning process. Just like when you’re in nursing, you have to do continuing education hours. You have to always build yourself in your profession of a writer as well. As a writer who’s been writing since 2015 in my business, I’m still always learning different ways to structure in different ways to make my writing better and personally I still use an editor to look at some of my work because I’m not an English major so I always want somebody to look at it and there are so many different types of writing. From copywriting to sales writing and plain ol’ blog writing. So it’s definitely a craft that you always need to keep working on. That doesn’t mean you can’t get started though as a beginner.

Janet:                                12:04                   I think the community aspect of the Healthcare Marketing Network and what you’re doing here is probably the most important thing that you’re offering and that is the opportunity to learn, to share and get support from others.

Carol:                                12:19                   That is exactly right. That even could be, I think, Janet, the mission actually is the mission of our community, but secondarily, the podcast gives us that opportunity to just reinforce it and put together some resources as well because obviously, our podcast is going to be hosted on our website, but those actionable items, every episode, we want to have it packed with either resources we have used or are tribe members have used or a downloadable that folks who listened to our podcast can take away and apply immediately in their daily business.

Janet:                                13:02                   I love that idea that you are actually giving people tips, tools, checklists, whatever, that they can start to use in their own business. I think that’s really cool.

Carol:                                13:13                   Yes.

Janet:                                13:15                   All right. I know one of your sections in your future podcasts will be giving shout-outs to the community, so I’m going to set you up here so I know you have a few shout-outs ready to go. So why don’t you tell everybody about the great things happening in the community?

Janine:                              13:32                   I just posted, hey, we’re going to be doing our first podcast. Does anybody have some amazing things they’ve done this year and the responses were amazing? This is why I love our community so much, but I just picked three random ones and please go to our website and leave a voicemail because we can definitely feature you on the next one. But let’s start with an Anne Llewellyn. She finished up her fourth book titled “Second Acts”. She invited 20 plus nurse case managers to share how and why they got into nursing and the impact they have made on the profession. That’s pretty cool. And then it’s going to be released late February, early March. She says “stay tuned”. Allison Flynn, she got her first article published about postpartum warning signs. So that’s definitely what I read because being the OB nurse in me, I loved it. Good job, Allison, and keep going. I mean the first is that that just opens up your mind and oh my gosh, I just got paid for something or even if you didn’t get paid for it and you just got published, it just feels amazing. And then our friend Deanna Gillingham, she finished up her, foundations of case management course and she laughed because she said it only took me a year. But that’s an amazing thing that she’s been doing too. She helped me publish my first book this past year. So shout out to Deanna because she’s, she’s great. She really is!

Janet:                                14:57                   That is also a good example of the breadth of the community from an experience both life experience and work experience. We do have everyone in the community from a first time published to fourth book to developing a full online course. And Deanna in particular, who we have featured in some sessions inside the community, she actually went from zero to 100 percent freelancer based on the work that she did in writing. And her story is amazing and I know you plan to talk to her in a future podcast episode. So tell me a little bit. We’re going to do a teaser here. What kind of people are you going to bring on as guests in future podcasts?

Carol:                                15:44                   Yes. Well, I’m very excited because not only are we going to interviews some of the folks within our community, so this would be, for example, Annie Beth Donahue, who is our Writer Support Specialist and does a lot of coaching for healthcare, freelance writers on the craft of writing and one of her specialties is keying in on a creative brief from a client and identifying or finding your writer voice or I following as the case might be your client’s voice. Also, we’re going to be interviewing some of our previous clients individually as well as with the Healthcare Marketing Network. So for example, my managing editor friend Lauren Green, we’re going to have her on and she’s going to be sharing with us some secrets that she wishes freelancers knew about healthcare specific managing editors and how to pitch elements like that. So were. Those are just a couple of the examples of people that we have lined up for the next several months.

Janet:                                17:00                   Oh, I’m looking forward to that. I always learn every time I hear you all have conversations. Now before we wrap up, there’s a couple of things that we do want to do and that’s one is tell those folks who are not a member of the healthcare providers community yet, how they can join us. So who wants to tell people what they can do to become a part of this community?

Carol:                                17:23                   If you’re a healthcare freelancer or you’re a healthcare professional and you’re curious about freelancing, all you have to do is go to Healthcare Marketing Network, that there’s an information button just for writers. You can click join now, tells you a little bit about our community. Join now will take you right to our Facebook group and we’ll get you started sharing, learning and connecting there.

Janine:                              17:51                   It is a closed group so you will have to answer a few questions just to get in the doors. If you give us your email address, you’ll be on our email list and we periodically send out information in that to give you job opportunities and shout-outs and whatnot. So stay tuned to that as well!

Janet:                                18:10                   Alright, and I have a couple of tips. Number one is making sure you fill those questions out because otherwise, you are going to go into the, “you didn’t care enough to tell us about yourself, so you must not care enough to be in this group” bucket. And the second thing is this is a group intended for healthcare writers, a place where they can ask questions in a safe environment, some of which are going to be about clients and working with clients. Therefore, if you look like a client, you’re probably not going to be brought into the group because we really wanted to support writers. If that’s the case, if you have a little bit of a, I know you right, but you also potentially could hire writers. That’s when I’ll be reaching out to you because that’s my role, so we don’t mean for you not to feel welcome in our group, but our group is specifically for healthcare writers who want to improve their craft and build a community. So if you are interested in hiring writers, just reached out to me directly to me, janet@HealthcareMarketingNetwork.com. Alright, and then one last thing before we go, Janine, I know you’ve got a little teaser on what the next episode is going to be about. What are you going to be talking about next time?

Janine:                              19:19                   All right. And our next episode you’ll learn about setting goals and taking action throughout 2019. We look forward to sharing strategies to rise above the crowd and make your writing more visible, more desirable, and more enjoyable to readers and healthcare clients. We really appreciate you guys taking the time to join us today and we’ll see you next time. Now, go get your write on!

Janet:                                19:42                   Thanks for listening to The Savvy Scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers. For more tips and links mentioned in the podcast, go to Healthcare Marketing Network.com, and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at The Savvy Scribe.


Quick Win

Quick Win: 3 Simple Actions to Streamline Getting Paid

Quick Win: Carol Bush Offers Tips to Streamline Getting Paid

The Savvy Scribe Carol Bush offers 3 simple actions you can take to streamline getting paid so your business can grow and you can pay your bills

Podcast Transcript

Janet:                                00:02                   Start Your engines and get ready to power up for a Quick Win from The Savvy Scribe team, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach are here to take your freelance healthcare writing business to the next level with this powerful Quick Win on The Savvy Scribe podcast.

Janine:                              00:19                   As, Freelancers, we’re always struggling with why we’re doing our jobs. We’re doing them because we love it, right? But it’s a job and we need to get paid! Today in this Quick Win, Carol is talking all about getting paid and how to make it so it’s a win-win for both parties. Take it away, Carol.

Carol:                                00:39                   Your business can only run smoothly when you’re getting paid and cash is flowing in and out. Unfortunately, in the real world of healthcare freelancing unless we set ourselves up for success, getting paid can be a real challenge. Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all of this to get the money that we’re owed without all of the fuss and hair pulling? Exactly. Hi, this is Carol Bush co-host of The Savvy Scribe podcast, and in today’s Quick Win, I’d like to share three simple actions you can take this week to streamline the process of getting paid so your business can grow and you can pay your bills. Let’s get started.

Carol:                                01:20                   One, contracts are vital. Let’s face it guys, if you don’t have a contract in place, you don’t really have a leg to stand on. When a client ditches you. You can yell at them until you’re blue in the face, but if there’s nothing legal there, you can’t really see compensation when they’re late or even if they disappear.

Carol:                                01:41                   What’s that? Are you a freelancer without a contract? That’s okay. You’re not alone. A very interesting and actually also tragic fact from a recent Freelancers Union study, which is called Freelancing in America reported that nearly 70 percent of freelancers have struggled to collect payment for work they accomplished, and another staggering fact from that same study really has me feeling pain. Less than 20 percent of freelancers report using a contract to protect their rights. So let’s Contract Up, People!. There are plenty of free or low-cost resources out there guys, and in our show notes, we’ll share some of our favorite links. Here’s something to keep in mind about contracts. A contract actually protects both parties. It not only aids in efficient payment, but it’s also a great tool to detail as the scope of work and project deliverables, so here’s a success tip. Be as specific as possible with every detail within the scope of work, especially when it comes to getting paid.  [RESOURCE POST – 5 Steps to a Better Freelance Contract]

Carol:                                02:55                   Also a great success tip: In the Scope of Work, make sure that you detail what success looks like; Including when and how you’re going to receive money.

New Speaker:                  03:07                   Here’s another tip. Make sure to detail payment terms and timing. For example, what form of payment are you going to accept and what are the consequences for late or nonpayment to accept multiple forms of payment? How many times have you heard, do you take so and so as payment? I’m going to have to figure that out later. If your client pays all of their bills in a certain way, say via their business card, you don’t want to be the squeaky wheel who demands that they go out of their way to pay you via another method.  So folks, while you may already take Pay Pal, some clients won’t have that option and would like to pay you with a credit card directly.

Carol:                                03:55                   Plus the great thing is once you open this option, you can take on other clients who would like to pay with credit card, too! Your accounting software or invoicing system should have the ability for you to make this option live. The great news is it will broaden your horizons and help you get paid faster and who doesn’t like speedy payment?

Carol:                                04:18                   What’s that? You say you don’t have accounting software?  As CEO of your own business, it’s time to get out of spreadsheet land into using a useful tool.  Yes….again, in the show notes, check it out….We’ll share a few of our favorite links to low and no-cost resources for accounting systems that you can check out. So #SavvyScribes, don’t put it off. Start today.  [RESOURCE LINKS] – Accounting software we’ve used and love:  Freshbooks, Wave – (Its FREE!), Quickbooks.  Check out the marrvy invoicing and proposal resources over at ANDCO, too!

Carol:                                04:48                   Number three, require a deposit at contract signing. You want to get paid and the client wants their work completed on target and on time. How do you ensure everybody walks away happy? Requiring a deposit before you start. The work really ensures that everyone is actively invested in this great business relationship, and let’s be frank for a moment. Doesn’t this also give you more of an incentive to finish the work the best you can so that you can get the rest of the payment? Sometimes that can be a key motivator. Deposits can be a win-win, so both parties leave happy.

Carol:                                05:29                   There’s something to be said about the power of community. If you’re in business by yourself, sometimes it can feel like you’re on your own with no help at all. The truth is Savvy Scribes, that you have other people around you like us, members of the Healthcare Marketing Network who are passionate about supporting your success.

Carol:                                05:51                   So here are some thoughts about getting paid I have for you today. I’d like for you to think about these things:  What safeguards do you have in place to ensure you always get paid? And second, do you have a strategy that you’ve employed to improve your cash flow? We’d love to hear about it. If so, we’d like for you to share that story.

What I’d like for you to do is take some action, take a moment now and head on over to Healthcare Marketing Network.com and leave us a message. Take a few moments to share a tip or strategy that you have employed for getting paid faster. It will help you and help others as well. We’d love to feature your story on a future episode of The Savvy Scribe.

Now take this Quick Win and Go! Get your Write On! #amwritinghealthcare #GoGetYourWriteOn


Quick Win

Quick Win: 5 Ways to Beat Loneliness

Quick Win: Janine’s 5 Suggestions to Beat Loneliness as a Freelance Writer

Freelancing can be lonely, but don’t fret. There are hundreds of thousands of freelancers across the country and the globe who are in exactly the same boat and within the Healthcare Marketing Network. Janine Kelbach offers you 5 ways to beat the loneliness of being a freelance writer.

Podcast Transcript

Janet:                                00:00                   Okay, start your engines and get ready to power up for a quick win from The Savvy Scribe team, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach are here to take your freelance healthcare writing business to the next level with this powerful Quick Wins on The Savvy Scribe podcast.

Carol:                                00:19                   Hi, Savvy Scribes! Are you ready for today’s Quick Win? When we’re going to talk about something that not a lot of people like to bring to the forefront, that the reality when you work for yourself, you’re often based at home and therefore you can feel alone and also lonely. Think about it as a freelancer and entrepreneur, a CEO of your own business. Everything you do to make your business a success is dependent on you and you alone, which can leave this feeling overwhelmed. Honestly. All the problems and issues that we face are tackled by ourselves and no one else and make no mistake. Freelancing can be lonely, but don’t fret. There are hundreds of thousands of freelancers across the country and the globe who are in exactly the same boat and within the Healthcare Marketing Network. That’s exactly one of the missions that we created, the community to give one another strong support. Feeling isolated is really quite normal for anyone who works for themselves, but have you ever thought about how do you stop yourself feeling this way? So today in this Quick Win, Janine’s going to speak from our own experiences and she’s put together five ways to beat loneliness and help you tackle isolation and become a happier, healthier freelancer. My favorite is number three. Take it away, Janine.

Janine:                              01:52                   Hello everybody. This is Janine Kelbach, the co-host of The Savvy Scribe podcast. And here’s a Quick Win episode. I’m going to share five ways to beat loneliness while you work as a freelancer. Some of you might ask, why did I choose this topic? There’s actually two reasons when I recorded this. It’s literally 20 degrees outside, gray and dreary here in Cleveland, Ohio. The second reason is that many of us are introverts as writers, and being alone doesn’t sound so bad at first when we started the business, but it will eat at you if you let it.

Janine:                              02:32                   So let’s jump right to this topic. The first thing to do beat loneliness is to try to go to work somewhere else. Personally, I have a very cozy Home Office that I love to work out of, but sometimes I just want to be around people so I’ll hit up a local coffee joint library or even like a cafe just to have people around me. If you are really a people person and you don’t find that people energize you. Co-working spaces are available as well in my area and many areas around the nation that people can go and actually rent a space to do office work every day. I once knew a freelancer that needed that because she was too distracted in her home environment and I fully understand that because I have two kids, two great Danes, and a husband and there’s always somebody knocking at the door or laying by my feet, the dog or a kid who knows somebody who’s like doing work next to me. Like my little guy, he likes to draw while I do my work, so it. But it’s all distracting, so try to go somewhere else.

Janine:                              03:41                   The second one, join a networking group, so many of you are members of our Healthcare Marketing Network, Facebook group, and you know that we often have a Freelance Friday so you can create the same atmosphere outside of the Internet, so I know at many office jobs they do like Fridays they go get a drink after work so maybe you can find a little club or something that you are interested in, even if it has nothing to do with your business to find those things. You can look at those when you go outside and work. You can kind of check out fliers at the library or those cafes or coffee shop. You can join those clubs and groups and gain new friends and just talk to different people.

Janine:                              04:23                   I consider myself an introvert and let me tell you why it’s not because I don’t like people, but I often recharge myself when I’m alone so I get up early. I have my coffee. Sometimes I read, sometimes I exercise, etc. While my kids and my husband are still asleep, it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I do like people. I love people. I love being around people, I love helping people, but when I need energy and I need to regroup, I have to be alone. And, it took me a long time to figure that out. Honestly. I think it started when I realized like if I had gotten in an argument with somebody, I always had to go away. I had to go walk and think and sometimes pray or whatever it is to get, gather my thoughts together in a lot of people are extroverted in the sense that they don’t need to do that.

Janine:                              05:13                   My husband’s one of them if he thinks of a relaxing Friday night, it’s going out with people, you know, sometimes I like to do that. But really to me reading a book on the couch is really nice. So, trying to figure out for you, high performing savvy scribes, trying to figure out. I challenge you to think about yourself and, and what energizes you to see what you are an introvert and extrovert. And then there are those ambiverts that are in the middle. I sometimes consider myself as well because I know a lot of people that are way more introverted than I am. Okay. The next one, three, a lunch date, break up your day with a lunch date or even a coffee meeting. I must admit I have a very hard time with this at times because I don’t want to stop working. I have workaholic tendencies. I don’t want to call myself a workaholic, but I do have those tendencies.

Janine:                              06:06                   If I have a coffee date in the morning with somebody, all I’m thinking about is what I have to do in my office before my kids come home from school so that I can be present for them and that’s where I prioritize my life. My life is my family, my work and then my friends. If I know I got to get work done and I’m with a friend, it’s going into that space so I know I have to do my work. Then, my family and then a friend. If I have time, if I have a lunch date that I scheduled is because I scheduled it in advance and I’m going to be fully present there because I left that day pretty open, so I make it like a catch up day for myself, whether that’s my grocery shopping day or I just got to do some laundry or cleaning or household things or even mindless things for my business that are not pulling me in a different direction because I like to be fully present with people and my business when I’m doing that.

Janine:                              06:59                   The fourth thing: Join a group of like-minded people, so if you are a healthcare writer, come join us at the Healthcare Marketing Network by going to healthcaremarketingnetwork.com. And if you aren’t in the healthcare niche, you must know that there are many groups out there for business and for writing. So choose one that fits you perfectly. So if you already mom, writer, if you are a food blogger, try and find people that do the same thing as you engage in those groups, answer questions and ask questions. It makes you not feel alone. You’re with somebody that understands you and that leads into my fifth and final tip for you guys and it’s my favorite one is find a BFF, so you might be a solopreneur like many freelancers are, but after you join groups, you will connect with like-minded people. These people understand you and your business, the struggles, the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, and someone with the same type of business ideas as you or even sometimes the same kind of business that you know, it might be a competitor in a sense, but not us as healthcare marketing network people.

Janine:                              08:03                   We’re all the same. We know there’s the work out there, but we find those kinds of people with the same kind of lifestyle and YouTube can be each other’s, go-to people. Let me tell you, Carol is mine. She knows more than a lot of people in my life about my family, my work, my interests, etc. But she’s my number one cheerleader for my writeRN.net business. So think about that. Try to connect with them. And sometimes Carol and I just talk about life. We talk about our problems. We talk about our families and it’s relieving.

Janine:                              08:37                   That’s all I got for you guys. So I hope these tips can help you step out of the office, find out what’s out there to keep you from feeling lonely this winter and every other season of freelancing. Can you add to my list of how to stay away from loneliness? I love to hear it you guys, and do you have a business BFF? I’d love to hear that too. So go to healthcare marketing network.com and leave us a message. We love to hear your voice and share it on a future episode of The Savvy Scribe. And if you need more, check out our show notes for these tips and more so go ahead now. Take this win and go get your Write On. Take care, you guys.


Quick Win

Quick Win: Four Marketing Tasks to Do This Week

Quick Win: Four Marketing Tasks to Do This Week

Quick Wins are short action-packed episodes that Janine and Carol have prepped with highlights for you to take and put to work right away in your healthcare writing business. In this episode, Carol Bush shares four marketing tasks you can do this week to make the next 90 days your best ever.

Podcast Transcript

Janet:                                00:02                   Start Your engines and get ready to power up for a quick win from the Savvy Scribe team, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach are here to take your freelance writing business to the next level with this powerful Quick Win on The Savvy Scribe podcast.

Janine:                              00:18                   Whether you’re just starting out in your freelance business or you’ve had them for a little while, marketing into something we can not ignore.  This week, Carol’s bringing you guys four marketing tasks that you can tackle this week in this episode. She’s going to give you an awesome link to a cool tool called Hunter. Take a listen and take it away, Carol.

Carol:                                00:39                   Hi, this is Carol Bush, co-host at The Savvy Scribe podcast. Around here, Quick Wins are short action-packed episodes that Janine and I have prepped with highlights for you to take and put to work right away in your healthcare writing business. Today, I’m going to share four marketing tasks you can do this week to make the next 90 days your best ever. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Carol:                                01:08                   One, create a list of potential new clients. Okay guys, if you only do one task this week, please pick this one. Here’s how you do it. Set your timer for 30 minutes, put your phone on airplane mode, block all interruptions, and spend some time thinking about your ideal client. What’s that? You don’t know who your ideal client is? You don’t know who you’re serving?  Well, then it’s time to write out the details about at least who you think you are serving or even better…..Who you want to serve?

Carol:                                01:41                    Do you need some help getting started? We’ve got just the tool for you. [RESOURCE LINKS – We love this Customer Avatar Worksheet  & nifty blog post from Digital Marketer]  There are a lot of tips to get you started and focused in on who your ideal client is.  And… it’s okay, while you’re looking at the potential new client list, I give you permission to spend some time on this important step!   You don’t need to go it alone. What about asking your healthcare writing pals for recommendations or referrals? Let them know who your ideal client is. I bet they know someone who could use your help. How about also asking your friends who are connectors like me, I always know someone who needs help with x, Y, Z.  Yes, you can even get referrals from family members!  Like my Dad says it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.

Carol:                                02:45                   Two, now it’s time to locate emails for every potential client on that list. This can take some time and yes, it can be really complex, so it’s a fantastic task to do while you’re binge-watching movies or maybe basketball. I recommend using LinkedIn to find the right person to contact, and then I like to use a free email finding tool called Hunter. To find the email for those potentials on your list.   Third, review your letter of introduction or as we like to call it around here, your L-O-I.  Yes, your L-O-I should be unique and customized for each potential client on your list, but the most successful freelance writers I know have systems and templates in place and they often have created a basic template that they use to convey their expertise and experience.

Carol:                                03:49                   Take some time, look at your L-O-I template and make those needed tweaks. If you need a little help, here are a few questions that you might think about as you’re going through your L-O-I. Does it accurately represent your experience and current expertise? I bet you’ve done a lot of projects or pieces in the last 90 days that could help you tweak that L-O-I. How can you add personality to the letter? As I said, it’s very common to customize and make it unique, so why don’t you do your research on that potential client and then put some personality in that letter of introduction. Take a look at the length of your L-O-I. Do you need to shorten it? I really like to see letters of introduction remain in the range of five to seven sentences. Yes, I know that’s very short, but what a perfect way to showcase your writing skills by making it succinct, and here’s an extra tip for all you high performing savvy scribes.

Carol:                                04:59                   If you have multiple niches, this is also a perfect time to create an L-O-I template for every single niche. Yes, why not? Because those are your focus areas. Having a template will position you for success going forward.

Carol:                                05:16                   Number four, update your LinkedIn profile. Yes, you hear us preach the power of LinkedIn constantly. There’s a perfect reason for that because, for many freelance writers, 85 to 90 percent of their best leads come through LinkedIn. However, we hear all the time writers mentioning to us that they need to update their LinkedIn profile. It’s something they don’t always put on their calendar because sometimes it can feel overwhelming.  That’s exactly the action you need to take. Set an appointment right now, 15 minutes a day for the next week, and optimize your LinkedIn to reflect keywords of the niche that you are looking to move into with your ideal client.

Carol:                                06:05                   What makes me even sadder is when I hear writers say they don’t even have a LinkedIn profile or it’s not at all optimized for their healthcare, freelance writing business, so don’t waste any time. Set a calendar appointment with yourself 15 minutes a day for a week. Don’t be overwhelmed and remember, my motto: “Done is better than Perfect”.   I think it is absolutely even more important as a healthcare freelance writer because you want to make sure that your potential client can easily find you on LinkedIn, and can easily identify your subject matter or clinical expertise based on your LinkedIn profile. So what about it?

Carol:                                06:50                   Now it’s your turn! We’d like to know….are you marketing your healthcare writing business this week?  If so, what are you doing? Did you land new assignments or even better, a high-value client. Did you try anything new? What did you do that you were able to switch it up and got results? We’d love to hear from you.  All you need to do is take some action right now and share. We’d love for you to go to Healthcare Marketing Network website and leave us a message. We’d love to share your tips on a future episode of The Savvy Scribe!

Now, take this Quick Win and Go! Get your Write On! #amwritinghealthcare #GoGetYourWriteOn