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 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.

Wendy Weber, PharmD, MBA

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail

Many years ago during a job interview I was asked, “What is your biggest fear?” It took me all of about two seconds to respond. Failure. The interviewer sat speechless with a look on his face that was a combination of shock and holding back laughter. Once he composed himself, he shared that he was expecting a more typical answer like heights or snakes. Something tangible. He never expected a naïve student to answer so quickly with such a thoughtful and honest answer.

The fear of failure has always been my biggest motivator. Blame it on my stubbornness or, perhaps, my cluelessness as to what I’m getting myself into. Regardless of the underlying reason, if you tell me I can’t do something my new mission will be to prove you wrong. Over the years, I have been my biggest champion and my biggest obstacle. It’s easy to step away from a challenge, especially when I think the end result may be less than perfect in my eyes. Learning how to use my fear of failure to keep me moving forward is a daily choice.

Learning how to use my fear of failure to keep me moving forward is a daily choice.

Tammy Kellebrew

Get Out Of Your Way

As writers, we have all struggled at some point. Whether it has been finding that next writing project, identifying a topic or overcoming writer’s block, we can all relate to the challenges associated with the craft we love. But how many times have you created additional obstacles that have prevented you from applying for or accepting a writing assignment?

I don’t know anything about that topic.

I’ve never written a blog.

That project is going to take too much time.

That assignment doesn’t pay enough.

I have no idea what SEO is (Search Engine Optimization – yep, I had to Google that one… more than once).

It’s time for all of us to get out of our own way and do what we are capable of doing. Kick that little devil off your shoulder because you ARE capable and KNOW a whole lot more than you give yourself credit for. No more excuses. If you want to build your business and extend your reach, it’s time to make yourself a little uncomfortable. After all, you can’t fail.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Endless Possibilities

Just like a blank canvas is full of possibilities for an artist, a blank page is full of possibilities for a writer. Challenge yourself to explore the possibilities. As a writer with a limited portfolio, I know that if I want to be considered for more writing jobs I need material to share. In order to build my portfolio, I need to step out of my comfort zone and write about topics and in styles I may not be familiar with. Instead of thinking of what will happen if you fail, change your mindset to “I will do this and it will be amazing!”

How do you change your mindset? Easier said than done, right?

Here’s some guidance to get you started:

  • Research a topic that interests you.
  • Write about that topic in a new format.
  • Add the sample to your portfolio. You wrote it. Be proud of it.
  • Share it on your blog, if you have one. You may need to tweak the content a bit to fit the format, but at the very least, talk about what you learned.
  • Apply for a writing opportunity about the new topic or in the new format.
  • Find a support network (the tribe at HMN is a great one) – ask questions, use their tools and resources, and most importantly network!

Believe in Yourself

What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? Honestly, I have no idea what, specifically, I would do. Perhaps, that’s because I need my internal competitor pushing me to take advantage of a new opportunity. Until I identify that opportunity, I can’t say for certain what it will be.

My goal for 2019 is to try new things, and that means stepping out of my comfort zone. Writing a blog post is exactly that: stepping out of my comfort zone, doing something that I know I’m capable of doing but have never done because I was afraid it wouldn’t be well received or that I wouldn’t have anything to say that others would want to read.

So, knowing I couldn’t fail because there is a whole tribe of HMN #SavvyScribes that have my back, I seized the moment and just proved to myself that I could do it. I wrote my first blog for an audience that is more than my family and friends. It’s time for a new mindset. I just did it… and you can too!

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

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 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, 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, and don’t forget to join Carol and Janine for future power episodes and great conversations here at The Savvy Scribe.