How Kathy Turned Fear to Fun and Grew Her Freelance Business

Kathy Adamson, DVM, dreamt about starting a freelance medical writing business. But her fear of marketing was holding her back. After Kathy learned that effective marketing wasn’t pushy, her confidence and her business grew.

After eight years as a veterinarian, Kathy wanted to try something new. She had done a little medical writing through her work and decided to become a freelance medical writer. To gain some formal training, Kathy enrolled in the University of Chicago’s Medical Writing and Editing Certificate program.

During the program, Kathy took a course in freelancing, which briefly covered marketing. That made her realize how important marketing would be to her success—and how much she needed to learn and do.

Like most new freelancers, Kathy had no idea how to find clients. “I’m a science person. All my education revolved around science, medicine, research, and clinical skills. I did not learn anything about marketing or business,” she says.

Kickstarting Her Freelance Business

Then Kathy heard about Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve, a step-by-step, online course that uses a proven process for freelance marketing. Lori De Milto, one of her instructors from the University of Chicago, taught the course. “I felt like I had found the pearl I needed to kickstart my business,” she says.

“Once I learned the way Lori approaches marketing, a weight was lifted off my shoulders,” says Kathy. “I realized that I can market myself in a genuine, respectful, tactful way, confident that I am providing my clients with a service that will help them.”

Kathy also learned that marketing her freelance business wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be. “My confidence in my ability to succeed as a freelancer skyrocketed,” says Kathy. “I now had tried-and-true, step-by-step, proven techniques for finding clients.”

Choosing the Right Specialty

During the course, Kathy refined her specialty within medical communications to focus on the clients that were most likely to hire her based on her background and experience. Originally, for example, Kathy wanted to write health content for patients and consumers (the public). But clients usually hire freelancers with a communications background, not a clinical background, for this type of work.

So Kathy decided to focus on CME and continuing education for healthcare professionals. She does mention writing for the public in her marketing, but she focuses her marketing on writing for healthcare professionals. As a veterinarian, Kathy is focusing on clients working in animal health, and she also writes about human health.

To attract clients, Kathy developed client-focused marketing messages. She focused on the needs of clients in her target markets and how she could help clients meet their needs. Kathy uses these messages on her LinkedIn profile. For example, Kathy’s LinkedIn profile headline is:

Freelance Medical Writer | Meticulous, insightful, and dependable veterinary and medical content to inform, educate, and inspire your audiences.

Now Kathy was ready to actively market her freelance business. She found that direct email and LinkedIn worked best in helping her get the clients she deserves.

Choosing Steady, High-Paying Clients

At first, Kathy was skeptical about direct email. “I was extremely uncomfortable with the thought of bothering people,” she says. “I assumed clients already had what they needed and didn’t have time to deal with unsolicited messages.”

But Kathy had learned in the course that direct email would let her choose the steady, high-paying clients she wanted to work with—instead of taking whatever work comes along like so many freelancers. She decided to give direct email a try and was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Kathy developed a list of prospects, which she adds to regularly, and learns a little about each of them. Then she uses her research to write compelling emails that are carefully customized to the needs of each client and focused on what she can do for that client.

Learning more about the needs of prospects also helps Kathy build credibility before clients meet her. “People appreciate being contacted in a way that highlights their business and demonstrates how you can help them achieve their goals,” she says.

Knowing about the client also helps Kathy impress them during virtual meetings, after they respond to her direct emails. So does her professional home office and her professional manner: well-groomed, business-casual, friendly, and professional.

Each week, Kathy sends some direct emails. This anchors her work week and ensures that she makes time for marketing even when she’s really busy with client work.

“I am excited about direct emails now! I can’t wait to open the responses I get,” she says.

Getting Clients through LinkedIn

Kathy has also gotten clients through LinkedIn. Some clients have found her when searching for freelancers. She’s also reached out to potential clients who then hired her, and receives referrals from people she met on LinkedIn.

Being active on LinkedIn helps Kathy rank higher in search results. She regularly reads and comments on other people’s posts and writes her own. Kathy’s posts focus on animal health or quality of life for freelancers, things like how to balance work and life at home, office ergonomics, and maintaining mental focus.

“Discovering how to effectively use LinkedIn as a marketing tool for my freelance business was a game-changer,” she says.

About Kathy and KMA Veterinary and Medical Writing LLC

KMA Veterinary and Medical Writing LLC provides meticulous, insightful, and dependable veterinary and medical content. Her content informs, educates, and inspires professional and public audiences so they can stay updated and improve animal and human health. Kathy specializes in CME, continuing education, and other veterinary and medical content.

Course in Freelance Marketing Helps Kathy Get the Clients She Deserves

Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve gave Kathy a proven process for growing her freelance business.

“Lori provides an absolute gold mine of information, skills, and step-by-step methods for freelancers,” says Kathy. “She’s ready to help but she’s not going to do the work for you. She teaches you and empowers you so that you can do it alone.”

The step-by-step, 7-week online course shows freelancers exactly how to find and impress steady, high-paying clients. Since 2016, my course has helped hundreds of other freelancers grow their freelance businesses too. It works whether you’re just getting started or are busy most of the time but know you can do better.

“Marketing has become kind of fun—something I thought I would never say,” says Kathy.

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