How Kalpana Shankar Found Freelance Success

Launching a freelance business is always hard. But in bad time—like during the COVID-19 pandemic or a recession—it’s even harder. Kalpana Shankar was able to succeed despite launching her business during the pandemic by developing client-focused marketing, then consistently marketing her freelance business, and believing in herself.

Kalpana Shankar, PhD, never expected to be launching her freelance medical writing business during a pandemic. But that’s what happened after COVID-19 swept across the world in spring 2020.

By taking the right actions and believing in herself, Kalpana was able to successfully launch her freelance business despite the pandemic. The right actions were developing client-focused marketing and then consistently marketing her freelance business.

Kalpana learned how to develop client-focused marketing messages and tools and how to build the marketing habit through Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve, an online course that helps freelancers learn the most effective ways to target and reach the right clients.

“I will be one-step-ahead compared to other new freelancers and will be able to succeed despite the recession,” says Kalpana.

Creating Client-Focused Marketing

During the course, Kalpana refined her specialty to medical, scientific, and regulatory writing and chose three target markets (groups of clients): contract research organizations (CROs), medical communication agencies, and medical education agencies. Doing this enabled Kalpana to learn more about the needs of these clients, and then to develop marketing messages and tools that focus on how she can meet those needs.

Kalpana’s key marketing message is “Providing clear, concise, and compelling medical, scientific, and regulatory writing.” She uses this in her LinkedIn profile and website, along with other client-focused content.

Standing Out in a Sea of Freelancers

Kalpana also developed a freelance brand, which makes her stand out in a sea of freelancers. This is even more important in a recession. A freelance brand is made up of:

  • Logo and tagline
  • Tone of voice
  • Colors
  • Business name (or your name and title)
  • Client-focused marketing messages.

3C Medical Writing is the name of Kalpana’s freelance business.

Having a brand helps clients get to know and trust Kalpana. Also, it helps clients remember Kalpana—and think of her first when they need freelance help.

And when clients contact Kalpana, they’ll already understand what she does and how she can help them. So she’ll be able to do less marketing.

Attracting Clients Fast

After Kalpana made a few minor changes to her LinkedIn profile, including putting “Freelance Medical Writer” in her headline, she began to attract medical writing recruiters, prospective clients, and subcontractors. “I saw that people found my profile based on their search for ‘Freelance Medical Writers.’ My profile prominently showed up in their search results,” she says.

Kalpana’s first client found her on LinkedIn. The client mentioned that she had also checked out Kalpana’s website, and that Kalpana had written an “excellent pitch.”

About Kalpana and 3C Medical Writing

3C Medical Writing delivers clear, concise, and compelling medical, scientific, and regulatory writing for CROs, medical communication agencies, and medical education agencies. As a freelance medical writer with 13 years of pharmaceutical and academic experience, Kalpana helps her clients communicate effectively with healthcare providers, regulators, and other audiences.

This post is part of my Fearless Freelancer series. Like Kalpana, you too can become a Fearless Freelancer despite the recession.

Course in Freelance Marketing Gives Kalpana Tools and Confidence

Kalpana took my online course Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve during the pandemic. She developed the marketing tools she needs to attract the right clients.

Gaining confidence and developing the fearless freelancer mindset were also key for Kalpana. Believing in your ability to succeed, and that you will succeed if you do the right things and are persistent, is important to all freelancers. In a recession, when there’s less work and more competition, it’s even more important—especially if you’re a new freelancer.

“Lori’s course is a confidence booster and drives home the fact that you can be a freelancer, too, provided you’re willing to put in the effort,” says Kalpana.


Full details about Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve.

Case studies of freelancers who took my online course. 

Click here to subscribe

Learn More About Kalpana and Thriving as a Freelancer



LinkedIn profile

Case study

More stories about freelancers who are thriving 

The Proven Way Margaret Johnson is Growing her Freelance Business 

What Happened When Kalpana Shankar Launched her Freelance Business During the Pandemic 

How to Thrive Like Lisa Baker—Instead of Feeling Sorry for Yourself 

How to Thrive Like Kathleen Labonge—Despite Ongoing Economic Uncertainty

How Ginny Vachon Created Freelance Work for Herself During the Pandemic

How to Thrive Like Mia DeFino—In Good Times and in Bad