New freelance health writers and those who are thinking about becoming a freelance medical writer are often confused when it comes to knowing who – and where – the clients are.
Before I began my career, I assumed a freelance health writer’s clients were magazines and newspapers. How wrong I was!
While getting articles published in magazines and newspapers is a great notch on your belt, this practice alone won’t sustain your freelance health writing business.
Even the pitching process of magazine writing is time-intensive, stressful and laborious – and that’s before you get to writing the actual article!
Thankfully, there are plenty of other types of clients and writing projects that will keep you busy and sustain your freelance health writing business.
Today, I’m going to break it down simply.
Clients for freelance health writers
As a freelance health writer, your clients are any person, brand or business who requires any sort of health or medical-related content.
The scope is fairly massive – particularly because there are so many new health-related businesses and websites starting up all time – as well as existing ones.
And they all need high-quality content.
Generally speaking, your clients can be any of the following:
- Pharmaceutical clients – drug companies and vitamin supplement companies
- Digital agencies – agencies can offer both large projects or small, one-off work
- Health agencies – health content agencies often use freelance health writers in addition to their project staff
- Health-related brands – think food, clothing, personal items
- Medical businesses – including devices and technology businesses
- Health professionals – doctors, allied health professionals, health and wellness professionals, fitness instructors, yoga teachers, health coaches, life coaches and more
- Specialists – specialist doctors who have their own practices
- Hospitals – hospital groups as well as private hospitals and health centres
- Health-related publishers – large and small publishers who produce health books and materials
- Research institutions
- Government health organisations
- Medical journals
- Start-ups – new and emerging health and medical-related businesses
- Individuals – people who need assistance with a book, website, product or concept.
Freelance health writing projects
Again, I seem to be on a mission to dispel the common misconception that freelance health writers only write feature articles.
If you’re dabbling in writing here and there, as opposed to running a successful business, then yes – you may only need to rely on feature article writing.
However, if you want to run a business with the potential for growth to achieve your career goals, then you’ll probably need to do more than magazine writing – that is, any or all of the following project types:
- News articles
- Feature articles
- Health blogs
- Website content
- Social media management
- Journal articles
- Course materials
- Journal summaries
- Case studies
- Content strategy
- Media releases
How can freelancers broaden their experience?
Most freelance health writers learn new types of writing along the journey. However, if you get asked to write blog content and you’ve never written a blog before, you’ll want to be certain that you can deliver on the client’s requirements.
At the same time, you don’t want to hinder your prospects by only sticking with what you know. Consider upskilling in new forms of content to grow your freelance offering – you can get started by reading a variety of free online advice or taking an online course until you feel confident enough to expand on the types of writing services you offer.
How do writers find clients?
There are many methods you can use to connect with clients when you’re starting out. Networking, word of mouth, cold-calling, offering in-kind services and ensuring you have a strong online presence are just some of the many ways you can start to grow your freelance health writing client portfolio.
Finding clients is very much about encouraging them to find you. Also, check out this article about an experienced freelancer’s guide to finding clients.
Do freelance health writers only work for local clients?
In short, no. Something else that’s wonderful about freelancing is that you’re not limited to your local area.
You can work for anyone, from anywhere.
I’ve worked for clients based in the US, UK and Europe. I’ve mentored people who have had clients based in Singapore and around the world. Right now, two of my clients are based in the US, one is in the UK and another is in Melbourne. Similarly, if I moved interstate or overseas, I’d still continue to work for my clients. Location is not a barrier!
Remember, the clients and projects I’ve listed aren’t exhaustive.
There are no “rules” when it comes to who you can work for and the type of work that you can do as a freelance health writer.
Have you worked for any other clients types or completed any projects that aren’t in my list? Share your comments below.