nurse winning healthcare clientA decade ago hospitals and healthcare systems didn’t have to worry much about marketing or advertising. Hospitals relied on their affiliations with insurance plans to funnel patients to them. Patients had no choice in where to receive services. But times have changed. The playing field for healthcare marketing keeps getting bigger and bigger—which means wonderful things for you and me.

Types of Healthcare Content Writing Opportunities

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m a fan of healthcare content marketing as a rewarding and lucrative writing niche. I’m not all about the money; I love what I do because it allows me to continue using my nursing knowledge to help people, only a grand scale.

These days, hospitals and healthcare systems not only have to compete for patients, but they also must meet certain patient engagement criteria to avoid a CMS reimbursement penalty. Hospitals and healthcare systems need content like never before, and they need nurse-writers to help them produce it efficiently and with great accuracy.

Here are but a few types of healthcare content writing you might consider pursuing:

  • Websites (either the entire site or portions of it)
  • Patient health literacy/education/information materials (brochures or web pages devoted to explaining particular health conditions)
  • Physician or service line blogs
  • Electronic patient newsletters
  • Patient instruction materials (pre- and post-op instructions for various service lines, “what to expect” materials, and so on; either an electronic version or printed)
  • Information about tests and procedures
  • Feature stories about clinical staff or service lines for the client’s website
  • Corporate history pieces

That’s just a small sampling, off the top of my head, of the content needs of various healthcare organizations.

How to Get in the Door

Here are my two go-to tactics for new nurse-writers looking to find clients:

  1. Look in your own backyard
  2. Learn how to use LinkedIn’s advanced search function

Let’s examine these in closer detail.

You can start by approaching hospitals and healthcare organizations in your own city. Use a spectacular letter-of-introduction or just pick up the phone and call to find out if the organization uses freelance writers. As for whom to contact, well, that is the sixty-four dollar question. For more on this, check out the list below.

To find prospects on LinkedIn, first you need to set up an account. I hope you already have a LinkedIn profile because it can work well for inbound marketing purposes (bringing clients to you, instead of vice-versa).

Using the search function, look for the following job titles. The correct search syntax is “main search term in quotation marks” + health. OR “main search term” + healthcare. Example: “chief content officer” + health . Got it? Go!

  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Content Officer
  • Content Manager
  • Content Strategist
  • Communications Manager
  • Communications Officer
  • Creative Director
  • Marketing Communications Director
  • Marketing Communications Associate
  • Editor
  • Publications Editor

As a last resort, try the title “copywriter.” I currently work with one fabulous, ongoing client that I connected with through a staff copywriter.

If you think this sounds daunting, well…it kind of is. Nobody (at least not me!) said freelancing is easy. You have to put some time and effort into it. The good news is once you get into the swing of prospecting it becomes easier and less time-consuming.

I Found a Prospect, Now What?

OK, so, your LinkedIn search turned up a fantastic lead. You researched the company a little bit, and it appears they produce a ton of consumer health content. Awesome! Now what?

Well, now you need to send a killer letter-of-introduction (LOI). An LOI is a very brief email that introduces you and, more importantly, sells you as a writer.

BONUS: Download this free Word document with 7 LOI Templates! Just copy-and-paste these LOIs to begin contacting potential clients immediately. (PS: 4 of these templates are designed specifically to help nurse-writers with no clips or experience land their first gigs!)

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “letter of introduction,” please revisit the RN2Writer post on this very subject. You should think of your LOI as a work-in-progress and always work on improving and revising it.

Hospitals and health systems now have to compete for patients, and that means they need great content writers. If you’re not already working in health content, now is the perfect time to get started!

Wishing you well,