Q–How Do I Convey to Clients That Knowledge of a Given Topic is Useful, But the Ability to Put Thoughts Into Writing is More Important? (Freelance Forum)

Q--How Do I Convey to Clients That Knowledge of a Given Topic is Useful, But the Ability to Put Thoughts Into Writing is More Important? (Freelance Forum)

A–This is one of the biggest conundrums I see consistently with clients as they are contracting freelance work. Almost universally I am asked if I have very specific experience with a drug or topic. Almost universally, they really need a person with a specific writing talent, not expertise in the therapeutic area. First, we need to constantly tell clients that writers are very “quick studies” and remind them they want us to review the latest research on the topic regardless. When queried this way, I begin to question what it is they really intend to do with the writing. When I ferret out more information, I then match my talents, not my expertise, to their project. I try to avoid discussing my abilities as a writer who can easily read and regurgitate therapeutic knowledge; rather, I stress that I can provide targeted writing in the style needed. For instance: Client X asks if I have samples of writing for kidney cancer immunotherapy. I might say yes and send them a journal article on a phase II trial. Wrong. After a bit of questioning, I find out they need gaming questions for an exhibit for a pharmaceutical company that is launching a new indication for a cancer immunotherapy. Knowing this, I can discuss my promotional writing abilities, my past exhibit experience, my knowledge of physician face time at exhibits, and send them a spot-on sample of this type of medical communication, even if it is in cardiology. Bottom line–spend a bit more time discussing project objectives, not touting product knowledge. –Barbara Rinehart

Q--How Do I Convey to Clients That Knowledge of a Given Topic is Useful, But the Ability to Put Thoughts Into Writing is More Important? (Freelance Forum)



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