In our last two posts, we talked about the Five Ingredients Workhorse Websites need to stay healthy:

1) Measurement
2) Pain
3) Offer and Opt-In
4) Automated Follow-Up and
5) Online Marketing Campaign.

Today we’re going to finish with more in-depth information on

5) the Online Marketing Campaign

The Online Marketing Campaign is what makes your website RUN.
Or more accurately, it’s what makes your target audiences find and run to your website. This is about Website Traffic.

This is a broad topic I can’t cover all here, but let me share with you a summary, and then we can learn more together later on.

The Online Marketing Campaign is what gets traffic to your website.
If you don’t have a campaign going on, it’s as if your workhorse is standing alone in its stall. Our objective is to make this baby RUN and even win recognition.

The Plan
A marketing campaign begins with a plan.
You have to identify your target audience(s).
You attract your target audiences by finding out what keywords they are putting in to “Search” to find answers to their problems.
You develop your keyword list – which are words you make sure you put in your content so that when you audience is searching for those terms, your content shows up.
You identify which social networks you are going to publish your content on – Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, YouTube, etc
You develop a blogging schedule – how often are you going to blog, on what topics.
You develop a content schedule for new pages on the website, videos, tip sheets, press releases, etc.

You focus your content on the intersection between your expertise and your audience’s interests.
This intersection is where the magic happens.  This intersection is what brings you traffic.

Execution of the Plan
You create your website using the most popular keywords as the Titles of your Content pages and website structure.
You write or acquire your content – pages, blogs, images, tip sheets, videos, etc.
You release your content or references to it in timed sequence across the various social media you have chosen.  Daily, weekly, every other week, monthly, etc.

(For many of our projects we post social media once a day, blogs once a week, videos every two weeks, press releases every 1-2 months.
For our examples check out:  https://adhdinadults.com, https://newbrainnutrition.com, https://medicalwritingnetwork.com.)

These tasks are like feeding your horse, grooming your horse, riding your horse, letting it out for a run.Workhorse3
It’s a regular schedule of caring about your audience – inviting them to come to your website, getting them to rely on your publishing schedule.

You measure your traffic and visitor behavior. (Google Analytics is fantastic for this.)
How many visitors are you getting?
How long do they stay on the website?
What pages are they visiting?
What keywords are drawing them?
How many (what %) are opting in for your free offers?

And periodically, perhaps quarterly, or at the half year, you evaluate your performance, and make adjustments to your keywords, content, pages, social media focus.
This is an iterative process.
It’s a process that involves perseverance and patience.
You are motivated by a) the quality of your content, and b) how people are attracted to and consuming it.
It’s like fishing….. your aim is to throw your line into a large lake with the right bait, so that fish bite on your line among all the others.

This process is never a failure.  It’s an effort from which you learn and improve, or a pattern of success you can enjoy for a long period of time.

We’re here to help.  Let us know how.

Feedback

Our website is for training…. to help YOU do what we know and what we’ve learned.
We are expert at this entire process.  If you need a consult, or Done-For-You solutions, get in touch.
Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

medicalwritingtraining@gmail.com

In our last post, we talked about the Five Ingredients Workhorse Websites need to stay healthy:

1) Measurement
2) Pain
3) Offer and Opt-In
4) Automated Follow-Up and
5) Online Marketing Campaign.

The first three ingredients, measurement, offer and opt-in, and automated follow-up, are easier for website owners because they are more mechanical. Do them and they are done, for the most part.

The two ingredients that give website owners, medical writers, and medical writing businesses the most trouble in the care and feeding of Workhorse Websites are:

4) Pain and
5) the Online Marketing Campaign

These two admittedly take more work, time, expertise, and consistency. They are not what you would call “Set and Forget,” which we know is what most website owners would prefer to do, so they can focus on their medical writing specialties.

And we don’t blame them. Your business is your specialty that is worthy of focus.

In raising a Workhorse Website, sometimes it takes a village.

4) PAIN

You’ll recall that “Pain” on your Workhorse Website is your written, audio, and video response to the market segment you are trying to attract.

You have to demonstrate that you understand the Pain of your audience, that you can express it for them so they say “Yeah! You get it.” Further, your visitors need to know that you have a solution to their Pain. That you can take them out of their Pain and take them to their Pleasure. To their new life without the Pain.

You know the example of the person who walks into the hardware store to buy a drill. That person doesn’t really want a drill. They want a hole.

If you as the website owner tout the features of all your drills, you’re not addressing the problem. Focus rather on the types of holes and widths of holes the client needs, and then show him or her the drill that will work.

Most writer websites we see focus on the drill… what
you do, or what technology you have, or what training or expertise you have.

Rarely on writer websites do we see what your client really wants, which is relief from his or her problem. Focus on the problem and focus on the relief. The before and the after.

So, where do you find expression of this pain and relief so you can use it on your website?

Try this for yourself:

Go to Google.
Type in the problem people have that you address.
You’ll see listings. Read a few and take notes.
In the left column, under Everything, click More.
You’ll see Blogs, Discussions, Real time.
Click, read, take notes.
This is Google telling you what the world is talking about…. today. It may be different tomorrow, so you have to keep going back to stay current.

You now have access to the Pain.

This is what you need to be talking about, showing your understanding for, offering solutions for, on your website, in your blog, in articles, on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube, etc.

The care and feeding of your Workhorse Website needs this updated ingredient of your being current on what everyone’s talking about, and lending your voice to the discussion.

In our next email, we’ll talk about your Online Marketing Campaign, which is another topic about care and feeding of your Workhorse Website.

Feedback

Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

medicalwritingtraining@gmail.com

Lots of medical writers we know spend good money on creating nice looking websites and then expect the poor things to grow and bring in new business all by themselves.

Your website is your baby.

You conceived it. You created it. Once it’s born, you have to
nurture it, exercise it, feed it,
and measure how it’s doing, so it can grow and work for you.

Here are five ingredients you must feed your website to make
it a workhorse for you and keep it that way:

1. Measurement.
All parents are encouraged to take their kids to well baby clinics and pediatric check-ups on a regular basis through the teenage years to assure that growth is happening within normal ranges and to insure against health problems. Your Workhorse Website is no different. Its growth and maturity need to be measured so you know how it’s doing. How many visitors it gets. How many pages are viewed. How many minutes people spend. Where visitors are coming from. What is bringing them there. How many sign up for something. Does your website have an analytics tool embedded in its code, that gives you this information? Google Analytics is no cost, excellent, and popular. If you have analytics, are you looking at what the data is telling you? If you have analytics, what are you doing to improve your results? Do you care about your Workhorse Website?

2. Pain.
Sounds funny doesn’t it. Feed your website pain? What I mean is, you need to understand the pain your website visitor is feeling, what problem they need to solve, what’s keeping them awake at night. You need to express that pain on your website, show you understand it, so your visitor “gets” that you know what they are thinking about and have come to the right place. People are motivated to solve their most pressing problems. If your website can take them from their pain to the vision of relief, escape, an improved life, pleasure, they are motivated to engage with you. Are you demonstrating on your website that you know about peoples’ pain?

3. Offer an Opt-in.
OK. You have them right where they need to be. What do they do next? Do you want them to call? Do you want them to give you their email address? What one thing do you want them to do? Your website is not working for you if a visitor doesn’t do something. Pick that one thing you want them to do and incent them to do it. Where do you put that Opt-In and Offer? Top right, home page. First thing, right away. Capture their interest. Capture their information. Then you can build relationship. Do you have an easy, obvious, enticing way for people to opt-in?

4. Automated Follow-up.
For every person who opts in, you need to follow up immediately. Whether it’s 2am, or Saturday night, or early Monday morning. They’ve just opted in. Whatcha gonna do? You need automation. Automation is like the Navy Seal team. First time, every time. It just happens, and most importantly, without you doing a thing. No follow up failure. No missed opportunity. There are numerous programs on the market. I have my favorites. Web 2.0 is about multi-media and about automation. Automate yourself. Have you automated your follow-up, so that you leverage website activity?

5. Online Marketing Campaign.
Whenever I ask a client if they have an online marketing campaign, they frequently say, “Oh yeah, we do SEO (search engine optimization.) Does your website need to be search engine optimized with the right keywords? Yes, but I’m talking about much more. I’m talking about a consistent, steady stream of activity all over the web (blog, tweet, Facebook, video, articles) all of which point back to your website to create traffic. Put up a website on the internet. What do you have? A website on the internet. “Vox clamantis in deserto.” A voice crying in the wilderness. Your Workhorse Website needs to be fed with traffic driven to it by other posts and multi-media Web 2.0 properties you create. Are you feeding your website with traffic?

So, how many of these five ingredients do you feed to your Workhorse Website?

1. Measurement

2. Pain

3. Offer and Opt-In

4. Automated Follow-Up

5. Online Marketing Campaign

In Part 2, we’ll share with you where and why most website owners fail in feeding these five ingredients to their websites, and then wonder why they don’t have healthy Workhorse Websites.

Do you want to get published?
Here are five quick tips to get you started.
Each point is pretty simple, but we’re going to ask you to STOP for a moment and think about each one.

First.
When writers want to publish, they often start with thinking about what they do, what they know, what they have to offer, how they are experts in their area and have something to write.

Wrong… 🙂

Reverse this tendency for a few moments. So that you can be successful.

Your first best step is to do homework and research on what magazines, periodicals, societies already publish in your area of interest or specialty.

STOP – What publications can you find out about and look at.

Second.
Identify those who are most likely to take content from you based on what they already publish. Go WITH the flow of these publications.

STOP – Where is your match with the publications that interest you?

Third.
Read the last 4-5 issues and see what the magazines are focusing on.

STOP – Take some time to read. This is your research which will help shape your approach.

Fourth.
Get the contact information and editorial guidelines for the relevant publications. Make a list for yourself, so that you can get in touch with them.

STOP – Have you made your list of people to get in contact with? Names, phones, email addresses.

Fifth.
After doing your research, make contact with the publication to discuss what you have to offer in the way of writing based on what THEY want or what direction THEY are going in. Forget what you are researching. You have to go in THEIR direction.

STOP – Make contact with your list. Take notes on what you’ve learned from each one.

With careful research, you will hopefully choose publications in areas that are a good match for you and are interested in what YOU are already researching and writing. If there is no match, you have to find another publication, or you have to change what you are doing to make a good match.

Publication is about what your audience wants, and finding a match between your audience and you. No match, no work. Focus on your match.

Concerns you might have….

“I don’t want to do this.  I work so hard at what I do. Why do I have to go these extra steps?”

As we’ve said, this IS about making matches and building relationships. You have to become “other” oriented. It really isn’t about you.
When it’s more about them, it benefits you.
You both get what you want.

This is the business side.

“But I’m just a medical writer.”

We totally support that. So hire someone who can be your business manager or agent, who will tell you what’s going on.

If you can’t afford that, you have to be your own manager or agent.
You can do it. Get some success under your belt. Then hire.
It beats sitting home alone and unpublished.

“This is a lot of work I don’t have time for.”

You are absolutely right. It is work, and you don’t have time.
We recommend:

Breaking each part into steps and doing one at a time. Once the work is done, you’ll know so much more and be more focused.

Shove the work in. We don’t have time for many things in our lives. Sometimes it is just impossible to make time for something. So….
you shove it in.

(You can catch anything that falls, or glue anything that brakes.)

Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

Email us:  medicalwritingnetwork@gmail.com

1. What do YOU have to say?

You are a medical writer. You know how to put ideas and concepts into words for other people. Can you do it for yourself, to promote your career or your business to others?

You’ve got all the skills and training to write. Most other people would LOVE to have the skills you have. Are you able to use your writing talent to promote yourself, or are your skills going to waste?

In the U.S., we have a saying that “the shoemaker’s children have no shoes.”
In other words, the shoemaker spends so much time making shoes for other people that his or her own children are going without shoes.

Is this you when it comes to looking for work or building your business?

2. Find something to say….

We are in the age of social media and the internet. Almost everything can be available online. Your picture, your profile, your CV or resume, everything you’ve written for someone else.

Think about writing for yourself. Why?
So that people can get to know you. So that people can get to trust you. Everyone likes doing business with people they know and like and trust.
So… don’t be a stranger.

Everything that you write, that includes your name, your email address, your website, can be FOUND by someone who is searching for your topic.

When they find you, you become a known quantity, and that person may choose to follow you or look you up again.

This person could be your future client, employer, recruiter, business collaborator.

The more you get published, the more you get known.

Where should I write about myself?

  • Just about any place you can find on the internet.
  • We like LinkedIN the best. Start a discussion, or post an article. Post an opinion.
  • Make comments on your medical writing Association website. Chime in to the conversation.
  • Post an article on any number of article publishing websites.
  • Post tweets to a Twitter account.
  • Post your ideas on Facebook.
  • Post your thoughts on LinkedIn.
  • Create a blog for yourself. If you have a website, do it there.
  • The places you can post are endless.

3. What should I say, and when?

We make a list of topics for ourselves. When we have an idea, we write just a few words somewhere. We find something that interests us, or we come up with an idea that furthers our business, our specialty.

Because we are focused on building our business, our ideas are focused too, and we think about our business a lot.

Find your focus. What areas interest you? What expertise do you want to be known for?

Write down ideas as they come to you. Everyday. Make it a habit.

Write something about your ideas a couple of times a week.

Post your ideas somewhere a couple of times a week.

When you are starting out, you’ll draw a blank.
Once you get going, however, you will be amazed at how the ideas just keep coming. You’ve “turned on” that part of yourself.
You will also be surprised at what an expert you are, because you think of things deeply in particular subjects, and often. Your devotion of time and thought helps make you an expert. What you know will dwarf what others know on the same topic.

4. Summary

We’ve covered the follow topics, very quickly.

Who: You
What: Topics that interest you and that you think about
Where: On the forums you choose on the internet. They are endless
When: A few times a week. If you did 3/week, that would be 150+/year!
Why: To get known. To get found. To be trusted.
Start now. Make a habit.
Write us an email and than us.

5. Feedback

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

medicalwritingnetwork@gmail.com

Here’s another tip for you on Medical Writing and your future.

1. Focus and Specialize

We have counseled a lot of writers over the years on how to focus their career. The biggest error writers make is trying to be too many things to too many people, without specializing.

We highly recommend four steps to focusing:

First, decide which area(s) you want to be your specialty.
Is it consumer health writing, scientific journal writing, regulatory writing, CME writing?
It is best to specialize and get known in an area.
Choosing an area you want to learn will help you focus on WHAT you need to learn and the marketplace for your writing.

You can pursue multiple types of writing, but you need to be known in each. Employers and companies look for specialists, not generalists.

Within your type of writing you choose, pick what specialty you want to write on. For example, it could be breast cancer, or women’s health, or multiple sclerosis or heart disease. You need to pick a few topics and start writing in those areas.

The second step we recommend is getting trained in the type of medical writing you want to do. Getting trained and getting a certificate improves your skill and improves how you look to recruiters and employers.

Third, think about whether you want to pursue medical writing by finding a job, or by building your own freelance business. They are two distinctly separate ways of earning income from medical writing. Writers are successful doing it both ways, but you have to learn the skills for finding a job, or building your business.

Fourth, optimize your profile online. We love LinkedIN. Your profile is your online resume. Make it look its best. Include a photo – that creates so much more connection. Employers and recruiters do search for medical writers online. Put your best foot forward.

Does this help?
We are happy to email or speak further.

2. Concerns you might have….

But if I focus, I might lose out on opportunities?

It is OK to have a number of specialties. But don’t promote yourself as a generalist, as a one-stop shop for everything.

Promote yourself as a specialist in a select number of areas.
People want to pay money for specialty – to get their specific problem solved. Get to know your client or employer in one specialty. Let them get to know your work.

THEN tell them about other things you can do. You will already have built experience and trust.

I don’t know what to specialize in, or what to promote.

Take the focus off of you, and take a look at what the market wants. Look at job postings. Look at new developments in your field. See what the market needs. Specialize or promote yourself in that. Make yourself the best possible match for opportunities that are out there.

Listen, look, learn.

Get knowledgeable or training in what’s hot. Be able to speak the language. Offer confidence to your prospective client or employer.

I want to branch out.

Many people change their career interests and directions over time.
Not a problem. Just recognize that you need to develop yourself in your new area of interest.

You have to enjoy what you do. If you don’t you’ll be unhappy, do poor work, and it will effect your income. Love what you do.

If you are starting in a new direction, great! Get yourself up to speed. Work hard at it. Do some work at low pay or free, until you establish a foothold.

But specialize. Don’t generalize. People want to pay for expertise and specialty to feel they are getting their money’s worth.

3. Feedback

Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

medicalwritingnetwork@gmail.com

Do you have a business of medical writing? Or are you thinking of starting one?
Or, are you looking to start or build your career in medical writing?

Here are some thoughts we’ve developed over time to help you think about marketing yourself.

Marketing? Did you say “Marketing?”

Yes, I did. Let me tell you how.

1. Medical Writer as the Introvert

A medical writing student of ours is a marvelous practitioner of the art, and we were having coffee one day and talking about what drew him to medical writing. He is a physician by training, but we think this insight applies to many of us in medical writing. (Jonathan was offering him advice on building his medical writing business… he was having a hard time of it.)

Medical writing is a very thoughtful process and profession, and our student is a very thoughtful guy, especially as we have seen his work product develop through one of our Courses.

He confided that he’s an introvert, and he’s very aware of it. When he talks he frequently does not make eye contact, but looks down close to his shoes. Very clearly present WITH us. Just not showing it with his physical body. The good news is, we all know he is thinking great thoughts.

We joked that an introvert physician looks down at his shoes, while an extrovert physician looks down at your shoes.

So, how does a medical writer, either introvert or extrovert, handle the growth of his/her business, when the idea of promotion or marketing or sales is:

We think the answers are fortunately simple, and quite actionable.

1. Medical Writer as the Extrovert

FIRST, you are promoting, marketing and selling your medical writing business today, whether you know it or not. You CAN work on being more effective.

Promotion, marketing and selling are all expressions of what a product, service or person is, what features and benefits it has. You are wonderful at what you do because you are a good receiver, an observant, thoughtful writer. AND, you are wonderful at what you do because you are authentic, effective and perhaps personable.

AND, while you are receiving information, you are absolutely sending out information as well. People see who you are, they get messages about you, from you.

You’re likely paying little attention to the quality or quantity of your outgoing content.

So, let’s not kid ourselves, and let’s stop the fantasy that you are not promoting, marketing, or selling. You ARE, merely by taking money from people for what you do.

Let’s focus more productively on what your outgoing messaging content is, and how you might make it more effective.

SECOND, I want you to be authentic as you consider your outgoing messaging content.

Know that you never have to be anything less or more than you are. If your training, research, and writing are strong, so is your authenticity. Promotion, marketing, and sales for you never have to be inauthentic. They can be strong, just as your training, research, and writing are. You are not misrepresenting, or over-pushing. You are simply being authentic with your clients and potential clients, and you are admitting that you have messages to share.

So, first, know that you do send messages, and second, know that they can come from your authentic training, research and writing.

Make a list of your authentic strengths. No hype, no pushy, no stretch. You know you’re good. Make a list.

THIRD. Now that we have you aware that you do have outgoing content to your clients, let’s reverse your talent for being a receiver, and focus on what your clients are receiving, from their perspective.

I’m not talking about your training, your research, or your great writing. That is not what your client receives. They don’t care about that. You do, but they don’t.

If you are having success with your clients, do you think they are telling their colleagues or bosses about your great training, your great research, your great writing? They might be, but that’s a sideline of the conversation.

The primary conversation with colleagues and bosses the great results your output is getting from readers or the audience, how smart they were to hire a good writer, how they delivered on time… not you…. they.

Make a list of your clients’ biggest problems or challenges, and match that with a list of the biggest benefits they enjoy as a result of your training, research and writing.

Challenges in Column 1 and benefits in Columns 2. Note here that we’re leaving out all the specialties and techniques you trained in and all of your science background. What matters is the client’s perceptions.

FOURTH, for each of the client problems and benefits you have listed, craft simple statements that explain how clients experience solutions to their problems with your help.

You want to focus on solving your client’s problem, not your expertise.
Refocus your phrasing to let clients know HOW you can help them.

Now you’ve got some messaging! Congratulations.
It’s about your clients and how they benefit, not you and what you do. Keep that focus in your marketing.

If you’ve completed the four steps above, you now realize you have:

– messaging
– that’s authentic
– that acknowledges client problems and the benefits they receive
– that’s crafted in client-centered statements
– that can be used in your more conscious marketing of your business
Does this speak to you?
What are your thoughts?
Try it and let me know how it goes?

2. How can I learn more?

Become a Member of the Medical Writing Network for FREE.  Follow our email series.

We’ll be talking a lot more about this, because finding work, getting clients, keeping clients, is a major endeavor for all medical writers.

Let us know what you think by emailingl us so we know what other advice or help you need.

We cherish feedback from you, and put it to good use, to your and everyone’s benefit.

Consider getting trained.

That’s a big part of what we are about.
Training exposes you to new ideas.
Training helps you get practice.
Training gives you feedback.
Training works.

Did you find this helpful?

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Any questions or comments, please email us. We are here to help!

Contact us at medicalwritingnetwork@gmail.com

The Rule of Seven

This is among the most important topics we’ve learned to master over the last few years. Repetition!!

1. The 7 Exposure Rule

Did you ever notice when you are promoting yourself or “selling” your services, that some people jump up and buy right away, and that others take their time, or may not buy at all in your lifetime with them? We often wondered about the difference between those groups, and if there was a way we could use that information to increase my close ratio – the numbers of people who said YES vs. No or nothing.

Then we learned about the 7 Exposure Rule.

The 7 Exposure Rule and My Learning Style

The 7 Exposure Rule says that someone must have seven exposures to information or a product or service before they know and use the information, or buy the product or service. I’d heard about that Rule in various forms over the years, and just took it as another fact I might or might not remember.

Then one day, I tested it on myself. I got experience with the Rule, and my experience PROVED the Rule. That was a break-through I’ve benefited from ever since.

At first The 7 Exposure Rule were just words to me. I heard them a few times in different places, so they had new relevancy and context each time I heard them. I then filed the info somewhere in the back of my mind. I forgot about it frankly. Then I got interested in why some people buy and some people don’t, and I had a new context for thinking about the 7 Exposure Rule. So I dug up the idea from brain storage once again.

I decided to watch my learning and exposure process on my decision to buy my first smart mobile phone. Would it be iPhone, Android, or Blackberry? My current cell phone was working just great, thank you, with calls, messaging, and calendar. With my new interest in Smartphones I suddenly began noticing all the tv commercials, then the sides of buses, billboards, and even where all the cellular carrier stores were in my neighborhood. I started reading online about features, benefits, and radiation safety. I noticed phones my family and friends had. I made some trial visits to phone stores to look and handle and ask questions, and would walk out empty-handed.

Then one day I decided I knew enough, that my itch needed to be scratched, and I walked directly into a phone store, up to a sales person, and said, “I’ll take that one! With this plan, this screen protector, and this cover. And I’ll take one for my wife as well.” The sales person was obviously pleased.

2. The 7 Exposure Rule – Why It WorksRule of Seven

The 7 Exposure Rule works because it accounts for the way we humans process information and make decisions.

If someone comes at me with information about something I haven’t considered previously, I may or may not remember or even notice the information. If I’ve been aware of the topic, I’ll remember the exposure, but not do much more. If the person is trying to have me learn something, or buy something, he or she will likely be disappointed. The seller or teacher is way too early in my process. Why?

When I walk away from an exposure, especially a first exposure, I will lose 80-90% of the information I just heard because I have other priorities on my mind and things to think about. This new information is interesting, but it’s an interrupt to my daily routine and thought process.

If I’m interested in the topic, and care to give it my attention (among a zillon other competing items), I will learn a bit more when I next choose to expose myself to the information. Again, I will understand the information when I hear it or see it, but I won’t yet be able to express it independently at my early stage of learning.

With each exposure, I learn more and more, partly because I am choosing to learn, and partly because I am benefiting from the repetition of information. I am understanding new pieces to the information puzzle. I am putting the pieces together at the information level. No action yet. Still learning.

After about 7 exposures, a number of things have happened. First, I’ve maintained interest and allowed repeated exposure. Second, because of my interest, I have sought out more details and have begun to integrate the information in my brain. Third, I have requested and reviewed the information repeatedly, each time taking it in deeper and thinking about how I might apply the information in my life. Finally, I’m ready to make a decision about whether I want to move forward on the topic, or, not.

I need to have the interest, I need to have the repetition, I need to integrate, and I need to act.

By the way, all of this is corroborated in studies of adult learning – lots of data available. I just don’t have space to annotate it here for you. But believe me, the data is IN.

The 7 Exposure Rule is incredibly powerful when understood and used properly in the hands of Teachers, Marketers, and Sellers. And you, as a medical writer, are a seller, whether you think of yourself that way or not.

  • Understand that repetition of information is good. People need repeated exposures to process and use information. So many organizations tell their audiences something once, the audience has understood at the time of the telling, and the organizers incorrectly think the job is done. “We Told ‘Em.” Wrong. People need to be told multiple times. Repetition is everyone’s friend.
  • Understand that when an audience leaves the teaching situation, a large part of their knowledge at the time of telling evaporates. Why? Other things on their mind, this information wasn’t top of mind, they may hear conflicting interpretation from peers, any number of reasons. Much of the information doesn’t stick.
  • Understand that information understanding and processing gets more efficient with each exposure. I remember more each time I’m exposed because I’ve started to build a base of understanding, a context of where to put all the pieces… IF I have interest.
  • Understand that if someone comes up and has a brilliant conversation with you, or tells you they are ready to buy, that they’ve probably had multiple exposures to the information previously. It’s not your brilliant teaching or materials or salesmanship. You are benefiting from their previous exposures.
  • And the remaining people who don’t respond either aren’t interested at this time, or are in their process of 7 Exposures.
  • The 7 Exposure Rule is incredibly powerful in that it speaks to both the information transmitter and the information receiver. The Rule reveals the process receivers of information go through, the process information transmitters go through, and the dance between them.

3. Feedback

Let us know what you think!

medicalwritingnetwork@gmail.com

What is Medical Writing?

A lot of people ask what is medical writing so I looked it up on Wikipedia to see whether they knew. And they said it is the activity of producing scientific and medical documentation by a specialized writer. I’m Helen Baldwin, and I’m a medical writer and also I am the past president of an association, which is called the European Medical Writers Association. 

My medical writing is generally broken down into two categories. The first category is called regulatory writing and the second one is called medical communications. Regulatory writing is the sort of writing that is generally done in the pharmaceutical companies and it is the writing of documents that are related to the pharmaceutical development process. So, drug development and the people that we are writing regulatory documents for are the people who are performing clinical trials such as doctors and nurses. Also, the pharmaceutical companies themselves are the regulatory authorities which are the government bodies in each country that are in charge of deciding whether or not drugs are allowed to be marketed. So, what are the regulatory documents that we need to write about these clinical trials? Well, the first one is called a clinical study protocol and that is like a recipe book that explains to the doctors and the nurses how to actually perform the clinical trial so it is their instruction guideline. 

There is another sort of medical writing which is called medical communications and that is writing documents that are destined for healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses who are actually prescribing the drugs and need to be able to make decisions about whether or not to prescribe a particular drug. 

We also write conference abstracts, conference posters, and slide presentations. Sometimes we are even lucky enough to be sent to a conference and to take notes during the conference and write a report about it.  

We also write educational tools for patients to understand more about the medications they are being prescribed. We also help write websites for pharmaceutical companies for research institutes etc. 

Some medical writers also participate in other activities. These include medical translations: translations from English into their native language or from their native language into English. 

So maybe you are asking yourself, am I the right sort of person to be a medical writer? I think that you need to understand complex science in any field. I think you need to be able to explain ideas in a clear and logical manner. You need to be someone who is good at presenting data in the most appropriate way. So, knowing how to decide where the data are best presented in tables or graphs or text. You need to be someone who can distinguish good science from bad science and recognize when data are biased. You need to be able to write short clear sentences and to build a logical argument. You need to be able to organize information in a clear way using headings and subheadings.

So what would be the required experience and qualifications that you would need if you were thinking about becoming a medical writer?
Well, I would say that firstly it would be very helpful to have a scientific or medical qualification. If you have a science background and you’ve done laboratory research in a University, for example, you would find that useful. Especially if you had also written during your research career some scientific publications because that is one of the things that you will probably do as a medical writer.

So where do medical writers work?
If you were thinking of looking for a job as a medical writer you could contact pharmaceutical companies, you could contact the sort of company that is called a contract research organization or a CRO which is a company that organizes clinical research on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry. There are also medical communications agencies and specialized writing companies such as my own company. You could also work for a University. Last but not least there are many freelance medical writers who actually work from their own homes.

The European Medical Writers Association has been around for 20 years now. In fact, this is our 20th birthday. We are an association of more than 1000 members. We have two conferences each year and up to around 300 people attend each of these conferences. They are a fantastic opportunity for networking, for meeting other medical writers and also for training. These workshops are provided by experienced medical writers who very generously and on a volunteer basis share their knowledge and expertise with us, and with their colleagues. I really love these conferences and I have been to nearly every conference for the last 13 years since I’ve been a member. There are a lot of advantages of being a member. One of those advantages is that you will receive our journal every quarter. We also have a fantastic website, and this website has an incredible resource for medical writers and for people who are thinking about being medical writers. I highly recommend people to join. 

I have to say, I really love medical writing. I find it very rewarding and very satisfying I get to use my scientific education and skills every day. I am constantly learning and having to keep up with the latest science, which changes very fast. And, of course, I love EMWA, the European Medical Writers Association because medical writers really are very friendly people.