A client story about social media training, getting your name out there and showing what you bring to the table.
Corinne Swainger is a freelance medical copywriter, editor and communications consultant, and has run her own business for 9 years. She recently completed a social media training programme with me, consisting of 6 sessions over a period of 3 months. In this interview she explains how this programme has resulted in more confidence, leads and more clients.
What was the main reason for you to do this social media training programme?
“I wanted to learn more about social media. Social media has been progressing in the past ten years. The main aim for me was to really get to grips with it, and to save time and money by working with someone who really knows the social media industry.”
What were the main challenges you faced in your communications on social media before we started this programme?
“Getting my name out there. There are many types of different copywriters and healthcare writers –-anyone from a medical journalist or a healthcare feature writer to an established copywriter like myself who specializes in pharmaceuticals. I am also an editor, an editorial manager and a communications consultant. So how could I position myself as someone who stands out from the rest? Perhaps the main challenge was how to get all these points across through social media. The other thing is that I wasn’t very active on social media before. I had the resources perhaps, but I wasn’t using them correctly.”
What did you do on social media before we started?
“I was a member of different LinkedIn medical writing groups but I never really branched out beyond that. I didn’t communicate directly with potential clients, agencies or pharmaceutical companies on LinkedIn. I sort of limited myself to one area on social media.”
During the social media training sessions we have looked into your positioning online, your LinkedIn profile and how to use LinkedIn and Twitter to get more leads and customers.
What were the main learning points you have taken from these social media training sessions?
“Probably the idea that you need to be more proactive. I can be very busy with work but social media is very important and you need to keep active in that area. It can’t be just something that’s put aside. You can set up a LinkedIn profile, but making changes on that; editing it and seeing what feedback you get from it is important. You have to keep an eye on it. The other main learning point is it has given me more confidence in myself as a professional and as a person.
I am now aware that I know a lot more than I realised. I have been a medical writer for 20+ years, working for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical advertising and medical education agencies, so in those 20 years I have accumulated a lot of knowledge. But until you really review this consciously, as we did in this programme, you’re not aware of how much knowledge or skills you have and how much you’ve got to offer.”
We also discussed how to show online what you bring to the table and how you show your personality on social media profiles like LinkedIn. Is this important for you as a medical writer?
“Certainly. One of the things I did bring to the table is that I have served as a voluntary trustee for a major charity in the UK focusing on rare diseases, and I never really mentioned that on my profile. Perhaps that is unique. Also the fact that I had the experience of working directly with patients, as well as with healthcare professionals. I added that on LinkedIn after we discussed this.
I also felt it was important to mention that I like to work with people. I am based in London and don’t just want to be working from home. It is about getting across the fact that I like working with a team on a project, from start to finish. I am also very happy to meet clients and to get a good brief, even if the majority what I do is writing from home. So, I have brought that out on my LinkedIn profile so people can see I don’t just work remotely.’’
Are there any other changes you have made in the way you communicate on social media, and especially on LinkedIn?
“I have been participating more in LinkedIn groups that are directly linked to clients. I feel more confident when I put my professional comments on these forums. I am contacting more potential clients than I did before on social media. I have been more proactive in the medical communications industry rather than just networking with other medical writers. I’ve asked for more recommendations from previous and current clients if they have been happy with the work I have done. It has given me more confidence to go ahead and say “Could you give me a recommendation?” You don’t need these to be extremely lengthy; you just want someone saying short and sweet: “Corinne does some great work for us and this is how.” People just want to know who you have worked for and what they recommend about you. I am also looking at new opportunities that I can use social media for.
I have gone on Twitter as well and have made links with some amazingly different companies that I didn’t think would be interested in my services. I have had a couple of people contacting me through Twitter and asking me more about myself as a professional. So, again the training sessions have given me other reasons to get out there and network with others in my industry.
To what extent has your increased and more focussed efforts on social media paid off for you?
“Certainly more business. I have been busier with more work, which has meant more income. It has also given me a chance to be more selective about the type of work I take on. Describing who I am on my LinkedIn profile and making some relevant changes– for example, key word changes– has also brought in other leads I hadn’t thought of before.
Social media training also means I am now keeping up with the industry. For example, right now companies in the healthcare communications industry are putting more importance on patient-centric communications. It’s not so specialized on healthcare professionals anymore. I‘m now promoting myself as someone who can write for patients because I have worked directly with them. Again, that has given me new business leads. Anneke, you had a really a great blog about hiding behind social media recently. I can’t just be sitting at my desk, working behind the scenes. I also have to get out there online; meet new people and regularly communicate with them through social media, which has been good for me as a person and good for bringing in new business.”
Thank you very much Corinne. I really appreciate that you were willing to share your story!
Curious to Corinne Swainger’s LinkedIn profile?
Would you like to learn how you can create more business opportunities for yourself using social media? Please get in touch to schedule a free 30-minute session.