How do medical writers find new clients? The importance of prospecting and referrals

- April 15, 2019

Welcome to MedCommTalk – a series on medical communication

Interviews from professionals in the medical communications field with real answers to business difficulties.



Today, we’ll talk about medical writers’ clients. Who are they and how did they find them?


Out of 6 respondents:

1)    50% found their clients by sending prospecting emails or letters.

2)    33% didn’t have to look for clients as they were already part of their company’s project.

3)    33% found work via referrals.


These figures emphasize how important it is to build a strong network when you’re a freelance medical writer. Just knowing other medical writers can bring you quite a lot of work.

Also, the benefits of sending prospecting letters cannot be overlooked. Target your ideal clients and find ways to contact them. You can either meet them at medical conferences or other industry related events. If you think they might need your services, or send them a service offer if you think they might need your services. It is, however, recommended to get to know them first because a service offer is always more welcomed when it comes from someone you already know.


Today’s question is:

Who are your clients? If you work as a freelance medical writer, how did you find them?


Lisa. M. working in a mid-size Clinical Research Organization:

My clients are already part of my projects at work for medical writing for publication. I have been asked to participate on projects.


Johanna Galyen, Freelance medical writer at Glowing Still:

Primarily, I write for clients/companies who want articles or blogs for their medical websites from the perspective of a nurse or explaining difficult topics in a way that anyone could understand. Most of what I write is ghostwritten, and the doctor (or the company) takes the credit for what I write.

I didn’t find work from the people I used to work for in the past. I just started looking online wherever I could find writing gigs. Upwork, textbroker, and Writer’s Access have been my best places. Sometimes I get lucky, but usually, I average 1 paying client for 30-40 proposals I send in. Thankfully, some of them are on-going clients with lots of work so that helps. Others are just a one-time writing assignment.


Kitty W. Freelance writer

I am a freelance writer, but I only write medical content for my firm. I worked there in admin role before taking this new content-based job with them.


A freelance medical writer who wants to remain anonymous

My clients are Med comm shops and small to mid-size pharmaceutical companies.


Jill A. Freelance medical writer since 1995

I wrote about 10 letters to organizations that I thought would be a good fit back in 1995. I got 2-3 hits. One became a major client that sustained me for most of my career. They got bought by venture capital group about 5 years ago which led to me being let go (only outside consultant). The rest have come from word of mouth.

Joanna Pendergrass Freelance medical writer and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

My clients are primarily pet companies with websites that focus on pet owner education. I have found some clients, such as my pet insurance company clients, via a Google search. Other clients found me through LinkedIn and reached out to me via email. One of my clients was a referral from a colleague.


Do you know someone who might find this article interesting? Don’t hesitate to forward it to them! Let me know in the comments your thoughts about this important issue, and let’s learn together!

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Post reviewed by Johanna Galyen from Glowing Still

Written by admin