Having the flexibility to pick the hours that work for you and the freedom to work where you like are just some of the freelancer benefits. I spoke to Sophie Ash, who is a freelance medical writer, copywriter, project manager and podcast host, to hear about her freelance journey.
When she’s not working on a copy deck or collaborating with an art director at MedComms Solutions, Sophie’s coaching new, inspired medical writers on how to grow their businesses and advance their career with Prospology.
Check out the interview below.
What do you enjoy most about working freelance?
Choosing my own hours and which clients and projects I like to work on. Being able to take a day off whenever I want – especially when I’m not feeling physically great (I don’t think anyone should have to work under those circumstances). I also love the freedom I have in terms of where I work. Sometimes, I enjoy going to co-working spaces or coffee shops or working on my balcony. Other days, I love that I can stay in my PJs all day and work from my bed.
What do you look for in a medical communications agency?
For me, it’s mostly about the people. Are they communicative, friendly, and respectful? Do they genuinely enjoy their work? Do I think they’ll allow me to work collaboratively and be appreciative of my services? Secondary to that, it’s how organized they are. I really hate to be inefficient, so I like to know that there are systems in place to avoid mistakes and time sucks.
What do you think is one of the biggest challenges for a freelance medical writer?
The biggest challenge that most freelance writers seem to have (judging by what most of them come to me as a coach, asking for help with) is finding clients and knowing what to charge. For me, this is the easiest part of the job, by far, and I love to help others implement lead generation strategies and learn their value with Prospology.
For me, I’d say it’s juggling the huge fluctuations in my workload (I go from busy to exceptionally busy, all the time!) and knowing when to ask for an extension, on occasion, to prevent burnout whilst still keeping my clients happy.
What advice would you give to other writers thinking about going freelance?
Invest in a coach who has successfully followed the exact career path that you want for yourself. There’s a lot of information out there, in the form of courses, webinars, and so on, but if you can’t actually apply it (and know what applies to you and what doesn’t), it’s not the best use of your time, energy, and (potentially) money. Find someone who’s already proven they have what it takes to succeed who can hold your hand throughout the process. Not only will you be much more likely to get great results, the whole process will be easier, faster, and much more enjoyable.