The Savvy Scribe

Abundance, Pirouettes and The Fit Factor with Elizabeth Hanes, RN

August 07, 2019 Episode 16
The Savvy Scribe
Abundance, Pirouettes and The Fit Factor with Elizabeth Hanes, RN
Chapters
The Savvy Scribe
Abundance, Pirouettes and The Fit Factor with Elizabeth Hanes, RN
Aug 07, 2019 Episode 16
Carol Bush & Elizabeth Hanes
It's a Masterclass on Mindset! Carol interviews savvy wordsmith & CEO Elizabeth Hanes.
Show Notes Transcript

It's a Masterclass on Mindset!  Join Carol & her guest, Elizabeth Hanes, as they talk about abundance, the client #fitfactor and pirouetting vs pivoting.

Connect with Beth:

Elizabeth Hanes RN is the nurse who knows content. As CEO of Hanes Healthcare
Communications, she specializes in producing marketing content that forges an emotional connection with the target audience while also keeping the Googlebot happy.

Website - Hanes Healthcare Communications

Email - beth@haneshealthcontent.com

LinkedIn

Resources, Tools or Events Mentioned:

Freelance Success

Download Beth's Free Ebook:
7 Deadly Sins of Healthcare Content Writing that Kill SEO and Turn Off Prospective Clients

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Thanks for listening! 

Carol & Janine







Adam:
0:00
Welcome to the savvy scribe, a podcast for freelance healthcare and medical writers who want to start or grow their business. Your hosts, Carol Bush and Janine Kelbach will help you build a profitable health writing business without having to spend years figuring it out on your own. Now let's join the conversation
Janine:
0:20
Today we have Elizabeth Haynes on the show with Carol and Elizabeth is the owner of pain's health care communications. She is one of the number one people I found when I first started freelance writing. This is an amazing interview. It goes through everything from the abundance mindset to bare wedding versus pivoting. Take a listen and enjoy the show.
Carol:
0:50
So Savvy Scribes. Welcome back to the show. I'm so excited today because I know my guest has a lot of fun and personality and she's probably gonna drop some wisdom, honest or joke or two. And I'm so excited to have Elizabeth Hanes, the nurse who knows content and I love that tagline. She's the CEO of Hanes Healthcare Communications and she specializes in producing marketing content that forges an emotional connection with the target audience by also keeping the Google bot happy. And isn't that what it's kind all about right now, right. The whole Google EAT rating.
Beth:
1:37
I have a real, ah, well first of all, Carol, thank you so much for having me on. I'm very honored to be here and anybody who's worked with me knows I don't have a personality, but, um, I have a real thing about, uh, how much crap content is out there because it's all been written to appeal to the Google Bot and none of it is written. Well, I don't want to say none of it. A lot of it is not written to appeal to the people who are actually reading it. So yeah, we bridge that gap for sure.
Carol:
2:10
Yes. And I think that's why I know that, uh, one of the things we like to talk about and share in the story while we're interviewing folks, I'd love interviewing people that I connected with and in health care writing in the profession. I've connected with a lot of people virtually. So I know that you and I first connected via linkedin and I actually, um, probably like many people in, you've heard this story before, I'm sure I did the Internet search nurses and writers because I was guest a guest blogging for the oncology nursing society way back in 2009 and I came upon your name as a nurse writer, professional nurse writer and your website at that time, RN 2 Writer I believe. Is that correct?
Beth:
3:08
Yes, I, I had self branded, I had the ElizabethHanes.com domain for a long time. That was my original one. And then I thought I was going to branch out into coaching other nurses who wanted to become writers. So I created RN to writer.com which I think is defunct now. I think I took it down. But anyway, um, and yeah, just started throwing stuff up there about, you know, how you can do this. I mean if I can do this, anybody can do this more or less. Um, did some coaching, um, learned that I was not a good coach so I stopped doing that. Um, but I know that I, I know because people told me I did help a number of nurses get started in this business and I'm really proud of that
Carol:
4:01
as will, you should be. And I think the being, and this is a lesson maybe that we can learn as health writers was we did not even know each other, but I connected with you via your writing and your content and you were crafting something of value is an important lesson I think that we can like to pass on to beginning professional health writers. As speaking of that, you might talk a little bit about what, what to led you to start writing.
Beth:
4:37
So I think what will surprise people about my background is that I was a writer before I was a nurse. So I started my career in PR and marketing and then did a bunch of middle management things. And then I went back to school and became a nurse and I was a nurse for several years. And I realized that my favorite part of nursing was actually the patient teaching. And I came home one day and said to my late husband, um, I can only work with maybe six patients a day. And it's very frustrating. And he said, yeah, but with an article you could reach a million. And I said, well, that is correct. So I left nursing and went back to writing. Well, I did what I advise people to do. I started doing freelancing again on the side until I had my business ramped up and then I left nursing and went back to writing full time. Um, yeah. So anyway, but most people who meet me think that, you know, I was a nurse for 20 years and it's like, no,
Carol:
5:47
but, but isn't that the case that we can really change so many lives, a plain language writing changes lives. And I don't exactly remember where I that, but I love it. And, and you proved it right there that um, it does. And how prophetic that your husband had that foresight and saw that. Yeah, absolutely. He was definitely ahead of his time.
Beth:
6:15
Well, the other thing is that he said, um, was as a nurse, you've got that inside knowledge that makes the content accurate, especially communication to what we now call health care consumers. But anybody searching the internet because there is a lot of information out there that is just not that accurate. So yes, um, clinicians make excellent writers when they have the writing skills because they also bring that, um, validity to it.
Carol:
6:51
Okay. And in your journey, and you mentioned that you were originally in marketing and PR became a clinician and then were like, oh, hey, I'm going to go, you know, full cycle, uh, back. Um, tell us a little bit about your journey or was there a career philosophy that maybe you've developed as you've pivoted throughout your career?
Beth:
7:17
You know, I believe in two guiding principles. I think I would say for my career, abundance and generosity. So abundance, um, to me means having the mindset that first of all, it is okay to charge for your writing, your talent. A lot of people have a hard time believing that that's okay to do or acceptable, I guess you could say. And also generosity in terms of helping out other writers because I would not have gotten where I am without people like you who so generously share with me tips and tricks and tools. Um, I freely share with other writers leads and also tricks and tips and tools. Um, and that to me is what builds the community. Um, that makes all of this possible for us to do in terms of the business side of things. I think that also is an excellent way to serve clients.
Beth:
8:25
Uh, I don't believe in nickel and diming clients to death. You know. Um, one example, I had a client send me something the other day that was just frustrating her. She said, can you please take a look at this and see what you think and can you fix this? And it literally took me 15 minutes, you know, and she's like, send me a bill. And I'm like, I'm not billing you for that. Now a lot of people would be aghast at that. You know, on the one hand people are like, oh no, I don't really think I can charge for my adequately. But on the other hand, there are people who are like, you should charge for everything. I think there's a happy medium in there. I think you can have an abundance mindset and still be generous. Let me put it that way. And those are the two principles that I've tried to live my business by
Carol:
9:10
Those are great principles. I know I've always had the philosophy that whatever I throw out into the world, it's what I'm going to get back. Doesn't mean it's going to happen in 24 hours or five days in maybe six months or years even. Um, and you brought up one really, uh, common, uh, I guess question that I get a lot at Fran. Uh, not only beginning health writers, but even the mid journey, the whole pricing and what do I charge? And that kind of thing. What do you think, especially because over time you developed an abundance mindset and this happy balance, what do you think led you cause it first, did you feel like that and you had to develop some maturity in your, um, in your work and your negotiation skills. What led you to really feel solid about your place?
Beth:
10:08
I think that what helped me was really thinking of my business as a business. Um, I'm going to sort of speak to women because a lot of the clinicians who wrote all the clinicians I personally know who write are women and a lot of freelance writers are women and they see themselves as an artist, a creative, which is fine. I consider myself those things too. But you have to be a business person first. And if you paint a painting, if that's your art and you want to make a living at that, you don't give your paintings away and you don't go solemn for five bucks, you know, you put them in a gallery and you price them accordingly and you sold them. Um, and so when I started thinking about my business as a business and started conceptualizing myself as the CEO of Elizabeth Haynes, Inc, basically it became a lot easier to think about pricing and how to price and do things like market analysis and what will the market bear and where am I at and what are my differentiators and what value do I bring. I mean, you have to think about all those things to arrive at your price and there's no one way to price. There's no rate rate to, to charge. It's all I'm you, but you should be fair to yourself as well as for the clients. I think that's the bottom line.
Carol:
11:41
Our gallery, our website, and our linkedin profile, the whole gallery aspect also brings to light. Thinking about when you're in the gallery, you have personal relationships, you establish the personal relationships with people and you're presenting them the options and letting them choose. And that's actually what sales is, right?
Beth:
12:09
Yes. And when I was coaching nurses, and I mean to a certain extent, I still interact with new new writers, nurses who want to write my email. Um, I told them, you have to get comfortable with the idea of sales and that immediately puts a lot of people off. And it doesn't have to because you're not a used car salesman. No offense to the used car sales man. Um, you know, you're selling a valuable service that your target audience, your target market wants it. So you're not trying to like trick somebody into buying something they don't want. But yes, you do have to become comfortable with that. I tell people, when I started my career, you know, I'm going to say 75% of my time was spent marketing and selling. It was not spent writing. And if you're not good with that, you're not going to make it. Let's just get plain and simple. I'll just be blunt. You're not going to make it if you can't market and sell yourself. So
Carol:
13:13
I do see a lot of people with the changes, um, too, like with the Internet has afforded a lot of collaboration platforms and marketplaces. So with the marketplaces, that's awesome because you can search, but I don't know, this is my own, , view that I see and it might be an educated son. Definitely love your take on it. Some of the marketplaces I see that it's like driving the price and skill level down rather than like upleveling and uh, I don't know what, what do you see?
Beth:
13:51
We should get some podiums up here cause now we're going to have like eight going on. No, I'm just kidding. Um, you know, I'm not a, uh, uh, expert in economics, but what I see is, um, I do understand supply and demand and there now with the advent of the Internet, there's a massive supply of writers, um, to fill any demand out there. And when that happens, uh, prices can go down. I also believe, and I know a lot of writers don't agree with me, I believe that there is a, um, what can you say a wage ladder like there is in any other career profession. I think if you're just starting out, it's okay to charge less. I don't think a penny a word is appropriate. You know, I think you, if the spectrum for a post of let's say a 500 word blog posts, let's say the market rate ranges from $200 to $1,000 depending on experience and you're starting out, then you charge 200 to $300 for that. And you also need to then increase your rate as you get more experience. And a lot of people don't do that either. Like they think they need, they still need more, they'd been doing it five years and they're not experienced enough. It's like, yeah, you are. But anyway, yes. And then I think when you get to a point where some of us are, you can charge that top tier, you know,
Carol:
15:26
I think it does pre present a lot of options. It's a, the market places. It's a great way for people to get some portfolio work. But then as you said, as you're advancing in your career and really looking at high value clients, it's important to establish those relationships, be comfortable with selling and charge what you're worth, what you're worth.
Beth:
15:51
Yeah. And I wanted to pick up on your use of the term relationship. Um, because I think that is the absolute key to building a viable business in this profession is it's all about relationships. It's not about one off sales, you know, it's about interacting with people, networking, getting to know them, getting to know their needs, establishing those relationships, and then delivering a high quality product that allows you to have a fruitful business relationship.
Carol:
16:26
And this alludes to your, um, your abundance mindset and being, uh, you know, I guess giving also, uh, of others or supportive of others is when we have strong relationships with colleagues because as Solo preneurs, you know, life happens, right? We get sick, our moms have heart attacks, you know, like family things happen, uh, you know, has been spouse, whoever gets laid off, stuff happens and sometimes you need a team. So as a solo-preneur often having a trusted community or tribe. And I know that you have collaborated with others and I have as well. Can you talk to the development where segwaying into relationships a little bit more, but why it helped you have, have the maturity level? Because it does take a level of maturity to be like, uh, transparent with others who could be quote seen as competitors. But I have the philosophy that there's plenty of work for everyone. Um, how did you arrive at the point in your career when you started working or partnering with other health writing or, um, marketing professionals?
Beth:
17:45
I think you make a excellent point about, um, there's a lot of jealousy in our business to be quite honest, or there's a lot of guardedness. Um, I, early in my career approached a health writer whom I knew through an online group. So it's not like I was completely unknown to her and I wanted to pitch a market that I knew she wrote for. And I very politely and carefully approached her and she was a livid that I would ask her for an editorial contact. Um, and I thought at that time, the lesson I learned was, I don't want to be like that. Now. Does that mean that I just spew out, um, you know, give people my clients? No, I don't. I'm saying there's a happy medium in there that you can hit. Um, and it does take a level of maturity I think.
Beth:
18:41
Um, I, I think like a lot of people, I just develop that from being in the business. One of the best decisions I ever made is I'll put a little plug in here for freelance success.com. I joined that group probably 20 years ago and um, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was at the time that I know of the only group for actual bonafide free time, full time freelancers and I learned so much from them and they shared so generously and gave me the opportunity to learn and finally give back, which I still belonged to that group and I still do that now. Um, so I think it's just one of those things where you have to gain some self confidence by finding a little success and then you don't feel like, oh, I, I can't share this information or help other people out.
Carol:
19:35
This is a, a motto that I've always had, but I actually stole it from one of my oncology colleagues, oncologist, actually a cancer physician, a radiation oncologist in southeast Kansas. I was part of the quality collaborative with him and he had, you know, just always coined the term when we were sharing resources with one another across cancer centers. We were competing and very jealous of one another. Um, you know, he says, Hey, rising tide lifts all boats. And so I again think it's important and that's why, I mean really that's why the savvy scribed podcast exists and why I do what I do. It's to help other people be their best the best that they can be.
Beth:
20:20
Absolutely. And as you were speaking and talking about past experiences, it made me reflect on where did I originally get this mindset. And I realized, I can tell you it's because my dad owned a hardware store when I was a teenager and we never hesitated to refer people to other retailers if we could not serve them or couldn't please them or whatever. And I thought at the time I couldn't understand that. I felt like my dad was giving business away and he said, no, no, you have to please the customer first. And if you do that, they'll come back. And so it doesn't, it doesn't damage our business at all to help people get the service they need. And I think I've just, you know, writing as a service business, and I think that's true. I help clients or perspective clients. If I can't serve them, I do my best to help them find somebody else who can serve them, you know? And that comes back to you eventually. I just believe that
Carol:
21:22
actually really fun. If several years down the line someone says, oh, Hey, thank you so much. And oh by the way, I need someone else now.
Beth:
21:31
Absolutely. Yes. That definitely happens. Definitely happens.
Carol:
21:37
So I, I just, uh, I loved that whole, um, also history that you grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so that's awesome. Do you have any other entrepreneurs in your family?
Beth:
21:51
No, not that I know of. No, not my siblings or anything. Just me. I'm the only crazy one.
Carol:
21:59
So when one of my best friends, Becky, who is a wonderful journalist in the Kansas City area, always tells me I buried my lead. She's my best editor. She always says that, Carol, every time you interview you have to ask people about their failures because we love success. But everyone wants to know what was, you know, what, what might you consider your biggest, I'll call it failure or challenge that you, the biggest lesson in your career, um, that you got out of a failure are challenge.
Beth:
22:36
Oh, Carol, I know there have been so many. It's hard. How do we, how do we pick just one? It really is, it's all learning. Yeah. I think, um, in terms of speaking from the personal business standpoint, like what has helped me as a business person earlier in my career, I really did not know how to evaluate potential clients well. And Man, I had some disasters with clients where they basically fired me and, um, or I never got paid, you know, or things like that. And so those are all learning experiences, um, and helped me hone my ability to evaluate, um, you know, what makes a good, as you said, high value client. Um, what makes, um, a reputable client. But beyond that, what makes a client a good fit for me and vice versa because some of the projects, you know, I'm at a point where I have the luxury now to turn down projects if they don't fit well.
Beth:
23:56
And that fit factor is so crucial in what we do. You know, if, if, if the way they work doesn't work with the way you work, if there's no meshing there, um, it's not going to end well for anybody. So the sooner you can identify those and help them find somebody that's going to be better with them, the better off you will be as well. And then it frees up your schedule for a client that works better for you to come in. So yeah, learning how to do that was very, very helpful. And there were a lot of disasters, so yeah.
Carol:
24:30
Yeah. We could spend a whole podcast and it might not be very pretty. Exactly. No, I need to have to beat me out. I have it. I have a few really like key learnings. I love fit factor. You could bet to Hashtag [inaudible] yeah, that's a Hashtag. I know that recently you have made a pretty good pivot and you had, uh, like you tweaked or relaunched a cool website, tweaks and branding. How did you make that decision or, and I know that it hasn't been the first time you've done it because we pivot all the time to get to the fit factor.
Beth:
25:18
I like to call it a pure, a wet, ooh. I never know because that's got a little more flare. Um, yes, I rebranded my business when I started out. I branded myself, which was true for a lot of writers and that served me well. But I'd been, um, I had been contemplating for about two years how he was going to grow my business because I had sort of reached my max capacity as an individual writer and um, wanted to do more. And so after a lot of thought, I decided the best way to do that was to become a small health care content agency because that's what I'm an expert in. And um, go for larger projects, take on, you know, subcontractors and do project management, which yeah, I'm just thrilled about that. But anyway, uh, that's going to be the best way to, to do it.
Beth:
26:15
So yes, I read it a whole new website, Hanes, healthcare communications, although the URL is Hanes health content.com. Um, and um, we'll see. I'm uh, I in invite inquiries from still anybody. I still use the same creative brief that they can fill out online, but mainly I want to help small to mid size plastic surgeons, dermatologists, Med spas, hospitals, like regional health care system. I want to help them get a competitive advantage in the marketplace against the, the players in their marketplace that have the deep pockets. I'm always kind of an underdog person, you know, and like I want to get in there and give them my expertise to help them compete better. Um, so that's where I'm hoping this new venture will go. And I have some dynamite writers who have agreed to work with me. And um, so we'll see how it goes.
Carol:
27:14
Awesome. And it's so fun when you can dig in and give value, you know, really get in with a client and their mission and something that you're passionate about. It really does make it not like work. Yeah. I mean it's, yeah. Don always says, when are you done working? And I have a hard time saying, well, never, because it's not work.
Beth:
27:37
Exactly. No, you're right. I'm turning off. Turning yourself off at the end of the day can be challenging for writers, but you're absolutely right about the passion. I'm very excited to work with some plastic surgeons because I'm a former plastic surgery nurse and people really misunderstand what plastic surgeons do. And I of course, know intimately what they do and I can't wait to help them communicate that to the public, um, for further own benefit and watch them succeed. So yeah, it's going to be exciting.
Carol:
28:11
I know that that actually helped me answer, you know, who do you work for and how can people get Ahold of you? But you might just really quickly for our listeners, um, four because we are, our audience is made up of high performing health writers and the clients who love this. So how can people get best get ahold of you and it will be in the show notes. You're in lively.
Beth:
28:38
Thank you. Um, the best bet is through my website, Hanes health content.com, but they also can email me beth@haneshealthcontent.com. They can find me on linkedin. Um, they can Google my name. Um, I'm all over the place so it's not hard to find me.
Carol:
29:02
So when we're getting ready to wrap up, uh, we'd love to end with if you have one or two or three things that people might be surprised to know about.
Beth:
29:15
Oh, well I shared one, which was that I'm actually a second career nurse that surprises a lot of people. Um, I'm going to have to think about this for a minute cause I don't, I don't think I'm not surprising honestly, because as I was saying before we went on the air, I'm like shameless. Like I bet I quit. But my whole life out there on social media, although I'm not friends with everyone on Facebook, um, let's see. I'm very into cocktail culture. I don't know if people know that. Yeah, no. Yes, I'd love, I throw cocktail parties all the time. If you're ever in Albuquerque, anyone look me up, I'll throw a party just on your behalf. Um, and what else? Well, I think that's, Oh, here's something that maybe they would like to know. I've actually been on TV playing a nurse, so there's a lot of TV production that goes on in Albuquerque where I live and die. Yo. Yes. Years ago I not only played a nurse on an episode of the TV show in plain sight, but I also was a body double for a male character on that show, which was incredibly fun. And I got to drive this old rickety pickup, uh, down the street now. But kirky and uh, that was fun, but I never got to be on breaking bad and that kind of bums me out.
Carol:
30:39
Darn. See, that was my next question was so why couldn't you be on breaking bad? I binged out that like three times.
Beth:
30:47
Oh, I know. I love that show and better call Saul. Uh, I wasn't on that because I just wasn't registered with the casting company that did the extras
Carol:
30:56
exciting. I love, I love that. Those surprising points about you best. I know that I think if I remember correctly, cause I also stocked everybody on social media that you are wrapping up your week to go on vacation. Get Away, aren't you? I'm taking it
Beth:
31:14
three day weekend. You might have to believe that my lame ass class high school class parently did not pull together a class reunion. I'm not going to say what year, but it's a significant anniversary year. So I'm driving up to my old, uh, high school hometown to meet my high school best friend who I've only seen once in the past, you know, in suing time period. And we're going to get together on our own. It's going to be a blast.
Carol:
31:43
Oh, awesome. Well, I know that you've worked really hard ahead of that too. Like I say, you know, make your payroll wet, um, pop out and awesome website with it and you really need to go to our website because she's got a really cool tool about optimizing SEO. Yeah, right.
Beth:
32:03
Yeah. My ebook, yes. It's about how to hit that sweet spot between doing SEO but also making an emotional connection with the reader. So yes, please go download that. Thank you for mentioning that.
Carol:
32:13
Yes, I thought that. I know that because like you said, you're transparent and you even tell people when you're working on things. I was like, Oh yeah, I can't wait. I need to go check that out. Definitely. Well, I hope that you have a great vacation. Thank you so much for joining us today
Beth:
32:33
for having me on Carol. I truly mean it when I say it's an honor.
Carol:
32:37
Well, thank you very much. And all of the links that Beth mentioned as well as to her website and how to get ahold of her will be in the show notes. So please reach out and go get your ride on.
Janine:
32:54
Hey everybody, I'm so sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to reach out to you guys and tell you about our savvy scribe growth lab. If you are looking for a strategic coaching program for healthcare writers that are ready to start mastering some foundational skills and even land your first paid gig and the next eight weeks you'll want to keep listening. Imagine yourself, you guys at work on your third 12 hour shift. Your friend also picked up another 12 tomorrow. She will be burned out and see her children Nazi, your family, but you know what? She is making more money. Now. Imagine yourself waking up tomorrow morning, get in a cup of coffee or tea, whatever you're drinking, getting your kids situated and open up your laptop, unleashing your creativity and ideas into freelance health writing. At the end of the 12 hour day, you and your friend probably made about the same amount of money, but in between, you are able to take care of yourself, time with your family, and become financially stable. That is why we started this program. You guys burnout Israel, and we want you to be able to move into something different and use your health mind to do it. Carol Bush and I are the hosts of this podcast are ready to support you guys through group coaching trainings, coworking sessions, and accountability. We have a waiting list right now and we would love for you to be a part of it. Just go to savvy scribe, Growthlab dot right? Like you're writing something, rn.net and we'll see you over there.
Adam:
34:34
That's a wrap for today's episode of the savvy scribe. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoy today's show, we'd love for you to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast, and until next time,
Speaker 4:
34:51
[inaudible].
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