The Innovative Way Margaret Johnson Attracts the Right Clients
Margaret Johnson, PhD, wanted clients to see her as innovative and professional—and to stand out in a sea of freelancers. So the freelance medical writer and editor developed a freelance brand and client-focused marketing messages.
Standing out is always important. But in the COVID-19 recession, when there’s less freelance work and more competition, standing out is a real competitive advantage.
Clients see freelancers like Margaret who have a brand as being more innovative and professional than other freelancers. And when clients contact Margaret, they’ll already understand what she does and how she can help them. So Margaret will be able to do less marketing.
An Innovative Brand for an Innovative Freelancer
Near the end of her first year as a freelancer Margaret developed her brand, just before she overhauled her website during Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve. The online course helps freelancers learn the most effective ways to target and reach the right clients.
Margaret had already narrowed her specialty within medical writing to medical education and research communications and defined her target markets: medical communications agencies, medical education agencies, and research organizations.
She developed marketing messages that would appeal to clients in these target markets, like “Accurate and timely services to support innovation in drugs and medical devices.” While other freelancers deliver accurate and timely services, by using this in her marketing messages, Margaret was positioning herself as different or better than other freelancers.
Margaret also had a business name, Mackenzie MedWrite. Having a good business name will help her stand out even more in a sea of freelancers.
Learn More About Choosing a Business Name
Preparing to Work with a Designer
Next, Margaret began thinking about her logo and doing research. “I thought about what messages I wanted the logo to communicate. I wanted my logo to be simple, clear and easily recognizable, and show what’s unique about me and my business,” she says. Margaret chose a bold and innovative tone of voice. Tone of voice expresses a company’s values, personality, and way of thinking.
Margaret reviewed other logos that she liked, and thought about why they were effective. She came up with several ideas and made some rough sketches.
Working with a Designer
Then Margaret searched online for web design companies in Victoria, British Columbia. She contacted three of the companies. “Seriously Creative stood out because their process was detailed and professional, and the price was appropriate,” she says. Margaret hired Seriously Creative to develop her logo and her website. She had a Zoom meeting with two of the designers to discuss her key message and the logo ideas and colors she liked, and for her website, the page organization she liked.
“Seriously Creative gave me a detailed quote showing what steps would be done, the order in which they would be done, and how much it would cost. That really impressed me because not only could I see what their process would be, I also saw they were organized and expert,” says Margaret.
The first round of concepts included 10 different ideas. These concepts used icons related to writing, medicine, or both. All of these concepts were in black. Here are a few examples.
Since Margaret was taking my course, I reviewed the concepts and gave her recommendations. Also, she asked other colleagues what they thought.
On round one of the concepts, I suggested adding color, and using the fonts in some concepts that were clear and easy to read. Some of the logos looked good on the concepts page but were too big to be legible in the small size used in the upper left corner of websites. Others were attractive scientifically, but not simple or impactful enough to work as a logo. So I made suggestions to revise them. And I suggested eliminating some ideas that didn’t quite work, like the images with the heart and lungs.
In discussing the first round of concepts, Margaret mentioned using a lightbulb as a symbol of innovation. I loved this idea and told her to ask her designers to use this in the next round of concepts.
Moving to Logo Design Rounds 2 and 3
Margaret narrowed down the concepts and her designers began round two. They built on some of the earlier concepts, adding more versions of them and creating four lightbulb concepts. Here are the revised versions of the earlier concepts.
Here are the original lightbulb concepts.
Margaret and I both liked the lightbulb logo that didn’t look like a brain the best. I thought that it was bright and cheerful and different than other logos of freelance medical writers. For the third round of concepts, I recommended that Margaret ask her designers to put the logo in the size that would be used on her website and business cards to make sure it was legible.
The concepts from round three included vertical and horizonal logos with the lightbulb, business card size logos (which is similar to website upper left corner size), and three options for color in the lightbulb.
Here are the vertical and horizontal logos.
Here are the three options for color. The differences are subtle, with just yellow in the first logo, a little red in the second logo, and more red in the third logo.
Creating an Innovative Logo
Once again, Margaret and I both liked the same concept best: the lightbulb with the red around the edges (the third logo). This logo works well online and on a business card and stationery.
“The lightbulb represents inspiration and innovation,” says Margaret. “The black, red, and yellow color scheme highlights my values for my business. The red and yellow express creativity and energy, the light bulb represents new ideas, and the black professionalism. The font is simple and modern.”
Margaret is using both versions of her logo on her website: the horizontal version for the upper left corner of all website pages and the vertical version as part of her key message on her home page.
You can see Margaret’s logo here, but it looks better on her website.
About Margaret and Mackenzie MedWrite
Mackenzie MedWrite helps medical communications agencies, medical education agencies, research organizations, and other clients communicate with healthcare professionals and other professional audiences, so they can innovate or help their clients innovate. Margaret specializes in medical/scientific writing and editing, and medical education materials for healthcare professionals.
Course in Freelance Marketing Helps Margaret Grow Her Business in the Recession
Margaret took my online course Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic and the recession that followed, she was able to start growing her freelance business, Mackenzie MedWrite.
Before working on her logo and website, Margaret defined her specialty within medical writing, and learned where to find prospects, and how to attract them by focusing on their needs. She also overhauled her LinkedIn profile.
“The course was fantastic. It not only met but exceeded everything I’d heard,” says Margaret. “My confidence increased greatly, like from 10% to 100%! Lori is a true expert who shares her knowledge generously.”
Recession-Proof Your Freelance BusinessLearn more about The Fearless Freelancer:
How to Thrive in the Recession.
Learn More About Margaret and Innovative Freelance Brands
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