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Pharmacy Residency Podcast

Feb 7, 2018

The Healthcare Marketing Network's Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is a nurse entrepreneur with experience as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and business coach who talks about the successful home based business. 

She helps solopreneurs / entrepreneurs with her proactive, diverse virtual assistant skills. She keeps executives and business owners organized, prioritized, and less stressed and helps develop automated systems for their work and work on the tasks that help move the business forward.      

She also helps the beginner or established writer build their freelance writing business like I did (from $o to 5 figures on a very part-time basis in one year). 

If you want to join the Healthcare Marketing Network Facebook Group Click Here 

If you want to join the Healthcare Marketing Network Membership Site Click Here 

Interested in Business Coaching for Writers? Click Here

Full Transcript


Welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. The Pharmacy Leaders Podcast is a member of the Pharmacy Podcast Network with interviews and advice on building your professional network, brand and a purposeful second income from students, residents and innovative professionals.

Welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast. Today I have Janine Kelbach and maybe Carole Bush will be joining us. They are both from the Healthcare Marketing Network; it's a vibrant global community of freelance healthcare writers, authors and communication creatives. I wanted to bring them on to talk about another possible source of income for pharmacists and health professionals.

So Janine welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast.

Thank you Tony.

Well I had you on an earlier episode on the Pharmacy Future Leaders and I wanted to bring you back in because what's happening now is we're going to have a lot of pharmacy people that are graduating and there're going to be, a number of them are going to graduate with some enormous debt loads and they're really going to want to accelerate paying down their debt but also it, there's a good feeling with having an additional income as not just having one revenue stream. Can you first tell us a little bit about how you combined the variable income of writing with your job as a nurse?

Okay sure, I started nursing back in 2006 and I was working full-time and then a lot of nurses we worked 12-hour shifts, so we work like three days a week. A lot of us end up getting PRN jobs. So I was doing a PRN job meaning, you know, a job that you don't always work and, you know, it's kind of on the side. I was doing that for a little while but then I really enjoyed writing and I researched it a little bit more and realized that freelance writing ways a career for people and that you could do it as a PRN job. So it gave me the flexibility and a little bit of freedom out of the hospital and to be home with the kids. So that's kind of how I got started and that's how, that's what I really like, it's very nice not to have to put all my eggs in one basket if you will.

Well but before people hang up on us when you say I like writing and they immediately say well I don't like writing. And I think there's a misconception that you have to have three degrees in English along with your nursing degree to be a writer. Can you tell me a little bit about your background in writing or lack of background and then how you kind of became a writer kind of by doing?

So that's exactly the lack of background is where I come from. I enjoyed writing and when I say that I don't like technical writing, I don't like, I used to like writing like poetry and stuff in high school way back then and then I just enjoyed writing in general. I liked communicating with people that way and teaching. I really enjoy teaching patients and teaching fellow nurses and presetting and that kind of got me started into writing in general. It was more patient education things and I specialized in labor and delivery so it was a lot of pregnancy and women's health topics which are very enjoyable for me to write about.

So this is really just writing about what, you know, it's not.


It's not, you might do some research but you're not doing MLA style or APA style and going and getting all of these sources and kind of making up your own thing. Who tells you what to write or how do you get to write what you want to write?

So it kind of depends on the client that you land in a sense. Like recently, I wrote an article for a local magazine around, here I'm from Cleveland Ohio so in Northeast Ohio is called Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine and I found the editor, online, it was a quick search and I saw the magazine out in the community and I was like oh, you don't think cool look write for this and I submitted a couple what we call pitches and the pitches which okay, when I was first writing I was like, I don't even know what a pitch is because I'm not a writer, right? So, I had to like research that a little bit in the beginning but basically what pitch is is a few sentences about a topic you'd like to write about. So something, you know, about what to expect when you have a c-section, you know, what people, what the nurses want you to know because a lot of people don't know that. So, I pitch this idea to the editor and she liked the idea and she may or may not have, you know, given me more to write about but I said, you know, here's ten tips I think would be helpful and then she said go ahead and write up. So they, and I said well do you pay your contributing writers, oh yeah, we pay. So then, you know, that's how it becomes an income stream and it was very, it was very fun to write and it's just a cool way to use your brain outside of the hospital.

So a big issue I think is after we kind of get out of nursing school, pharmacy school, medical school we kind of go to get our job and we lose our community that we had all through those years. How have you rebuilt a community around writing?

So when I was first starting writing I had no idea what I was doing because like I said I didn’t even know what a pitch was. So when I was searching healthcare writers, the same kind of people kept coming around my feed and in the Google search that I did and one of those people was my friend Carole Bush and this was well I'm into my career a little bit. I started officially writing in 2015 as my business but I met with her in 2016 on August and I actually found her on Twitter and we connected over on LinkedIn. So those social communities online is kind of where I found my little tribe. Now I have people from all over but one of my friends are in Alaska, we got people in New Jersey, Pennsylvania next door to me, you know, from Ohio but you do, you kind of find people and we're so, everybody that I've ever networks with in a sense has been so gracious with information. So they have helped me take that next step and a lot of those people that I've met in that community have taken me to my next level in my business.

So tell me a little bit about the first community and then the healthcare marketing community because there was some kind of transition there.

Okay so, we started the Healthcare Writers Network. We started that as a Facebook group, free Facebook group for anybody who was interested as a beginner writer like me who didn't know what pitch was to the elite writer who's been writing for years and years and this might be their full-time job. And we would just kind of, when I was talking to Carol I guess I back in 2016, she was telling me this vision that she had and I was so happy to hear it. I was like oh my gosh, that would have been amazing if I had that back when I started this because it was a lot of Google searching and I didn't even realize that people could do this as a career. So when I was talking to her I was like we got to make this happen. So December of 2016, we did a webinar and we launched the Facebook group and within a day we had over 200 members and then it's just been growing ever since. We grew that from the 200 members to I think we're over 300 now but it was a slow growth, you know, after that but we really have some good people in there and knowledgeable writers. It's a great place.

So that was your first kind of group and then you made a transition.

Yes, so in June we decided, you know what let's, we know we had this vision but we didn't make a live until June and this was the Healthcare Marketing Network and this is the community of the freelance writers, the authors and creators that come together and inside though that's a membership group and inside the membership we give there's interview, there's free courses, there's everything anybody could want in writing in one place.

So what about, so let's say somebody joins this group should they have the expectation that they're going to get all kinds of gigs right away or are they getting support for the ones that they're in? I just want to make sure I'm clear on what you would get or what they wouldn't get.

So we're not a job board there's many job boards out there. The problem, job boards are great I mean those are great places to get jobs it's, you know, indeed is one of those places, that's a big job board for regular any anybody out there, there's a whole bunch of them. There's paid ones, now the problem with those is they're flooded, they're flooded with so many writers and so many people in this sea are going for one job. The difference and there's also, you know, there's other ways you can get jobs as a freelance writer, you can pitch editors like I did and you're just hoping to hear back and then when they do hear back, you know, a lot of people, people are cheap they don't want to pay for things they don't want, you know, everybody doesn't want to pay a lot of money they don't have to. So writers aren't getting the wages they need through our community, it's not a job board like I said you're not going to get a job every day but there are gigs on there that we call them and there are through companies that Carol actually does a lot of the research behind the company, does the contracting with Janet and that's another person in our like tribe of four of us and together they come up with proposals and our writers get paid pretty well for what they write.

Yeah so maybe we could introduce those other people and tell me a little bit about each of them. So just if somebody doesn't know who they are, so let's start with Carol Bush.

So Carol Bush, she's also called the social nurse. She started her company as the social nurse, it's a blog you can it's like the number one thing on Google that comes up when you search like social healthcare, I think and she, I call her the connector in our group. She is, she has a resource for everyone and everything so I mean that's probably how you even got connected with her is through.

Yeah, yeah she's like oh you should get connected too I think maybe Janine, no not Janine but yeah so I got connected and then I'm like who's Janine because the first time I went into the group there you were but she was basically just connecting. So that's that.

She is, she's such the connector. I tell her that all the time and then, you know, and a lot of a lot of writers, a lot of creative people, artists and stuff a lot of people are introverted and she is totally not. She's like the total opposite of an introvert. So she's like the total connector, the networker, the pitcher, like she's just amazing with that and then there's Janet in our group she hosts a podcast, get social health is hers but she is not a nurse and she is not working health care per se but she's our marketing like.

And that's her background like her total background is marketing, yeah.

Yeah she's amazing she's.

Who's your fourth? I don’t, who is your fourth?

So the other one is Katie, Katie Bush which is actually Carol's daughter in law and she's our like editor, she did a lot of graphics for our website and she's just kind of like a background person as well. Kind of like me in our group like I help them just we stay account, I keep everybody productive, I keep projects going and everything kind of behind the scenes. So Katie and I do a lot of that kind of work and then Jana and Carol are like the leads on the connections and sales and whatnot.

Okay, well let's talk a little bit about how you keep a group going. So it's easy enough to open up a Facebook group, it says create group but engaging that group and on a regular basis is a little bit tough. Do you have, can you talk a little bit about your schedule, the freelance fright or the Friday's, the Sundays and what you do each week to kind of make each day a way for somebody to connect with others and it's not every day you put something up but it's regular.

Well and then that's what's cool about the group is that the days that we're not posting someone else usually is. Which is that's what you want in a Facebook group is engagement. So I feel like we have very engaged people. People are always posting resources or something they learn or questions and that's why we're there. So what I do, freelance Fridays we did that for a while and it's because again we're all, freelancing can be if it's your sole thing it can be very lonely and when we were talking about just what can we do in the Facebook group. I said why don't we do like a freelance Friday so, you know, when you're, a lot of people out there after their office job on a Friday they go out for a drink with a friend or the group and then they come home and that's the end of the day and everything's great and so we could do freelance Friday and they can have like a little educational session or it doesn't even have to be and everybody has their beverage of choice and, you know, we go live on video and people start typing in whatever they want to type in and everybody enjoy that, it's a lot of fun. Then we have our social Sundays which we call social Sunday's and those are, everybody shares what they've done in the past week and then people ideal are going to go on and share and love the content that everybody else did. And then I bring all that stuff over to a newsletter that people get in their inbox and can kind of keep up with community because it does, you know, time flies, life flies and so that's my new thing on Fridays is I'm putting in there like what's coming up the next week so people can black off their calendar when you're a member in the community we have office hours with Carol and she brings in different guests and provides different stuff. And then we have our content calendar that has the blog postings and stuff and we try to do like live videos that kind of go along with the blog posts to kind of keep it relevant and so there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff that we do.

And I know that something just happened with Facebook I don't know how much you know about it. I don't necessarily know I can't call myself an expert on it but my understanding is that Facebook is basically saying if your content doesn't get engagement it's going to get ignored or in the feeds or something like that, like the business feeds. So tell me a little bit about how engaged this group is, do you see not only likes but likes and comments and those kinds of things, what kind of advice is this group giving to each other?

So something else we're kind of trialing right now is called a mastermind group. A lot of people know what they are and a lot of people don't know what they are and we're trialing that right now to open it up to more people and that group is an is like a side group of Facebook and we help each other grow our businesses. So once you have an established business, you know, you might look for a little more help and so I would say the Facebook community's more for a beginner writer but there's so much knowledge in there that if someone just has a quick question they're going to get responses. We don't have, some of those Facebook groups out there have 14,000 members. So the engagement compared to those probably isn't as high but we try if you were to post a question right now you'd have an answer at least by, you know, tonight or tomorrow from anybody because we have a, you know, if it's not me, it's Carol or Janet or Katie that would even respond. So I feel like we have engagement but, you know, compared to those large groups probably not as flooded.

Oh it's not good to compare. So it's, but you're going to know each other on first name basis and you're going to be reading each other's stuff and when 14,000 people say here, read my stuff, it's just too much.

Yeah and you do, like our group is big but it's not too big like you really start to get to know a lot of people.

Yeah, well tell me a little bit about how someone would get in touch with you guys, what's the best way for them to contact you to kind of see if this is something they want to do?

So two things, definitely the Facebook group you can start just under your Facebook you just search for Health Care Marketing Network and it will say closed group, we do have you answer questions before you come in only because of spam people we've had in the past and then our website, if you're looking to just become a member.

Okay, great and then if they wanted to contact you what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

So best way for me, LinkedIn is a good place to start and then my email or my website is and its write like you're writing in a paper.



Well I do want to take a little time to talk about what you do though because you don't just write you've, you do some coaching. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

So my coaching, I started last year and we, I opened it as there were a couple, a couple ways I wanted to just get some interest and I had people apply to have services from coaching and I had three winners and we had packages and whatever. But I helped the beginner coach or the beginner writer who wants to grow a business and how to start and how to even navigate it at all. I've had from the person who has no idea where to start doesn't, to the people that want, already know what they want to do and they just need help doing the website. So it kind of ranges on the people that I get but a lot of them are from our group.

But it just sounds like those are two different options for someone that's thinking about writing. You can either have one-to-one with you or you can be part of a group and kind of try things out with the health care marketing group, right?

Yeah, yeah definitely and then beyond that like I said we are trialing these mastermind groups and so far so good we are probably going to launch one in the Facebook community later this year. Probably before summer just to see, you know, those who have things kind of going already and don't, you know, going from me to a mastermind group would probably be the next step because if you feel like you already got a couple clients and you just don't know where to look next you're looking to grow that's where a mastermind group comes in and then the Facebook community is more just of like I have a quick question we have, I call them the lurkers. We have a lot of people that are there just kind of watching a little bit. This is something they really want to get into.

Yeah, yeah.

But my advice is just try it out and you'll be surprised.

Yeah, no and I'm in podcasters paradise which is a closed group and we've got similar things and the one thing that I really liked was that we can also connect in either a group of two or three and I find that those, that even smaller group they say the bigger your group gets the smaller you have to get which may seem counterintuitive at first but that, you know, as the group grows then you're going to have to get into maybe smaller groups where you can support each other based on interests and things like that. Well Janine I know you're really busy so I definitely appreciate you taking the time to be on the podcast.

Absolutely, thank you so much.

Support for this episode comes from Goodnight Pharmacology, 350 brand and generic name drugs with classifications. A leading resource for students in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Print, eBook and audio book available on Audible, iTunes and Thank you for listening to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. Be sure to share the show with a hashtag hash pharmacy leaders.