The Future-Proof Freelancer series explores ways in which freelance creatives can ensure career longevity. From improving accessibility and inclusivity to exploring AI copywriting assistants and more, this series will cover some of the skills freelancers should learn today to stay competitive in the marketplace of tomorrow.
In 2021, freelance content writer Mary Tindall got her first HealthTech client, Halo Health. The brand, a cloud-based messaging application for healthcare professionals and institutions, hired her to write a series of articles.
Just one year later, 40 percent of Tindall’s work is in the HealthTech arena.
She’s not alone. In 2022, HealthTech is on the rise. The industry boom has been at least partially propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting adoption of tools like telehealth, app-based therapy, and other health-focused digital services.
With the industry’s crescendo comes an appetite for content. According to a 2021 Healthcare Technology Marketing Survey, 39 percent of HealthTech companies’ marketing budgets increased from 2020 to 2021. The survey also found that content was the second-most commonly used marketing tactic, utilized by 80 percent of respondents (email marketing, at 88 percent, was first).
Read on to learn more about creative opportunities in this emerging niche—and how to break in.
What is HealthTech, anyway?
There’s a subtle difference between “health” and “HealthTech” content, explained Tindall. While health content encompasses a large umbrella of topics pertaining to medicine and healthcare, HealthTech often requires a basic understanding of things like artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other emerging technologies.
“HealthTech content includes aspects of both consumer and B2B content,” Tindall elaborated. On the consumer side, writers might pen pieces about digital health services, wearables, apps, telehealth, or tech platforms. On the B2B side, companies might assign articles about pharmaceutical logistics, navigating the insurance landscape, or customer relationship management (CRM).
“Whitepapers and thought leadership content is in especially high demand.”
HealthTech companies range from startups to established brands. A few that are producing impressive content right now include Change Healthcare, Omnicell, Tango Health, WebPT, ObvioHealth, Buoy, and Halo Health. One example of an effective article is this blog post from WebPT: It starts with an engaging, conversational lede, and it provides useful information to prospects while subtly showcasing the platform’s benefits.
HealthTech content is hot
Learning the ins and outs of the industry may be well worth the time investment for freelancers—it doesn’t look like HealthTech is slowing down anytime soon. “We forecast continued growth in the industry,” said Lauren Goodman, senior insight director of The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
Growing HealthTech companies are looking for all kinds of content creation, from ebooks to blog posts to website copy. “Whitepapers and thought leadership content is in especially high demand as hospital executives focus on data-driven insights, and as health technology vendors/suppliers want to stand out from the competition,” Goodman said.
Tindall typically writes longform articles and “buyer journey” content for her HealthTech clients. “While blog posts and thought leadership content will always be necessary, salespeople will continue to push for ‘buyer journey’ content that shows data and results, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, which can help [with conversions],” Tindall said.
And while she hasn’t personally had requests for video scripts in the HealthTech industry, Tindall expects demand for explainer videos, especially for highly technical products, to increase in the future.
How freelancers can break into HealthTech
Want to become a HealthTech content specialist? Having experience working with healthcare brands helps. Before Tindall was a freelancer, she worked with hospital systems and agencies focused on healthcare clients. “I was already familiar with health industry trends,” she said. “So, when I spoke with my first potential client, I came across as knowledgeable and confident—even without a lot of HealthTech writing experience.”
Networking with other freelancers has also led to opportunities for Tindall. Last year, an acquaintance from a writers’ Facebook group reached out, offering an introduction to a HealthTech client she needed to pass up. “[My contact] was about to start a full-time position, and she knew I wrote about healthcare, so it was a win-win situation,” Tindall said.
KJ Bannan, a content writer, editor, and webinar moderator, agreed with Tindall that a strong network often pays off when trying to break into a new niche like HealthTech. If you’re a member of freelancer groups or networks, make sure you’re actively engaged. “Offer congratulations, business tips, information, suggestions, and referrals before expecting anything in return,” Bannan said. “When you least expect it, you’ll get referrals, because what goes around comes around.”
Bannan also suggested checking out full-time job notifications for HealthTech companies on LinkedIn. Often, these brands need content written ASAP and will be open to collaborating with a freelancer, at least in the interim until they make their full-time hires. Make a good first impression, and you might become a regular contributor to their content team.
Check out full-time job notifications for HealthTech companies on LinkedIn. Often, these brands need content written ASAP.
Finally, she noted it’s worth checking awards lists like the Inc. 5000 to find HealthTech companies in your area. Once you’ve found a couple that pique your interest, write a letter of introduction (LOI) and send it through LinkedIn’s message function. “You can make your introduction stand out by researching the company and reading [their] content,” Bannan said. “Then, mention something you’ve read that you genuinely enjoyed—or offer a story idea that complements what they’re already doing.”
While experience helps, it’s not always necessary to have written something industry-specific in order to land a HealthTech project. But Tindall shared a few skills that clients do expect you to have, including a willingness and ability to find authoritative, credible sources. HealthTech brands may expect freelancers to conduct interviews and interact with experts in an informed way—which means it’s important to have strong research capabilities. Finally, be prepared to tap into all your standard freelance skills, including project management, effective communication, and the ability to meet deadlines.
Even if you don’t have specific HealthTech clips to provide a prospective client, you can always send along other relevant work and spin it to suit the project at hand. For example, a case study you wrote for another industry can showcase your research skills. A thought leadership piece can highlight your interviewing abilities. And if you have experience writing about either health or technology, mention that, too.