Starting A Side Business Offering Professional Writing Services
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Tyla and I am the proud owner of Tyla’s Writing Services. My business is a professional writing service that provides writing needs for businesses and professionals. Our professional services include resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation, and LinkedIn profiles. Some of our business services include business reports, transcription, website content, copywriting, and so much more. With a wide array of customers, I have the luxury of constantly working on something new in many different fields and subjects. As such, I am constantly learning something new which I truly enjoy.
Currently, my business is just getting started and we are averaging only an income of $1k a month. My goal is to build my customer base by connecting with professionals and small businesses that need help! Also, by providing each customer with customized and unique content, I feel most customers will come back if they’ve enjoyed their first experience.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I studied Computer Science and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in late 2018. During my studies and into my professional career, I have always loved applying my technical knowledge to writing documents and articles. As such, I have found a love for writing, just as much as I love new technologies, and configuring new systems. After finishing my Master’s Degree, I decided that I wanted to fully embrace both aspects of my passion, and pursue both writing and IT.
Engaging with your customers is one of the most important things you can do. You need to set aside time to simply talk to people and connect with them. What makes a small business unique is the customer gets to talk directly to the business owner or someone very close to them.
As such, in addition to my job as an Engineer, I established Tyla’s Writing Services. In the future, I hope that I can find a way to advance in both industries and create my own Technical Consulting firm as well, owning 2 businesses.
With writing, it’s fun and exciting to get behind my keyboard and devote myself to my work. If I am writing a resume, I fully devote myself to being John/Jane Doe. I sit there and write everything I would want an employer to know about me in the most elaborate and detailed way. Then, I put on my recruiter/hiring manager hat and change the resume or cover letter to meet the specifications from that perspective as well. In doing so, I finalize a resume that is professional, detailed, and impactful.
When writing a blog, or website, I take a very similar approach. I write what I want to learn, but then also write what I want to read. It’s a weird approach to many, but it simply works for me and I love it!
I am just an overall people person, and there’s nothing more fun than interacting with customers all over the world and talking to them via phone calls, emails, or texts to learn more about them or their brand, and help them reach their personal goals. This is why I love my work and knew this was the right job for me.* *As I continue to build my brand and build my customer base, my focus is on the people and their unique experiences and problems that they bring to me.
Take us through the process of designing and how did you launch it.
Before I could start with my first customer, I spent a lot of time prepping my backend work. This usually involves prepping excel documents for record-keeping, in-take forms, resume templates, and more. I started by creating a couple of templates for my basic resume, and another couple for a professional resume.
So how did I start? I simply sat down one day and said I want to start a business and help people. My motivation and drive simply handled the rest. Since I am not new to writing and have had tons of experience in the past, I already knew what I aspired to do. I didn’t need to even have a second thought that my mission would be to provide affordable and quality services to others. There’s nothing worst than needing help and not being able to afford them. However, of course, I have to be able to support myself, so I can’t give out my services for pennies. That same day I started a website, set up my social media accounts, and was on my way to growing my business.
With my initial startup costs, I bit the bullet and paid for those myself. Luckily, within a couple of weeks, I was able to make up all of my money back. Now, I am just hoping to start making a real profit and continue to grow my business and my brand.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I have always been great at websites and graphics, therefore I was able to get my website and social media platforms up and running shortly after I decided to launch my business. When I first started my business, I gained customers through marketing and advertisements. Now, I have slowed down advertising and have gained customers through word of mouth. As a result, this has saved me a lot of money by not having to spend as much on advertisements.
My main goal is to provide customers with such high-quality work that I am the only person they want to come back to. With resumes and cover letters, most people only need those every couple of months or maybe even years, so at this time in my business, it is hard to know how many customers I will retain.
From my experience, engaging with your customers is one of the most important things you can do. You need to set aside time to simply talk to people and connect with them. What makes a small business unique is the customer gets to talk directly to the business owner or someone very close to them.
Get out there and let people know what you do, and what you can do for them! Make yourself marketable and make yourself stand out.
Customers want to feel like they’re getting personalized service, not like they’re another number on your excel spreadsheet. With this in mind, I make sure to set aside “engagement” time, where I simply talk to people on social media or other platforms. Also, I like to connect with my customers and make sure I am meeting their goals and hopes, not simply completing their tasks and moving onto the next customer.
With my work with businesses, it is very easy to measure whether or not a business comes back and does business with me again. Only a couple of months into my work, I am still working on gathering these metrics and hopefully, in the future, I will have a lot more to say about how successful my methods have been. Until then, I will be finding my way in the world of writing and marketing.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My business is doing well and I am very happy with it since I am still new. However, I have set some goals for myself. In my first year, I am hoping to get my name out there and build my brand. My short term goals are to make at least $15-20k a year for my second and third year and to build a consistent profit from my business. During this time, I will learn about the field and what works for me and what doesn’t. Also, I will further refine my skills and develop new knowledge through training and courses.
My long term goal is to make a sustainable living from my business. So early in my business, I don’t have any particular metrics on what I would like to make, as I don’t know what is considered “Good/Great”.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
In building my business, I have encountered my biggest hurdles with marketing. Of course, you want to market and get your business out there, but at the same time, you also want to make a profit and marketing can make that difficult when you feel like you’re spending all your money marketing and buying materials. That is one of the things I am still hoping to find balance with.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
For my business, I used Squarespace to build my website. Squarespace is a great site and I have truly enjoyed my experience with them. They’re affordable, easy to use, and provide you with a great start. When seeking new gigs, I hope to find customers through word of mouth or freelance sites like Freelancer and Upwork. These sites allow you to connect with businesses and individuals looking to pick up a couple of free hands to help them with random tasks and assignments. Creating a profile is simple and easy!
For marketing, I market myself on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These are common platforms that allow me to communicate with many others consistently. Also, of course, they allow you to share content you think is pretty interesting or cool with your audience. I recently even created a LinkedIn profile, but I am still having difficulty gaining an audience on this platform.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
My business has been inspired by a few fellow professionals. When I need inspiration, I find myself sifting through YouTube for videos from other writers or freelancers who have been in my shoes. It’s great to hear about other people’s stories and their paths to success. It inspires me to keep going and find my niche. I try to watch at least 1 to 2 YouTube videos a week between my busy tasks. These people are not only inspirational, but they help me stay relevant and see what others are out there doing.
It’s easy to get caught in your little world, but your competitors are looking around to see who’s competing with them to help them do better and so should you! Learn from others’ mistakes and also learn from their successes. But most importantly, be unique and stand out from everyone else.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
As I have learned through getting my business started, the most important things are word of mouth. Get out there and let people know what you do, and what you can do for them! People seem to care less about you and your history, but more about why they should care and the impact you can have in their lives. As such, make yourself marketable and make yourself stand out.
Along the way, you may get discouraged or lose faith, but you simply need to get back on your feet and keep going. You have an audience out there somewhere and they’re simply waiting for your product!
Where can we go to learn more?
I would love to connect with other professionals or businesses. Please never hesitate to reach out to have a chat, book a service, or learn more about my journey.
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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