Prerna Malik is a conversion-loving copywriter and content marketing strategist. She serves up wallet-wooing copy and content services to time-starved entrepreneurs worldwide. Owner of Content Bistro, she’s worked with over 350 clients worldwide including some of the biggest and best names in the industry, such as Amy Porterfield, Carrie Wilkerson, Bushra Azhar, Tsh Oxenreider, and others!
Find out how this blogger was able to turn her business into a global copywriting and content marketing agency.
When I met you in 2009, you were blogging over at The Mom Writes and also doing some freelance work. Tell us about how your entrepreneurial journey began.
My entrepreneurial journey as a freelance writer began when I started blogging, and businesses began reaching out asking to advertise on the site.
I, then, explored writing for content mills (yes!) and soon branched out into writing content and managing social media for clients who’d started reaching out to me via my blog, The Mom Writes, asking me to work with them.
Soon, through word-of-mouth referrals, I was blessed with a steady stream of writing and social media management clients.
In 2010, your husband, who was the primary breadwinner quit his job due to a chronic illness. How were you able to grow your business on a zero budget and take care of him and your daughter?
It was a challenge for sure.
Our business website was designed pro-bono by a friend, and we just jumped feet first into pitching clients and marketing our services.
We let the few clients that we had, know that we were going into business full-time, and we asked for referrals.
The only money we invested was in web hosting, and we put in “sweat equity” instead.
I was wildly protective of my time and learned how to manage to raise our daughter, who was about three years old at that point, and work on our business.
Simple yet effective time management strategies such as waking up early, batching my jobs, practicing focus, and saying ‘no’ truly helped me to “create” the time I needed to work on client projects, marketing, our home, and my husband’s health.
As I shared in my e-Course, Sweetly Blended, you don’t have to rack up credit card debt or lose your mind when starting a business and growing it.
It paid off because by our second year we were making enough to start investing 10% back into our business, and we’ve stuck to that since.
Do you have any special training?
Yes, my experience in the corporate world before my online entrepreneurship adventures was all about communication skills and training. That has been very helpful for designing result-oriented courses that are easy to implement too.
Not only that, but I’ve since amped up my copywriting skills with advanced courses by CopyHackers, Bushra Azhar, and Ray Edwards.
In 2016 you shut down your award-winning blog, The Mom Writes. How did you come to this decision?
It was a tough decision but one that we had to take because walking our talk about balancing life and work is super important to us. It was clear that we weren’t able to do that while trying to grow both Content Bistro and The Mom Writes.
Give us an example of how you landed one of your first clients.
While I landed my initial clients via The Mom Writes, when we started our business, I was marketing like a beast!
Warm email prospecting was – and still is – one of my favorite ways to find and land clients.
Our very first client signed us on in March 2011 after we pitched her via email.
You’ve worked with some high-profile clients like Bushra Azhar, Carrie Wilkerson, and Tsh Oxenreider. How were you able to land these deals?
Building relationships is one of our core business values, and that is how we’ve landed incredible industry leaders as clients.
Connecting with them, engaging with their content and being an active part of their communities has helped me to build strong relationships with them, and that makes it easy for them to say ‘yes’ to working with us.
How do you minimize income peaks and valleys?
Two words: Consistent marketing.
Whether it is blogging consistently, pitching and prospecting, or launching our own products and productized services, having a consistent marketing plan has played a HUGE role in helping us not only minimize income peaks and valleys but also grow our business immensely over the years.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities? Do you outsource any parts of your business?
We have a small, virtual team and yes, I now outsource quite a bit – bookkeeping, graphic design, administrative tasks, editing, and proofreading are all outsourced to our team.
Since the business has grown so much, we now also have help at home – a cleaning lady and a cook.
Today you and your husband run a six-figure business. What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own online business?
In one word: START.
Don’t overthink it.
Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
Don’t second-guess yourself.
You can do it without digging a debt-filled hole in your budget.
You can do it without traveling for conferences and events all over the world.
You can do it without a coach, a mastermind, or contacts in high places.
You can do it even if you’re a non-native English speaker living in India.
It’s what I did, and I don’t regret it one bit!
Thanks Prerna for sharing your story!