Hello everyone, today in the Leantale interview series we have Sravani Sundeep, founder of Apnawriter. Let me tell you a little bit about Apna writer. Apna Writer is a content writing agency that provides content for websites, blogs, emails, social media, advertisements, press releases, and a lot more.
Let’s talk to Sarvani about apna writer in more detail.
Tell me about yourself and the backstory of how you started your business?
Hi, my name is Sravani Sundeep, the Chief Executive Officer of Apna Writer. I always wanted to enter the world of entrepreneurship to make my dream of being my boss a reality.
With an engineering background, I started working as a freelance writer after my marriage. I could earn decent money, but I wasn’t happy. That’s when I realized how important my dream was to me. And that’s it. I stopped working for others and decided to start my venture.
But the next question was, “How and where to begin?” As I was working as a freelance writer, I could witness many loopholes in the industry. I saw a lack of a system that could bridge the gap between writers and publishers. So, I thought, “What if I bridge the gap between them?” And that’s how I began my journey of entrepreneurship with the launch of a content marketplace.
But it couldn’t run for a long time, and I had to shut it down despite four years of hard work. The reasons were, I offered too many options on my platform that confused my clients. I also failed to identify and connect talented writers with the publishers.
But I didn’t lose heart. I learned from my mistakes and bounced back strongly with the launch of Apna Writer, a content writing service provider for businesses and individuals.
What problems did you face as a woman while starting off as an entrepreneur?
As I started off on my journey, I didn’t face any obstacles because of my gender. But as I continued, I found it challenging to balance my personal and professional life. When you work in a service-providing industry, you have to be active most of the time communicating with your clients. But, as time passed, I learned time management, and it helped me to give my best.
What problems did you face while building your startup? And how did you overcome them?
When I decided to start my entrepreneurial journey, I had no idea about business management. But I didn’t let this lack of expertise become the barrier between me and my dream.
So, I gave my heart and soul to study every aspect of running an online business. I used my time and the internet to make myself ready for the adventurous journey of entrepreneurship.
But as I continued my business, I faced poor quality content being served to the publishers. This was because I didn’t screen the writers based on their writing skills. This cost me huge, and I failed to run my content marketplace.
Therefore, before I launched Apna Writer, I made a strategy to filter the writers so that we get to offer only quality work to our clients. Because if there is no quality in your offerings, you can not survive in the market.
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What are the things you wish you knew before starting your business?
I wish I knew that to make your business successful, you should prioritize your customers. You should focus on trust-building and customer satisfaction by solving their problems through your quality services.
When I started my journey, I focused on quantity rather than on quality. I gave them too many options on my platform, thinking that it would serve them better. I neglected the quality of services that were being offered. This made me fail. And that’s how I realized that, for any business, what matters the most is the quality of service you bring to the table.
How did you get your first customer for your business, and what are your major marketing strategies to bring more customers in the future?
After I got stuck with the idea of Apna Writer, I didn’t jump into starting the business right away. Instead, I took the help of social media to make people feel my presence. I focused on personal branding for myself and for Apna Writer by communicating with people, solving their problems, and converting them into our online community.
After making our mark online to a certain level, I approached a few businesses and explained our services. They saw our samples and got convinced that we could change their content game in this digital era. And that’s how I started taking the clients on board.
Regarding the marketing strategies, we haven’t explored the area of paid marketing yet. There are two reasons for it: We didn’t feel its requirement until now, because we could get clients through word of mouth. Another reason is; currently, we want to focus on customer satisfaction and provide quality content services to them.
I know that to enhance the business, you cannot rely on word-of-mouth marketing. Therefore, we have plans to incorporate direct response marketing to scale up our business.
There is a lot of competition in the content writing services market, especially in India. How do you differentiate yourself from other agencies?
Yes, I agree that there are many competitors in the market. But what makes Apna Writer stand out from the rest is our business values, ethics, and customer-centric approach.
When we get the client on board, we listen to their experience with the previous service providers, how they got delivered with substandard service, and how it cost them huge money and time. Similarly, we understand their requirements, explain our internal processes, and what they can expect from Apna Writer. So, that’s how WE LISTEN, WE UNDERSTAND, and WE SERVE our clients, with no compromise on quality.
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According to you, what could be the reasons behind the small percentage of women entrepreneurs in India?
I feel there is nothing that a woman can not achieve if she believes in herself, seeks guidance, and receives support from her loved ones.
In India, in my opinion, many women who desire to become entrepreneurs are lacking in these areas, and that’s why they cannot make it big. However, in recent times, India has generated many inspiring women who have carved their niche in the world of entrepreneurship.
It is a positive sign for us, and I hope many Indian women join the club of entrepreneurs and inspire the world.
What are the tools you use to manage your business?
We make use of a bunch of tools to manage our projects efficiently. Cloud-based free tools like Google Docs and Google Sheets top the list. We can plan, create, edit, comment, suggest, format, and finalize our content using these tools.
Another essential tool is Trello, which helps us track all the projects that we work on. Besides these, we use premium tools like Copyscape to ensure our work is plagiarism-free. Also, to edit and make our content error-free, we use Grammarly and ProWritingAid.
Are there any books you would like to recommend for people who want to start their entrepreneurial journey in content writing?
I would recommend two books by J. Sugarman – The Adweek Copywriting Handbook and Triggers. And a few websites like enchantingmarketing.com, copyblogger.com, and copyhackers.com. This will help you understand many aspects of content writing.
Have you noticed any change in yourself since you began your entrepreneurial journey?
I won’t deny that my entrepreneurial journey is a roller-coaster ride. But this journey has transformed me into a more confident, more hard-working, and more humble person and a business owner.
When I look back on my journey, I feel proud of myself. At the same time, it motivated me to work even harder to make Apna Writer the best in the industry for crafting content to connect businesses with their target prospects.
I hope you learned a lot from Sravani’s startup journey. If you find this interview useful, please share it with your friends over social media.