Greetings, Lovely Rodinhooders!
I am back, not with more lessons from Minion Rush, but to showcase my startup and to share my magical journey with you.
Ingenious Aces (IA) is my 18-month-old brainchild, established in order to cater to the one glaring need that every business owner has: quality content. Yes, IA is a startup that promises to fulfill your content needs smartly. Your burden is our passion. So, bring it on! 😉
During my days as a freelance writer, I noticed the conspicuous problem of quality content. I saw agencies struggle to find good writers at a price that they could afford. It is sad that we are still lagging behind in this aspect. It hurt to see how many employers on oDesk and other such sites specifically mentioned: “NO INDIANS,” “SOUTH ASIANS DO NOT APPLY,” or “INDIANS AND PAKISTANIS ARE NOT ALLOWED.” Though we have superfluous talent in all sectors, we are miles short in communication and whether we like it or not, English is a global language. The Internet unites us as ONE world and English is the language we use to connect. Thus, I am totally against the pessimists who say that we should care more about our local/national languages. If we want to strengthen our ties abroad, we must have one language that unites us all. English does that! We have many English-speakers across the country. It is just that most of us can’t articulate our words and those of us who can do not have the platform to make a living out of it. I erected IA with an aspiration to bridge this gap.
IA doesn’t just have a strong team of writers but it also trains and nurtures those who are passionate about writing. At the same time, it provides high quality content solutions to all those in need. Trust me when I say this, I feel your pain. I know how difficult it is for businesses to find a platform that doesn’t get onto their nerves through scams or fake promises. IA is all about high quality (no keyword stuffing), hand-written (no spinning nonsense!), ORIGINAL content (includes website content, promotional content, formal content, blogging, and creative writing.)
Running The Show Single-Handedly
I started freelancing when I was doing my masters. I planned out my business strategy at the age of 23 and I was the proud owner of an OPC soon afterwards. I am the solitary reaper (LOL) behind the scenes with guidance from my brother and some other experts who keep my motor running. I have absolutely no funding. I don’t have an office. I don’t have full-time employees. I paid off all the expenses for registration, website development, Internet, et cetera from the money I saved while freelancing. I work from home and handle a handful of freelance employees. (I aim to rent an office soon and expand sizeably, of course.) Needless to say, I take care of most of the work myself while grooming my freelancers and while helping them understand the world of content. 18 months later, I am writing this, proud of the fact that my startup is sustainable and is doing very well. My clients are happy and I have retained almost every single one of them.
Marketing Without Spending A Dime
I haven’t spent a penny on marketing yet. Despite that, I have successfully completed more than 100 orders. This is my answer to everyone who says marketing is key and that it takes money to make money. I used Facebook to spread the word about my startup. I posted in relevant groups and bam, I had about 10 clients right there. I realized that the need for quality content was graver and stronger than I anticipated. My prices were very low (and are still considerably low) and they were all ready to try me out based on the samples I provided. There was no looking back after that. I posted only a couple of times more and got so busy with my existing clients that I couldn’t use the strategy again. Nonetheless, my client base increased steadily. How?
Make your existing customers happy and they will be your BEST marketers. Inadvertently, my clients turned into my marketers. They referred me to other businesses they were associated with and I am running a profitable business today without pinching my pocket.
I’ll share something that made me giggle here because this happened more than twice: an employee who left his job and joined another business recommended IA’s services to his new boss. I retained my old client and got a new one! :’D
I speak from experience, friends. Quality matters THE most.
The Curse of Being Short, Thin, and Cute
We live in a judgmental world. People judge us by the way we look and I look like a 16-year-old. Thankfully, my voice is lady-like and that makes people take me seriously on the phone. When they meet me, though, it is a different ball game!
I got a taste of this in my first meeting itself. I was to visit the office and the co-founder was to meet me. On the phone, he was respectful and nice. When I met him in person and smiled, he blinked and asked me what I wanted. I introduced myself and his forehead creased in shock. “You are Kritika? You are the one I spoke to?” I forced another smile and said, “yes.” “I expected someone older and experienced when you said ‘Founder’. I decided to let that taunt slip. So, we were seated in his cabin and immediately – IMMEDIATELY – he started trying to dominate. He spoke in broken English but was trying to teach me how writing works. I listened patiently and when he was finished, I started talking. It was then that he understood I knew what I was doing and that he couldn’t daunt me or walk all over me. He didn’t give up, though. He haggled profusely with the costing system, though he knew I was asking peanuts and he was extremely offended when I addressed him by his name. What? Just because he is older I am supposed to call him ‘sir’? Respect should be earned, not demanded because of age. For me, sir and madam are highly prestigious titles and I don’t give them away easily no matter how old someone may be.
Lesson 1: It is WRONG to judge people. Period.
Lesson 2: Let your work and knowledge do the talking. It shuts people up splendidly!
Lesson 3: Do not demand respect. Show that you are worthy of it.
The Gratification Moments
Through working for over 16 hours a day, taking no breaks, having to hear clingy clients go on and go, dealing with perverts (seriously), getting rid of spam from the public email ID (Geez), and taking taunts, I have found many moments of gratification. Unspeakable happiness is when a praises your work, when he refers you because you are so good, and when your good work manages to make him come back for more. You experience happiness at an even higher level when you make your mentor (my brother), your friends, and your family PROUD! These feelings make everything WORTH IT!
Lesson: MAKE A LIVING OUT OF YOUR PASSION!
I plan on expanding my services to encompass digital marketing but until then, IA is all about QUALITY CONTENT and web design on the side!
My LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kritikaponia
My Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/writingwiz
My Twitter Handle: @kritikaponia
Before I leave, let me just throw in another Minion Rush lesson here: You’ll find a number of juicy distractions on the way. FOCUS on your goal! Those of you who think I lost my marbles, you might want to read my debut post on TheRodinhoods.