Meet Marlene Srdic, owner of Glitz & Grammar! She creates stylish copy for stylish brands, specifically, ghost blogging and copywriting for entrepreneurs with a fashion, beauty, bridal or luxury lifestyle business. She's been in business for roughly six years. She live in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband and their two-year-old son.
How Did You Get Started In Your Industry?
I always knew I wanted to be a magazine editor and took a pretty traditional route: I studied journalism in college, freelanced for magazines and got an editorial internship my Senior year. Shortly after graduation, I landed a job as an editor at one of the largest luxury lifestyle magazines in Arizona where I eventually become the Style Editor. It was an amazing experience, but the economy crashed and magazines slowly started to wither away, which is when my first foray into freelancing happened. I hadn't planned on working for myself but I survived a good year freelancing for magazines and online blogs, including my own fashion blog. After a year or so, I went back to a regular 9-5 but my heart wasn't in it; I really missed writing for glossies and the variety I had working for myself. This time, I made a plan to quit and support myself solo full-time. A PR rep who was familiar with my magazine work approached me about blogging for a local shoe store, that's when I started thinking about all the business owners I knew in my industry (fashion, beauty, bridal, luxury lifestyle) who might need help with their blogs and copywriting. I still am a magazine editor and freelance journalist today, but the other side of my business, Glitz & Grammar, is focused on ghost blogging and copywriting for small biz owners and I love that I get to mix the two. I get to approach blogging and copywriting from an editorial perspective and bring in my expertise about what really resonates with a luxury lifestyle audience to help small business owners grow their brands. And they're all super happy to not just hire any writer, but hire a writer who understands style.
What Do You Wish You Had Known When You Were Just Starting Your Business?
It's really important to diversify your income streams, this was my very first lesson learned. Whether it's affiliate income, passive income or just a variety of product/service offerings at different price points, it's easier to grow your business when you look at your income as pieces of a pie.
What Has Been The Most Effective Strategy For Gaining New Clients?
For me, it's been referrals with those in complementing industries. It's natural for someone who is hiring a graphic designer to need a copywriter. Likewise, I get a lot of clients who are seeking out a graphic designer or a social media person. It's important to make friends and relationships with other business owners so you can help each other grow!
What has been the best part of running your own business?
Flexibility. I love that I can take two weeks off during the holidays, 2-3 in the summer or a three-day weekend if I choose. In a way, it's harder because there isn't anyone to cover your shift, but having that freedom is the trade-off. Now that I have a toddler, it's become even more important to have that flexibility so I can be there for my family--I know he'll be little only for a moment! And I want to savor it. I'm not in business to make millions or get rich quick; I do it to support the lifestyle I want and to help other business owners support theirs.
What has been the most difficult part of running your own business?
It can be lonely. I write so I'm not doing a lot of meetings or phone calls and I work from home, so sometimes it's just me and the computer for hours. It's nice to have people to bounce ideas off of as well, which just isn't the same online as it is in person. Sometimes my husband gets home from work and I'm like "Hey! A grown up! Talk to me!" Hah.
What advice would you give to someone else starting a business?
Don't get stuck in learning mode, at some point you have to trust your gut and just get going! There is so much information out there that it's easy to keep signing up for the next newsletter and freebie and get overloaded, but this is all pointless if you don't apply the lessons you've learned and just start. It's scary, yes, but everyone has value to share and there's someone out there looking for your wisdom!
Anything else you would like readers to know about you, your business, or being a small business owner in general?
My favorite quote is "Comparison is the thief of joy" because it's so true. There is so much perfectly curated content online and so much noise that it can be overwhelming. I know it definitely happens to me at times. But this isn't good. There's room for everyone and if you find yourself getting sucked in by the overwhelm or comparing yourself, just unplug. We all have to start somewhere. Don't fall for those "Make $100k in 30 days" traps. It takes time, patience and a lot of hard work.