TCC Podcast #391: Six Figures and Still No Website with Alefiya Khoraki - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #391: Six Figures and Still No Website with Alefiya Khoraki

We’ve talked a lot about building your authority and finding clients on LinkedIn on this podcast. But I don’t think we’ve ever spoken with anyone who built a six-figure copywriting business entirely on that platform—without a website or any other social media presence. On the 391st episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, we spoke with Alefiya Khoraki who did exactly that. And if you’re looking for clients on LinkedIn, you’re definitely going to want to listen to this episode. Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.

Stuff to check out:

Sell Like Crazy by Sabri Suby
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground

Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh: After recording almost 400 episodes of this podcast—the official number 400 will be released in about 9 weeks and that doesn’t include several unnumbered bonus episodes we’ve recorded—but with that many interviews under out belts, it gets pretty easy to identify trends and shifts in the copywriting world based on what copywriters tell us about how they find clients, the services they offer and the struggles they go through. And one of the trends we’ve heard about over and overa again in the past year or more is how effective LinkedIn is for finding clients.

Hi, I’m Rob Marsh, one of the founders of The Copywriter Club. And on today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, my co-founder, Kira Hug, and I interviewed copywriter Alefiya Khoraki. She’s built a six figure business in less than a year, primarily by posting content on Linkedin and commenting on other content there. That’s pretty good for someone who got her start trying to raise $800 for a project while she was in school. 

But before we get to that, if you’ve been wondering how to use AI in your copywriting or content writing business, I’ve got something for you. A couple months ago i shared the way I use AI tools like Claude and ChatGPT to write bullets, headlines and subheads with the participants of a copywriting summit. It’s a simple google document with the exact prompt I use to write hundreds of great headlines and bullets in seconds. Plus instructions on how to go back and forth with the AI model you’re using to get even better results. You can even add a short ten-ish minute video training where I show you how i use it. If you’re new to writing with A.I., this is a great way to get started. And if you’ve been using A.I. for awhile, this training may open your eyes to what’s possible with a megaprompt. The document is free. And you can get it at

And with that, let’s go to our interview with Alefiya.

Kira Hug: Let’s kick off with your story. How did you end up as a copywriter?

Alefiya Khoraki: So it started in a very weird way. You probably hear this a lot from copywriters. Back in COVID, I started my bakery business because I was still in university and for the final year, we had a very special ceremony for which I needed to raise 800 USD. And I was like, OK, let’s try something. So every day I was trying new things. Let’s try selling cottage cheese one day. Let’s try selling this. Let’s try selling that. And then I ended up starting my own bakery because I was working. I was studying in the morning, so I had time for myself in the evenings. And then I started running Facebook ads for that. And I was like, oh wow, I really enjoy this part. 

I didn’t even know what copywriting is. I didn’t even know what A-B testing is. Because for my bakery business, that was the first time I downloaded the Instagram app. So I was very far off from the whole online marketing world. And then a lady was introduced to our community and she hosted a workshop. And there, she introduced me to Boss Babe. Boss Babe is Natalie Ellis and Danielle Canty. And they were doing a summit with Tony Robbins, Young Guys EOC, and all that. And then at that time, to learn all these marketing skills for my bakery business. And I was studying Sabri Suby’s book, Sell Like Crazy, and I was like, I really enjoy this. But I didn’t have the courage to quit my bakery business because people started calling me the brownie queen of Kampala. This was back in Africa. So I was doing all that, and I was really enjoying it. And then I had to travel to Pakistan for six months to my grandparents’ place. And I was like, oh, shucks. OK, now my pocket money’s stopped, and I need to do something. So what I did is I pitched, like, 50 bakery owners that, hey, let me be your bakery consultant, and let me help you grow your business. Nobody replied. And then I was like, OK, I’ve got to do something in this marketing thing. And somehow I came across Alex Cattoni’s YouTube channel. And I was like, OK, this is something called copywriting. And if I want to pursue marketing and I have to write for that, OK, maybe I was writing my Facebook ads. So how hard can this be? And that’s how I started writing on LinkedIn. And yeah, I became a LinkedIn ghostwriter. And that’s about it. And then things kept happening.

Rob Marsh: We’ll get to the “things kept happening” part in a second. I’m curious…  pitching a ton of potential clients, no responses, what did that pitch look like? And as those responses didn’t come in, did you make changes to your pitch or how did you adjust your approach?

Alefiya Khoraki: I don’t even remember. I didn’t even know it was called a pitch. It was sending random emails from my Gmail account. I don’t even know if I was searching the right email addresses and probably going to support. I didn’t even know there are tools built for scrapping email addresses. I’m a rookie who doesn’t have any idea about this whole online marketing world. And of course, many things change after that. Like currently, my biggest source of client acquisition is Pitching and LinkedIn, obviously. But I don’t even remember what those pitches were. Probably just sharing that, OK, I made this much money from my bakery business. And I was supposedly called. It was bullshit. So that’s what the responses I got.

Kira Hug: OK, do you have your baking business anymore? Or is it shut down? Or you ended it?

Alefiya Khoraki: It is shut down. I was doing this in Uganda where I had a whole monopoly for the bakery business. I was charging $200 for a brownie tray and my parents were like “you ripping people off.” I was like okay. My brother is a photographer so I had elite photography and very shitty packaging but the photography did the job. I had a nice Instagram page. I was looting people left, right, center. And I had like $300 cakes, $200 cakes. There’s no chance I can charge that much money in India now that I’m married and living in India. So that’s why I chose not to continue my bakery business here.

Kira Hug: Got it. OK, well, are there any other lessons from the bakery business that you have pulled into your copywriting and marketing business?

Alefiya Khoraki: Everything. Customer care, how to handle crises. I remember when I was charging this much money and then a lady called and said, “hey, I think you’re just too overrated.” And I could get these cookies for free or for cheaper from this XYZ bakery. And then I was like, OK, let me just return you and replace you with more cookies or I can just refund your money. And then she came in and she said, I’ve raised these complaints to many, many places, but I’ve never heard a response back. And that’s the same thing I carry back to my copywriting business. If a client is not satisfied, I will do everything in my control to make that client satisfied. If it calls for more free work, I’ll do that because it’s like my first year, right? I can afford to do that. If it calls for doing more… I remember one of my early clients said she was not happy with the tone of voice. Immediately I DM Justin Blackman to help me with this. I’m really terrified, send me a course. Let me do this in two days. I did that. I was like I told this client that I’m new and I just took this course, so let me just cover this and you won’t have a tone of voice complaint ever. So that’s the thing. I know many small entrepreneur lessons and people ask me how I’ve picked up so fast. It’s because I had this bakery business background of running an actual business.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, which helps for sure, right? So you grew pretty fast as you launched your business. If I’m not mistaken, you were having six and seven thousand dollar months in the first six months of your copywriting business. So going from bakery business to copywriter, how did you make that happen?

Alefiya Khoraki: So I was in Pakistan for six months, and that was the transition period where I was figuring out, OK, what do I want to do? Then I came to India, where I am today. Now my husband lives in India. And at that time, I forgot about the business. All the ambition went down the drain. It was the honeymoon period. And then my husband traveled to Saudi Arabia for 40 days. And I had nothing to do because I don’t have any family here. And I had to do something. I wanted to do something. So that’s when I started binging all the other copywriting stuff, and started writing on LinkedIn every single day. And I landed my first client for $30 within like three days. And then I started improvising and doing small things. But because I wrote those Facebook ads, I had the idea of copy and how to do A-B testing. I still remember when I used to launch those two campaigns, one campaign was how I catered men. I was targeting men and selling like, okay, treat your pregnant wives with a box of brownies and attracted lots of men from there. So at that time, I was not sure what I was doing, but when I find a winner from the campaign, what does it feel like? So I had those certain elements which I was bringing in and I was not doing copywriting per se, like when I started on LinkedIn. 

At that time the whole LinkedIn vibe was ghostwriting, ghostwriting, ghostwriting. So I just googled “what is ghostwriting?” and then I gobbled all that I could on LinkedIn and started offering ghostwriting services. So the thing which helped us scale, and then two months later I asked my husband to quit the family business and join us. So then we both combined. And there are certain challenges. We are not Prerna and Mayank. So there are certain challenges. And we had to figure a few things out—how do we work as husband and wife in the business? Which took us a year. And now we are good. But last year we did this. And the things which helped us keep getting clients on repeat was they were making good money from all the sales posts and case study posts we put out there.

Kira Hug: OK, so let’s back up a little bit. And I just need the timeline in my head. I know you made this shift. Would you say 2023 was your first year as a copywriter in business, or was it 2022?

Alefiya Khoraki: 2023 in June. And I was still in my graduation year, so I only worked for four or five months in 2023, because then exams came in, and final exams came in. And then I was like, OK, and now my exams are there. I can’t work on more projects.

Kira Hug: OK. Yeah, and I definitely want to touch on you working in combination with your husband, which is definitely interesting, tricky, and all those things, and also, I’m sure, magical and great. But first, let’s talk more about LinkedIn, because it sounds like you’ve really grown using LinkedIn. So I guess I’m wondering how you even decided, I’m going to go all in on LinkedIn. Were you experimenting with different social media platforms at first? Or was it just you chose that one and it took off because you were consistent?

Alefiya Khoraki: No, I was experimenting, of course. I have crappy design skills. So Instagram was off the charts. TikTok is banned in India. I tried Twitter when my whole family was prepping for my wedding. Choosing the dresses and all and that at that time I was busy figuring it out Twitter posting like 10 tweets a day and It didn’t just pick up. I had no traction and then the friend I have who has been constant with me for entire my bakery business and he just suggested that LinkedIn is a writer’s platform. You don’t need to have very good graphics and all that and you don’t need canvas skills. I was like, okay yeah, no canvas skills. I’ll do this. And then I started writing on LinkedIn. And yeah, it picked up. Within 30 days, I had people messaging me that they’re following me, my advice, more than they’re following Alex. I mean, some people are just nice, but then they started saying these things. And then I was like, okay. But at that time, the mistake I made was I had no idea what I was just writing about. So I started with what I started with is writing. I had a 30-day cold email challenge because I was fitting people. So I was just sharing, day one, do this tip. Day two, that’s how I started on LinkedIn. And I landed a cold email client who asked me to run some cold email campaigns for their marketing, their software development agency.

Kira Hug: OK, so just to dig in a bit more, then, what was working on LinkedIn? Again, other than you were showing up consistently, which I think is what most of us miss, is we just don’t do it frequently enough. We try it, and then we’re like, eh, it didn’t work. But were you tagging people? Were you sharing a specific style of post that started to pay off over time and attract clients?

Alefiya Khoraki: So there is a lot of advice around LinkedIn. And there’s a very simple formula, like write your about section as if you’re writing a landing page with a very strong headline, very strong conversion copy principles. And then just have a catalytic link in your feature section. This is like the basics when you’re starting. This is how I started out. And then you have like the biggest mistake I see everyone making on LinkedIn is not focusing a lot on formatting. And I know when we are writing in the flow and we are writing, it’s different from other writing platforms. Like how you write a page, how you write emails, you have to format your posts because that’s how it pushes more people towards your post. That’s how it picks up. However, like if you put long sentences, however good the copy, it does pick up. But then you have to build a very strong, engaged audience for it to pick up. So of course, formatting matters. And then the other thing which matters is being active, which I didn’t know about in the first one month or two months. And then someone shared that, OK, you have to treat LinkedIn like a job if you don’t have any other job right now, which I didn’t at that time. And do 50 comments a day and DM 10, 15 people every day and send 10, 15 connections, which is a lot to do. And it’s not sustainable. But at that time, I didn’t have anything. I was like, OK, they’re doing this. I’ll double that or triple that. And my husband wasn’t there, so I had nothing to do. So the whole day after my university classes finished, all I was doing was LinkedIn. DMing people, messaging people, writing comments. And when they read my comments, and then I brought the premium LinkedIn. When they showed up in my profile, I went in and said, hey, I noticed that you dropped by my profile, anything that caught your eye? Or, hey, I checked you dropped by my profile, what led you here? And some of them said, a future project. Or someone said, I like your comment. And then, or someone said that, I write how you put up your opinions. And that’s how that led conversations. And yeah, landed  the first 10 projects came from there.

Rob Marsh: And how have you continued to use LinkedIn? Do you still, so you said it wasn’t sustainable to do, you know, three times more work than the recommendation. And for most of us, that recommendation of a post every day and 50 comments, that even is difficult to sustain. So while we’re talking about LinkedIn, how are you using it today?

Alefiya Khoraki: I have someone who helps me a little, who helps me manage it because now it’s picked up so much that I can’t handle it. So that person helps me. Okay, these are the comments that you need to pay attention to. This is the person who’s checking your profile and maybe you need to lead this conversation forward. Now, these are the people in your DMs who might feel like future clients. And what most people fail to do is what I leveraged it. I knew I couldn’t be on more than one platform. It was just not possible. But I knew that not all my ideal clients are hanging around on LinkedIn. So I was active like kind of everywhere I could be and then leading all of them towards LinkedIn. Like if I’m reaching out to someone who is very active on, on Instagram and they’re my ideal client, it didn’t stop me from reaching out if I was not on Instagram. I started the conversation there or I pitched them and then drove, drove them towards LinkedIn. And I attract like everyone, even in the, in the cooperating circles, my ideal clients, my peers, every, I was driving everyone towards LinkedIn. and showing that, okay, I’m writing on LinkedIn, I’m an authority on LinkedIn. So many people are like, oh yeah, you’re not anywhere else and you’re on a scam because you’re so active on LinkedIn. Okay, you have these posts, you have people commenting on. So you can’t be a scam, who’s pitching us? Even though it was from a non-business email at that time when I was pitching people. This is like early 2020. I’m talking about June, July, August, September, 2023. Okay.

Rob Marsh: And so today, do you still post every day?

Alefiya Khoraki: Yeah, I post every day. Monday to Friday, sometimes Saturday, Sunday as well.

Rob Marsh: Okay.

Alefiya Khoraki: And how often? I use past posts as well right now. Like when I see winner posts, I post them every day. They go at 5.45 Indian time every single day. I try and at least respond to 15 comments by myself. I at least try and start two conversations every day, which is like very little from what the LinkedIn influencers recommend. But now that I’ve built relationships and the thing which I did was really early on in my business, like in early 2024. So I’ve never had a client drop, unless it was August last year, where we had taken a three month break because of my exams. And then I came in and then I have another story to share about going for a wrong program and that time in August and then I was like putting all this energy in the wrong program which was not which well I was not trusting myself and my client acquisition abilities and then that wrong program it was like a 40-day period but I was still getting clients from LinkedIn but I was not getting clients from the other client acquisition method which was shared in that program And then, so what I did in early, so December was the other time I had a client drawn, which was like 25 days. And my biggest quality which, between my husband and I, is I can land, if you give me a deadline, in 24 hours I can land a client. And I can do something, I can go on Facebook. I’ve done that in the past. And these 25 days, tried every single thing. Instagram, yes. LinkedIn, yes. Fast clients, yes. Nothing was happening, it’s just, I was like, OK, maybe I have to reconsider the whole copywriting thing. Will I ever get a client? I don’t know. And that’s when I pitched the biggest LinkedIn influencer. And LinkedIn has this whole thing where it has a favicon rating where they rate people. So you can say top one, top two, and then it’s like top UK. And then it has like overall the whole LinkedIn thing. So she’s the number one female creator on LinkedIn. according to those Faircom ratings. And she shared in her post that her current click-through rate for her launch was 6%. And then I had a case study where my click-through rate were like 49% or something like that. And then I pitched her, and I shared that screenshot in that pitch that, hey, I saw this, and this is something that I’ve been able to do in the past. And looking at your audience, I easily think that this is possible. And I think within six hours she’s like, let’s talk, let’s do this. And the thing I did was because I knew that how influential her name can be and how it will help me grow my confidence. So I was like, okay, you don’t pay me anything until we finish the project. So if this is successful, if we hit 150K with the launch, then only you pay me. We did. and then I could use her name to get more projects which wasn’t necessary but you know that sometimes there’s an internal confidence shift and a major shift internal confidence shift happened when I was in CSP as well so you know just being able to talk to Joy in person also made that okay now I’m between the elites and now I get to think like the elites So that’s the internal confidence shift also that happened that maybe led me to pitching this big influencer.

Kira Hug: Okay, so what could someone listening do to get that type of mindset shift? today because, I mean, the way you’re talking about pitching this influencer, you came in confident and with dropping a screenshot and saying, I feel confident I can increase your click-through rate. And I love that. It clearly worked. But I know so many copywriters would struggle with that level of confidence in their mindset and would probably never even do that. So what would you recommend they do? to channel that energy you’ve got, that mindset?

Alefiya Khoraki: I’ll tell you the truth. So the thing is, it doesn’t always work. I pitched a huge another name, top five Yahoo coaches. You know, you have those listings. It’s really nice. And even that was performance basis. But it didn’t work. But what happened is, I shared that sales pitch with a few potential clients, and they loved it so much, I got projects based on that. So if you have the rents and all sorted, and if you’re not really, really struggling financially, like what’s the worst that can happen? You don’t end up getting paid for two to three works of projects. Because this is like talking about my first year in business. Like if I would be three, four years in, I wouldn’t do all this. But since it was my first year, I needed those big names I could associate myself with. I said, OK, what’s the worst that can happen? And even after that project, maybe the client twisted a few things and maybe we didn’t, we did not, um, I did not have access to her data, which we could control at that time. And which was something I learned along the way that, okay, if I’m doing a performance basis, I should have access to all their data. And that’s how I went in, in the next project that, okay, I will have access to all your data. I will monitor this, I will do this. And then you just learn and there’s nothing to lose. So this pitch to this LinkedIn influencer, I literally wrote an invite I had written a pitch three months ago, which I never sent. And I said, OK, what’s the worst that can happen? Let me just send it. Maybe she’ll ignore it. Maybe she’ll reply. Whatever happens, happens. So there’s really nothing to lose when you think, like, the mindset you’re talking about. If they say yes, it’s a project. And then you work the hell off on that project. What I’ve even done is I’ve invested my money into the project as well, maybe getting another really successful copywriter and asking them, OK, can you run through the strategy? Can you run through the copy? And although I’m not getting paid for it, I’m still investing money, which even after maybe one failed project, it will lead to ROI in one. It’s just a hustle game. So you have to keep trying until you land a big fish. And then just this is how I don’t know how you believe that or not. One big client leads to 10 others because they have this huge network, huge influence. And maybe one small client doesn’t lead to many other clients. So it’s like you just have to amp up your game. That’s what I learned through this experience.

Rob Marsh: While we’re talking about mindset, let’s also talk about how you priced the work that you did, because a lot of people starting out, especially in Asia, where you live, tend to start out charging very low prices, sometimes pennies per word, sometimes ridiculously low prices that they really shouldn’t even be considering. there’s a mindset when you’re starting out, you have to charge less. You didn’t really do that or you quickly ramped up your pricing. Talk a little bit about that and the thinking around that. How did you justify that to yourself as you started to build your business?

Alefiya Khoraki: Okay. I’ll be very honest. I did the same. So my goal was, okay, I was earning X, Y, Z in the bakery business. And I was like, okay, how can I earn the similar thing in this new business? And it turns out, okay, $10 email, fine. Okay, that’s so much money. I just get $10 fighting a normal email. That’s good. Until you get into circles where people are talking about $500 for email. And then that’s where your business, your mindset shifts. So there’s an interesting story. When I started the business, I reached out to Iman Ismail to hire me. And then she was like, your copy game is not still there. This is like, very mid just like the first month of starting the business. And then I was like, I’ll reach out to you a year later and you’ll see where I am. So let me just put in everything I can so I can reach there. So at that time, I saw like what Eman charges. And then I was like, okay, who are the Asians who are crushing it currently? And Prerna came up, Esai came up, and Samar came up. And then I looked at their charges and they were charging a lot. Then I was like, okay, why can’t I? 

Then I looked at their work. Okay, okay. Now, if I have to amp up my work game, let me invest in it. And we invested a lot. Last year, I don’t think we’ve saved anything in the business. All what we earned went back into investing. Everything. We made some mistakes. Some programs were not worth it. But most of it was. I’ve heard about like the think tank and CSP and programs like this what it does even if it does not like if even if you’re not getting the coaching coaching like the the knowledge part what happens is just getting into a room with Kira or Joel or people like that it just makes you feel like okay now you’re you’re a big person like you’re you’re someone who as an authority you’re someone who is known in those circles Maybe the coach doesn’t see you that way, but it’s just internally, it shifts many things. Like, okay, now I can be friends with this influential person. I can be friends with this one. Now this person knows my name. Now this person is seeking out to you. I’m speaking with this person. 

So that just builds network, and that’s what helped me shift my mindset around pricing. Okay, if these other influential people who I admire, they can do so. So let me do, and then it’s, I was increasing price after every project, very slowly. So I started LinkedIn with $35 per post. Then it went to 45, then 55, then 75. The highest it went to was $150 per post. And then similar with emails. It started with like $25 per email, coming to 250 right now.

Kira Hug: Yeah, I mean, it seems an observation is what, some of the many things you’ve done well is relationships. boldly reaching out to people, building those relationships, and having the drive and the confidence to reach out and say, Okay, even if you’re not ready for me now, or you don’t think I’m good enough now, I’m going to come back and I will be good enough and just believing in yourself to know that you’ll circle back and they will want you. I love that on LinkedIn, You reach out to people who have checked out your profile. I don’t know if you do that, Rob. I’ve never done that. And I check out who’s checking out my profile all the time. And so now I think I might reach out to them and ask them your questions. What was the question you asked? Like, hey, do you see anything you like?

Rob Marsh: This is actually one of the ideas that we put in our Find Clients Now report that we’ve made free for everybody, is to use that check out, people checking you out. And when you’re checking each other out a couple of times, it’s a little bit like dating, right? It’s like, wait a second, that guy’s making eyes at me. Maybe we should be friends and start that relationship.

Kira Hug: Yeah, they’re looking at me. But I love that approach because it’s a great way to engage And they’re mostly going to respond. So I’m going to start doing that. Before we move away from LinkedIn, because I would just love to talk about the content you’re posting. You’re posting daily. How do you think about content? What advice do you have for all of us if we want to post more frequently, based off what’s worked for you or even what’s working today on LinkedIn?

Alefiya Khoraki: So as Jo says, everything is content, right? So we are tracking everything, all client results. And I was very open about everything going on in my business. If a client emailed me saying, this is the part I don’t like about your project, I would put that on there. And hardly anyone does that because everyone’s very busy showing off the results. And what helped that is whenever a client that a potential client who wanted to work with me reached out and said, you’re genuine. I know that all the results you’re posting up are not fake because you posted this thing. So one thing is sharing your story and all the ups and downs, where you’ve traveled, where you’ve been from, your I’m not an overshare. I would not share about my personal life or anything about my family or all this. Some people do that. And their whole entire content strategy is based off their personality, which can work. It very well does. 

My content strategy is not very heavily focused on personality-driven content. I’m not saying personality-driven in terms of writing. In terms of writing, yes. But I would not share about very intimate stuff. I’m not comfortable there. And the other thing is, we all have opinions. Sometimes I’m scrolling something on Instagram, and recently I wrote a post. I saw someone saying, there was a huge influencer. I really, really admire that. Maybe I mentioned them on the podcast. And they were launching this 2997 program. And as a bonus, they were selling a $97 sales page template. And it got me a little furious. How can you expect people to convert six-figure, seven-figure funnels based on a $97 template. So that was the idea that struck, and then I’m collecting these ideas, and then I wrote a post that if you expect to see great ROI from this, and that was the whole post. So whenever I’m reading something, it triggers my attention, that goes into the content folder. Then all case studies must, must, must have to be on LinkedIn. Any good connections I’ve built, I would have shared about how I pitched Kira and your reply. But sometimes you can’t overshare. You have to run it by them. Are they comfortable doing that? Sometimes I didn’t. And that was a mistake I made. And I would not do that again. I would always run by people. OK, are you comfortable with me sharing this screenshot? Are you comfortable with me sharing this snapshot? Which will save you a lot of trouble. It would have saved me a lawsuit by one of my, yeah.

Rob Marsh: So we’re never going to come back to that. While you’re talking, I’m thinking to myself, OK, we’re raising all of the prices of all of our templates so that the expectation is that they’re going to deliver. what we promised, because you’re right. There’s a framing effect that happens when you price things low, and I think you’re tapping into some deep psychology there. But I want to go back to what you talked about, or what you briefly mentioned, investing in a program that was not a fit. And we don’t necessarily need to talk about the program, but I am really interested in the process that you went through as you thought, okay, I need this. And then how you came to realize, wait a second, this was a bad investment. And maybe are there takeaways from that experience that we can use as we’re looking at programs to invest in?

Alefiya Khoraki: Yeah, I wouldn’t go very much in detail on this, but so what happened is the main one thing was I was operating from a place of fear. Because I said I never faced client acquisition issues. I just came back from my exams. And I was like, OK, let’s do this. I did not do any research on my end. And I went all in. And I was doing all the work, showing up for 1 a.m. calls, all the calls. and doing all the work, but I was still not seeing results. And then I just started doing it my way, like, OK, ditch this process and let me just do what I was doing before. And then I started getting results. And what happened is I pitched a copywriter and she hired me based on that pitch. And she loved the pitch. She loved it so much that she asked me if I was open to come in and do a mini training about pitching in her Mastermind or her course for her students and I did that and I as I said, I share everything about LinkedIn I did that on LinkedIn and this mentor the person read that and then filed a lawsuit or like the whole the process around IP theft and It was a nightmare and Thank goodness I had mentors like Samar Owais, and CSP, Jo, and everyone. And I’ve never mentioned the name of the program nor the mentor, and I never will, because everyone’s running business, and these things happen. And no one ever should. 

We should all protect each other’s businesses, and that’s what I learned from one of the mentors as well. But they guided me throughout the whole time. And Samar was even available at 1 AM, 12 AM, because when it’s morning in America or in the West, it’s night here. So it was a very, very dark time. I did not have clients. I was facing this. And the main part was not about not seeing ROI, because how my brain is, even if I’m not seeing ROI from the particular thing, I’ll just do everything to get the ROI out of it. Like if the program is around funnels, maybe that particular funnels didn’t work for me, but I will do all external research on funnels and get funnels working for me. 

So which happened, but I was really, really hurt emotionally because theft is something like as Muslims and like our entire religion is based on faith. and being true and honest. And it’s for every good human, right? And I was really shattered. Someone’s calling me a thief. And I have worked so hard to build this name. And will it all be gone? What will happen? And there were many dis- I’m feeling so emotional. I’m getting goosebumps from sharing this. So it was a very, very difficult time. And I remember one day, I was almost in tears. All this time, I had I had anxiety, I couldn’t sleep, because all of this time I was checking any notification, like, is there an email? Is there an email? And I remember Abby checking in on LinkedIn, like, hey, are you doing fine? Abi Prendergast. And I was like, no. She’s like, let’s do a call. And I was weeping for 45 minutes straight. And then she said this, that six months later, you’ll be laughing about this, talking on a podcast. And it’s not six months yet, but it was a very difficult time. I still have nothing against the mentor or the program or nothing of that sort, but it would have saved me a lot of energy if I would have been mindful and not operated out of fear. And my biggest advice is to at least reach out to three students before joining any program, three to four students. So you have diverse feedback from those students, whatever the sales page says, because let’s face it, we are copywriters, it’s our job. And sometimes we are not all ethical, right? Whatever it says, do reach out to three, four students. And I want to pitch in here, I’m going to pause and pitch in for the copywriter underground, because I’m connected with a lot of copywriters, and they have said phenomenal things about the program. I’ve heard so many good things, like all about sharing like how it has impacted their overall business. And I didn’t do that. And I just had to face that in my first year in business. And I was really, like, we almost had the thought that, OK, how about we just shut it down? Or what can we do? But the mentors and the people who supported me helped me get through this.

Kira Hug: So just to clarify to make sure I understand, maybe I’m getting lost in the weeds. The lawsuit was because you were sharing some of the insights from the course, and that’s what triggered the lawsuit?

Alefiya Khoraki: That was the accusation. That was the accusation. But it wasn’t there. It was just me walking through three of my successful pitches.

Kira Hug: Got it.

Alefiya Khoraki: And I posted about that on LinkedIn. And directly, the email came in that, OK, this is an IP theft you’re sharing.

Kira Hug: So it sounds like it was already not a great experience for you and then that just, that just sunk.

Alefiya Khoraki: I wouldn’t say, I wouldn’t, yeah, I wouldn’t, yeah, I wouldn’t just put it out there, Kira, but maybe, yeah, it wasn’t, but it, yeah.

Kira Hug: Well, the question I would ask that could be relevant to people in our audience is what would you recommend to someone who is going through something difficult? It might not be a lawsuit. It could be something personal. It could be an issue with a family member. It’s just something that is depleting of energy and taking away from business focus and joy and leaving you feeling really hollow. And you mentioned support from your networks. I think you already covered that. But what other advice would you give to them?

Alefiya Khoraki: At that moment when you’re facing all this, you just want to slip in bed and do nothing. You don’t want to wake up. You don’t want to do client projects. You don’t want to do anything. So there’s nothing that can like, even if you try and watch shows, nothing happens. And it led to a lot of fights between me and my husband as well, because at that time he said not to invest here. And I was like, can you just trust my gut? And it turns out my gut sometimes is really shitty in these things. And then he’s like, you got us into this. And so those things happened. But the major thing is having mentors who have been in the game for five years, seven years, and paying for that directly. access. I know it can be a lot in the first year of the business or second year of the business. It just, it has so many more emotional, financial, so many benefits. And then having a peer group, which is not your family, but who are like in the business with you. If you’re a copywriter listening, copywriters, if you’re designers listening, designers who understand, like someone saying, you know, like, When I started and I was seeing all these success stories, I thought none of the successful copywriters had failed projects. But then as I had coffee chats with them, I go, yeah, this project failed and that project failed. I said, OK, this is so normal. These things happen, and I’m not the only one. And you can’t know all that until you start building those relationships. So relationships is the only advice I would give to people struggling.

Rob Marsh: Yeah. So while we’re talking, you mentioned your team, while we’re talking about this, you work with your husband, you said there are other people in the business. Obviously you, it’s a pretty young business and to already have a team, talk about the team that you’ve built and lessons you’ve learned along the way.

Alefiya Khoraki: Yeah. So last year it was like a hiring and firing fest. So it was like one month I’m hiring this and the next month I’m firing. because I had no idea how to hire someone and how to fire and what to look. And then along the way, I built an SOP like, okay, this is what I’m looking for. This is what I need. So currently what my team is me, my husband and two other junior operators. And one of them handles the LinkedIn part as well for me. So she’s doing double jobs. Yeah, that’s it. Me, my husband. And so how it goes is I handle the whole PR and marketing side of the business. And client acquisition, that’s what I specialize in. My husband does accounts. We both do client work. And he is like, OK, where are the finances going? How do we keep investing? Is it time for a branding investment? Because my financial literacy is not that good. And he is really good at that. And then he handles the whole management side. OK, no. And then, yeah, so one thing before investing in programs, read contracts. Don’t just do it on the fly. I was like, yeah, I trust this person. Let me just do that. Don’t do that. Read contracts really thoroughly. If there are contracts and you can run them by a lawyer, do that. So now my husband takes care of all that, reading the contracts, reading them again and again, sending contracts to clients and all the I would not say techie side, but the managerial side of the business. And then I handle the client acquisition side and then we both do projects together. And then the team, it’s when I have like a lot of, um, they’re, they’re not exactly employees because last year I was doing on employee basis and it didn’t work out because sometimes you have, it was such a young business that I, I was, I wasn’t having that much income that I could have two full-time employees. So then I shifted to subcontractors. Then when I have excess work, I pass on to them and then I’m the one editing it. And then this year, what I’m planning is adding an editor to the whole process to make the entire copy delivering process more faster than what it was last year.

Kira Hug: What is the scope of the business? What does that look like today? The number of projects you’re working on per month, the type of projects you’re working on. You mentioned LinkedIn, ghost writing for LinkedIn.

Alefiya Khoraki: No, we don’t do that anymore. That was last year. So then we shifted to funnels and that’s when the business really picked up. So now we’re like this very, it’s very fresh since we started funnels like three months and I’m booked out till May end. And we’re doing like one or two projects per month, which is $14,000 per funnel. So yeah, that’s how it looks. And the scope is, it looks like a six figure year this year. My goal was 80K, so we’ve already like 60% covered that. So either we’ll take the year off after we hit that goal, or we’ll move it up to six figures. Scope is a lot. There is like easily, I know this is what hurts me a lot that some copywriters just get because I had a copywriting client and this is also what I want to share that I had a copywriting client like a copy coaching client and she just got into it because of how people are promising that how it’s so lucrative and you make so much money and blah blah and then she was like I’m learning all these new skills and I don’t even know English properly So you know that whole claim that you can get into this even if English is not your first language? It’s true, but you have to have a very serious passion for writing. If you’re just getting into the money, she paid like a lot of money, $2,500. And after four sessions, the fifth session was a therapy session-ish. And I was like, OK, you can do it. And she started crying. I felt so bad for her. She started crying that I can’t do this with my full-time job. all that and then she said okay I just can’t take it anymore and I’ll quit and I’ll go back to my teaching job and sometimes it really hurts and then I wrote I wrote that on LinkedIn too like don’t don’t enter this world because someone has promised you more money. Enter this world if you’re really passionate about writing, if you’re really passionate about marketing, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the clients, get the work done, because even copywriting, it seems like it’s writing. It’s not. There’s so many layers and you can’t always learn enough. Then there’s tone of voice, there’s headlines. One time there’s how to begin emails and then there are personality driven emails. You just have to learn every single day. And if you have day jobs and if you have children and if you have other sort of issues and if you feel like you can’t do a lot, so at least don’t quit your job and don’t give up everything and start this. What do you think about that?

Rob Marsh: I tend to agree that it’s a good idea to have a lot of runway and to allow yourself the time to build a client list and all of that. But there’s also the tension that happens when you have something that’s safe And you can always go back to your day job that you don’t push as far into the thing that you want to do. So there’s a balance there. We’ve definitely worked with copywriters who had the day job and they held onto that so tightly that they couldn’t grow their copywriting job. And the flip side, you know, we’ve worked with copywriters who lost the day job, had to make it work, and within a year or two, you know, six-figure businesses, one that I know of with a seven-figure business, right? So those things happen, and there’s a tension there. So I agree with that caveat.

Alefiya Khoraki: But I feel they should not come into this business thinking it’s easy work, because it’s not. Like, if… 100% agree with that.

Kira Hug: Not, I mean, especially not in 2024. Like this is it’s, yeah, it’s never been easy, but it will only be it will only get harder to be top at your game. With competition with AI. You need to be. Yeah, I mean, it’s just that’s the truth. And that’s the reality of the future. So circling back to what you shared before you said, Something along the lines of, you know, all I need is 24 hours and I can get money in the door. I can get a client in the door. But there was that one period where that wasn’t working for you. So let’s say there’s a copywriter listening.

Alefiya Khoraki: That was the period I was going through this whole lawsuit as well. So I was not in that mind game. But yeah, even external things. And then I’ve heard many successful copywriters, Iman, Shanti, all talk about that particular month, they did not have clients. So I didn’t, I don’t know if December was just a month where we heard that too.

Kira Hug: So, but let’s say there’s a copywriter listening, they want a client, they want to have that client in the next 24 hours. What are three things you would say, go do this now? And I almost guarantee, or maybe you can guarantee, you can have a client in 24 hours. Or maybe it’s just one thing.

Alefiya Khoraki: The first thing I would do is look at my most successful project and circle that client and see if they’re okay with me sharing the results and the case study with whoever I wish to share. Then I look for 10 friends of that particular client. not just anyone else, 10 particular friends of that client. Maybe I could find them from social media following or people who’ve been commenting and going down that rabbit hole, but finding friends or people who are connected with, but first getting the client’s consent that if he or she is okay with me sharing this with other people. And then because it just shortens the cycle so much when you share the name that that’s a friend or they know. So I would just do that and then reach out to them via LinkedIn or directly, but I would not even ask the client to make the recommendation because sometimes it takes a lot of time. Sometimes it takes like, okay, maybe next week or this, if I want a client fast, I’ll do it myself. So reaching out to that 10 clients will, if, and if you’ve worked, if that person is a little influential or Even if that’s not influential, but has the power to lead to at least $1,000 project, I would do that, first thing. Second, if you’re active on any social media platform, see people who are liking your posts, commenting on your posts. And if they are anywhere around your ICP, don’t reach out to them saying, hey, I need a client or blah, blah, blah. Just open a conversation and talk about how you’re looking for someone like them. 

One sneaky trick I’ve done is if I really want to work with you, Kira, I would reach out to you and say, Hey, Kira, I recently worked with XYZ and I would love to have clients like Rob. And you identify as Rob as well. That should be the thing. And would you mind being an affiliate or Would you mind making an introduction knowing how much your authority holds? And three times that message has yielded, hey, thank you for this message. And then obviously mentioning a name. I’ve worked with this name, who they might identify, sometimes they might not. And then you can link that, OK, this person has these many followers or this is the type of person I’ve worked with. And many of the times they have said, I’m interested in something like this. So it just lifts off the pressure for them saying, OK, you pitched me. but you’re actually looking to pitch them, but just pitching them as an affiliate. So sometimes it’s genuine as well. You’re looking to get them as an affiliate, but it also helps that because sometimes this, the pitching has become so saturated. Like I’ll get you this, I’ll do this. I’ll do that. And our inbox are so flooded that this just lifts off the pressure that, okay, I’m not getting pitched. I’m just getting welcomed to do something. And if I’m interested, I’ll say yes. The second thing, The third thing, I think that’s pretty much the two things which would help.

Rob Marsh: The third thing is pay attention to the first and second things.

Alefiya Khoraki: Yeah, let’s do it again.

Rob Marsh: You know, as you talk about this too, Alefiya, one of the things with that pitch strategy, when you ask the person that you’ve worked with who is like you or who can I reach out to and they give you that name, adding them as a CC when you send that pitch that says, hey, Kira recommended that I reach out to you because and then Kira’s copied on the email. That’s just another bit of social proof. Obviously, if Kira didn’t recommend that I reach out to this person, she might jump in with a, you know, an email saying, wait a second, I didn’t reach. So it’s that proof and makes it even more real and gives that person an opportunity to respond. And so just, yeah, another thing to do if you follow that strategy, which is a really good strategy for getting a response. Whether or not you get the work, who knows, but it’s a great way to start that relationship for sure.

Alefiya Khoraki: I love that. I’m going to try that.

Rob Marsh: So as we get to the end of our interview with you, Alefiya, one thing that I’m wondering is, okay, what have you got planned for your business coming up? You’ve obviously made some really big changes in the products that you offer, the services that you do for your clients. You have this big goal of six figures. You’ve moved into doing more funnels. What else is happening in your business that’s going to produce big results in the future?

Alefiya Khoraki: One thing is I’m not looking to scale very fast this year. I’m being intentional about it, not taking more projects, although I can with the two people I have, but I’m trying to be a little slow here so that nothing is rushed and everything feels like, okay, I have control over everything. So that’s the business side of it. And the second side is I have nothing, like no website, no branding. nothing, no email list. And it’s time that I take these things seriously. Because now, if someone is inviting me to speak in a summit, all I’ve got to share is my LinkedIn profile, which was working with me fine. But now if I want to step up a little as an authority, so I currently have just a random Google Docs sales page, which is also one thing that If you don’t have all the things in place, if you don’t have a fancy website, if you’re intimidated with tech, design, and all the things, maybe you don’t have the time to figure out, OK, who to hire for branding here. You’re all about Branding, I know. But if you’re just getting started and you’re intimidated, I pushed all these things because of my fear of this. And then I was like, OK, one fine day, I just launched a Google Docs sales page. And that sales page, it has been like three months, and it has already brought in 30K worth of projects just from the sales page alone, a Google Doc sales page on my LinkedIn. So starting messy is fine. 

So that’s the second thing going on in the business. I’m looking to get these assets in place. And the third thing is looking to do more speaking opportunities. I had a speaking coach as a client, and then I wavered off a part of the project fee. She was one of my first funnel projects. And then she got me a ticket into her speaking bootcamp. So I’m looking to improve my speaking skills while I do that. Um, I’ve practiced that. I know that’s how I, Kira, I reached out to you like, okay, we were talking in that LinkedIn comments and you’re playing as opposed to, and you’re like, okay, which, so I’m looking to go on more podcasts. I have a goal of 30 and 24 doing at least, two to three guest trainings and masterminds than more of the speaking side of things this year.

Kira Hug: Amazing. And I’m curious to hear what you think the future of copywriting looks like as you think out maybe not too far into the future, maybe the next two or three years. What excites you? What opportunities do you see?

Rob Marsh: What does that look like?

Alefiya Khoraki: The thing which has helped me personally is I don’t think I’ve got business because of being a copywriter. I’ve got business because of being a strategist and a consultant. And I could do that because I had this whole bakery business experience, which really helps you think like a business owner. These are the moving pieces, these are marketing pieces. And even though I was working for LinkedIn, I saw the aerial view of the business. And that’s where your price point can be justified a lot. So I feel the future of copywriting is more of consultancy, strategy, and, of course, AI. But I’ve still not dipped my toes into AI. It’s something that really overwhelms me. And I’m still doing fine without it, at least till now. But I plan to get someone on board on my team who handles that part. So you can’t neglect that. So it’s part of that, you have to catch up on it, maybe streamline some of your processes and learn AI. So if it doesn’t work for you, hire someone to do that. But strategy and AI is here to be for the next at least five years.

Rob Marsh: Well, when you’re ready, Althea, we have a course for copywriters and content writers about AI, how to use it. It’s got some good stuff in there, so you can check that out. Yes.

Alefiya Khoraki: I’m telling someone from a team to get on that course.

Rob Marsh: There you go. Yeah, for sure. So we want to thank you for joining us. And you already told us you don’t have a website for us to link to, but you are on LinkedIn. Is that where people should go to find out more about you or to connect with you?

Alefiya Khoraki: Yes, LinkedIn it is. You’ll find me there. And yes, I’m always there answering the DMs, answering the comments. So you can always reach out to me.

Rob Marsh: Amazing. We’ll find you there. Thank you.

Kira Hug: Thank you so much.

Rob Marsh: That’s the end of our interview with Aleffia Karaki. I want to just add a couple of thoughts like I usually do. So you’ve got a couple of things to think about as you walk away from this episode. 

Now, we mentioned this in the intro, but it was funny that Alefiya didn’t actually mention this until the very end of the podcast, but she has no website. She has no branding. She’s never taken a branding photograph. She’s never thought about the positioning from that standpoint. She’s never done any email pitching. Everything that Aleffia has done is done on LinkedIn, and she’s built a six-figure business. So if you have any questions about whether it’s possible, it absolutely is possible. Not only that, but she’s done it from India and she’s done it in less than a year. So that just demonstrates the power of LinkedIn as a place to go to connect with the kinds of clients that can hire you for the work that you want to do. If you haven’t been on LinkedIn posting content or even commenting on other people’s content, dialing in your profile, do those things and get there because especially for certain industries, but almost everybody is there and you’re able to connect with just so many potential clients worth checking out. So go back and listen to what we’ve talked about here, as well as some of the previous episodes we’ve done recently with people like Alex Thompson and how they’re using LinkedIn in their business. 

Let me just reiterate what Alefiya’s approach was. She mentioned that she would post every single day. She would comment 50 times. That’s a pretty good amount of comments. And when you’re commenting on LinkedIn, you don’t want to just comment something and say, Hey, yep. Great. I agree. Do you want to be adding something to the discussion? So it will take a little bit of brainpower. You probably don’t have to comment 50 times, but. Alifia did it and it created this six figure business for her. She was also making 10 connection requests every single day. And less than a year later, she has almost 5,000 followers on LinkedIn. That’s 5,000 people who see her content show up in their feeds almost every single day. She also mentioned that she was reposting old content that got a response. So, you know, it’s content ages out after three or four months, maybe six months or even a year, reusing that content is a great way to not have to reinvent the wheel and to connect with additional people who’ve started following you in the past few months, people that the algorithm will find for you. So that’s the approach. Post every day, comment, make connection requests and accumulate your followers. And if you’re doing it the way that Alephia has done it, you could create a very significant business using LinkedIn. 

There’s one other thing that Alefiya talked about. She mentioned several other examples of copywriters that she started to follow and mimic. She mentioned Eman Zabi, Asai Arasi, Prerna Malik, Samar Awais. All of them have been on the podcast before. I didn’t have time to look up the episode numbers so that you can listen to what they shared, but jump into your podcast player and look up those people, Aman, Asai, Prerna, and Samar. and you’ll learn from them as Aleffia did. But something else to note is all of these people weren’t just guests on the Copywriter Club podcast. They actually participated in our programs. Eman was part of the Copywriter Accelerator. Asai, Perna, and Aman all were members of the Copywriter Think Tank. And All four of them have been in the Copywriter Underground at some point or another. So if you really want to succeed like some of the people that you see out there, as Alefiya mentioned, it makes sense to imitate and do the things that they do. And if they’ve gotten great results from a particular program, whatever, it might be worth considering. 

Now, of course, As Alefya also pointed out, you don’t want to be operating from a place of fear when selecting a program or a course or anything else that you’re investing in. So keep that in mind. But there are definitely worse people to follow than the ones that Alefya has mentioned. Aman, Asai, Prerna, and Samar are all just fantastic writers and good people and worth listening to their podcast episodes if you’d like a little bit more. 

Okay, I want to thank Aleffia for joining us to chat about her business and how she uses LinkedIn to attract clients so that she doesn’t have to cold pitch. She doesn’t need a website. She doesn’t need to do all of the things that so many of us have been doing. You can connect with her, of course, on LinkedIn. Just look for Aleffia Karaki when you’re there. And don’t forget that you can get your hands on the AI training document that I mentioned at the top of the show when you go to 

That’s the end of this episode of the Copywriter Club podcast.


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