Apryl Beverly realized she had a gift for words early on. She followed her passion and enrolled in journalism school, where she perfected her craft.
She launched her own company, Word Stylistz, back in November 2018 as the world’s first woman-owned flat-rate copywriting service fully staffed by female-only copywriters and editors. Since then she has gone on to grow her project portfolio to include a course, a membership site, and digital projects. Today her business is earning 7 figures annually.
Don’t miss this interview with Apryl, which is jam-packed with interesting strategies and actionable advice, and truly shows what you can achieve when you work hard and persevere.
In this interview, you’ll learn how Apryl:
- Realized she had a way with words
- Approaches “work-life balance”
- Landed her initial clients
- Dropped her rates by 1000%
- Earned $20k the day she launched her company
- Uses Instagram to market her services
- Grows her email list
- Creates content
- Increased her earnings from 6 to 7 figures
- Reads to keep learning
- Hires new employees
- Stays authentic and honest
- Learned how to manage her time
- Views the path to business growth
Meet Apryl Beverly
Writing has been a mental and emotional escape for me since I was 4 years old. It whisked me away from the not-so-happy times I experienced as a child and, because I grew up with a stuttering issue, writing also gave me a voice when I was too afraid to speak.
While in the 3rd grade, I wrote my first-ever “sales letter.” It was a heartfelt essay I wrote detailing the pain I felt seeing my father abuse my mother – the hitting, the shouting, the bruises – and how much I wanted them to get a divorce so we could all be “happy again.” My teacher, Ms. Rust, shared the essay with the school counselor who called my mother in for a meeting. She shared my essay with my mother and shortly after that, she filed for divorce.
My pursuit of a writing career officially started when I became the first in my family to attend and graduate from a 4-year university, The Ohio State University. That achievement came with a whole set of rewards and challenges and I often felt like the “black sheep” of my family.
I was in full pursuit of success while my cousins were having babies. I saw my grandmother gush over them at baby showers while never really asking or inquiring about my time in college or the jobs where I was quickly climbing the corporate ladder.
I had a bachelor’s degree, an MBA, a rental property, a good-paying job, and a husband, and I never felt as if my grandmother was genuinely proud of me until I told her I was pregnant. I was in my 30’s by that time.
My mother has always taught me the importance of being strong and independent. Her teachings drenched me with the perseverance and tenacity I’ve needed to survive and thrive as an entrepreneur.
Today, I am a wife, mom, and boss. I’ve traded in my keyboards and pencils to run a 7-figure copywriting business and manage a team of copywriters, editors, and administrative personnel. I’m up at 6 a.m. to work out, make breakfast and hug and kiss my son (known as Alston The Great on Facebook) before he boards the bus for school.
We sold our home and moved from Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia when our son was 5 years old because we wanted him to see wealth across many races and ethnicities. We eat dinner as a family every day at 6 p.m.
I’m at every flag football and basketball game he plays. We hang out, we laugh and we have fun – no work, no business, no projects. My husband and son are the most important people in my life. Everything I do, every win I accomplish and every new height I reach is a reflection of their love.
Why She Created Word Stylistz
I always knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career, but my mother wanted me to become a lawyer after watching “Clair Huxtable” boss up weekly on the ever-popular Cosby Show.
During my sophomore year as an academic scholarship student at The Ohio State University, I secretly enrolled in Journalism School, landed an editing role at the school newspaper, and confessed to my mother (after getting a few As under my belt) that I no longer wanted to pursue law school, and instead, desired to start a career as a writer.
After graduation, I worked in several marketing communication management roles for law firms and tech companies before getting married and giving birth to my son four years later.
As a mother, my heart broke every time I had to ask another adult for permission to spend time with my son, so with my husband’s support, I explored entrepreneurship.
In 2011, I launched BAAB Writing and Marketing Services and began to “sling sentences” for corporations and small businesses around the world. During my first 12 months in business, I landed several high-dollar contracts with multibillion-dollar businesses and ended the year as a six-figure business owner.
How She Landed Those Clients
I did this mostly through cold email pitching.
Every night with my 4-month old in his crib, I’d prop my computer on my lap and send out 10-20 email pitches to law firms and tech companies (industries where I had the most experience).
I’d get the email addresses by searching LinkedIn and industry organizations like Martindale-Hubbell. If I found a contact on LinkedIn, I’d use a tool called SellHack to get the email address and reach out to the marketing director, CMO or business development director of those companies.
Many hired me straight from email correspondence while others scheduled meetings to review pricing and service quotes.
Also, several of my first clients were previous employers – tech companies and law firms I worked for.
When I decided to start my own business, I gave the company I was working for at the time my 2 weeks’ resignation letter along with a proposal that involved me continuing to work for them as a consultant. They agreed to the proposal and boom – I had one of my first clients!
After writing one-on-one for clients in the United Kingdom, United States, Bahamas, Asia, Caribbean, Dubai, and other locations around the world, I decided to launch Word Stylistz in November 2018, the world’s first woman-owned flat-rate copywriting service fully staffed by female-only copywriters and editors. This service allows my team and I to offer quality, personality-infused content marketing services to budget-strapped businesses catering to diverse audiences.
Today, we employ 4 full-time employees, 3 part-time employees and 9 contractors across sales/marketing, technology, copywriting and editing.
Apryl Does the Unthinkable
I did the unthinkable when I launched Word Stylistz – I dropped my agency’s rates by 1,000%!
Now, I’m someone who refuses to change dates after I’ve announced them. Therefore, if I say an event is happening on a specific date, it’s happening come hell or high water. When I announced the Friday, November 2, 2018 launch date for Word Stylistz, the world’s first woman-owned, flat-rate sales writing platform, I had no idea I’d be burying my grandfather that same day.
My grandfather was like my dad and the pain was paralyzing, but I made a commitment to my audience that I couldn’t renege on, so there I was sitting in the hotel in Ohio the morning of his funeral writing launch day emails. Word Stylistz pulled in $20k that day.
I dropped the rates by 1,000% because I could no longer keep up with the demand for my writing services. I was getting burnt out and my business was feeling more like a demanding job than a place of freedom.
So the rate drop did 2 things: It positioned me to train other junior writers to do what I do and how I do it. It also – and this is the vital part of why Word Stylistz is even around – level the playing field for small- to mid-sized brands and larger brands by giving the smaller guys powerful copy that sells their incredible products and services.
See, the larger brands can easily sell mediocre offerings because they have the budget to hire great copywriters while the smaller brands put their blood, sweat, and tears into great offerings that no one buys because the messaging is off. Word Stylistz was created to change that dynamic.
Our clients are selling out events, hitting record earnings, and gaining the visibility they need to serve the people who want and need their solutions.
How Much Apryl is Making
We’re generating multiple 5 figures per month from the done-for-you copywriting services we offer through the Word Stylistz eCommerce site.
Word Stylistz is the done-for-you writing service portion of the business. And then we also have a membership named The CopyCloset, a course called Persuasive Copywriting, and we sell digital products, and I offer speaking services. These projects have made us a 7-figure business.
Her Top Marketing Strategy
Our #1 marketing strategy is doing great work, completing projects on time 100% and delivering superb service – and encouraging clients to spread the word.
While that may not seem like a groundbreaking marketing strategy, these attributes set us apart from competitors, and it’s what keeps clients and even people who have never worked with us talking about and referring to the Word Stylistz agency.
The page @wordstylistz has little engagement, but the rewards are massive because it’s an online directory of the goals our writing has helped clients hit.
My in-house team pulls testimonials/customer reviews and pops them into a template our contract designer created. One of the copywriters on the team crafts the short caption, and that’s it. They post about 3-5 reviews a week.
Her Email List
We have an email community of more than 10,000 subscribers. I’ve grown my email list by hosting intriguing and informative webinars and masterclasses and by sharing free and low-cost resources such as copywriting cheat sheets, guides, and booklets of writing templates.
I also speak at events and share my copywriting wisdom on live social media broadcasts.
Recently, I was invited to appear on a Roku television series with more than 700,000 viewers, where I promoted my lead magnet and amassed thousands of new email subscribers.
Apryl’s Content Creation Strategy
For content to be effective it must be weaved into the overall marketing and promotional strategy. Our process and strategy break down as such:
- Defining the target audience: Gain in-depth insight into who we’re creating content for, and what their interests, needs, and pain points are. Note that this is NOT a one-time exercise as target audiences evolve.
- Setting content goals and objectives: Creating an annual marketing plan that maps out which pieces of content we need to create to achieve those goals and the expected benefits and outcomes for our audience.
- Research: Gather information on hot topics and current trends in the industry that tie to our overall marketing and content creation strategy.
- Planning: Develop content briefs for our internal account manager to assign content needs to members of our copywriting team.
- Creation: Write or produce the content, keeping in mind the target audience, SEO keywords (when applicable), goals, and company style guidelines.
- Editing and review: Assign the content to our editing and quality assurance team to review the content for accuracy, grammar, and readability and make any necessary revisions.
- Promotion and distribution: Share the content on appropriate channels to reach the target audience and achieve the desired outcome.
- Measuring and analyzing: Review social media stats using tools such as Hootsuite to track the performance of the content and use the insights gained to influence future content strategies.
It’s important to note that content creation is not linear. Iteration and consistency are key, and monitoring and testing the results of our content helps us keep the pulse of what our audience wants and needs from us.
How Many Hours She Works on the Business
Outside of our peak holiday season, I spend about 20-25 hours per week working on the business in a business development and executive management capacity.
I expect that time to decrease as we continue to grow the business and bring on sales staff and management roles.
Achieving Her Current Revenue
I hit my first 6 figures during my first full year of business after starting BAAB Writing and Marketing Services. We grew pretty quickly – often doubling and even tripling annual revenues yearly.
But then I hit a plateau.
My calendar was booked 4 to 6 months in advance, my editor was overworked, and the contract copywriters I was hired here and there to help with the writing simply weren’t cutting it.
If I wanted to hit 7 figures, I knew I had to blow up my business model, and that’s precisely what I did when I lowered my rates by 1,000% and launched Word Stylistz. We hit 7 figures in 2019.
Her Favorite Resources
I believe the best way to shine in crowded markets is to turn your business into a rare gem. I could’ve continued building a traditional copywriting agency with quotes, proposals, lengthy turnaround times, and big-ticket project prices.
Instead, I took my love for online shopping and built the Target of copywriting businesses by creating a no-fuss platform where brands can “shop” for copywriting services without sticker shock or secret pricing proposals and quotes.
With that said, I don’t seek out industry-focused resources, I get ideas and inspiration from those outside my industry. I get unfiltered business growth wisdom from Kevin Hart’s “Hart to Heart” show. I drench myself in wealth-building, money-making knowledge through David Shand’s “Social Proof Podcast.”
And books like Traction, by Gino Wickman, Contagious, by Jonah Berger, Rejection Proof, by Jia Jiang, Woman Evolve, by Sarah Jakes Roberts, Everyday Magic, by Mattie James, and You Owe You, by Eric Thomas are fueling my soul and mental toughness to thrive in the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship.
Her Go-To Tools
I always say business owners are only as effective and productive as the tools we use. We use a lengthy list of tools and automation software to keep costs low and handle our daily tasks. But if I had to choose 3 that keep the lights on so to speak, they’d be:
- Marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: We use FunnelKit Automations to handle marketing automation, such as upsells, customer tagging, and email marketing on our website. It stores customer data, tracks sales and marketing efforts, and automates customer communication.
- Accounting and financial management software: Our bookkeeper relies on QuickBooks to monitor and manage our finances, including invoicing, profits and expenses, and budgeting.
- Project management software: We use ClickUp to manage copywriting projects, admin tasks, deadlines, and resources to achieve our company goals. It’s dramatically streamlined our process of planning and scheduling projects, assigning tasks and responsibilities, and tracking progress.
Apryl’s Biggest Challenge
Expanding my team is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in growing my business.
When I started filling copywriters and management roles, I often said I wished I could clone myself. And it was that mentality that was preventing me from hiring the right people.
See, there will never be another me – I bring a unique blend of tenacity, perseverance, passion, and skill to my business that’s irreplaceable. However, plenty of people bring their unique mix of greatness to the table for me to plant seeds in to flourish and thrive.
While we’re still growing, I seek out blossoming flowers – with different attributes and features – that I can water and make our copywriting “garden” attractive and head-turning.
Her Greatest Accomplishment
My business has hit 7 figures, processed thousands of copywriting projects, and helped our clients pull in more than $100 million in revenue, which are pretty massive accomplishments.
But beyond those things, my most important accomplishment as an entrepreneur has been building a successful business without sacrificing my authenticity or integrity. By staying true to myself and who I am, I’ve established a strong brand and reputation that resonates with my audience.
I’ve set clear values and stuck to them (even when the internet streets flashed shiny new things in front of me). I maintain transparency in my business practices and treat my team and customers respectfully.
I realize with the smoke and mirrors we see on social media, it can appear as though being ethical, authentic, and honest in business is no longer valued. But I truly believe those qualities are why I’m still standing after seeing many seemingly successful businesses fade and disappear over the past 11 years.
What She Wishes She Knew When She Started
I wish I had known how vital setting boundaries is to business growth. When I first started my business, I was available anytime leads, prospects, and clients needed me to be – after hours, late nights, early mornings, weekends – whenever. Maintaining that commitment burned me out mentally, emotionally, and physically.
A few days after posting on social media that my new name was Ms. Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop because I was going so hard grinding in my business, I had an asthma attack that nearly killed me.
I was diagnosed with asthma at age 2, but as an adult, it was controlled, and I hadn’t had an asthma attack since I was 10 years old … until that year. I had been suffering from a terrible cough for over a month that I kept ignoring because I was too busy working.
Then one day, I was sitting watching television with my husband and then toddler when I started coughing and wheezing. I got up to take a couple of puffs from my inhaler, but it didn’t work – my chest got tighter and tighter, and I laid down on the family room floor, trying to catch my breath.
My husband called 911, the paramedics came rushing in, my son was hovering over me, repeating my name, and I just kept praying for God to not let me die.
At the hospital, I found out that “terrible cough” was actually pneumonia, which triggered the asthma attack. I had the power to avoid everything that happened that day, and I promised God that if he pulled me through, I’d work less, spend more time with my family, and set boundaries that allowed me to prioritize my health. And that’s precisely what I’ve done every day since then.
Here’s the thing: I can’t deliver my best to clients, colleagues, family, or my team when I’m not at my best. Setting boundaries also allows for better time management and helps to reduce stress and burnout. I’ve realized that setting boundaries is essential for a business’s overall success and its employees’ well-being.
Apryl’s Biggest Mistake
My biggest mistake on my entrepreneurial journey is taking business personally. Doing so often left me with clouded judgment and poor decision-making.
Taking business personally also left me swimming in a sea of stress and anxiety. I became too invested in my work and took every setback or failure personally. This took a toll on my physical and mental health.
While being passionate about your business is okay, you must understand and know how to separate your personal feelings and emotions when making business decisions that require logic and reason.
Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
The best advice I can give to other entrepreneurs building their own businesses is to set boundaries, protect your space and avoid allowing entrepreneurship to consume every area of your life – even if you LOVE what you’re doing.
That kind of “hustle” mentality may yield short-term success, but for most people, it’s not a sustainable way to live, especially for women juggling family, friends, and even kids.
Business growth comes when we’re productive, not busy.