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Words have the power to weave magic and bring people closer, even those living far away. In this digital world, words are a representation of oneself.  Beyond this, words today generate sales and educate people. One such person who has used her writing ability to do all this and much more is Shreya Pattar. A creator, a Content Marketing Agency founder and a Freelancing educator, Shreya is a blend of innovation and experience. Today, in our Beyond Borders series, we have had the pleasure of speaking to Shreya Pattar, who is a prolific writer, a visionary entrepreneur, and a creator whose journey spans across continents, industries, and creative realms.

Interview with Shreya Pattar

SN: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.

Shreya: I grew up in Mumbai, India and writing was just something that naturally came to me. For a really long time, I thought being a writer meant writing a book and I did not have the interest in writing a book. After high school, something clicked and I and I moved to Dublin to study philosophy and literature and that’s where things actually kicked off. 

SN: What made you choose LinkedIn as your preferred platform?

Shreya: My college would bring in a lot of celebrities, CEOs and Founders, to speak at various events. One of the first events I attended was when the CEO of LinkedIn was invited to speak. He just finished the interview and I went up and spoke to him- asking how I should use LinkedIn. He did not give me any hacks but he did ask me what is your dream job. I did not have an answer. He kept talking after that but I don’t remember it because I was so caught up in my thoughts. 

I went back to my room and wrote a full big essay on my today’s experience and thought it would make sense to post this on LinkedIn. LinkedIn had a character limit, so I remember cutting it out a lot. It was my first LinkedIn post and I was very happy about it. The next day my phone kept buzzing and I did not know what it was. 

That post just blew up and everybody was reading it. The CEO also saw it and commented on it. So many people messaged me saying ‘Shreya we love the way you write, will you do the same thing for us?’ That’s how I started freelancing and that’s when I understood that this is the kind of writing I can do for myself and others. I just found a dot which connected with another and things just kept picking up. Now I live in Dubai and have my own Content Marketing Agency. 

SN: Do you remember your first LinkedIn copy for a client? If yes, can you give us some details of how you bagged that client?

Shreya: One of the first things that I actually wrote was an article based on the same experience because one of the people who liked my post had a blog where people would share such experiences and career stories. He liked my confidence and the fact that I went up and spoke to the CEO. I could not believe that he was willing to pay me $75 to write an article and that was huge for me. 

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However, doing LinkedIn writing came a lot later but I was doing a lot of different things. I tried so many different things and over time I figured out that I wanted to do LinkedIn content and then I started reaching out to founders and did personal copies for them. The LinkedIn content came way later. I don’t remember the first one but I remember that I always used to get positive feedback and the edit-approval ratio was very good.

SN: What do you think was the most striking thing about your first LinkedIn post?

Shreya: I think a lot of things stood out in the LinkedIn post, especially the opening line which was something like, “When the CEO of LinkedIn checked my LinkedIn Profile.” If you think about it, it stirs curiosity to know why the CEO checks the profile of this young graduate student. I used a picture of us, so that’s something that clicked. I think overall it was also a very feel-good post for anyone who is just starting, moved abroad or started at university. From a corporate point of view, many people were impressed by the fact that I went up and spoke to someone. I got two interview invites in Dublin for internships. This post opened up a lot of opportunities for me. 

SN: How do you ensure your content is relevant to the global audience? And how do you alter it for different professions, as a ghostwriter?

Shreya: I think our content cannot be global, it’s not supposed to be. Most of my clients are particular about the target audience, the age bracket, etc so we have to know everything and write content as per that. We are not taking the global approach. When it comes to my freelancing education content, it’s only then it becomes global so that anyone and everyone can apply it. 

SN: For someone who is starting as a LinkedIn creator, what advice would you share with them?

Shreya: Firstly, you need to clarify in your own head what you want to do on LinkedIn, and what consistency means to you. The second thing I would want to say is don’t stress so much about perfection and quality. No one cares. Have something to say? So just say it and over time the quality will go up. The third thing is when you’re thinking of updating your profile, know that content creation is a daily thing but setting up your profile and what you do is a one-time thing. So take out the time and optimise it in such a way that you don’t have to work on it at least for the next six months. If you want to be a LinkedIn creator, then I would say be an interesting person who has stories to tell. That makes your life easy.

SN: According to you, what does the future hold for LinkedIn creators?

Shreya: I think LinkedIn is going so much towards media, in terms of pictures, carousels, and in terms of video content. I am interested to see how that is pushed. At the same time what we have seen for our clients is that it’s not just the picture, it’s always the picture and the text.

A lot of people these days use these viral videos and add a one-liner to them. The posts are going viral but this is not audience-building. I think the major people who will stand out on LinkedIn in the coming years will be people who can do the media side well but also people who can write really well. 

SN: How does your content on LinkedIn help make sales for brands? 

Shreya: When we are talking about sales through LinkedIn, we are not selling anything directly. It’s all about bringing leads to one common place- a lead magnet. I tried to do some direct selling on LinkedIn. It works out fine when we are launching something. 

I’d rather prefer to get people to download or sign up. We lay a lot of stress on the positioning because when you want to sell something, it’s not like you post a link and people will buy it. You need to condition people into what you’re going to sell. The pre-sale period and the hype period are very important.

SN: One of the biggest challenges facing writers today is the evolution of AI, do you see it as a bane or boon? 

Shreya: I don’t think I care too much about AI, not in the sense that oh it’s going to replace writers. I don’t think so. Like I said, it’s not what you say but how you say it that makes the difference. When I say something it’s filled with my experiences and my stories and that’s what helps you to apply the things you read. 

Don’t let AI create content for you instead, you should be the one to tell what AI can help you with and there’s a huge difference between that. 

SN:  Which is the one writer you would love to collaborate with for a fun, fictional read?

Shreya: I follow so many people online that I think are really good and are modern-day writers and I have collaborated with all of them, in some way or the other. If it could be any writer in the world, then it would be Stephen King. I am a huge fan of his books. He teaches through stories and that is something I love to do. In a book, he’s told through stories on how he learned writing without actually telling how to write and I would love to write with him and create a part two of that book. 

SN: What would be the most rewarding part of being a ghostwriter?

Shreya: Being a ghostwriter, I think the most rewarding thing is when the client approves everything. That for me is success. One of my old clients would make a few grammatical errors when he wrote to me through text and I would write content for him with a few grammatical errors purposefully so that the content sounded more like him. I think from the client’s point of view, we have success when whatever their goal was, we are getting closer to that.

SN: What are the goals that you’re working towards currently?

Shreya: The thing with online business and having your own thing is that your goals keep changing. Overall, my goal is to build something that can grow and last. Be it from the education point of view or my agency point of view, I want to build something that eventually becomes irreplaceable. A long-term relationship with clients is something I am focusing on. 

Speaking to Shreya Pattar has been an enriching experience. Intriguingly, her journey isn’t just about personal milestones but also about uplifting others and offering a guiding hand to those seeking to carve their niche in the digital sphere. Shreya’s influence and excellence transcend boundaries and go beyond conventions.