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Alia Coster’s Four Pillars for Success

On today’s episode of the Engaging Marketeer, I am interviewing Alia Coster, who is an absolute tour de force of nerdom. I’m talking to her about how she was stranded in Thailand with no more than a hundred pounds to her name and how she started writing content for major clients and starting a business, how she made the change from Thailand to Australia back to the UK (why would anybody want to do that?) and how she is progressed that business from strength to strength working with clients across the world.

As well as all this, I’ll also be finding out what she’s got to say about ChatGPT. As you can probably guess, there’s quite a lot. You can check out the full interview here, including these highlights:

Darren: Do you want to explain how much of a nerd you actually are?
Alia: Should I just tell you about my Sunday and that kind of answers your question? So first of all I went to Comic-Con Liverpool (it was amazing), some of the stranger things cars were there, Matt Smith was there on the Saturday, I saw McLovin! Ian Somerhalder was there from The Vampire Diaries, and also I saw Taylor Lautner from Twilight.

Darren: Let’s talk about content. How did you get into that? What made you want to do that? Were you one of those nerdy kids in school that was always correcting other people’s grammar and spotting mistakes that the teacher had made on the blackboard?
Alia: No I was awful. If you if you were to look at my social channels from back in the day, it’s embarrassing. What I love about my own journey is the fact that I can’t say yes, I was just born with a gift, because I wasn’t. I was crap in school and English was not my forte. I loved reading but the writing part was something kind of I fell into later in life, definitely.

Darren: How did you find the transition from being in Thailand to moving to Australia?
Alia: It’s a lot more expensive in Australia. I remember not really caring too much about money in Thailand, and then getting a $360 haircut in Australia and shaking when I had to get my card out.

Alia: I’ve always had a good network. So, I built probably the worst WordPress site ever seen…
Darren: Oh, I’ve seen some horrific websites.
Alia: It’s a contender. How I made money, I do not know.

Alia: Why it didn’t really work in Australia and why I had to move back was mainly the time difference. I’d do my whole day in Australia and check my computer at 11pm and I’d have UK-based clients asking if we can do a quick call.
Darren: What was the culture shock like for you moving back to the UK?
Alia: I’m a lot wiser than I used to be. I certainly used to be more tanned.

Darren: You mentioned how you worked with everyone that came and you weren’t you weren’t saying no to people. Does that mean there’s certain people that you’d have said no to if they came to you now?
Alia: Yeah.
Darren: Why is that? What is it about certain clients that people would want to avoid?
Alia: One of the pillars we teach when we’re coaching is about awareness. What I found was I would clash as a business owner with a certain person. You can’t really have those kind of forward-thinking vs. traditional clashes in marketing.

Darren: Some people out there think we don’t need any content writers out there anymore, because ChatGPT will do it for us. What do you say to that?
Alia: I have a lot of things to say to that. No, in short. It’s hardly surprising that that is the belief. I worry its going to make businesses look very stupid in the future.
Darren: What do you think the pitfalls will be?
Alia: Businesses are going to begin saying “I don’t want to do this, ChatGPT will do it” and the problem with that is that it’s just not human. It’s not authentic, it’s not genuine, it’s not doing anything new.

Darren: You’ve already mentioned your first pillar for success – what are the others?
Alia: My four pillars are the four pillars for becoming a better communicator and writer. The first thing is awareness, second pillar is structure. The next thing is writing and the last thing is editing.

Darren: What’s the name of your book and where can people buy it?
Alia: It’s called ‘How to write when you’re not a writer’ and it can be bought on our website.

It was an absolute pleasure talking to Alia, the time literally flew past. To make sure you never miss another of our interviews or other episodes, subscribe to the Engaging Marketeer on whichever platform you use to access podcasts.


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