Social media expert Unsah Malik reveals how she left her thriving journalism career to becoming a best-selling author

Unsah left her full-time job during the pandemic to write her e-book, SLASHED IT, helping brands and clients grow their social media platforms

Social media expert Unsah Malik reveals how she left her thriving journalism career to becoming a best-selling author

I don’t believe in failures. I genuinely think there is no such thing, Unsah tells me. Each time something doesn’t go to plan, it just means you need to change your route and start in a different late. Unsah Malik was born and raised in London and studied journalism at City University. Unsah started work experience in journalism and has since landed prestigious roles at some of the UK’s top editorial companies, taking on editorial and manager positions at The Guardian, E! Entertainment, ELLE Magazine Rodial, Nip+Fab and Lime Pictures, which hosts popular British TV shows including TOWIE, Celebs Go Dating and Hollyoaks.  

With her pivoting career success, Unsah decided to step up her game and applied for her dream job working for an A-list celebrity. However, she was rejected after the recruiting manager told her she was too good for the role. The interview process went smoothly and I was convinced the job would be mine but after two weeks of random silence, the recruiting manager told me they felt I was ‘too good’ for the job and they feared I’d be ‘bored’ in around six months, Unsah said. Of course, I was fuming at the time. How could someone tell me I’d be bored with a job I desperately wanted? But in hindsight, it was an incredible thing and I secretly thank the digital head who came to that conclusion because she absolutely wasn’t wrong! Around 6-7 months after I was rejected from that job, I wrote a best-selling e-book and left the 9-5 life for good.  

Unsah came to a point where she felt she had outgrown her profession after grinding for almost a decade. Unsah still had immense love for journalism but realised it was time to branch out and become her own boss. After the coronavirus pandemic struck this year, Unsah felt it was time to put herself first. I left my 9-5 this year, Unsah said. I felt like I had expired my time in my position, and had also expired my time in my role for the 9-5 life in general. A few personal situations combined with the pandemic probably forced me to take the leap earlier than I otherwise would have, but ultimately, nothing felt particularly challenging because I had been doing the same thing over and over again for around 10 years! So, it’s not that I hated my 9-5 – in fact, I thank it for giving me such varied and incredible experiences and the vast knowledge I’ve acquired which essentially put me in the position to write a best-selling e-book – it’s that there wasn’t space for me to grow any longer.  

Unsah now boasts over 24.3K followers on her Instagram page @unsahmalik, where she reposts motivational tweets and inspiring quotes to her ever-growing audience. While working her corporate job, Unsah said she had little to no time to conduct one-on-one consultations with clients who needed social media advice ‘ which led her to create her e-book. Unsah began writing her e-book, SLASHED IT while developing her brand with a strong focus on growing her social media platforms.   

Once I left my 9 to 5, I put all my efforts into writing my gigantic e-book and growing my personal brand while maintaining a very specific and intentional relationship with my increasing social media following, Unsah said. After all, the one who writes the e-book on social media growth should be able to do it herself too, right? The added advantage is that people have seen me grow from a 9-5’er to someone who makes her income predominately from Instagram and Twitter. You have all these ‘experts’ telling people it’s now pretty much impossible, but I’m here to tell you it’s completely possible, but the way you work on social media has to massively change.  

Unsah launched her e-book just four months ago and it has now become a best-seller, helping companies and clients grow their social media platforms and monetise social media growth. The young entrepreneur has raked in thousands of pounds from her e-book launch, raking in 7 months of her old salary in just one day ‘ but Unsah said the best part is when her clients achieve mass success in their social media growth, which makes all her work worthwhile.  

I could see there were many courses and e-books sold beforehand, but not from someone who had worked inside the industry for this long with solid achievements for multiple brands, Unsah said. I wanted to create a resource that was away from what common sense or Google and YouTube can teach you. For example, I don’t spend pages talking about filters or hashtags because such things are so minor for consistent, monetised social media growth.  

Yes, I always thought it was going to be successful. I just didn’t know how successful or how quick the success would come! I had been growing a solid email database throughout the journey of me writing the e-book because the free content I shared for free of charge was already trumping the resources others were paying to receive. I really made it my priority for people to see the value in my knowledge and experience, so when the e-book was ready to launch, I had a huge database of people who had been waiting to buy it. I couldn’t believe my eyes on day 1, which to date is the most successful day of sales. I made around 6 months’ worth of salary in one day.  

Unsah expressed immense gratitude in her success ‘ but her grind hasn’t been easy. Unsah has spent over a decade working with influencers, brands and social media gaining- and now, she has been able to put all her years of knowledge into practice with her successful e-book launch. I was filled with gratitude, Unsah explained. It just felt like all those years of working hard and pushing my way into predominately white industries which were filled with people who came from privileged backgrounds finally paid off. People see how many sales I had made in one day alone, or see that my main account has only been active for around a year, but they tend to skip the part that I’ve been working nonstop for over a decade.  

Unsah believes there is no such thing as failing, but instead, trying a different route to reach a goal ‘ and putting that plan to action. I don’t believe in failures. I genuinely think there is no such thing, she said. Each time something doesn’t go to plan, it just means you need to change your route and start in a different late. It might take longer to get to the end, but that also means you’re equipping yourself with that much more knowledge. I also don’t like waiting. If I think a new idea is great, I start planning within the next hour and by the next morning, I’m putting that plan into action. I think there’s so much talk about needing to organise yourself, but when you’re launching a new business, all you really need is a structure to your day every morning, and work towards small goals which eventually contribute to that one big goal. Stop trying to find every single answer with countless research because nothing will happen unless you start.  

In a few words of advice to other entrepreneurs, Unsah said: Start working on your eventual solopreneur life while you’re in your 9 to 5. Find those two extra hours every day and put small steps into action. Start providing free value to the audience you wish to attract, build on your brand and network to no end.  

I’m not one of those people who tell people to wake up, take the plunge and just quit. Be realistic and logical. Most people have bills and rent to pay and don’t have a huge amount of savings to rely on as an income. But, once you do have the means to leave your job, do it. Don’t wait around. Magical things won’t happen in your comfort zone. 

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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