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Jennette Cajucom

Get To Know Melissa Rina Profeta, Co-Founder Of Social Media Academy

How they can market and make sales online while ensuring that they have a lean customer support and delivery system are the most important aspects of the business that needs to shift

Time and again, a lot of people have proven that experience coupled with the commitment to invest in oneself is a great recipe for success. With her decade of experience in Marketing and Sales, Melissa Profeta has definitely put her best practices on her headline.

With her variety of experiences – from traditional face-to-face high-ticket product selling, to telesales, to multi-level marketing, and to endless pitching and presentations, Melissa has no doubt gotten her feet wet as her content and digital footprint can be a great source of insights, especially for today’s marketing practices.

Melissa has led and co-founded Social Media Academy, an online training which caters to freelancers and professionals who would like to learn how to maximize the power of social media and apply strategies on their businesses or clients. Their online community on Facebook has now over 10k members with an awesome engagement to boot – not to mention their hundreds of members inside a separate exclusive community.

Like all entrepreneurs, Melissa continuously evolves as she equips herself with more tools and learnings to be part of her clientele’s journey. Learn more about Melissa and her story.

Who is Melissa? What is she passionate about and what problems of today does she like solving?

I’m an influential branding coach for emerging thought leaders, a speaker, a trainer, and a multipotentialite. I am passionate in helping women become high value and financially independent. I help individuals, mostly women, in developing key skills that help them become financially independent.

What was your journey like to get where you are? Did you have any mentors? Who were they?

I’m someone who a lot of millennials can relate to. I believe that I am capable of doing many things. Learning and adapting to the new was easy for me. And to some it may sound absurd but I have always looked at it as a gift. Years ago, I would always describe myself as a woman who’s passionate in helping others become equipped with the right set of skills, knowledge, and mindset that will allow them to reach their full potential.

I was helping many people until I got tired myself because it made me feel a bit lost. I was helping others but I wasn’t helping myself. I used to work in the BPO industry as a sales lead and trainer but it made me feel boxed and underutilized. I was serving every single team member and student that I’d meet and it seemed the things I was doing for them meant nothing. And my work and craft were limited.

I also felt exhausted with my work schedule because it would take me three to four hours to get to the office because of bad traffic in EDSA. Plus I had a growing baby at home and I wasn’t seeing her grow. I had a moment where I chose to strive to see what else is out there for me. I quit the job. Went all in different hustles while being a mom. And then eventually, started a company where we sold glutathione soaps and green tea slimming juice. All which did not pan out because of bad decisions and lack of good judgment. It drained all our savings. I struggled and got depressed but my growing kid inspired me to continue living and fighting.

That turning point made me realize that there were other things that I needed to hone in myself so the next time we launch another business, we would do it differently. Eventually, I discovered the beauty of freelancing. I attended to many clients until I started a mini social media agency, Melpro Marketing. Juntae Delane, founder of the Digital Branding Institute was my first mentor. He gave me feedback on the things I was doing and inspired me to take action and dream big. 

A few years later, I met Nix Eniego, where we had an instant click and collaborated to begin an online movement to help Asians become social media marketers like us. My curiosity and tenacity brought me to where I am now and at the same time, it also helped me refine and discover who I truly am. My journey resonates more with the woman who believes that she is a high-achiever and should never be deprived of the kind of life she wants. 

Tell us more about Social Media Academy. We also heard you have a PR agency. Describe that a-ha moment when you knew both businesses might become a success.

I have more than five businesses altogether where I have partners and I take a specific role, mostly head of operations and digital campaigns. A car trading business, social media academy, buy and sell of luxury items, personal branding agency, a digital PR agency, and my consulting business. 

Social Media Academy is one of the online businesses that I co-founded with Nix Eniego back in 2017. The demand rose when there were individuals who wanted to learn more about social media marketing. And when the free lessons we’re giving in our group weren’t enough that’s when our community asked us to start pouring more time to help teach them the strategies we do. 

We were clueless that it was going to explode because we did not have any intention of turning it into a real operational business but merely for the sake of helping our co-social media marketers.

Let’s face it, all businesses regardless of industry have been greatly affected by the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19. How are your businesses thriving in this new normal? What insights can you share to those who are still in the transitioning stage?

Leon Megginson, author of “Lessons from Europe for American Business”, said “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Even though it was tough and disheartening, I had to make the following decisions:

  • To let go of a few people in some of my businesses. 
  • Manage our operational expenses by making an audit and cutting down all unnecessary subscriptions, apps, and tools. 
  • We sent a promissory letter to our landlady where our head office is located.
  • Create new empathetic offers.

I understood that not all people were ready for it but I had two words that I kept telling myself, if I won’t adapt to the new normal and won’t adjust: I will stagnate and my businesses might die completely. I have to join the evolution. We opened a new business to a new market. It caters essentials and the e-games industry while temporarily suspending operations on some of our businesses which are under the “luxury” category. How they can market and make sales online while ensuring that they have a lean customer support and delivery system are the most important aspects of the business that needs to shift.

Marketing In Asia loves insights shared by business owners regardless of industry. What advice can you give in terms of business and/or marketing to those who plan to start their own in this new normal?

The crisis that we are in breathes unpredictability. We don’t know who will be hit by the virus or if our operations are 100% crisis-proof. The best way to deal with this is to come up with a contingency plan. Secure your finances, your SOPs should be streamlined and all key employees should know how your new normal operates. As much as possible, have your team members up skill. Employees should know how to use social media for marketing and sales. This will not only help you bring in more sales but you’re also helping your team members grow and adapt to key skills for business survival.

What is important to you right now in this new normal?

There are three things that I’m prioritizing now:

  • Safety of our people and customers are top priority. 
  • Empathetic offers.
  • Extension of help or what I could do to help one customer or employee through our offers.

We’re not in the process of fixing everything and ensuring that we have 10x our sales today, but we’re thinking long term.

When it’s all over, how would you like to be remembered?

Humanity is top priority. Sales is second.

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Jennette Cajucom
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Jennette is Marketing In Asia's Editor for Visuals and Community Engagement. Leading the MIA's Community Engagement initiative, Jennette also helps CEOs and business owners on their branding strategy. Follow her on LinkedIn and website.

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