Meliss Jakubovic: Facebook Ad Expert, Marketing Strategist, Owner, Meliss Marketing & Founder, The Social Marketing Academy

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Meliss Jakubovic is a Facebook Ad Expert and Marketing Strategist. She is the owner of Meliss Marketing in Atlanta, GA and the founder of the Social Marketing Academy. She helps businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide put their product or service in front of the right client or customer so they can scale their business strategically and spend time doing what they love to do using the power of Social
Media. She spends her free time DJing, folk dancing, and teaching yoga.

How did you get into the industry?

I started off doing health and life coaching online and marketing my business through Facebook Ads. Eventually, I became more involved with the Facebook Ads side of things, and that really excited me. I loved learning all the new things that were constantly changing on Facebook. I took a bunch of courses.

All my entrepreneur friends saw my success with what I was doing and asked me to help them grow their business online with Facebook marketing and social media. I said “Okay, I’ll try it out!” and I had a lot of success. It just snowballed from there.

Then I decided that this is really where my passion is, the marketing side of things. Getting the right product in front of the right person, getting the right target audience, the right offer… It’s like a puzzle that you get to figure out, and I love that so much. Each industry is different, but because I teach yoga, dance, and I’m a health and life coach-- I really fell in love with the wellness side of it. About 80% of my clients are in the health and wellness industry. I bring them new customers, I help them launch and sell their new products, programs, and courses.

Recently I decided I want to reach the masses, and not just run the social media marketing and strategy side of things. I wanted to give the opportunity for other businesses to be able to do this on their own. I started the Social Marketing Academy this year, which is an online academy where they can take courses to help them better understand what to do in their own business.

A new course launch is in the Academy every six weeks. They are all related to digital marketing and social media in this digital age.

Any emerging industry trends?

Algorithms are always changing. It’s important to stay on top of the newest trends within each platform and to be on the platform that is best for your industry. That’s defined by wherever your target market is hanging out. You want to be where your target audience and your competitors are. You don’t need to be on every platform. Choose one or two platforms that would help your business and be there. Learn everything you can about those platforms, stay up to date with all the algorithm changes. Each platform has different rules for optimization.

The one thing that doesn’t vary across platforms is the use of video. Video is incredibly important whether you’re posting videos on YouTube, Facebook Live videos, or Instagram Stories. Using video gives a deeper dimension to your business, and it creates a stronger, relatable connection to your brand. That will bring business in. It adds a level of trust that makes people want to connect and build relationships with you.

Be visible. Social proof is an industry trend that will never go away.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Opportunities are always there. Keep your eyes and ears open. When you see that your competitors are doing something you’re not, you need to learn that skill right away.

A great opportunity is messenger bots within Facebook. It’s a great way to connect with your market and the open-rate right now is about 80%, which is huge compared to an email open-rate which is usually about 10 percent.

You always have the opportunity to create sales funnels in your business with a value ladder. Every business should have a value ladder.

You can always provide value to all of the potential clients in your social media. Start by offering freebies or a low-price point offer to beginners and build from there. If you have some high-level people in your social media world, you would offer them a signature program or some one-on-one coaching. This value ladder provides opportunities for everyone, no matter where they are on the customer journey. You’re giving solutions to prospects, cold leads, warm leads, hot leads, even a lifer. You should provide opportunities and solutions to everyone.

You can use tools like messenger bots and landing pages to create those sales funnels.

A main challenge is that social media is always changing. Algorithms, trends, content desires and needs... they constantly fluctuate. You need to be on top of it, you can’t stay stuck in your ways on the sidelines.

One of the things that has changed is webinars. Webinars used to be the easiest things to convert, and now it takes a lot more time and effort. You have to be much more creative to get them to convert, and that’s where staying well-educated in trends is essential.

You must stay visible and constantly create new content. That sounds like a lot but, as entrepreneurs, we are constantly full of new ideas. Just stay focused, have goals in mind, and work towards them. I like to have quarterly goals so that way I’m moving my business in the right direction. It’s not planned out so far in advance that trends change and I’m stuck into something.

There will always be challenges. But understanding how things work will allow you to move through them easily.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

The inspiration for my business idea is that social media is a way of connecting people, a way of creating community, a way of finding out who is similar to you and has shared interest. There is so much opportunity to understand people cross-culturally and to be able to provide value to people who have shared interests.

I’m very passionate about this because I love community. It’s a huge part of all aspects of my life. I feel very passionately about helping other people achieve greatness and not live their lives in mediocrity. Social media is a platform where I’m able to express my ideas, spread positivity, help people achieve the next level of their business.

Social media gives me the power to help so many more people than I’d be able to help locally. I’m really inspired by that.

I also love that people come to me to help them with something that they cannot achieve alone. You need to focus on your zone of genius. If you’re a doctor, your business is focused on taking care of your patients and studying new trends in your industry. You’re focusing on what makes you passionate about what you do. Every business needs marketing, so if your passion is not marketing you need to delegate that out.

Seek out someone who does have a passion for marketing, who can take your business to the next level.

I feel passionately about my business because every business needs marketing, but many of them can’t do it for themselves. I want other people to focus on their zone of genius, while I help them grow their business.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Right now I have ten people on my team, so I’d like to grow both my team and my clients. The business is going to continue to grow and help as many people as possible.

My  vision for my business is to scale it so that, in five years, it is ten times what it is today.

I am really excited about my Social Marketing Academy because a new course comes out every six weeks. I create my courses with an entrepreneur in mind. Each course is based on what people in my Marketing Mastermind group have asked for. It’s being created in such a way that, if you create an online business from scratch, you’d be able to take each course one-by-one and move yourself to a very advanced level of marketing. It’s very exciting because it’s so in-depth and I’ve broken each course down, lesson by lesson, into very manageable steps so you will succeed.

I want my Social Marketing Academy to be a saving grace for people who are frustrated. The people who want to do better and know that they can, but they are confused about how to make social media work for them.

I also want my Social Marketing Academy to be the hub for business owners and entrepreneurs to learn the ins and outs of marketing in a way that they can take it to their business and make it work for them.

That serves two purposes. One, it allows me to reach a huge market globally, because I’m using social media to do it. And two, that allows people who aren’t ready to hire someone to run their marketing for them to get their feet wet. It gives them an understanding of what they need to know to make their business a success online. Sometimes you have a very successful business offline, but when you move it online you realize you have no idea what you’re doing and you just throw money away.

The Social Marketing Academy is a place where entrepreneurs can use the skills they already have and reach a larger market with high-end strategies that I teach within each course.

I’m a single mom. I’ve spent the past 10 years of my life struggling to get on my feet and grow this business. I want to help the people who know they are destined for greatness, but just don’t know how to get it. I want them to get out of that rut.

I also want to help the people who have been doing well in business but have plateaued because they don’t know how to take it to the next level.

There is really something there for everybody.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

This is all about getting visible. That’s what I teach my students, that’s what I help my clients do, and that’s what I’m doing to take my business to the next level.

I make partnerships with people who can help me and I can help them. Guest blogging, for example, is a way for me to reach a market that has an interest in what I teach and what I do. Guest blogging allows me to reach someone else’s followers/subscribers/viewers that I didn’t previously have access to, but are in my target market.

Telesummits are another way to get visible. I have started to create partnerships with people to do more telesummits. In the next year, you’ll see me doing a lot more public speaking as well, just to get visible. I have television and radio segments coming up and I’m joining other people’s podcasts.

It’s all about getting out there and joining up with people who can create a business bond with me. I’m helping them, they’re helping me. That’s really what will move my business to the next level.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. Some months you’re signing new clients, you have great revenue, and you feel like everything’s moving in the right direction. You feel like you’ll be a billionaire before you’re forty.

And then there are the downs. Clients decide to quit working with you. Their budget runs out, or they’ve changed directions, or they aren’t as serious about their business as they thought, or they don’t give you all the tools you need to help them succeed, or it’s not a good fit.

Suddenly you don’t have clients, the revenue slows down, and you start to have all this negative self-talk.

As an entrepreneur, you’re personally responsible for the success of your business. If that means you need to pay your employees and not have any money left for food, then that’s what you have to do.

Entrepreneurship is valleys and mountains. Something terrible can happen in your personal life that sucks the energy out of you, or your have impostor syndrome… Whatever happens, you need to get back up, continue to fight, and be visible. Continue to grow and build relationships.

Once you have a full client roster, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to look for new clients. You have to keep on moving with that momentum, keep on building those relationships and making connections.  If you stop, all that momentum you’ve built up will stop. It’s three times as hard to build that momentum back up than it is to just keep going with it. You have to keep going, no matter what, even in the good times. Eventually those tables will turn and you’ll be happy for those relationships you’ve built, and the momentum will carry you through.

You also must learn how to delegate. No one can be a jack-of-all-trades in business. You need to step back and be the CEO and manage your team. Be a leader. Create a company culture within your brand that is going to ripple out into the clients you help and the students you teach. Be a leader and manage a team of people who can help you. That way, when you want to take a vacation your business will still run on autopilot. Build your systems and delegate out what someone can do better or faster than you.

Look at your business from a business point of view. Plan to scale and grow quickly. Be effective with your time and your money.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

You’ll hear our clients say that we use a lot of strategy. We’re not just posting random things on their Facebook pages. When a client meets with me, I ask about their struggles, their goals, what’s working, and what’s not working. I use that to map out a plan for how we can take all that and make it better. The difference between a social media manager and a social media marketing strategist is this: the managers are taking direction from you. If you can’t give the direction because you don’t have the tools in your toolbox, then it’s the blind leading the blind. That’s when the managers just post things without a strategy.

A strategist is someone who can look at the big picture, see what’s not working, how we can tighten up your value ladder, how we can create a sales funnel, and creating a posting schedule that makes sense for your goals. Strategists look at how we can strategically reach people at the right time in their customer journey with Facebook advertising. Our job is to keep you ahead of your competitors, relevant, and visible. Having a thriving business on social media is entirely dependent on how visible you are and the relationships you’ve built. If you don’t have a systematic way of bringing new clients into your consistently, then you’re doing something wrong. A strategist will look at your business from a bird’s-eye perspective and find all the gaps in your systems. They post what’s relevant, what’s timely, and your content calendar will be in-line with your promotional calendar.

At Meliss Marketing, you’ll find that we are strategizing the entire time. It’s not a get-rich quick thing, it’s about building systems that will automate your business in a hands-off manner. We bring new people into your social media world and send them through a customer journey that you’ve created, that makes sense from your business, and is consistent from customer to customer. Each person who comes through your business will receive the same amount of care and nurturing. We provide a top-notch team of strategists to help you reach everyone you need to.

How do you motivate others?

Motivation does not come from wanting to do something.

Motivation comes from doing something again and again until it becomes routine. You become excited about the goal that you’re working towards, even while seeing it unfold as you do mundane tasks.

With discipline, strategy, routine, and a goal in mind you will see your success build slowly. When you start to build something, you see the momentum that you’re creating, and that’s where the motivation comes. If you sit around and wait for motivation, it will never show up.

If you’re overweight and you want to get in shape, you don’t just sit there waiting for the motivation. You get your motivation by going to the gym, working out, eating healthy. You do all that with a routine, discipline, and a goal. You stay disciplined, you stick with it, and you start to see the weight come off. You see your muscles, you get compliments, and that’s where the motivation comes in.

Motivation isn’t there from the beginning. Discipline, routine, the goal. That’s what’s there at the beginning, and motivation kicks in after you start to see results.

That’s what I do. I stick with it. I stay disciplined. Even on bad days, I try to stay positive and remind myself that life is great. Opportunities are everywhere if you open your eyes and think outside the box.

That positivity, combined with gratitude and a willingness to help others, makes one a better person. It makes you stronger and that is where the motivation comes in. It shows up when you’re willing to keep going, stay positive, and

Career advice to those in your industry?

Just get started,

Do what you love.

Be passionate or don’t do it at all.

You have to approach life and your business with an open mind. Learn from those around you. Instead of being close-minded and stuck in your ways with a business, think outside the box. There may be better ways to do what you’re doing. If you really want to serve your customers or clients, you need to create a bond with them. Speak to them conversationally, like you’re sitting with your best friend on the couch having a cup of coffee.

Listen to your customers more than you speak to them. If all of your customers seem to have similar problems, create a solution. If they all have similar questions, create products and services around those questions.

You’re building your business for your customers based on what they are telling you to do next.

You need to get unstuck so you don’t miss the opportunity to change how you do business. Your business may change, your ideal customer may change, and that’s okay.

If you’re not on social media yet, and you’re not running your business online, you are behind. You need to get online, and my team would love to help you get there.

We live in a modern world, and social media is a part of that. By avoiding it, you’re hurting your business. If your competitors are doing things that you’re not doing that are fresh and innovative, you need to do those things, too.

If you care about your business and you want it to grow: listen more than you speak, be where your competitors are, and create things that your customers are telling your they need.