Exeleon Magazine

Melissa Rodriguez: Helping Brands Make Meaningful Connections with Audiences

Melissa Rodriguez_Exeleon Magazine

Hope and faith are the two distinct words that have been the foundation of humanity. To us, it means diving into the unknown with a positive mindset that it will all work out in the end. Our faith stands as our belief that something better is waiting out there for us despite all the challenges and that pushes the very nature of us, the humans.

Similarly, for entrepreneurs, the business world is a fruit of challenges that keeps on coming. And seasoned entrepreneurs understand this corporate tree very well and the need to keep climbing it no matter the situation.

They know that for every turn, a challenge is waiting for them alongside an outcome that cannot be controlled. But still, with a positive mindset, these visionaries stick to their cores, work hard, laugh in the face of challenges, put their best foot forward in the unknown, and triumph, leaving behind a legacy that is unmatchable in business parlance.

Melissa Rodriguez’s success story also follows a similar route. With faith by her parents’ side, she moved to the United States at a young age. Later when her time came, she put her faith and all her savings into her business i.e. Social Media Relations, and soon touched the zenith of success in the business world. This story is her Excellence!

Anything is Possible

Melissa was quite young when her immigrant parents moved to the United States. Her parents who made the unknown made an example in front of Melissa that anything is possible. They also helped her understand that fear can be empowering rather than debilitating.

Even while struggling with the English language, Melissa’s parents worked blue-collar jobs, worked long hours, made sacrifices, and showed dedication that instilled the value of hard work in Melissa. With a clear picture in front of her, Melissa sought out to take her family farther than their limited education or possibilities could.

With the will to make it into a beautiful unknown, Melissa Rodriguez left her corporate job and took the biggest risk of her life — starting her own business.

Stepping into The Unknown

The steps of Melissa’s entrepreneurial journey were formed when she started a blog in LA just to remain connected with her family and friends in Boston. The digital world of publishing paved the path for digital marketing where Melissa could walk. Therein, she fell in love with the inner working of digital marketing and saw an unknown with numerous possibilities.

However, coming from a large corporate culture, Melissa was oblivious to the facts of entrepreneurship. And getting clear on her vision became her biggest challenge. She explains, “We are not often taught how to be visionaries and as a consequence, we limit ourselves to what we see around us. I didn’t grow up with entrepreneurs around me, so I didn’t know what that looked like or that it was even possible.”

So, Melissa had no idea how to be an entrepreneur. However, she had faith. She took the biggest risk of her life and cashed out her 401K after quitting her job to start her business. Soon she found herself short of money and thought that she would have to move back to Boston to her parents just to survive. Melissa also struggled to find peers in the business world as she was the first in the family to run her own business.

Luckily her faith came around and before she could lose everything, Melissa landed her first client and $15K project that saved her. This client was all that she needed as she found her confidence along with the path to continue to officially grow her business.

“My biggest learning is that no matter what you do or how much you know, harvest and trust your intuition. Learn how to create a big hairy audacious vision and cultivate a strong connection with your intuition,” according to Melissa.

Constructing the Bridge

With the first client in her bag, Melissa had sought out to create a service that integrated social media with Public Relations. But as Melissa witnessed the change and the importance of building a relationship with the clients, she shifted the focus to creating meaningful connections. As an influential leader, she has kept her keen eyes on her people and the company’s culture. To her, everything else is obsolete if she can’t take care of her people, her clients, and the relationship between the parties.

And today, under her tremendous leadership skills, Social Media Relations is on a mission to change the way brands connect with their customers and help them create the most meaningful and impactful connections through creative campaigns the world has ever seen. As per Melissa, “We want to change the way brands connect with their customers through meaningful interactions. We don’t want to create noise; we want to be the catalyst for positive change.”

To make this vision a reality, Melissa makes sure that her business as a boutique agency has the luxury to cultivate close relationships with clients. And to jot down the mere details of the analytics involved, Melissa has placed the EOS framework in the working pipeline just like a client scorecard.

With a metric system in place, Melissa matches the alignment of expectations and key performance indicators and track against those measurements over a month to determine the levels of growth. As such, Melissa and her team measure the right KPIs to understand whether or not they are surpassing the expectations.

SMR also sends out weekly updates and ad hoc check-ins to properly monitor how the team is performing. Moreover, by fueling innovation and creativity through activities and workshops, Melissa fosters a culture that cultivates and encourages free-thinking, resulting in exciting ideas coming to life.

Connecting the Hispanic Market

Through her second organization, Mel Rodriguez & Co, Melissa is taking her love for marketing and applying it to help to lift the Hispanic population. Melissa believes that this market is the second biggest population in the US which is often overlooked and batched with the general population.

Melissa’s focus on the Hispanic market allows her to share nuances and differences so that brands can understand and as a result connect authentically.

Faith for Tomorrow

For Melissa, her entrepreneurial journey has nothing short of exciting and unpredictable. Growing from a studio apartment, a co-working space with an assistant, a private office in said space with four team members, to a corner office in DTLA with 25 team members today, Melissa has surely been proud of her journey. And for the future, she’s looking proudly to trust in her faith and achieve more.

As far as her organizations go, Melissa sees them growing leaps and bounds and having international offices alongside being the name for the most impactful campaigns of our time. She wants to leave a larger social footprint and being stewards of creating campaigns with the intention that touch people’s hearts and make meaningful connections.

And as an influential leader, Melissa Rodriguez envisions herself mentoring and cultivating the next generation of female entrepreneurs who are starting their journey and are in need of community and guidance.

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Visit SMR Website.

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