Meiling Jin, born in China, is a female multimedia producer from Chicago, Illinois with over a decade of writing and reporting experience. In 2014, Meiling graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in broadcast journalism. Her earliest media work set the foundation towards her current independent ventures in documentary film-making and production of online TV shows. Meiling has a delightful on camera presence that makes for a great interview. That same charm proves to be an asset that aspiring broadcast journalists could find value in emulating. Meiling’s interviews with celebrities that include Chelsea Handler and Patrick Stewart highlight her ability to provide conversational insight and hand audiences valuable keys of life.
To compliment her natural interviewing talent, Meiling is a social media influencer gaining a global following that brands and companies flock to for her social media reach and international sensibilities. Most recently, she was photographed for the April cover story of the Chicago Star alongside other Chicago social media celebrities for her work as a social media influencer promoting goodwill.
Meiling is a multi-talented media professional that clearly has an ambitious heart that she pairs with an equally ambitious will. As she continues to further her media enterprise her viewers, readers, and fans, will see the results of an entrepreneur that consistently places her focus on growth and development. In Chicago, a city that values hard work, Meiling Jin is a role-model for those who walk the path towards success.
How did you get started in this business?
It all started with a journalism job that covered Chicago news for my Chinese audience. My earliest stories were from the Chicago Comic Con, the Gay Pride Parade, different trade shows, and conventions in the Chicagoland area. I was in front of the lens and behind the camera as a media personality and content producer.
My experience in audio, photo, and print lead me towards an interest in video journalism that eventually placed interesting personalities and celebrities besides me. Those interviews helped me realize that I could actually make full documentaries.
In 2015 I launched studio Meiling to produce larger scale projects and documentaries. The documentaries were a start to the studio’s diversifying range of productions. Chop Chop TV, the studios online streamable sitcom, was developed as an addition of original content to compliment the documentaries and interviews.
I think it shows the comedic side of the studio’s personality.
How do you generate income?
I love producing content and am always searching for more opportunities to use my talents. My background is in a lot of different industries – journalism, marketing, social media, modeling and more.
I like to do everything so that makes it easy to generate income in a variety of ways. Some of it is from Instagram influencing, some of it is from field marketing, and some from journalism.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took a few years.
The initial investment to become a producer is pretty high. When we started it was self funded. Working as an independent studio without external investors can be challenging, but the reward and satisfaction of being a self-starter is gratifying.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I feel that everyone has doubt lingering from time to time during the entrepreneurial journey. Worrying is normal but it is important to maintain your motivation. You can not go through the path of entrepreneurship solely looking at the numbers. Occasionally there are risks that need decisiveness. You have to focus on your passions and make the right decisions on your way to achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.
It takes a specific mindset to be an entrepreneur.
How did you get your first customer?
I met my first customer through word of mouth. I am a very social person, so I was doing a lot of networking at the beginning – it takes hours everyday. Then I used social media to promote my work.
People you don’t even talk to and acquaintances will see you work online and even if they have not interacted with you there is always the potential to convert that view to procuring an actual client.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful platforms for now. There is no denying that social media is an effective way to promote any business. It has the means to increase an entrepreneur’s profitability within domestic markets and even more importantly internationally.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision has been to turn down opportunities that seem great, to make room for the best opportunities. Sometimes you have to turn down a client to make room for the right ones. Once people realize the quality of your work, you will have a lot of people trying to work with you.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Success to me is not defined by followers, fame or money. Success to me is doing whatever I am passionate about, and making sure that you never have to complain. Getting to work on what you love everyday is how I define success.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Hearing feedback from friends, fans, and family about the quality of our work helps to validate all the work my studio is doing. Also, I really appreciate when people reach out and tell me that something I produced has helped them.
It is so satisfying anytime someone tells me that they found some kind of benefit from my work.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We have been picking up more and more opportunities. I am really excited to see what kind of work I can pursue. What kind of collaborations that can be put together.
Some great brands that I have been a big fan of finally have been reaching out to me. I’m excited to be placing our work on multiple platforms and seeing the reaction of the followers.
What business books have inspired you?
I don’t have any books that inspired me particularly, but I like to read biographies about successful people and how they got started. Their entrepreneurial histories really are inspiring.
I typically read more articles than books, especially on WeChat. My friends and I share articles.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If you are passionate about something – go for it. It can start as a hobby, or you can go after it as your career. Do not listen to what others say about your passion. You can create your own version of success for yourself.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes, mentoring and works of goodwill are all in my work experience. It’s also fulfilling to be a mentor. Anyone who wants to reach out to me can find me on instagram.com/MeilingJinXO to connect.