The Influencers

Nina Mufleh

11. Feature-INFLUENCERS-Nina_2

Nina Mufleh, 32, is an experienced marketer and social media professional. A California native, Mufleh spent the last decade in the Middle East where she worked for Queen Rania of Jordan to spearhead her presence in the digital space. Mufleh went on to co-found The Online Project, which is the Middle East’s leading social media agency and one of the top 40 worldwide. In May 2015, she launched www.nina4airbnb.com, a social media experiment and an unusual appeal for job at Airbnb that garnered worldwide attention.

Like a breadcrumb trail, you’ve made international impact from Amman, Jordan to San Francisco, California. How has your global background aided you as a professional?
I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to work on global campaigns from the beginning of my career. My first job out of college was in the communications department at the Office of Queen Rania of Jordan. She is a high profile international figure, and working as part of her team taught me to think strategically.

What aspects of your time in the Office of Her Majesty were most formative for you?
It’s rare to work in a government office that fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and autonomy. I was extremely fortunate to be exposed to that, and to top it off I had an amazing manager who encouraged me to test out all of my unorthodox communication ideas. The one that had the biggest impact on me was when I lead the Queen’s first social media experiment. Celebrities and government personalities didn’t use social media platforms then the way they do today, so not only were we working on something unconventional, but it was focused on using social media tools to bridge communication gaps and cultural misunderstanding.

How did the idea of The Online Project come to fruition?
After working at Queen Rania’s office for three years and developing a deep understanding of the potential impact of social media technology, I wanted to experiment further. A friend of mine saw the opportunity to capitalize on this by working with brands in the Middle East. So, the two of us, along with a third co-founder, began offering campaign ideas to Fortune 500 companies. Within a few months we had signed on the region’s largest telecom conglomerate and several globally-recognized brands. That’s when we realized that our experiment was turning into a full-fledged agency and a successful business.

Airbnb has been the recent subject of your professional ambitions. Describe how your modern approach to capturing the company’s attention has unfolded for you.
My strategy was to utilize my skills as a marketing professional to sell myself as a product. I had to create a campaign that people would want to talk about and that meant doing something bold and valuable.

What idea of yours have you been you most fulfilled by?
After a year of continuous professional rejection, I began to doubt some of my own abilities. Seeing this experiment capture the attention of millions of people felt like a great accomplishment. The real fulfillment of it though came in the form of the thousands of messages I’ve received from strangers telling me this has inspired them to go after their own dreams.

Do you have a mantra to keep you balanced as a high-performing young woman on and off the clock?
Celebrate the successes, learn from the failures, and push yourself to new limits.

Who are the women who inspire you most?
I’ve worked with many inspirational women in my career. At The Online Project, our team of 52 people was predominantly women, and I learned so much from each one of them.

 

Text by Kyle Thornburg
Photograph by Shaz Khan

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