Last Updated on November 29, 2022
Connect with Melissa
Melissa Church is an award-winning social media influencer and founder of a digital marketing firm called Digi-Buzz. Melissa’s Bad Science Jokes community has grown to over 1 million followers and aims to teach people about science through humor. Be sure to check out Bad Science Jokes on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter and also check out digi-buzz.biz to learn more about Melissa’s approach to digital marketing.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background, including how you got involved in acting?
While I was in high school, actually, I had already been acting professionally for a few years at that point, but in one of my classes I started writing jokes for a science class, and it was part of a little bit of a project we were doing, and it started to take off. Being in high school, I was like, eh, I don’t want to really mess with this. This is not my main focus right now.
By the time I was out of high school, I got very, very sick. I was bedridden for about two years, and I spent a lot of time on the phone, watching TV, doing things like that, trying to make it a little more entertaining. Basically, I started working a lot more on Bad Science Jokes, trying to find a way to feel like I’m connected with a larger community.
I really did love science, and that was something I was planning on still pursuing down the road either as teaching or something like that. Basically, while I was sick, I decided that the acting life wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore and then I went to NAU. I went to college in person for a year, and then I finished up online. And during that time, I just realized how much I loved digital marketing and how you can really help a business through something as easy as just getting their name out there.
I was learning how you could take a post or a Google Review, things like that, and how much that can just change a business where they come up online or in feed, algorithms, things like that, a lot of stuff to learn, and that’s where my focus started to go. And with that, I was using Bad Science Jokes to help teach and also to help learn a little bit more about marketing.
With Bad Science Jokes, we have been able to go to events like NASA Social in 2017, where we were taken behind the scenes, got to talk with a bunch of scientists, and they showed us all around NASA Goddard in Maryland.
And so it’s been a very exciting thing to do is to take people from all around the world, sitting at almost a million followers across the web, all different platforms on social media, and being able to share, to educate in a fun way, taking something that’s very complex and kind of difficult and making it a little bit easier to digest and easier to remember.
What was your “a-ha” moment when you realized that you were an influencer?
I was working with a company called Zeelool, which is a glasses company. These are actually their glasses. And they were asking me to post more videos about me wearing the glasses or doing little stories and things like that. One of my friends came up to me and said, “It’s official. You’re an influencer now.” And I went, “I guess so.”
With what I do through Bad Science Jokes, I’m mostly taken out of the equation and I kind of enjoyed being a little bit hidden, a little disconnected. And now it’s just people are like, “Oh, that’s Melissa from Bad Science Jokes.” I’m like, hi.
So I’m having to put myself back into that field, that public field that I was kind of trying to stay out of because my whole background isn’t as science-y as a lot of people would assume with what I do online. Yeah. I mean, I ramble a bit, I apologize, but that was my aha moment. Somebody just basically walked up to me and is like, “This is it, Melissa. You’re an influencer now.”
Do you have a favorite meme that you’ve posted on Bad Science Jokes?
I don’t know if I could actually pick one. There are dozens that I could say that, oh, I love these. To be honest, I’m still kind of in love with some of the older memes, like early Vine kind of stuff, dating me a little bit. Yeah. There’s always something new and there’s always something funny and it doesn’t stop. So far, there hasn’t been an end of memes. There’s always going to be a new one.
A celebrity’s going to say something silly, something is going to happen in pop culture and then bam, and then all the educational ones on top of that. But no, I’m sorry, I really don’t have a favorite.
You recently won a Women Lead Change award as an emerging leader. Can you tell us about that experience?
I am [located] in a little area between Illinois and Iowa, and that’s kind of where they were focused on for this award was like a regional under 30 women who wants to watch, who have done some volunteer work in the area or nationwide. Somebody nominated me who I still don’t know.
I think it was somebody who follows me, who knows, I’m kind of local and they wouldn’t tell me. Basically, they really liked what Bad Science Jokes does and the way we can teach in such a different kind of atmosphere, in a non-judgmental, community driven area. They got such a kick out of that.
And I was able to tell them about the people who have reached out to me and the people who I’ve been able to help, the people who follow.
I mean, there’s some really big names who follow me, and there’s some just the local middle school science teacher who prints them out and puts them on the wall, but it’s driving that not only the comedy, but the science and the stem fields for women, which where it’s not usually a majority of women in those fields.
What are some of your goals for 2023?
My biggest goal for 2023 is keeping up with Instagram. Every time you turn around, there is something new going on and it seems like then they’ll try to backtrack it a little bit and they go back and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of things I want to do for 2023, maybe making it even more interview based with some scientists.
There’s a few astronauts who follow me and maybe being able to connect with them, being able to share with the people who would not normally be able to be in my position, to be able to have these conversations, to bring that to hundreds of thousands of people.
Education is really where I want to focus because over the years, maybe we’ve strayed a little bit from that now and then trying to just keep up with algorithmic changes or what the audience wants.
But I’m hoping to lead them into a more educational field where they can open their phone and whether they like it or not, they’re going to learn something today and that’s my evil master plan.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.