Our founder, Nader Jaffal, initially started Promote Yourself as a Facebook page back in 2008. He was working as a freelance production assistant at the time. He noticed that the available cast didn't meet the casting needs. People being cast for roles were mostly models, while what was actually needed were 'real' people from all walks of life.
To tackle this mismatch, he started a group on Facebook. He made clear that anyone could be a character and everyone had the potential to be cast. He asked people with a passion for acting, regardless of their looks, to send their pictures and information and to 'PROMOTE THEMSELVES'. Hence, our company name: 'Promote Yourself'.
In two days, he received 150 responses. He got his first brief for a KitKat Senses commercial a week later. He submitted a selection of the profiles he received, and one of his talents booked the role. From then on, he started receiving more requests. At the time, he was still in production and decided to start his own production house but kept the Facebook page going on the side.
Michella Sfeir joined the production house in 2011. Meanwhile, Promote Yourself kept growing. In 2013 Nader decided to close the production house, invest in Promote Yourself and turn it into the main business. Michella believed in the project, and the two joined forces. Under her management, Promote Yourself as a talent agency began to take shape.
From then on, we kept growing. We rented a space in the mall and built a casting booth. The booth stayed in the mall for a month, and people could get cast for free. This way, our database grew, and we created hype in the market. As a result, we started getting more requests.
Coming from a production background, we knew exactly what the market needed in terms of talent and service. We built our strategy based on that knowledge. Over the years, Nader focussed on business development, and Michella took charge of operational management. Together they turned Promote Yourself into the successful company it is today. In 2016, as the company matured and we had a clearer vision for the future, we started covering almost the entire Lebanese market.
In 2016 we also built our first app. Unfortunately, the technology back then wasn't sufficient for what we had in mind, and people weren't as familiar with mobile apps as today. So we decided to park the project for the time being until two years later, in 2018, we started drafting and developing the current app. By the end of 2020, the app's first version was released, and testing began with a focus group. The app was finally released on the market in 2021.
At the start of 2022, Michella and Nader decided to continue as business partners and to incorporate Promote Yourself in their shared Georgian company, Virtual MINA.
In 2023. we are mainly Casting in Dubai and Casting in Lebanon.