“God has called all of us to greatness,” Jonas explains, “but it’s up to us to walk it out. I realized if greatness was going to be manifested in my life, I had to give it my all. I vowed to be a man who practiced discipline. Not in a legalistic way of trying to be better than the next guy, but in a way of positioning myself for all that I’m called to do. It’s very hard to accomplish anything sitting on the couch.”
So, Jonas got busy. He began by searching through job listing websites looking for leads. He always had an interest in marketing, so he started there. It became quickly apparent to him what the “hot” new trend was in the marketing field.
Jonas found himself bombarded by 26,000 job listings posted by companies looking for Social Media Managers. He realized that hiring a full-time Social Media Manager was a luxury only large companies could afford. What about the little guys? What about the non-profits and the small-town, family businesses he cared so much about? Most of them couldn’t afford to keep a professional on staff to manage their traditional marketing, let alone social media marketing. And yet, it was clearly becoming a necessity for small businesses to utilize social media to compete with their national chain-store counterparts.
“Why not start a company that offers these services to small businesses for a fraction of what it would cost them to keep a professional on staff?” He recognized that there was opportunity in this thought and the idea for Socially Present was born.
Jonas now had an idea and plan for accomplishing it, but what he still needed was financial advice. That’s where Paducah Bank came in.
“Several years earlier, my wife and I had been trying to buy our first house. It was a real fixer-upper and we were getting it super cheap. I was a customer at one of the national banks at the time, but when I came to them about getting the small loan I needed, they turned me down. On a whim, I walked into Paducah Bank to ask about the possibility of a loan. Not only was I able to get the loan, but a vice president of the company met with me that day – no appointment necessary – to discuss it. Her name was Janice Phillips and she has since retired, but she was just wonderful to work with. I later learned that she was actually the first female lender in the community! I was so blown away by the fact that someone so high-up in the bank would take the time to meet with a couple just starting out, that I moved all of my money to Paducah Bank. And when I found myself starting this new chapter of my life, coming to Paducah Bank to discuss business planning and financial options was a no-brainer. They already felt like family to me.”
Socially Present has been a great success. The company has grown an average of 80% each year – adding two new employees per year and extending their client base into St. Louis, Nashville, and Louisville bringing outside money into our community. Jonas attributes this success to his team of talented professionals. “Without them, none of this would be possible. They make me look good!”
“We’re digital story-tellers. Businesses hire us to tell their story, not to just build a website, shoot a film, manage their social media, or design a logo. We focus on small businesses that need help and partner with them to accomplish their goals. It’s not about over-selling the client. It’s about working with tight budgets, doing precisely what’s needed in each unique situation, and not spending a penny more than necessary to accomplish that. We offer free consultations and month-to-month contracts, so you don’t feel locked into anything. One great success story that comes to mind is The Station Burger Company. They needed help setting themselves apart and standing out from the crowd in their location by the Mall. We simply created a plan to drive online reviews, and they were breaking sales records the very next weekend. It ended up being a record breaking month for them. Now, they are opening two new locations. I’m proud that my team played a small part in that. But I always say – we can’t make a business great, but we can make a great business known.”
Update from Jonas:
Socially Present has recently moved in to the Coke Plant and we are planning our ribbon cutting for March 28th. Once again, Paducah Bank was our financial partner in the renovation and has been key in helping us grow over the last few years. We couldn’t have done it without you. A special thanks to Chase Venable for helping us through the transition.
If you are a customer of Paducah Bank and would like us to feature your business, let us know by emailing Susan Guess at email@example.com.