The Social Media CEO Spotlight: Jacqui Jones of One Degree MMM
Jacqui, Social Media CEO of One Degree, elevates brands’ market positions through uniquely structured marketing strategies. She believes social media is a tool for businesses and shares her SM wisdom through consultations with her clients.
Fully immersed in her community in Birmingham, Alabama, she coaches small businesses on strategic marketing and is in the midst of crafting her first TEDx Talk(!!!). She has truly leveraged the power of her local network to grow her business in exciting ways.
Jacqui shares that building a strong team can alleviate growing pains and prioritize her workflow more efficiently. And when she needs inspiration? She looks to Beyonce (we’re right there with you, Jacqui)!
Read on to hear more from Jacqui in her own words!
Tell us more about your social media business! What is your "elevator pitch"?
One Degree creates uniquely crafted marketing strategies for businesses, brands, and organizations via consultation, coaching, and digital marketing services. The One Degree difference elevates brands’ market position through effective strategy rooted in marketing the best practices that save brands money, boosts sales and brand awareness.
How did you get started as a social media CEO? Give us a brief history, or your career trajectory --- what ultimately led you here?
I could be telling you my age, but social media wasn't nearly as big as it is now when I finished college - the industry has grown so quickly. As it grew I realized just what a tool it was becoming for businesses, and that at its core, it needs all the things any other marketing strategy needs.
So, I gave it a try. Honestly, at first, I was feeling my way around in the dark. The more important it became to a brand's marketing strategy, the more clients came inquiring about the service. Now, here we are!
What do you love about being a social media CEO?
I love that the work never gets old. You get to reinvent regularly. You get to be creative. You get to do things you know people will enjoy. It's a rewarding feeling.
What is your biggest challenge as a social media CEO?
I’d say the biggest challenge is the number of people that are calling themselves social media professionals. People seem to give college students with no experience the budget they could be spending with a company because "they're young, that's what they do all day anyway."
Proving the value of what I charge is my biggest challenge-- but when I overcome the setbacks and the loss of money clients have experienced [with other “pros”], I think clearly anyone can do it, right? (all sarcasm)
If you could give your younger self some words of wisdom, what would they be (does not have to be business related!)?
Don’t wait so long to make yourself a CEO. Get out there and boss up. You’re ready!
What are you most looking forward to in your business this year?
I’m looking forward to growing my brand presence. I feel a momentum swing for my personal brand and my company brand. I'm looking forward to keeping that momentum on the upswing.
You've got a lot of exciting facets to your business. In addition to running your agency, you are heavily involved in your local community of Birmingham, AL. We can typically find you coaching small businesses on strategic marketing, running the Magic City Fashion Week, and even giving an upcoming TEDx Talk! Can you tell us how leveraging your "small town" network has helped your grow your business while giving you some pretty awesome opportunities?
This is a great question. Honestly, I've always found that being present is one of the most powerful things we can do as business owners and as people. In such a digital world, being physically present in spaces where you can shake hands, show support and have real conversations makes you stand out.
So, choosing to work in a co-working space to be around other entrepreneurs, attending events, and answering questions that show my expertise in real time have made it a little easier for people to feel they can trust me and my brand. That has opened ALL of the doors for me in my city.
Give us three brands you are loving on social media right now!
Hmm, this hard. I spend so much time putting things into the social-sphere that I rarely get to be a regular person and just scroll around. But, if I had to pick some favorites, celebrity-wise would be Will Smith. I can't get enough of his down-to-earth, living my best life persona. Whoever is editing his videos deserves an Oscar, it's awesome.
Marketing boss babes would be @Badassboz. I love her unapologetic approach to life as a marketing executive, black woman and fashion lover.
I also get all my beautiful feed inspo from my CEOYeah! squad - @creativefreedomva, @mybeautysocial, @idealwild, @duartegroup, @katiemandersocial, @kaylabeckmannbarnhart, @lindencosocial, and @objectliberty. They give me beautiful content on the front side and keep me sane in the DMs.
#RealTalk | We like to keep it real + even though you’ve obviously been successful in your business, can you remember a time when shit hit the fan, or when something you tried failed miserably? How you were able to bounce back or what that incident inevitably taught you?
I do this regularly, so this is an easy question (haha!). There have been quite a few times in business over the last year where I've taken on more than I can handle. I haven't kept up on the promises or gotten things done as quickly as I needed to. It's a growing pain. What I learned? Build a team. Build it quick. Trust them to do the work.
I bounce back from those situations by being honest with my clients and letting them know that I am aware I failed at whatever it is, or could have communicated or executed better. I keep it very honest and real when I've messed up. I ask for another chance-- usually I get that chance and I perform better. Sometimes I don't get that chance but it's fine. What good is growth without grace?
Who was your 90’s obsession?
There is not a time in this life that I haven't been a Beyoncé fan. In the 90's, I was the invisible member of Destiny’s child (Rhinestone cowboy hats and all)!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to add (without sounding cheesy and making you all look self-promoting) that I honestly don't think I would have increased my confidence in my most successful year (last year) without having the CEO Yeah! experience. It's important in entrepreneurship to know that others have similar struggles. It's valuable to take care of yourself. It's bossy to take badass pics in a mansion in Palm Springs.
That experience was one of the biggest moments of my life where I gave myself permission to do things my way. It has made a huge difference for me. It was there where I realized that dressing how I want, telling clients no and making my business what I want and how I want it to be is a real thing-- and I deserve it. I'm so grateful to Stephanie for following her heart and sharing that experience with us.
Wanna hang out with Jacqui and other Social Media CEO’s?
Join our exclusive Clubhouse for female-identifying social media professionals! This is not your mama’s Facebook group. Join the clubhouse to get access to loads of Social Media CEO resources, a monthly book club, virtual pizza parties with Steph (yes, pizza!), and no bullshit community of awesome women. Want to know more?