We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Jonathan Ochart a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Jonathan, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Risk taking is something we’re really interested in and we’d love to hear the story of a risk you’ve taken.
We all take risks every day, whether moving to a new city for a dream job or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. Starting my own business, The Postcard Agency, is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. Quitting my regular 9-to-5 job to build a marketing and public relations agency from the ground up at the age of 25 wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I took the leap.
Picture it: A young, curious and sprightly 25-year-old in Miami dreamed of a job that gave him the freedom to work anywhere in the world. He wanted to seize every day and live life on his terms. At the time, he worked as a content marketer at an accounting firm, but dreamed of building a legacy of his own — one where he could work with legendary brands and nonprofits that make a difference in people’s lives.
That 25-year-old was me, and I was willing to risk everything I had to start my own business. My appetite for adventure and creating award-winning work was worth losing a regular paycheck and employee benefits. The fire within me wanted to achieve great things rather than wait for them to happen to me. I knew I was smart and savvy, but I had no idea how to run a business in the first place. Needless to say, my nerves got to me and I put the idea on hold.
Serendipitously, I had the opportunity to meet business owners in Miami who were kind enough to give me advice and share their experiences with me. They encouraged me to follow my dream of running my own marketing and public relations agency, but they also urged me to do my homework and set up the foundation for a successful business launch.
I heeded their advice and laid the groundwork for my business idea. In the evenings after work and throughout the weekend, I sat at my desk coming up with business concepts, designing my website and building my brand. I may have missed sunny days at the beach and fabulous Sunday brunches, but I was finally working on something substantial that mattered to me.
After finishing the website and legally forming my business, I reached out to everyone in my network to let them know I launched a marketing and public relations agency. The amount of support I received fueled my fire to keep pushing forward, and a few contacts brought business opportunities my way. Without these contacts, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to leave my 9-to-5 job and take The Postcard Agency to the next level. I’m incredibly grateful for them, and I urge anyone who wants to run their own business to nurture their relationships with friends and former colleagues.
Now, The Postcard Agency is based in Texas, and we’re growing faster than ever. In addition to working with brands like PBS, Miami Beach Pride, TransNewYork, Worthy Mentoring, LGBTQ Therapy Space and so many other businesses and nonprofits, we have been recognized for our work with three industry awards. We’ve been named a top agency in Florida and Texas, and we launched an internship program to introduce passionate students to the magic of marketing and entrepreneurship. It’s an honor to keep this torch aflame while inspiring the next generation of marketing and public relations professionals. Beyond that, it’s an absolute honor to share this experience with others who want to pave their own paths, too. Anything is possible if you work for it.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I’m the founder and CEO of The Postcard Agency, a full-service marketing and public relations firm headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. We work with businesses and nonprofits of all sizes around the globe to help them build brand awareness, establish their thought leadership, engage audiences with authentic content, and generate quality leads. Our main services include website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, public relations, email marketing and branding.
Beyond providing award-winning services to our clients, we help them achieve their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals through meaningful marketing and PR campaigns. As a Latinx- and LGBT-owned business, we bring the expertise and experience our clients seek to engage diverse audiences as authentically as possible anywhere in the world. We walk the walk, and our diverse team and passion for equality separates The Postcard Agency from other agencies.
Building on our passion for diversity, I’m most proud of the campaigns we’ve launched for our nonprofit clients. Designing a sleek and sophisticated website for PBS National Sales has generated record leads for the organization, opening the door for more businesses to support PBS’s beloved programs. Launching a multi-channel marketing and public relations strategy for Miami Beach Pride invited millions of LGBTQ+ community members to celebrate the power of love and kindness, while our social media campaigns for TransNewYork have introduced life-saving mental health services to transgender people in need. Our work supports nonprofits in making a positive difference in people’s lives, and I’m so grateful we can be a part of their incredible missions.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Launching a robust inbound marketing strategy has strengthened our lead generation efforts beyond anticipation. We created free marketing guides at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help small businesses and nonprofits launch successful marketing campaigns of their own, for example, and many of those website visitors turned into sales-qualified leads. Pairing a successful inbound marketing plan with a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has taken our lead generation efforts to the next level, so we get quality leads through our website every day. In essence, we take our own marketing advice to build our business and clientele. We create valuable content that helps people solve their challenges, and they know we’ll be here for them when they’re ready to work with an agency like ours.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
After launching my business, some people told me not to overhype my diversity experience as it might pigeonhole the agency. I heeded their advice the first few months, but after speaking with clients and prospects, I soon discovered that my diversity experience makes The Postcard Agency stand out from other agencies. Celebrating our Latinx and LGBTQ+ identity every day fosters a positive and welcoming work environment for team members and clients alike, and organizations want to work with us because we can help them reach diverse audiences with truly authentic content. Usually, the things that make you and your business different are the things that make it successful. Celebrate those differences and share them with the world.