Jon Hollenberg – Winner of Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur for Marketing

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On Friday the 29th of October, our team here at Five by Five ironed our best outfits and suited up for a night to remember.  We were about to celebrate our Founder, Jon Hollenberg, being recognised as a finalist for the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award hosted by Business News Australia. Little did we know, our night was about to get a whole lot more exciting than that! 

Up against a competitive crowd of individuals, Jon came face to face with some of the best and brightest young entrepreneurs the Gold Coast has to offer. The room was buzzing with anticipation and excitement as the entrepreneurs and their teams got together to celebrate their amazing achievements throughout another weird and wonderful year of doing business during a pandemic.

Our hearts were pumping!

When it came to announcing the winner of the Marketing category, the entire Five by Five team held our breath… only to holler at the top of our lungs when Jon was announced as the winner!

That’s right, Jon Hollenberg, the owner and founder of Five By Five was awarded Gold Coast’s Young Entrepreneur of 2021 for Marketing!

We would like to congratulate all of the finalists of the night. Some of the business challenges they have faced over the last two years they could never have imagined, so to come out on top with a Young Entrepreneur Finalist nomination under their belt is a huge achievement!

Check out Jon’s written nomination below to learn more about the amazing journey he and Five by Five have been through to get here today:

What did you do before you started Five by Five and what prompted you to start it?

My first job out of university was working for a very small Melbourne based digital agency back in 2001. I was working for a man called Nick Marvin, who has since served some of Australia’s leading sporting icons such as Chairman of the National Basketball League; Managing Director of the Perth Wildcats and Perth Lynx plus CEO of World Series Rugby and the Western Force. 

He gave me my first job in the industry and got me interested in web design, direct response marketing, self development and leadership. On the first day of my job, he sent me out on my first sales call where I crashed and burned horribly. Nick continued to throw me in the deep end over and over again. I learnt so much in those first few years and laid the foundation for the years to come. This inspired me to want to run my own digital agency and at the age of 25, I took the leap and started my own business.


Tell us more about Five by Five and what you have to offer and to whom:

We are Australia’s highest rated Digital Agency specialising in providing a customised digital solution for our clients. Our services range from web design, web development, copywriting, SEO, Google Ads and website hosting and support.


What have been Five By Five’s key highlights in 2021?

We have been busier than ever in 2021, working overtime to help our clients navigate a tough couple of years. While many companies were forced to scale back, for us it was the complete opposite. 

As we primarily work with clients in ‘hands-on’ services, Covid-19 fundamentally changed how they could do business. They came to us for advice, and we also proactively reached out to them, with ideas on what they could do digitally to not just survive, but thrive through the pandemic. 

These companies needed to evolve quickly from a one-dimensional digital presence to using their website as their new shopfront. For example, our clients in the medical sector moved to online consultations, while those in the legal space pivoted to selling products and courses online. 

80% of our existing clients came to us needing to do something differently, and quickly – whether it was a simple pop-up to update their customers, or a complete overhaul of their website design. We also had a surge in new clients coming to us who had minimal or no digital presence and needed our help. A lot of our year-on-year profit growth came from this influx of new clients looking for a digital solution. 

One client story that really stands out is a company called Wild Wood, which creates sustainable wooden chopping boards. We started working with them right as Covid hit. Previously they sold their products in bulk to restaurants, bars and hotels. It was very much a B2B company, but when Covid forced hospitality venues to close, it pretty much wiped out their business. We helped with their SEO and created an ecommerce shop on their website so consumers could buy their products directly. That completely changed what the business was about – in a short time, the site went from virtually zero traffic to 2,500 visitors a month. The majority of revenue for the company now is direct sales to individuals. 

Most of the new builder clients we’ve taken on are Queensland-based. One of the new and innovative websites we’ve developed is for Coral Homes, a national company with its head office here on the Gold Coast. During Covid, display homes were shut, so people looking to build a new home couldn’t see them in person. For their website, we built in the same experience you would have in person at a display home. You can essentially build your house virtually, including your chosen facade, extras package, colours and so much more. At the end you can create a custom quote for your new house. Coral Homes achieved 50% more leads and enquiries from this ‘build your own quote’ process than they were receiving previously.  

After we build these unique features for our clients, they’ve now got them long-term. It’s an added benefit for their sales team and saves time at every step. The challenges of last year presented a real opportunity for us to help clients reinvent how they do business for the better.


Tell us more about the Burger with the Lot; what else do you offer on top of web design and build?

The video and photography component is a crucial part of what we offer. It’s hard to communicate what a business is through stock imagery, so we go out to a company’s office and do a 90-second brand video with them and a three-hour photo shoot for quality headshots and action shots. This visual element allows the client to build trust with anyone who visits their website. 

We have a client here on the Gold Coast who creates blinds and shutters. After doing the photo and video shoot, the client raved about how good it was for his business. Now when he goes out to do measurements, their customer will warmly say, “Oh hi, Adam!” They’ve already seen his face all over his website, so the rapport is already there in real life. 

We also have a network of trusted partners on the Gold Coast, such as Gravitate Digital (predominantly paid traffic). We’re relaxed about these referral relationships. For us, it’s not about chasing commissions or aggressively marketing our services. We are currently building what we call our Collab Community, a one-stop shop for all our partners to create a referral network. 

We’re very proud of all of these success stories, and they show other businesses what we can achieve for them. 


What are your plans and strategies for the remainder of 2021 and beyond?

A key plan for the remainder of 2021 is what we call building our ‘flywheel’. There’s been a lot of change and evolution for the business and our clients over the last 12 months, so we’re coming out of that period with a clear strategy in place. We’re on track to some kind of normality again. 

When we made the switch from thinking of ourselves as a web design company to a complete digital partner, we developed a new marketing strategy around the visual of the ‘burger with the lot’. 

It comes from the idea that elsewhere you can get an unexciting plain burger that you might enjoy – but when you get the burger with the lot, you get to really enjoy the beetroot, the egg, the cheese and so on. This is how we visually represent our service – when you come to us, you don’t just get the patty and the bun. You get the lot! And for us that means you also get extras like logo and branding, photography and video, copywriting, search engine optimisation, hosting and support. 

We call it a proven 12-month recipe for digital success. It’s a fun way of visualising for potential clients that they’re not just getting a website redesign from us. 

Going forward, we want our department heads to run their departments as if they are their own businesses. The vision is to create six business owners under the banner of Five by Five. We’re going from the mindset of being one entity to being six thriving businesses under one roof. 

In this process, we will continue to grow the team (perhaps even outgrowing our current office space!) and service more clients. By the end of 2021, we’re also on track for the same revenue and profit percentage increases as we’ve done the past two years. 

We’re seeing the most uptick in our paid ads component of the business, which goes back to that guiding principle of offering ‘the burger with the lot’. It’s our job – and our passion – to keep researching and refining how we can help our client’s grow. 

We plan annually as a business in November, then review these plans quarterly with the leadership team, share our vision and mission with the broader team, and create their cascading goals.

Have your new website designed, built and managed by the Gold Coast’s best!

So many people, including many business leaders, are moving to the Gold Coast for a change of pace, lifestyle, scenery… whatever it may be! This has been accelerated by the pandemic, but puts the Goldy on the map as a growing business hub and place of innovation. 

Queensland’s Southeast has recently ranked as Australia’s fastest growing region for the technology sector and the beautiful Gold Coast, amongst the top 10 fastest growing regions for technology in the country. No wonder Jon chose to headquarter and run Five by Five web design here and why there is such a stellar local team behind him! 

Once again, we would like to congratulate Jon Hollenberg, the owner and founder of Five By Five for being awarded Gold Coast’s Young Entrepreneur of 2021 for Marketing! Find out why by getting in touch with us and experiencing the results of one of our websites for yourself!

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About the author
Gabrielle Armes
Gaby has always had a huge interest in the digital space. Growing up in the times of social media and digital marketing means her understanding of these tools are second to none. Completing a Bachelor of Communications (majoring in Advertising) at Bond University only expanded her passion for the digital world. During her time at Five by Five, she has worked with a range of clients and her love of creating a 5-star experience through personal communication has helped create long-lasting friendships with the clients she has worked with. Now undertaking the role of Head of Marketing & Client Experience, Gaby's mission is to make sure every one of our clients has a killer experience when working with Five by Five! When she isn’t hanging out in HQ, Gaby spends her time playing tennis with her soon to be hubby or you can also find her at home watering her 23 house plants.
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