Rooted in music, art and community, Verbal Slick, a successful digital media and content strategy agency, thrives in the Big Easy. Like New Orleans, Verbal Slick is a robust blend of quality service, unmatched talent and an eclectic roux of humanity. Their portfolio of work includes music festivals, food festivals, and collegiate and corporate productions for Guggenheim Partners, Dillard University, Universal Pictures and Essence, Inc. The company’s Instagram presence is a seven-figure social media bank account.
Verbal Slick founders and brand ambassadors, husband-and- wife team Donnell “Spinxx” and Verona Jones are second-generation entrepreneurs.
Verona shared, “My father and uncle came to Chicago in their 20s with no formal education…They took their Louisiana roots and built [several] successful businesses in Chicago. Their work ethic…sustained their families, assisted their communities and made a long-lasting impression on my desire to ‘Be a Boss.’”
Spinxx described his initial concerns about starting a business. “I asked myself, ‘Do you really want to be an entrepreneur and eat what you catch?’ I’m not a fan of taking leaps of faith.”
Verona’s artistic eye and Spinxx’s poetic linguistics make for a cutting-edge duo. Since 2011, Verbal Slick has been built on the mantra, “You’ve heard the words, but not spoken like this.” The couple differentiates themselves by establishing positive relationships, treating clients and colleagues with the highest level of respect and working together to create magnificent productions.
“Our ‘aha’ moment was when we truly realized we can do this on our own full-time, the way we want to and it changed our lives forever,” Spinxx added.
The story of their success includes overcoming the insurmountable fear of failure. Their early years, riddled with financial hurdles, sideways deals and, without notice, losing their largest contract, brought many challenges. Insufficient cash flow to meet daily operational needs lead to the Joneses pursuing expensive personal loans to maintain the business. They developed a very aggressive sales strategy that Verona refers to as ‘dialing for dollars.’ There was an eminent reality of returning to 9-to-5 jobs in corporate America and the couple actively marketed their employable skills.
Spinxx describes it as “walking through struggle and changing the narrative, we had to dig in and keep going.”
Their advice to fellow entrepreneurs is “Don’t stay there.”
Spinxx and Verona advised, “We don’t let daily struggles of life keep us in a box, but rather see the opportunities that lie on the other side of disappointment. It may not have been our time yet. It’s important to look ahead rather than stay in the past.”
Verbal Slick rebounded with a unified determination that fortified and grew their business 250 percent. Their tactical efforts included rebranding, obtaining minority and socio-economic certifications, revising the company’s structure and developing a new website. The addition of graphic design, photography and other services shifted Verbal Slick and the Joneses out of their comfort zones and on a solid business foundation within an established social real estate.
Spinxx recommended, “I believe in building a bridge. Don’t just jump across the canyon when you can build a bridge.”
Ensuring the legacy of Verbal Slick involves a hefty investment in innovation and as a best practice, they adopted cutting-edge tactics to differentiate their brand. In 2015 at the Bayou Classic in the Superdome, the Verbal Slick logo and tag line proudly displayed overhead served as a banner of honor for Spinxx and Verona. Verbal Slick’s collaborative team of strategists, designers, developers, photographers and videographers executing on a large-scale production marks the next level of innovation.
The couple continues to accumulate accolades from the business world. During the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, Spinxx was among more than 50 influencers honored at The Made Man Celebrity|Influencer Honoree Reception. And, Verona is noted for making regular appearances on local media.
Grateful for their family, community and clients that continue to support their craft, the Jones’s oneness and trust in each other advances their aspiration for global ventures.
As inspiration and encouragement, the couple relies on the words of Maya Angelou, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
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