About Joel Kleber

From Foster Care to CMO of Australia's Largest Franchise

I am the current CMO of the Jim's Group (Australia's largest franchise), host three podcasts, have a couple of side hustles and are currently try to build a digital portfolio to secure my future.

I currently reside in Melbourne Australia. 

Now with that out of the way..........

How did a kid who grew up in foster care with a mother in and out of psychiatric hospitals go on to be the CMO for Australia's largest franchise the Jim's Group? 

Well, it happened because of a couple of different reasons but I will keep it down to two. 

Jim's Group - 2012 - 2023

First reason, Jim's Group CEO, Jim Penman believing in me and giving me a lot of opportunities over the years to prove myself with different iniatives.

I started in what he would call 'the mailroom' with our documents team doing basic 'admin' work which in fact was paralegal work however, that doesn't make the story sound as good. 

Since my 12 years with the business he has allowed me to use iniative and rewarded me with numerous promotions to where I am today. 

Currently I am the CMO for the Jim's Group and responsible for managing the marketing efforts for more than 1,000 franchisees under our National office control. 

Joel Kleber and Jim Penman
Joel Kleber speaking at Jim's Group training

Joel Kleber speaking at Jim's Group training

Second reason, results and iniative. Especially, since April 2019 when I really decided to take ownership of the brand and marketing to push us forward. 

Before 2019, Jim's Group had nothing by way of social media and video content especially. It wasn't my area at the time as I was the documents/legal department manager, however, it really bugged me that all the great content I was hearing from Jim internally was only for us. 

I decided that this was not good enough and removed the social media company running our account and took it over myself. 

I dived head first and built the Jim's Group brand from scratch onlince and since April 2019 the business impact has been huge.

Before April 2019, our franchisee numbers were always around the 3,600 number and this was for around 10 years. 

Since I took over the marketing for Jim's Group we have grown to 5,200 franchisees in less than 4 years time. 

The key to our success has been our video content and relentless social media strategy.

I know this, because I ask everyone in our new franchisee training about what brings them to training and all them say it was watching the videos, listening to podcasts, seeing this pop up on my TikTok feed etc.......as being what got them interested into the Jim's Group and the thought of being a Jim's franchisee. 

This makes me extremely proud as before 2019, our brand to be honest was very obscure and people only really knew about Jim's Mowing and no person else. 

There is a lot more detail I am leaving out, however, I share these stories in my newsletter

However, there has also been a lot of hard work involved and some very tough times in order to get to the position I am in. 

As you can imagine every marketing company under the sun emails Jim daily saying we can do better with social media, digital marketing or video etc.....however, to his credit he always says 'we are right for marketing, my team is great' 

Moving forward into 2024, our plan is to really move the brand forward in NZ and hopefully have 500 franchisees there by employing the same marketing efforts which have already started seeing an upturn in our franchisee numbers. 

We are also trying some TV show placements and some different creative ideas which I am very excited sharing online soon which I think will go viral for the brand.

We are also looking at trying to get into the products market and start getting our own branded 'Jim's' products out there and into various retailers. 

There is so much to do with the brand and my next goal is for us to get to 6,000 franchisees hopeully by the end of 2024. 

To stay updated with the journey, please subscribe to my newsletter

Lived Experience Advocacy and Personal 

Joel Kleber interviewing Lotti O'Dea

Joel Kleber interviewing Lotti O'Dea

As this is my personal website, I want to share some personal items about me which I think are important. 

In the open paragraph I put 'How did a kid who grew up in foster care with a mother in and out of psychiatric hospitals go on to be the CMO for Australia's largest franchise the Jim's Group?

It's a very strong line, but one that is true and something I want to expand upon. 

My mother had Bipolar disorder 1 which she couldn't manage very well which meant she spent time in psychiatric hospitals and due to his, we had to be placed in state care. 

Whilst this being very tough on a young person, as I look back now it gave me an ability to be very resilant which has certainly helped me with my career. 

It also led me to start sharing my story around this and interviewing other people about their 'lived experiences' particually in this young carer area which receives no real attention in the media. 

I have a saying that 'mental health is far more than just depression and anxiety' as I know for a fact that in this new wave of mental health awareness you hardly ever hear about young carers, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other complex mental health conditions. 

Due to this, I decided to create The Lived Experience. 

joel kleber and anne kleber
lived experience podcast

The Lived Experience is my podcast which aims to document stories about mental illness that go beyond just depression anxiety. 

Growing up, there was literally no content or people who supported my single parent family around this topic.

The podcast allows me to share my story, interview others about theres and hopefully help other people out there knowing they are not alone, especially when supporting a family member with a serious mental health condition. 

To me, these are the people who are on the front line which it comes to prevention in the community, but, how ofter do you hear them mentioned in the mental health awareness movement? 

Currently, I have been throwing myself into building digital assets from the ground up. 

I am doing this for multiple reasons, but first and foremost it's to obtain hands on skills in many valuable areas that I see many businesses needing help with and that is things like SEO, Content Product, Digital Foundations etc....

There is also so much opportunity online to build a great side income in your spare time, I share what I am doing on my blog and newsletter. 

Connect with me 

If you want to work with me or get in contact, please drop me an email to joelkleber@gmail.com