Emily Heck, Owner and Founder, Evergreen Strategic Communications (Indianapolis, IN)
Emily Heck, Owner and Founder at Evergreen Strategic Communications, started her agency in the fall of 2019. With no job in sight and no career plans, she started meeting with people, chatting over coffee, and trying to figure out her next chapter. Emily picked up some freelance marketing projects from a former co-worker and networked more intensely. Her business, helping nonprofits and small businesses organize their marketing, establish processes and systems, and more efficiently engage their audiences, grew.
Although in-person networking dropped off during the pandemic, Emily is now finding contacts she did not see during the “isolation time” of Covid eager to meet and “catch up” and more interested in re-connecting face to face. Potential clients are responding to her cold-call invitations to explore partnership opportunities a lot more quickly and with a lot less requisite “relationship building” than before the pandemic.
In this interview, Emily talks about the importance of LinkedIn, “the place for silent scrollers,” for building connections. She says people may scroll through your feeds and read them, but do so with no likes, shares, or comments. Think nothing is happening? Emily says she often gets comments when she meets with people six months later, “I’ve really liked your content.” It‘s important to “keep posting.”
Emily says small business owners and nonprofits have the same marketing struggles and are “behind” the big companies on lead generation emails, getting conversions on emails and social media, and on figuring out how to “pump that up.” “Getting there” requires guiding clients to build marketing model proficiency and effectiveness and scaling larger company processes down to something that works to help “small” grow.
When Emily first started working with clients, she spent a lot of time figuring out their processes, the location of their social media account login information, and establishing what they were trying to achieve through their marketing. Client websites, often a “mess,” may fail to “tell their story well.” “You can’t really be effective in your marketing if you don’t have a good base of organization,” Emily explains. So, she cleans up client websites and SEO first, as a base to “push everyone back to” from emails and social media efforts.”
Email has changed a lot. Today, Emily says, “You’ve got to have some personality in your emails.” She recommends “changing the sender name from the organization name to a person’s name” to improve open rates.
Emily can be contacted on her agency’s website at: evergreenstrategic.org, or on LinkedIn as Emily Hack in Indianapolis.
ROB: Welcome to the Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Kischuk, and I am joined today by Emily Heck, Owner and Founder at Evergreen Strategic Communications based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Welcome to the podcast, Emily.
EMILY: Thank you very much. I’m so excited to be here.
ROB: Good to have you here and talk some Indiana connections here. Why don’t you start off by telling us about Evergreen, and what is your specialty?
EMILY: Evergreen started in the fall of 2019. I started my own business right before the pandemic; I’m not sure if that’s smart or adventurous or whatever word you want to fill in, but it is our origin story. We focus on nonprofits and small businesses, which may seem like two very different clients or types of clients, but they have the same marketing struggles. We help nonprofits and small businesses get their marketing organized, get processes in place, systems in place, and then work to help start engaging their audiences more efficiently.
ROB: Got it. Is that organization the common struggle of where they’re starting from?
EMILY: Oh yeah. That is 90% of what I see. It’s int