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Meet the Team: Kathy Heil, "It’s All About Relationships"

Kathy Heil is co-owner of StoryTeller Media & Communications and leads the sales and marketing team. Throughout her career, Kathy has worn many hats (often juggling a few at one time) which has helped her hone and advance her interpersonal skills. Whether she’s filling the role of head of sales and marketing, trusted confidant, teammate, Mom (of three), or co-owner, Kathy’s ability to connect with people and make lasting relationships is unmatched.

Wearing her co-owner hat, Kathy does a stellar job of cultivating a company culture where people feel heard and represented. As head of marketing and sales, Kathy encourages businesses to grow and equips them with the necessary tools to drive their marketing initiatives forward.

As Mom and friend, Kathy enjoys golfing, biking, traveling with her family, and is always up for connecting over a glass of wine.

A Background in Sales

Since graduating from Michigan State University in 1988, Kathy knew she wanted to go into sales. It takes a special person to seek out a job in which success is based on your ability to build relationships and convince people to trust in what you are selling, but for Kathy, this was exactly the kind of challenge she was looking for.

“Somebody once told me that ‘If you're going to be in sales, sell the best of whatever it is you're selling because selling itself is hard enough’.”

Kathy took this advice to heart. After all, if you don’t trust in what you are selling how can you expect others to?

The Start of StoryTeller

Following this sound advice, Kathy started her sales career at Xerox and went on to RR Donnelley where she spent 15 years developing long-lasting relationships with retailers, catalogers, and direct marketers.

In 2010, Kathy switched gears to help her husband Ed Heil, who at the time was involved in TV news, launch their own PR agency; StoryTeller Media & Communications (STMC).

“A big part of agency growth is contingent on being able to sell,” noted Kathy. So while Ed focused on operations and building the agency for clients, Kathy concentrated her efforts on sales and marketing.

Fairly quickly, STMC moved away from PR and shifted gears into becoming a video and content-based Inbound Marketing Agency. (If you’re not quite sure what inbound marketing is, check out this awesome resource.)

It was during this transition that StoryTeller recognized the value that HubSpot could bring to the agency and StoryTeller became one of the first partners in the HubSpot Partner Program. “I like to say we kind of grew up with HubSpot,” reflects Kathy. “HubSpot was instrumental in helping shape our marketing acumen as an agency.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Hybrid Agency and Interpersonal Relationships 

StoryTeller offers a hybrid work environment. Ed and Kathy live in Michigan, while the rest of the team is scattered across the upper midwest. There is a central office space in Minneapolis that is used for client meetings or podcast recordings, and while a few employees work here, the majority elect to work from home.

Kathy also enjoys the remote environment–actually, she has been remote her whole career as she juggled full-time work with full-time parenting. Whew. Working remotely has certainly gotten easier over the years thanks to the advancements in technology, and she is happy that StoryTeller made the switch to offer full time remote to everyone during the pandemic.

While there are many benefits of remote work, there truly is no replacement for face-to-face conversations.

“I've built some of my best relationships in sales, over dinners, lunches, and traveling.” Because of this, Kathy feels it’s alll the more important to be uber-intentional about your interactions with people, both in person and on camera.

Intentionality is key in building relationships with others, she says. “I think intentionality plays a big part of what makes us connect as people. At the end of the day, people buy from the people they trust. People do business with people they trust.”

All ‘Heil’ Kathy 

Though she won’t take the credit herself, we owe much of the success of StoryTeller to Kathy. Her genuine and honest approach to business shines through in how she cares about her prospects, clients, and employees.

When working with her, you will receive exceptional service and support as she always goes the extra mile to ensure your success. 

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