Danielle Haley from Indy Consultancy, the official Content Partner of this year’s Essex Digital Awards, talks about her company, her involvement with the scheme, and what’s in store for her company in 2018 and beyond.
Tell us a bit about your business.
Indy is first and foremost a content development agency. We research, write and market copy for websites and print. But because our background lies in search engine marketing, we’re also able to help brands shape their online strategies by offering expertise in SEO, PPC, web design, branding and other aspects of digital marketing.
As director, writer and consultant at Indy, what’s your background? How did you come into your current role?
After heading up the support team at a Chelmsford-based marketing company for a while, in 2012 I took the plunge into self-employment and incorporated my own SEO agency with a business partner. The five years that followed were a huge learning curve, but running that business was an invaluable experience, especially in that it taught me how to use search marketing to nurture clients’ campaigns and bring them tangible growth.
In August last year, I decided I wanted a new challenge. I felt it was time to focus on my core strength – content – and so Indy was born.
What do you love about your industry?
The sheer variety of the work that comes through the door always keeps me on my toes. I’ve written published content for hundreds of clients in all kinds of industries, from B2B providers through to online retailers, blue chip companies to tradesmen; and on top of that, I’ll often get asked to write all kinds of long and short form copy, including web pages, product descriptions, blogs, press releases, case studies and brochure text. This means that every day is different, and I’m always learning something new about my clients.
Having the ability to make a real difference to businesses is a source of motivation for me, too. The right copy can make or break a company’s image, and I thrive on being right at the heart of their marketing process.
Who is your ideal client?
I love to work with anyone who sees the value in content development as a service. Writing copy that’s of a professional standard requires more research and insight than many people think, so it’s important that my clients consider me as a sound investment.
The team and I will bend over backwards for anyone who is willing to commit time and energy to their content campaign (and their wider marketing strategy).
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Clients always comment on the fact that we work with their best interests at heart. We always act with integrity, and if we think that a certain approach isn’t a great fit for a business, we’ll offer a viable alternative. We’ve found that decision-makers really appreciate our honesty, and it’s this that encourages them to place their trust in our expertise instead of heading to our competitors.
What’s great about being based in Essex?
I think that Essex has one of the most unique business cultures in the UK. If you go looking for it, the support and encouragement on offer from other local companies is incredible. There’s a healthy level of competition amongst us, of course, but it’s such a friendly place to work, and there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit in the local community that’s having a stronger impact on the economy year on year. I wouldn’t want to run my company from anywhere else in the country.
What inspired you to become the Digital Awards’ Content Partner this year?
I’ve worked with the EDAs since its inception, so when the chance came up to lend a hand on a more practical level, I was happy to supply content and assist with new marketing activity. I’m a big believer in the benefits that the scheme can bring to local businesses, so it made sense to sign up straightaway!
What do you hope to gain from your role as a sponsor?
I’d like to use the platform to get Indy’s name in front of other businesses. The Awards offers some excellent networking opportunities, especially with the addition of a new business event for 2018, so I’d like to chat with likeminded people and generate some interest in the services we offer. Hopefully, sponsors and entrants will be impressed by the content they see on the Digital Awards’ website, and will be encouraged to get in touch with us to discuss their requirements.
If you were an entrant instead of a sponsor, which Gold award would you like to take home with you, and why?
I’d want to aim high and go home with the Best Website award, of course! But I think that achieving Gold in the B2B and Blog categories would also be testament to the quality of work that’s on offer from Indy. I’d be happy with those. Maybe next year!
What do you think sets the Digital Awards apart from other regional awards schemes?
For starters, it’s the only one of its kind. The organisers were ahead of the curve when they set up the EDAs and, five years on, they’re still leading the way in recognising exceptional digital talent.
I’m always impressed by the value that’s delivered to sponsors, too. Despite the fact that the EDAs has grown steadily year on year, category sponsorship is still very affordable for SMEs, which means that all kinds of businesses are able to get involved. It’s a scheme that’s very accessible and it’s exactly what the local community needs.
Which other local businesses inspire you the most?
Seasoned Awards sponsors Nimbus Hosting run a tight ship, and I’ve been very impressed by the way they’ve used their exposure at previous events to drive interest in their brand. Objective IT in Great Baddow have recently celebrated their 30th year in business, which is an amazing achievement and proves their longevity. And Splash Creative London, headed up by Seena Shah (who is based in Essex), is pioneering social management trends, too – Seena’s passion for what she does is infectious.
What advice do you have for other companies in Essex?
You get out what you put in. It’s not one of the most grammatically appealing pieces of advice out there – but it’s true!
In my experience, there’s a lot of business for the taking in Essex, but the only way to grab hold of it is to make yourself known. Even if you’re mainly based online, don’t just be keyboard warrior; don’t rely solely on your web presence. Go to networking events, reach out to companies that are of interest to you, and make yourself stand out from the rest with unique PR. It will eat into your time (and your budget), but connecting personally with other businesses is one of the best ways to guarantee a larger client base.
What does the future hold for Indy?
I’m going to be ramping up our marketing efforts in the next few months, so I’m expecting big growth for the agency itself this year. Indy is also a co-organiser of the South East Bloggers Club, a local network that’s designed to connect brands with bloggers and inspire long-lasting marketing partnerships. The plan now is to expand on last year’s bloggers’ events and bring even more value to the brands that choose to get involved with us.
2018 is certainly going to be a busy one – but that’s just how we like it!