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Joe Heslin Strategies works with organizations to find just the right Message (Brand) and outreach (Marketing) to convert prospects to clients, and clients to evangelists.












People want to "get," to support, and to advocate for organizations they truly believe in. 

Here are some understandings that guide my work:

  • Marketing at its core is an exercise in empathy. We need to understand, embrace, and engage the thinking, hopes, and concerns of our clients.
  • Brand=strategy.
  • Brand is a narrative—supported by messaging, design, and marketing—that connects us to an idea or an ideal.
  • The outcomes of great marketing
    • To communicate both value and values.
    • To arm your customer to defend their choice of you.
    • To create an informed and empowered advocate.
  • The difference between marketing and sales
    • Marketing - Connecting with many through messaging.
    • Sales - Connecting with one through relationship.
  • Engaging, Dynamic, and True
    • Engaging—Messaging is built on a foundation of narrative. You need to build a logical progression that gives the client the sense of what, how, and most importantly, why.
    • Dynamic—The narrative should move people through it. They should be satisfied with the logic and delivered, ready to act, at the doorstep of conversion.
    • True—You have to be truthful and authentic when presenting an organization's (or individual's) message. You are not trying to convince someone, you are informing them in a compelling way.
  • In marketing and product development, beware the "Futon Effect." Compromising on something to the extent that it tries to be a bed AND a sofa but does neither well. 
  • I don't blog but I write the occasional article


The first step is a conversation. First meetings are free and are really just an opportunity to hear about your situation and answer any questions you might have. Contact me at 802.451.9248 or—or you can certainly fill out the form below—and we'll go from there. 

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Joe believes marketing is a horrible business—often focused on getting people to buy things they don't need with money they don't have. He equally believes that there is a better way. The first step is for him to not speak about himself in the third person.

I have spent the last decade developing, implementing, and refining my proprietary approach to brand-building and integration marketing. I work with organizations of all sizes, but that work starts on an intentionally personal and individual level. I balance new eyes and deep experience, proven methods and innovative ideas, the reality of "is" and the aspiration of "ought." I have been the victim of marketing consultants in my own past and I am not that guy. I bring results and revelations as we work together to build internal cohesion, broadened awareness, and engaged audiences in a way that's authentic and true. Contact me if this makes sense and you want to get started. 


It is a joy to work with Joe. Not only does he have a wealth of experience, skills, and knowledge, but he has the unique ability to quickly build rapport, engage various contingents, and create consensus and a unifying vision. He is able to think outside the box, assist in designing creative strategies and gets true enjoyment from working with people.
—Ellen Smith, VP Institutional Advancement, Landmark College

Working with Joe, some of the most daunting organizational undertakings, like refining a mission statement or landing on a new brand, become delightful opportunities for connection, engagement and inspiration. Joe has many effective processes, but more importantly, he has a brilliant marketing mind and an uncanny intuition about how to move groups forward.
Kate Jellema, Director, Center for New Leadership

The thing I like about working with Joe is that even on a small contract he goes the extra distance. He was fantastic at helping me work iteratively and steadily towards our goal—which we reached.
—Caleb Clark, Chair of Academic Technology, Marlboro College

Joe worked to thoroughly understand my brand and the workings of my industry, as well as my goals and strengths. Through this, he was able to provide me with incredible insight and feedback about how to move forward and grow my business. He is a truly exceptional communicator and is kind, down to earth and approachable, as well as direct and honest. Joe was able to clearly articulate what set my business apart from others in my field and came up with a multi-tiered approach for gaining new clients.
—Clare Barboza, Photographer, Clare Barboza Photography

We reached out to Joe to have him look at our marketing strategy. In our initial conversation, he shared a refreshing voice and insight about the unique qualities of Hilltop Montessori School. From a SWOT analysis to a full-blown messaging redesign, Joe has guided our marketing efforts to increase our visibility in the community with a more accurate and authentic message. The greatest thing about working with Joe is his joyful nature—and he is truly a ball of energy. He does his homework and genuinely leans in to help you uncover your authentic voice.
—Lauren Campbell, Admissions Director, Hilltop Montessori 

In recruiting students, Joe started by helping me articulate what we were offering as well as who would be seeking that. He then helped me to build an agile and responsive marketing plan to effectively engage our audiences. When my primary audience shifted, I was able to pivot that plan and continue to effectively recruit.
—Andrew Hart, Director of CMI, Hampshire College

Smart, fun to work with, efficient, and effective. I had a very brief window to get a lot done and Joe kept everything on track. By consolidating mounds of information into a compact presentation he gave my thoughts more impact and me more confidence in talking about my organization.
—Nancy Heydinger, Executive Director, Girls on the Run Vermont 

Joe is able to arrange complex elements into a clean, clear structure. He researched what I do, why its important and who needs to know about it, and then he built that into an engaging and concise pitch. Marketing can be so unseemly, but Joe just crafted the truth into something compelling.
—Kerry Secrest, Principal, Watershed Coaching

As an artist, I was surprised how unclear my goals were. It was amazing to begin to think in a more organized, focused way about what I’m doing and also where I’m going with it. Joe couldn’t have been more helpful or more fun to work with. I learned a lot about myself and about how to communicate my vision during our meetings.
—Leslie Woodward, Photographer, Jeff Woodward Photography

I'm struck by Joe's ability to "read" people; to understand where they are after just a short time and then help them envision where they want to go. After about 45 minutes of conversation, he had helped me get out of my box and re-envision myself. Now, after having applied to over 30 jobs with no response, I have the job of my dreams.
—Peder R., Brattleboro, VT

Joe Heslin is an engaging and energetic professional who works very hard to understand the messaging and communication needs of an organization. In working with us on a re-branding initiative, Joe’s in-depth research and analysis of our communication intentions and needs was both invigorating and insightful. His final products were clear, on-target and powerful. 
—Mary Ide, Board of Directors, The Friends of the Library