At 30 years old, Becca Post founded a company. At 31, she saw the company more than double in size over the course of one year. Currently, the company’s projected revenue for 2018 is expected to increase by over 30 percent from last year.
In January 2017, Post, who is CEO, started Helen & Gertrude, an agency that provides start-to-finish social media management for companies. She began her career at Brand Networks after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in the new media design and imaging program in 2009.
It was at Brand Networks that Post got her first taste of working at a startup. When she joined the company, there were only five employees in the Rochester office. Over her eight-year span at Brand Networks, she witnessed the firm grow from five to over 200 members.
During her time at Brand Networks, Post created what was known as the content services team within the company. Post and her fellow content services team members developed what they called “smart content,” which is the basis on which H&G was founded. Smart content refers to measuring the creative process to make the outcome more effective.
Luke Guerrero and Karl Hofmann, senior team members at Brand Networks, offered mentorship to Post. They were both an encouraging presence and educational figures. Post says the two helped her realize this was the career path she wanted, but they also let her make mistakes early on so she could quickly learn valuable lessons that come from experience.
When Post launched H&G, she onboarded data analysts, copywriters, designer and engineers to ensure “we knew what was happening with our creative and finding ways to be more efficient and effective so that way when the media team comes in and spends dollars that the content is going to the right audience and it’s authentic and relevant,” she explains.
At H&G, located on Railroad Street, social media is their bread and butter, and they offer customers start to finish services for anything that falls in that realm.
“When we start working with a new client we focus on understanding their brand,” says Post. “We do a lot of historical analysis so we know what’s worked and what hasn’t been working, and we apply that to anything we do going forward.”
From there, H&G does content creation and content testing, a unique facet of the company that stems from the fact that they possess both the analytical and creative side of content and social media. In fact, this right brain/left brain mentality is what led to the company’s name.
Helen Lansdowne Resor was a trailblazer in the advertising industry and Gertrude Cox is known as the first lady of statistics.
“As we were thinking about the name, a lot of agencies are named after the founders of the company, or it’s some silly made-up word,” says Post. “For me, it didn’t really make sense to take the founder’s name because it was a team of nine of us, so there was no true ‘founder.’ The way we looked at it was that our founders were creativity and data.”
What started as a team of nine has evolved into a team of 21. And management plans to continue hiring and watch that number rise. Post and her peers are working to determine the next step in H&G’s future and whether that involves staying strictly in social media or branching out into new areas.
“A big part of building a business that I’ve always wanted to work for is working with clients that I feel good about and that are also contributing to society,” says Post. “Aligning H&G with those types of brands is really important for me long-term. It’s a very personal passion of mine. A lot of our current clients have great initiatives that we’re fortunate to be a part of.”
Post refers to H&G’s client list as the “Big Five”: Universal Orlando; Jergens; Biore; Curel; and Hologic. Underneath these five overarching brands, H&G has additional smaller clients.
Post notes that one of her favorite parts of her job is being around extraordinary young professionals and watching them blossom in their careers. She is most proud when she gets her employees to go beyond their comfort zone and see what they’re capable of.
Almost a decade into her career, Post has discovered the significance of being a sponge to the information around you and not shying away from being curious.
“Ask a lot of questions. I feel like I learned this a little late,” she admits. “It’s important to ask a lot of questions and then figure out what to do with the information. It’s easy to absorb, but you have to do some self-reflection to see how you can apply it to what you’re doing or what you want to do.”
Outside of owning a thriving business, Post and her husband spend a lot of time with their dog, Finn, who they rescued from the National Great Pyrenees Rescue. They also foster dogs for the same nonprofit and Rochester’ Rescue Pit.
Post is also exploring her passion in food education and sustainability. She is not sure where it will lead, but she is open to the journey.
“I grew up on a farm, so all of our meat and vegetables came literally from our front yard. And I totally took that for granted when I was a kid,” she says. “But now, living in a city, I’m finding there’s a lot of misinformation out there that even grown adults don’t really understand about where their food comes from. I’m not sure where I’m going to go with this yet, but it’s something that I’m really interested in.”
Uncertainty is daunting for many, but Post offers words of wisdom: “Don’t be afraid to explore new avenues. Just because you’re on one track doesn’t mean that’s the track you’re meant to be on.”
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#Team PXY with Whitney Young and Corey James on 98PXY is a partner with Fast Start. Listen on Monday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. for their interview with Becca Post.