Apply: Part-Time Writer/Editor/Photo Editor/Marketer

Do you have a love of photography and an entrepreneurial spirit? Wonderful Machine may be the place for you!

MISSION

Wonderful Machine is a production company with a network of 600 commercial photographers around the world. We connect those photographers with publications, agencies, and brands, and we help them with photo editing, design, marketing, estimating and shoot production.

We're also developing a social media platform called NowAnThen, where anyone can create, share, and discover timelines of historic photos. The site will be useful to individuals wanting to share historic family photos (think Ancestry meets Instagram) and for institutions like universities and historical associations who want to share their collection with their fans. The web development is nearly finished. We're just starting to talk to institutional users, then once we have most of the bugs worked out, we'll launch to individuals.

STAFF

We currently have 6 full-time and 20 part-time staff members working in our Narberth, PA office, and a dog who sleeps on the couch. We also work with a number of freelance photo editors, designers, and producers.

We're looking for someone to work part-time, on-site.

There are three main types of tasks that our staff members perform.

  • Research & Outreach: Photographers, Clients, and Crew
  • Publicity: Writing, Editing, Social Media, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
  • Consulting: Photo Editing, Design, Marketing, Estimating, Shoot Production

We currently have about 20 different roles, and I like to gradually rotate people through those different positions so they can continue to learn and grow. People might stay in a role for as little as a month or as long as a year.

For each role, the objective is to learn that role and then help us improve upon it and document it. Even though someone might occupy a role for a long time, we view every role as temporary. So our objective is to think about how to make that role effective, how to make it fit with all the other roles in the company, and how to make it transferable to the next person. We tend not to customize roles for our people. Instead, our people adapt to each role.

ROLES

Crew/Agents/Resources
Tasks Include: Research, Data Entry, Outreach, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Associate Producer
Department: Crew (Office Manager)

Since we help photographers and clients in so many ways, we need to have a lot of information at our fingertips. We have 2-3 staff members maintain our lists of crewagents, and resources. That work involves going through our internal database one person or company at a time to evaluate whether they're relevant to us, then update their information and reach out to them if appropriate. We also research new infomation.

Member Content
Tasks Include: Reporting, Writing, Documentation Updates
Job Title: Publicist
Department: Publicity

One of the ways we promote our member photographers is by writing short articles about them and the projects they're working on. We post those stories on our blog and we promote them on our social media channels, and we pitch them to outside blogs and publications to extend that publicity value even further.

Staff Content
Tasks Include: Writing, Copy Editing, Documentation Updates
Job title: Publicist
Department: Publicity

Since inbound marketing has been an effective way for us to connect with our audience, our staff members write articles including Crew articles, Specialty articles, Expert Advice articles, Consulting Case Studies, and Pricing & Negotiating articles. The person in this role serves as an editor, working with each staff member to maintain a steady flow of quality content.

Content Strategy
Tasks Include: Emailers, Web Ads, Strategic Partnerships, Copy Editing, Documentation Updates
Job Title: Publicist
Department: Publicity

We send out email blasts each month to our member photographers, non-member photographers, and to clients. We place web ads, and we cultivate strategic partnerships with all sorts of companies in our industry including blogs like aPhotoEditor, and equipment manufacturers like PhaseOne.

Social Media
Tasks Include: Maintaining our FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestLinkedIn, and YouTube accounts.
Job Title: Publicist
Department: Publicity

Internal Documentation
Tasks Include: Copy Editing/Training
Job Title: Publicist
Department: Publicity

In order to provide consistently high quality service to our customers and to provide clear guidance to our team members, we document all of our internal processes. In this role, our staff member works with everyone on our team to incrementally update all of our documentation and keep it organized on our server. They also help onboard new staff members and train people on new roles.

Profile Updates
Tasks Include: Profile Updates, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Associate Photo Editor
Department: Photographer

We update our member photographer profiles on a regular basis. One of the things that makes us different from other photographer directories is that our team decides which specialties are appropriate for each of our photographers and which pictures to show for each specialty. This curating process takes time and energy, but we feel that it's valuable to clients who count on our judgement.

Membership Inquiries
Tasks Include: Membership Inquiries, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Associate Photo Editor
Department: Photographer

Each week, we receive 10-20 inquiries from photographers all over the world who are interested in becoming a Wonderful Machine member photographer. One of our associate photo editors manages those inquiries and a small group of us reviews each photographer to decide whether they'd be a good fit for us. Whether we invite that photographer to join or not, we always invite them to a phone call so we can learn more about their business objectives and to share our capabilities.

Photographer Research
Tasks Include: Photographer Research, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Associate Photo Editor
Department: Photographer

We proactively add to our internal list of photographers by scraping many different sources on the internet and reaching out to those photographers. That process helps us generate new members, generate consulting projects, and we sometimes also have a need to hire photographers outside of our network, and it makes that information readily available to us. The main emphasis of our current research is photojournalists.

Photographer Outreach
Tasks Include: Photographer Outreach, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Associate Photo Editor
Department: Photographer

We proactively update our internal list of photographers and reach out to them to share our capabilities. That process helps us generate new members, generate consulting projects, and we sometimes also have a need to hire photographers outside of our network, and it makes that information readily available to us.

Publication Research
Tasks Include: Research, Data Entry, Emails, Phone Calls, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Researcher
Department: Photographer

A prospect is any person or company who might want to hire one of our photographers or who might hire us to produce one of their photo shoots. We divide our prospects into three categories: publications, agencies, and brands. Publications include newspapers, magazines, blogs, and book publishers. Though they tend not to pay very well, publications do tend to hire a lot of photographers. We use LinkedIn and other online resources to find people and companies that are relevant to us.

Agency Research
Tasks Include: Research/Data Entry/Emails/Phone Calls, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Photographer

Agencies are companies that get hired to promote brands. The can include ad agencies, graphic design firms, marketing firms, communications firms, and public relations firms. We use LinkedIn and Winmo among other resources, to find them. We reach out to them to share our capabilities and to learn more about their needs.

Brand Research
Tasks Include: Research/Data Entry/Emails/Phone Calls, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Photographer

Brands include any commercial company that uses high-quality photography on a regular basis (and includes any organization that isn't a publication or agency). We use LinkedIn and Winmo among other resources, to find them. We reach out to them to share our capabilities and to learn more about their needs.

Publication Outreach
Tasks Include: Emails/Phone Calls/Visits, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Prospects

We email, call, and visit publications to share our capabilities and to learn more about their needs.

Agency Outreach
Tasks Include: Emails/Phone Calls/Visits, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Prospects

We email, call, and visit agencies to share our capabilities and to learn more about their needs.

Brand Outreach
Tasks Include: Emails/Phone Calls/Visits, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Prospects

We email, call, and visit brands to share our capabilities and to learn more about their needs.

Office Manager
Tasks Include: Server Backup, Order Supplies, Manage Landlord, Supervise Cleaning Service, Take Out Trash, Clean Refigerator, Documentation Updates
Department: Crew (Office Manager)

In addition to their other responsibilities, our office manager takes care of our physical infrastructure, including light tech support like server back-up and maintenance, ordering supplies, supervising the cleaning service, communicating with our landlord, and generally managing the office. The office manager also washes any dishes that might be left in the sink and takes out the trash each day, and cleans out the refrigerator each month. In short, the office manager takes care of the rest of the staff. All of our staff members periodically have other physical work to do as well, like building desks, hanging shelves, fishing wire, demolishing walls, vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, climbing ladders, and carrying boxes. We are a small company and all of our staff members pitch in to do whatever is needed to get the job done. The office manager job is usually shared by two people and is usually supplemental to another role.

Portfolio Events
Tasks Include: Portfolio Traffic, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts
Job Title: Marketing Specialist or Associate Producer
Department: Prospects

Many of our member photographers send us a print portfolio that we can take to our Portfolio Events. In addition to their prospect outreach responsibilities, two of our staff members share responsibility for managing incoming and outgoing portfolios and showing them to clients.

Photo Editing Consulting
Tasks Include: Curating Portfolios, Creative Coaching, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts, Public Appearances
Job Title: Photo Editor
Department: Consulting

The consulting services that our photo editors work on mainly involve helping individual photographers select pictures for their websites, print portfolios, iPad portfolios or special projects. That may sound easy, but it takes a sophisticated, knowledgeable person to work with hundreds of pictures, reconciling a photographer’s interests and skills with the demands of the marketplace. For more insight into our photo editing process, you can watch some screencasts describing our web edits or you can listen to an interview with our photo editor Molly Glynn.

Design Consulting
Tasks Include: Logo Design, Website Design, Emailer Design, Print Promo Design, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts, Public Appearances
Job Title: Graphic Designer
Department: Consulting

Our designers work with individual photographers and companies on logo design, website design, emailer design, print promo design, and anything else related to design. They also support the design needs internally of all the Wonderful Machine Inc. brands.

Marketing Consulting
Tasks Include: Building Lists of Clients, Creating/Executing Marketing Plans, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts, Public Appearances
Job Title: Marketing Specialist
Department: Consulting

Our marketing specialists work on consulting projects for individual photographers, including building lists of prospect, arranging meetings, and otherwise creating and executing marketing plans. To learn more about our marketing consulting, watch this interview with our former senior marketing consultant Erika (Blatt) Siegfried.

Estimates/Production Consulting
Tasks Include: Cost Estimates, Photo Shoot Production, Documentation Updates, Blog Posts, Public Appearances
Job Title: Producer, Executive Producer
Department: Consulting

Our producers build cost estimates for photographers and they handle shoot production for both clients and photographers. Photographers are faced with so many different types of projects, that they often need help figuring out what to charge. Shoot production is all about understanding the needs of a project and then hiring the appropriate crew, arranging the travel, and managing all of the logistics so the shoot goes smoothly. Most of that work happens from our office, but our producers sometimes travel to the shoot location, which could be anywhere. When they're not doing estimates or production, our producers continue to cultivate relationships with photographers, agencies, and brands. You can find some of our estimating case studies on APhotoEditor. To hear more about our estimating and shoot production process, listen to this podcast with our executive producer Craig Oppenheimer.

NowAnThen Project Manager
Tasks Include: Working with our web developer, Documentation Updates
Job Title: None
Department: NowAnThen

We're still wrapping up the web development of NowAnThen. This staff member works with our web development company to keep them on track and they work with me to set priorities for our web development.

SCHEDULE, SALARY

Our part-time staff members work 20-30 hours/week, mostly on a schedule of their choosing (and within the bounds of M-F 8-6). Everyone tracks their time using our Paychex time tracking application, clocking out for at least 20 minutes for every 4 hours worked. The office atmosphere is pretty relaxed. We ask our staff members to keep their phones tucked away during work hours, to minimize the use of ear phones or ear buds, and absolutely no listening to spoken-word podcasts or watching videos at work (who knew this was a thing?)

We periodically shift our staff members from one role to another. I do my best to put people in roles that they find interesting and challenging, but our first priority is to meet the needs of our customers, so there are times our staff members take on roles that they don't love for some period of time.

As our company grows, new opportunities open up. As much as possible, I like to promote from within.

We pay 20.00/hour. After a year of steady progress, most of our staff members get a chance to work on consulting projects that can lead to raises and/or bonuses.

ARE YOU A GOOD FIT?

Now that you've learned a little bit about our company, please consider whether our culture is a good fit for your interests, skills, and personality. Here are few important points:

  1. There is creativity in some of the work we do, but all of our efforts include some element of research, data entry, business development, and project management.
  2. We encourage collaboration, curiosity, imagination, initiative, and independent thinking.
  3. Like any job worth doing, our work can at times be difficult or unpleasant. But if you're interested in our industry and in the kind of work we do, Wonderful Machine will provide you with a great opportunity to learn and grow, and our staff will be fun to do it with.

With such a small company, each of our staff members has an opportunity to make a big impact. Most of our work is about becoming an expert in some area, then communicating that expertise to our photographers and clients. A background or interest in photography, sales, marketing, or advertising is nice, but emotional/intellectual intelligence and people skills are more important. Conscientiousness is the trait I value most.

HOW TO APPLY AND HOW I'LL RESPOND

If after reading all that, you think we might be a good match, please send your resume to [email protected] listing your education and experience, and a brief cover letter (which can be in the body of the email) describing why you’d be a good fit for Wonderful Machine. I'll acknowledge your email by saying, “Thanks, I’ll take a look.” If you don’t hear from me again, that means that I don’t think that you’re quite right for us at this time. I get a lot of inquiries, so I’m sorry that I won’t be able to offer more feedback than that. It’s nice if you address your email to me personally (please call me Bill), rather than to “Dear Hiring Manager.” And you’ll score extra points if you include a link to your LinkedIn profile (which helps me keep tabs on you if I can't hire you this time around).

If it looks to me like you might be a good match for us, I’ll ask to meet up over Skype for a quick chat. I’ll have some questions for you, and it’ll be nice if you have some questions for me. I tend to interview a lot of people and I tend to take a long time to make a decision. I'll do my best to let you know if you are definitely not getting that particular job. But since we’re growing fast, sometimes one set of interviews can run into the next. So if I don’t tell you that you didn’t get the job, it could mean that I’m still considering you for the next opening. I’ll do my best to keep you posted, but there are times when I simply have to leave people hanging. I don’t mind if you follow up by email, and I’ll do my best to give you a meaningful update.

I hope that’s helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything I could add to make this explanation more useful. Thanks!