Once upon a time in 2009 in a very small bedroom in Morningside Heights, a writer (me) and a graphic designer (Alex) started a website called Autostraddle Dot Com. Neither of us knew a damn thing about business, ad sales or marketing, and as time went on and business-savvy helpers dropped off, those duties eventually landed in Alex’s lap. Wearing many hats, including some that don’t fit, is part of Start-Up Life, and Alex’s superior social skills made her a much better choice for that kind of work than me, so there she was! There’s gonna be a few changes at Autostraddle this summer that we’ll address in more depth in a different post, but the main one is that Alex won’t be handling that part of Autostraddle anymore. And, as I’ve recently moved to Michigan, I’m hoping that the new Business Money Person can be somebody local who I can work with IRL sometimes!
So here I am, with our first-ever legit job posting.
We are looking to choose somebody by mid-May, with an official start date of June 6th. If you’re free during A-Camp this year (May 29th-June 3rd), that’s a huge bonus, as meeting more team members face-to-face and understanding A-Camp would definitely help you do your job. (We’d comp your tuition to enable you to attend.)
You should live within an hour of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan area, which is where I live/work. You’ll mostly be working from your home, but will sometimes work with me in person as needed. (We’ll reimburse travel expenses.)
If you’re the type of person who’d like to be at the top of the ladder without having to climb it first, then this job is for you! That’s how I am — I realized a few years post-college that I didn’t have the patience to start as a staff writer and work my way up to an editor-in-chief position, I’ve been ready to be an editor-in-chief since I started the Bernard Family News in 1988! So I started this magazine and hired myself to run it.
This position is ideal for a recent graduate (or somebody with a life situation that requires flexible work-from-home hours) with entrepreneurial spirit, superb communication skills and digital media literacy. You should be a detail-oriented self-starter, incredibly outgoing, ambitious and creative with a contagious passion for the LGBTQ community and independent media.
The vast majority of our revenue is generated by our readers through merchandise, camp and our A+ program, and you’ll be working with us on those as well as handling ads and sponsors. This isn’t a job where you’ll ever have to compromise ethics or influence editorial direction to please an advertiser — and the companies we work with know this. In fact, we are hoping to move towards doing more partnerships with indie, women-owned and queer businesses. You would be in charge of making this happen!
Your job will include:
- Working with senior staff to promote A+, develop new membership initiatives and periodically reviewing the program to drive growth
- Identifying and executing new revenue opportunities
- Handling all incoming non-editorial-related communications from external stakeholders
- Communicating with potential advertisers, developing and designing campaign proposals (including sponsored content, social media and events), negotiating deals and sponsorships, handling invoicing, organizing the execution of campaigns and accordant social media
- Cold-calling and pitching advertisers
- Maintaining and updating our media kit as well as our press page
- Coordinating advertising networks (e.g., AdSense, BuySellAds), evaluating profitability of said networks and seeking out affiliate advertising opportunities
- Conceptualizing and collaborating with team members and designers on new merchandise and coordinating design, production, pricing, promotion and ordering
- Facilitating sponsors for A-Camp and Camperships
- Handling requests for speakers/presenters and booking for team members as well as any event or conference facilitation as well as travel provided as trade for press coverage
- Meeting on the phone or in person with external stakeholders to discuss any type of partnership or collaboration
- Developing a more physical presence in Southeast Michigan through events, meet-ups and local partnerships with non-profits
- Designing a user-friendly ad sales system that can enable independent, queer and feminist businesses to buy ad space or develop brand partnerships with us at reduced rates
- Assisting in the launch of a new venture aimed at LGBTQ teens that we’re embarking upon this fall with Everyone is Gay.
Experience we don’t require but imagine would be helpful:
- Associates or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
- Experience working in digital media, advertising, marketing, copywriting, branding, social media, publishing and/or public relations
- Well-versed in online media and publishing
- Comfort with DoubleClick and ad hosting platforms in general
- Sales experience
- Talented writer and/or designer
- Skilled or literate at HTML, InDesign, Invoicing, Slack, Google Docs, WordPress or similar
This is a full-time job, and ideally you’ll be around for 8 or so hours a day, five days a week, though that’s flexible (you’re definitely not wedded to a 9-to-5). As a small business running on a tiny budget, we’re not able to offer as much money as you probably deserve to earn — but as our Business & Marketing Director, you’re in a very strategic position to negotiate higher compensation if you enable us to make more money! All our full-time senior staff receive annual raises.
- $26k base salary with an additional 30% commission on all direct ad sales (annual ad sales have ranged from $15k-$50k, but most sites of our size make 5x that amount, so the sky’s the limit for what you can do!), with room for additional project-based bonuses (neg.)
- Unlimited paid vacation* and unlimited paid sick days
- Flexible hours
- Opportunities for free travel and events
- Guaranteed spot on A-Camp Staff
- Working with some of the coolest people in the whole damn world for a damn good cause
* However your presence is required at A-Camp (annually in California, usually end of May/start of June) and at the annual senior staff retreat, which is end of June/start of July. All senior staff is consulted when these dates are determined.
Unfortunately we’re unable at this time to offer health insurance, although we hope that will change. This position is ideal for those who have insurance through their parents, partners, or the Affordable Care Act.
To apply send a cover letter in the body of the email and attach a PDF resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: HEAD OF MONEY.
In your cover letter please be sure to include:
- Relevant experience and education
- Why you think you would be good at this job
- Why you want this job
- Where you live
- Three revenue-driving ideas: this could be ideas for new merchandise, advertisers or partners we could work with, an A+ membership push or even an event. Keep in mind that any ideas that require a lot of time from the editorial team will be difficult to pull off.
Please submit your application by April 30th, 2016. I’ll be in touch by May 15th if I think you could be The One!
Feel free to spread this job posting far and wide, especially with LGBTQ groups in the midwest!