we're seeking top talent: lead writer

Posted on April 26, 2015

Hello. We’re Design Aglow, a little company with giant ideas. Since 2006, we’ve been an industry leader for information, education, and templates created for the success of professional portrait and wedding photographers. Our team has created 300+ products that help photographers shine, and we have begun  a long-term growth cycle that includes two internationally published books in partnership with Random House and an online wholesale frame, packaging and album lines to serve our North American market. Innovation is a team constant, and we’re always seeking (and developing!) the industry’s next big thing.  At Design Aglow, the entrepreneurial and artistic spirits coexist, with one always pushing the other to new heights. Our success revolves around a collaborative environment, the happy flow of minds working together on projects that make a difference in photographers’ lives.

Our team needs a freelance Lead Writer for our Portland office who can thrive in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment. You should have excellent communication skills, be able to juggle several different jobs at the same time, and be able to make decisions on the fly. The variety of the work on a day-to-day basis recommends this job to people with strong work ethics, organizational abilities, a creative sensibility, and a love of growth. This job is likely to become a permanent position for the right candidate! We strive to maintain an open and creative work environment where everyone has the ability to voice opinions and affect company strategies. Our growth is a direct result of consistently setting trends (rather than following them) and growing a strong team of dedicated, passionate employees.

Freelance Writer: For our community of over 25,000 photographers, we’re always ready with a wise word, a kind thought, or a gesture of (gentle) tough love.  Our success revolves around a collaborative environment, the happy flow of minds working together on projects that make a difference in photographers’ lives. As our Lead Writer,  you would be an integral part of this team, largely responsible for Design Aglow’s editorial direction. It’s a big responsibility, but we think you’re up to the task. Want to hear the rest of the job description? The Lead Writer is responsible for content creation for the Design Aglow brand, which includes products, marketing, some social media, and web content. For projects outsourced to freelancers, the Lead Writer is responsible for providing the initial creative brief and ongoing direction, as well as overseeing the content creation process from beginning to end. The Lead Writer will be working in a creative environment with our Portland team. We are searching for candidates who are both idea AND detail people, self-motivated, capable of crafting ideas for content and immediately implementing them. The Lead Writer must also stay well-researched and up-to-date on current trends and issues in photography and business. Their work must reflect the Design Aglow voice, as well as inspire, educate, and help determine the direction of the entire industry.

Responsibilities:

• Creating and managing an editorial calendar
• Writing timely blog content, which includes interviews and longer educational/motivational articles
• Sourcing motivational contributors Design Aglow products and blog features
• Crafting social media content using current SEO best practices
• Discovering sharable/pinnable content that has viral potential
• Writing product descriptions
• Composing company communications
• Contributing product ideas and subsequent product copy
• Envisioning contest/creative innovative marketing ideas
• Writing press releases & researching possible media pitches
• Managing and commissioning freelance contributors to create content for products
• Editing and polishing content produced by the Design Aglow team

Required Qualities and Characteristics:
• Degree in English, journalism, marketing or other related subject with strong writing portfolio
• Knowledge of and experience in the photography industry
• Knowledge and understanding of current SEO best practices
• A solid understanding of composing content for both print and web
• Ability to multitask and work efficiently with an eye for detail
• Ability to take criticism constructively and be willing to change a concept quickly if a piece needs a new direction
• Ability to perform effectively in a fast-paced team environment, with a high level of creativity and entrepreneurship
• At least 2 years of relevant experience

Our office is in the SE District of Portland, OR. Please submit your resume to jobs@designaglow.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Guide your clients through their special day with the Wedding Welcome Packet

Posted on April 25, 2015

With the Modern Minimalist Wedding Welcome Packet, we’ve put together everything you need to help your modern wedding brand with original marketing content and templates that guide clients through every step of the process. The clean lines, modern typography, and open spaces give the images room to breathe, and evoke a feeling of bold style.

Nicole of 43rd Ave. Photography shares, "Since so many aspects of a wedding photography business are online and/or digital these days, I knew I wanted to create as many opportunities as possible to present something tangible to our couples. I also realized there is so much information for couples to process that I needed something that would help our newly booked couples feel like they were informed; and I wanted it to look good!

I used the Modern Minimalist Wedding Welcome Packet to create a welcome greeting card to thank the couple for choosing us for their day. I added a "What to Expect" section to the essential wedding terms and conditions tri-fold that outlines the process of working with us so our clients always know what to expect next. I also wanted to add a couple items that would be helpful to wedding planning, so I included Kraft Field Notes notepads and a cute tote from Wedding Chicks. I also include a handwritten note on our thank you postcards.

I know how much I enjoy the rare snail mail and I hope that this small gesture helps my clients feel like they made the right choice in hiring us for their wedding day. I hope that they feel thought of and prepared. In fact, a recent bride said, "Thank you so much for the lovely thank you package! Such a great touch!"

Thanks for sharing, Nicole! We love your approach and are so happy for your success. Enjoy your $75 shopping spree on us~

Have you created something awesome with Design Aglow products? Feel free to send us images here. If we feature it on the blog you’ll get a $75 shopping spree at Design Aglow!

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How to Sell Albums (and increase your studio revenue by $40,000+)

Posted on April 24, 2015

People often say less is more; when it comes to client images, more is most definitely more.

So what do you do for those clients that want it all--the good, the great and even those candid shots they didn’t even realize were captured? Sure, you could simply hand them a thumb drive and send them on their way, but then you’d be cheating them. No one sees those images. No one enjoys those moments. They won’t even stand the test of time, since thumb drives are lost and technology rules out storage devices without constant updating.

Now consider an album. It’s real. It’s meant to be touched. It shows care and craftsmanship. Technology won’t dampen its spirit. It’s a finished product enjoyed every day for the rest of time, to share with friends and family in an interactive and natural way. And it’s worth ten times more than any digital format.

Ready to greatly increase your sales and avoid turning over an entire session on a disk or thumb drive, simply through easy and effective client education?



Show Albums on Your Website

Your website is your most natural and effective marketing tool. These days, even Aunt Ruby is online, which means you have the opportunity to make a pretty killer impression before a potential client even books you.

If you’re already presenting gorgeous custom photo albums on your website, your clients already know these are a specialty of yours; this means you’ve already planted a seed for the sale. If your clients are taking the time to peruse your products beforehand, they’re likely already envisioning their own album with your craftsmanship gracing its pages. Win­-meet-win, table for two.

Market Albums Before Your Session

People want to know their options before making decisions--especially financial ones. And face it, we already have enough choices to make on a daily basis, from ordering a lotta latte to picking out the next, great outdoor engagement shoot location (or even those cute shoes you’ve been eyeing).

We like simple; so why not simply link clients to an online Album Sales Catalog & Look Book presentation (or provide them with a printed Mini Album Guide)? Here, clients will browse through our professionally curated catalog and decide which album best suits their style. And by providing your client with quality, stunning resources, you’re creating an invaluable resource available only through you...and setting yourself up for a virtually guaranteed sale.



Include an Album Brochure in Your Welcome Kit

Sharing an Album Guide brochure at the get-go showcasing your photo albums is a gentle, Ninja-like nudge to let your clients know the type of investments you specialize in (albums!). It’s a fantastic, elegant way of offering your products with something to tangibly see and feel, over and over, until your session. You’re setting the stage of ownership through physically handling an object and imagining where this item would be placed in the home and enjoyed. Hello, great marketing genius!

Show a Luxurious Sample at Your Meetings

Talk is cheap (and it doesn’t always look like the beautiful linen album begging for a swank coffee table). Here you are, attempting to extol the virtues of album ownership, but the client envisions those old photo, store purchased albums with the sticky, plastic covered pages their parents pull out from the attic cobwebs when they’re feeling nostalgic. They likely won’t even know about the possibilities for today’s chic and modern albums until you place samples into their hands or show them the possibilities. Become a leader of the album revolution and deliver your clients from the 70s safely into arms of handcrafted storytelling through superior photography and gorgeous album power.

Like you, we aren’t into the “hard sell.” Let’s face it, lens lovers; when amazing products speak for themselves in terms of quality and longevity, it’s enough to present the best of the best and let them speak for themselves.

We’ve also found that in-person ordering increases the average photographer’s sale by at least 100% (and typically more), so we urge all pros to give it a try and stick with it. If you show a stunning sample of an album for your clients to see and look through, they’re undoubtedly going to fall in love. Who wouldn’t want a luxurious keepsake of their favorite people and moments, presented in the most stunning, touchable way ever? It’s really impossible to resist!



What this can mean to your bottom line (or financial success)...

Let’s consider a typical order versus an order with an album.

Say your average order is 3-16x20 canvases and a few 8x10s. This means a client gets about 7 of her favorites, even though she loved almost all of the images you presented. With an album, the client gets the whole story, ready to enjoy, forever. You’ll also generate another $850 to ­$2200 in order revenue, depending on album size. That translates to $44,000­ to 110,000 a year in extra sales for the average photographer shooting only one session per week!

Ready to add albums to your product lineup? We’ve made it easy for you. Simply download our Album Sales Catalog & Look Book and Mini Album Guide to get going with a beautiful presentation your clients will love. Start selling albums today!

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New Inspire Guide: Show & Sell Wall Galleries for ProSelect is here!

Posted on April 21, 2015

Boost sales exponentially and make client ordering sessions a breeze with this amazing new ProSelect companion of our fabulous Inspire Guide: Show & Sell Wall Galleries. Incorporating powerful presentation and sales tools into a clean and elegant design, ProSelect presents images attractively as they will appear on a client's walls, but right inside your own studio for an amazing interactive experience that will tickle your clients pink. Click here to learn more about ProSelect and the new collection!

But wait, there's more! Use the coupon code AGLOW10, valid for 10% off ProSelect or ProSelect Pro valid through May 31, 2015.

*Special thanks to Untamed Heart Photography and Tyson French Photography for the images in our samples.

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The F-Stops Here: How to (Not) Bomb an Ordering Session

Posted on April 20, 2015

Do you feel like your images are stellar, but your sales are lackluster? Maybe you’ve heard mythical legends of four-digit portrait sales from other photographers; meanwhile, you’re nudging clients for weeks while they drag their heels and ultimately end up ordering a handful of small prints. It’s easy to feel discouraged, but chances are, you just need to rethink your sales technique. Here are a few common mistakes that can stifle sales -- and how to overcome them.


Mistake #1: Be vague about pricing.
If you simply say, “Sessions start at $150,” clients may assume they can get out the door with a handful of prints for around $200, which means you could both be in for an unhappy surprise. True, a savvy salesperson can convince a client to stretch their budget a bit -- but stretching and quadrupling are two very different things. Rather than relying on a back-end miracle, be upfront about your pricing. If you don’t want to post your price list, at least share the typical total investment range. It’ll weed out clients who can’t afford you, for your sake and theirs.


Mistake #2: Be sales-phobic.
Ignoring the business-y part of your business is a surefire way to leave money on the table, so you need to get comfortable with selling your work. Don’t worry, you won’t suddenly morph into a pushy used car salesman. You’re simply using your vision and expertise to guide your clients into choosing the images and products that will look best in their homes. That’s not so bad, right?


Mistake #3: Play it too cool.
We’ve all run into an ego-tripping photographer or two, and yeah, it’s annoying. But don’t swing so far in the opposite direction that your humility hampers your sales. You need to get clients excited about their images. You’re not just snapping the requisite annual portrait -- you’re capturing the story of their family at this moment in time. Talk up the value of your images, and encourage them to share the full story with a stunning canvas wall gallery or a heirloom album they can keep for years to come.


Mistake #4: Never venture offline.
Online ordering is convenient for your clients, and proofing websites can make the process completely automated on your end. So it’s tempting to shy away from the extra effort of in-person sales. But consider this: You probably spend up to 10 hours prepping, traveling, shooting, and editing each portrait session. By spending another two hours on an in-person ordering session, you could easily double (or triple) your final sale. (Just ask any photographer who swears by it!) That’s a 100 percent increase in sales for only 20 percent more effort. It’s worth carving out the time. Plus, you will only have to shoot half the amount of sessions for the same, or more, profit. Smart, right?


Mistake #5: Be super duper flexible.
In-person sales don’t work for everyone -- if you’re still holding down a day job, or your client works crazy hours, or there are a few hundred miles between you, online sales can be the only solution. But if you’re constantly bending policies and extending deadlines, your online sales can fall flat. Here are a few ways to make the most of online orders:

  • Leave images online for a very limited time. If you keep galleries up for 30 days, clients may get their fill of the images before they ever click the “checkout” button.
  • Share sneak peeks sparingly. They can dampen the anticipation. If possible, let the ordering session be their first glimpse at their photos.  
  • Set a reorder minimum to keep small orders from trickling in.
  • Let them know your archiving policies. How much will it cost to repost an expired gallery? How soon do you purge unpurchased images?
  • Offer an incentive if they order within the first 48 or 72 hours, such as a gift 8x10 desk print. It only costs you a small amount but has a big value to your client.

Mistake #6: Go with the flow.
Don’t just react to snags when they happen -- be proactive! Use smart design templates to create sample layouts, and suggest irresistible products that would look fantastic in their home. If you are doing in-person sales, make sure the financial decision-maker will be present. If you’re sending an online gallery, make sure the family isn’t on a week-long cruise. And put your policies in writing before clients book, so you don’t feel weird about enforcing them later.


Mistake #7: Don’t bother with samples.
Want your clients to invest in an album? Let them flip through a gorgeous sample album and see how it shows off your images and the story they tell. Want to sell them a huge canvas? Hold an 11x14 canvas and a 20x30 canvas over the sofa, so they can see how much more appropriate the larger size looks. Just one sale will recoup the cost of your samples, and it gives clients a true sense of what they’re buying.


Mistake #8: Don’t be a closer.
There’s a saying in sales: Always be closing. In other words, everything you do should have the ultimate goal of selling your products. This may have slimy connotations (thanks, Glengarry Glen Ross!) but it’s actually an important part of the luxury service you provide. Think about it: If you splurged on a salon haircut, would you want to blow-dry your own hair? Probably not. You wouldn’t think twice about helping your client choose a location or plan their outfits, so why balk at the idea of helping them complete their order? You want to serve your clients from start to finish, and the ordering session is the finishing touch.

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