I wanted to provide as much transparency as possible into why this role and why now, and where my head is big picture, so this “job post” is a little strange and longer than I would normally consider.
My hope is that it resonates deeply, anticipates questions, & gets you pumped. Read on!
You’re an independent freelance marketer who…
…believes that we are here to help each other. Your approach to marketing is really just earning peoples’ trust at scale, and sales is in service of the “buyer’s” success.
…lives to spread the word about important, valuable things. Your first instinct is to share, promote, and signal boost stuff as long as you believe that what you’re sharing is useful.
…wants to help people take action. You understand the role of words and storytelling to inspire people to make a choice and improve their situation.
…cares how people hear a message. You choose your words mindfully of the person or people you’re hoping to reach, and improve your messaging based on what resonates.
…pays attention to the details and follows through. In writing, you check your own work, make sure the links work, etc. In action, you stick the landing or communicate that you’re stuck.
Hi, I’m Alex. 👋
If you’re an independent freelance marketer, especially one who thinks creatively and has an interest or focus on promoting events and experiences, and you like working on a variety of different projects towards a set of common goals, you might be the person I’m looking for.
No agencies, only individuals please!
Working closely with me and my tiny team of collaborators, you would create and run the marketing and promotion for a range of events, programs, information, memberships, and other resources that serve our communities.
The core community we serve are your fellow independent professionals! This may include those who self-identify with terms like consultant, freelancer, solopreneur, self-employed, small business owner, entrepreneur, or even remote worker.
These are not so much the “tech startup” entrepreneurs, but rather, people living and exploring the wide range of ways to create opportunity for themselves and others.
While doing “marketing” or “promotion” you should align with our approach, which is heavily focused on building and earning trust towards an action or outcome, rather than hacking growth by whatever means necessary. We operate with generosity, and think long term.
Projects span across multiple businesses and orgs, though in all cases it’s aligned towards common goals and even shares resources. With this somewhat unique arrangement, my goal is to turn this into a unique opportunity for someone to work across a few smaller clients who share lots of strategic overlap, a shared decision maker, and the ease of a single contract.
Note: this opportunity is NOT designed to be a full time engagement, so it’s probably best if we’re not your only client; it probably won’t work as a nights-and-weekends side hustle either, unless you have very flexible hours. More budget info below.
The exact title of this role can be shaped by you (including how it might serve your longer term career vision) but it will include a mix of strategy and implementation. You can come up with any ideas you want as long as you’re also prepared to follow through on them!
Either way, you want to work on diverse projects; you want to do your own thing, your own way, but not alone; and while you may not be sure what the future of our career looks like, you want to figure that out in the company of others driven to do the same.
Experience wise, I’m less concerned about how long you’ve been in the field or the pedigree of your resume; I care most about your ability to do the work and creatively adapt, since the goal is to grow and improve this work together. That said, this is probably not an entry level opportunity - you will need some related marketing work experience to show us.
- There are no minimum requirements in education or industry experience, as long as you can demonstrate your abilities to do the work.
- This can be a fully remote opportunity, but we are committed to creating opportunities in and for Philadelphians, so we’re prioritizing applicants from Philadelphia.
- You have an understanding and commitment to the long term goals of the 10k Independents Project, belief in equity and access, and an aptitude for JFDI.
Project Overview & Values
While working with us, the main audience for your work will be working professionals who are (or are interested in) following more independent career paths. You can read a work-in-progress “Manual of Me” for this audience; this is a living document, and is not complete or exhaustive. Helping build, improve, and maintain this documentation could be part of your responsibilities.
The primary values that drive this work are:
- Interdependence - the idea that value is created, not extracted, by people complimenting each other with their best work .
- Agency - the capacity and support to make your own choices and own the work and outcomes, both individually and collectively.
- Access - the proactive consideration for ensuring that people have access to the same resources and opportunities.
- Trust - the underlying pre-requisite for everything we do together, which requires both time and effort to build and maintain.
You live and believe in these values in action.
You are someone who has a passion for helping people achieve their goals. Your experience or instincts for events and promoting align with making the connections between individual stories to the broader themes that resonate with a broader, yet still specific audience.
You enjoy the exchange of skills and experience with colleagues and community members because you are someone who fully recognizes that no one achieves anything of impact by themselves.
In addition to working directly with me, you will regularly collaborate with a collection of talented folks across projects that have been a part of (and advancing) this community for years. They bring their unique skills & expertise in a variety of fields including event planning, systematizing & operations, branding, facilitation, and business development, to name a few of their many. You will join the ranks of these collaborators.
The projects and organizations that this work will orient around to start may include Philly Freelance, the Serendipity Fellowship, Work in Progress, Indy Hall, and the 10k Independents Project itself.
Technology & Tools
I don’t normally harp on technology, since it’s a means to an end…but your comfort and aptitude for any or all of these tools will help you get to work quickly.
The current toolchain includes (but is not limited to):
- Google Docs for collaborative writing, drafting, etc
- ConvertKit for email newsletters (our #1 tool for distribution) & email automation
- Various websites - all of which could use a much steadier stream of content.
- Right Message and TypeForm for building robust survey profiles of our community
- AirTable for building dynamic databases
- Descript for transcribing and cleaning up audio & video
- Trello for Project Management
- Discord for text, voice, and video chat
- Various social media platforms where our audience is active namely Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook in order from most significant to least.
We also have a library of videos from past events on Youtube, which we haven’t used strategically but absolutely can and should.
You may also lead experiments with new tools that allow for us to reach and interact with our community. E.g. TikTok seems rad, no idea how we’d use it. SMS could be powerful for reaching people who aren’t on smartphones, but we need a goal and a good strategy, not just using tools cuz they’re hip and everyone else is.
Note: we do not currently do paid advertising or placement: everything we’ve built to date has been organic and earned. I’m not against adding paid media, it’s just not a top priority and I would want to see successful experiments before investing significantly.
We do own a variety of targeted and organically built email lists and social media followings, as well as creative opportunities to collaborate with our existing communities and audience. You should be prepared to make the most of those advantages at every turn!
Structure & Compensation
This will be contract based, monthly retainer-based work.
To begin, you will complete one paid project that we agree on, priced at an hourly or project rate set by you.
Once we’re happy working together, the initial budget for a retainer starts between approximately $2000 to $2500 per month, though if your efforts are successful I’d expect that to grow as we add more projects to the mix.
Again we absolutely do NOT expect everything we want done to be completed within this initial retainer. We will look to you to set a scope of work that can be accomplished within the budget, and especially for ways to make the most impact with our limited time and resources.
If we reach a situation where the work you’re doing with us exceeds the base retainer amount we agree on, this should be addressed with clear and proactive communication from you about progress and boundaries: e.g. if we’re consistently exceeding your budgeted time, we can adjust your invoices or our deadlines accordingly, but only if we know what’s going on.
All I ask for is no surprises (unless they’re happy surprises!)
One of my favorite things to do is pay people quickly after they’ve invoiced. I am an independent myself, and I aim to be a dream client on these terms. No labyrinthian accounting departments to battle, we’re a small biz too.
In addition to your financial compensation, you will have full access to every other resource and advantage we have: our extensive network with access to interesting and influential people and media outlets; the members of our communities and their stories, experiences, and expertise; working with a well known and trusted 15 year old “brand name;” membership to the Indy Hall community & coworking (virtual for now, in person when we reopen our coworking space).
Why This Role, and Why Now
My personal mission is to reframe entrepreneurship as creating a job for yourself.
I’ve done this for 15 years already, though my work building the community and infrastructure of Indy Hall and through my work teaching creative people how to reliably start profitable businesses at Stacking the Bricks.
During the next 15 years, I am committed to scaling the impact of this work beyond the projects that I touch. My interest scaling isn’t really about going “bigger” but going wider and deeper.
That means including more people, and building for lasting impact.
To accomplish this, I need to give away some of the work that I’ve enjoyed and been good at. One of the remaining “keystones” for me to give away my deep understanding of the people we serve to someone who can do the marketing, sales, and communications work I normally do while remaining authentic, resonant, and effective.
By sharing this work, I’m hoping to create the space mentally and otherwise for myself to be able to serve our wider community in an increasingly deliberate and strategic way, and in service of creating the inclusive and sustainable/regenerative economy that I know is possible.
Multiple projects already exist under the 10k Independents umbrella, in various stages from idea to operational, so you’ll be expected to understand them individually, as well as how they overlap (or don’t) to be effective at promoting them.
The upside to doing this work across multiple projects, initiatives, and businesses has always been that it gives us a powerful “birds eye view” of how to reach and communicate with the overlapping communities we serve, and often can leverage successes in one area into another.
As a result, we’re really good at creating experiences and resources that people in these communities REALLY LOVE, but we don’t fully utilize our reach to get these experiences and resources into the hands of people who’d love them.
Plus, of course, my point of view is still largely shaped by my own experiences, which is its own limiting factor!
We’d be looking to you to take this work off my plate to ensure consistency, quality, and a fresh point of view that still feels honest and true to our community.
What This Might Look Like Moving Forward
The 10k Independents Project is a 10+ year plan for a reason: while this work is both urgent and necessary, it is also ongoing. Probably much longer than the next 10 years.
This work is too important to rush.
That said, there is already a lot under way! In the short term this will look like 6 months of onboarding you to the people, tools, and ecosystem. I’ve already begun downloading details and insights from my brain to make this easier, but the best collaborator will want to play an active role in pulling things out of my brain and shaping them into your own next actions.
While working together, you are likely to find yourself in uncharted waters. I know that I don’t always have the right answer, and I’m okay admitting it. The words “I don’t know” are not only allowed, but encouraged, as long as you don’t treat that admission as a dead end.
Long term, this role is intended to be a win for all involved. I look forward to having you bring your own ideas to me, mapped out to connect the dots in this ecosystem of work, and thinking “woah, this is more valuable than any individual could do on their own.”
Bonus points for telling me how my specific skills or resources will be useful, or even better, that I just need to get out of the way.
Sound like you?
By June 1, 2021, please complete this application. All candidates will be contacted regardless of moving forward or not.
If this sounds like someone you know, please forward this page and encourage them to apply! It’s very important to us that this opportunity reaches people beyond our immediate community, so you can help us in a big way by sharing directly with individuals who would be interested in this opportunity, or into communities where those people might be looking.
Thanks in advance. I’m looking forward to finding out what we could do together!