Careers at The Shelf

Diviner of Strategy

Have you seen Mad Men? Well… this role is like that. (We’re not always drinking and sleeping around though. So if that’s the part you like about Mad Men, keep on Googling.) 🍸 Unlike other roles in our small company, the Strategist role is laser-focused on one goal: coming up with scroll-stopping, bookmark-worthy ideas, assembling those into kick-butt decks… and then patting yourself on the back when the deals close. Think of how satisfying it would be when a huge global brand decides to partner up with us because of YOUR ideas! Don Draper who?

Overview of the Role

This role, in a tiny little nutshell, consists of creating kick-butt decks to present to potential clients. Pretty straightforward, right? It’s the easiest of our roles to describe.

Where things get more interesting is when we consider the far-reaching effects that this role has. You will be the shaper and creator of what sets our campaigns apart from other agencies. You’ll be at the forefront of our client’s strategy and position within the market. And, you’ll be designing the image of these brands that will be seen by millions of people!

With great power comes great responsibility.

So let’s run through a few things that we find absolutely essential for this role (and why).

Strategy  Picture, if you will, an up-and-coming shampoo brand that’s desperately seeking influencers to help them stand out from the Pantenes of the world. This hopeful little shampoo brand hires a run-of-the-mill agency to manage their campaigns… one that doesn’t utilize a multi-concept strategy. At the conclusion of their campaign, they wind up with influencers who posted two very distinct types of photos: The first type is where the influencer takes the shampoo bottle outside and holds it up in front of their face while popping a peace sign (potentially with a little duck-lip action). The second type (which is even worse, btw) captures the influencer propping the shampoo bottle on their bathroom counter, potentially with some flower petals if they’re feeling really zany.

That’s what we don’t want. And that’s where you come in. We’re looking for aggressive creativity. We want to separate our clients from all the other brands out there sporting the shampoo-bottle-bathroom-selfies (created by those here-today-gone-today influencer agencies).

Social Media Prowess Being super well-versed in social media as well as influencer marketing is extremely helpful. Why? Let’s go back to what those #basic agencies are doing. Typically when you hire an agency to run a campaign, they’ll have each and every influencer post an Instagram pic and an Instagram story. Regardless of the product. Regardless of the influencer’s core competency.

We don’t do cookie-cutter.

We look at the product and identify: which social networks make the most sense for meeting client goals, which post types make sense, and which influencer types will help to create stand-out content. We determine how we can appeal to neighboring demographics. How we can set things up in a way that gives the brand the maximum amount of reusable content perfectly suited for ad repurposing.

That said, you can probably guess that having a very firm foundation in influencer marketing and social media is really critical when assembling the post and content strategy that will give a campaign the maximum amount of mileage possible.

Writing Style You’ll need to have strong writing skills. And we’re not talking about AP-English-exam-style writing (save that noise for the term papers)… Not our style. We want someone who can write in a conversational, quirky, think-outside-the-box kinda way WITHOUT excess marketing and startup jargon. We’re not “reverse engineering” anything over here. And even when we are, we’re not calling it that.

Unlike this job post, YOUR writing should be concise and MOST IMPORTANTLY, effective.

I know. I know. It’s much easier to write well when you have an uncapped word count. Being able to take a really great idea and boil it down to three or four powerful, punchy sentences isn’t always easy.

Math I have saved everyone’s favorite category for last. 😇

Math is the necessary evil involved in this role. It’s needed to put together the metrics that we promise to clients based on various budgets. I’m not going to go into extreme detail because each metrics sheet is like a snowflake… they’re all different and beautiful in their own way because they’re super-customized to each client. Suffice it to say, math is involved. And it’s not usually fun. (If this bullet point is potentially scaring you away, deep breath – we’re not talking about hardcore calculus here. It’s basically cross-multiplying stuff until you’re ready to bang your head into a wall. So… 4th grade algebra types of things… fractions, ratios, percentages.)

What You'll Be Up To

🤝 Our sales team (AKA Brand Partnerships Managers) handles all first touchpoints with potential clients… they build a relationship, they suss out the client goals, they figure out targeting and demographics and product pushes… and then they hand all of this info over to you.

🤸🏽‍♂️ You’ll take this info and use it as your jumping-off point. You’ll do additional research. You’ll dive into their competitors… You’ll really need to inundate yourself with their space and put yourself into the mind of their customer. Become one with their audience.

🎨 Once the research is done, you’ll create a bunch of concepts based on their goals. These need to be outside-the-box, thought-provoking masterpieces.

📅 Then… you’ll assemble and edit a bunch of “boilerplate” slides… things like calendars, capabilities, targeting, etc.

🧮 Then… you’ll need to bust out your calculator and come up with the metrics that we will guarantee to the client.

🔎 After that… thorough proofreading. This is critical! You’d be surprised at how turned-off a client will get when seeing their brand’s name spelled wrong. (Obviously, I’m kidding… of course they’d be bent out of shape. But on a less frivolous note, this has happened twice. 🙀)

📣 You’ll be in charge of briefing the salesperson on how to pitch your big, beautiful deck.

🦸🏼 Sometimes, you might be looped into these calls (and expected to talk a little), just an FYI.

👩🏽‍💻 And then you’ll be in charge of revisions after this soon-to-be-client provides feedback.

🎉 When the deck closes, we all celebrate big time (over Slack mostly, but with tons of congratulatory gifs)!

Summary of What We Care About

Here is a fun visual breakdown of the qualities and characteristics (related to this role) that we find important when hiring. (There are more qualities listed below that we feel are more global… these are specific to the Strategist role.)

A good understanding of influencer marketing. 85%
A really good understanding of social media. 95%
Strong writing skills (brevity mixed with quirk). 80%
Master at proofreading. 95%
Strong creative thinking. 100%
Algebra (aka some basic math). 100%
An attitude of constant optimizations and improvements… we like to think of our decks as living things, that are constantly evolving. 90%
Strong computer skills (ninja with the key commands). 95%
Organized and detail-oriented. 90%

Compensation + Perks

  • We provide the usual benefits: 👩🏽‍⚕️ Medical, 🦷 Dental, and 👁 Vision. (The medical insurance is through Aetna, which is really pretty good.)
  • We just started doing 401K’s (with a pretty sweet match, too)! Yay!
  • We are all remote now, thanks to COVID-19… so that might be a perk if you hate commuting.
  • If we ever decide to have an office again, you can be darn sure it’ll be super cool-looking and dog-friendly! 🐶
  • We’re a small company without the typical corporate hoops… People who perform well end up advancing quickly.

About The Shelf

  • We’re a team of 30.
  • We’re growing.
  • We’re about as scattered as a team can be… East Coast, West Coast, the middle of the country… a bunch of us are in Canada, 1 in Ukraine, 1 in Russia… we like to keep our options open in terms of company retreat locations.
  • About half of us are really funny.
  • We’re currently working with some pretty amazing brands: Famous Footwear, Zenni Optical, KISS, Lenox, a big chain of malls (I don’t think I’m allowed to say who), a big toilet brand (again… I don’t think I’m allowed to say who, but you probably sit on this brand every morning), Honest Co., Hershey, Yelp… just to name a few.

Who to Send Your Application To

We’re a pretty down-to-earth bunch, so if you’re interested in applying, in lieu of an elaborate cover letter, you can email me at atul@theshelf.com, and include bullet points with the info requested in the next section…

What To Put In Your Email

  • The job you are applying for.
  • A link to your Linkedin profile.
  • What job site sent you our way.
  • Your location.
  • Your phone number.
  • A rundown on how experienced you are with the influencer marketing space… Have you worked with them? Have you done client work in the influencer space? Stuff like that.
  • A summary of why you feel like you’d be good for this role.
  • A note about your agency experience, if you have any (and why #agencylife is for you). Or, if you don’t have agency experience, why you thrive in this sort of fast-paced environment.
  • Please let me know what sort of salary you have in mind. I’d hate to waste your time if you’re wanting a salary that’s beyond the realm of possibility for us.
  • Not required, but would be super helpful: Include a deck or proposal you’ve worked on which demonstrates your style of strategic, outside-the-box thinking. This would actually be pretty great to see before we talk with you. If you do decide to include a sample deck, you can obviously delete sections and/or brand names that are confidential. (Honestly, I wouldn’t waste time with this if the role doesn’t sound like it’s right up your alley.)

Tips on how to get your application noticed (assuming that’s what you’re shooting for):

  • Applications that are submitted using a job site (instead of being emailed to the above email address) will not be considered.
  • Please don’t have typos. (#FunLittleTip: Install Grammarly. It’s a game-changer.)
  • It would be great if you could try to sound cool. We write in a colloquial, one-with-the-people-while-still-being-basically-grammatically-correct style. And while this style of writing is not a requirement, keep in mind that we receive a decent number of applicants every day, and 90% of those applications are boring AF. The ones that have a fun “voice” and quirky writing style immediately stand out. In a good way.
  • Lastly, put yourself in the shoes of the person in charge of interviewing… What do you think that person would want to hear? Talk about that stuff and leave off anything that isn’t super relevant.

The Characteristics of People at The Shelf

Generally speaking, a lot of you will probably find this job post in line with your skill set, and I bet a lot of you probably have the skills necessary to perform the requirements of this role. But… the characteristics that define what it’s like to actually work with you are also very important to us. Think of these requirements more in terms of culture-fit requirements:

🕺 Our company has a very fast-paced environment. It might feel disorganized from time to time because we’re also a small company. We need each employee to be the type of person who can go with the flow. Who can adjust quickly. Who is able to embrace chaos with open arms when it decides to waltz through the door.

🏎 Due to the aforementioned fast-paced environment, you should be the type of person who is able to execute quickly… within time constraints. WHILE still maintaining quality. We don’t ask for the impossible. But what we don’t want to see are projects that are slapped together and riddled with issues when we’re in a time crunch. Instead, we’d like to see people make adjustments and figure out how to make it work. We’re looking for resourceful people who approach projects with that there’s-more-than-one-way-to-skin-a-cat attitude.

📈 I’ve never interviewed anyone who has said that they have bad work ethic… but there’s a big difference between people who show up and do what gets assigned to them, and those who take initiative… Those people who take pride in their projects and who go above and beyond because they have that drive for personal achievement and growth. We don’t want to micro-manage. We want to work with self-motivated people who are neurotic about quality.

✅ People who don’t proofread drive me nuts!

👿 While I feel like I shouldn’t have to mention this, we’ve worked with people in the past who ran around like a bunch of crazed loose cannons… yelling at coworkers, constantly complaining, deploying the cold-shoulder on a regular basis… passive aggressive. So if you’re not a nice person… that won’t really work for us. We really need everyone to exude positivity.

👂 You need to be receptive to feedback. This is a quality that we find candidates have trouble self-assessing. But try hard, because we give feedback when needed. We’re too small of a company to just let people do whatever they want to do. (Side-note… no one loves feedback. That’s fine. I don’t either really. But will you take it nicely? Will you incorporate it? Are you going to be passive aggressive while doing it? Have you ever been told not to “cut off your nose to spite your face”? These are questions you should ask yourself).

😺 Influencer marketing is constantly changing, so we’re looking for people who are curious and eager to learn. Let’s say, for example, a client mentions in passing how they’re doing whitelisting on Instagram (and we’ll assume you don’t know what that means). Are you going to just nod your head and say you understand it when you don’t? Or, are you going to jot down a note, do some research, and become a whitelisting expert for the next client conversation? Because we need the latter.

👩🏽‍💻 If you’re working remotely, you need to actually be working. No one likes a freeloader.

👆🏾 Are you ambitious? It’s not a requirement, but if you are… there’s lots of room for career growth. Plus, we like to hire our managers from within the team, so there is a very clear path to the next level (if that’s of interest to you).

Inclusivity

Here at The Shelf, we truly believe it’s our differences that have allowed us to come together and form such a cohesive and all-encompassing whole. Our mission as a company is to help our clients stand out amongst the crowd… to be different and impactful. And since we’re a team made up of diverse people with all different backgrounds and experiences, we’re able to do this naturally. 🙋🏽‍♂️🙋🙋🏾‍♀️🙋🏼‍♂️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏾‍♂️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏾

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

So Is This Your Job Jam?

I could honestly go on and on (because I’m long-winded, in case you couldn’t tell that by now), but I’m going to stop here. The point is, you gotta have the chops AND play well with others. And if you’re giddy already, feeling like this job description is just so dead-on-b*lls accurate for you, perfect! We can’t wait to hear from you.

If you’re lacking a skill or two but still feel pumped, feel free to mention it in your cover letter. We’re a small company who’s big into personal growth and supporting up-and-coming go-getters!

Oh, and one last thing… Please add the word Toggle to your subject line when applying so that I know you read this entire post.