Research Shows Stable Hiring Environment for Creative Professionals

The employment outlook for creative talent is expected to remain relatively steady in the second half of 2017, according to a survey of advertising and marketing executives by The Creative Group staffing firm.

Just 9 percent of the executives surveyed said they plan to expand their teams. The majority (64 percent) anticipate maintaining staff levels and hiring primarily to fill vacated roles.  About 4 percent of executives said they planned to reduce positions and 21 percent said they would be freezing employment (not filling vacated positions or creating new positions).

The executives who said they plan to add staff will be adding employees in one or more positions, including:

  • Account services: 24 percent
  • Mobile design/development: 21 percent
  • Marketing research: 21 percent
  • Public relations: 20 percent
  • Social media: 19 percent
  • Customer experience: 18 percent
  • Web design/production: 18 percent
  • Digital marketing: 18 percent
  • Print design/production: 18 percent
  • Brand/product management: 17 percent
  • Interactive media: 17 percent
  • Copywriting: 16 percent
  • Media services: 16 percent
  • Content marketing: 15 percent
  • Creative/art direction: 14 percent

Recruiting Challenges Persist

Forty-five percent of advertising and marketing executives said it’s challenging to find creative professionals today. Hiring managers at large advertising agencies (100 or more employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 67 percent reporting it’s somewhat or very challenging to identify the talent they seek. According to survey, the hardest roles to fill are those in media services, customer experience, and account services.

To overcome recruiting challenges, companies may expand their search geographically. Forty-five percent of executives said they are now more willing to look outside their city or state to find the right person for a creative position than they were three years ago.

“Demand for digital content and services continues to grow, and companies struggle to find professionals well-versed in the latest platforms and strategies used to create unique and positive customer experiences,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Given strong competition for these highly skilled individuals, employees need to take a proactive and streamlined hiring approach to secure top talent.”

The Creative Group Blog offers tips on hiring creative professionals in a competitive market and advice for job-seekers.

About the Research

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews — with approximately 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees, and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The Creative Group specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis. Visit roberthalf.com/creative group.

The Creative Group Hiring Climate Infographic

 

 

Indie Author Conference Helps Guide New Professional Authors

Digital Book World LogoAre you one of the “new professional authors?” If so, you are driving your own career just as if you were in business for yourself.

You direct your own output. You determine your own branding. You coordinate the production of your book. You execute on your own market strategy. And whether you choose to pursue traditional publishing or not, you must be an agent for your own success.

If you accept this description of new professional authors, check out the first  DBW Indie Author Conference for independent and hybrid authors. It will be held Thursday, January 19 in conjunction with the eighth annual Digital Book World (DBW) conference January 17-19, 2017 at the New York Hilton Midtown.  (DBW is an event where publishing professionals and their technology partners will come together to learn about the latest tools and techniques for smarter book publishing in a digital world.)

Indie Author Conference

At the DBW Indie Author Conference, you will get a high-level view of current challenges and opportunities for indie authors plus practical information that can help you become a better professional publisher of your own work.

“The landscape for independent and hybrid authors is ever-shifting. That creates a lot of questions and confusion among people who are very new to the industry, and frankly for those who are experienced as well,” said Indie Author Conference Captain Jane Friedman. “There’s a proliferation of businesses out there that serve the indie author market, especially when it comes to book distribution and marketing. But there’s not much information or instruction on how to make the best decision for your career, your book, or your goals. The DBW Indie Author Conference will address all of these important topics.”

The DBW Indie Author event speaks directly to entrepreneurial authors with actionable sessions such as:

  • The Sophisticated Ways of Today’ s Indies
  • What Independent Can Mean in Today’s Industry
  • The Rise of the Platforms
  • Face-to-Face Conversations with Enablers of Your Career
  • The Indie Universe Quantified + The Author’s Career
  • Success Stories;
  • The New Professional Author Is in Control

Workshops for intermediate and advanced authors include:

  • The Indispensable Elements of an Author’s Marketing
  • Readership Development: They Can’t Read You If They Can’t Find You
  • Branding Your Future: When to Hire Help
  • Reaching out to Readers Through SEO.

At the DBW Indie Author Conference, you can talk with leading service providers who can help you decide how to move forward with your publishing goals.

The networking opportunities at the Indie Author Conference can help you catch a new direction, spot a new trend, and access marketing know-how.

Conference Speakers

“Our speakers know that indie authors are at a turning point,” said Porter Anderson, co-founder of The Hot Sheet, “After years of development, the independent movement is coming into its own.”

Speakers include:

Jane Friedman, editor and publisher of The Hot Sheet, columnist with Publishers Weekly, a professor with The Great Courses, an award-winning blogger at JaneFriedman.com and a DBW 2017 program captain

Judith Curr, president and executive vice president, Atria Books Division of Simon &
Schuster

Mary Rasenberger, executive director, The Authors Guild

Orna Ross, author and the founding director of Alliance of Independent Authors

Jon Fine, publishing consultant and strategist for digital and traditional media organizations, content creators and the creative community, and former Amazon director of author and publisher relations

Margaret Harrison, director, product metadata, Ingram Content Group

Porter Anderson , co-founder of The Hot Sheet, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, principal of Porter Anderson Media and a DBW 2017 program captain

Richard Nash, digital media consultant , start-up adviser and serial entrepreneur

Dana Kaye, owner and publicist, Kaye Publicity, and author of Your Book, Your Brand: A Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Sales

Data Guy, the tech and data wizard behind the Author Earnings website who oversees Author Earnings’ data scraping and analysis

Registration

For more information about registration, visit www.digitalbookworldconference.com. The early registration discount ends December 2.

Digital Book World is sponsored by F+W, a content and e-commerce company that connects passionate, like-minded groups of people to share an ongoing exchange of information, idea and inspiration. Many writers know F+W as the long-time publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine and writing-related books and online resources, including Writer’s Market.

 

 

Packlane Serves Creative Entrepreneurs Who Want Custom Packaging

If you sell your own branded products online, consider custom packaging. It can set you apart from competitors and make a big impression on your customers.

According to a 2016 eCommerce Packaging Study by Dotcom Distribution, the quality of your packaging can play a role in fostering customer loyalty. In their survey, 40 percent of the respondents said they would be more likely to purchase from an online retailer again if the product they ordered came in gift-like or premium package.

Thanks to companies such as Packlane, you no longer have to be a high-volume seller of products to afford great-looking packaging.

Packlane custom boxes

Whether you need a few small cartons or large printed shipping boxes, Packlane can help you create full-color, customized packaging that will get your customers excited about what’s inside.

In addition to ordering as few as 10 boxes, you can choose the graphics, the size and type of box, and the type of materials used.

When it’s time to re-order new boxes, you can adjust the design to include seasonal messaging or update your branding. You won’t risk being stuck with hundreds of boxes with outdated graphics.

Types of Boxes

Packlane offers three main styles of boxes: a classic carton, a mailer box, a shipping box. Each type can be sized to snugly fit your products. You won’t have to stuff a box that is too big with extra material to keep the contents from shifting around.

Types of Materials

When you place your order, you can choose to print the graphics printed on stocks ranging from thin, flat paperboard to thick corrugated graphics. You can specify whether you want your graphics printed on brown Kraft paper or a crisp white paper. The brown paper is fine for simple graphics with muted colors. The white paper is ideal for bright colors and designs that include images.

packlane_blue_v2

Design Tools

The website includes tools that make it easy for you to create and preview your design in 3 dimensions.

Or, you can request a 2D dieline for the box style and size you choose. A dieline is flattened outline of the box design that shows where the folds and cutlines will go. Just follow the Artwork Guidelines, and Packlane will take care of the rest.

For quantities from 10 to 2,000, you can get an instant quote. (If you need larger quantities, you can request a quote.)

Design Training

To help creative entrepreneurs get the best results from their packaging, Packlane has developed a free 36-minute Skillshare course: Packaging Design for Creatives and Entrepreneurs.

The video series discusses  box styles, design considerations, production and finishing techniques, dielines, RGB vs. CMYK color, how to use Illustrator, and tips for creating or uploading your design on the Packlane website.

Additional Insights

On the Packlane blog, you’ll find interviews with some of the entrepreneurs who have ordered boxes from Packlane. Michael Kushner, of Stefans Head explains why he is using custom-designed boxes to ship his company’s limited-edition T-shirts.

Another Packlane customer is a start-up that sends a curated selection of Paleo-friendly snacks to subscribers every month. He says, “A professional image is extremely important to start-ups. Custom packaging sets us up for success from the very beginning.”

The Packlane blog also contains tips such as How to Choose the Right Packaging for Your Product.

 

2017 Salary Guide Lists Ranges for 120 Creative and Marketing Jobs

According to The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide, starting compensation for creative professionals is expected to increase 3.6 percent in 2017. In-demand positions such as user experience and mobile designers are likely to see even bigger gains.

The 9 creative and marketing professionals listed below will be in the greatest demand and shortest supply in 2017. Compared to 2016 salary ranges, their starting compensation is expected to be higher than the 3.6 percent average received by all 120 positions covered in the Salary Guide.

  • Front-End Web Developer (1-3 years’ experience): 7.2%
  • Mobile Designer: 6.8%
  • User Experience (UX) Designer (3-5 years’ experience): 6.1%
  • Content Strategist: 5.4%
  • Visual Designer: 5.3%
  • Project Manager: 4.6%
  • Digital Strategist: 4.5%
  • Interactive/Web Copywriter (1-5 years’ experience): 4.4%
  • Marcom Manager (5+ years’ experience): 4.2%

Setting the Right Salary Matters

“Hiring creative talent is getting increasingly harder as demand remains strong and unemployment rates in the industry continue to trend below the average,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Since it’s a candidate’s market, employers must step up their recruitment efforts to secure the talent they seek.”

When The Creative Group surveyed 400 marketing and advertising executives about their biggest recruiting challenges, compensation ranked high on the list. When the executives were asked to name the most common reason candidates turn down job offers, 27 percent said it’s because the compensation and benefits were lower than the candidate expected.

“Salary may not be the only consideration for job seekers, but companies that aren’t paying competitively stand little chance of attracting and landing highly skilled candidates,” said Domeyer.

Top 4 Hiring Trends

The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide highlighted four key trends that hiring managers should consider.

Timing is everything. Because top candidates often receive multiple offers, organizations should move quickly. When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39% of candidates lose interest or pursue other opportunities.

Skilled talent is in short supply. The unemployment rates for specialized positions are typically lower than the national rate.

Education is essential. More than 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to individuals with some college education.

Temporary is becoming permanent. Firms are bringing in freelancers instead of letting jobs sit vacant. This gives employers more time to recruit or determine if the temporary project professional is the right fit for a full-time role.

“Creatives with skills outside their specialty are highly marketable. In addition, digital proficiency is becoming a prerequisite for many traditional roles. For example, graphic designers need to be familiar with web layouts or social media and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization.”

About the Guide

Whether you are a job-seeker or employer, The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide can be a useful tool. It features starting salary ranges for more than 120 positions in the creative field. Positions are grouped in five categories.

Design and Production positions include creative director, creative services manager, art director, production manager, studio manager, traffic manager, illustrator, graphic designer, package designer, 3D animator, multimedia designers, presentation specialist, and production artist.
Interactive Design and Production jobs include interactive creative director, interaction designer, visual designer, user experience director, user experience specialist, user experience researcher, web designer, email designer, HTML developer, front-end web developer, interactive producer, web production artist, motion designer, video producer, video editor, mobile designer, and mobile developer.

Content Development and Management jobs include copywriter, proposal writer, curriculum developer/writer, instructional systems designer, interactive/web copywriter, blogger, copy editor, proofreader, content manager, content marketing manager, and content strategist.

Advertising and Marketing positions include chief marketing officer, marketing director, marketing communications manager, business development manager, creative director, account director, account executive, account coordinator, account planner/strategist, digital strategist, event/trade-show coordinator, social media manager, SEO specialist, email marketing specialist, marketing analytics specialist, and market researchers.

Public Relations jobs include account manager/supervisor, senior account executive, account coordinator, public relations director, and public relations specialist.

The salary data included in the guide comes primarily from The Creative Group’s North American staffing and recruiting professionals. They make thousands of full-time, temporary, and project placements each year.

The ranges published in the guide represent national averages but can be adjusted for local markets by using local variance numbers included in the guide. For example, a starting salary in Los Angeles might be 130 percent of the national average whereas a starting salary in Sioux City, Iowa might be 85 percent of the national average.

The Creative Group is a division of Robert Half, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm. The Creative Group connects companies with highly skilled interactive design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent. The Creative Group provides flexible staffing solutions by placing candidates on a project, contract-to-hire, or full-time basis.

tcg_0916_graph_hiring_process

Drone Photography Survey Shows Interest is Rising Among Pros

A “PPA-DronePhotoDrone Use Survey” conducted by Professional Photographers of America shows that interest in drone photography is rising.  In a recent survey of more than 1,000 professional photographers, nearly one-third of the respondents who aren’t currently using drones said they are “very likely” to include drone images as part of their product offerings in the next two to five years.

Other findings from the survey revealed:

Drones are being used most frequently in these four specialty areas: real estate (25.3 percent); commercial (19.1 percent), wedding (11.8 percent) and nature (11.4. percent).

Forty percent of respondents who currently aren’t using drones have had customers inquire about using them as part of their paid assignments.

The results from the PPA survey parallels data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that projects that sales of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) will grow from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020.  The FAA also projects that the sale of drones from commercial use will double from 600,000 this year to 2.7 million in 2020.

PPA Resources

At PPA’s annual Imaging USA conference from January 8-10 in San Antonio, TX, PPA will share additional findings the from their organization’s survey. The conference will also include a first-of-its kind drone photography exhibit and live photography drone demonstrations.

“We pride ourselves in helping our members stay ahead of the latest and greatest technology resources available to professional photographers,” said PPA CEO David Trust. “As our survey and new FAA data revealed, drone usage and regulations are growing and changing. Our goal is to educate photographers so they can make informed decisions about when and if to add drone photography into their service offerings.”

Adding drone photography to a photography business involves more than the cost of the drone itself. For example, operators must comply with evolving FAA guidelines, pass TSA background checks, and take a UAS operator test. PPA publishes information about news related to drone regulations on their website.

Find Info about Drone Photography at Adorama Drone Experience

Drone photography and videography are being used in dozens of fields, including commercial and residential real-estate photography, insurance assessments, land use surveys, event photography, marketing, and construction-site monitoring. Creative niche applications are being explored every day.

The Adorama Drone Experience is a digital hub of inspiration and information for photographers and videographers who want to take their drone photography to the next level. The website includes jaw-dropping aerial content, gear guides, tips and techniques from experts, and the latest on flight rules and regulations. The content was developed by Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, audio, imaging and electronics retailers.

DronesTakeOff

“Drone photography and videography is a rapidly evolving trend that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon,” states Lev Peker, chief marketing officer, Adorama. “Unlike other aspects of digital imaging, there are far more complications, rules and know-how to safely and successfully use drone gear.”

For four decades, Adorama has been a leading authority in the field of digital imaging, Peker adds: “We are deeply rooted in the community and have extensive partnerships with artists and manufacturers.”

The Adorama Drone Experience is an immersive environment designed to make you feel as if you are seeing the world through the eyes of the drone. In addition to stunning footage, the hub offers drone gear buying guides for all levels, product reviews, videos, and tutorials to help you successfully navigate each stage of evaluating, purchasing and using drones.

Drone Photography Experts Share Insights

One Adorama Drone Experience contributor is Nils Granholm who has worked with remotely piloted vehicles since 1986. Granhom’s diverse aerial imaging work includes Hollywood productions, commercial entities like Volkswagen, and agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security.

Drone photography enthusiasts can get a taste of what to expect from Nils on AdoramaTV and the Adorama Learning Center by reading his latest article on new drone purchases  and video on drones, “FAA and You.”

Designer, educator and photographer Dirk Dallas, who has taken the aerial photography and cinematography world by storm, will also be among the A-list contributors to the Adorama Drone Experience.

“After making images for 10 years at eye level, I needed a new challenge,” says Dallas. “Capturing photos and video from the air with a drone has fulfilled that need because it allows me to see the world in a completely unique way.”

A fan favorite from Adorama’s “Through The Lens” series, Dirk’s knowledge and creativity can be seen in recent AdoramaTV videos and Adorama Learning Center articles.

Photoshop World Brings Creative People Together July 19-21 in Las Vegas

PhotoshopWorld_Branding_300x250Each year creative people from all walks of life come together for three days in Las Vegas. Their mission is to leave the world behind and totally immerse themselves in a Photoshop, design, and photography love fest called Photoshop World. This year’s event runs July 19-21, 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

The Photoshop World Conference brings together photographers, graphic designers, retouchers, illustrators, web creators, social media managers, bloggers, hobbyists, video editors, art directors, and many other people who use Adobe tools to create, excite, inspire, and communicate.

The conference is sponsored by Adobe Systems and produced by the KelbyOne online education community.

More than 80 Educational Sessions

The conference includes more than 80 sessions presented by an extraordinary roster of talented instructors.

Courses cover topics related to Photoshop, Lightroom, Creative Cloud, lighting, inspiration, photography, video, and mobile apps. For example, instructors will explain how to:

  • Use Creative Cloud mobile apps
  • Produce gallery-worthy black-and-white images
  • Develop new revenues from stock photo creation
  • Build workflows that bring together mobile phone and DSLR images
  • Create panoramic, high dynamic range, and time-lapse photographs
  • Create snapshot videos for weddings and other events
  • Bring your landscape photography to life
  • Get started in aerial photography

Because creative people learn best when they’re having fun, the conference also includes loads of networking events, parties, after-hour sessions, meet-ups, and get-togethers. The conference kicks off with a high-energy opening keynote by people at Adobe who have made Photoshop World

“Photoshop World isn’t just another conference. There’s a very special vibe to it, an energy that recharges and renews your creative spirit,” said conference technical chair Scott Kelby. “People come here year after year to lose themselves in all this cool stuff and Photoshop is at the heart of it. No matter what you do, whether it’s video, photography, design, or blogging, this tool has changed our world.”

He says the goal has always been for participants to come away learning more in these three days than they have in the last three years and it’s what’s powers the conference from start to finish. It’s the ‘secret sauce’ that has made Photoshop World a must-attend event for the creative community for 19 years straight.