Angela Huntley & The Lael Agency

by Tonya Dixon | May 17th, 2017
Angela Huntley & The Lael Agency (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Angela Huntley & The Lael Agency (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Angela Huntley has been working in the world of media for nearly 25 years. Her extensive resume includes script writing, directing, sales, production and significantly more. From radio to television to digital media, she has experience in it all.

“I have been in media of some sort since 1991,” said Huntley of her career. “I started in sales and marketing; spent years selling radio, television, newspaper, advertising – you name it. I’ve sold pretty much any type of media you can imagine.”

With all of her experience, it was a no brainer when she established The Lael Agency and subsidiary, Lael Publishing. The “creative” agency, a term she prefers to “marketing,” is proficient in helping ministries, non-profits, authors and businesses with websites, books and strategic planning.

“I like to categorize us as a “creative” agency because we do much more than marketing. We do graphic design, publish books and websites, and offer strategic planning. In my experience that’s more than just marketing,” said Huntley.

Initially, Huntley’s vision was to focus solely on developing websites and offering graphic design services, but she noticed an increasing number of her clients were more interested in book publishing services. The need was something she could personally relate to.

Despite the varied media experience she has, writing has always been and continues to be her greatest passion. Following her hearts desire, years ago Huntley set her sights on writing a children’s book. Her two sons were the inspiration.

“I began writing the book in 2012. It was somewhat of a special project to me. I raised two sons and when they were little we had trouble finding books with African-American boys or boy characters in them. If I did find books, the themes always seemed to be extremely heavy. I couldn’t find anything light, funny and carefree.”

“One day I decided I simply had to publish my own books,” said Huntley. However, it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. And after volleying with traditional publishing companies over her manuscript, she realized she wasn’t content placing the fate of her “baby” in the hands of someone who, more often than not, disregarded her intentions for the book for what would please the masses.

“Originally, I tried the traditional method of publishing, but I didn’t know I wouldn’t have complete control. I didn’t like the process of having to be ‘accepted’ by mainstream publishers. I had to do it on my own. I did the research, made connections and started publishing my own books.”

Having first-hand experience with the difficulties of self-publishing, the uptick in requests for book publishing assistance made complete sense. In fact, her clientele increased to the point that she made the difficult, but fulfilling decision, to leave her full-time job and focus all of her energy on The Lael Agency and Lael Publishing.

“I got tired of turning down projects because of my full time [job],” said Huntley. “I really wanted to focus on what I was passionate about.”

There aren’t many companies that offer the abundance of services as The Lael Agency, particularly for first-time authors or low or no-budget organizations. Huntley proudly notes that once the book is written, the agency takes the author to the next step and level.

“From edits to design to publishing to marketing, we help get the product to the consumer,” said Huntley. She says the agency has a streamlined process that works great for the person or company that is unfamiliar with what it requires to take a creative project from conception to completion.

The Lael Agency is proficient in print as well as digital creation. And while many creative agencies have strayed away from hardcover printing, Huntley says it will remain a component of what her business offers. In addition, soft cover, eBook, online and brick and mortar distribution is available in 39,000 outlets throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The Lael Agency has been fortunate to experience a positive client-response from its infancy. According to Huntley, it’s due to nothing short of God’s grace, hard-learned lessons, wisdom and plain old hard work.

“Entrepreneurs are a different breed. We often try different businesses before we find our niche; and that has been my story,” said Huntley. “From a coffee shop and dessertery to magazine publishing to grant writing, I tried a lot. I’m older and wiser now. There are some hurdles and obstacles you just have to overcome. I’m used to hard work, but I just feel like if I’m going to hustle and do hard work for someone else why not turn it and hustle and do hard work for myself? To me there is no difference. If I can sell you, I know I can sell me.”

Hearing and telling other people’s “stories” is thrilling for Huntley. It’s one of her motivating factors and innate to her outgoing personality. “I’m the girl at the basketball game that, instead of watching the game, I’m on my phone Googling the players and reading their biographies,” admits Huntley. “This is a true story. I left a Hornets game once and was asked who they played. I couldn’t remember, but I knew where the players were from. I’m really the backstory type of girl. I really don’t meet a stranger and I enjoy what others have to say about themselves.”

For the sake of growing The Lael Agency, as well as for self-improvement, Huntley is constantly reading industry news and attending showcases to make sure the company stays abreast of the latest topics, tools, techniques and business practices.

Expansion is definitely an aspect of the growth plan Huntley has for her company. Every new book she helps publish, every website she builds and every brochure she creates spells success for The Lael Agency, but more importantly it spells success for her clients, and for Huntley, that’s what matters most.

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