After all of that work creating fabulous projects and submitting to design teams, are you actually making HARD for manufacturers and other potential design teams to select you?
Here are 5 small quick things you can do to make it easier for that coveted design team to invite YOU to join their team:
1. Include Your REAL Name On Your Blog
I used to work for a manufacturer in the industry and did quite a bit of work on the design team selection process. We didn’t actually do a “call” for our initial team, but rather I spent many, many hours trolling blogs looking for just that right cross-selection of designers to approach. I cannot tell you how many blogs I found where the aspiring designer & blog owner didn’t even include her name! All I knew was that her name was Stacy B. I can understand your desire to maintain your privacy. (I’m the same way, so this is the pot calling the kettle black over here!) But as a designer, your name is an important part of your brand. You’ve got to tell us your name!
2. Avoid Oversharing On Your Blog
At the other end of the spectrum, if you enjoy blogging personal topics for your family & friends, you might want to consider creating a separate blog just for your paper crafting design personality. Yes, occasional family photos & anecdotes are great — I love getting to know the person behind the designs. But as a manufacturer, when I visit your blog, I want to see your work! I want to get a feel for your style. And I *might* scroll through 3 pages of blog posts — maybe 4 pages tops. You want most of those blog posts to contain paper crafting related things; Not page after page of your latest vacation.
3. Include Your Email Address SOMEWHERE
Why is everyone so concerned about spam? Yes, it’s smart not to put your email address right on the front page of your blog where spam bots can easily pick it up. BUT: You DO need to have your actual address where I can find it. Include it in your “About Me” profile. Put it on your “Scrapbooking Resume” or include it under a link that says “Contact Me.” If I am totally in love with your work, I will work very hard to find you….. but if I’m on the fence, I might give up if I can’t find your email address within the first few minutes of looking for it….
Once, when I couldn’t find an email address, I *did* leave a comment on a designer’s blog saying something along the lines of “I work for XYZ Company and we’re interested in talking to you about our design team.” But that was only b/c her work totally rocked. And the truth of the matter is that she almost deleted that comment, thinking that for sure it was a scam!
4. Clean Up Your Sidebars
(a) Sure, it’s fun to share the blinkies for all of your favorite companies on your blog sidebars. But think about this: Are you ONLY willing to use company A’s adhesives/inks/cutters/cardstock? Because if Company B checks out your site and thinks you’re currently on the design team for Company A — or that you’re too closely affiliated with Company A — they may walk away. Can you imagine someone being on the design team for both Glue Arts and for Scrapbook Adhesives?
(b) It’s messy! When you have way too much going-on on your blog, it makes it hard for your images to stand out. And after all, don’t you want the manufacturer to really notice your work? (Having said that, be sure to grab our blinkie and share it on your blog! LOL!)
(c) If it looks like you’re doing design work for too many companies already, I might worry that you won’t have enough time to dedicate to my team.
(d) Too many blinkies and badges can make your blog load realllllyyyyy slooowwwllllyyy…… And, well, what if your DT selection committee chair is in a hurry?
5. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there on facebook, twitter, etc.
I know it’s tempting to really *blast* a company when they ship an order late. I know it’s tempting to sound-off about your daughter’s school principal who really upset you. But keep in mind that many design teams over the years have had a high “drama” factor. Over time, manufacturers have realized that the fewer squeaky wheels they have on their teams, the easier it is for them to manage the team. You don’t want them to think you might be that squeaky wheel ….. not unless you are REALLY worth it
I know these are only 5 quick tips and you may already be able to put a neat check-mark beside all of them. If so, great! But if not, hopefully this gave you at least one easy to-do that you can check-off this week If you have other tips to share, I invite you to include those in the comments!