I’m so glad that you all enjoyed the first installment of Design Teams 101! When I first started this crazy world called blogging, I had no idea what a design team was, let alone how to get on one. As time went on, I soon began asking myself questions. How could I be part of something like this? What made a designer stand out to a company? These questions, along with dozens of others, were constantly on my mind and I wish I had a little guide to this world. I’m hoping that by the end of this series, you’ll feel equipped when you see a design team call, or at least feel knowledgeable as to what teams are looking for.
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert in this topic, but I HAVE been in this industry for over a decade. In my effort to make this series even better, I reached out to some of my favorite companies and they gave their input on this topic. We’ll have the privilege of hearing from Kryssi and Angela from Mama Elephant, Kelly Marie from Lawn Fawn, Shay from Winnie & Walter, Jen from Reverse Confetti, Michele from CAS-ual Fridays and there might be a couple other guests as well.
Today’s topics: Is DT experience needed? and What qualities do companies look for in a designer?
As a company owner and one who has been in charge of teams, I can honestly say that NO, you do not need experience. We have all been “newbies” and quite honestly, I like finding unfounded talent. On a team that I led, almost every single person that I asked to join had no prior DT experience. It’s such a neat feeling to find unburied treasure and see your designers grow in their style. Nowadays, so many people are on teams and it may seem like the same people get picked, but believe me, we ARE on the lookout for up and coming designers.
Here are a few tips that can get you noticed by your favorite companies:
- Tag, mention and hashtag your creations using their products on social media. I’ve found so many great designers who use my products via Instagram and Twitter that I probably wouldn’t have noticed before if they didn’t tag @prettypinkposh or hashtag #prettypinkposh.
- When posting cards using their products, be sure your photos are well lit, so their products shine in all their glory. A blurry, or dark photo, is pretty much a guarantee we will not re-post or share your creation.
- If you blog a card using a company, be sure to link to them. Believe me, we notice when people are visiting us from a specific blog!
Here’s some feedback from some of the contributors on this topic:
“Not at all, but if they do not they should be aware that each company has their own expectation and compensation contracts.”
“No experience necessary, but you should have an active blog and be organized, be able to follow directions and have great communication skills. ”
“Be yourself and only apply to design teams for companies or challenges you truly love and believe in because if you don’t it shows and you will begin to dislike the work.
Sharpen your skills with classes and challenges. You will learn so much and really develop your style and as you progress you will get noticed!
Also, some companies/websites build and craft design teams by invitation (we do this) rather than through design team calls and my recommendation would be to strut your stuff to the companies you love—enter their contests and challenges, follow their social media, share projects you make with their product on social media and tag, message or email them so they can see it! I assure you we pay attention and appreciate when someone is so enthusiastic about our company. ”
For me personally, as a company owner and DT coordinator, I look for a variety of things. The MOST important thing is that the person is an active blogger. If you only post one every six weeks, being on a design team probably isn’t the right fit for you. While being on a team is fun and exciting, it IS a commitment. Here’s a listing of the qualities I look for in designers….
- Actively posts to their blog with well lit photos, clean work and an eye for details.
- Creativity is a must. I want to see different card designs, creative uses for my products and a variety of techniques.
- The text in your post can make a difference. Honestly, I don’t want to just see a card in a post. I’d love to hear the story behind the card, why you like that stamp set, who you’re giving the card to, the mishaps that came along the way– it’s fun to read a story while also looking at something pretty.
- I don’t require my design team to have all of the different social media accounts, but it does help. If they are active on social media, chances are they’ll promote you on there and us (as companies) are always for that.
- This is probably something not every company notices, but I DO notice if someone is constantly negative on social media and their blog. I want to align myself with positive, happy people and if a person is complaining often, chances are they’ll bring that negativity to the team (which is something that companies do NOT want).
“Creativity is the most important quality any designer can have. Committed is another quality that comes to mind. By that I mean, understanding and following through on what is expected of you as a DT member. I laugh at the word “organized” because we all have our own brand of organization. You have to do what works best for you.”
“Ideally, the whole package — someone who is talented, active in the community, and knows how to present their work.”
“At CAS-ual Fridays Stamps, I look for designers who make my jaw drop with their design skills, are fun and engaging in their posts, and who provide product links regularly. I want to know that you when you visit their blog, you’re going to see a great project, have fun reading about it, and be able to find where you can get my products by clicking on a working link.”
“Someone engaged, responsive, responsible, enthusiastic, helpful, positive, fun and who put out consistently solid work. We also want designers who truly love creating with our product.”
This was also a lengthy post, but I hope you came away with some information that you didn’t know before. I know that I’ll have at least two more posts in this series. As I write these posts, I’m finding out that I have so much info I want to share with you all!
Have a specific question you want answered in this series? Leave it here and I’ll try to answer as many as I can!
I’ll see you next Monday with part 3 of this Design Teams 101 series. If you find this series helpful, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of my posts. Until next time…