It’s around that time of year. What time of year is that, you ask? Well, it’s that time in which some teams start posting calls for new creative team members. I felt it might be a good time to share where you can find the calls before I get back to sharing more behind the scenes information from my website. I know you are anxious so let’s get to it.
There are essentially three sources that I use to find calls for craft and scrapbook design teams:
1.DesignTeamsCalls.com This site shares calls via blog posts and a calls list. You might notice when you head over to their site that the blog posts aren’t always recent. If there isn’t much activity on that main page, head directly to the tab marked Calls List.
2.DTcalls.com This site is similar to the one above. You may find that calls from both lists overlap although on occasion there is a call posted that is not mentioned on the other site. It can be worth it to make a comparison. Usually, there is a blog post showing calls that are ending soon. If you want a little more time to mull things over and gather your submission materials, then check out the tab which says the calls are here.
* Updated June 28, 2016: It appears that the websites I listed above are no longer active. You can try finding calls on the Pub Call and Designer Support Group on Facebook.
3. Follow your favorite teams and manufacturers and watch for the calls.
I sign up to follow my favorite manufacturers through email and social media. It is likely that followers will receive first dibs on breaking news through email newsletters before it hits the grape vine. Not all manufacturers post about their calls to outside sources like the websites mentioned above, so following your favorites socially is the best bet to stay informed. This is especially true in regards to digital scrapbook and hybrid scrapbook creative teams.
Now that you have an idea of where to find calls, I am sure you are asking yourself whether or not you have a good chance of being hired.Whichever method you choose to find the calls, you need to understand one very important thing. The best way to improve your chances of getting on a creative team is to network.
Of all the design teams I have been on, only one of them chose me from a “cold” application. By “cold” I mean that I submitted my application to join a team on which I didn’t know anyone. Some of you will say this is unfair, stating that it should be the examples of your creative skills that land you a spot on the team and not who you know. Take a moment and consider a totally different scenario and you will understand why networking works. Let’s pretend you want to remodel your kitchen. A friend of yours recently remodeled her home so you ask her about the company she used. She can tell you about the quality of their work, whether or not they made deadlines and if she felt comfortable interacting with them. If her recommendation is a good one, would you be more likely to hire the same company she used or would you feel more comfortable choosing a random company out of the phone book? Chances are high that you would pick the same company she used. The same principle comes into play when it comes to creative teams.
Networking is all about getting to know people with whom you might work with while sharing samples or your creative abilities.
Every time you share something on a blog post or in a gallery, you are sharing samples of your work. The people who share your work contribute to the possibility of you getting noticed and chosen to join a creative team. Networking increases the chance that your work will be shared by others. Each share is a recommendation for you, kind of like the word of mouth recommendation in the example of the kitchen remodel.
The word networking sounds so formal. You are likely networking in some form right now and you don’t even know it.
- Message Boards and Group Forums: As you talk and interact with people on scrapbooking and crafting sites, they are getting to know you. The craft and scrapbook world is smaller than you might think. People talk and you never know who knows whom. Always be friendly and helpful. Be yourself and have fun. I was introduced to the Deflecto Craft Ambassador opportunity through a group on Linked In, for example.
- Share About the Products You Love on Your Blog: Creative teams want to see people that are enthusiastic about their products. They also know that if you use their supplies regularly, then it will be easy for you to work with future supplies that they want to send your way. You don’t need to gush over anything. Just simply mention what you use from time to time. Product reviews or even just including a mention of the items in your supply lists are subtle ways to share how you like a specific product. For example, I was a subscriber of JBS Mercantile scrapbook kits for almost a year before I joined their team as an ambassador. I shared layouts featuring products from their kits on my blog( and I also happened to be active in their forum).
- Share Content to Inspire Others: Don’t just share your own work. Share relevant information that you find inspiring or helpful. It’s nice to toot your own horn, but if you only talk about yourself, people can find it off putting. Share your projects you find inspiring. If you find an interesting article on a blog, share it on social media or hit the like button. People notice when you share inspiring or helpful information. It helps you build a good reputation plus, this is one of the easiest ways to support a blog or product that you love.
- Look for Opportunities to be a Guest: From time to time, you might notice contests or calls which invite people to submit a project for a chance to be a guest on their blog. This is a wonderful opportunity for several reasons. You get the chance to experience what it’s like working with that team without having a long term commitment. Traffic is often directed towards your blog which helps you grow your audience. You build your resume. The company gets a chance to work with you to see if you will be a good fit for their team.Think of it like an audition. Many times, companies will choose to invite past guests to join their team on a permanent basis. Guest positions resulted in two of my permanent design team terms.
Networking is something that takes time. Don’t expect overnight results. I can not emphasize enough that you need to be polite and friendly out there. Don’t look down your nose at even the smallest of acquaintances( no matter how brief the encounter may be). That person you met on social media might not necessarily become your best friend. They might, however, just like you enough to mention your name to someone who is looking to fill a spot on a creative team.
If you are ready to apply for teams, by all means, do so. I still send out “cold” applications from time to time. There is always a chance you can make the team. If you are not chosen,don’t take it personally.Continue to be yourself. Don’t bash the company that didn’t choose you. Take a step back and objectively look at your work and your blog. Perhaps things need a little tweaking? Now you have the time to do so. Anything worth doing takes time. Joining a design team is no exception to that. And should you not make the team this time or perhaps you missed the call, don’t stress out about it. Make a note of the time of year the call took place in your calendar. That way, you know to keep your eye out for the call at the same time next year. Meanwhile, you can spend your time networking and quite possibly increase your chances of making the team next year.