Today we wanted to share something a little different. After our recent design team call, some people requested feedback but unfortunately, we just don’t have the time to reply to everyone individually. Instead, we thought it would be helpful if we shared some hints and tips on how you can improve your applications in the future and help you understand what we (and I’m sure many other stamp companies) are looking for.
This was our first call, so are by no means the experts here, but we learnt a lot by going through this experience, and thought it would be useful to share our learnings with you.
Applying for a Design Team is very similar to applying for a job. You need to make a good first impression and the first thing I would advise is to be positive! The company you are applying to is looking for the best people they can find to help promote their products. If you try to be modest and say things like “I’m not sure if I’m good enough” it’s not going to encourage the person reviewing you.
Don’t highlight the negatives
Your application should be all about why you should be selected. Don’t waste your opportunity highlighting the negatives. If you have never been on a design team before – don’t specifically say that. Having design team experience is a nice bonus (but not a requirement for us) but specially mentioning that you don’t have it is just drawing attention to something that you don’t want your reviewer to think about. Focus on your positives!
As a design team member, you are essentially going to be part of a company and representing them online. It’s important that you come across as someone that can do this job properly. Make sure you check your spelling before hitting send and I also recommend getting Grammarly (my spelling is attrosius… attrosious… terrible). You also need to make sure that you are following the instructions the company has provided to you on how to apply. You’ll be expected to follow plenty of instructions as a Design Team member so it’s not going to look good if you make a mistake on your application. Similarly, it’s not going to reflect well on you if you ask a question that has already been answered in the Design Team Call information.
Keep it simple
Even as a new company, we received over 100 applications to our design team! That’s a lot of work to review each and every one of them so you want to make sure that your application is clean and simple and easy to review. Keep your introduction concise and provide a clear list of URLs that you want the company to review. You can add more information after these links but the most important thing is to get as much of your work seen as quickly as possible. If you are attaching photos, remember to resize these to a reasonable resolution so they can be easily viewed – we would recommend 800 px wide.
This is an important one. Always, ALWAYS add clickable links to any of your websites including social media. Don’t just say “I have a blog at heffydoodle.com and my Instagram account is @heffydoodlestamps” change that to be “I have a blog at heffydoodle.com and my Instagram account is @heffydoodlestamps”. With so many applications to review, you need to make sure you make it as easy as possible for the company to review your work.
Keep your Instagram feed relevant
This can apply to any social media channels but especially for Instagram – keep your images relevant to what you are applying for. If the person reviewing your application clicks on your Instagram feed, what are the first 6 images they are going to see? I’m not saying that you should only ever share pictures of your projects on your Instagram, it’s your channel, you should do what makes you happy but you have to think about maximising the opportunity. Likewise, it might earn you a few bonus points if you are already sharing projects using products from that company.
Update your blog
Now we are getting into some of the harder to do things but these next two could have the biggest impact. Blogs have been around for a long time now and the styles have changed over the years. As a company, we are looking for Design Team members that have good looking, high quality, well-maintained blogs. If you have not updated your site/design in several years, you might want to look at having a revamp. Sites such as WordPress and Blogger make it very easy to create something professional looking without a degree in web-design. Look at some of your favourite bloggers for inspiration or ask some of your crafty friends for some ideas if you are not sure.
Take good quality photos
For many of you out there, this is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you and the one thing holding you back from getting on a design team. You can make the best cards in the world but if your pictures are dark and grainy it’s all for nought. The good news is you don’t need a super expensive camera and an elaborate lighting setup to take good photos. You should look online for tutorials on how to use your camera properly but my advice would be to focus on the lighting. Take pictures during the day if possible or if you can spend the money, pick up some LED lights to help your projects pop. There are some really useful video tutorials on YouTube on all of this, I would suggest you start by searching for “how to take better product pictures”
I hope you find some of this information useful – as mentioned above, we are a new company so we are far from being experts in this but thought it would be useful to share our thoughts and maybe it will help some of you land that dream Design Team position!
Best of luck!