Monday, 6 July 2015

Scrapbooking 101 - Lesson 1 Part 2 - How to Win
Scrapbooking Challenges & Get onto Design Teams

*Scroll back to previous post for lesson 1. 
 Feel free to link up to me or share this post but as my content 
not your own as my blog content is copy written - thank you*

Well thank you everyone for your feedback!!  I can certainly see from my comments
& blog stats that this is indeed a conversation that interests many! 

 However, this article {Spread over this post & the previous one} are entitled 
"How to Win Scrapbooking Challenges & Get onto Design Teams" for those
 people who want to know, therefore what I'm sharing here is how to do it, 
based on my personal experience & what I have learnt over the 8 years 
that I have been involved in such goings on, not saying that you must do it. 

 By all means feel free not to do it if you can afford to scrap without 
sponsored product & don't thrive on being a part of a team or want
 to be more involved.  Everyone is different.  For me I love what I do
& only wish that real life afforded me more time to pursue it even more.

So let us continue...

11.  Follow instructions.  There is nothing more annoying for busy team members
 than coming across entries that are not linked to the actual blog post {scrolling away
 trying to find the correct post} or seeing a beautiful of-the-page project on a site 
that doesn't accept them.  If you can't link up to a challenge correctly & take time
 to read the simple rules companies & online communities put in place to 
streamline the comment & voting process they probably won't have the
 time to spoon-feed you through the process.  
You need to learn this yourself :)

12.  Take the time to learn a simple, free editing program like Picasa,
PicMonkey or Photoscape.  (Or an expensive one like Photoshop
if you like - BTW good luck with that!!) &  come up with your own 
"actions" - in other words - the same editing recipe for each photo.

Make your photos clear, sharp & popping.  That means accentuating the highlights
 & the shadows for something slightly more dramatic than the AUTO mode will 
give you.  It simply results in a more appealing photograph.  It's not cheating
 as you are not altering your creation in any way, you are simply showing
 it off as best as possible, like putting your make-up on before you go 
out on a date - you're going to look a touch improved from when you 
wake up yes?!?  

13.  Straighten your photo & CROP IT LIKE A PRO.  This will give you an
automatic advantage over any other projects not photographed to perfection. 
Practice makes perfect.  I have a link in the top of my right-hand sidebar HERE
for how to take decent photos of your layouts.  I taught myself so so can you!
 Take a decent photo straight on then edit it to pure perfection.  It's all about
 the skill NOT the camera!  In time you will learn how to get it juuuust right,

Before spending any more improving the standard of your scrapbooking 
take time to improve the standard of your photography because 
otherwise you cannot showcase what you do clearly online
 & your lovely work will not be shown off to it's full potential.

14.  Create a separate blog post for your challenge entries.  It's too confusing 
& time-consuming for people judging to have to fiddle about trying to work out
 which entry is for which challenge if there are multiple projects in a post.

15.  Learn to link up to a specific URL not your whole blog!!  GOOGLE IT.

16.  Put your main photo first.  Show close ups but make sure your main 
photo is first & is sized to XL.  That way it's easy to find & easy to see 
without an extra click.

17.  Even if you can enter as many other challenges as you like according
 to the challenge rules don't go crazy trying to increase your chances
 by entering every challenge out there at the same time.  This will just 
make you looklazy & like a chancer rather than someone genuinely
inspired by the challenge & interested in the community.

18.  KEEP IT SHORT, SWEET & TO THE POINT.  People have next to no
 time these days to read scrolls.  Your sick dog is something to share with 
your nearest & dearest & keep out of your opening paragraph. Sure,
 it is fun to know the person behind the blog & their personality but
 not fun to have to read a mountain of literature daily to keep up
 with the scrapbooking artists that inspire you.  

Blog at least once a week, even if it is photos of your working space, 
your favourite products etc.  Don't give people an opportunity to delete 
you off their blog roll because they wonder if you'll ever be back :) 
 On the other hand, don't overdo the posting so people dread visiting 
you for fear of how much they will have to catch up!!  
It's all about balance, like everything in life :)

20.  If you win a challenge or get a place remember to say thank you.  
You'd be surprised how many people don't bother & to the administrators
 it's heart-warming & MEMORABLE!!  It shows your character & appreciation
& when DTs are brainstorming over suitable future members could put YOU
on the list!!

21.  Advertise for the manufacturer or challenge site.  You know the saying
 "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have"?  Same goes here - 
act like you're on the DT already if you want to get onto it!  Share their 
challenges & sing their praises, let them & others know that you are a big fan!

22.  ASK!  If you feel you have prepared the way already & done the ground work.  
Send off an email to the owner expressing your interest & linking to your CV.
Keep it short & to the point but friendly & positive. Be bold & go 
confidently in the direction of your dreams! {But don't expect a reply LOL}

23.  Grow a thick skin.  Let rejection wash off you like water off a duck's back,
because unless you are mega-talented & immediately social media savvy

24.  Keep a record of your highlights.  ie, any challenges you win, teams
you make, etc, & keep it updated.  This is your CV that you will link up to
when required.  

25.  Be tenacious.  EVERYONE has a lot of NOS & disappointments
that they often don't share.  Make a plan of action & stick to it but
don't count your chickens before they hatch. You may take several 
applications to the same team to get what you want or you may
 decide to change course altogether  & pursue different teams.
Just know that you are in this for the long haul.  You should
be doing this because you love to do it, so that nothing you
expend your energy on will you consider to be a waste.

26.  Stay hungry but keep things in perspective.  Do what
you love because it feeds your soul.  That is what being a true
artist is all about.  Not many of us get to feed our families off it.
Sad truth.  So make it fit into your life & remember it is not the
be all & end all of your existence & you are not defined by it.


Sanderijn de Bruin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula Calvanico said...

Thanks so much Helen, such spot on tips for sure! This is truly one of the most rewarding niches for me. The pleasure I get from creating is immeasurable, and the joy I receive when I create something for someone as a gift is priceless :) And tips 12 and 13, so important!


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

You ROCK the tips my friend!!!!!!!!

Audrey Yeager said...

I think this is excellent advice for those looking to make a team or win a challenge! The photography tip is SOOO important. Having had to pick people for a team before, seeing a gorgeous page that is photographed badly is just so disappointing! One more thing I wanted to add that is sometimes a bone of contention with people, (and some may not agree,) but I think people should make sure that their designs are their OWN. Scraplifting and such is flattering, but if you do it, you must share the fact that you did! If you used a sketch, it also should be mentioned.

I hope that new scrappers find your article and can learn a lot from it!

Margaret Mifsud said...

Another fab post .. you rock!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!! xx

Lizzy Hill said...

Fabulous! Love your points...all true for certain!!!

Kathy Bradley said...

Have I mentioned how much I am loving your articles?! I am so grateful for your knowledge - there are so many things I need to work on - I am making a list and will start working the list - but what a huge list it is! But that's good - because that is how I am going to correct the wrongs - never to old to learn - thank goodness! This must be taking a lot of time and is much appreciated!

Unknown said...

Thank you Helen for helping us... it means alot. j.

Unknown said...

Awesome advice Helen, thanks for taking the time to share your winning tips with us all.

Unknown said...

"Scrap Addict" has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

purple_pea_fran said...

Great post hun. I think this is so enlightening for people to see how much ground and leg work goes into getting somewhere with all this x

Katie said...

Thank you for the advice Helen. There has been one DT i have always wanted to join,the one that inspired me to develope my mixed media style but i have never had the confidence to go for it. This time i think i will.

Cassandra aka Scrap Savvy said...

Both 101 posts were a great read Helen. You have shared a goldmine of info for those wanting to improve their game. So kind of you to take the time to do this. #26 is one that I have really seen as an important one if you want to stay at this for the love of it and the longhaul. It really is about a balance which relates to a lot of your other points. Over the years, I have seen many a scrappy friend burn out and completely drop out of the community. They spend all kinds of time, energy and money to get going and then they are hot, in demand, and on too many teams. Then they can't keep up and/or the joy of it goes because it is no longer fun. For me, I want to be at this for a long time, so I do what I can when I can, trying to keep it all in perspective and balanced. I think it is great how you have stayed at it for a long period of time and are now mentoring others. You rock my friend! :)