I thought I'd write something a bit different here, as I have written about past summits, here, here, and here. Each one is completely unique and I gain so much from each event. And it appears the whole country, and maybe the world (I did go to Australia for a Summit ;) ) know about the Brighton Etsy Team and what we do, because usually at each summit someone asks me about building an Etsy team.
So I thought I'd share some tips if you're a newbie captain, or you want to set up your own team. Please remember that ALL teams are different so these are only guidelines!
1. Be prepared to work really hard.
I'm not going to lie, being an Etsy Team Captain is a second full time job. I work on the team every single day, emails come in, events need planning, social media needs updating, the list goes on. If you have enough time for two jobs, and live and breathe Etsy, then this is definitely the role for you, if not maybe you're more suited to being a leader or a really active team member!
2. Get an awesome team of leaders behind you.
You can't do it alone! As I mentioned before this is a full time job but to stop you going completely crazy you're going to need to delegate as much as possible. I currently have a team of eight leaders and I think there is always room for more but we can cope with less too. These people are people that you hunt out, they have the skills you want, be that, graphic designers, accountants, social media gurus, or PR managers. Stalk people online, make friends with them, and then force them to join your gang! You can also do an open call but make sure the people you pick also align with your values and they understand the amount of work they are signing up for. For free!
3. Set some goals.
So you've now got you, you've got a gang of leaders, but what are you doing? What's the purpose of your team? You need to sit down and set some goals. You could start small with "We are going to run monthly meet ups" or put in some big things to work towards like "Running our first market together". These goals should be public (there's a space on the Etsy Teams page to post them) so that when new members join the team, they know what they are signing up for. You should also review these regularly to check you're on track, or in case your end goals have changed.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
You've got a team of leaders who are smashing it, but if you're running an event and you need somebody to run a workshop, or somebody to do a talk, reach out to your team members! As a captain it's really important to be aware of who is in your team and what they do, so that when you need a crochet expert, or a paper cutting queen, you know where to look! I always contact team members directly, drowning them in compliments before asking them to do a teeny tiny favour for the team. I've not been rejected yet!
5. Shoot for the moon
For me, the whole point of a team is to take on projects that you wouldn't be able to do with just your own business. Be it a Pop Up Shop or a PR day, if it's something you haven't done before then even better! Stretch yourself, do something new, you've got a great bunch of people to make mistakes with if nothing else.
6. Be so positive it makes other people sick.
If you can only see the negatives then you won't be a successful leader, and that's what a Captain is. The team want to look up to you, be inspired by you so you've got to be eternally positive. This comes down to being a great problem solver, more people turn up to a meeting than your expecting, easy - break the meeting up into smaller chats lead by your team leaders. Way less people turn up to a meeting than you were expecting - easy, make everything much more personal, you could even do a one on one shop critique!
7. Say things out-loud.
You make your own luck. Being lucky comes down to working really hard, and people noticing. So if you have an idea, say it out loud, there's no point it being in your head, some of my craziest ideas I've said out-loud and they've had legs, whether that be your dream venue for a market or a grand advertising scheme that you thought only massive corporate companies could afford!
So there you go, something a bit different for this here blog, and hopefully a bit of an insight into what it takes to be a captain.
If you'd like me to write more Etsy/ Captain/ Team related content let me know in the comments or tweet, instagram or even SNAPCHAT [username 'designosaurYEAH'] me.
Photo Credit | Oh Someday and Georgie St Clair