Hello friends! Since I call for pattern testers pretty often - I thought I would explain how I pick and choose, while giving some tips and do's and don'ts to help better your chances of getting to test. If you're a pattern designer you might even take home and idea or two too.
SO: Every designer who calls for pattern testers has a different way to choose, so I figured I would give you a peek into my mind when it's my time to pick testers. I do like to switch up my pattern testers every time so this is the formula I've created for myself.
I have a few categories that I like to weight differently in my selections. They include: Skill level, body measurements, photography, social media and pattern testing experience. The first two (Skill level and measurements that fit my pattern sizes) are the highest on my list. Since I make an array of difficulty in patterns I like to be able to know if any skill level can do my designs. Also since I mainly make garments I always go off of body measurements. No point in testing a medium if you're a small!
Photography and social media - I have never and will never beat around the bush; I do weigh social media and photography style quite heavily in my pattern testers. Not only do I love to use my pattern testers to test the pattern, but I love having them as my marketing ninjas too. Not to mention the better photography you have, means the better chance I'll be able to share the love and repost that photo later on in my feed. Therefore boosting you - as well as my pattern at once. Shout outs from your page (thought not necessary) may mean potential sales from your friends who might knit too! If your posting regularly also is a big bonus for me because I can hopefully pop up in your feed and hopefully put you in return - in mine. That all being said, I do not take follower numbers into account. I want to make that clear.
Pattern Testing Experience: When it comes to pattern testing experience I'm totally ok trying people who have never tested before. After using multiple pattern testers and seeing my fair share of good and bad, I've grown to learn that because you've pattern tested before... doesn't mean it was a job well done.
DO's: Attach your best photography shots of your previous knits in the application form, give correct and accurate measurements.
DON'Ts: Exaggerate your skill level, lie about your sizes, have a private profile.
HOW TO APPLY
As of last Fall I now use a form for my all of my applications. I spend roughly $10 a month to use it and I find it's the perfect way to get info quickly and easily and compare per sizes/info etc. Which brings up my first point: If you do not apply in this format when I have stated where to go - it's your first strike. Don't get strikes! By sending me a DM and asking how to apply, or simply shouting "I'll test it for you!" when the application is out, makes me wary that you may not be paying attention, or are as invested to take the five easy minutes to do a quick search. Plus by yelling "I'll test it" can create an awkward moment if I don't think it's a good fit. It's hard to say no politely. I know that we all get excited - but this is still a "professional" type job I'm calling for. This quick message may feel harmless, but it alone makes me wonder if you have great attention to detail - which is a skill needed in pattern testing. (Funny enough I do not have this skill. I'm a horrible pattern tester!)
DOs: Apply through the form when you see the call.
DON'Ts: Send me a DM or an email as your application.
THINGS THAT MAY HINDER YOUR CHANCE AT BEING CHOSEN
You'll notice I already mentioned above trying to apply in an format that I'm not asking for, but the other ones are more hidden. In my application form I do ask a series of yes or no questions. These range from "Can you finish this test knit by X date?", "Can you put up a Ravelry project within one week of the pattern release?", "Do you agree to not sell or replicate this pattern in any way?". If you answer "No" to these questions - those applicants are first to be cut. Don't have Rav? Sign up and google how to put up a project. It's quite easy and checks off that "yes" box. Also I really recommend having a public social media page (Instagram especially!) as it's hard for me to get a vibe of who you are without letting me get ma creep on.
DOs: Answer the form with the most information you can provide, have a public social media feed. Answer the yes or no questions honestly and try to work your schedule to say YES.
DON'T: Lie on the questions just to get accepted, have a personal/private social media feed.
THINGS THAT WILL GET YOU NEVER CHOSEN AGAIN
I seriously love all my pattern testers. I know how much work is done for one pattern, but I do have some strict pet peeve no-go's that I have learnt from getting burned in the past. Those things are:
- Altering ANY of the pattern to make it fit your body without consulting me first. This is a test, not a free pattern to do what you will.
- Ghosting me or not giving me notes at all, or not in time - I will cut a bitch.
- Finding a mistake in the pattern and not alerting me right away and moving forward in the pattern by altering it yourself.
- Sending in laisez-fair notes. I've poured hours into this design, so please don't send "It's all good". That doesn't help me much.
If you're applying and applying and still you're not getting picked, here are some things to maybe brush up on: Photography, having a public profile, posting more often on social media, having a feed that is somewhat related to knitting or that showcases it, applying to test the best size to fit your measurements. There are tons of things you can do to step up your game! Find a way to show me how great you will be!
Please also note that there is usually stiff competition. I'm very humbled and very honored to say I get anywhere between 20-90 applications per pattern. One day it may be your chance! Keep. Applying.
PS. I'm always here to give critiques on your applications too. Just shoot me a message.