Friday, December 4, 2009

EB Friday Hotlist

This week's website is Handmadeology University.  The site is run by a man named Timothy Adam, a successful Etsy seller and blogger.  I was pointed to this website by a tweet by someone I follow and decided I might as well check it out.  After all I didn't make my first Etsy sale until today so at the time my shop had no customers.  Timothy offers a 5-day free marketing course through HMU with information that his website claims will get sellers more traffic and sales.  I decided to take the course and this is what I found out:

Despite the style of the website (which reminds me of some exploitative websites where you have to pay after a trial period), the course is absolutely free.  You're only required to enter your email address and then wait for the daily emails from Timothy.

Each lesson is about using social media and marketing strategies to your advantage.  Timothy covers Facebook, blogging, and Twitter over the course of the week.  After each lesson you can leave a comment at the bottom of the page and he says he reads each one of them.  I found the information about blogging very helpful, but the vast majority of the rest of the material were things I'd already figured out on my own by doing my own research.  If you're already savvy about social media, this course will be very basic for you.  If you are new to social media or want information about how to maximize your use of these services, this course gives you the basics you need to set up your blog, use Twitter (though I disagree with his mass follower strategy, it does work), and get a Facebook page for your business.  I was not impressed personally by the course because I was already doing just about everything he suggested, but according to the comments from others the information has really been helpful to some and may be a good starting point for you in getting more traffic to your shop.

(The only things redacted are my full name and the link to the course information for Day 3.) 

Timothy also offers books and courses besides the free 5-day marketing seminar.  As you can see from the email above, he does use this course as a way to introduce potential customers to the type of information he offers.  I should emphasize here that you cannot just pay for a particular resource you're interested in.  You have to sign up for a membership which bills monthly (unless you cancel within the 30-day trial period). I have not tried any of these "pay" resources for several reasons.  The first is that the membership fee is $47/month which is a large enough chunk of change that I would feel bad if I didn't get a lot out of it.  That leads into my next point which is that the 5-day program really didn't teach me much that I didn't already know.  I am not confident that the books will teach much more (though I fully admit I could be wrong!).  The final reason is principle.  I don't like websites that suggest I can increase my income drastically if I'll just pay them a little money.  I don't feel that Timothy is a scammer, but the way his site is set up makes me very uncomfortable:

My verdict?  Definitely check out this site if you are not familiar with blogging, Twitter, or Facebook and if you need advice on how to get more traffic to your sites.  If you already have mastered these points, plan on using this course as a refresher and check out the link in the sidebar to the most recent Webinar for additional information from Timothy. (Be aware, I tried this but the sound quality was too poor for me to hear it without using headphones.) Proceed with caution if you decide to pay for the advanced services, and please let me know in the comments below whether the information you obtained through them was helpful to you.

Until next time,