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You. Not Gurus.

Blog

You. Not Gurus.

Academy Of Handmade

While all the goodies and surprises are happening on the Membership Party email list, I wanted to share with you thoughts from the latest email. Make sure you're on the the list so you don't miss anything. 

You might have heard us talk about our origins a bit. So I apologize if this is repetitive at all. But I wanted to share with you exactly why we built this community AROUND YOU not gurus.

When we first began, most (all?) communities of makers were centered around an expert person or a business that had another bottom line to serve. I don't think this is necessarily bad (many of the businesses offering member benefits are great communities and I think you would get a lot out of them!), but we wanted to be the kind of community that pointed the mirror outward, where the main interest is building up the community, not selling a product or service (again, selling products or services is fine... but we wanted to have a place that was more neutral territory. It would be a place where everyone, even all of the "gurus", could come together to support makers).

Our efforts are pointed toward providing you a platform for discovery of how to best run your business (we definitely also want to offer tools and workshops to help that along the way) and, of course, celebrating the amazing things makers are doing through an awards show.

You still might not feel like this is the right space for you (hey, It might not be and that's OK too). So let me address what might be concerning you:

  1. $10/month??? That's $120 and a lot of money!: Yep. I went straight for the money objection. I know this can feel like a lot of money, but that's like two fancy coffees a month. It's not even the price of a movie. The benefits offered by our friends are worth $500+ alone. Quite frankly, it's also the #1 reason I feel like our members are so quality (people who will pay the money get that sometimes free is a lot of noise you have to sift through). And, bottom line, I'd like to think you believe your business is worth it.
  2. I'm already in Facebook groups/on an Etsy team: I think these can be great resources for growing businesses. In fact, I'm in many Facebook groups myself, but we are not a Facebook group (we purposely took our forums off of Facebook) or an Etsy team. People apply to be in AHAS because we want to curate a community of people who are all relatively on the same path in their business. While some of our members have been at it longer than others, everyone is serious about their business as well as their craft.
  3. I'm kind of an introvert and get overwhelmed by group stuff: Good news-- so are a lot of our members. We set up the forums as a place to discover resources any time and less about big conversations you have to join or follow. It's also a place to connect if you need something. Plus, our members are very welcoming!
  4. I don't think this will really help my business: This one is a hard to answer, but I think I can say this-- you get what you put in here. Because we are you centered and not guru centered, there's not anyone who will tell you what to do or how to do it. Sure, there's advice and sharing experiences and best practices, but not a how-to guide for success. And like I already mentioned, even if you don't get a single thing out of the community, the member benefits alone will pay for your dues.

I hope I've answered a lot of your possible concerns. Even still, I know this is a big step for a small business. Again, please feel free to respond to email sharon@academyofhandmade.com if you have ANY questions at all. I look forward to continuing this conversation.

-Sharon