Thursday, February 24, 2011

why indie biz is...

a waste of money.

there, i said it.

[disclaimer: if you are not associated with crafty blogs or etsy, etc--you can skip this post. if you are a craft blogger, dont hate me, and please hear me out. thank you]

last year, as some of you may know, darci and i started our partnership of our etsy shops [here and here]. i had heard about indie biz on the blogs and whatnot, and i looked into it some. i thought it could be helpful to us, since we were just starting our business together, and i thought additional help/guidance could be beneficial. so i paid the money ($75) and started getting excited about it.

as the weeks went along and the lessons came out, i started realizing that maybe this was a mistake. instead of business lessons, they seemed to be "lets try to make you creative" lessons. instead of lessons on how to do your taxes or obtaining business licenses or EINs, they were how to craft a "business card keeper", how to make an "office inspiration board", and embracing trends. EVERYTHING they "taught" us is either common sense, can be found for free on the etsy forums, or is present in blog land.

i will say i got one good thing out of indie biz, and that was the networking. i met a lot of cool people. HOWEVER, if i were more involved in blogging, etsy threads, twitter, flickr, etc... i would get that exact same amount of networking (or more).

that is why i feel indie biz is a waste of money. thankfully i was able to write it off on my taxes this year (since i took an actual entrepreneurship class and learned how to do that).

ps: indie biz also spammed me recently to let me know theyre doing indie biz 3, and that they would give me a discounted rate if i wanted to do it again! instead of the new price of $90, it's available to me (an alumn!) at only $50. what a deal!!! what did i do? i promptly deleted the email and rolled my eyes.

pps: dont hate me :) thanks!


Anonymous said...

Why should anyone hate you for this review? The only type of people who could hate you for expressing your opinion on YOUR blog are people who have nothing better to do! I mean really! This is an honest review and is really great. Especially for people who don't know what the course is about! $90 is a lot to drop on a course that won't teach you things you really want to know. I think your review is helpful and isn't hateful towards the people who put on the course.

Thanks for the post and I'm glad you posted it. Keep it real on your blog!!! <3 <3

Meg said...

I agree with danielle, this is YOUR blog...don't worry about what people may or may not think of YOUR opinion. On the bright and i wouldn't have "meet" if it wasn't for the that's priceless! Lol!

Emily said...

i have no idea what you're talking about.
but i love you!

kirkland said...

its good to know someone else didnt really get anything out of their $75 last year. never be afraid of speaking your mind lady!

sara said...

kudos to you for being honest. i had fun meeting people, and I did enjoy the creative bits, but I see what you mean about the raw business end of things. :)

Jewls said...

Oh man, I'm so glad you shared your opinion about this. I wish there was a course that taught you things about running your own business, doing taxes, etc. That's sad that their class didn't even go into any of that. :(

You're awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Wonderland Papers said...

I took the couse (as you know since that is how we met :) and I thought that it was pretty good. I understand where you are coming from though about it being really heavily focused on the creativity side of business. I really wish that there was a class that taught the heavier, not so cute, side of business that is taxes and trademarks and all that stuff.

I totally didn't remember to write the class off when I did my business taxes. Ha! Sounds like your business class was a really good class to take!

kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

hey, i'm glad for this kind of information! us small bidness folks gotta look out for each other. so, THANK YOU for your honest review. :)

ps - i'm playing catch up right now, so prepare for a good ol' fashun stawlkin! :P

Caiti said...

I definitely had a different experience than you, although I respect your opinion. I thought the content was good (sure, it could be found elsewhere online, but not in such a complete way from credible sources), and the networking, support and the ability to interact with the teachers directly was worth the cost to me. I put a lot of time into the class and got A LOT out of it. To me, those few fluffy DIY projects were just for fun and don't represent the majority of the content.

Regarding taxes, bookkeeping, registering your business, etc., I think it's unfair to expect that information to be covered in an e-course, since tax and business laws vary so much by state. I took another online creative biz course from a VERY well established artist, and that didn't cover taxes either, nor do books like Craft, Inc. The Indie Biz teachers were pretty clear about that content not being taught. A local class or contacting an accountant would be more useful to obtain that info.

But that's just my little opinion on the class :)

leyla said...

I didn't (and won't) take the indie biz course...I have a really hard time paying for things I can get for free. I did do the Blog Love course....paid the thirty two bucks, read the whole thing in one sitting, and never opened it again. Some good ideas yes, but if you're active in the blog world, then you'll run across all that info. Was it worth thirty two bucks? nope. So i know how you feel.

This Military Mama said...

I signed up for Indie Biz 3.0. I'm really looking forward to it.


I totally do NOT hate you for this honest review. I actually think this review rocks!

For me, the business side of things... I kind of know and there are classes I can take at the local community college. Plus my husband and my stepdad are good with business too.

For me, I'm taking the class to help organize my creative explosion that is my mind. I need to know how to channel it all better! PLUS I'm totally that kind of person who will ask 30 different people "Do you like this? Is this sellable? Does it work with my other pieces?" Things like that.

Your review totally lets me know that I signed up just for that and I totally appreciate it!

Thank you!!!!

beka*b said...

Refreshing to read a less than gushing review for a change, so thank you for sharing your side of the story... I too would be an Indie 2.0 'alumni' and turned down their enticing offer for this year's class, for many of the reasons you stipulated. I do however feel that at the time it was a good choice and though a few of the sessions were a little less than I had hoped, overall it was useful to me in gathering my thoughts/ideas together.

It was definately a creative course rather than a business one, the tax/regulation part of which they did declare was not part of the course. It was a good springboard to lead me on to other avenues, so not all bad...

Just my pennies-worth :)

Hearthandmade said...

i dont hate you either! Its a very honest and TRUE review!! Ive never thought that any of the rva classes were worth the money.

For networking purposes... i dont think you would be able to get the amount of followers/friends in the same place AND its cheaper than advertising on one of their blogs for a month - the prices are absolutely ridiculous. i have signed up as an alumni for indie business 3.0 but purely because it was cheaper than a months advertising on their three separate blogs for 1 month and i gurantee i will meet new people and friends etc. but i totally agree with you.

Hearthandmade said...

i have tips on my blog if you care to link up..