Submit your Business for a Community Critique!

oh my handmade, community critiques, brand reviews, shop critiques, peer support

Sometimes it is tough to be your own boss/designer/bookkeeper/commander of your personal army-all those slashes and hats can get in the way of objectively looking at where our businesses are at. Brand/shop/blog reviews are a powerful tool for getting insight into how a professional views your work and I enjoy offering them to clients, but the feedback always comes from my own perspective. What if we could ask a group of smart, supportive, and talented friends to give us their kind feedback and suggestions on the areas we need the most help with? Whatever to the what if, let’s do it! OMHG is one of the most welcoming and compassionate communities ever and I can’t think of a better crew to play biz doctors with. Here are the details:

oh my handmade, community critiques, brand reviews, shop critiques, peer support

Thats it! Start the fun by submitting your own shop in the comments, I’ll randomly choose one business to review on Sunday the 28th of October and set the tone for our critiques with the first post on Monday the 29th. Then you’ll get a chance to win the next spot by sharing your own feedback on the critique post and keeping the circle going!

Spread the word: Submit your biz for an #OMHG community critique @ohmyhandmade & get support while supporting others http://bit.ly/RRdIzC! Click to share on Twitter

 

68 comments

  1. dana says:

    Jessika, what a great idea! I’m sure many of us would welcome the chance to get out of our own heads and see our business from another person’s perspective. The thing I struggle with most is product photography. I tend to sell more at craft shows than I do online and I’d like to make them both equally strong. I know good photography is essential for online sales and I need some help with this. I’m not sure if the problem is the quality of my photos or if they’re not telling enough of a story to engage the viewer (or both). Would love everyone’s feedback on how my work is perceived.

  2. Christi says:

    This is excellent! I would enjoy feedback on marketing efforts—particularly written material—as it’s difficult to be both concise (with the right tone) and thorough (not confusing!). The bulk of my business (YoBlocks) revolves around a personalized product, and thus straddles a website and an Etsy store: it’s a challenge to keep things simple!

  3. Sarah says:

    This is great! I would love a critique of my shop. I think I need the most help with my photos (Ideas for other ways to style my products?) and branding/marketing. I’m not sure if my header/ad buttons etc are very good or not as I made them myself.

  4. Anastacia says:

    What a wonderful idea! I agree with the commenter above, about how it’d be nice to see our business from another set of eyes. I definitely need help with the overall picture — I tend to obsessive over whatever my current project is, & tend to forget everything else. I also need help with marketing. I also need to develop a newsletter. I also need a website redesign. I need more hours in the day. LOL

  5. Jess says:

    Great idea!
    I’d really love a critique – I think my main weakness is marketing. For example, I struggle with creating interesting content for my shop blog – blogging doesn’t come naturally and I have no idea where to start.
    I am shy when it comes to self promotion, so some tips in this area would be very welcomed.
    A general overall critique would go down a treat, too!
    x

  6. Kat says:

    Oh yes! I would love a website / bizz/ blog / shop critique. Here’s my problem: I want to do everything I think of, but painting custom portraits, sell original art & prints, making how-to-paint tutorials, mini art classes, craft tutorials, AND infographics/ graphic design tutorials is too much. I have a separate ideal client for each thang that I do and its too much to market to everyone and ineffective + confusing to the other target customers with all of that going on. I’d love to have a cohesive brand even if it means letting whatever isn’t working go- this means getting honest feedback on which is my strongest work, that I can’t objectively see because they are all my babies. Strong cohesive brand full of my best work = laser beam focus marketing and offerings & wildly successful art bizz, yes please!

  7. Julia Grace says:

    I would love suggestions for anything, but I could use some help with the marketing side of things, as well as how to deal with the social media side of things. I get so busy that I don’t have time to deal with all the SoMe and I get discouraged because I have no followers.

  8. Jenn says:

    Fantastic idea in an amazing community. Constructive criticism is what helps make leaps.

    I could use advice on targeted marketing and emotionally evocative branding!

    But also- what comes to mind when you see my brand? What emotional response does it evoke? (Wondering if Im hitting what I am going for.)

    Love this idea and cant wait to help others!

  9. SewTara says:

    What a fantastic idea!!

    I’d love some marketing/branding type advice and pointers. Those were really things I wanted to focus on this fall/winter coming into the holiday season and I’m not sure I’m doing all I can (will I ever feel I am). I feel like I could be more ‘out there’, everyone who sees my stuff instantly comes up with great ideas or sends me to a great connection but I want to be more proactive with my business (blog and Etsy shop).

  10. Tiffany B. says:

    Wow! I need helping trying to figure out what my next step should be. I have been selling on etsy for 3 years now. I am thinking of opening a website shop as well but wonder if it’s the right move? M customers are brides so I am always looking to find more brides to come to my shop.
    Thank you!

  11. Kayla says:

    I would love an overall critique! I have been hustling to get ready for the holidays but it doesn’t feel like my shop is ‘clicking’. Marketing would be my biggest challenge! Finding the right audience online is really daunting. P.S. Thank you for your helpful blog- I’m always learning something new!

  12. An overall critique would be great. I’m a bit ‘stalled’ and not sure which way to go next… I’ve been on Etsy for four years. I blog inconsistently because I haven’t a clue how to get people to read so I feel like it might be a wasted effort – like talking to yourself! I’d love to hear some ideas and find out the perceptions of others. Thanks!

  13. Jessica what a fantastic idea. I would love an overall critique as I’ms trudging to fine a direction in which to take my business next, so branding, marketing and blog help would be just wonderful. Thinking also do I switch from blogger to self hosted wordpress is that maybe what I need… so totally confused at the moment… Thanks…

  14. Woolies says:

    How can I get more consistent sales? What other items do I need to have in my store to encourage more sales? I’m good at marketing – but am I branded correctly? I’ve rather given up on my blog in favor of FB – is that the right approach for someone time-crunched? Oh I have lots of questions….Thank you for this awesome opportunity!

  15. Cindy says:

    After growing for several years, I’m stalled. And my biggest problem is how to make this a viable business. A once a year retreat is fun and grand, but I need a way to make this business work all twelve months out of the year. Please help.

  16. Citlalli says:

    I would love an overall critique. I struggle with marketing, blog content, branding, and I am sure I am lacking a little bit on everything. It is so hard to manage every aspect of my business and fill content with any progress I might be making. Thanks for putting this together!!

  17. NIcole says:

    This is a great idea! Its a continuous opportunity for shops to be critiqued in a friendly environment – like your own support group – seeing that we are all trying to be better at what we do and with the help of friends we can achieve that goal!! Yeah!
    I think I need assistance in the marketing end? writing & descriptions? Trying to convey to a potential customer how awesome a handbag is, in a gooey way and not a technical way? http://www.chicagofnthredsluxe.etsy.com
    Thx Jessika 🙂

  18. Natalie says:

    Perfect timing. I will be putting in my release at work soon to leave my job to focus on our business. We are now just starting to focus on our branding & marketing (perhaps product images too? Not sure what category that falls under).

  19. Julie says:

    I love this idea for a circle of critiques! Just by participating I bet we’ll all come away with new ideas.

    I’ve reached a point in my business where I need to focus on making what I have listed on Etsy better (i.e. photos, tags, titles, descriptions). Hopefully this will help me be more efficient as I start to offer new product lines. Time is limited these days as I stay at home with our son so I want to make the most of my work time!

  20. Jessica says:

    I think this is a fab idea! I have said many times that it is hard to step back from my own business and really look at these things! I would love to have help looking at my branding and marketing!! My shop pictures as well!

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  21. I am SO excited about this! What an absolutely wonderful opportunity to interact with others, share ideas, and get feedback! *Its AWESOME*
    Gosh I don’t even know where to start…I just need some help! I would love to get some honest feedback on my website/blog + my web presence in general. ( My website is still a little newborn and hasn’t started walking yet…she needs some help because she’s wobbly….

  22. Jessika, what a wonderful idea! I’d love a chance at a shop critique. My biggest questions are about the user’s overall experience on my site. What are the sticky areas? What questions does she/he have? I’ve been getting a lot of referral traffic these last couple months, but my conversion rate has been low. Help with getting my rate higher would be lovely 🙂

  23. Hanna says:

    I opened my shop little over a year ago originally selling upcycled clothing. I recently rrelaunched my shop now focusing on button earrings and eco-friendly jewelry, but I’m also dabbling in some knitting and trying to work out what products work best for me and my shop. Also, I launched my new blog at the beginning of August and it’s been quite successful so far. I’m having trouble with finding the right products for my shop and with SEO. I try and I try, but I just can’t get my shop found in the Etsy search. Thanks!

  24. Wow Jessika…you have everyone’s attention! Great idea here and obviously so needed.

    I would love several sets of brilliant eyes peaking over my shoulder and saying “hmmm…maybe a little tweak here.”

    I put a bunch of time and energy into my site, but am I putting it in the right places?

  25. Hi Jessika! Thank you for putting this together. I would love to have the community critique my shop. I’m really struggling with branding my store. I have seen some amazing jewelry shops with fabulous brands and I haven’t figured out how to find my own without copying theirs.

  26. Vicki says:

    I’ve only recently started trying to make my small business successful. It was a hobby in the beginning. I’d love some help with branding, marketing and blog help. I’m slowly getting it together, but any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!

  27. Angela says:

    Hello!! This is great, thanks for posting this critique. I opened my shop sometime ago, but just started stocking it in May of this year. I’ve had a few hits mainly when I use search ads, but when I’m not, its not really viewed. I’m not really sure what the issue is, weather its the tags I’m using, my description, titles, or just my product or lack there of. It would be great to get some feedback from everyone as to what some of my issues may be. Thanks!

  28. Pricing and marketing! Shipping can be quite high for what I sell and I don’t want customers to be turned off by that. I know I need to create value so that they won’t mind paying the shipping..but maybe I need to incorporate some of that cost into the item price? I would also like to increase traffic to my shop and figure out how to turn people who follow and favourite me into buyers. Thank you Jessika for this great op and putting out such helpful info for all of us makies:)

  29. Carissa says:

    I would love some critique!! I need massive amounts of help joining my business and my blog. I sell baby items, but I’m a single girl with no babies! It’s very confused and I would love some advice on how to link them better. Would also love some advice on the look of my Etsy shop. Mostly the banner and about me stuff (I’m so bad at that). Thank you!

  30. Beth says:

    I’ve been nursing this business along for almost 16 yrs, but still have to clue how to take it to the level where it’s a money-making venture for me. I seem to be working and working, but getting no where. Running in place, as it were.

    I think I have a heavy presence on social media sites, but I don’t seem to be doing it right as it’s not resulting in sales.

    I don’t think there is any cohesiveness in my business at all, and I have no idea how to start.

  31. nicki hall says:

    This interests me greatly as I get upto 900 visitors per week looking at my site. Yet some weeks get no sales at all. I would value input re my prices. I would also value input re whether you think my site should be more interactive. It’s not the greates site for interactive content as it is a big cartel shopping cart, of which i manage myself, with limited html skills. So, there’s not much room for text on the front page at all.

    I’ve recently increased nos to my site by giving away one of my creations each month, chosen at random for my ‘FB likers’.

    I am interested to know if users think my site would benefit from having a regular news page, similar to a blog with regular features, – maybe jewellery tutorials, more info on how to care for jewellery in general, links to favourite found items etc – or whether a newsletter would be of interest for regular customers. Targetting people directly, rather than for all the world to see…?? Oh and also if people think my prices are reasonable, for handcrafted jewellery.

    Many thanks, Nicki Hall
    Little Red Head

  32. Gillian says:

    Hello!
    I’m Gillian and my business is Lilly Mac Jewellery. I sell at craft fairs & in shops but find I make very few sales through my website or other online boutiques. I know my photographs on my website arent great (www.lillymac.co.uk) but think (www.wowthankyou.co.uk/lilly-mac-jewellery/) is better – what do you think? Is it just my photos letting me down or also the descriptions etc? Would really appreciate any feedback or thoughts on either site.
    Thanks, Gillian

  33. Caitlin says:

    Hi! What a great opportunity! My name is Caitlin and I sell BitterBliss Bitters Kits. The kits help people make their own cocktail bitters. I’ve just gotten going (first sale yesterday!) and would love to get advice and feedback about what to do first.

    Thanks!

  34. Hana says:

    I would love to have some feedback about how to market my shop to my target audience. I struggle with finding the right customers who will appreciate and support my work. I could also use help with branding and creating a unique logo that fits the brand and aesthetic of my shop.

  35. Sam says:

    Where to start. First I know what my brand is, but I’m failing to communicate that in my shop. Also I started my blog way before my business and need to integrate it into my business and am completely lost with how to do it.
    Figuring out what I’m doing wrong socially media and advertising wise would be great. Also feedback on my tags both on Etsy and my blog would be helpful.
    The other thing I’m trying to work on is multi level pricing. Right now I know both my wholesale and retail prices but need filler items that fit my brand that fit into the lower price points. There is so much I need help with and fell that I have a very strong point of view, but I need help understanding how to get others to see what I know about my product in a more cohesive way. Thank you for the opportunity to express this. I’m really excited to see the transformation of whoever gets picked.

  36. KrabbyKasey says:

    I would love some shop critiquing! I have an Etsy page, Facebook page, and Twitter page. Although, the Twitter page is just linked to repeat my Facebook posts. I don’t have many followers on Twitter, so Facebook is my main focus. I guess an overall unbiased opinion about the look & feel of my shop would be great! I have a small following on Facebook, but don’t get a lot of actual interaction from my followers.

    I feel confident in my branding and logo. I’m just not entirely sure how to market my hand made jewelry and get more sales!

  37. Becky says:

    I would love you to critique on my website. My business is a small boutique clothing company. I’m in the process of taking the business to the next level and I need to look the part. Help! I need a makeover!

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