Product Development May 14, 2020

What's the better word - "Amateur" or "Hobby"?

Mick @Primer

I'm creating new mid-level pricing plan that sits between "free" and "pro".

Is "hobby" too... something... hobbyish? Where people may not want to be seen as just a hobbyist?

Is "amateur" a negative word?

What you think?

  1. 4

    Amateur does have a slight negative connotation IMO.

    What about "Starter"? Depending on your target audience that might be a good fit.

  2. 3

    Yea I'd vote for amateur in your case. I think of amateurs as people who aspire to become pro eventually. Hobbyists might just want to stay at that level forever. Which is fine, but I think it wouldn't hurt to reinforce that aspirational mindset if you do want them to eventually upgrade.

    1. 2

      I was going to say I like 'hobby' better, but your comment about aspiration makes total sense!

  3. 2

    Very interesting question, there is definitely a difference, and either might work well, depending on who you want to subscribe to that plan.

    If you use "Hobby", you will attract people who don't focus on generating revenue. If you use "Amateur", it's more business-oriented, but it also contains a judgment of sorts.

    As long as you think it's aspirational among your audience, it will work. "Beginner", "Intermediate", anything that suggests advancement.

    How about musician-related themes like "Rising Star", or even go for something more related to perceived venue size, like "Practice Room", "Club", and "Arena"?

  4. 1

    Pre-side hustle? Baby side hustle? Mini-hustle? Just trying to come up with something to reflect the wish for making money, but not quite full-on.

  5. 1

    What do your target customers describe themselves as at that level?

    Our opinion doesn’t matter if we’re not the target.

    1. 1

      I dunno if I agree with that. I think the words are cross compatible with many different types of people.

      Are you a hobby soccer player or an amateur?
      Are you a hobby painter or an amateur?
      Are you a hobby e-gamer or an amateur?

      In my opinion it's really the same. There's no clear cut answer amongst my targeted user base as there isn't amongst any other. Some would say they are hobbyists and some would call themselves amateurs.

      I've gone with "Hobby" as I think it has less negative connotations than "amateur".

      1. 1

        Fine to disagree. Your audience may just have better insights to themselves than the IH hive mind (but, hey, we’re all smart here)

        Next step is to test - if you think it’s something that could have a material impact then A/B the sh*t out of it.

  6. 1

    Call it Solo

  7. 1

    I think that "amateur" is too official. I'd go with "hobby" if you're a startup and want to be closer to your customers. On the other hand, you can A/B test it :)

  8. 1

    Consider making it hobby, amateur and professional. Hobby is free. But if you are more serious about what you are doing you chose one of the paid plans.

  9. 1

    Amateur.