Learn branding with me

I’m ready to teach an online workshop on branding for musicians, if six people sign up at $200 each. More below, but here’s the backstory.

A while ago I blogged about an entrepreneurship retreat — the Road to Creativity retreat — where I’d be teaching this workshop in June. But, sadly, the ROC retreat won’t be happening this year. ROC’s founder, my friend Connie Frigo, knows that there’s demand there is for something like this. So she and her cosponors — D’Addario (the musical instrument company) and Tayloe Harding, dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina — are working to create a something that will be accessible and affordable for more people.

They hope to have an announcement this summer. Which I hope will say that ROC will be offering its retreat a year from now!

So meanwhile I thought I’d teach my workshop online. It’s based on what I’ve been doing in my Juilliard course on the future of classical music. Follow the link, and you’ll see the course curriculum, with the entire second part devoted to entrepreneurship, and a few weeks devoted to branding at the end.

Here’s what’ll happen in the online workshop. We’ll start by talking about what branding is, and how it works. How, when you hear what someone says, or look at how they present themselves visually, you form an idea of what they’ll be like to encounter directly. Or, if they’re a musician, what their nusic will be like.

And then I’ll ask all participants to talk — from the heart — about how they make music. If they’re soloists, then they’ll talk just about themselves. But they could also speak for an ensemble they’re in, or for an institution they work for. I’m happy to do this branding exercise for ensembles and institutions, as well as for individuals.

From these presentations, we’ll work to evolve a few short phrases — or even single words — that begin to describe (again from the heart) how all involved make music. We’ll see if we can polish these a little, to come up with phrases participants could use in their marketing, on their websites, in social media, on posters and flyers, when talking about themselves — wherever.

And then all involved will search online for images that speak to them, images that start to convey what each participants are like as musicians. The idea here isn’t to develop logos any of us can actually use, though if that happened — maybe someone will bring in original designs — that would be terrific. But at the very least, everyone will take some first steps toward developing a logo, or, more broadly, a visual approach, an idea of how they all might present themselves visually.

We can work with photos, too, of course.

If this interests you, please email and let me know. As I said, I’ll do the workshop if six people sign up, paying $200 each. I’m thinking we’ll have four or five sessions, lasting an hour each. We’ll do them with Skype video conference calls, or by some other method, if I find something better. (Ideas, anyone?) We’ll also find an online site where we can all communicate, post things of interest, and generally exchange ideas and stay in touch.

I’m thinking we’ll do this in May, depending on where we’re all available, and how long it takes to set everything up.

And, as always when I teach, I’m not going to harangue you. Everyone will talk. You’ll all exchange ideas, and critique and encourage each other — which, as I’ve seen many times, is one of the best things that can happen in any class.

Quite honestly, I think this is a bargain at $200. Email if you’re interested!

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  1. says

    You might try holding the class via Google Hangout. It’s pretty easy to set up, everyone can share documents or their desktop (so you could see each other’s work) and virtual workshops are so much better when you can see each other’s faces. If you have people who can’t/won’t do video chat you can even connect them to the rest of the class via phone.

    • says

      Thanks, Maureen. A very good idea. The only downside might be that everyone taking my workshop would have to sign up for Google Plus, and some might not want to do that. But of course I can ask everyone working with me how they’d feel about that. The advantages you list are persuasive. Thanks again!

  2. says

    Talking about these things from a musician’s perspective is a pretty hard thing to find, so hopefully some people would bite. I had to learn the hard way by doing it myself, but I think your price is reasonable if you consider the fact that doing these things well is well-worth over 200 bucks — even if you don’t happen to turn into a marketing guru as a result of this course, just knowing what’s involved in the process can help you make better decisions down the line about content marketing and PR and so on. (If you ever reach a point where you might need to hire someone, for example.) You’ll save yourself in headaches and wasted money in the long run.

    Good luck!