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Branding Yourself

Lesson 9 from: Becoming A Music Teacher: The Art of Sharing Your Talent

Mike Johnston

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Lesson Info

9. Branding Yourself

Next Lesson: Published Content

Lesson Info

Branding Yourself

The next thing is branding we talked about this a little bit in the second segment, but if you were the greatest teacher and you were the greatest drummer and you were awesome in every way and no one knew you existed, they're not going to find you there is never going to be a time that you're going to be ripping in your practice space and someone's going to knock and be like, dude, you sound amazing here's money that's never gonna happen you have to be the one to brand yourself you have to be the one to put yourself out there and treat yourself as a brand as well as the delivery of the information that is part of the brand to how do you explain things and the world we live in right now? The digital world holy mackerel. This is so important because I think people say, well, like, yeah, I put myself on craigslist rad, do you think that that's what parents are looking for right now? Black and white text on craigslist by the time okay, so they're going to take let's say, mark joan smith, m...

ark jones smith is going to advertise himself for drum lessons so he's on craigslist now, by the time the parent finds that I I will make sure that they've seen professional photos of me that they've seen videos of me teaching they can see the environment that they're kids going to taking the lesson, and they can see me speak to the cameras so they know how I can teach they know that I can break things down, so if it's me doing all that versus mark jones is text on on uh uh, craigslist, I win every time because of the branding so it's really important to brand yourself properly, and that goes for gigs as well. It doesn't have to be just for teaching, but for this class it is about teaching, but it's, just creating the perception of what you're getting when you hire me, what do you you know, what are you buying into? So let's, look at some different things first thing building trust that when people ask me, like, how did you go from doing things on youtube toe having like, a successful business? I think that that would be the biggest key and it's still the biggest key, and I turned down so many big business opportunities because of that alone. So I'm on youtube and I'm teaching, and I'm starting to notice that there's a lot of people following it and people watching the videos and I'm thinking, man, like, I really feel that I feel the education should have a dollar attack, a dollar amount attached to it because it creates just a respect from the student to the teacher if I'm going to charge for something that I'm going to treat it very real and if you're going to pay for something you're going to value that content and you want your value out of the content I would say almost everything that they could ever think to teach is currently on youtube right now the only difference would be my delivery of it but it is there there's a maybe a few things that I've invented for myself but even those probably somebody else already did them so why would you pay for the education? Well when you pay four dollars in ninety nine cents for a pack of videos you need to get that for ninety nine value back and you need to get more than that when I charge for ninety nine for some some videos I need to make sure that I'm giving you twenty dollars worth of content I have to make sure that I constantly build your trust and so that whatever you thought it was going to be I overdeliver and then you're willing to trust me more now with that trust cannot ever mess with that trust so what I said I turned down business opportunities companies will come to me and say, hey, we want to sponsor you for this type of gear and we'll give it to you for free and all that and it's like sorry I don't I don't I don't like it don't use it and no, I'm not going to play that I'm not going to subject my students to that you guys all know for those either watching online that I have endorsements so I play for a drum company gradually for a simple company minor and when a student says hey like I really need a good you know bass drum to play medal with when the first things I recommend his thoma like you should check out a thomas twenty two by eighteen start classic but I play for gretch I'm sponsored by gretch I've told the world that gretch is my favorite drug company so why am I telling this student to get a thoma? I'm hurting the sales were gretch because I can't lose the trust and I'm telling him the truth actually I don't think the gretch is the best bass drum for metal drumming it would do just fine, but I think tom is going to fit a little bit better and I actually think that this head combination that is named by the head coming that I play for would be the best thing and if I do that then I'm earning their trust for later on and I'm not and I can't ever abuse it once I abuse it then I probably have three months left I could get one big home run push and be like this is the dopest thing ever everyone go out and buy it when a soon as they get it and it's not what I promised that I had that one big sale push that's it they'll never trust me again and so I building trust is so key. So what I did was in the youtube days in the early youtube days when I would tell parents that it's www dot youtube dot com it was brand new had to tell them it's a video site it's all good there's nothing you need to worry about with your kids. This was brand new website I was building trust and I wasn't asking for money I wasn't telling them hey, and if you like this you can get mohr of mike's olson's dot com it was none of that it was just like, hey here's, the information hope you dug it and if you want more, I'll try to get some more too soon so with that I was building trust and I kept doing it and kept doing it and once there was about fifty thousand followers or so I thought, man, if I could get like maybe ten percent of those to follow me to a paid sight that would be really cool the key is to do that the paid site has to be more than what I'm doing on youtube and that's what I started doing as far as letting them know this is what's over here, I don't care if you go there or not. I'm just letting you know that I have this new business called mike's lessons dot com and it's legitimate education over here on youtube, you guys gave me a career, so I will keep doing these videos forever. But these air tips and tricks these are things that I don't feel comfortable charging for if I play some cool, saucy lick that we call the peppermint groove or whatever, I don't feel comfortable charging a dollar nine nine for that because I'm just screwing around on the drum set, but if you want to know what made that thirty second note, you know, syncopated groove possible and I'm gonna take ten minutes to explain it. That's a dollar ninety nine I don't care if you buy just letting you know if you want more depth it's over here and that trust was really, you know, really based a lot off of watching late night tv watching the shamwow guy at the time, I was so paranoid of being that guy, I did not want to be the guy that says, you know, on this camera over here, and I say starting tomorrow huge sale nineteen ninety nine and then I have a graphic that goes with screen nineteen ninety nine but if you buy now you get forty six more lessons for five cents no, that just got yep four sentence okay it's free I don't want to do that like that guy makes me want to barf on his forehead a little graphic sorry about that but I don't want to ever be that guy so I had to really work on building the trust and say hey guys, I mean new pack of videos deals with this here it is for free if you like it there's more over there go get it and if not no big deal we're still friends they that's it so building trust is key and then the other thing is keep delivering on that trust so when people offer me in your monitors you know for free and they say we'll give you some custom enters their ninety nine dollars just talk to students about okay I'm happy to do that and then I get a lot of like just you know these in your monitors suck he's the worst they hurt my ears they don't even fit their single drivers, but I don't even believe in that I think they're just take the parts of an ipod your butt and stuff it in there and the company freaks out and it's like well, you shouldn't send them to me these air junk I don't know what to tell you like would you want me to lie to my students and tell them that these were great, these air not great and then that builds more trust for the next time. So when I finally say, you know what, guys another super expensive but I've been using these, you know, ultimate here custom molded in your monitors, which I'm not sponsored by but it's like I've been using them, they're like three, ninety nine they're amazing people are like, I'm gonna check those out and they get it and they put him in there like this is right this is what mike said it would be same thing with my signature products, you know, I had to be very careful building the trust to say ok, I'm coming out with this ride cymbal this is what it does this is what it does not do. It is available that's it because if I saved off it's the best ride some will ever made it's like but that's factually incorrect it's not the best rights woman it's just an option it's made of the exact same material that all the other mine old buys and siri's symbols are made out of its made in the same process, so it's not the best it just does what it does and I have to build that trust and make sure that I never lose that trust so they're like I said I mean, you guys I don't know about the things that I don't do but there are things that come with me all the time for business opportunities and it's just like I'm sorry that's not you don't understand like that little bump and money loses me tons of money over the course of the next ten years because of all the trust I would lose and it's like the one thing even if there was no money I don't want to lose that trust I've spent like in almost a decade building people's trust that like look, I'll be honest with you man yes I play for you know this stick company but they don't make this and this company does you should go check it out you know? So building trust is key now the next part of branding is your brand in pictures let's go let's go straight to the people here, guys, social media is kind of everywhere please understand that if you're trying to build yourself as a brand, then I'm going to go to your facebook page I'm gonna go to your instagram account probably check out your twitter feed and I'm definitely gonna watch you on youtube now if I'm going to do all that and the first picture I see is of you fake posing buy a lamborghini pretending that your ride probably not thinking you're the dopest drum instructor ever then the next picture is you with a bunch of chicks at a pool and like and you're just doing a handstand doing a bare bones okay or cake stand sorry your hand standing on the other one that's going to rough but clearly I don't drink so you go through all that I'm going through those pictures there's no way I'm gonna hire you as a drum instructor so then and I can't even tell you as faras adding people I rarely add anybody on social media that doesn't have a drum set in their profile picture so you might be the greatest drummer ever but if I don't see like a kick drum in the profile picture I just I don't even add you so don't go changing their profile pictures that's fine I'm just saying if you're a drummer like rosa saying identify yourself isn't drama identify yourself like in every aspect if you want to have yours extra facebook page that's just for family, family, family and friends like just twenty people then do it but if you're putting yourself out there as a drum educator, you need to you need to show that stuff all right? So branding and pictures to think all right we'll just get pictures of drums me playing the drums well let's look at this one all right so that is a very grainy picture of me on a drum set and in that drum set picture I'm playing my company which is gretch I'm playing my mind all symbols I don't know why my eyebrows raised like I'm the rock um and what is it really saying it's kind of like ok cool like if you have nothing to compare that to then it's just I guess that's I guess he's clearly a drummer now two weeks after that I scheduled a photo shoot and I took this shot well, I clearly did not take that s o my photographer took that if you had to choose between those two people to study with you're probably going to choose this one this person looks like a professional drummer because there was a professional photo shoot scheduled its the same drums to gretch brooklyn kit in different color but same drum set and it looks professional and it's putting out of professional vibe now here's something else that you guys probably wouldn't think of right away but when we shot this we shot it with purpose in mind all this I can advertise anything right there okay now I can leave it just as it is you know rule of thirds everything's fine but I have tons of room to do anything I want with so by the way do you know? Does the does the clicker go backwards? Russ? Everybody at home? I've never used power point before. Okay, so once again, would you hire this guy to teach your kid or this guy it's the same dude. It's two weeks apart. It's the same expensive drum set. All it is is clarity. Hire a photographer. You know it. I think this photo shoot it cost me under a hundred dollars. I know that. Okay? It was a photographer in my area, she's very professional. And it was one of those things where she didn't have to travel far and just at hand just need some promo pictures. I need some stuff to put text on for advertisements and stuff and I want to shoot my new brooklyn kit. But if I was a parent looking for a new drum instructor, I would definitely hire that guy over this guy that's not even you know that is ok, but that I found that on social media like that's. Not on my page like someone else has that that's floating around. So be careful of your branding because it'll show up anywhere. But if you're going to visit my stuff, you'll never see that ever. You would see that. All right, now, another thing that happened is I can't control who's taking pictures of me. So I was at a music store teaching a clinic and someone's like, oh, do there's a little kids from set, we play a solo and I was like, yeah, sure. So this is floating around social media of me playing this kit. If this is like what parents see, they think I'm making fun of kids, there's, nothing serious, and clearly I just go to music stores and start ripping, which is annoying for everyone. So that's like to me the fact that I'm even playing a drum set in music stories like disrespectful whoever's on the phone, making a sales call and then battle probably two weeks after this was shot that hired the photographer. We did it all on purpose once again. Are you gonna take lessons or send your kid the lessons with this guy or this guy? It's the same guy it's a week and a half later, it's just hiring a professional photographer. It does not take that much money. The amount of money that you would waste over the course of a week doing anything in the world is so it's just not worth it when you could just save it up and say ok, I'm just going to hire somebody there's got to be a college in your area where some film student or some photography student is willing to take pictures and it's like hey, I'm doing this I will pay you as much as I can and I will use your photos and hopefully as my career grows I will always use it use use my photographer my photographer that I use for this lauren she she constantly works in the drum industry now justcause we started working together about a year ago and she takes pictures of just you know, she's done pictures with matt halpern who's been here she just did ah whole shoot with ben caesar who is the drummer for brad paisley, which will probably lead to her shooting brad paisley and it's you know, she's working in the drum industry because one she took a chance on me as far as a discounted rate I couldn't afford to pay her what a drummer you know what these photos would normally cost, but it was like I'm trying I'm trying to grow my career and if you can help me brand myself, then I can you know we can keep going together so and a quick shout out to lauren who was very kind to let us use these images so, lauren, thank you for that. You guys, if you want pictures like this, check out lauren j at l j dot us that's e l l e j a y e dot us and I'm sure that in the chat room perfect. So you know one thing that she has a knack for doing, um, let's go back to here. This is the reality. Ok, this is what the iphone said. I looked like on that day. She has a knack and great photographers have this knack, and this is something you should chase down here in seattle or wherever she has a knack for making you look how you think you look because there is something when you are spending all your time looking forward at me, you have a vision in your head of what you look like and they will pass a mirror and it's a very it's, slightly different it's not quite as amazing, it's not quite as polished. Ok, this isn't photoshopped. This isn't anything it's just that's what I look like in my head when I get to heaven that's what I'm gonna look like at all points in time might not make it to heaven, but wherever I go, I will look like that and I'll have a half smile, half squint, and I'll just be a happy little dude and so you want to find somebody that does that? I don't want to fake photo I don't want like oh, yeah? And we just shaved off, you know, half of your weight and all this stuff it's like, no, just make me look how I think I look it's a slightly surreal version of the reality. All right. And that's, who I want parents to see I don't want them to see that I want them to see that one thing to see that I care about your student I care about what's going on. All right now the next thing is to treat every photo that you do every photo shoot you d'oh treated like it's for cover and what I mean by that is imagine that every photo you take is going to be on the cover of a magazine one it might be. I've been on three covers in the last year and two of the covers were not cover shoots, so I only chose to shoot for one cover the other two they said, hey, we want you to be on the cover and I said, ok, well, I would love to be on your cover I just did a shoot can we use this picture in there like asher so in these two covers, uh huh so funny because I know what went on through all of these and I think we should even talk about controlling your own media in this segment because it's really important uh this is the one that we didn't shoot for the cover that's the one that we did shoot for the cover sasha shot that and his one of the most brilliant photographers I've ever worked with and he is just taken off he's broken through the photo seen ease just a stud when it comes to everything but this right here was not shot for that I think to be honest I think that might have been shot from I know that was part of the transition ride photo shoot and when modern drummer asked me to be on the cover I said do I have my dream picture is there any way we don't have to re shoot? Can I just send you a picture and they're looking at and we did it and it was just awesome so in these two things you know it's one of those things where treat everything like it's going to be on the cover because you never know this was this is a picture for a ride cymbal I don't even know what the right is it's like over my shoulder and then that was opposed thing for a cover and it kind of looks like it was posed to recover even though the photographer is brilliant it just looks like it was like that's kind of posed, you know, now drum magazine is awesome, and they allowed me to shoot that cover. So kudos to drum magazine for allowing me to do that, but the reason why I want to say that is control your control, your branding, you guys never know, especially all of you guys at home, you'll never know when that moments goingto happen, where your career starts to take off and people are asking for media of you and you need to have it. And this is the kind of stuff that imagine. This is what's on my facebook page and parents looking for drum lessons. Well, I'm clearly getting those leg ups constantly over the guy that's just doing the craigslist ad in just black and white text all right, so that's really important to kind of work on that. So when it comes to controlling your not only your photo presence, but nowadays your video presents super important, you know, if you're going to teach drums or guitar bass or whatever, there should be a lot of content of you doing that out in the world so people can preview it way before they commit to you, and if I just know that, you know, jack love teaches in seattle. Cool, the first thing I'm gonna do is way before ever call you I'm going to try to find you teaching in seattle I want to see it before I ever make that call because that's where we're at with technology these days and we don't have to I don't have to go to your studio and meet you in personal that I'm going to stalk you, you know? I want to know like I wonder if you can play, you know, it's first thing can you put up or shut up? Then can you explain anything? And so I'm gonna look for your video content, and right now it doesn't take much for that video content to be extremely good, it just takes a little bit of effort. Now, if you guys work as drummers on your craft, why would you know work on branding that craft? So that means you're going to have to learn what cameras are being used right now. What is this dslr thing? Why? What are prime lenses and you don't have to become an expert, but you do have to know it a little bit to be able to control your own media and you don't have to you can pay for it, I mean there's nothing wrong with hiring a videographer and say, look, I don't want to get into this at all you're a film student can you maybe make me a great video? Sure that's no problem, but if you can't find that you know I do all my videos by myself I always have since day one all the editing and it's if you go back in time my videos are horrible they're absolutely terrible but they were the best I could do at that time so let's take a look at my very first youtube video um I don't know if I click to it whole man yeah, what is our people like johnson? Once again the drum lab today we're gonna work on some intermediate drum fills a long time says jumpers go from beginning into interview they get the skills to play around the drums a little bit, get some fills down, but they don't really know how to put it all together, so I'm gonna try to help you with that today. All right, so the first thing we're gonna do is pick a pattern any pattern of four or six or eight notes will do the pattern we're going to use today is a pattern of six notes and it's the sticking for is right left right left kick kick sensitive since it's grouped into six notes were going to phrase it in sixteenth note triplets so play that for you really slow all right so that's where it started fish that was won my first videos I'm glad it froze there that's a perfect place for that to be so you know in that one it was something where I was doing my best I was trying to teach I was trying to make people understand that you know here's a lick and here and I left in I mean there's rim clicks there's me hitting the rims left it in there's me using the word too many times we're using you know using the same finger for five six and seven you know there's five six seven like I really had no idea what he's doing I also had the angle up so you could see my drums and me and the sound is horrible also what you will notice is what microphone in my talking into there isn't one that's why it sounds terrible amusing the audio on the camera to capture my mom or my vocals and then in between I have to I think I have to press something on the mixing board to shut that down I mean it was a train wreck but it was all I could do and all I knew is every video I made was going to get better somehow either I was gonna get better video quality I was going to learn how to edit better you know having things like the graphics come in that was huge for me six years ago or seven years ago and no idea what I was doing and I was like I made my own drum lesson video but I also here's something that a lot of people don't do I watched my own drum lesson video a bunch of times I watch this so many times because I wanted to see what I could do better I wanted to see how I could make it better I wanted to listen to it I'd go to people's houses and be like, hey, can I watch my video on your computer because I have only heard it on my computer on so it sounds like with your speakers and I just and then the other thing was I just watched other videos like very rarely where they drum videos I was always watching everything else like I'd watch, you know, the first season of lost when it came out and I was like, I don't understand how are they running through a forest or a jungle? And the camera isn't moving but it's moving forward like I didn't understand so I type into google steadicam you know, glide tracks I'd have I have to learn so wait they have a track that's going and then they're just rolling this seamless camera like that's awesome I should get one of those and then I would see these huge epic panning shots you know you'd be on somebody's feet and it would just come up and you just see an entire landscape I was like, I don't know I would and I would try that here's one of my dear sellers here and I would just take it and I have my you know, fourteen mill wide prime on here cinema lens and I take it and I just do it the best I could and I look at the footage and it was horrendous so I type into google giant panning shots and I'd see things like cranes I didn't know they made camera cranes that consumers could buy I'm gonna buy a crane so that's my first video this is my most recent video that just got uploaded to you too probably I guess a week ago let's check this one out all right, so that's a huge difference in quality now the first thing was the intro so I could learn how to do after effects um that that was part of the to shake rubble that we had in my house to shake rule is wife goes to sleep if I can shake her twice without waking up I'm allowed to do anything I want so that means that I have to go to bed with her we have to fall asleep together but I don't fall asleep early so at nine thirty await nine forty five I hear a little I'm like ok, I give her one nothing too you get to go downstairs, go downstairs in my office I start learning first thing I do as I learned about aftereffects, I learned about graphic design I learned about web development here in java script html I learned how to make motion things I learned how to take all the pictures that lauren's taken of my campers and put them into an aftereffects project all that stuff how do I export after effects in a way that then adobe premier can read so I can dump that into there and that could become my new intro color grading I clearly don't look that tan but I'm going for that kind of like a high contrast thing and here's the coolest part if you remember the beginning of the video when I first started playing there's a crane you know how much money it took? I think the crane was one hundred fifty bucks. I put it on top of my tripod and then the person that runs it is the wife my wife knows nothing about senate cinematography whatsoever. I just tell her, hold it down here and then lifted up and then when you get to the top bring it back down and she's just got really steady hands so it's they make great crane shots that's branding yourself in videos making sure that if you watch that video the one that we just watched if that's what you discovered of me first do that's high quality content and I made all that by myself, so you can't say, well, I don't have that kind of money like I did that by myself. What if you didn't even have a camera go to borrow lenses dot com you could rent this camera for an entire week with this lens for probably forty dollars, so you have to be the one to take advantage of this stuff. You need to go further than you think you need to go and constantly overdeliver on every single level overdeliver over deliver this is a free video, I don't even charge for this, so I have crane shots I have after effects intro I have, you know, multi angles. I put a I think the fourteen mill wide is on the the right of my drum set, and then I'm using a ten to twenty s. Oh, for all your camera guys out there, I'm getting a slight bit of the fish, I think on the edges and that actually when there's motion looks really cool, but I'm not going for that full kind of skate video look with a fish islands I'm using that about twelve millimeter on and you know, and I know nothing about cameras, I can't take a decent picture but I've taught myself all this because it adds to the brand and that's what's so important is learned video learn web learned photography and if you can't do those things totally cool, I can I still I own a lot of camera gear, a lot of lenses that all used for video, and I still can't take a good picture than I made a relationship with a photographer, you know, multiple ones because maybe she's going out on tour someday so I can call sasha and I came in, I saw that you're in town, I have to do this shoot, can we do it together? And then he's gone and I find somebody knew where it's like man, I saw a bunch of stuff on facebook, so it all ties together, you know? And then you start to come up with this crew where it's like well, that's my video guy and I'm that person's drummer and that's my bass player, and then you'll start to work together and it's an amazing symbiotic relationship. So lhasa or was it tobin our lives? Or they had a question? Yeah, last yeah, it's all night, right? But we need to present something and I have no problem, teo, I got a couple of videos out there who want lake, not professional, but it was recorded and it is out there and good and I can submit if someone looking for a dominator hey, look at my video. Are you through it's? All there and we got the campaign. They went all kind of things. But do you refer to like you said that you need to show that you can explain things? Yes. So what would I take? You know, my ability and, uh, yes, I can play, but maybe not that get too explain a some bar or something of what do I explain? Because our thousands of the numbers out there are you two. So you're gonna be different. And what do I stay in device but something I invented myself like a part of, you know how I do it on drums, arrival special writer more taken existing one and explain it? Or or how do you do it? Sure enough to tell you that's a great question. What what do you teach me? Everything's been taught, you know, and I'm sure that even this lesson that I taught in this video, I'm sure it's somewhere on youtube, so really what's changing is the content can never, ever be changed. You and I have access to the exact same stuff like there's, not a book of secret rudiments that myself and benny grab and gp movie and not helping get together we like so glad nobody knows about these ones. We all have access to the same thing. The paradiso is the parable. The one thing that can always change is the delivery of that information, so you can deliver it different than I can. I can deliver different than you and I can take pride in my delivering that information. You know, the delivery of the content is the art that is the art, because this is, you know, the power point clicker by kensington that I've never used in my life, so this will never change, but how I tell you to use it and how russ tells you to use it, those will be different things and that's the art of delivering information. So I think as far as what should you film, you definitely shouldn't try to change the youtube world it's all out there, so you should teach what you're confident teaching, and if you're not confident in teaching anything, you should practice teaching you should set up the camera and be like, ok, I'm going to teach what I do with a parrot, it'll cool do it, and then when you watch the video like this is not very good, ok, do it again. And again and is it better each time? Well, then, great, you're making progress and that's the key to all this stuff is making progress in getting better. That's why I wanted to show you guys that first video you think I really want you to see that that's embarrassing, like I was terrible a teaching my drumming was horrendous. I didn't know how to edit the video, my sound was bad, but it is what it is and that's why I leave it up on youtube. I don't want people to think they if they only see this it's like the one, they'll give me the wrong compliment, which is he's so lucky that's the worst confident you give me, that means that I didn't work for it didn't struggle I didn't try hard, I'm not lucky at all, then it comes down to, like, well, that's just where it started. No, no, no, no, no even I know it's not supposed to cross from the tv, but even that little camera over there that's attached a wall that's three times more expensive than the first camera that I ever bought that you saw that first video with so I didn't start there start with a two hundred twenty dollars. J b c camera because it had a red eighth inch jack that said mike and I assumed I could get my entire mixing board into it because I didn't know how to mix audio and video inside of a program so that's why I leave like three or four my very first videos up on youtube I want people to see the journey I want them to see like it and I want them to look at the date I want them to go to two thousand two yeah, yeah like the day youtube launched, you know? Or whenever that was like yeah, I started doing it then and every every time I make a video I hope it's better and in all honesty, the reason I wanted to show this video is I'm actually proud of it I'm proud of the intro so worked really hard on that aftereffects intro I'm proud of the camera crane because my wife did the crane perfect and I was so proud and I'm proud of the drum tones it's like that's what my dream it's that sounds like I've worked really hard on mixing so all these things are things that you guys have to take this is part of the branding this is building the brand now what how bad with this brand suffer if the video footage was terrible, the audio was even worse if it was always clipping you would never even get to the brand you never even get to what I'm good at I'm not even good at playing these stupid things I'm good at explaining them but if that first twenty seconds wasn't good it would kill the brand because you never get to see me explain anything so that's why it's so important to just see that journey and see where it's kind of come from and for you guys at home it's also really important that you spend time building your brand and learning what it's going to take to build a brand and learning all these programs and think like man I wish I had good video content okay then figured out pc or mac you know what are you going to do with that stuff what's up buddy, we have a question at what point do you think it's convenient or I would say right to put yourself out on the internet investing pro photography et cetera I guess it's pretty aggressive but maybe you have some key points like right now if I just have a couple of students I may not see myself investing in this external branding I even I'm kind of afraid of people seeing my face on the internet I think we all are yeah, I think that's I think that kind of piggybacks on laszlo's question, which is, you know how do I know one day do even want to build my brand that's ah I think that's where it even starts do you wish your brand was bigger? I have a friend named james neal we went to school together and uh so we went to the same high school or the same age and and then after years of schools and touring and everything we ended up teaching at the same music store and I remember we were hanging out one data in lunch and I was you know, trying to us trying so hard to get up to eighty students that's what I wanted I wanted eighty students that's forty hours a week that's a full time job doing nothing but drawing and and I had like sixty six or sixty seven and he was like, you're crazy well, how many students do you want is like man like twelve and I was like twelve that's what I want on wednesday before I take my first lunch break and I realized wait a minute okay? You're getting competitive here you're getting like cool kid like well twelve is better than five you know in eighty is better than twelve and that's that's incorrect he what he was saying is I actually want twelve I want to play drums on the weekends I don't want students on fridays, saturdays or sundays I really love my girlfriend I want to spend a lot of time with her I'm also trying to get a lot better at the drums, so I need to carve out time to practice, so his answer of twelve was absolutely correct for who he is. As a person, I was saying, hey, I'm completely obsessed with teaching, and I'm just going to go until they close the store on me. So, you know, if you say like, well, I don't care about the branding because my brand is where it is that's totally fine. This is definitely for people there like saying I don't I don't want twelve I want twenty five I want thirty one, forty I need to teach more. I want to support myself just with teaching and grow that it's like, ok, well, then you're gonna have to brand yourself now, as far as putting yourself out there, I would definitely look into the difference between youtube and vimeo. Those to me are almost unrelated websites, even though they do the exact same thing because of the vibe that they do it in youtube has this feels like okay, it's, public content, everyone take it, do what you want and police bash me, please make fun of me for trying my best, and I've done everything I can to fight that because it drives me nuts, because I have students have put up stuff that I know for a fact is the best that they can dio and people just rip it apart. It's, like I don't recall in the beginning this video, any kind of disclaimer saying, hey, by the way, please tell me how bad this is it's like do the deed? Is china's best with little girls trying her best? Just let it go, but on video it's a little bit different, and so almost all of my content is really hosted on video that makes it that that's for mike's listens dot com and the other thing that video will give you and I have no affiliation with them or anything. So I'm telling you as a customer, I use youtube. This is on youtube and also used in your video offers a pro account. This is part of your branding and in that pro count, what you can do with video is you can put your video up on a video it's just like you too, and then you tell it in the back end, I on ly want this to be seen on mark jones, smith, dot com and that's the only place that can ever be seen, so you don't have to really worry about it being public, the on ly people that could ever see the video or people that came to see you in the first place, and I think that's, the best thing that you could do or somebody like jack where it's like, okay, my my branding is because I have a worldwide company which is meaning that my content, you come to me from japan and it's the same as if you came to me from sacramento because we're doing it over the internet just like creative, live dot com. But if jack is teaching, or if any of these guys are teaching and they're trying to get people from their local area, those people going to find them on their website hey, I heard about you from this parent. I'm gonna go to jack love dot com jackal of drums, dot com whatever, and they go there, and then they see you. And if you want to hide that from the internet, just use video and just say, this can only be seen on my life on this page, and then you'll be able to do that just fine. So anything else, one more? That might be something you're kind of coming up with when trying to establish your brand, what would you say would be a correct strategy for getting the word out there? More specifically, what would you say is a correct balance between actively promoting your brand directly to people and letting people find your brand themselves? Ok, so that actually does have to do with where we're headed with stuff. First of all, you have to understand that do not validate your skill set and your personality and who you are as a person through views or likes or clicks, it doesn't work that way, and really, if you see my video it's like tank, get ten thousand views in the first day that's because I started doing videos on youtube ten years ago, I was one of the first drum teachers there, so I have a built in following its not that I have no following upload a random video and ten thousand people just happened to see it. If I if I uploaded this exact same video on youtube under someone else's account or a brand new account, it would have no views, so don't validate yourself like that. I think it's good if you're proud of a video and you're proud of what the content you've made, I think it's good to put it up on youtube in video and let it just breathe don't don't check in on it, just let it sit there the only thing I do is I check in on the comments there's two things I always delete cuss words and negativity and negativity can be disguised a lot of times, negativity in disguise in the form of a compliment. Mike, you are awesome. You were so much better than this trouble can we just dogged out that drama that is negative are negative to me. So I deleted it's. I do. But I said you were great, it's like I don't care. You said that I was great because that guy socks that's negative. So I delete all negativity. I don't feel that that's cheating and a delete cuss words, and that sucks because some of your guys best compliments you just put in a big old bomb and they're like, mike, you're awesome. You always touched me so much in the way you were like, oh, come on, that was such a great compliment. We're gonna take it down so I would let that stuff just breathe and then as faras actively promoting yourself that goes into our next thing.

Ratings and Reviews

fbuser b4d93b5f

Mike is such a great educator. He is well versed in all aspects of teaching and also branding and making a living with it. He is a passionate and truly dedicated teacher. I also really liked that he made it clear that teaching is not a plan b for him but his true calling and it can be such a rewarding experience. I got a lot out of this session and I truly recommend it to anyone who is interesting in taking this path.

a Creativelive Student

Mike, thank you for your wonderful teaching. I have been a performer and vocal educator for over 20 years and I've learn so much today to add to my own personal instruction. These teachings are so transferrable and your passion is simply awesome. I see you and I see a reflection of myself. I'm going to study you some more by purchasing this session. It's been awesome to watch. Thanks for the inspiration!


This is the most brilliant class. There are so many great points in here, it is an information overload; but explained it such a simple way. I watch one of these videos almost every week, just to top up on what I should be giving my students - it serves as a good reminder and an even better teaching aid. Mike; time and time again, he releases great media that everyone must see. I can't speak highly enough of this.

Student Work