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Lesson 10 from: Becoming A Music Teacher: The Art of Sharing Your Talent

Mike Johnston

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Lesson Info

10. Published Content

Lesson Info

Published Content

Published content so I have a kind of a business manager. He's ah, the president. But tv station his name's, elliott and elliot has just been like, I'm like a father figure to me, and he is somebody that doesn't play drums, actually plays percussion, and he checks in on my life and my career and just gives me outside perspective. And I hope that all of you guys and all of you guys will have someone in your life that is in charge of telling you the truth and that's it, and they're not invested in you financially or in any way. But they will just tell you the truth. And elliot does that for me. And so I came to l a and he said, all right, cool man, you got so you got the website going? This is probably like six or seven years ago mike's lessons dot com and just started and I own a school called the drum labs I was teaching at the drum levin my own school had teachers under me, we had a nice full roster there, and then I just started mike's license dot com says you get the web site, you g...

et the school what's next, so I feel like I'm really doing something in the world of drums now I really want modern drummer to do an article on me that's you know, the magazine grew up reading when I was a kid, you know? And he said cool so what you gonna do about it? Well, I think I might hire a publicist and you've psyched right on how much is that going to cost said one thousand dollars two thousand dollars cool so what's going to happen and so what? I'm gonna hire publicists and then they're going to get me to have modern drummer, you know, in their magazine they're going to a story on me he's like, so what happens after that said I have no idea now keep in mind this guy's the president a tv station he knows exactly everything that's going happen so pretty much I'm trying to trick yoda into my plan's going to work and you know, it's like, I don't think so, child so he gives me the I'll tell you what's going to happen it's ok? He said, here's what's gonna happen? Modern german will do a story on you you're cool kid in sacramento and you're trying to make something happen on a local level it's good story, then you're off the radar why would they ever come back to you? Why would they ever do anything else with you? They've kind of play kids, they've given you the story it's done you're out two thousand dollars how many people are going to sign up for drum lessons with you because they saw a tiny two page story of modern drummer it's like I have no idea he's like probably not many there's probably not a lot of people who don't already know who you are here they're going toe be convinced to take lessons with you because of this two page story so ok, what would you suggest and then you know, two drops the bomb on me and he's like I would suggest you contact them and let them know that you've been teaching your entire life you love teaching more than anything and you want to write the articles in the back of their magazine that teach people how to play drums that way you're in their magazine every month they pay you to be in their magazine and now you're forming a relationship with the most powerful drum magazine the united states was like you are correct I should do that anything you should wash your car I was like that is brilliant published content I'm going to allow modern drummer or drum magazine or I drum magazine to tell the world that they should trust me. So what happens is you start to see stuff like this show up the ten day plan for faster hands by mike johnston that's telling the world that I'm going to help you get faster and in doing that I mean the magazine and I'm forming a relationship with people and you start to get recognized as an actual educator your you're a trusted author and trusted educator because it's showing up in published works and in this stuff you know it was so important for me to say ok, I want to do something new like what if we treated getting faster at the drums like p ninety x and so we started putting in things like you know over here you've got your tempos and your bpm and your notes and you got a go harder, harder, harder and there's the day one calendar and everything was I really looked at like what tony horton was doing p ninety x and treated it like that and I thought that's how it should be people should have like instant results and be excited the end of ten days and what happened was on a social media level it became massive everyone was telling me and everyone else because when they tweeted you they're tweeting to the world hey man, I use your ten day plan for faster hands I can't believe how much faster my hands are that's rad bro I'm going to retweet that then it was like, hey, where do I get to ten day flying from faster hands and well, I'm glad you asked it's organic marketing don't tell people what they need put something out there and allow them to ask and say, hey, how do I get that right so well that you just talked about? I'll do I'm glad you asked, I'm not telling you to get it. You asked where it was and you want you asked about the ten day plan to faster hands and say, oh, it's in this issue of drum magazine, you should check it out. Even when modern drummer did the cover story on me, they said they want to do a cover story said, I am totally cool with that because that's been the biggest dream of my life since I was a child, and since they've never had an educator on their cover, I had always assumed it would never happen. I said, I'm totally ok with that, but I don't feel comfortable if all you're going to do is tell my story, please let me write something for that article or for that issue, let me write a giant workout, and so we did the independence workout challenge for that because I wanted to give mohr value to that one little issue. I had this dream in my head of ok, if you have the mike johnston cover issue, how long you gonna keep it? Four, five issues unless you're like a collector, but what if I put a value on that issue? And one of that issue had to be in your backpack all the time because that was your independence workout, and every time you sit down on the drums, you pulled out that issue, the april issue of modern drummer, and you opened it up and you worked out with me and I was there with you because you know, that I'm on board with you getting better at this that's a value and that's branding that all of that is branding and turning you into, like, a mainstay of like, ok, well, when I learned I'm gonna learn from that guy and there's no reason you guys can't do that because here's what's unique about me and mike sauces dot com just me and what I mean by that is that makes you unique to soon have to be like papa mike already taught it. Well, then you teach it, you'll teach a different than I did, and you'll probably click with the people that I don't click with. If I clicked with everyone and have millions of students, I don't have millions of students, they don't click with everybody, but maybe you'll click with the people that I don't click with, so never be threatened by any type of success that myself or anyone else is having be excited about and let it turn into an opportunity for you where you think so I could totally do this like, heck yeah, you could do this I'd be the first one to help you do it cause I want everyone to learn from everybody we all have something to learn going to show you something else too so in this slide here's another way to use published content and in this this is me going to my stick company vader drumsticks and saying, hey, I saw you guys make posters for rudiments who uses those I think a lot of people frame them but does a bit actually use them what if we did something that people used where they literally framed it right next to their drums and they stared at it and so we came up with the vader speed chart and it actually you can't see it from here maybe you can from home but underneath every exercise there's bpm markings I wanted people to actually have a pen and touch the poster for the first time ever and actually use it and make it interactive okay and vader totally agreed to do it. This became like one of the biggest ship posters ever. I think in the first year we shipped like something crazy like two hundred thousand of them all over the world just nuts can you imagine the kind of branding it is to be on two hundred thousand walls in the world by mike johnston that's branding like do it why can't you do that? Why can't you take those extra steps you totally can we all can hell I'm excited about right now I'm gonna call somebody and do something new to later tonight because I we gotta we gotta move forward that stuff all right so let's check out one more thing we've got clinics and public appearances super important especially if you're doing this thing on an internet level like I do it people at some point need to see you they need to watch you play they need to feel the power of the drum set right in front and they need to see you you know I always think of ah have you guys ever seen the movie tin cup? Anybody all right so in tin cup don johnson's character is known as hating old people and dogs but in the public's eyes he's the greatest person ever because he knows howto act so he's a great person loves everybody and as soon as the cameras are off he hates old people on dogs. I need people almost going back to that first slide that I show with me and the kids sitting down to clinic I need people to see that when the cameras off I don't hate old people and dogs I want them to be like men he was exactly how I thought he'd be on the internet and you know what? Maybe I'm not I have to leave room for that for sure but at least you know for sure with this we've hung out you have you know seen seen me play you've heard my dynamics it's different than the internet the internet like I said that's the finished product I edited all of it I controlled the colors I controlled the lighting I controlled the sound I didn't keep that take where I hit the rim these days I didn't in the beginning, but all that stuff is controlled so clinics and public appearances give people a chance you get to be rebranded through this stuff and so when you see stuff like this all of a sudden you start to notice like this is so important this takes you into a whole different level when you're on a screen like that and there's another screen over there of my feet it puts a perception in people's eyes it like wow, this is like big time, big time five minutes before that I was warming up with a kid on a backpack there's nothing big time but this is the this is the festival there's the one I was at so right before I made this like who farted face I'm sitting there with a kid from poland ripping rudiments on a backpack and it's like I bro I got to go and we come into this and this is full branding got your name on the bass drum head you're drunk festival and I know that some of you might be going like dude are you kidding? I'm not even close to playing the mine old drum festival what you're missing out on is the pictures of me playing the local guitar center six years ago it has to start somewhere I went to my guitar center you know to the manager and I said is there any way I could do a clinic here is like why like I don't know because I want to so badly I want this I want to brand myself into this I want this tow happen someday and it started you know I started it skips music guitar center sam ash and just playing on a local level and all of a sudden when there's fifty or sixty people at the local guitar sound that came to see you play and then a touring artist comes in there's only thirty people there like like johnson he's got a following so brand yourself make the following you know I I want to be the one in the crowd nicole when you play in the coal hickman right? Okay when you play I want to be the one where it's like I see on instagram nicole hickman's doing a clinic it's skips music in sacramento I want to be in the front row and be like dude it's so bad and then you're like thanks man like that would be awesome that would be like a dream come true so that stuff is really important so check social media real quick and then all the questions that we have guys we have a nice power fourth segment so let's we'll start our fourth segment with some questions and then we'll get into making a living as a teacher and then we'll wrap it up with some questions social media holy crap this gets misused and this is really important the one thing I don't think people understand is how different all for those little icons are when I look at those things like literally each one of those branches off into a journey for me because they're not even related. So what do I mean by that? I guess what I'm trying to tell you whatever aps they have that just push your content to all four of those all at once please don't use those you're misusing social media each one of those has a different fan base and those people expect different things from those icons. So if we look at the first one youtube youtube is very impersonal I don't let anyone see who I really am on youtube it is everything it's branding pure branding it is everything that I want people to see it's one hundred percent controlled I actually get really upset about people posting videos of me to youtube that I didn't agree for them to post I even say that in my clinics hey everyone please videotape this I want you to but do not share it you're the one that drove here you're the one that paid to be here this is your content this is not the world's content and what we share in this room is between us you can keep the content but please don't upload it so youtube is where I brand myself as almost like the perfect drummer it's my take it's my edit it's my clips if I'm getting teared up on youtube it's because I chose to get I didn't fake the tears but I chose and I'm going to share this or not where what we did here I didn't get the choice I was I thought I thought we were in the clear it was all good start talking about nicole getting a ride some well and it just showed up well I don't get to tell the world stop watching that moment but on youtube I get to say that and say you know what looks too sappy man they might think I faked it I'm not putting up there so youtube is one hundred percent controlled content for branding twitter totally misused it times for me twitter's dates and times where will I be and when will I be there it's quick, it's a tiny amount of content I stay far away from anything controversial. I don't comment on the ray rice situation I don't comment on, you know what happened, you know, in israel right now, you know? I mean, you know, and actually the three of you guys know from our students, we have lots of israeli students. I don't comment on anything controversial there, I don't get involved in anything there it's times in places I will be at creative live on this date from nine a m to four p m hope to see their very impersonal it's just letting people know times and dates instagram that is a snapshot into my reality. I'm not controlling everything as much. I want you to see things I'm showing the behind the scenes stuff, so we just did a camp shoot with, uh, with l j and when we did that, the only thing I shared on instagram in the beginning was me getting nailed with water in the shoot, but I took the instagram picture from the back of her camera, so instead of saying, hey, can you send me that perfect picture? I took the picture, so you get the voyeuristic nature of saying that you were there now. That's the whole point of instagram is to feel like you were somewhere you shouldn't have been you got to see a part of my life that no one else got to see and I make sure that that happens on instagram, facebook, facebook is the most personal of all of them that's where I actually get to type is long is I wanted type I get to put a picture to go with that content and I get to put a video if I want to go with that and that's where if you want to get to know me through social media it's going to be through my facebook page, my personal facebook page and then I also have the fan page which is a little bit kind of I've always been weird with that stuff because the word fan page for a drum teacher just doesn't work with me like I get it for rock stars I just don't I can't they need to come up with another name like couldn't follow you on your personal page page that would be fine. So facebook is the most personal for me that's where I really share things and if I have an opinion on something I have enough time to write it all out how can you write out your your opinions on what is happening in a global crisis or with domestic violence? How can you write that out on twitter in a tiny amount of characters, so on facebook I can really expand on the topics and if I feel like I'm typing it and this happens all the time of typing, timing, timing, timing and I'm like, uh, people are going to get my my expression they're not getting how I'm really saying this then what I do back space all the way facebook's mike johnson just want to talk about what's going on in israel and it's like, ok, nothing could be misconstrued you heard me say it. You heard the tone of my voice you saw my eyes it's really so pure branding nothing but branding and and perfection dates and times behind the scenes and one hundred percent personal don't use those social media icons for the same content create original content so me coming to creative life what's up everybody youtube. Mike johnson, I'm gonna be a creative live on these dates, here's some of my drumming full out, four minute promo video, then creative live at this day and time. This was a picture of me on the set of hey here's, what you have never seen, you don't even know they had these lights well, I got to the back of this thing and took a picture of this whole place to show everybody what it wass facebook dude dude using the word dude talking the way I talk did this place is on really it's hella dope spell hell a super long hala dope it's sweet chicken gumbo you know it's it's really me on facebook so those air that's how you use those things so I hope that stuff helps yeah I'm I was laundering that put up with the fifth element which is the world wide web so you have a website because like I was so somebody pointed out one thing I put my studio up on facebook and and my piano teacher for my kids she said that you should put it on a boat driver because we will search cannot find your facebook it's much better to have a web site and this is how you basically promote your business so don't give up fifty one in there that just know because just a male I think that this is where we are right now these are websites where in facebook you get to choose you get to find people and add them you don't get to do that on your own website you don't get to go to someone and say I'm adding you to mike's lessons dot com they don't get so they might not ever get to find her website ever and if you're really concerned with google searches and stuff they actually will find your facebook page first so this is why where it's gone now, three years ago I would have totally agreed with you and that's what's so scary about social media. Everything that I say right now can be exempt in two, two years because, you know, if I did the same class five years ago ah, let's see that one wouldn't have been there that one would have been there and that one probably would have been there. And it just would have been three more my spaces so you just have to stay on top of it, you know that? I think the right now the only reason to have a personal web site is one if you offer services or if it's just a one page business card just saying this is what I am I mean, they made great templates that literal let you scroll through all the content. One page you have to click on anything. I think those are great just to see your videos, you know, in that kind stuff, but you need to find those people so the social media outlets or your way to find those people in the first place and then once you found them, then you can say, hey, go find me a lasso mayor dot com s o but yeah, I think that that is definitely a case by case basis, for sure all right let's see we've got a couple different questions they're coming in uh one from guy I am and you touched on this a little bit but I'd love to get more specific if you posted teaching video on youtube how do you deal with negative comments how do you try tio because you're known for creating a positive environment around you like all the people who have been to your clinics and you know are are involved with you know that that's something that's important to you so how do you create that positive environment and then when somebody comes in who is new or is just driving by how do you do with them? We have that that's a great question and you know the first thing like I mentioned earlier was blatant negativity and cuss words get deleted andi I think a lot of people and to be anywhere like hey that's cheating you took my comment off and I always say no it's not cheating you didn't further the conversation there's easy ways to criticize me and further the conversation if you say something like this happened to me a lot in the beginning like hey you have a lot of white spots on your face that's because your cameras over exposed you have too much light and you need to knock this down you know I didn't even know anything about ice or white balance or anything and it was like dude, why you call at my face? And then I said, wait, wait stewed helping me like that's awesome those white spots drive me nuts too, so maybe maybe I should learn about cameras, so it was like I left that comment up there because it was like, ok, I guess that was that was that was constructive criticism I can handle that sometimes people just dog out my drumming and say, you know, just so you know, like, you really should work on your timing if you're going to put up videos on timing it's like, well done, I agree with you, I should have played that to a metre no, my my mistake and I'll leave those things up it's the ones you're talking about like, dude, you absolutely sucked travis barker would rip you up it's, like brad delete like that you're not furthering the conversation and so you know, that stuff happens. The other thing you can do is, you know, be proactive about it and just do what I did with the positive post campaign like I made a video saying, hey, look, you're not helping anything with this, why don't we just find something good to say? And I'm not doing like the cheesy like, if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all I don't mean that what I mean is there is something good to say, maybe I'm a terrible drummer, but you like the tone of my high hats, why not just point that out? You know, we spent so much time with this drummer named chris robot he was in a band called far, he was my he was my drum god and we ended up becoming great friends and we'd go see shows together, and the drummer would be what I would consider to be bad because I had a very lame attitude at the time and we'd get in the car, and now chris was far superior to me, so I couldn't wait for crystal ripped the stewed up we get in the car was like seventeen like what you think about the drummer waiting he's like school? And I was like, come on that, would you think about the germans like super crisp high hats? And that was it, we do it again again, again, and finally I was like, dog, what is the deal like, you never make fun of anybody? I mean, we're by ourselves in a truck, let it out and he's like, what do you want me to say? I don't know the story, do you know how long that guy's playing it was like? No is a do you know what his childhood was like to his parents? Support him playing the drums? Did he live in an apartment where he's never been allowed to practice one day in his life? You don't know the story, so we're going to we're going to rip him up. That was hitting me at seventeen, where I was like, wow, yeah, I don't know the story at all, so I think you could be proactive and tell people when you start getting on negative comments, say, hey, look, I understand it. You guys want to dog me out, that's, fine, I can handle it. I'm a big boy. Make sure you know the story, just so you know, I have serious dyslexia. I've never been able to read. I don't. I'm just saying, give him the story, and once they know the story, maybe they won't dig you out. So much so.

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