Something New… BigHowdy Creative Coaching Groups

Artists are out there, everywhere, struggling to make music and get that music heard. They have more  options than ever – distribution, labels, marketing, social media, etc. – too many options, in fact. And too many people telling them everything they should be doing. Unfortunately, few of those people actually know what they are talking about or understand the limitations of an artist's time, focus and money. So, some of those artists come to me. It's been frustrating because every week I get at least one coffee or lunch invitation from someone amazingly talented who is paralyzed by the scope and complexity of their options and the fear of doing the wrong thing. So they do nothing. They want help, but they can't afford a team. And I really want to help them. So how does that person get access to the expertise and resources to develop a smart, focused strategy and a plan to put the music out there? What I do is pretty involved and expensive and the artists I'm referring to don't usually have a budget to get into all that. So I've decided to try something new. I've developed what I'm tentatively calling BigHowdy™ Creative Coaching Groups. In these groups, I'll be working with multiple artists at the same time, making it affordable for all involved. Each artist gets personal attention on their strategy and plan but is left to execute it on their own. I'm really excited about this new approach and I'm looking for the right group to launch it with.

As an artist, you know how to make music. The question is "How do you make a living doing it?" BigHowdy Creative Coaching Groups are a strategic resource that helps aspiring musicians start building a brand and a business. In these sessions, you'll learn to define yourself as an artist and tell that story in smart, creative ways through content and promotions. The groups are led by a strategist and creative marketer (that'd be me!) with extensive experience both inside and outside the music business as well as a select team of your peers who are trying to climb the same mountains you are. Each session will be one part classroom, one part hands-on workshop and one part support group. So you learn what to do, start doing it and feel like someone has your back if you don't get it perfect right out of the box, which you probably won't.

So, Who Wants To Be A Guinea Pig?

For this first group, I'm looking for four to six artists who are seriously working toward building a professional career in music. Ideally, the artists have done some touring and have a record or two out there. Genre is unimportant, but I will be curating a bit to make sure the group is a good fit. We're going to compress the normal twelve weeks into eight weeks. In order to build momentum, the first four groups will be held weekly before transitioning to biweekly for the last two sessions. So what can you expect in this initial 8-week period? A total of six sessions that each last 1.5 to 2 hours. The time, day and location is TBD, but it will be the same time each week and somewhere near Music Row in Nashville.What can you expect to get for your investment of time and money? At the end of the eight weeks of sessions, you should be able to:

  • Describe yourself and your music in a concise and consistent way
  • Understand your basic goals and timelines
  • Build a rough content and promotion strategy and timeline
  • Put that strategy and plan into action
  • Measure the results & tweak the plan

And now for the big question… What does this cost? Well, since this is my guinea pig group, I certainly don't want to charge you full price. On the other hand, I also believe that if you invest your own money in this, you'll take it more seriously. [EDITORS NOTE: The first "guinea pig" group received a substantial discount off the regular $449 rate for eight weeks] With that in mind, I've decided that a discounted [DELETED] per person for the eight weeks is a good, balanced number – fair for both sides (considering your guinea pig status and all).

So, if you'd like to be considered for one of these initial slots (there are only 4 to 6), please click here to email me before Friday, March 25th at Noon, CDT. [LINK DELETED] Just tell me a little about yourself, your music and where you are in your career. A few sentences, tops. I'm trying to get these started in the next two weeks, so the sooner I can assemble the group, the better. Thanks for your interest and let me know if you have any questions.

What The Hell Is A "Brand" Anyway? Part 1

I've been referred to as a "branding guy who hates the word 'branding.'" That's because it gets thrown around. A lot. And often by people who don't really understand it. Depending on the day and the person it might be used to refer to a logo or a pair of trademark glasses or the ability to get sponsors. Or whatever else happens to come up in conversation. But everyone is pretty much over-thinking it. Quite simply, your brand is what people think of when they think of you. That's it. It's what you represent in the minds of the audience. Nothing magical or technical about it. It isn't a typeface or a color or a tour sponsor. Those things can be part of a brand: they can represent it, be triggers for it or influence how people think and feel about it. And they can be really important tools. But the brand itself is nothing more than what your audience and potential audience thinks about you. So if reading this makes you think I'm a self-important opinionated jackass with a blog, welcome to your very own version of the BigHowdy brand. Thanks for dropping by.  = )

NOTE: Keep an eye out for the second and third parts of What The Hell Is A "Brand" Anyway? We'll talk about what it means that different people think different things about you as well as how a brand evolves over time.