Hi and welcome back to the second course in the specialization that musicians professional toolbox and this course is building your artistic brand. Now there's a few things we're going to cover here, we'll be talking about what is your brand? How do you define, how do you develop it, then we're going to be talking about basic principles of how you disseminate that brand, which is to say marketing, what marketing means, what are the elements of marketing? How do you define who your market is and what do they need? And then lastly, we're going to be talking about some strategies for effective use of the various marketing channels that we're going to discuss. Now we're going to start off by talking about something that might seem like it's completely off topic, but in fact it's central to everything we're going to talk about in this course and that is the question of entrepreneurship. What does it mean to think entrepreneurially, what does it mean to have an entrepreneurial mindset? And let's start with the question of why that's relevant to your brand. The reason why it's relevant to your brand is that an entrepreneurial mindset is how we determine the relationship between what we have to offer the product and purpose and mission that we talked about in the first course. How that connects with the people that we want to reach within our market, okay. And we're going to talk about the connection between those two things and it's absolutely essential to understand the dynamic of that connection in order to do effective marketing, effective promotion of your brand. So we're going to talk about, first of all, what is entrepreneurship? What does it mean to have an entrepreneurial mindset? Alright, so here it goes all right now, the problem with the word, as I like to call it, is that it is not easy to define, and there are a number of reasons for this. The first is that it means different things to different people. I like to joke that if you ask 10 entrepreneurs to define entrepreneurship, you would get 12 different answers, right? It means different things to different people, everyone has sort of their own definition and really none of those are incorrect and related to this, entrepreneurship can have so many different kinds of outcomes. Yes, sometimes entrepreneurship is the proverbial, founders of Apple starting something in their garage or Bill Gates doing the same thing with Microsoft and his co-founders, right. And then becoming, this global phenomenon, that's one way that entrepreneurship can play itself out, but it's only one, on a smaller scale. It could be the person who decides to open a small business in their community, their entrepreneurs. But so are the people who create new artistic organizations, new artistic ensembles, community music schools, all sorts of things. It can have an infinite range of outcomes and in fact, an entrepreneurial venture could be just your own individual self, your own portfolio career that you have as a musician. Okay, so that also makes it harder to find. And the third reason is that artists are often uncomfortable with the term I have found, and we'll talk about why that is in a minute. But I think for those of us in the performing arts, this work can be especially troublesome and we will address that head on in just a minute. And the last reason why it's difficult to define is it's a weird french word. So rather than trying to figure out a dictionary definition of it, there are tons of them out there, so feel free to go in and look at the interwebs, they'll they'll have tons of them. Therefore you let's try to describe it instead, because I think that's a better way of getting a handle on what entrepreneurship actually is, right? So I like to define it in the following ways that there is both entrepreneurial thinking, so that's the proverbial entrepreneurial mindset. Okay, and then there are entrepreneurial actions and really those two things go hand in glove, maybe it's somewhat of an artificial distinction because they, do interweave so much. But in a second we're going to look at three characteristics of entrepreneurial thinking and the three core characteristics of entrepreneurial action. And I think you'll see how they relate to each other, but why I've separated them in this way. All right, so let's start with entrepreneurial thinking in the first one of these is what I call opportunity recognition. Now, what do we mean when we think of opportunity recognition and why is it the first thing we talk about when we talk about the entrepreneurial mindset? Well, let me give you an example of opportunity recognition. Okay, so back in the day, about 120 to 30 years ago, in the small little Alpine town of ST moritz, they had a problem. See there were these things called bob slaves which were, what we would call in America to bargain I suppose and they had sort of taken over the city. In fact, people were come hurtling down the hillsides in these things and they would go down the streets of the city and they would take out pedestrians and run into carriages and they were becoming a menace. But they were also incredibly popular and so the town leaders were kind of in a little bit of a quandary because they didn't want to just forbid the bob slaves. Because it was bringing tourists into town and they would, stop and take a break at the local coffee shop or get a pastry or stay in a, in perhaps those lodgings in the town or whatever. So they didn't want to get rid of them, but they didn't know how to regulate them. They then taught, well, here's let's create a way to maybe steer them better. And so they created this sort of steering mechanism for the slaves, which meant they even went faster and didn't really solve the problem. So then there was this guy named Casper Badloute and he was a classic entrepreneur. He was observing this situation and said, all right, we have a problem here, right? But we need a solution that protects the safety of people in the town, but doesn't drive the tourists away. And so he realized that maybe the way to do this would be to create some kind of self contained track for the bob slaves. And he worked on how that might be created and formed. And he created the first bobsled track, the half pipe bobsled that were used to watching on the Olympics every four years with the winter Olympics, right? And he became incredibly rich over this thing because everyone wanted to do this, ST moritz became a huge tourist destination. And you can bet that he was right there building the hotels and developing the infrastructure to accommodate all those tourists. That's opportunity recognition, it's identifying some kind of need in the community, which is not currently being addressed now. What he did was sort of a creative flash of inspiration, right? But opportunities, recognition doesn't always have to be that much of a creative leap. Okay, sometimes it can be something as simple as noting that nobody in your town is teaching, private lessons on the instrument that you play. And maybe there's an opportunity there to open a teaching studio. It could be something as simple as, noting that a local gallery that you'd like to frequent and that, the folks at that gallery that they're having trouble attracting people. Sort of on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights of the week. And so, you propose to them that perhaps you could do some little chamber music concerts or something like that during those nights to try to bring more people into the gallery and you'll split the proceeds, okay. So opportunity recognition does not have to be this grand, innovative, world changing thing, but it comes from observing the community around you, the field you happen to be in. And identifying ways for you to take your gifts and skills and passions to address that situation, to address that sort of that vacuum of a need, okay. Sometimes it can be something creative, sometimes it can be something very practical, and sometimes they go together in interesting ways, right? But that's an opportunity recognition, I'll say one more thing about opportunity recognition is that classical musicians in particular tend to really suck at it to be perfectly plant, okay. And that's because we're used to thinking that we should just be able to do what we do and people will be attracted to the wonderfulness of the music we make. And it's somebody else's problem to figure out something like opportunity. We just should be playing our music to play it and they will come right, and we know that that's not true. And so, we have to shift our mindset away from just focusing on what we want to do and instead look for ways to take our art and put it out in the community, so it can connect with people. And that brings me to the next part of entrepreneurial thinking, which is what I call customer focus, okay, this means exactly what it sounds like, right? Focusing on the needs of the customer rather than on our own needs. So, that means, asking ourselves what kind of musical experience does our audience want to have, and how can we provide that experience for them? It's less about us saying, I would like to perform this particular piece or I would like to perform in this particular venue. And I just have to convince people to come, right, that is almost never effective. Instead saying, well, there's a piece of music that I would like to play or here's a venue where I would like to perform. How can I create an event that people will want to come to you, and in order to do that, I have to understand what my customers want, what they need, what they would like to experience. And that means shifting our paradigm, that is not the way particularly those of us in classical music, that's not the way we're used to thinking. And we have to be willing to flip that mindset around, we're going to be talking a lot more about that throughout the next couple of lessons. And the third aspect of entrepreneurial thinking is what I call flexibility and adaptability. These are two slightly different things, as you'll see, they are very closely intertwined. So that's why I put them together, flexibility means the ability to respond two changes in your situation, okay. This is the proverbial, something breaks on your instrument right before you go on stage and you've got to figure out another way to deliver your product, right? I remember one time I had a piece that was being premiered for organ and choir and literally about an hour before the peace started, this was a pipe organ. The blower that keeps the air pressure going through the pipes and allows the instrument to make a sound. The blower blew up and all of a sudden we had no organ for this premiere, we had to figure out how to do the piece anyway. And so, we managed to pull the piano out and we had a piano four hands, one person of whom was sight reading their lower part of the four hands. It took a little bit of a quick practice there at the end, but that's being flexible, okay. And entrepreneurs are really good at being flexible. They're good at recognizing that especially for trying something new or trying something for the first time, you may not be able to foresee all of the factors and that they're always going to be things that are beyond your control. An entrepreneur doesn't get thrown by that, they are able to say, well, okay, let me look around here, let me see how I can make this work anyway. And that's flexibility, adaptability is similar to that but a little bit different. So, if we go back to the Bobsleigh story and our friend Casper Budget, he was noticing that the Bobsleigh, the putting the steering mechanisms on the sleigh was not solving the problem, right? In fact, in a way it was making the problem worse because people could go even faster now. So, he took that idea and he adapted it ever so slightly by saying, well let's just put it in a controlled track, okay. The basic idea was the same, people were going to be riding this sled and it was going to be a lot of fun and they were going to want to come to ST Moritz in order to experience it, that part was the same, right? But he was able to shift it ever so slightly, entrepreneurs like to talk about this pivoting to something else. This is for instance, the app that maybe gets developed initially for a particular purpose, but then as it begins to develop, they begin to actually, it needs to be, it's more about this, right? That's adaptability, that's being able to take the thing that you've got here and mold it in a slightly different way as you learn more, as circumstances change, as you hear more from your customers and find more about what they really want to get out of the experience, okay. Now, another reason I think why this can be difficult for musicians and again, especially classical musicians. So for those of you in the pop and jazz world who are watching, just bear with me for a minute here. In the classical world, we're so used to training and rehearsing with the aim of perfection, and that means that we're not very good at being flexible or adapting to new kinds of situations. Those of you in the pop and jazz world are much better to do this because it may be part of your music, making itself your musical practice, and it's not part of our musical practice for those of us in the classical world. So you have to be willing to think about that classical folks and ask yourself how you can learn to be a little bit more flexible and how you could maybe adapt. So an example of adapting is, we've been trained to perform in concert halls, where else might we perform? And how would that change elements of our performance? How does that change the artistic product that we're putting out there in the world? And how can we adapt to, let's most recently, the Covid pandemic, having to do things remotely and do things online. That's a great example of adapting to a situation completely out of our control, but we had to figure out how to do what we do in a different way. Entrepreneurs come by that ability more or less naturally, those of us as musicians, we need to work on developing. Okay, so those are the three aspects of entrepreneurial thinking, but then I also said that entrepreneurship wasn't just the mindset, right? It was an action, it's a sort of a system of taking action. So, here are the three things that go along with entrepreneurial action. The first is risk assessment, now I like to ask students in my class when we're live, we can do a poll or something here if we wanted, and say, do you think that entrepreneurs are more or less comfortable with risk. And think about that for a second. Think about what your own answer would be. Most of my students will say, that they think entrepreneurs are probably more comfortable with risk, except the ones who have taken my classes before and know that I like to be Trixie and set up this, so [INAUDIBLE] look at me suspiciously, [LAUGH] okay? Because in fact the answer is entrepreneurs are in some ways even more averse to risk than a normal person, but at least they're not less of averse to risk. Why do I say that? because it seems like that's what entrepreneurs do right? There are trying new things, they're inventing new ventures, that they have to have a certain tolerance for risk. But the thing is, is that entrepreneurs do their homework, and they do market research, they talk to potential customers and find out what they want. They do a lot of research about, are their competitors out there in the market? And if so, am I going to be able to compete with them effectively? What's the current price point? Can I undercut them in some way? Can I figure out a way to charge more by delivering some extra value of some kind, right? They do all of their research and their homework, before they pull the trigger on any kind of venture. And that means that they are doing what they're doing, with all that homework, is they're trying to reduce the risk as much as they can. And when they have identified a risk that is still present, then they want to try to mitigate that as much as they possibly can. So risk assessment becomes a really, really critical part of entrepreneurial action before you start just jumping off a cliff and diving into something, you have a lot of work to do to figure out what the risks are, and how you can mitigate them. Second is the idea of resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is simply the ability to use limited resources to accomplish your goals. It means being able to look around you right now and saying, what have I got, and how can that help me get my venture off the ground? A lot of times I will talk to students will come up with very grandiose ideas for entrepreneurial ventures and I'm like, well what do you need to get that started? And they'll be like, all I need is $3 million, and I'll be like, do you have $3 million? No. Do you know somebody who's going to give you $3 million? Well, I'll get an investor or I'll get grants, right? And why would any investor or any foundation give you money to do something that's completely untried, you have no track record, they don't even know who you are. It will not happen, right? So unless you've got like a really rich relative who just dotes on you and gives you whatever you ask for, you've gotta figure out another way to do this. You gotta figure out how can I get started on this right now? What's the first small step, and how can I use the resources around me, okay? Maybe I don't have to rent the studio, maybe I can convert a room in my apartment into my studio for now. Maybe, I don't need to rent manufacturing space. I can ask my parents if I can clean out the garage, have a garage cell, I'll split the proceeds with them and then I can use the garage, [LAUGH] right? Okay? That's an example of resourcefulness, is just using what you've got around you. And then as you build over time, then maybe you will get to a place where you have to rent space or acquire equipment by buying it instead of bartering. Bartering is a great example of resourcefulness. But again, the entrepreneur is always looking for, how can I get this thing started up with the least amount of resources? You may have heard of this book called The Lean Startup and this is a philosophy that sort of infuses entrepreneurship these days. Is the idea of, let me figure out a way to get this without investors and without putting in a lot of my own money on the line as well, so that if the think tanks, I'm not out on the street, okay? This is resourcefulness. And lastly, let's talk about storytelling. What I mean by storytelling is less, once upon a time in a dark forest, [LAUGH] right? Storytelling is about being able to articulate what you're about and why anyone else should care about what you're doing, okay? And I've got a picture of Steve Jobs here talking about the iPhone because he was a master storyteller. He was really, really good at articulating what the iPhone could do for you and the world, right? And it made you want to get one, okay? So he was a great, great storyteller. Entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs anyway, are good storytellers. They are able to say once upon a time in a snowy village, in the alps, there was a place called ST Marines, right? And to tell the story of how the bobsled came into being and how this guy named Casper Badrit had created a whole new tourist industry based on an insight that he had into this problem, about the bob sleighs, okay? That's a storytelling thing, okay? For those of us in music, it's absolutely critical. We're going to be talking sometimes to potential patrons, to potential venues, why they should book our band, right? Why they should hire our group to play on their concert series. We're going to be writing our story anytime we write a grant, they're going to ask for a narrative about the project, and you have to explain to them why this project matters, why they have to fund it because of the impact that it's going to have, okay? And again, telling this story, is not about how things benefit you, it's about how you can benefit somebody else that goes back to the customer focus that we talked about a couple of steps ago, right? If you go to a venue, let's say you're abandoned, you would like them to schedule your band for a set, don't go there and tell them about what a great band you are, they're going to just tune you out. They're like, well, I got great bands coming out of my ears, tell me what you can do for me. How big of a crowd can you bring, right? Are they going to pay the admission and drink heartily at my bar where I make all my money, right? Do you have a great social media apparatus that can promote this and promote my bar at the same time, right? If it's a classical concert series that you're presenting, why should they hire your string quartet and not the other Brazilian string quartets that are out there? If you're writing a grant, why does this project fit perfectly within the foundation's mission and called action and why they just must be compelled to do it, okay? That all boils down to storytelling, and at storytelling designed to connect with your target, with your customers wherever they might be, and helping them see with great clarity why you matter. This is not something that we're used to doing as musicians but trust me, if you develop this skill, your professional life will unroll a lot easier than it has. So in sum, entrepreneurs, identify opportunities, they assess those opportunities, it's a good one, are there risks? Are there barriers? And then they realize those opportunities, they bring them to life out into the world, that's essentially what entrepreneurs do. And it's much, much easier to articulate that than it is to try to come up with the definition of what entrepreneurship is, right? Entrepreneurship is about action, it's about process, how you think, how you view the world, how you spot opportunities, how you identify, assess and realize those opportunities. Now, how do entrepreneurs do this in specific, in detail? We will talk about that next time, so stay tuned.