Our Branding Workshop is a New Way of Thinking for Designers
No sooner have we put the wraps on January’s Brand Academy Virtual Certification Workshop, Marcia and I are planning for our next one. We’ve settled on April 24 and 25. Stay tuned for our popular Early Bird savings to block out your calendar for the event.
It’s always invigorating
Since launching Brand Academy several years ago, one characteristic that has defined the workshop is its invigorating execution. Graphic designers throughout North America have come on board and enjoyed not only the fruits of their training, but the energy of the interactive time we spend together. And after the graduation exercise and ceremony, our students are excited and proud to be Certified Brand Academy Branding Experts. They tell us that our unique 2-day workshop has redefined them, and has injected a new revenue stream in their businesses, enabling them to command a minimum of $20K for branding solutions for their clients. Don’t take it from me, check out our video and text testimonials.
It’s a new way of thinking
One aspect we frequently see when designers initially show up on that first day, is that they often think they’ve got most of what we’re offering down, and are there to fill in the holes. Within the first few hours they quickly see there’s a lot more to it, and the lightbulbs go on. This is a new way of thinking, and changing your mindset away from design towards strategy is a subtle but powerful shift most designers don’t see—like the emperor’s new clothes.
It’s a different approach
We’re so used to seeing things from a design standpoint, it takes a different approach to use strategy in branding effectively, and that means (more…)
What Can You Expect at a Brand Academy Virtual Workshop?
What can you expect at one of our virtual branding workshops? Right off the top, let me say that my cohort Marcia Hoeck and I are both graphic designers with decades of experience, and we possess a deep passion for the industry. We developed the branding process we teach first and foremost for the benefit of our customers. We also wanted to control the design process, and to be able to charge what our work is worth.
Because of the successes we’ve had, we’ve decided to share our process with you—so you can position your design shop to stand out from the hordes of designers out there. Let’s face it, many clients can’t really tell the difference between the great work you do and the hack work many designers put out. Having a powerful and flexible branding process gives you the tools, confidence, and ability to position yourself as the branding expert you want to be.
Open, lively virtual training
Because our Brand Academy Workshop is virtual training, you have no flights to catch or hotel rooms to book. The savings are huge in dollars and time, and you can still have dinner with your family every night. The Zoom format allows you to see and converse with everyone else, including Marcia and me, in real time. Our faces are on the screen throughout, which makes it very personal. The small size of the workshop also allows for lots of interaction and conversation—we don’t have to just talk “at” you.
“One of my biggest takeaways from the workshop was not to take information the client gives you at face value—you have to dig deeper. I can now look at client challenges and recognize the disconnect, and I’m excited to have new tools to help them solve their branding problems. And there are LOTS of other nuggets of information and tools that have elevated the value of my services. Thanks Marcia & Ed for sharing your process. I’m so glad to have participated and it was worth every cent.” —Pamela Gurman, Fat Cat Graphics, Center Moriches, NY, workshop attendee 2016
Marcia and I like to engage everyone and encourage you to jump into the conversation, instead of waiting until the end to ask questions. If it’s on your mind it’s probably on someone else’s mind, too, and we think you’ ll benefit more if you ask questions as they come up. This keeps conversations very open and lively, and we guarantee (more…)
Once Again, We Successfully Certify More Brand Academy Branding Experts
It’s hard to believe over two weeks have passed since our latest virtual Brand Academy Workshop wrapped. Typically we train mostly American graphic designers, but this time the Canadians dominated the class. One of the biggest draws for them was the fact that the workshop was virtual. With flight, hotel, food, and entertaining costs curtailed, our virtual workshop saved them a bundle—and considering the exchange rate of approximately 25%, all that adds up.
Over two content-laden days, September 12 & 13, our latest graduates dove into the deep end of branding. Judging from the evaluation sheets, they got more than what was expected. One graduate had three opportunities to use what she learned within days of completing the training, which gave her the confidence she needed.
“Hello Marcia & Ed,
I wanted you both to know that I have had 3 opportunities to use what I learned from both of you last week with clients that are asking questions. I would not be as confident and knowledgable to answer them if I had not taken your workshop. I would tell others to take the workshop. I learned so much and it gave me the confidence I needed.” —Marilyn Trent, Trent Creative, Rochester, MI
Building Brands for Clients, our proprietary branding process, has proven it’s the branding process to deliver to your clients and make a minimum of $20K, and that’s before any graphic design work is initiated.
Marcia and I enjoy the virtual format, as we are able to deliver all of our content very effectively and efficiently, while the trainees can be focused on the content without having to leave their homes or offices. Any graphic designer who is witnessing the commoditization of graphic design will find our virtual workshop to be the perfect solution to delivering a lucrative new revenue stream to their practice.
During every workshop, Marcia and I introduce our original and powerful (more…)
How To Be A Strategically Based Graphic Design Firm
At Brand Academy, our opinion is that commoditization is the biggest problem facing graphic design firms today. Thanks the the web, design has been reduced to a price—and with that, anyone with a computer thinks they have the wherewithal to design. With the advent of templates, any bozo can put together a pretty reasonable website at ridiculous prices.
How can we get around the commoditization challenge?
Designers world-wide are looking for answers to this problem. How can we become relevant again? I shouldn’t over simplify—of course there are many design shops that are flourishing, but even they are seeing the commodity issue eating at their edges. Their small business sector, for instance, is feeling the pressure. These are clients who don’t traditionally have large promotional budgets but are valuable in numbers.
Are you asking yourself, “how can I differentiate my firm from my competitors?” It’s one the of the most challenging questions we as business people agonize over. Most design shop owners often choose the low hanging fruit: unique design. While true, your designs may be unique in the way they solve a communications problem, so are your competitor’s designs. Maybe it’s your service? Nope. Your competitors are pretty good at that too, or they wouldn’t be able to continue in business. Price? Don’t go there, anyone with deeper pockets can bury you. So what’s the answer? (more…)
Virtually the Best Branding Training
Throughout our business journey we are continually learning, (or at least we should be). All of us have favourite books, videos, podcasts, etc. Most business people I know can quote something that inspired them at some point. Can we attribute a success of some sort to this knowledge gathering? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Mostly they provided a bump in attitude. They provided much-needed inspiration.
Marcia and I, through Brand Academy, are offering something different, we think. We are providing tangible knowledge that actually adds a fresh new revenue stream to your graphic design practice. We’ve provided this information in a number of ways. One of the most intriguing has to be virtual training.
Using a platform called Zoom, we are able to provide a personal experience very close to an in-person experience. In many ways, it’s better than being in a room together. Our virtual branding training offers some really great benefits to you:
The branding training is right there on your desktop or device. Since all attendees are on video, you can attend in your pajama bottoms if you wish. You’re surrounded by your materials and resources. For an in-person event, you have to hope you packed everything before you left.
For an in-person event, it’s important that you book your seat early enough to not only get any possible discounts, but to book a flight that won’t cost an arm or leg. As much as we don’t encourage it, you could book your seat right up until the day before with virtual training. Save the flight costs, hotel costs, food, and entertainment costs. All these savings bring down the expense of (more…)