How to draw attention to your brand

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How to draw attention to your brand

How to draw attention to your brand

Your brand is all about who you are—what your reputation is. And contrary to the popular business motto, “It’s all about who you know,” the reality is closer to, “It’s about who knows you.” And frankly, they can’t know you if you do nothing to draw them to you. You have to do what it takes to draw that attention. It has to be a concentrated effort and one that is consistent with your brand values.

Blogging showcases your knowledge

One of my favourite methods to draw that attention is by blogging. This is where you get the opportunity to show what you know. Readers can quickly see if you have the kind of knowledge that could benefit them. Blogging allows you to share what you know with people who are searching for it. That could be personal experiences, how-to, resources, and contacts you’ve accumulated over the years. The biggest mistake you can make with blogging is writing too many posts that are “salesy.” Salesy makes it about you and it should be all about your audience—and what they need. Blog posts don’t have to be lengthy, either, although they can be. The point isn’t that you write a book, it’s more about the content.  Sometimes I just draw the audience’s attention to something new I think they might find useful.

Use email marketing to show value and to sell

Another favourite channel is email marketing. This relies on an email list of people who want to get what you’re putting out there. They become your private audience. Newsletters are wonderful channels to give your potential customers plenty of valuable content, and also to sell. What you send out should have that un-salesy content, and newsletters also offer the opportunity to show what you offer. You can grow your list by giving something of value on your website. To get this bonus, your audience registers with their email address and


Our Branding Workshop is a New Way of Thinking for Designers

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Our Branding Workshop is a New Way of Thinking for Designers

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?

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What Can You Expect at a Brand Academy Virtual Workshop?

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…)

More Brand Academy Branding Experts

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More Brand Academy Branding Experts

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 Base Your Firm on Strategic Design

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How to Base Your Firm on Strategic Design

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…)