1. How am I going to make my money back?
Even by the time you’re halfway through this course, chances are you will notice that people show more interest in your business, and that you are getting more requests, both through referrals and repeat business. At the same time, you will be able to increase your margins by no longer competing on price, but charging a premium instead.
The course is intentionally priced low enough that it would pay for itself within weeks, not years, of the first sign of results. No business and no industry is the same, however, and only you know how many more clients you would need to get a satisfying return on an investment like this.
2. What results can I expect to see, and how soon?
Already after the first few sessions, you’ll probably notice a strengthened confidence in yourself and your business. To the typical business owner, even this internal change makes a significant impact on the business, but this is only a happy side effect of the kind of change we’re after.
By the time you’ve graduated from Brand School you should already have begun to see some increase in the number of customers and be able to charge them more – provided, of course, that you have done the actual work and put the ideas you’ve learned to good use.
After the course, and for as long as you keep up the good work, you will see fewer complaints as customer satisfaction increases, and your marketing steadily gets more effective and less expensive. You will also notice that people generally meet you with less skepticism and resistance, and more tolerance and willingness to forgive any small missteps.
3. What am I really going to learn in this course?
Most importantly, you will learn to see your relationship with your customers in a new light. You may not learn to read their minds, but you’ll understand a lot about how your customers think.
You’ll learn techniques and do exercises to leverage your new-found knowledge. It will enable you to understand and manage your customers’ expectations, and then meet and exceed those expectations – often with less effort than you thought possible.
Using pictures, designs and words to cut through all the noise and confusion in your space, you’ll learn how to communicate your most important ideas in seconds – milliseconds, even – with razor-sharp focus.
All this – a deeper understanding of customers’ needs, exceeding their expectations and crystal clear communication – combines to exert an almost gravitational pull on customers, which translates to easier customer acquisition and increased customer loyalty.
4. Do I have to take all 8 sessions? Can I just pick and choose the ones that are most important to me?
The class is designed so that each session builds on the learning from the class before. You will get the most out of it by going through all eight sessions.
Also, there is significant value in participating in the discussions and contributing to the community after each session – both for you and your fellow participants. When you sign up for the course, you make a certain commitment to your fellow students to show up – a favor they return manifold, by all being there for you too. As long as you’re there for the Brand School community, the community will be there for you, as a mastermind group to help you succeed with your brand building. So this is the way that we offer the class.
That said, however, you’ll never regret doing a session. In every one, you can be sure to get ideas on how to make your brand stronger right away.
5. Does this knowledge have any lasting value?
Definitely! The brand building skills you learn in this class are fundamental to building strong brands in any category, at any time. They can be applied to your current business venture or any other ventures down the line.
6. I need step-by-step instructions I can act on immediately. How actionable is the content of this course?
Brand School is designed to be actionable from Day One. Starting with the first session you will be able to identify specific areas where your brand can and should work harder. And all of the homework exercises are designed so that you can apply the learning from the video sessions directly to your business challenges. We’ve worked hard to make sure the class is the right balance of best practices learning from Julie’s more than 25 years of building amazing brands like Virgin, and application of those best practices in practical, easy to understand exercises that can add value to your business right away.
7. I’m busy. How much time will I (really) need to put in?
We estimate that it will take you about 2 to 2 ½ hours per week to watch the video lesson, do the at home exercise, post your results on the Brand School community page, and comment on the homework answers of three of your fellow Brand School classmates.
To keep everyone moving forward together we ask that you watch the video each week by Wednesday, post your homework by Thursday and comment on your classmates’ homework by Friday. But you have total flexibility what time of the day (or night) you do all that.
8. I need to go through this course with my business partner. Do we need to buy two seats? Can the exercises be solved collaboratively?
The course is intended for individuals, and one registration comes with only one login to access the Brand School material and one membership to the community. However, we encourage collaboration between business partners, and strongly suggest you watch the videos and do the exercises together.
Also, if you send us a description of your partnership, and convince us you mean business, we’ll offer you a very special discount on the second seat. That way you can each have personal access to all the great resources.
9. What if I’m not satisfied? What is the cancellation policy?
It is very important for us that you are satisfied with the course, so we offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you at any time during the first two weeks of the class are not satisfied, we will return your entire fee. If you wish to cancel any time after taking the first 2 classes we will return your money based on a pro-rated basis (total course fee divided by 8) provided that you can provide proof that you have taken the course. This can be in the form of posting your homework answers on the Brand School Community page.
If you sign up and for whatever reasons you are unable to begin the class, as long as you notify us within the first 30 days of sign up we will refund your money (- 10% administration fees).
10. Who is Brand School for?
Brand School is for anyone who wants to build a business they can be proud of. It is an especially great fit for entrepreneurs and freelancers who are starting out, but are worried about how they will attract enough business to make a living.
It is also perfect for hard-working small business owners who are looking for better and more manageable systems for how to get new clients and keep them onboard.
11. Who is this course not for?
Brand School is only for people who are serious about wanting to build an honest business, so if you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme or a way to trick people into trusting you, we’ll kindly ask you to find some other course.
Similarly, if you’re unwilling to make and keep a promise to your clients and offer them something valuable in return for their time and money, but instead keep looking for a way to short-change them, the only thing you can hope for from Brand School is to learn how wrong and sad that is.
Building a brand is both an art and a science. You will need to learn and apply some basic principles. So Brand School is not for anyone who doesn’t believe in branding or who wants a quick overnight solution. There may be other courses out there that promise that, but that’s not us.
Finally, Brand School may not be right for you if you or your business is part of a larger franchise, and you plan on keeping it that way. You don’t need to be completely independent to benefit from Brand School, but you should have a certain say in how you relate to your clients.
12. How is this course different from what’s already out there?
Unlike other branding courses, which often get all caught up in the theory of branding, Brand School gives, practical advice and a step-by-step and hands-on approach to building your brand. It will have you creating solutions you can use to build your business from Day One.
To that end, Brand School is specifically designed in three core parts:
• Online video filled with rich examples and useful advice
• A hands on exercise with fresh twists to help you directly apply key learning from the class to your brand
• Access to a community of other brand-building entrepreneurs to help build off each others ideas and make valuable business connections
13. What makes Julie qualified to teach this course?
Julie was the Vice President of Brand at Virgin, one of the most successful entrepreneurial brands on the planet.
Before joining Virgin, she ran the Innovation group at Interbrand, leading the development of game-changing brands like Orbitz, Stolichnaya Elit, Heinz EZ Squirt, and SBC U-Verse.
Most recently, Julie has founded BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build their brands and leverage them as actionable business assets.
There’s a lot more, of course, but if you still doubt her credentials, we’re going to convince you by listing it all. Instead, we suggest you sign up for Julie’s mailing list to follow her popular branding blog, and follow her on Twitter at @jcottin.