ukulele | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Category Archives for "ukulele"

What Your Industry Doesn’t Know About Selling Wine

You don’t sell what you think you sell. Let’s get this straight. You need to understand this.

If you’re Nike you don’t sell golf balls and shoes and athletic equipment… you sell winning. That’s why you have Lebron and Tiger as your spokespeople. If you’re Debeers, you don’t sell diamonds… you sell “forever”. You sell “a special moment”.

This is what the teaching industry, or basically almost every industry, doesn’t get. Continue reading to find out how to fix this problem.

Case in point, over a year ago I went online to try and learn how to play the ukulele. What did I find? All the same stuff I found years ago before the Internet existed that stopped me from wanting to learn the piano.

In other words… learning was too hard. Accomplishing my goal was too hard. They didn’t make it fun. They all wanted me to follow their strict rules of lessons and reading music and proper technique. Blah. I didn’t want to do that 20-years ago when I wanted to learn piano, and I didn’t want to do that last year learning how to play the ukulele.

But perhaps most importantly, they didn’t “get” why I wanted to learn how to play the ukulele. Which was just so I could have some fun and play a few of my favorite songs. I had/have no intention of wanting to master it, or use all the proper strumming techniques or learn every chord.

I just wanted to mess around.

But what I found was miles of sites and guides that wanted to continue to make it hard, and show me how to “learn properly” and all that.

In other words… they were trying to sell me something I didn’t want. So I didn’t buy.

I taught myself online instead without classes and learned how to play (poorly, I admit) my favorite songs all on my own.

We’re getting to the point, bear with me.

Once I learned how to do the things I wanted to do, which was just play fun songs and have fun, I realized that the VAST MAJORITY of people who also wanted to learn how to play musical instruments really just wanted the same thing.

Yet, the music teaching industry keeps on selling the exact opposite product. Why?

Probably because they don’t know how to sell wine. Gary Vaynerchuk knows how to sell wine in a modern age. Instead of selling all the associated snobbery that came with wine, Gary changed the game and sold fun. He made learning about wine easy, and approachable. Everyone else was zigging… so Gary zagged and broke the industry in half, for the better.

Gary sells wine in a different way then everyone else, and now he’s got almost 100k people a day who watch him on his Winelibrary.tv show to prove it worked.

So this really isn’t about wine though. I’m using Gary as a prime example of what most people/businesses don’t do, and that’s know what to sell.

Last week I created a site called Play A Uke where I crafted a class on how to learn how to play the Ukulele. For $10, which I donate to charity, I teach you how I learned how to play the ukulele online for free. Again, admittedly, I play very poorly.

Since launching the class, I’ve had a lot of signups who love it, yet one ukulele person on Twitter called me out as “a dreadful load of junk”. Fine, I accept his/her opinion. They are a true teacher and I’m sure very skilled at what they do. That’s great. I appreciate the fine art and people who are highly skilled.

But don’t call what I’m selling “dreadful junk” and “not important” and blame me because you don’t know how to sell your product. Because you don’t. It’s pretty obvious.

And no, I don’t blame you, you’re not a marketer. You shouldn’t know as much as I do about selling. I don’t know a lot about teaching ukulele. It’s all even.

The truth is you sell all the wrong things, when you should be selling all the right things. People don’t learn how to play musical instruments, typically, to be the best in the world. They just want to mess around and sing some songs mostly. Yet, the teaching industry, music, or in fact, most industries in general, don’t sell what people really want to buy.

Take a look at how Gary does it, and get your brain working. What do you really sell? What do your customers really want? Because until you figure that out, you’re never going to find the success you think you should have.

I’m going to continue on this theme in the next few months. I’ve been doing a lot of teaching lately and it’s interesting to me to see the way the teaching online industry is broken. Let’s fix it.

Sponsor My Ukulele Shows With A Bribe

Here’s the deal. I’m looking for someone to send me this Ukulele. Yep, it’s only $200 bucks or so. Purchase it and send me this ukulele and here’s what you get in return.

1. My playing the ukulele in at least one video per week for the rest of 2008 broadcast on this blog.

2. Your logo on those video recordings as the sponsor of these shows (anytime I play it).

3. Bad playing and bad singing of some of your most favorite and beloved songs of all time. :)

Here’s the video explaining it in more detail.

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

If you’re going to do it, email me first so I can give you my address.

For your enjoyment, here’s me playing Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips.


I Fell In To A Burning Ukulele Ring of Fire

Ok, I really am getting better. I can now play songs, sorta. Today on Ustream I played 4 songs for you. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Crazy by Willie Nelson (I thought that was originally a Patsy Kline song?). Moon Over Parma from the Drew Carey Show opening. And Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel. Here’s the tabs for those songs.

Admit it, I’m not that bad, considering I have taken no lessons and have only been learning online through Youtube videos and google results. This is a lot of fun.

Video clips hosted by Ustream

Strumming My Ukulele

That headline sounds bad, I know. More ukulele playing in the video below. Today I’m showing off my lame strumming skills. I’m getting a little better, but it’s obvious I need more practice time.

Again, the entire point of doing these videos is to showcase the power of web video both as an educational and entertainment medium. I’m using web videos to not only educate myself on how to learn the ukulele, but I’m also using web videos to show the world my progress.

Plus, it’s fun. And fun is well, fun.

Practice Makes Perfect

Time for yet another learning how to play the ukulele update. The truth is, I don’t have that much time to practice, so I’m not getting that much better. So bear with me. In today’s video I show you some more chords I’ve learned. I’m still having fun, I just wish I had more time.

Remember, the whole point of this was to see if I could learn how to play by watching videos on Youtube or learning from free information found through Google. So far, so good. But slow without practice.