Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Legacy Days

One downside to marketing your products online is that you rarely get to meet your customers. That changed for me this weekend when Legacy Learning customers from around the world (seriously) descended upon Nashville, TN for “Legacy Days.” The irony is that we never asked them to come...

It’s fair to say that our customers are fans. They love Learn & Master Guitar in particular. I’ve been asked countless times whether we’d ever plan an event where our students could come to Nashville to meet us, each other, and their beloved guitar instructor, Steve Krenz. My answer was always “someday – not this year.” As usual, I was a bit slow to get it.

Our customers had enough of waiting, so they planned the event themselves. Honest! There was no input or prompting from us. Through our student support discussion board, our customers began talking, planning, and ultimately creating the entire event. They booked hotels, planned activities and even made t-shirts. Invited or not, they were coming. By that point, we’d gotten the message. If our customers wanted to meet us and each other that badly, we’d be ready!

The weekend was a fabulous success. We had guitar workshops, guest speakers, fun events, a charity auction supporting Musico a Musico, and a concert. It was so much fun meeting this eclectic group that makes up our core customer base. What fine folks!

On Saturday, we asked for volunteers for interviews. I wanted to hear their guitar learning stories and we filmed them for promotion and inspiration pieces. Wow! Hearing over and over again how our course had touched their lives was so gratifying. I heard one tell about how he used learning guitar to keep his mind off of the intense pain he was enduring as part of a long recovery from back surgery. An older man talked about how learning to play guitar was the last big goal for his life. Another talked of how it helped during a painful divorce. And on and on. The term "bucket list" came up often. We were impacting lives.

Getting promotional material was easy too. We didn't have to coax anyone into saying how wonderful the course is. Every time our customers talked about it, they simply gushed. On and on about how there’s no better way to learn guitar. There could be no doubt that they genuinely loved our simple course.

The real highlight, though, was the student showcase on Saturday night. One by one, the students got up on stage and performed. It was amateur music at it’s finest. Compared to the professional music you would have heard on any other Nashville stage that night, it was awful. Beautifully, heart-warmingly awful. True beginners who’ve dreamed for years of playing, finally stepping up on a stage for the very first time.

I’ve never applauded so loudly in all my life.

Thank you to all who came and made the weekend so special. YOU get the credit for learning guitar and capturing your dreams. It is our honor to simply have been a part.

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