This week I sat down with a new friend, Elizabeth Erenberg. Elizabeth, or as her close friends refer to her by, Liz, is a flutist from York, Pennsylvania, with a huge passion for music and a proven history as a marketing expert. Liz helped found the musicovation Blog which delivers “Positive news about music”. The musicovation blog has been sharing positive music news since 2013 from a variety of contributors (including yours truly).
In addition to her success with musicovation, Liz has enjoyed being a professional musician and teacher. Liz also shared about her impressive marketing career or “day jobs” which give credence to her marketing expertise. Read more about my lively conversation with the Elizabeth Erenberg.
Multiple Studies – Multiple Talents
When talking with Liz, I was excited to learn about how she grew into a multi-talented professional. Developing into a proficient flutist is more than enough to keep one busy, but throughout her collegiate and early career years, Liz become more than a musician.
She started her studies by receiving a music performance degree from the University of Oregon in 2008. Liz then continued her education at the New England Conservatory of Music where she received her Masters of Music for Flute Performance in 2011.
During her time studying, Liz didn’t focus solely on growing her music skills. While at Oregon she worked extensively on growing her writing skills and even founded a school associated newsletter, “Practice Breaks”. Doing more than studying music in college was a great experience for Liz, who would later expand her writing and entrepreneurial skills.
She attributes her varied studies and efforts partly to creating a “back up plan” as music may not provide sufficient financial support but also to the fact that she was “personally never able to do just one thing” and feels she “thrives when I can do a variety of things.”
After spending time at a big university, Liz decided to capture the benefits of a smaller conservatory by attending the New England Conservatory of Music where she attained her Masters in Music performance. While there, Liz kept expanding her skill sets and added more accomplishments. She was the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper The Penguin, took part in the student advisory council, and took part in the Entrepreneurial Grant program. Liz also started to develop her teaching career by providing private music lessons.
After graduating with her master’s degree, Liz already had a long list of accomplishments and many options to pursue her career. She continued growing her private studio and performed regularly but also became the Coordinator of Music Events at Tufts University. This job combined Liz’s love for music with her growing skills in marketing and entrepreneurship. Along with her job and music career, she also took advantage of her access to Tuft’s marketing and entrepreneur classes so that she could expand her skills and education.
After years gaining experience and education, she leveraged her marketing talents to become the Marketing Communication Manager at the famous NPR’s From the Top program. This was a change as the position was a full-time marketing position, creating a new lifestyle and new challenges.
The emersion into the full-time marketing position allowed Liz to grow even more as a marketing expert. Serving a bigger role at a major organization that already had a large national following gave Liz the opportunity to perfect her marketing skills. At From the Top, Liz was in charge of inbound & outbound marketing. She had the tasks of growing different marketing metrics from website hits and social media followers to ticket sales. Liz said, “Though the job itself didn’t utilize my musical skills, it really incorporated all the skills needed to succeed as a musician.”
Currently Liz lives in York, Pennsylvania where she still pieces together a variety of income sources. Included with all her other work, Liz loves to perform. She admits that the income derived from performing is the least profitably but “makes it all worth it.”
Pick up a newspaper and try to find some good news. Not easy, is it? Often the same goes for music news. Liz felt this dynamic a lot in her early career. In uncertain economic times, musicians often hear about “cuts to the arts, and symphonies folding”. Liz saw how the constant negative news had a “bad effect on the psyche” of a lot of musicians. “I knew there were musicians out there doing really cool things but no one was hearing about it.”
In 2013, Liz and Zachary Preucil started the blog musicovation, which promotes “Positive news about music”. The project started from an emotional desire to bring good news about music to the world. The goal was to put this information out and see who was interested.
Over the years, musicovation has grown significantly, bringing in numerous guest writers with varied backgrounds and experiences. It has been both a constant source of great news for its readers, along with bringing together musicians from across the nation.
I loved hearing Liz’s story about her blog. As I have interviewed, talked with, and read about dozens of musicians over the last year; I have come to believe that creating online content should be one of the top priorites for anyone in or around the music industry. No matter if your end goal is performing, recording, marketing, or management; growing an engaged following will help you get there.
Liz started off her blog with a simple idea, but through engagement with her readers, she was able to grow it into a resource for those that are similar to her and like what she does. Now that she has built this community, she can leverage it to help her launch the next part of her career.
The Next Phase
With her extensive marketing education and experience, Liz is getting ready to launch a new service to share her skills with other musicians. Although new projects can always be scary, with musicovation already being an established blog Liz is in a great position to take advantage of all the work she has previously put into growing her audience. Having a following that recognizes her as a great resource, she already has her own network to bring her marketing business to.
I think this is a great lesson that can be learned from the musicovation blog: start early at growing your community and producing great content, even if you don’t know how you are going to monetize it. Liz didn’t have an end game in mind when creating her blog, but now that it is established and she is ready to start her new project, she has a head start compared to most new businesses.
This spring Liz will be beginning to help musicians with full marketing and branding services. She aims to provide a one stop shop that will allow musicians to get a great marketing consultation along with help producing marketing materials like websites, videos, pictures, and other branding materials.
Liz talked about marketing and the desire by many artist to not deal with it. I found many similarities in her description of musicians who look to outsource marketing and musicians who look to outsource other professional areas like tour management, social media management, accounting, and financial planning. Being a musician is like managing a small business, and as you grow, outsourcing becomes critical to maintain efficient use of your time AND is a way to leverage other people’s experiences and skills.
Liz promotes the idea that marketing and branding are “part of the process of being a musician.” Most often it is “easier to do for other people than for yourself.” Liz finds working with musicians on their marketing is a great place for her as she can surround herself with music and incorporate her experiences and what she enjoys.
If you are interested in learning more about Elizabeth Erenberg or would like to contact her about help with marketing and branding, you can via the links below.