two outside perspectives on micro music marketing

by Matt @ Kurb on May 4, 2008

Yes two short articles here from people who have a pretty firm grasp on marketing in practice, but not specifically in music, making some observations on their local music microcosm.

If you’re outside of the industry well . . . you’re outside of the industry! Maybe this gives some fresh outside perspective into what the average punter sees . . .

First is from Geoff at

Geoff is a internet marketer with a slightly tongue in cheek take on the revolution of “pajama clad entrepreneurs”.


About a block from where I work, there’s a coffee shop that makes the best quesadillas in town. I go down there two or three times a week to grab dinner. Unfortunately, it seems like every time I walk in, there’s some horrible local emo-pop band in there hell-bent on wrecking my eardrums. They always have overpriced Cafepress shirts, they always have flyers advertising their Myspace page, and they always suck.

Thanks digital distribution

The one that was playing last night even tried to charge me $2 to get in. I told him to piss off and that I was there for the food, not the band (tech support puts me in a bad mood). I ended up having to use a combination of sign language, writing, and pointing at the menu to communicate with the barista, since the band was so loud. After I placed my order, I had a good ten minutes to witness a terrible assault on my senses and enumerate their many issues. If you’re a part of, or have ever wanted to make your own band, pay attention:

The venue is everything

The coffee shop I was in is about the size and shape of a shoebox. Shoeboxes don’t have good acoustics (only slightly better than a two-dimensional shape). The band, of course, compensated for this by turning up the volume to glass-shatteringly high levels.

The singer is probably holding you back

I have to admit that the drummer, guitarist, and bassist were all pretty good. The vocalist, on the other hand, was too loud, off beat, and tone deaf. Ruined the whole experience.

Make sure your equipment is working before going live

Apparently there were two guitarists, but one was having technical issues. For three songs.

Don’t send mixed signals

You have depressing, emo clothes and haircuts. Your backdrop is black. Your hair has been dyed black. Your logo is a skull (on a black background). Why are you dancing around like monkeys and singing about how life is great and you’ll never give up?

Don’t quit your day job

If you’re performing in a coffee shop to 13 people, you’re probably not very good. Fire your singer and stay in school.


Speaks to me about a point Bruce Warila made:

This is such a massive part of what I’m doing now. You cant expect to make music and then run out there and start making it if you haven’t put any effort into establishing yourself and validating your music with your audience as something worthy of attention.


The second is professor Cornwall who is a professor of entrepreneurship at the university of Belmont in Tennessee at

Last evening we went to hear a group of songwriters at the Bluebird Cafe here in Nashville as part of the Folk Alliance (their website is, which seems to be down this morning as I write this post). One of them performing last night, James Lee Stanley, is one we first heard over thirty years ago — I blogged about him a couple of months ago.

What a wonderful evening of music and an affirmation that the music industry is alive and well. The three featured songwriters had all been writing and performing since the 1970s. Are they rich and famous? No. Have they been making a living pursuing what gives them passion? Absolutely.

There is a good lesson here for entrepreneurs in any industry.

Too much attention is given to celebrity and fame. We see it in entertainment and more and more we see it in the world of entrepreneurship. The vast majority of our economic growth is coming from entrepreneurs working in small businesses across the country. It is hard work. It is not very glamorous. But, it has created economic independence for these entrepreneurs and the people working with them.

The same is true in music. There are thousands of songwriters and performers toiling away out there. Many are fortunate and have become successful enough to make a living at it.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs will not reach the heights of Gates, Dell, Jobs, and others whose little ventures grew into empires. In fact, most won’t even make their local list of “leading entrepreneurs” in their community.

But, most entrepreneurs don’t really care about fame and recognition. That is not what drives them. That is not how they measure their success.

What a blessing it is to be able to share in real success — the songwriters who continue to hone their craft — the entrepreneurs who pursue their passion and find fulfillment in the businesses they create.

Yes I DID cut and paste from other blogs BUT at least I am attempting to atone not only backlinking (of course) but I stumbled both posts and bookmarked on delicious.

PS had record days on my blog with the “blogging for musicians 2008” post!!! up around 200 visitors 2 days in a row!!! Yes this could be because I took the effort to use a bit of social media by stumbling, digging and posting to delicious but mainly it is because a couple of bigger bloggers dropped a link on their blog – probably after finding it on stumbleupon or delicious in the first place.

so special thanks to

SO according to my adsense stats, if I’d been running adsense on wordpress I would have made around $US3 from this blog alone on consecutive days!

It’s looking good people – it just keeps getting better, it’s all about the EXPONENTIAL GROWTH – so keep blogging!

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