Online Music Marketing Diary: Articulating Your Brand in the Digital Fall Out

by Matt @ Kurb on November 27, 2008

Need online music marketing services? Check out or email me – great deals in US dollars going now!!! Get your music promotion moving so you’re actually going somewhere!

Thought before I get carried away with my rebranding post I should just do one of my quick diary round ups.

Yes my CSS (“cascading style sheet” it’s web design thing that tells my website what to look like) is a little bit all over the place as I tried to integrate the style of the original site with our blog here at

This is where I talk about what I’ve been doing recently in online marketing and music marketing, and given how busy I generally am, you know I’m only doing the important stuff and the stuff that really matters to get results and move forward.

Now in the big picture I’ve been getting really excited about and focused on “rebranding” or developing, progressing or growing my brand. For musicians and other brand aware identities this speaks to the need for artists to develop strong personal messages that engage deeply and connect with fans – otherwise you might have to think seriously about turning around and going home, and just staying there.

You’ve got great songs? That’s great, now who are you and why should we care?

A word I’ve got right back into is “articulating”. Artists and musicians I see are not “articulating” their brand, they expect fans to just “know” the powerful messages you’re representing to your “tribe” and connect. Unfortunately people take more persuasion and compulsion than ever due to the sheer volume and endless bombarding of brand aware messages projected at them.

In fact, that’s why so often, they’re looking for empowered individuals with empowered brands to take them away from the crappy advertising mounted brand invasions they’re subject to.

So how do we articulate our brand? Through messages. Through media. And what media are musicians leveraging to articulate their brands? Their websites and videos.

You want to be engaging through your website content – that may be your blog posts, or posting galleries etc.  diaries, how to’s – interactive games? quizzes? – all that secondary content that is not your songs, not your premium content.

And special note of this must be made with videos. I always say it’s just like the 80’s but Youtube has replaced MTV. Everyone’s watching it, if you’re not leveraging it then you don’t have an edge and you’re not generating additional exposure and you’re more likely to miss out.

My feeling is that a video, or some video is better than no video. I think a lot of people are challenged as I am by the revealing nature of video, but that us exactly it’s advantage and it’s challenge. Sure you can hit record and go for your life. But in order to articulate your brand as a serious musician you’re going to have to rise to the challenge.


Recently I’ve been talking about a “content crisis”. That is, as more and more people grab the tools of a digital age and become content providers themselves, there will be more and more substandard low quality content that people will be going out of their way to avoid. The powers that be (IE Google) will want to put the power of filtering into the hands of their users and shutting out a lot of the mediocre long tail media content we’ve seen develop in the last few years.

How bad could it be? Well even I’m worried. Even my content would probably not make the cut.

That’s why I get concerned about the position of artists who are completely in the dark. If you’re one of those artists still wandering round with your hand out asking who will pay you and how, then you might have to face that you’re a dodo and you’ve missed the boat.

You’re not going to survive this one. People like me have been talking and preparing for the digital revolution for over 18 months now.

You can’t say you didn’t know it was coming, you didn’t know what was happening. That there was a digital revolution taking place that was changing the music industry, but you failed to take the necessary steps to stay ahead of the game where such massive opportunities are now opening up.

But you may have failed to position yourself to take advantage of them.

So what have I been doing about it?

Well I haven’t made much progress to be honest because I’ve been so busy working on running my expanding operations.


I dread to go near my membership site as it’s being pounded daily by spammers, but the experiment was all about illustrating what was possible. Let’s look at some takeways.

– the “ready fire aim” technique is effective if you don’t hate losing. I launch failed ideas all the time. It’s a great experience and I don’t see failure in this case as anything other than a really valuable experience for when I’m talking with artists and other clients about creating and managing communities.

– building a community is hard work. Admittedly I haven’t tried that hard, but it does require real commitment to foster a vibe that turns into a true self sustaining online community. It’s not just like doing a blog.

– I’m dreaming if I think I can charge for my forum in the state it is. I will have to give in to my own logic and accept that the forum must be free,


The reason I’m talking about this is because a lot of what I’m doing right now is working with designers helping artist to at least bring some character to their blogs and websites. Most artist blogs and websites I’m seeing and dealing with are cold and stale, or they’re just using myspace and I’m having to develop these things from scratch.

This is all work that has to be put in and refined before you can really expect your online promtion efforts to work. No ones going to sign up for your email list if they’re not excited about what they see on the website and if they don’t sign up then it means they don’t care and you’ll never see them again.

Again, outsourcing, just like automation or any other “underground” “secret” “cutting edge” technique I apply – well it’s fine if you want to go do it yourself because it’s no walk in the park. But like a lot of things, it seems hard at the beginning, you find your way up once you get a grasp on what you’re doing.

Basically do it wrong and fail enough times, you’ll get there.

There are lots of ways to really leverage content to promote your blog or website once you get some outsourcing going. Again, this is related to what I was describing about the “content crisis”. When you’ve got great, engaging, relevant content, then you’re going to be able to leverage online distribution techniques through outsourcing to promote your blog, or website.


Just a quick SEO note: If you’re reposting blogs and stuff to myspace, facebooketc. or you’re doing a wordpress + blogspot thing, which is a great way to start out distributing content and getting it out through as many channels as possible, that’s great, just make sure they all link back to your site or your main blog like I do here


I am getting so good at ppc that I’m now using it for all kinds of stuff, not just my own marketing and small business marketing, and not just gigs and the new gig promotion service I’m working on, but basically anything, which means I can apply it to a lot of campaigns which would previously have been too costly.

Also for my NZ readers – look at the value of our currency! It’s floating around 55c US to an NZ dollar, and it’s likely to be there for at least another 18 months.

If you can sell anything that has value to people in the US or Europe right now you can actually do pretty well! A lot of online business that weren’t so rewarding should be becoming attractive to New Zealanders getting paid in US dollars.

So for my US and other overseas readers – come talk to me at and you can get some great deals right now!

Okay well I’m going to keep innovating with new ways to deliver ideas, influences and services online in this wonderful digital era we’ve found ourselves in – I suggest you do the same!

I’ll be really looking to articulate my brand to connect with those who have the most value to gain from connecting with me. I’ll be using video, and I’ll be using my blogs. I’ll be using outsourced designers to leverage my currently shocking looking designs to communicate and engage more deeply with my audience.

I’ll be talking in more detail about the articulating and the rebranding soon.

Need online music marketing services? Check out or email me – great deals in US dollars going now!!! Get your music promotion moving so you’re actually going somewhere!

Need online music videos and youtube marketing we guarantee our youtube marketing campaigns!

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