Music Marketing in the Real World – An Interview with Michael Brandvold

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsKISS, yeah the band. The guy who spits blood and sticks out his tongue. The band that wears more makeup and higher heels than your mom. What can you learn about marketing from them?

KISS is alot more that just caskets and condoms.

Michael Brandvold will share with Debra Russell some of the marketing lessons he learned from working with the band. Lessons such as:


  • It’s All Branding
  • Not Everything You Do Will Succeed
  • Listen To Your Fans, You Work For Them
  • “The Secret To Success Is To Offend The Greatest Number of People”
  • If You Don’t Ask For It, You Won’t Get It

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Michael Brandvold

From working with up-and-coming independent artists of all genres to overseeing online marketing for major acts like KISS, Britney Spears, and Dream Theater, Michael Brandvold’s impact on the modern music industry is without question.

In addition to spearheading digital strategy creation and online social media management for bands, he has helped create marketing strategies that have made millions of dollars for clients.

Internet Marketing and the Artist Entrepreneur

Whether you’re in music, film, dance, the visual arts or writing, the presence of the Internet has significantly changed your industry in the last 20 years. For many of the big corporations who in the past controlled your industry, these changes have been terrifying, threatening their very existence.

For the artist entrepreneur, the DIY artist, the internet is the great leveler. It has opened the doors of opportunity that were previously jealously guarded by the studios, record companies and publishers.

But the key question that should be on your mind is:

How do I use the internet to advance my career as an Artist?

How can you use the internet to:

  • Sell more of your work?
  • Connect with fans outside of your immediate geographic location?
  • Increase the size of your impact?
  • Make a decent living doing what you love?!?

The good news is that the internet is huge and it’s global. The bad news is that the internet is huge and it’s global… There are over 2 Billion internet users in the world.  And there are over 350 Million websites.  Google alone gets 2 Billion searches each day.

So, while it’s critical to have a presence on the internet – how is anyone ever going to find YOU unless they are specifically looking for you and already know your URL (web address)?

Think of it this way, imagine that you are a fisherman and you are fishing in the middle of the ocean in a spot that is teaming with fish.  You would think – well this is easy, right?  I’m surrounded by fish, I should be able to catch dinner, no problem.  So you throw a hook and line out there and wait and wait and wait.

Meanwhile the fish are swimming all around that hook and not a one is biting!  Why?

Because they’re not looking for a hook.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the prettiest, shiniest, most beautiful hook in the world.  If the fish aren’t looking for your hook, they won’t bite and you don’t eat!

So, the key is having bait.  Bait that the fish will see, will notice, will be intrigued by enough to bite!  So, it can’t be just any bait.  It has to be the right bait.  The only way to know what bait to use is to get to know your fish really, really well.  Not all fish.  Not any old fish.  But the particular kind of fish you want to catch.

What kind of bait are they looking for?

With internet marketing, the first key to being found is knowing what your fans/customers/clients are already searching for – what are their key words?  But it’s not that simple.  Because if you pick things that are too broad, too general, then you could have millions of other websites also using that same bait, I mean, key word.  And so when your prospective fan is searching, literally millions of websites could come up in response to that search.  And let’s face it, few people get past the first page of a search.

So, simply stated, the essence of effective internet marketing is to be specific enough with your key words, so that when your target market are looking for them, you show up on the top of the list.  In order to do that you must :

  • Know what your target market is searching for
  • Show up on the first page when they search for it.

So, how do you do that?

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – creating a website that the search engines LOVE.

I’ll be talking more about that in my next Newsletter Edition – stay tuned!