To explore the wide range of experiences and opinions within the digital business world, we’re running a series of interviews, ‘A Few Minutes With…’.
Today, we’re speaking with Mike Herbrik.
Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and now based in Oslo, Norway, Mike spent five years in London working for Roadrunner Records and then moved on to manage Coca-Cola‘s music programme for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. He is now an Artist Manager for Scandinavian company MADE Management, representing Carnival Kids, Eye Emma Jedi, Kid Exodus, Man The Machetes, and Verses. He recently started a record label, A.O.K Recordings, as a means of retaining ownership and control of Verses’ debut album, and intends on extending this business model to one or two more artists in the next 18-24 months.
Tell us a little about your organisation’s online activity.
In my line of work the main focus has been focusing on the Artists’ only activity, as obviously this is of huge importance and more so than ever services as the foundation for everything else that we do in their careers. That said, to a point I think we’ve focused on this at the expense of our own online presence and activity, and we are now changing that by focusing more MADE’s online activity. When it comes to A.O.K Recordings, over time I would like to build very deep & strong brand recognition in the label much like you see with American labels such as Epitaph or Fat Wreck. Very early days though, so quite a mountain to climb there!
What do you see as the most effective outlet for advertising for your organisation/business?
A combination of print ads in genre-specific music magazines, Facebook post boosting and ads, and Google ads.
What great websites have you seen recently?
This isn’t that recent, but the first thing that came to mind was the site that Arcade Fire collaborated with Google on for their last album.
What great mobile apps have you seen recently?
What, for you, defines great customer service online?
Understanding the question, the situation, and the challenge.
Can a business survive in 2013 without a social media presence?
Without a social media presence, yes. Without an online presence, absolutely not.
What pitfalls do you think businesses must avoid when developing a digital media strategy?
Overspending. It’s about being strategic, not chucking money around.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you’re going to work 12-14 hours a day, you might as well put that in to something you own and not something that is owned by someone else.”
What advice would you give to a business starting up in 2013?
If you don’t believe in your product or service enough to properly put your money where you mouth is, then what you’ve got isn’t good enough. If you’ve only got the courage to dip your toe in the shallow end to test the temperature, you aren’t ready. When you are prepared to dive in to the deep end head first, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and financially, then you’re ready.
What advice would you give to a young designer or developer starting their career in 2013?
Go work for someone else first and absorb all their experience, knowledge, and most importantly, contacts.
Do you see any downsides to the rise of digital media as a tool for business?
If you could change one thing about the internet, what would it be?
How Spotify plays translate to income for artists.
Where do you see the internet and digital media in 10 years’ time?
I have absolutely no idea.