Interview: Darja Bardo

Our Digital Marketing tutor tells us about her career, experiences and how to make the most of online opportunities...


Darja Bardo is a performer, PR manager, and now an ICMP tutor as part of our Digital Marketing programme.

Drawing on her experience in her native Latvia with numerous culture and media companies and organisations, Darja moved to the UK in 2009 to further her career. 

Here, she found herself initially working in the construction sector where her marketing expertise and knowledge on digital campaigns helped the business scale up rapidly. Alongside this, Darja has also collaborared with a variety of UK companies and influencers to help them expand their reach and grow their audiences. 

Most recently, Darja has moved on to launch her own dance school based in East London where her marketing insights and business management have ensured the school has evolved into a highly successful venture.

In our new interview, Darja tells us about her experiences, what she will bring to ICMP and her essential tips for success in the world of digital marketing...

How did you start your career? 

Between the ages of 14 and 18 years old I was part of an entertainment troupe where I worked as a lead singer and helped with their PR.

I was living in Latvia then, so we managed to perform at many major events and were featured in numerous magazines and newspapers. 

Could you talk about your role at ICMP? What led you to ICMP and what will you be teaching as part of the programme? 

I will be teaching students content creation, social media and digital storytelling. I applied for the position with ICMP after seeing it advertised on LinkedIn as I'm passionate about education, and believe it needs to become more practical so new graduates can enter the working world as smoothly and as easily as possible. I'm looking forward to helping drive this kind of change.

I love entrepreneurship and have launched all my projects and businesses myself. I believe that anybody can set up their own venture if they want to."

I am a big advocate of entrepreneurial and creative thinking too as this is the only area computers can't beat us at. Just yet!

What would be your essential advice for students looking to master the world of digital marketing in the music industry?

Be creative and try new things. Base your ideas on statistics or research, and be open to looking across different industries and influencers for ideas. And don't jump on trends - instead, make your ones!

Are there any core skills that you think are essential in digital marketing?  

Digital marketing is very diverse, so you can choose whether to go into the creative or more analytical side. Both skills are useful and you need to be able to understand and predict the future based on numbers and data. However, how you execute certain things must come from your own inspiration. You should try and refine a unique creative approach. 

How has music marketing changed in recent years?

Everybody has taken to social media. Connection to the audience is much closer, and it's those artists who learn how to interact and engage who are those currently winning. Collaborations between artists and across industries will continue trending alongside partnerships between influencers and their more talented followers.

I believe that the online world will only get bigger with the metaverse and virtual reality trying to provide us with new experiences and more accessible events across the world."

What are the key platforms/social media channels to master for today's musicians? 

I would suggest you go with those feel most connected to. But for promotion and monetisation: YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are your best bets. 

Could you talk about the dance school you've helped launch? 

Yes of course, the dance school I run is called Dance With Us. 

I was never planning to launch it as, at the time, I was still a director at a construction company I established. 

Long story short, the business started offering dance classes for new mums who wanted to get back into shape and it's since grown into a dance school for kids. So now we have won several awards and participated in charity events with Action for Children and, in 2022, contributed to raising £450,000. 

In six years, we now have 100 students and organize two big shows every year. 

What does the rest of 2023 have in store for you alongside teaching at ICMP? 

My dance school continues to grow, offering more partnership opportunities with local charities and schools. I'm very eager to explore this and give kids a chance to learn a new hobby.

Deep dive into the evolving world of music marketing

Our CIM accredited Music Marketing degree, that sits within our School of Music Business,  will help you gain a richly detailed understanding of digital marketing fundamentals and specialisms. You'll become a master of online content — someone who knows how to reach and influence people through multiple digital platforms.

To completely immerse yourself in your creative career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Music Marketing
by ICMP staff writer
January 27, 2023
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