My first encounter with Corey Koehler was on Twitter. Twitter, in my opinion is a great place to cut your marketing teeth; you absolutely must stand out or you’ll be lost in the stream. But stand out doesn’t necessarily mean ‘scream’ out. There’s lots of campaigns that scream and catch my initial attention, but can’t keep it. Corey’s pic (face smiling into the camera, acoustic guitar, tee-shirt) and tagline let me know instantly who he was musically. He also employed my all-time favorite marketing tool: humor! The line that sold me:
Making music that makes beer taste better!
Bingo! That was it for me – I had to respond to such a clever slogan. Corey could have easily responded with a ‘Thanks Jen” and I would have never heard from him again; but Corey Koehler knows the importance of relationship building.
Corey Koehler is a solo folk-rock, Americana, country singer/performer/songwriter. That’s a tough gig to pull off all alone…unless you’ve got powerhouse vocals and know how to make your guitar pulse with sentiment like Corey does. But there are lots of talented musicians with similar musical skill sets…what makes Corey stand out on the web? Answer: Marketing. Corey’s strongest marketing point: relationship building. In a recent interview with Corey I asked him about his marketing expertise:
Corey Koehler: My most important tool is the landing page. Well crafted copy and a clear message are powerful. I’ve added many fans to my mailing list and in some cases they haven’t even heard my music yet. I spread my landing page everywhere. It is the first place I want new, potential fans to go because I only want them to do one thing: get onto my (email) list so that I can begin building a relationship with them. Make sure your landing page speaks specifically to your ideal fan. Like anything else, do not try to please everybody. I explain how I’ve learned to do a lot of this in my musicgoat newsletter. Relationship building is the most important thing, especially today when there are some many musicians, so many forms of entertainment, so much of everything vying for our time: movies, video games, tv, other artists, etc.When you connect with people you create a bond.
And Corey is absolutely right about connecting – it’s the reason you’re reading about him on Jen the Music Maven’s blog today! After our initial exchange on Twitter, he tweeted to ask if I’d like to be a guest blogger on his blog: musicgoat.com. Of course, I replied. Instantly I logged on to musicgoat to check it out…impressive. Within the next few days I received a free song from Corey via email ( I signed up on his blog)….impressive. We continued on to Facebook, a friendlier format for relationship building. He liked my page and began to comment on it. He was the first artist to respond and submit a song on my SoundCloud Sundays. Corey continues to build his relationships by responding to friends, sending and posting music on a regular basis, blogging, appearing regularly in his fans inbox…never letting us fans wonder what he’s up to…we know! A fan cannot be an active follower if you’re not an active leader.
Corey Koehler: When you connect, people will pay more attention to you because they care more. They feel close to you and become your cheerleaders. Plus it is great for us as musicians. I love meeting new poeple and making new friends. It can keep you going.
Making Music 101:
None of this would matter if Corey Koehler’s music couldn’t hold it’s own against a great marketing campaign. The first song on his Facebook page available for free listening is “Take This Ring”. Great title! Before I listened, I was impressed because I knew it was about a common human experience: love….another smart move. I could see by the friendly face and relaxed demeanor in his profile pic that he was sincere and whatever he had to sing about…I was interested in.
Corey was making all the right marketing moves and his music did not disappoint. His voice is strong, clear, on pitch; it could easily ring out over a noisy crowd. And he’s not afraid of his guitar! He’s a powerful performer with a message and a method that keeps audiences engaged.
Corey Koehler: I want to grab and HOLD an audience; make them feel as close to the song as possible. I’m self taught for the most part. Outside of learning how to play chords, or reading stuff in guitar magazines I never had any formal training. The songwriting is intuitive to a point. I’ve listened to a TON of music over the years. Now that I’ve gotten a little more serious about music, I study songwriters more in depth.
Corey says he pays special attention to: subject matter. Corey Koehler:I like to strip down to the essence of what I’m trying to say and say it descriptively and succinctly. With that said, structure, melody and new sounds are also important. It’s like eating a salad: lettuce is the main ingredient but you have to throw in cheese croutons, raisins, dressing, etc in there to bring it all together and make it even more enjoyable.
In his Minnesota Got Colder video, the opening scene reads: They’re only a memory away” and Corey’s guitar plays a few notes that set a nostalgic mood. He’s not messing around here…he gets straight to the point and holds you there. Corey mixes his talent with his marketing expertise to create a unique and memorable web presence. We could all take some lessons from Corey Koehler!
Follow Corey’s lead: Check out his homebase: http://planetcorey.com/
Follow him on his home away from home: http://musicgoat.com/
1) Break down music barriers (Genre? What is a genre?).
2) Help bands/artists get their music heard.
3) Bring bands/artists and their fans closer together.
4) Entertain the willing.
I’d say Corey Koehler is accomplishing his mission…wouldn’t you?
Catch Corey Here: