Corey Koehler: Musician, Marketing Junkie, and Musicgoat

Corey Koehler: Musician, Marketing Junkie and Musicgoat
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.

Building Relationships 101:
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!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JfUm45TKxQ?fs=1]
Follow Corey’s lead: Check out his homebase: http://planetcorey.com/
Follow him on his home away from home: http://musicgoat.com/ 
Musicgoat’s Mission:
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:

15 Seconds Can Change Your Life NOW!

15 Seconds Can Change Your Life!

A few months ago I was chatting with a member of the Weinstein Company when a former student walked onto the scene. Unprompted by me, the Weinstein exec asked her if she was in the music biz. My heart sank as my former student glanced at the floor and stammered for words. It wasn’t for lack of confidence; it was lack of preparation. She did not have her ‘pitch’ down and she missed the opportunity to make a valuable connection. The irony was: we’d worked diligently at her pitch; all my students do…they are tested and timed on their pitch and if they don’t get it right initially…they do it again and again until they can pitch themselves effectively in 15 seconds. It’s painful sometimes but it’s absolutely necessary. Apparently, this student had forgotten her well honed pitch. Don’t let this happen to you. There’s a very good reason why the 15 second pitch is hugely important.


Time is of the Essence

The ‘elevator’ pitch as it’s known is a 15 second ‘sales’ pitch you should be able to give someone in the course of a 15 second elevator ride…sometimes that’s all the time you have and if you’re unprepared, you have even less time than that! You never know when opportunity will strike. You need to be able to tell that all important biz connection: Who you are, What you do, Why you’re the best, and leave them with a Call to Action in 15 seconds.

Highly recommended site to help develop your pitch: http://www.15secondpitch.com

There are 4 steps involved + you can preview your final pitch upon completion. You can redo your pitch on this site as many times as necessary. Time yourself! There are also examples of pitches developed by others. Look at lots of examples…some are definitely better than others. Find ones that resonate with you.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Let’s practice a bit before you start. Let’s pretend I’m Joe Blow of Nose Hair and I’m attending a music biz conference and have just met an influential industry exec whose label specializes in my genre. Mr. Big Shot asks me who I am and if I’m signed with a label. Follow the steps from the 15 second sales pitch site.


Tell the Exec:

Step 1: Tell the Exec who you are:
“I’m Joe Blow, keyboardist for noise band Nose Hair.”

Step 2: Tell the Exec what you do:
“I play keyboard, and compose and arrange all of the band’s material.”

Step 3: Tell the Exec why you’re the best:
HINT: NEVER-NEVER- NEVER say: I’m the best, or I’m better than anyone you’ve ever heard (please folks…that’s an instant turn off to any professional …do you have any idea how many times we’ve heard this before)? Promise me you’ll never say it…ok?! Don’t tell them you’re the best…tell them why you’re the best. Give them proof that you’re the best. Instead of saying: Nose Hair just completed it’s second regional tour; say this:
“We’ve just completed our second regional tour and ticket sales are up 40% over last year and song sales have increased 25% since then as well.”

Step 4: Your call to action – tell them the next step they need to take to do business with you.
“Contact me and we can discuss representation by your label. Nose Hair is a great fit for your label, Hand Kerchief.”

Be prepared to give the exec a readily available biz card…don’t dig, grope, or sort through a 10 pound purse and don’t sift through pockets that have last week’s dinner in them! Be prepared and don’t forget your manners.

Final Scenario: Professional, Polished and Prepared!

I’m Joe Blow, keyboardist for noise band Nose Hair; it’s a pleasure to meet you. I play keyboard, compose and arrange all of the band’s material. We’ve just completed our second regional tour and ticket sales were up 40% over last year’s tour and song sales have increased 25% since then as well. Nose Hair is a great fit for your label, Hand Kerchief. Contact me and we can discuss representation.

Hand them your card, shake their hand, thank them for their time and expect a call. Who doesn’t want to work with someone who’s professional, polished and prepared?!

If you want the maximum benefit from 15 second pitch consult with Jen – email her: jen@jenthemusicmaven.com. Are you going ‘up’?