Cory Wolff

PUTTING IN WORK: Music marketing? What?

PUTTING IN WORK: Music marketing? What?
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When I was 26, I decided that I would leave the career I had spent my entire life in to pursue my passion for working in the music business. I had done well in the restaurant industry, but ultimately, it wasn’t what I loved. Although I’m not a musician, I can relate with loving something so much that it consumes you. For me, it is the beauty that is music and business. I’ve worked as an artist manager, promoter, and label manager, but marketing is by far my favorite part of music.

When people hear the term “marketing,” they often think of advertising or sales. There’s no doubt that these are aspects and a part of marketing, but it is much more than that. Marketing is the strategy that executes a certain philosophy or attitude about a product. In this case, our product is music. Music marketing is especially fun because music isn’t just a new phone or new soft drink. Music is emotion. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears of musicians who created something that people can relate to on an emotional level. As I write this article, I’m listening to Fort Minor. Fort Minor brings me creativity and motivation. Again, music is emotion and feeling.

I’ll be sharing my experiences and knowledge throughout the life of this column, and I hope that it will inspire you to learn about marketing. The biggest strength of any major record label is their marketing and promotion. There’s a reason you hear that new Eminem song on the radio, see articles about that song on blogs, watch his new music video, and more all at the same time. That’s the result of a marketing strategy in action. When used correctly, it is the most powerful tool any musician can have.

Here are a few things to get you started:

1. What inspires you?
2. Write a 30-second description of your music.
3. List your top five strengths.
4. List five long-term goals.

These questions will help you develop the building blocks of your marketing strategy. I’d love to hear feedback from you, so please feel free to get in touch with me. I don’t care if you tell me you hate everything I’ve ever done! Please, reach out with any questions or just to talk about music.

I truly believe that NEPA is in a position to make a difference in many areas, especially music. Take Minneapolis as an example. Since the ‘90s, people thought that they didn’t have a chance to make it in the music business. With the guidance of some organizations like Rhymesayers Entertainment and Doomtree Records, they now have a vibrant scene for music and are known all around the world. There’s so much musical talent in NEPA. It’s just a matter of being organized and learning. Let’s do this together.

Many times the argument is that we’re not New York or Philadelphia.


Putting in Work: The Beauty of Music & Business is a bi-weekly column filled with thoughts, inspirations, and experiences from a music marketer born and raised in Scranton. Let’s step our game up together.