Founder Stories: Nimrod Cohen On Building OnlinePianist
In today’s Founder Story, we feature Nimrod Cohen, co-founder of OnlinePianist!
Read on for lessons he has learned from launching and marketing his business.
1. Please introduce your business and share your role.
I’m Nimrod, co-founder of OnlinePianist, a piano learning platform, and mobile app that makes it super easy & fun to play one’s favorite songs on the piano. The thing that is unique and differentiates OnlinePianist from other piano learning apps is our focus on songs we won’t teach you how to play the piano but we will make it super easy and fun to play your favorite songs on the piano. Because this is our focus, our target audience is not folks looking to learn how to play, but those who want to play songs as their primary goal, or are looking for a tool that will accompany their “traditional” piano learning. Today, OnlinePianist is being used by end users, piano teachers, and schools.
As CEO, I manage the company’s operational aspects, encompassing operations, marketing, business development, strategic partnerships, and products.
2. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
Although its innovative nature, OnlinePianist has been around for a long time (in technological aspects), we recently celebrated the company’s 15th birthday. So taking me back to our initial launch might be challenging 🙂, but I will try.
No doubt, back then launching a new product was much different than nowadays, where the competition is fierce, and hundreds of launching best practices manuals are within reach of a click of a button. To some extent, the fact that we were not rooted in the tech industry played in our favor because it pushed us to be very creative in launching the product and bringing the first users to try our product, which worked great and was free.
One of the first marketing efforts was to create beautiful videos of our tutorials, with design intros and outros, and publish them on YouTube, making OnlinePianist one of the first piano tutorial channels at that time. Our tactic was to be very (very) up to date with new songs that have been released or are about to be released and to publish the first video tutorial for the song in the world, this campaign has brought a lot of users to try our app.
It was also very important for us to have a significant part of our product for free and to ask for money only after users received and perceived the value of OnlinePianist.
3. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
Effective marketing campaigns and designs that attract and retain customers can vary depending on the industry, target audience, and the specific goals of the business. However, some general strategies and designs tend to work well for us:
Content Marketing – We are constantly creating high-quality videos that provide value and address the needs of our target audience.
Social Media Marketing – We post consistent and engaging social media posts such as polls, contests, and quizzes.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Appstore Optimization (ASO) – We are very strict about building and maintaining our website and mobile apps in with accordance Google & Apple’s guidelines. We strongly believe in building our products for “user metrics” such as engagement and retention and constantly measuring the performance of relevant KPIs. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics should guide your marketing decisions.
4. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
Content marketing and social media have proven to be the most effective for attracting and retaining customers. Engaging posts, competitions, and compelling video content helps us stand out. Our branding and marketing inspiration does not come from well-known brands. We like to take inspiration from young creators and relatively new brands, as these are usually the most creative.
5. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
We like to use Buffer, it is very straightforward and convenient and makes working with multiple creators easy.
7. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?
What most excited us is always improving our product and user experience, this is always been our main focus, and what enabled us to grow organically and without spending significant money on paid marketing. Specifically, in the past year we have been working on a unique technology that will enable the app to listen to our users playing on their real instrument at home and give them real-time feedback on their performance.
Another project we are working on is creating very easy versions for our tutorials that will include instrumental playback to give a feeling as you are playing with a band.
The purpose of these projects is to expand our target audience to include early beginner piano players as we found that these users are highly interested in a product such as ours on the one hand while struggling to use our full tutorials on the other.
8. Who or what inspires and motivates you?
Our users & their negative and positive experiences, reviews, and messages.
Positive reviews and messages always remind us why we are in this business in the first place, while negative ones push us to become better.
9. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
I guess my best advice would be to focus on the value you give to your target audience, and never let go, put it always in the focus of the company and improve it. Finding the right partners is also very crucial because these are the people who will be with you when things get well especially when they get rough.
A match of character traits is just as important and sometimes even more important than a professional match. Choose the right people at the right times and don’t be afraid to make changes, even step aside yourself, different times require different people.
10. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
A good entrepreneur should possess qualities like vision, resilience, and adaptability. They should be able to inspire and lead their team, and the above traits will help them with that. A successful team thrives on effective communication, trust, and a shared commitment to the company’s vision and values.