Episode #068: Leah’s Recent Crowdfunding Results, Part 2: Mistakes & Lessons Learned

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In this episode, Leah delves deeper into her successful crowdfunding campaign for her latest album, Ancient Winter, and now she reveals the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned. Leah has tried various ways to crowdfund her albums, and she’s always experimenting to find a better, more profitable way to market her music. In this recent campaign, she exceeded her financial goal by $30,000, but with that came more lessons in how to sell more effectively. In this episode, she shares what she learned and the mistakes she made. You’ll enjoy the detail she goes into. Listen now!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The pros and cons of hosting a crowdfunding campaign on your own site.
  • The astonishing amount of people who demanded vinyl.
  • What makes crowdfunding easier.
  • The difference between those who succeed and fail.
  • Why you must expose yourself to marketing training over and over again.
  • The importance of your email list and why email is still king.
  • Leah’s amazing results in revenue in 7 days with email.
  • The unexpected things Leah underestimated.
  • How to create a successful landing page.
  • Understanding the psychology of your fans.

Tweetables:

“Is it time for you to stop wondering about whether you’re supposed to do music or not?” — @MetalMotivation [0:02:39]

“This is literally just a skill. It’s about incorporating who you are, your personality, your authentic self, your authentic music, and just having these skills in place and then, then you can do anything.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:05:40]

“You can’t just be exposed to it and expect something good to happen out of it. You must become a practitioner.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:08:38]

“If Facebook died and disintegrated, turned into Myspace, I could still make a living just off of my email.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:10:17]

“You don’t have to be a world-class marketer and learn how to market market everything else in the world, just your own stuff, your own music to your own audience.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:12:49]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Leah’s Crowdfunding Page (Limited time) — http://ancientwinter.com

FREE Crowdfunding Guide — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/crowdfunding

Call Savvy Musician Academy —   www.callsma.com 

Daniel Coates (Student Spotlight) — https://suntaramusic.com/

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, Branding and Mindset Coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy, cohost of this awesome podcast, which means I get to sit, talk with the queen herself, her eminence, the master music marketer, Leah McHenry. You get tired of me bragging on, you? 

00:40 Leah: No, it makes me laugh every time. Her eminence. 

00:46 CJ: Leah goes where she’s celebrated, ladies and gentlemen, not where she’s tolerated, right? No. So we celebrate her here and she does a tremendous job of heading up this organization. Have a fantastic team, actually and maybe one day some of you will meet our team. Of course, if you’re in the Elite program you will. But we have such a great team of people committed to helping musicians create a career in music and none of our team more better to have featured for the Savvy Musician Academy than Leah herself and we launched, in our last episode, a three-episode series, Leah, on crowdfunding because it is something that you have done before. It is in a way sort of unique to your approach to music marketing. And in the last episode, we went in deep with, you know, the reasons why you did this, your basic approach to things. 

The one point really made was that this really has to do with knowing how to sell. And I want to make sure even though we’re going to go into the details of the things that you offered and you know what software you use and some of the approaches, it really does come back to being a marketer, knowing how to sell, knowing how to write great copy and knowing your audience and building that engagement. So as you said in the last episode, you noted that we’ve talked about in previous podcasts about how to do these sorts of things when you don’t have an audience, but if you’re gonna really do this, especially to the level that Leah does, you need to build an audience.

And social media makes that easy to do. The kind of things we teach in our Elite program here at the Savvy Musician Academy, which is why this is something I always want you, throughout these podcasts, to be thinking about is; is it time for you to stop wondering about whether you’re supposed to do music or not. To stop having to deal with that gnawing inside you, the calling, if you will, that you have that seems to eat a hole on the inside of you. Are you tired of living with that constant conflict in you about having this extreme passion and desire to want to play music for the rest of your life, but feeling like you were born at the wrong time because technology’s changed everything and everything is being streamed now and nobody buys physical music anymore? Well, if you listened to the last episode, you realize that’s not even true.

Leah had to change her campaign mid-campaign to accommodate the fact that people wanted physical products. Ladies and gentlemen, the music industry is alive and well. If you’re willing to step out of the old way of thinking and become, not just a musician, but also the marketer of your very own music, which is again the kind of thing that Leah teaches in the Elite program. So I want you to be thinking about this throughout this series. Is it time for you to take that next step and invest in your future and secure yourself a music career? But we’re talking about crowdfunding. We introduced it last time and today we’re going to get into some of the mistakes and lessons that she’s learned even though she’s done these before, she is still learning, still changing, still testing, and that’s what good marketers do. So before I start pulling on her ear, let me share with you just a student spotlight.

Someone from our elite program, name is Daniel Coates, and Daniel writes, hashtag win. Just did $20,000 (Australian Dollars) in ticket and merchandise sales in five events over eight days on my Queensland, Australia tour using the principles taught here, but applied to selling even Eventbrite tickets. For the first time I had my custom jewelry for sale as merch and I had the CDs, I had the downloads, my jewelry, outsold my CDs in four of the five events. I’d say that was a good addition. You can apply this knowledge to touring and I can tell you from my own experience, it works. Again, that’s awesome. That’s one of our Elite students. He’s applying what is taught for the online space to the offline space, Leah. He’s doing it for his actual events and that’s the important part here is if you learn how to sell, this can be done in any format can’t it?

05:17 Leah: Yeah. And if you guys ever listened to a podcast episode that we did previously with Daniel Coates, you can tell he’s not like anything you would expect some kind of a salesman type of person. He’s like the most down to earth, genuine, authentic, real artist, like super artsy fartsy. So if he’s able to do $20,000 in ticket and merch sales over eight days, that should tell you something. This is literally just a skill. It’s about incorporating who you are, your personality, your authentic self, your authentic music, and just having these skills in place and then, then you can do anything. 

And with that said, you guys, just know that in these episodes, if you didn’t listen to the last one, you need to go back and start with that last one where we talked about the beginning of this whole new crowdfunding campaign.What I did different was different from the last time. We’ll get into a little bit more of that here. And I’m not holding back. 

I don’t have a course on this, so I’m giving you everything I’ve got in these episodes, short of actually giving you over-the-shoulder tutorials, which is not really that necessary because, here’s the thing which we did point out and CJ pointed out, it’s not the platform that matters. It’s not the app that you’re using. It’s not any of those superficial things that people get stuck on. The tools and, you know, this thing or that thing. It’s about; do you have an audience? Do you have an email list? Do you have good music? Do you have something to offer? Do you know how to sell? Do you know how to use words to motivate people?

Those are the key fundamentals you need to learn to be able to sell anything. And crowdfunding is easy when you have those things because of the inherent nature of scarcity and urgency and limited edition stuff. So that’s the easy part. The hard part is learning how to get those skills and then practicing them. I want to say there’s something really important that I heard this morning. Whenever I get ready in the bathroom or whatever, I spend, you know, I’m a woman, so I’m in the bathroom a lot, shower, hair, this hair. Do you think this hair happens all by itself? No. When I’m doing that, getting ready, even with this podcast, I’m always listening to things, audio books and such. I don’t really waste my time. And I do listen to a lot of music in the car as well.

But I heard something really fantastic by, I dunno, somebody who has like multi nine-figure businesses and stuff, and he talked about the difference between people who succeed and fail with information. And I want to point this out because it’s a podcast where you’re getting exposure to information. People who just get exposure to information often do nothing with it, but people who practice and train basically expose themselves to that information over and over and over and over again, and they put it into practice. And that’s the difference between people who succeed and fail. So you’re getting a lot of exposure in this podcast in general and in these episodes to information. You’re going to be blown away by some of the stuff I share with you between the last episode and this one in the next one. You’re gonna your brain might, it might even be too much for you.

And I’m also addressing our Elite students, our TOM students, people who are listening to this; you have been exposed to amazing information, but that’s not enough. That’s not enough. You can’t just be exposed to it and expect something good to happen out of it. You must become a practitioner. You must train. You must expose yourself to it over and over again. So, if you’re listening to this and you have one of our programs today is the day you start over again from the beginning and do it again and do it again, that’s how you will get results.

09:02 CJ: Isn’t that awesome? Let me just set the stage here; in the last episode when we introduced this, and we talked about this recent campaign for your winter album, your goal was $50,000, right? And you did $80,000 plus by the time this whole thing was done. That’s, I mean people are lucky to get their goal, let alone exceed it by essentially more than half. You exceeded it by more than half. And as we said in the first episode, it has to do with these other things. And you know, you showed me something about the results that you got from email and I want you to just talk about that because I think people, again, they don’t understand the power of email here. We talk a lot about social media and social media is important, but we want to keep in funnel fashion driving people to these email lists. Talk a little bit about why email is still King here in relation to this campaign.

10:02 Leah: This episode, guys, I’m sharing mistakes that I’ve made and lessons learned. Lessons learned from the past, and this campaign. Email is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about a successful crowdfunding campaign. It’s still King. It’s still, at the end of the day, if Facebook died and disintegrated, turned into Myspace, I could still make a living just off of my email. So yeah, I took a little screenshot here of one of the weeks that things were, you know, it was one of the bigger weeks in the campaign and this was very shocking when I saw this. I use an email service provider called Drip and we actually have a good relationship with them. We can put it in the show notes. So I don’t use MailChimp at all, it’s not very e-commerce friendly, but drip is extremely e-commerce friendly to the point where they can track how much each of your customers has ever spent with you.So that’s something called a lifetime value. 

And it can also tell you, in any seven day period, how much revenue is directly attributed to the emails that you sent, which is incredible data to have. So in this one screenshot I took, I logged in one day I went, “holy smokes”, it said “revenue from drip (that’s my service provider) in the last seven days was $27,299”. Yeah, so over $27,000 came directly from the emails that I had sent that week. Just that week. So it’s incredible. Anybody who is saying email is not relevant. I beg to differ.

11:43 CJ: Yes. Over $27,000 in seven days, ladies and gentlemen, from email, from a stay at home mom with no original marketing background, selling her own music. I know we’ve said that before, but I think people lose perspective, Leah, after while they start to think you’re a magician, you’re doing something secret or you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, it’s gotta be a trick. No, seven days, $27,000 plus dollars for a pre-launch. Nobody even got anything for that. They won’t get something until, when does it album released?

12:18 Leah: November 15th so like two months in advance. And don’t forget, I don’t tour. So we gotta add that too, because everything that I’m doing is strictly online. And one day, I will tour, and hopefully it’ll be a really amazing experience. Hopefully, I’ll have some sold out shows and stuff because I’ve been working so hard to build my fanbase around the world that it’ll all come together. But, it just has to be said because yeah, people don’t realize the power of learning how to market your own music. You don’t have to be a world-class marketer and learn how to market market everything else in the world, just your own stuff, your own music to your own audience. That’s all you need to learn to do. And then crowdfunding is easy. So yeah, mistakes and lessons here.

13:08 CJ: Well Leah, all right, let’s talk about some of this stuff. And I know you kind of got into a little bit on vinyl, but let’s answer that right now. Cause I think again, that’s the thing that people are tripping about. I remember telling you a story of going to the mall and seeing that it was an empty mall. We’re in the Barnes and Noble, I went to the music section, all that was there was vinyl. And then I saw the article in a major music magazine saying that vinyl sales now are outpacing CD sales. This is unprecedented in an era when everybody’s saying streaming music is taking over. So, you started out this campaign not including vinyl

13:47 Leah: That’s right. Well, it started out as a mistake and that we spun into a plus, you know, something that ended up being beneficial. So one of the mistakes I made was underestimating the demand for vinyl. And yeah, we did not offer that at first, it was just these four core bundles. I knew people would ask about vinyl, but just I was looking at my historical sales. I hadn’t historically sold tons and tons of vinyls. So I thought, I don’t know that I’m going to go to all the effort. Vinyls were expensive to manufacturer if you’re not doing it in huge quantities and so I won’t offer it right away. I know people ask about it. So what I’ll do is I’ll put a little FAQ at the bottom and I’ll say, you know, one of the questions could be, will there be vinyl? And the answer was, we don’t have any plans to do vinyl yet; however, if there’s enough demand for it, please email us here, let us know and maybe we’ll come out with this later during the launch in November or something. 

Well, as I said in the last episode, we got emails, all right. And not just, “I’d like vinyl”, “I’d like vinyl”, but they, they were kind of pouring in and very, I mean the most passionate emails that I had seen since I opened this launch. As I said, I got Instagram DMs, emails and social media comments like all over the place. And one guy, he really wanted to make sure I saw this. So, he did all of the above. He sent me a really long email, very passionate, a little, I mean really expressing his disappointment that I did not have vinyl available. Sent me other messages, also in Instagram. Also left in comments on regular posts and Instagram and on Facebook. And I just had to smile, I said, “thank you so much, I’ve seen all your other comments. I promise we’re going to work on it”. 

And like I said, I mean some people might’ve even been offended by, I mean he went on and on and on about how disappointed he was, why he only listens to vinyl, do you understand why this is so important to me? Like you really need to know this. And I just thought, wow, he is dead serious about giving me money. Like, I mean, I’ve got to fix this. And here’s the thing you guys need to understand about customer support, this is what I’ve learned from running a seven figure business and multi-six figure on the music side; when somebody speaks up like this complaining, they are actually speaking for a silent majority.

A person that is very, very vocal like this, they’re one in a thousand who will be vocal like that, whether positive or negative. They’re very vocal. The rest of everybody might be thinking the same thing, they’re just not vocal and they won’t actually bother to write in and tell you. So when you get something like that, you should really pay attention. I’m not saying take them all serious, sometimes you have to have the discernment there. Is this someone just being a ding-dong or whatever, complaining? Or is this like something legitimate here? 

So, I thought this guy, if he’s this passionate and I’m getting all these other emails, there’s gotta be something here. So, we’re a couple of weeks into the campaign, shoot, we’re going to have to run to figure this one out. So, we went to work right away and we started looking into vinyl manufacturers. Some of my students know, in the past I’ve worked with a distributor, small label distributor in Sweden; however, this time I’m on my own for the vinyl, I’m not really using him for vinyl at all. So, we had to come up with all of our own solutions. So, we found somewhere and put a deposit down for a limited amount. Oh, and I will say, here’s a way I had to pivot once we decided, okay, we’re going to do this, I’m not a vinyl person, so I really don’t know much about it. So I didn’t know what they wanted. And so can you guess what I did? I sent a survey!

17:40 CJ: The queen of surveys. Of course that’s what she did.

17:51 Leah: That’s right. So I sent a survey and I asked them, what do you want? Okay, so we’ve gotten these responses that people want vinyl. What do you want? You know, what colors? We gave him a bunch of options. We got as detailed as we could possibly get because we’re doing this, we better get it right. So, we came out with a limited number of these blue colored vinyls to match the artwork and they sold out in like three days. The whole lot of them sold out in three days. And I will say too, before we brought it up, we had to get some graphics made, we need some mock-ups of this. So that had to come together too. 

So again, yes, it was a little bit, you know, this is what we call the plan spontaneity. You plan what you’re going to plan and then within that structure comes, you just have to learn how to pivot. Go with the flow. Okay, gonna some graphics, need a description, throw this up and then, boom, we’re sending out emails about it and I’m doing corresponding Facebook ads to go along with it, posting about it on social, all of that. And they sold out in three days. I was like, what just happened? What the heck? Wow. 

19:05 CJ: Yeah, that’s amazing. I mean this is vinyl. For something else it makes sense. Not something that a technology that went out 30 years ago.

19:18 Leah: Yeah. Mind blowing.

19:20 CJ: Yeah. Just as a footnote here, I had sent Leah yesterday inboxed her a little advertisement for the new Sony Walkmans, which are going to be playing cassette. So you know, you’ll probably learn on your next crowdfunding campaign. Why didn’t you put cassettes out too, Leah?

19:39 Leah: Yes, I mean there are bands who do that limited runs of cassette tapes and I would seriously consider doing it. And I did read on that article you sent me, that’s not just any old Walkman, it’s actually got superior sound and all these. I’m like, I want one. I totally do. I love it. I still have some cassettes sitting in my closet because I just hung onto them, you know? And I would make my own like mix tapes and I would record myself singing on them, playing piano too. Cause that’s what I had. But yeah, so that was one thing guys I totally underestimated. Now, you have to survey your audience, that’s the thing. Don’t assume that what my audience wanted is what your audience will want. I hope you’re understanding the point here is that don’t assume you know what they want. Ask them and they shall tell you. Ask and you’ll receive. That’s the point here is survey the crap out of them. Get as detailed as you possibly can and then you don’t have to guess. And then it’ll sell, it’ll work.

20:37 CJ: So what are some things you underestimated in this?

20:41 Leah: Well, aside from the vinyl, I also think there’s always a bit of an underestimation on how long certain things take to get ready. Like for example, if you’re working with a graphic designer and you say, Hey, I need this thing by Friday. One thing I’ve learned about graphic designers, God bless their hearts, you usually have to make the deadline a week before you actually need the deadline because they’re very busy, a lot of times. I find that they’re often slammed with work, multiple projects and sometimes a little graphic can seem not that important or it gets pushed down. And so just giving yourself more time than you need, giving them a little cushion time can really help. And that goes for anything that’s like a graphic or a lyric video or a music video. Sometimes we just think, oh yeah, it’s only gonna take this amount of time, but really just double that, double it, and then you’ll save yourself some stress.

21:40 CJ: No, that’s smart. Speaking from a graphic designer’s perspective, and I’ve done that for almost 30 years, when it comes to any kind of deadlines, we would always do that, Leah. We would ask for something at least a week before we actually needed it. Knowing that it’s always gonna cost more and take more time. So that’s wise.

22:02 Leah: Other mistakes and things I’ve learned that I can speak to, people really want to know about this and I will address it again in the Q&A episode that we do after, but people really want to know about me hosting my own campaign this time versus the way I did it the last two times on IndyGoGo or using some, you know, Kickstarter-type platform. What were the pros and cons of that? So I will share a little bit now. What I will say is that, okay, so this time I hosted my whole campaign on a simple landing page. If you go on there, it doesn’t look so simple, there’s a lot going on on it, but it’s just a landing page. That’s all it is. It doesn’t even matter what landing page you use. There’s a couple of tools out there, it doesn’t matter, I don’t want you to get caught up in that. 

I had a landing page, there was no app involved. I tried some different Shopify apps, none of them did what I wanted to, so I just did away with them. And in the past I’ve used IndyGoGo. Mostly I chose them and especially the last time because I could put a Facebook pixel ID in it, which means I could track people’s purchase behaviors, or if they viewed it and didn’t purchase or if they made a purchase, I was able to track that and actually do things with that in my Facebook ads. Without that, it’s really pointless, and so that’s why I did not use any other crowdfunding platform. None of them integrated that none of them integrated Facebook pixel. So you can’t do Google tracking, you can’t do Facebook tracking, can’t do all those things.

And there’s a couple other reasons why I didn’t go those other ones, but that being the main one, one of the pros, I will say, of hosting it myself, this is what I want it to preface with as well; listen guys, me hosting it on my own landing page, which was connected to Shopify, this is not for a beginner marketer or a beginner person starting out. It is a thousand times more work. There’s a lot more that can go wrong with it. I’ll share a little bit more about that when I get to the cons here. The pros was that I saved a lot of money in fees like credit card fees, the fees just for hosting on IndyGoGo or one of these platforms they take, I forget what percentage, 3%, 5%, whatever it is, but ends up being thousands of dollars if you’re doing a campaign as big as mine.So, I saved that amount of money, which is good, that’s more that can go toward the album and paying for things. 

I could customize the experience that people had. I could design my page the way I know would convert well. I could do whatever I wanted on there and in fact the campaign technically ended last Sunday night and then due to a lot of people writing in saying, “hey, I didn’t get a chance yet”, we extended it for six more days. We could do that because we could. I was hosting it myself, we could do whatever we want. So a six day extension was completely possible. Didn’t mess up anything completely seamless. I could also do some other cool things with the way I have things set up in Shopify with things like a post-purchase upsell, meaning someone purchases a bundle and they’re checking out and so they’re seeing the thank you page and on that thank you page they get like a onetime offer to buy something extra.

And so what that did was bump up a little bit more revenue than I would have gotten had I not offered those things. So, that has already acquainted into several more thousand dollars just from having something like that, which is great. So again, those are things, that extra bump in revenue is going to pay for contractors, it’s going to pay for some advertising for me and that sort of thing. It’s extra money on the table that I wouldn’t have produced. Also, there’s a lot of great things, I liked having that FAQ at the bottom. Now, if you’re just using like an IndieGoGo or something, you can put your own FAQ, just put it in your actual crowdfunding page. Just put an FAQ at the bottom and just list out your own FAQs. So there’s no reason why you can’t do something like that, but I liked the cool features that I had on here. 

Now, some of the cons, as I said, this is not for beginners. I do not recommend most of you, even my students I’m talking to now, even my Elite students, I still wouldn’t even really recommend for them going about it this way. It is so much more work. There are more technical issues, there are things that go wrong, more responsibility and I will say you are not going to get any bonus traffic that you would normally get when you’re on a big platform. There are some benefits to being on these big platforms because they do want to promote you and if you get a lot of traffic, a lot of activity, they’ll feature you on the front page. They’ll send emails and sometimes you’ll be featured in those emails. I definitely know I got extra traffic from that.

So this was 100% relying on the fact that I had a pre-existing, dedicated, loyal fanbase. If I did not have that, I wouldn’t be doing the $80,000 on my own site. That’s pure personal audience following. That’s all it is. So, if you don’t have that, I wouldn’t recommend you do this. And there’s not really referral links and easy ways for people to track referrals and things like that on a landing page like this There are apps out there that are expensive, whereas IndieGoGo, it’s very simple. Someone can set up an account and they have these referral links and easy ways to share on social and whatnot and it’ll track that. And so those are, those are some of the things. So again, I hope I’m getting this point across very clear that while I’m at the level where I was willing to experiment, you guys, you have to realize my whole career is an experiment.

I’m the Guinea pig. I was willing to take a risk. I was willing to for this to not work. As I said a couple episodes ago, this could be a very bad idea, me hosting my own crowdfunding, this could go all completely wrong and then I’ll learn from it and I’ll teach about it and I’ll do it different. But I would say it was successful. Will I do it like this again in the future? Yes, I will, but again, I have a small team that I’ve built because I’m at the level where I can financially pay for a small team. I have a customer service person, I have a full time assistant and I work with a lot of contractors who are helping me do this. So don’t think that I’m some kind of super woman that you have to learn to be a graphic designer and you have to learn how to be this and be that — you won’t. But again, like in the last couple of campaigns I’ve done, I wasn’t all those things and I was doing it a little bit more on my own and I still pulled that off. So you don’t have to be an expert in everything, the point is that if you learn how to be an expert marketer in your music, you can go very far with that before even really needing a team. So I want to communicate that.

28:49 CJ: Yeah, I mean we’re obviously taking them in real deep because Leah, again, has done this before and I can testify to the fact that she is full-on and she will do things that others won’t. She’ll go farther than others will and it’s good for you to see that, but don’t be overwhelmed by it and think that you have to do that coming out of the gate. She didn’t do that coming out of the gate. You can do a very simplified version of this and do very, very well. Once you understand, again, the principles that are involved and whatnot. What’s important is that you’re going to have this information. You know these podcasts are free. That’s what she said. She said she’s going in, she’s not holding back because she can’t teach this in a course. She does not offer it in a course, so she is going in deep on this so that you have this information going forward. 

Again, she mentioned and she’ll mention again the download that you can get that has a little bit more of this information in written form so that you can retain it. But again, the keys are again your ability to market and the sort of things that we teach at the Savvy Musician Academy. But that’s what it’s all based on and the rest of it, yeah, I mean she didn’t do all the tech stuff. She obviously had to hire that out and that became a part of the campaign itself. She had to pay these contractors so it’s all self-serving, but it, I think it’s great, Leah, that you did it this way this time and that you’re willing to do it again because there is that benefit of you’re taking a whole lot more of the pie and the stuff that was a challenge will be less of a challenge the next time. Constant never ending improvement. And I love that you did this, but since you didn’t use IndieGoGo or Kickstarter or Go Fund Me, you’re doing this all on a single landing page. That’s a challenge right there. So what’d you learn about just doing an on your own landing page?

30:41 Leah: Well, landing pages are fantastic and I think this is where your skill as a marketer really comes into play and will really reveal itself. There are certain psychological things that need to happen on a sales page in order for it to convert, meaning someone going from not buying something to buying something and where a transaction takes place. So there are some key elements that I had on this landing page. I know it was very important to have a countdown timer, for example. You need to have a countdown timer. I went and took a good hard look at the successful campaigns I had before on other platforms, I’m going, what are the key elements on this page that make it work really well, regardless of what I’m selling or what other people are selling? There’s two real main things. One is what is the amount raised, whether it’s in a percentage format or dollar format and the countdown timer. Those are the two big things, like time left, and amount raised. 

I know that has to be on the page no matter what else is on the page, that has to be on the page. The other important elements that have to be on here is a campaign video, like a pitch video, as they’ll call it, a campaign video where you’re teasing what it is you’re introducing. Maybe other people involved at the album. You are asking your fans for help and this time I didn’t do some crazy elaborate video. A lot of it was just done on a webcam. I had the other people involved in the album just send in cell phone videos. Totally fine. We’re in a social media era, this is expected, there’s nothing unusual about them seeing a little bit of a shaky camera from a phone. No problem. No problem at all.

So this was very, very inexpensive to make. And then I also noticed, as far as key elements that made this work, was a big, compelling headline about what it is, why they should care and how to get involved. You know, those three things have to be present. Then I wrote a personal letter, that’s something that really worked well on my last campaign, a personal letter from me written from the heart. Again, giving them some background. Now this is a part where it looks really wordy, but people really, my fans will read every single word. They actually consume all of this, and so I’m taking the opportunity to milk it, really.  So I’m giving them the background on the album. Why decide to do this? How they can help, how their involvement makes a big difference. And then I give them a specific list of how you can partner with Leah, and I use that word a lot throughout the campaign, being a partner. 

You’re not just buying something. You’re not just pre-ordering something here. Creating a movement here in the music industry, you’re supporting an industry that really needs help and other people, you’re giving other artists hope actually when they see that you can contribute to this album, they think, wow, there’s hope in this music industry. Then I actually put the timer I think two or three times on this page so that as they scroll down they are going to be reminded of how much time there is left. I put the campaign goal update right in kind of the middle of the page right before I showed all the bundles because I knew that people, they’d be checking back on the page to see what it was at and so actually in the menu at the top, if you click to see amount raised or about funded, it jumps down to that spot on the page and that’s right before the bundles and I wanted them to just go back to that spot from a psychological standpoint, see the amount raised, see the offers again. So, I wanted them back at that spot as many times as possible. 

Right below that, and actually this changed, the page has morphed and changed a little bit as the campaigns has progressed, so as we finally had a lyric video to present, we swapped it out and the place it was on the page so that it would get the most traffic right above where the bundles are. Again, this is, we’re thinking through psychology, human behavior, making things easier, less steps for them to actually get and see those products in the offerings. So we knew that once we put out the lyric video, people would be going to that spot on the page to watch it. And so we put it right above the offers, once again. And then I remind them in a big headline right above the bundles that when you purchase this limited time exclusive bundle, you officially become partners with Leah and you are helping to launch this album worldwide.

I’m reminding them of kind of the good deed they’re doing by pre-ordering. They’re getting something out of it and they get to feel good about it. They’re doing something really cool. They’re becoming part of something cool. One of the mistakes that I made when I first launched this page was it was just a simple little oversight but it probably affected my sales in the first few hours I had this page cause it is a landing page, I was treating it like almost like a little miniature website in a way, even though there aren’t many pages, just one page. I had a menu at the top but what I didn’t have was a little cart icon which showed, if they had added something to their cart, that it would show that in the top right hand corner. This is going into e-commerce for a second, when people are shopping on any kind of store, when they add something to the cart, they always expect to see in the top right hand corner.

If you go to a website and it’s not in the top right-hand corner, you’re going to wonder what happened to my order? Where is it? Where’s the shopping cart? I’m confused. And a lot of times you’ll lose sales. Well, not only did I not have it in that corner, I actually failed to put it on the page at all. Like it was like it just wasn’t even there. And so we got some emails right away initially going “hey Leah, I added to my cart, but then I couldn’t find my cart, I had to go back to a different URL to see my cart”. And I thought, oh shoot, it was a really easy thing to fix. So I fixed it right away. But I’m sure that I probably lost sales in those first two or three hours after I launched it because people couldn’t find it.

And so again, this is just a psychology thing, thinking through the experience someone’s going to have as they go through your website or your shop. What are all the possible things they could do and is there anything missing in their experience? This is going to require the skill of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to experience what they would experience for the very first time. I’m kind of going into teaching mode here, but I really want to give you all a taste. If you’re not in our programs, this is what’s like, this is how I teach. Putting yourself in their shoes, try to experience it and that’s where you’re gonna find many holes and even then you think you’ve thought of everything, you put it out there to the world and suddenly you’ll get your messages that go “hey, what about this?”, and be like, “oh crap, I totally didn’t even think of that”. 

So, you want to minimize that. You don’t want to have that, if at all possible. The next thing I realized, where I was probably losing sales on the first day, and again this all comes with the complication of trying to do it yourself, was that this is a very long page. It goes on and on and on because I had was adding more bundles and you just keep scrolling, there’s more information, it’s an epic page. And by the way, that doesn’t discourage sales at all. I mean we’re $80,000 on a long page is actually a good thing. Some people need a lot of information in order to have enough trust to make that transaction and to purchase. So it’s better to have, I think, a long page than a short page. So make it, as they say in copywriting, I love this saying, it’s hilarious, I always remember it, you know, how long should the copy be? And then the saying goes, “copywriting is like a skirt, it should be long enough to cover all the details, but short enough to keep it interesting”. 

So cover what you need to but don’t make it so long, obviously, that’s like a novel. So it’s as long as it needs to be. That’s it, right? But because this is such a stinking long page, it occurred to me that, again, this little menu with the cart item is stuck way at the top and if they want to find their cart again, imagine all the scrolling they have to do again to get all the way back up to the top. So, one of the nice little features about this little landing page thing is I could make the menu sticky, meaning you keep scrolling and the menu stays at the top and you can see the menu and your cart at all times no matter where you are on the page. That helped tremendously and I did see an improvement in sales, just so that they could just see that card on that top right-hand side. So, again, this is very in-depth. I’m not holding back, I’m talking to you just like I talked to my elite students, all the details short of actual tutorials. But that is another, really such a small detail that you think really does that really make a big, big difference?

39:39 CJ: Oh, it’s huge.

39:40 Leah: It’s everything.

39:41 CJ: It’s huge because yeah, if you figure somebody who’s going deep on a long page reading on down, yeah, they want to be able to see, cause especially seeing that cart is a reminder that you’re going to check out. 

39:54 Leah: That’s right. 

39:55 CJ: The less they see that the more they just think they’re just at a website reading information, they’re not in the sales mindset and so we want to keep them in that sale. And again, you just want to make it easy. 

40:05 Leah: That’s right. 

40:06 CJ: You just, it’s really like Leah said, you’ve got to come out of yourself and really think about your user’s experience, you know, what is that customer going through and you think about what you put because everybody shops online. So you think about an Amazon and how easy everything is from a one-click order to always being able to see your cart, to having other recommended products, to having the description, having them show you how long it takes to deliver and the different size options. Everything is accessible. You know, how to get to everything, even if you’re not familiar with the website. That’s navigation and that’s the importance of really emphasizing that user experience. Wow. 

40:47 Leah: Yeah. 

40:48 CJ: Man, Leah, there’s so much here. Again, three episodes, why we did this, but she’s still got so much more to say and I think the best way to do that is what we’ve got planned for the next episode, which is all of the wonderful questions that you got from other musicians and things about this and now we’re getting beyond the customers now. Now we’re getting into what people who want to do what Leah does. Let’s hear from them and their questions about campaigns and crowdfunding because it’s probably a question you have. So we’re looking forward to that. Leah, what’s the special offer you’d like to give them today?

41:27 Leah: Yeah, if you are thinking about starting crowdfunding and you just want to get some great brainstorming ideas going, some comparisons between different platforms, I have already put that together for you. Just go to savvymusicianacademy.com/crowdfunding. That link will be in the show notes as well. And guys, as we’ve said, I just want to emphasize this, I just want to drill it into your head that it’s not about the apps or the platforms or this, that and the other thing, it’s all about learning how to market your music. It’s about becoming a digital marketer for your music, your band, your project, and so I also want to encourage you if that’s something you want to do and you want to play on this level and you want to, you know, stop playing with the little kids in the little kiddie pool and you want to come and play on the big playground. Give us a call, at callsma.com if you’re interested in playing at that level we’re there for you, we’ll help talk to you about your situation and see if and how we can help you.

42:23 CJ: Awesome. Leah, thank you so much, again, for sharing so much and not holding back and we’re looking forward to the next episode. Thanks, everybody for listening. Take care. 

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