Episode #081: An Interview With Rob Hulford (Elite Student)

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Savvy Musician Show co-host, C.J. Ortiz, interviews Rob Hulford, another Elite student from the Savvy Musician Academy (SMA). Rob’s music style is self-described as an “Ambient downtempo chilled genre geared towards helping people to unplug.”

In this interview, Rob explains how SMA helped him discover his true self as an artist, his true audience, and how to communicate with them. Rob shares not only his story but also some helpful advice and insights that will bring you quick results in your own marketing and social media engagement.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Marketing any style of music
  • Making an investment in yourself
  • The impact of the Elite student group and Coaching
  • Mastering the newsfeed
  • Getting paid for your music
  • Trimming your marketing audience
  • Creative merchandise ideas
  • Writing concise and effective copy
  • Viewing yourself as a business

Tweetables:

“Everything I ever did at the outset, that Leah encourages you to do, worked for me, and it grew my business.” – @robhulford [0:08:05]

“What you invest now will pay you dividends later.” – @robhulford [0:10:38]

“It’s the whole experience that’s offered on this course, not just the learning, but the interaction, the one on one, the Facebook group, which is an incredible resource.” – @robhulford [0:13:18]

“If you’ve pitched your niche and your genre correctly, it will just seamlessly flow into their news flow. And then these guys look at it, and they comment on it, and they play it. And then they buy your music.” – @robhulford [0:16:06]

“Stop the News Feed. Disrupt the News Feed. And it’s free advertising, if you can post good content.” – @robhulford [0:17:10]

“That’s what it comes down to, knowing who you are as an artist, knowing your genre, knowing the ideal audience for it, knowing the culture that surrounds it, and then having a genuine, honest, face to face relationship, as much as you can have through digital media, every day.”  – @metalmotivation [0:17:17]

“I think that we have a right to be paid for what we do.” – @robhulford [0:21:27]

“Traditional marketing was never able to sit across the table from somebody. It had to build some kind of trust within a couple minutes of you opening your mailbox. Now you’ve got social media, where you can develop it over time.” – @metalmotivation [0:28:36]

“I got down to perfecting a six- or seven-word sentence in my Facebook ads, that people can read in one breath, and they just click.” – @robhulford [0:29:06]

“Reduce your audience size to those who you know will buy your music and you’ll find that your cost per ad will just plummet.” – @robhulford [0:29:57]

“You could have great success with half the knowledge that Leah shares in the group, if you just could get over yourself, and put yourself out there.” – @metalmotivation [0:31:10]

“It’s very important for me, to be informed, to have the knowledge that I need to make the right decisions, to not waste time, and to channel my efforts into what’s going to serve my music well for the future, and serve me well financially, as a business owner.” – @robhulford [0:33:27]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle Membership — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Rob Hulford — https://www.robhulfordshop.com

Click For Full Transcript

00:19 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the Branding and Mindset Coach here at The Savvy Musician Academy. Once again, I get the privilege to interview one of our elite students.

If you’ve listened to the previous interviews, you know, as well as I do, just how much insight you can get from that side of the table. You hear enough from me, you hear enough from Leah, you hear enough from coaches, but it’s great to hear a student who’s actually working their way through learning the principles that govern marketing, learning the principles that govern marketing their music in this new era of the music industry. Because they can speak from the struggle, they can speak from the obstacles to overcome, they can speak from the insights.

And so, that’s what we want to enjoy out of all of this. One thing you can do for me is a quick favor. Be sure to review this podcast. Whatever player you’re working on, give us as many stars as you can, and leave a review. We read all of them, share them in our team meetings, they are a huge encouragement to us, and they’re a great way for others to discover this show.

So we usually do student spotlights, but as I’ve said before, during these student interviews, the whole thing is a student spotlight, so I’m excited, particularly, to have my good friend from overseas today, Rob Hulford. Good to have you, my friend, thanks for being with us.

01:45 Rob: Hey, CJ, thanks for having me on. It’s a privilege to speak to you, to like-minded metal and rock heads, that’s my own foundation, and I’m here to share my thoughts, my experiences, and all the positives I’ve got from the course.

02:00 CJ: Well, from one metalhead to another, and I’ve noted this before, and I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, there’s no way we can not note the fact that your name sounds so much like Rob Halford.

So it’s a struggle for me to say Rob Hulford, as opposed to Rob Halford, and for those listening who don’t know, that’s the lead singer of Judas Priest, for anybody who’s a metal fan. So I’m sure, right, Rob, people have noted that to you. If you had a dollar for every time somebody said that to you.

02:33 Rob: Absolutely. My genre is primarily females in the 45-65 range. People are kind of mellowing, finding their way in life. So, of course, when they ask Alexa to play Rob Halford, a few of them have commented on the shock they’ve got when one of Judas Priest’s hits has come online.

And the fact that some of them are short-sighted old fakers. So they kind of see the bald head and wonder if I’ve donned a pair of spectacles, and grown a beard, or a long tache. So it has caused problems.

A little secret, CJ, I do spend two hours every night sitting religiously, chanting it, Alexa, trying to reprogram the algorithm to learn my name. So maybe in a year’s time, when we chat again, the problem will be fixed.

03:18 CJ: That’s great. Yeah, for the longest time, when I would use Siri to make phone calls, Siri would pronounce a name the way Siri wants to pronounce a name. So, because every time I would use the actual pronouncement of a person’s name that I would regularly call, it would not pull it up. So I had to start referring to this person the way Siri would pronounce their name.

I did it so much, that it became the way I would hear their name in their head, much the same as, I mentioned offline that I was running a venue in Texas, and so, we would play predominantly cover bands. And so, I would hear popular cover songs like Don’t Stop Believing and Pour Sugar On Me, and all this stuff. I would hear it so many times played by cover bands, that when I heard the original song on the radio, it sounded strange to me: “That’s not right!” Because you’re so used to the other.

Okay, now you’ve mentioned having that metal rock ‘n’ roll background, and I’ve seen some of your videos, pretty awesome stuff. But that’s not the genre you’re playing now. Tell us a little bit about your genre, what you’re doing now as an independent artist.

04:26 Rob: What I’m wanting to do, CJ, is going back to my days of rock ‘n’ roll and metal. I always had it in me, and always knew that I wanted to create an album of my own. I wanted to produce something, a signature to leave this world when I departed it. It was just one of these life ambitions I had.

Primarily in my rock groups, I played in tribute acts for Pink Floyd and Genesis, and they’re heavily melodic rock bands. And they probably are on the softer side of rock. So there was a gentle kind of crossover into my niche, which is kind of an ambient downtempo chilled genre and niche of music. So it is really, a lot of what I play now, could if you were to add drums and a lot of electric to it, fit in that metal classic rock, prog-rock background.

So, as I said, I took one step out from my prior life, into what is now an ambient and chilled, downtempo genre of music, which is pretty much devoid of rhythm. It’s heavily biased toward piano, strings, some wind instruments, and it’s geared towards helping people to unplug, to unjack from their frantic lifestyle that they have.

And it’s proved very popular. So you say, there’s not a lot of it out there which has got feeling, and it’s been composed from the heart, if you like, that moves people. And that, I feel, has been one of my successes. I’ve got a couple of gifts. I’ve got this ability to play by ear, I’ve got perfect pitch, and these are kind of arts that allow you just to flow, and go off track a little bit, and then bring it back in, and it creates this overall ambience, sonic experience, which has proven to be very popular.

06:14 CJ: Yeah, I love that genre. I would often tell people when they ask me about other genres of music, I would tell them other stuff that I would like. But I would really mention ambient, and the reason why is because I, the other half of my life, is design and creative type work, so I have to be invested in something, conceptually, using brainpower. And I can’t do that with a bunch of lyrics and heavy rhythms and all that sort of stuff.

So I would tend to gravitate towards ambient type of music because it would create atmosphere. It wasn’t demanding my attention, so my mind could be free to do things. So I have tremendous value for that form of music. When people, Rob, typically think, maybe, of something like Savvy Musician Academy, they think, “Oh, they’re helping pop artists who can’t make it, or a country artist who can’t make it, or a rock artist that can’t make it.”

No. We have so many different types of artists in the Savvy Musician Academy, like yourself. When you broached this, Leah first appeared on your radar, what was your thinking? Were you just, “I don’t know if these principles would for what I’m doing? Can I really market this type of music?”

07:29 Rob: Well, I believed in my music, always. I know it moves people. The small audience I had before I found, or discovered Leah, were very passionate. They were very complimentary about what I wrote and I performed. And I knew all I needed was the glue, the dots to join up the bigger picture.

Somebody I knew had mentioned Leah, I think, not the Elite course, but the basic course there, the student group. And I’d kind of dipped into and dipped out of it, and the content that was there was pretty good. And I took the plunge, and I decided to go for their 10,000 Fan Frenzy, and it worked.

Everything I ever did at the outset, that Leah encourages you to do, worked for me, and it grew my business. It did what it said on the tin.

08:12 CJ: Right.

08:12 Rob: And I was at that point in my life, where my music was starting to grow, and I had to decide, am I going to take this really seriously? It’s my in heart, and it was in my mind, I really wanted to make a success of it. I just didn’t quite know how to get there.

Along came Leah, with all the years of experience, and when she says in her course, she talks about, “I’ve learned with hindsight, and this course is prepared for you with hindsight.” So it’s cut those three or four years that I would have needed, to have got to where I am now, had I not done the course. And that is priceless. And that saved me.

It works, without a doubt. It just depends on how much you, the student, or you, the musician, really wants it. And if you really want it, it is there, and I’ll make no bones about it. It’s a mindfuck, from time to time, but you just sit down, focus again, allow the kind of emotions that form in your mind, and in your head, just as to be put to one side, and then carry on.

And I find that I, quite often, when I’m studying a course, I’ll go intensively through a couple of programs. And then I’ll take a break for two months, and work with it, and apply it. And then I’ll go back and do the next chunk. And it’s served me well, served me really well.

09:23 CJ: What were some of the eye-opening things for you? What were the key moments for you?

09:30 Rob: I think, without a doubt, there’s two or three I would say. I would say that Leah’s enthusiastic manner, and her approach, and her design, and the way she’s created the course in bite-sized pieces. It means that for people who find it a struggle, which a lot of artistic people do to focus and concentrate on the learning process, it makes it that much easier.

And I think as I’ve got to, I think, Module Three or Four, where I began to learn about Drip, Leadpages, and all these tools that were out there, that I never heard of, and I didn’t know how they worked, and I started to apply the learning to my work, it started to connect my music with all the thousands and possibly millions of people in time that were already looking for my music.

10:14 CJ: Right.

10:14 Rob: And then, to that extent, it’s beyond value.

10:17 CJ: So what has been your discovery, in terms of how many people are potentially available for your very unique genre of music?

10:27 Rob: I guess the Facebook ads certainly are an incredible tool. They’re very powerful.

10:32 CJ: Right.

10:33 Rob: And I think a lot of people out there need to embrace the concept of what you invest now will pay you dividends later. You can’t get a quick buck if you’re not really serious about this business. I’ve been running ads very aggressively, for about three months, and it’s cost me one and a half, two, two and a half thousand pounds, which is probably $3,000.

But what it did, it meant when I launched my album about four weeks ago, I sold 100 times as many as what I did last year. And I’m taking about 2,000 pounds, which is $2,500 a week-

11:05 CJ: Right, wow.

11:06 Rob: Which I never had before, which I could not have done, had I not had all the tools. So it’s about, my biggest gain, really, is to apply the teaching and the learning meticulously, using the tools that are taught in the course, and applying those, and also giving yourself, being disciplined with your time, and being passionate about what you want to do.

And I know these sound like generic or general concepts, but by putting all of these together, and it does require the whole lot to work together in sync, to go from being an average success, to a great success. But the thing that stirs me the most, CJ, is all of this is scalable. I am so far off the scale, compared to where I was last year, and my plans are to pull up, to pull through, and any revisions that come will only make it that much better still.

And this time next year, when I plan to release another one or two albums, I’ve got high hopes of being able to sustain myself indefinitely, from that point forward. And that’s the amazing thought.

12:08 CJ: So that’s got to be very empowering, to feel like you have so much control now over your future, over your career. Obviously, you’ve mentioned earlier, that you asked yourself, “Am I going to get serious about this?” And that’s a tough question to answer until you get more information about how to do something. Then you’re like, “Well yeah, I would get serious because I can see how it could possibly develop.” How has that changed you?

12:35 Rob: I think, as you mentioned there, it’s the pillars which are explained to you at the outset when you join the Savvy Musician Academy, the Elite course. It’s a coaching course, which are, with yourself, with Steve, when he did a few, with… Oh, God, I had one of the guys’ names, off the top of my head, but they’re fantastic. It just gives us a one to one conversation with the experts.

And if you’re serious about what you want to do, these are fantastic opportunities to be able to embrace that knowledge, take it on board, and relearn from other people. I’ve lost count of the amount of times when I was on a coaching call, and somebody else was having the hot seat. I thought, “You know what? I’m going to write that down. That’s a fantastic idea.”

13:17 CJ: Yeah.

13:17 Rob: And so, it’s the whole experience that’s offered on this course, not just the learning, but the interaction, the one on one, the Facebook group, which is an incredible resource. All of this helps us.

And every day, I religiously experience half an hour to an hour, scrolling through what’s been posted, because there’s either something that I can contribute to, to help other people, or there’s something in there, which is going to help me. The way the whole course is put together is what.. It’s a support, CJ, it’s a prop for you, through your highs and your lows.

Everybody has lows. Everybody has doubts about, “I’m in new waters there. I’m kind of in new territory. What’s going to happen?” Or you get to a point where “I’m suddenly seeing 1,000 pounds a week. Do I stop there, or do I say no, I want 5,000 pounds a week?”

14:10 CJ: Right.

14:10 Rob: The whole package there, the Facebook group and the coaching, is there to kind of nurture you through all of those phases, but to empower you to do it yourself. And this is what matters. All of, what I do now, I’ve learned myself, with the help of Leah, yourself and the other guys on the coaching calls. So I don’t have to have someone else do it, I don’t have to pay somebody on Fiverr to do it. I can do it myself, and that is, there’s nothing else like it out there.

14:37 CJ: Oh yeah. Oh, that’s amazing, and you have been a great resource for a lot of the other students in the group, which is something we noted on a previous interview, the person I was talking to, Jacqueline Caruso, had talked about just, “The coach is great, course, great, but then, the other students there…” Because of the investment that is required to get into the program, it kind of eliminates a lot of bad attitudes.

Because, in other words, everybody that’s in there is very, very serious. They’ve really put a lot on the line. They’ve really got a lot of skin in the game. And so they take it seriously. And so, their attitudes show it, very encouraging… It’s just wonderful for us, from the coaching side, to watch everybody building each other up, and encouraging each other. And so, when you guys will post the things in the group, that you’re trying, in a new thing, it’s just, it’s delightful.

Because some of you guys are pushing, like, you had that one thing that you did, with the News Feed trick. I forget what it was, kind of like an animation thing, and I was like, “What in the world is he doing? We didn’t teach that, but that’s outstanding!”

15:47 Rob: Yeah. Well, it all makes sense. I mean, you were saying about disrupting your News Feed, and you go on about this, but it is so vital. It is those momentary seconds, where you can get your music, your niche, your kind of, the world that you live in, that you create, that you share with others, you get it into their News Feed. And if you’ve pitched your niche and your genre correctly, it will just seamlessly flow into their news flow. And then these guys look at it, and they comment on it, and they play it. And then they buy your music.

16:17 CJ: Right.

16:17 Rob: And this is precious stuff, and I saw this on promo.com, which is an ad site, and they had had templates, and it just led me to do that. The one thing I’ve learned, CJ, and this is the biggest lesson I will give to anybody here if you see something, it impresses you, if you see something that makes you sit up and listen, sure as hell, your fans are going to do the same thing, right?

16:39 CJ: Right.

16:40 Rob: So, in your downloading content from Pinterest, to posting your News Feed, and in your community, and in your groups, look at the stuff that stops you when you’re slowing and saving these images. If it moves you, it will move other people, and that’s so important, and that’s what I’ve tried to really focus on. And the interactions I’ve been getting on my page, and in my group, which are the people who buy from me, have gone through the roof. That’s gone tenfold in the last couple of weeks.

17:05 CJ: Wow.

17:05 Rob: Just from using the very technique you taught me in one sentence, that is, “Stop the News Feed. Disrupt the News Feed.” And it’s free advertising if you can post good content.

17:17 CJ: Yeah. And that’s what it comes down to, knowing who you are as an artist, knowing your genre, knowing the ideal audience for it, knowing the culture that surrounds it, and then having a genuine, honest, face to face relationship, as much as you can have through digital media, every day. And you create the know, you create the like, you create the trust element that brings you and your potential buyer together.

This is not a scheme, this is not an issue. It’s just how you make this sort of thing work, when you can’t physically be with people, face to face.

17:52 Rob: This is why this course is so priceless. Because the first two or three modules are entirely devoted to discovering yourself, discovering your world, discovering what it is that makes you write the way you do because you’re not alone. And I love Floyd, I love Mystical, and I’ve been on tour with Mystical, which, again, not everyone knows, but-

18:12 CJ: Mm, right, that’s powerful.

18:13 Rob: I ran with him, and of course, his sounds, the sound that’s the Pink Floyd sound, comes through in a lot of my tracks. And I’m not the only person that likes it. So if I now were to create a genre, which has a link into that, it’s going to influence the thinking and the emotions of those who listen to it. So as long as you’re true to yourself, and you don’t try to, and I think Leah says it one of the courses, “Don’t try to have a jazzout and a classic rockout going at the same time, because you’ll confuse the followers you’ve got.”

But if you’re building that is uniquely you, and you’re able to develop that kind of brand, which finds itself, and you say, through the views and opinions of others, and if you take the time at the outset that the course coaches you so well on discovering that… And not getting hung up about it, just allow it to happen, as everyone’s told, the foundation’s there. The foundation of success is there.

19:11 CJ: Yeah.

19:11 Rob: And if I can do them, anyone can do it, and that’s from the heart, and I mean that.

19:16 CJ: Now, how, what was your feeling about selling beforehand? Were you averse to it, or was something you had, didn’t have a problem doing? What was your attitude about being salesy, as an artist?

19:28 Rob: Great question. And funny enough, I’ll answer that. My view was, I wanted the sale, okay? I was a little bit averse to putting all the right effort, or the channelled effort, into getting that sale. I lacked the knowledge on how to leverage that sale, leverage the money from the people, ask people to pay for my music, okay? This is one of the strong points of the course. It teaches you how to feel confident enough to trust in what you produce, to ask other people.

Now, I’ve been using Drip religiously, and it’s really helped me a lot. And I actually was sending, at one point, I was sending out an e-mail every day, and guess what? I got paid every day, every time I sent an e-mail out, I had about five people going and buying our music.

20:14 CJ: Wow.

20:15 Rob: And sure, I got a 5% unsubscribe rate, but these guys were never going to buy my music in the first place.

20:20 CJ: Exactly.

20:21 Rob: They just weren’t going to buy it. So all that did, it got rid of the chaff or the people that were with no interest in me. And the people who wanted to listen to it, the people who were waiting for my deal, for my bundle, were just getting feeds. And if they missed the e-mail, like most people do, they picked up the one in a few days later.

So that, to me… Without a doubt, I could draw a graph, or a graph, showing every time I sent an e-mail, in came 200 bucks, every day, without fail. And when it didn’t. And that is just one very simple cog of the whole bigger picture. And let me tell you something, and I was talking to Megan about this, that I’ve been taking 200-250 bucks every day, without selling any merch at all.

21:00 CJ: Wow.

21:00 Rob: For music.

21:00 CJ: That’s good.

21:02 Rob: And I’ve got an e-mail list of about 1,500 people. So I’m quite happy with that. I’m going to revisit the merch aspect of my shop because I know that the survey I sent out was all about jewelry, and I found it very difficult to source that, but now, I’ve got a solution to that. So that’s in the pipeline, and that’s only going to enhance things for the future.

But in terms of selling, I think that we have a right to be paid for what we do. We’re not… There’s a school of thought amongst a large section of society that believes music is for free. Streaming overtook CD sales about 20 years ago, and it’s still very popular. But everyone’s entitled to be paid. The amount of effort you and I and the other students put into their work… I was working 15 hours every day, for about six months, and at one point, I was getting 20 cents a day, okay?

21:55 CJ: Wow.

21:55 Rob: So that motivates me to get my money back. I want my money for what I’ve done, and because I’m confident in the music I produce, and I love it, in what I do, and others do, it’s just the case of asking people to buy your music, okay? And the course prepares you for that, yeah. To be fair, I’ve listened to all the other, or most of the other students in the group, and the quality of the music that these guys are producing is exceptional. I’d buy it. I’m buying CDs off the fellow who was in the group because it’s exceptional.

22:25 CJ: Right. Yeah, I’ve made a note of that recently. It’s just the, part of the reason why people will buy your music is because they’ll learn to know, like and trust you. That’s the social media element, getting to know your people. Because the same thing happens within the group. Because I get to know you guys, right, on coaching calls, and all of that. Even genres of music that may not be something that I’ve listened to before, but because I got to know you guys, I want to get the music. And there is that element in there.

And I really hope, Rob, that people heard what you just said. Because it was so, it’s so dead on with what can potentially happen, because there is the potentiality, the fear of rejection. And an artist who’s maybe averse to selling and afraid of that doesn’t want to feel like, that they will cheapen their art if they do that. And so, they’re worried if those 15 people unsubscribe because they sent out an e-mail advertising their new release.

No, Rob is right! Those people are never going to buy from you anyway. So get them off your list, it’s like, you go out and you want to have healthy vegetation, shrubbery and bushes, and these sorts of things, you have to trim, right?

23:44 Rob: Yeah.

23:44 CJ: You have to trim the shrubs, you have to take off the dead branches, get rid of the stuff that inhibits growth. And the more you do that? The more, the better, more resilient your list is going to be, the more the servers and things are going to push your e-mails to the main mailbox of your audience.

It all works together, and once you understand this, again, like we just said earlier, it’s a tremendously empowering thing, because, to hear Rob… You say that yourself, is, “Am I going to settle for this amount of sales per week? Or am I going to go, two times, four times, 10 times, what I’ve done?”

24:23 Rob: Yeah. I think one of the, my biggest challenge is, and it’s not a problem that wasn’t an issue. It’s just the challenge is that we all get mental fatigue. Our brains have biorhythms that work in cycles. And you can work, you can do the same Drip plan, the same broadcast, the same campaign, week in and week out, but we experience fatigue. And when this fatigue sets in, that’s just when these little doubts creep into our mind.

And this is, again, that’s when all this, the coaching calls that we have, Suzanne or yourself, or the mentors who actually say, “Look. Just take a breather. Go back to your creative part of writing. When you feel good, go back to your marketing, when you get a surge of optimism, because it will surely come back.”

And I think, providing we have the support, which we do in the group, be it on a coaching call, and being in the forum, the Facebook page, we will get that spark back that says, “I want to press forward again.” And the reward surely follows. And the support we give each other, and I always try to do the same thing, I try to jump in the group and say to somebody, if they’re struggling, “Look, ask me a question. Let me tell you what I did.”

I posted an image of my sales the other day because I thought, it wasn’t a big-headed bragging matter for me. It was just to show other people, it could be done. Because I never thought I’d ever see it.

25:41 CJ: Yes. Right.

25:43 Rob: And I did, so if I can do it, I’ve only learned the same course everyone else has done, so it’s there for the taking.

25:49 CJ: Yeah, it’s true. If one can do it, certainly, others can do it. And again, this is, we’re talking to someone here who’s playing a unique form of music. It’s ambient style music, and I may not know how big a market that is, and all the things that are involved in that particular target audience. But there’s a lot of people on this planet, and there’s a lot of people out there, just like you, who like what you like, enjoy the topics that you like to talk about it.

And if that’s something you’re providing, on something like Facebook, on something like Instagram, people will gather and have that conversation with you, choose to follow you, and eventually buy your music. And this is great. But you know what? Like you said, Rob, you haven’t even really gotten into the merchandise element yet, which can obviously bring such an added bonus to all of this, especially if that merchandise is reflective of the culture.

You mentioned doing some jewelry. And I can imagine, there’s just all sorts of things again under your particular genre that you could explore.

26:55 Rob: Our music, it will form like Leah kind of applicants in the course. And I allow people the option, foolishly, to suggest otherwise, items they’d like to see in my store. So I’ve got about 70 or 80 different options.

27:08 CJ: Oh, my goodness!

27:09 Rob: Yeah, but crystal jewelry, crystal bracelets, came on at about 50% or 60%. And I think Daniel Coates is one of your other students, and he and I talk quite a lot, and he’s on the money. He knows what he’s doing, so…

27:21 CJ: Yeah.

27:22 Rob: I’m going to try to promote him in the UK when he comes over from Australia to tour, and he has sourced me a silver sphere, out in Barley, where he lives, to manufacture jewelry at a dollar a bracelet, which I can sell for 15 bucks here.

27:34 CJ: All right.

27:35 Rob: So again, I would never have met him through my everyday life. It was through associating with students here, and this is really important, that we… To be successful, you need to use every resource that there is available to you. And it’s helped me, and it’s going to help me a great deal more in the future.

27:51 CJ: It’s a daunting idea that the artist would have to do all of this themselves because the record labels used to handle all of this, their marketing department and what have you. But this is the greatest era for anybody in any kind of business because if marketing would have had the kind of tools available, via the Internet, social media, e-mail, et cetera, it would have been a much… The rules that govern marketing today would be completely different, the rules that govern copywriting today.

28:24 Rob: Yeah.

28:25 CJ: We talk about using certain words that sell. There are certain sales copy, words that you want to use, et cetera. Those are all based on traditional marketing. Well, traditional marketing was never able to sit across the table from somebody. It had to build some kind of trust within a couple minutes of you opening your mailbox. Now you’ve got social media, where you can develop it over time.

28:48 Rob: Well, this is so key, because you’ve picked me up a few times when my copy’s been a bit, kind of long-winded. And you’ve said, “Rob, take it from a paragraph, down to a sentence, and then to four or five words.” And I scratched around it, and over time, the more I did it, the better I got at it. And I got down to perfecting a six- or seven-word sentence in my Facebook ads, that people can read in one breath, and they just click. Or they just go to my landing page.

And this is an art. But the course teaches you how to do this, and these elements of the course, a bit, are all, each in its own right is a small piece. But you can have, something that’s 10 meters square. And each little piece looks nothing on its own, but when the picture’s complete, you’re in business. 

And as you say, the marketing aspect, the potential that’s there, if I can just divulge slightly, I found that testing the Facebook ads, the copy, but also the audience, is really key to turning things around, to actually just tweaking things. Look at your analytics, look at the people who are interacting with you. Take out the people who don’t interact with you.

Reduce your audience size to those who you know will buy your music, and who will talk to you. And all of a sudden, you’ll find that your cost per ad will just plummet, and you’re paying 10 cents a like, or 30 cents for an opt-in, or maybe 50 cents for a sales conversion.

All of this is experimentation, but it’s experimentation on the backing of the coaching, that we get in the course. And this is why, if you’re open, and you don’t get anxious about the pitfalls, your hype, your sales, your successes will follow very quickly afterwards.

30:32 CJ: Yes, it’s amazing, and I know you learned this yourself. Obviously, there’s so much information taught in the course, which makes people think, “Oh, it’s the information. It’s the information. I don’t have all this secret marketing knowledge that’s taught in Leah’s Elite course.”

But you also realize, through the course, just how much of an enemy you are to yourself. How much, the biggest hurdle that a lot of us have to get over, is our sales, our fears, our sense of overwhelm, the failure aspect, the getting knocked off course, broken focus, so much to learn, self-doubt, et cetera, et cetera.

These things, as I often tell people, “You could have great success with half the knowledge that Leah shares in the group if you just could get over yourself, and put yourself out there.” And that’s one of the things, Rob, that I really like about your approach to things.

You have put yourself out there. You haven’t held anything back, you haven’t just put your best self out there, you put everything out there, to the group, to the coaches. And man, that always leads to growth and advancement and progress.

31:41 Rob: But you know what, CJ? I want this, I want this more than anything I ever wanted in my life. Okay? And because I want it, it’s already happened. And that’s really important. And I, like I said, the encouragement we give each other in the group, and in the coaching course, is really, really important.

I can’t understate that we all have had certain influences in our life. We’ve all had a bad day, we’ve all got Christmas shopping to do, we’ve all got bad weather, we’ve got cars that don’t work. But it’s very easy to make excuses, for having to use mental focus as something that’s going to bring you reward, because when you’re troubled by various other aspects of your life which serve as detractors on what it is you really want to do, you have to have that focus, and that will to continue. And that’s one of the biggest tests in this life.

And I think that the coaching course, like yourself and Suzanne in particular, when we talk about that sort of thing, are those things after the cool people sit down and think, “You know what, Rob?” Or, “You know what, CJ? I need to do this.” And that everyone sees a turning point when that happens. And it’s that moment, it’s that breakthrough, where, when we have all blocks, that then allows you to carry on, and to make progress, and to boost your sales, if you’re selling, or to boost your knowledge, if you’re learning.

33:05 CJ: That’s amazing. As we’re recording this podcast, we’re just broaching the new year, and so much to look forward to. What, for you, what’s your target vision for the upcoming year?

33:20 Rob: I don’t know how long you’ve got, or if you’re going to regret asking me, but I’ll try and keep it concise. It’s very important for me, to be informed, to have the knowledge that I need to make the right decisions, to not waste time, and to channel my efforts into what’s going to serve my music well for the future, and serve me well financially, as a business owner.

And it’s very difficult to project forward 12 months, what I’d like to do because I’ve been doing the maths on whether, if I’ve got 1,500 e-mails now, and I have 15,000 e-mails in a year’s time, whether I’m going to have 10 times the income. Probably not, because we have other releases.

But in a couple of sentences, for me, for 2020, more of the same, two more albums coming out. I plan to apply the course ruthlessly in the way I’ve done so far. I’d like to be part of the group actively, on a regular basis so that we can share in the group’s success. That’s actually important to me too.

Because you never know, down the road, whether I’m going to call on Megan to come and sing with me, or Fessen, who I talk to, as well. She plays the harp. I’m going to have her on one of my albums because she’s only miles away. I can drive down there, and I can record it. And this is a beautiful experience we’re all having here.

34:38 CJ: Yes.

34:39 Rob: My music will grow, my sales will grow tenfold, ideally, and the love and the connection with the rest of the group will flourish. And I look forward to it, big time, and continue to work with you guys.

34:50 CJ: Wow! Outstanding. Well, this is why these interviews are just so awesome. And, as I’ve said to the other students that I’ve done an interview with, the joy, for me, and I know I speak for Leah, as well, is that we get to have this front-row seat to watch this happen for all of you.

Because I remember, I’ve known Leah for years. I remember when she wasn’t a marketing expert. I remember when she didn’t know anything about marketing, and they were struggling financially. Her story is true. It’s not exaggerated, it’s not something that’s inflated, it’s absolutely true. I remember when they were struggling bad, financially, I remember when she didn’t know anything.

And it seems like I turned my head, and turned back around, and suddenly, she was climbing up the charts, so to speak. She was making progress, and it was just an upward trajectory from that time. And she paid the price. She went before the musicians, and she invested thousands of hours, and thousands and thousands of dollars herself, and then put together this type of thing, specifically for musicians, and she’s narrowed that down.

But even still, with all the course material that’s involved, there’s so much. And so, every student has to go at his or her own pace, but as you’d noted, Rob, there is so much support, and so much strength and knowledge and insights, and just the answer that you might be looking for is being shared in the News Feed. I think it’s wise that you go on that News Feed daily, and just scan it for-

36:31 Rob: Sure. I would say that, I mean, Leah’s been one mentor throughout. She has the same mindset. She’s a very strong thinker and so am I. And I’ve found a lot of solace in the fact that she’s been through what she has, and she’s put down a concise and summarized script of all her experiences so that we don’t have to go through the grief and the pain.

Certainly, I wouldn’t be where I am now, and who knows? If you’re going at a much slower pace, and after a year, you sell 20 CDs, are you more likely to give up? Possibly you are. If you’ve had somebody come along and sweep the crap out of the way, so that you’ve just got a framework to employ and use in your business, so you become more successful quicker, than that’s a massive help, like I said.

One of the promises I made myself is, I will make and more sell records than Leah will. I’m going to make more money than her.

37:24 CJ: I’m sure she would welcome that, yeah.

37:26 Rob: Yeah, I know. I’m very driven, and I owe it to her, and to Steve, and to all of you amazing guys here for what I’ve been able to achieve so far. But if that’s the mountain, I’m the first couple of steps up. But there’s only one way, and that’s up, is for me.

37:45 CJ: Awesome. How can people learn more about you? I’ll include this in the show notes, but for those who are just listening, tell the people how to reach you.

37:51 Rob: I’ve got a shop online, it’s robhulfordshop.com, so it’s www.robhulfordshop.com. You can go on there, you can listen to my music on there, there’s a couple of videos playing excerpts from all of my albums. If you want some free tracks, just pop me a message in the forum, or message me on Messenger, and I’ll send some music over to you.

I’m a big advocate of giving stuff away, CJ. And if I can just mention this, finally, that, never allow generosity to get in the way of sales. Because, in the digital world, a digital download is free. And you can flood the world with your music, if you do it wisely, and you share it, and the goodwill that goes, it’s shunted about into the universe, is karmically returned to you, in time.

Because if nothing else, those people you’ve shared your music with, will come back looking for you, once they’ve listened to it and enjoyed it.

38:45 CJ: That’s excellent.

38:45 Rob: So yeah, I’m there to give away tracks for you guys to listen to, if you want to support me and buy a CD, and buy the music, too. That would be grand, fantastic. But like I said, www.robhulfordshop. Not Rob Halford-

38:58 CJ: Right.

38:58 Rob: Robhulfordshop.com.

39:00 CJ: Yeah, that’s H-U-L-F-O-R-D, shop.com. robhulfordshop.com So, Rob, thank you so much again for being with us. And I know I’m going to see you very soon in the group.

39:13 Rob: Yeah, sure, absolutely. It’s been a pleasure, CJ.

39:16 CJ: And so, again, for all you listeners, please leave us a review. We thank you so much for your support.

If you’d like to get started with something, with Savvy Musician Academy, maybe you’re not ready for the Elite program, maybe you’re not ready for the TOM course, The Online Musician, you can join our Inner Circle Membership.

You can learn more about that at savvymusicianacademy.com. Less than $20 a month, you get plenty of great content, which will begin to teach you, everything from this terminology we’re using, and all the tools and motivation, and marketing principles and tips and methods, to marketing, things that you can implement right away, plus a mini-course.

You get that each in the Inner Circle Membership. Go to savvymusicianacademy.com today. Learn more about the Inner Circle Membership, and I will see you guys in there.

Leah McHenry

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.