Episode #095: Making Good Use of Your Isolation, Pt. 2


Part 2 of “Making Good Use of Your Isolation” gives you more pro tips on what you can be doing right now at home to expand your music business. With so many people at home and online, this is such a great opportunity for you to provide people with some normalcy while building relationships and increasing your sales. 

In this episode, Leah and C.J. discuss what you can be doing to reach more people and how to do it as effectively as possible. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Selling music vs. selling anything else online
  • Short-term vs. long-term fan building tactics
  • Optimizing your online store
  • Incremental long-term profits
  • Nurture emails
  • Spam email trigger words
  • Online concerts
  • A different approach to merchandise
  • Seizing this opportunity with people at home and online
  • Being an encouragement to others right now


“Something that screams unprofessional is one product page is using one font and one formatting and whatever and the next product page is a completely different font, different size, different color, different style images, different everything.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:21:30]

“Your goal is to just bump that little percentage up half a point at a time. Just continuing until you’re getting a really good take rate on that upsell. So, the devil’s in the details on those numbers, you don’t go for big numbers.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:25:59]

“The way to optimize it (your email), first of all, take a look at your open rates and take a look at your click-through rates. That’s really the starting point, when I’m looking to improve it, that’s the first thing.”  – @LEAHthemusic [0:27:13]

“Usually the subject line just needs to be changed, we need to try something else. Sometimes certain trigger words will end up in the spam, will cause your email to end up in the spam.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:27:29] 

“Sometimes the right shirt or thing to have is one that says something about the person wearing it.” – @metalmotivation [0:31:14]

“So many people are home, they’re online, they’re bored, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to capture their attention.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:33:17]

“Take advantage of this time to be encouraging. It’s not just about you going on to play, it’s about you talking to them, too.” – @metalmotivation [0:33:52]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist — explodeyourfanbase.com

Sam Morrisson (TOM Student) — https://www.facebook.com/SamMorrisonBand/

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

Podcast Episode #083 (Top 9 Marketing Metrics You Need to Know to Grow Your Music Business — savvymusicianacademy.com/83

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Well, welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy, joined once again by her eminence, your mentor, my friend and colleague, the lovely Leah McHenry. How you doing? 

00:38 Leah: I’m doing wonderful, great to see you. 

00:41 CJ: It’s great to be seen. 

00:43 Leah: Yeah, just saw you 10 seconds ago. 

00:45 CJ: That’s right. It’s good to see me, isn’t it? Well, listen, we had such a really really powerful time in this last episode that we did something we don’t normally do which is kind of change the plan. You know, sometimes this is the way life and business is when you’re an entrepreneur, Leah. You are changing the tire while the car is running down the road. 

01:08 Leah: That’s my life. That’s literally my life. Change the diaper while the kid is already running. 

01:16 CJ: We got into just what was built off of a post that you made just as the pandemic was starting to break out outside of China, had some foresight. You started to write out a list of things for people to do while they were in isolation to build their music business. It really went over well. And then you did a video about it on Facebook and then it changed the whole editorial plan for the Inner Circle magazine. I changed that because of it. And now we are doing a podcast. So we started to just go over this little list of things you said to do and all of a sudden…

01:56 Leah: Kaboom. 

01:57 CJ: It went deep. It went deep and the theme that really came out of that last one was about leaning in, which was to say that, hey, people are spending money, man. They are spending money. Not necessarily high-ticket items, not cars and houses and that sort of thing, but they are buying smaller things. Things that make them feel good, which a creative artist, like yourself or those listening to us, can produce. Whether it’s shirts, merchandise, music or what have you.

So, we got to the place where, and I’m going to share a student spotlight here in just a second, but we got to the place where we were about to get more into the e-commerce elements, specifically Shopify and stuff and you just kind of said “Hey, you know what, I could go really deep on this so why don’t we stop it here and we’ll jump to another episode” and so that’s what we are doing today. So, we changed it and added a part two to this very very important thing that Leah began on making good use of your isolation.

Before we get into that, this is a little student spotlight which is our little testimonial and this is from Sam Morrison, who is a student in the TOM program. TOM means The Online Musician, he writes “Win, I’m happy to report I’m finally seeing success from all I’ve learned from SMA. It’s been a lot of work, I’ve completely rebuilt my website and store” wow, that’s something you should be he should be doing, right? 

03:20 Leah: It’s huge. 

03:22 CJ: “I’ve started running Facebook Ads and created my first funnel. My email list is up to 1,118 people and this month so far I’ve brought in $439.58 in sales. It’s not change my life money yet but in a way, it is because I see that it’s possible. My biggest breakthrough was when I started actually putting a story behind my products. Copy is everything. I’m anxiously awaiting TOM 3.0, I’m REALLY wanting to jump into the Elite program and with things going the way they are I’m sure it won’t be long. Thanks, Leah.” Man, I love that. 

03:59 Leah: That’s great. On every level that’s great. 

04:02 CJ: That’s like a podcast in itself. 

04:05 Leah: Right. 

04:06 CJ: Hit all the topics we want to cover and mentioned TOM 3.0. 

04:09 Leah: Yep. Copywriting. Story behind the merch. 

04:13 CJ: Uh-huh, email list. 

04:15 Leah: This guy is going places, I can tell. 

04:18 CJ: Well, one thing I loved about what he said there is, “It’s not change my life money yet, but in a way, it is because I see that it’s possible.” 

04:26 Leah: Yeah, like 4 hundred and something doesn’t necessarily change your life until it starts becoming regular and every day you just keep doing it again and you keep doing it again. That’s what I said to my friend, Lindsay we were talking about in the last episode, who sold out of all her limited edition vinyl during the pandemic. She was nervous about… she didn’t know how it was going to go over, I was like launch it, just launch it, it’ll be fine.

And she sold all out of all of it and I’m like amazing, now you get to do it all over again. And this is it, right? It’s like that’s amazing, do it again. That’s amazing, do it again. Do it again. Do it again until you eat, sleep and breathe this. And that’s when you get really good results. Until it has become second nature to you, and you don’t even have to think about how to run an ad and you don’t even have to think about how to run a campaign and how to launch something, it’s going to be a struggle. That needs to become part of who you are.

You really have to adopt that as a person and then you really see the results. So, congratulations to this guy, congratulations to our students who are doing it, do it again. Lean in like we talked about, do not back off, do not take your foot off the gas pedal, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and do more, not less. 

05:49 CJ: That’s huge. And again, like you said, to the outsider who looks in at it, Leah, who says “Oh, he just made $400 something dollars. You going to have a big music career with that?” You know a skeptic or a cynic would say. But he’s right, he goes yeah it didn’t change my life radically as far as paying all of my bills…

06:10 Leah: But it did. 

06:11 CJ: But now that I see what’s possible, that $438 will become $43,800, which will become $430,000 if he keeps on this trajectory. So, the most important thing is what is changing in him and for those listening, the most important thing is that something changes in you when you see what is possible. Leah, we finished the last episode where we started to go into one of the things you can do in isolation, which is to build or optimize your Shopify store. That turned into an in-depth discussion on just the power of e-commerce and where things are right now.

06:57 Leah: And I’ve got to say, let me just kind of kick the rest of this list off by saying I believe now having sold other things other than music is that music is one of the hardest things to sell because we’re just in a new paradigm and we’re still getting used to it. It’s a tough sell, it’s harder to sell that than other things. So, what I can tell you is that I feel prepared now for anything. Because I learned how to sell music, I learned how to sell a lot of it from home as an artist who is just a recording artist and doesn’t tour, I feel like because I gained the skills to do that, now everything else is easy in comparison. Like the easiest thing in the world in comparison.

I will never sugar coat that, okay? Selling music is tougher than selling candy or selling other things, it’s just the nature of it. We still have a culture of people who are getting used to buying online, there’s certain demographics, we have other cultures who are only streaming and so artists are having to be creative in other ways, selling merchandise, selling VIP tickets, selling experiences, selling Patreons. They’re having to think really outside the box and that’s what makes it tricky is for any of that stuff to work, you’ve got to have the foundation, you’ve got to have the skills.

You still need to develop yourself as an artist. You still, no matter what you’re going to do, I don’t care if you’re streaming on Twitch and video games at night and then gigging during the day, I don’t care what is is you’re doing, you must know your artist identity, you must know your brand, you must know your culture, you must know your niche, you must have a good website, you must understand social media and you must know how to grow an audience. I don’t care what you’re doing. So, I feel like if you can learn how to sell music, everything else will be so easy. I really wanted to start off by saying that.

In this training that you get from us, especially in The Online Musican 3.0, which every musician needs to start out with this program until you’re making three to five thousand dollars a month from online revenue or different streams of revenue, not gigging. Until you’re doing that regularly every month, you need to go through this program. Until you’re doing that, every musician needs to go through that program to build that foundation. It’s the foundation of the house, if you try to put a roof on before there’s even walls up, that’s not really going to work.

So, this is where everybody starts out. I just want everybody to understand that it is sometimes awkward, it is sometimes difficult, which is why I created the program because I did not know how to do it and every time I took a business course or every time I took an advertising course I felt like it didn’t apply to me and it was really awkward to try and apply abstract business ideas to something that’s art. Very difficult transition. Difficult to bridge that gap, so I created what I needed. I created what I wished I had and that turned into Savvy Musician Academy, that turned into The Online Musician, our flagship program.

And now we’re on the third iteration of it and updating it with all the new things that we’ve learned and the way the markets have changed and the way the platforms have changed and helping you develop yourself. This is what it is, it’s an artist development program that focuses really on your brand, your music, your image, your culture, the things that are going to be the launching pad for everything you do from here on out. Even though music is more difficult than other things, trust me, you learn that… and I always tell all of our clients and all of our students, if you take this training and really let it become second nature, there’s no reason why you couldn’t start a six or seven-figure business outside of this too.

It’s the type of skills that really permeate that really translate to the real world and that’s really what makes us different. And of course, what makes it different is it’s put together by somebody who is doing it. And that doesn’t just have to be me. A lot of our coaches are doing it, they’re either working for people who are doing it or they are musicians themselves who are doing it or they’re closely related to the industry. So, we all have our hands in the real world and we’re actually doing this, we don’t just teach it. I just wanted to start off on that foot as we go through this list because I think it’s important for people to understand, just to have that basis. 

11:39 CJ: No, it’s a valid point because we don’t want to be unrealistic in anyone’s expectations. I mean, the music industry in this regard has never been so easy, because before you had to be discovered and get with a record label and all that. Yes, it’s never been so easy because of the technology and the online element all these things, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 

12:04 Leah: Right. 

12:06 CJ: It’s easier than it used to be, but it’s not easy. 

12:09 Leah: Yeah, well it’s like anything, you know when Tik Tok started, I don’t know if you know that app, it’s a brand new app, maybe not super brand new but it’s very very popular with the kids. It’s all like 15-second videos and stuff and people just entertaining themselves being stupid. I hear several months ago because it’s so brand new and there’s millions of people on there, all of a sudden, if you posted a video on there, it got a million views. People are like what this is crazy, I just uploaded a video and like 24-hours later I have like 3 million views, this is insane.

This is what happens whenever any new market opens up or new app opens up. So, yes, with this turning of the tide it’s never been easier to be heard, be seen and at the same time it’s also part of the newness and then over time what happens is it become saturated, it becomes flooded, everybody’s there and it becomes white noise. And now the algorithms have changed and there’s so much content they prioritize things that are already getting engagement. This is how it always works. It was the same thing on Instagram, same thing on Facebook. It’s always the way it is.

So, this is why you need to understand the basics and the foundational pieces of real marketing because if you think that you’re just going to have some wild success just because you are there, that’s the whole “build it and they will come” mentality, which doesn’t work long-term. You might get a fluke where you join a new platform  and the first two weeks something takes off, but you should never count on that. I just joined on there to see what it’s doing and I don’t think everybody’s always getting those types of views anymore at all. Suddenly it’s saturated. They always say, what is it like “marketers always ruin a good thing” or something? 

13:58 CJ: Yeah, yeah. 

13:59 Leah: So, now marketers and businesses, they hear about Tik Tok, now they’re all on there polluting the feed and skewing all the numbers and stuff. These things just don’t last. That’s my point is those kinds of flash-in-the-pan visibility, it doesn’t last which is why you need to know how to build a Shopify store. Real e-commerce, how to build an email list, how to build an audience from scratch, which I just did recently myself for my Mythologie candle business. You need to know how to do landing pages and you need to know how to dial in your culture.

All of those things are what is going to last. And if you don’t do that, it’s going to be really hard for you to sell a lot of music or sell anything. 

14:48 CJ: This is so important because it’s something that’s been on my heart as of late, because you see this sort of thing yourself on Instagram or what have you, these young e-commerce guys and gals that are selling info products or whatever, they’re coming out of the woodwork. 

15:06 Leah: Oh, yeah. 

15:07 CJ: Tons and tons of them. 

15:09 Leah: Their Lamborghinis and their jets in the background. 

15:11 CJ: And it’s all very short-term stuff. There is no long-lasting thing. They’re selling a tactic, they’re selling a gimmick, they’re selling something like that. So, I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing with Metal Motivation, for example, for 10 years. You’ve been doing yours for almost just as long. Leah started at the end of 2011, or…

15:30 Leah: Yeah, my first album came out 2012. 

15:33 CJ: Okay, so we’re talking a long time here. I remember, there was one of the TV evangelists up the street from a church I went to in Texas. One of the big ones that got caught in the scandals and all that back in the late 80’s. He had like thousands of people at his church and our little church had like three hundred and something. But our pastor, he was the cool one, he was a straight-up guy, he was a good guy and so I remember we were sitting in a meeting with him and someone had said “Pastor, what do you think about so-and-so, brother wonderful down the street? Who’s just building, growing by the thousands and thousands and we’re struggling to get any growth.”

And he said “Well, it all comes down to what you’re trying to build.” And it’s true, because that guy is long gone. But now the guy who had the 350 members, now he’s got satellite congregations all over the place and I think that church is now like 15,000 members or something. So, point being is that like in anything, if you want something long-term, and we say this in a lot of our copy, a long-term music business, not something short-term…

16:46 Leah: Sustainable. 

16:47 CJ: Right, sustainable. So, it’s built off of a brand. That’s what Leah is saying, because the listener might not be thinking about this, Leah. They’re thinking “Okay, tell me the secret software, tell me the secret trick, Leah.”

16:58 Leah: Yeah “Should I do Click Funnels?”

17:00 CJ: Yeah, exactly. Instead of really thinking through your artist identity, like she said, instead of really thinking through the culture, really thinking through the organic things that you can do, really thinking through your branding. These are the things that are going to matter, that are going to give you the long-term growth. Then what you grow into the email service that you use, the copywriting, the paid advertising and all this sort of stuff, man that just scales it. That just maximizes it, but none of that is going to work if you don’t have this fundamental stuff, not just in place, I mean fortified. 

17:41 Leah: Yeah. 

17:42 CJ: Like roots, grounded. You didn’t build your house on the sand, you built it on solid rock. And the solid rock is who you are as an artist and who your ideal audience is. Even though I know we’re supposed to be going through this list, I just really feel like where people are right now, Leah, because of this crisis, has kind of re-oriented them to where they’re like “Oh my god, I should have been listening. Now I’ve got to go back through all these podcast episodes.”

Because I guarantee anyone who listens to any one of our podcast episodes now, in light of this crisis, in light of the fact of being out of a job, everybody’s stuck at home and not being able to depend on things like you used to, I guarantee you would hear every episode differently. 

18:24 Leah: Mm-hmm. 

18:25 CJ: I guarantee you because you’ve got new ears to listen now because this crisis has changed the name of the game. Now, it’s changed it for everyone else out there, it didn’t change it at all for the Savvy Musician Academy and the TOM program, the Elite program or the Inner Circle. What it did, is it just made us more relevant than we’ve ever been. 

18:45 Leah: Yeah, we have a lot of students saying “I’m going to go back through the course again right now.” Because they have the time and they know, it’s like I really need to up my game. People are spending money right now, so the issue is not that. The issue is do you have your act together and are you in the position to actually make that revenue, and you don’t need a ton of money upfront to make it happen. There’s a lot of people not spending very much and they are still making money.

If you have an ad budget, that will help, absolutely. It’s going to magnify what you’re already doing. 

19:22 CJ: Yeah, well just to make that point, you don’t need somebody to pay you a thousand dollars right now. What you need is a thousand people to pay you $10. 

19:29 Leah: Right. Absolutely, that thousand true fan model, right? You have a thousand fans pay $100 or two thousand fans pay $50 or however you want to do it. However, you want to break it down, just like ten bucks here absolutely makes a difference. The average product on my Mythologie candles is only like a $20 product, if you look at the smallest one and the highest one. So, they’re not huge tickets items and it’s going crazy right now.

I think I’ll just say this too just to drive the point home, this new business, I just call it my fun business because that’s all I’m doing it for is for fun, it’s been the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I think because I’ve put in so many hours and done the hard work of solidifying all these e-commerce principles between like do I need to write an ad or write copy or write an email. I know this like the back of my hand. This is so easy, I know how to put together a new Shopify store and make it look amazing in 48 hours.

I can write these product descriptions, I know exactly what to include, I know what people are looking for, I’ve done my research, I’ve talked to people, I’ve polled them, I’ve posted pictures in groups and I’ve just asked them their opinions so I know the way they’re ticking and if you know the way people tick then you have such an advantage. That kind of brings me to the rest of this list, which is building a Shopfy store if you don’t have one yet, during this time while you’re at home or optimizing your store. That’s actually what we’re doing in my music business.

This whole last first quarter we were just doing a whole bunch of optimizing. If I had too many products, at one point I had way too many, so we got rid of a whole bunch and did like a spring cleaning. There’s all different kinds of optimizations you can make in terms of cleaning up your store. Making sure that every product page looks the same and uniform and so there’s continuity between them. Something that screams unprofessional is one product page is using one font and one formatting and whatever and the next product page is a completely different font, different size, different color, different style images, different everything.

That just screams unprofessional. Those are little tweaks and things that are kind of time-consuming that you might not always have time for, now is a great time to clean that up. Clean up your offerings, decide or create new offerings that you didn’t have before, hey it’s time to launch a new design on a whole bunch of different print-on-demand products or whatever. Now is a good time to do that. Making sure the formatting is good. Maybe you want to play around with some different apps that you haven’t tried and have been meaning to try, now is a good time to do that. 

22:12 CJ: Yeah, I mean one of the things that I think people don’t realize is just how versatile some of the software is and specifically Shopify, which is the premier e-commerce software. You can try other things, but there’s just more apps available for it, it’s integrated with other software, Facebook-friendly, so I mean it really is the best one, at least that’s the one that we’re recommending. 

22:39 Leah: Oh, yeah.

22:40 CJ: But again, that people can take advantage of this time, Leah, and really explore the possibilities. Like you said, even though music is one of the most challenging things to sell online, as we’ve said before, there’s so many things tied to the cultural aspect that they can get out there but then, as you said, once you get it out there you can now refine and optimize and do things. Maybe put together some bundle-like things, maybe the upsells, there’s apps you can do to upsell just like Amazon does.

Someone who bought this also bought this and also bought that as a recommended product and they’ll add it on their way through checkout. So, again, ways to increase the size of your order. So, talk about that, how somebody can improve the average order value. Because, like you said, your Mythologie candle thing the average order value is $20. 

23:39 Leah: Well, the average cost of the item is $20 but our average order value is much higher than that. Meaning, yeah they’re $20 candles, but they’re not only spending $20, they’re spending somewhere around $57 or something like that. And our average lifetime value, like the whole total of 5 weeks we’ve been open, between the pre-order and then this new pre-order, is somewhere around $67 which is significant. I am very, very happy with those numbers right out of the gate just launching.

And the reason that’s happening is because, well, first of all, we’re doing sample packs of stuff so people try it out and then find the ones they really like and then they upgrade to things later. So, that means they bought something last month and then they came back and bought something more this month. We call that a lifetime value, how much have they spent during the whole duration that they’ve been a customer of ours. And we actually did a whole episode a few back on the 9 marketing metrics you need to know.

We go really in-depth on these numbers that you need to know, including average order value and lifetime value and what those mean and how to get those numbers and how to track them. So, definitely go back and check out that episode. So that’s one thing you can do. You can do sample packs, you can do sample packs with music where it’s like a music sampler. You can do that, if you offer physical items or handmade goods, we have a lot of artisans that are musicians as well, they do handmade goods, jewelry, all kinds of things.

So, it’s about creativity, not about copying exactly what I’m doing. And the other way you can increase average order value is through simple things like upsells. So, there’s a lot of apps out there that help you do that or bundle apps where it’s like hey, if you buy these two or three items together, you’re going to save 10%, so they actually save money when they buy more. It’s just more of a psychological thing. That’s another staple of how you increase average order values, offer either bundle deals where they’re buying more volume or some kind of an upsell where when they’re in the checkout process and you offer them something else and they add it to their cart.

A small percentage of people will take that offer and at the end of the year it really adds up over time. So, your goal is to just bump that little percentage up half a point at a time. Just continuing until you’re getting a really good take rate on that upsell. So, the devil’s in the details on those numbers, you don’t go for big numbers. 

26:14 CJ: Yeah, it is. Again, you’re essentially learning the gory details of digital marketing and that’s where the real multiplication of profit comes from. You mentioned in the last episode about building your email list and, again, that’s kind of a general thing, you’re adding people to a list, but you’ve got to send them something. You teach about nurture sequences and all these sorts of things, so during this time of isolation what can somebody do about improving what they’re doing email-wise. 

26:49 Leah: Yeah, so if you’ve got an email list and you’re sending them nurture emails, that’s what we call them, where you’re nurturing your relationship, it’s all about real relationship. Maybe you send out a once a month newsletter or you’re doing it every week or you’ve got a pre-designed series of emails that when someone signs up for a free download or whatever, you’re sending them five to ten emails that you’ve already pre-written. The way to optimize it, first of all, take a look at your open rates and take a look at your click-through rates.

That’s really the starting point when I’m looking to improve it, that’s the first thing. Usually, the open rates are the first thing I try to fix. If I’m not impressed by it, I’m going to take a look at why. Usually, the subject line just needs to be changed, we need to try something else. Sometimes certain trigger words will end up in the spam, will cause your email to end up in the spam and there’s a lot of different free tools out there where you can basically put all your text into a tool and it’ll tell you if you have any keywords or trigger words in your subject line or in your email that could land it in the spam.

So, that’s another reason why people don’t actually open the emails because it didn’t get delivered properly. Things like that, absolutely now is the time to do that while you’re at home. So, that’s another big thing. Also, we’ve got a bunch of other things on this list. You can do online concerts and events. Tons of celebrities are doing that right now. Big bands, little bands, solo artists. I’m seeing people playing music in my newsfeed constantly who I never saw before, they are friends of mine and stuff and I’m like hey, everybody’s coming out of the woodwork playing music live-streaming right now, it’s great.

So, you could even charge for it, I’m seeing bands like, I saw Backstreet Boys is doing online concert, online events. Everybody’s doing it. So, that’s definitely something you can or should do during your time off. Could be interesting too if you have other bandmates, maybe you could find like a streaming app that allows you to stream from different places, that would be wild. And then on the more tech stuff, you can improve your landing pages, your opt-in rates and click through rates. Those are always things that are sometimes kind of a pain in the butt as an artist but you’ve got to do it.

It’s like brushing your teeth, you just have to do it if you don’t want your teeth to fall out of your head. So, if you don’t want all your marketing to rot and not be useful at all you’ve got to check up on that, make sure they’re healthy, that there’s nothing wrong with them and if your opt-in rates are really low, if you’re getting like less than 20% or something like that, definitely want to make improvements to your landing pages and opt-in rates. If you’re in our programs, we talk about that, we teach about that. Especially in the Elite program, where we’re really getting in-depth on those things. And then, I’ve got to write new ads or optimize your existing ads.

It’s about striving for excellence, you can do better. I guarantee you can do better. I can do better. I’m always looking to improve and test things and sometime they don’t win, so you’ve got to start over. You can create new merch. We already covered that a little bit and if you haven’t tried print-on-demand services, there’s a bunch out there and the huge benefit of that is you don’t have to… definitely it’s contactless, you don’t have to touch anybody, you don’t have to see anyone or shake hands or you don’t have to even have the merchandise in your garage or stored anywhere. They have it all for you and drop-ship it for you. That’s a beautiful thing. 

30:21 CJ: One of the things I like about that, Leah, is just what you said. I still see bands doing it all the time, they’re always trying to stock up their inventory. It’s so frustrating because certain sizes sell and you end up with all these mediums leftover or whatever. You don’t have to do that. You can start selling something now and one of the things that was really, really eye-opening, Leah, in the coaching group over this past year as I was working with students in the group calls, is a lot of them had just kind of their album cover or something about themselves.

You’ve had great success with that because yours is a very personality-driven brand, so it did well, but others were really struggling with it. So, I would challenge them to say, well, listen sometimes the right shirt or thing to have is one that says something about the person wearing it. That’s really the ultimate key. So, somebody doesn’t feel that personal pride, like one of your fans who walks around with the LEAH shirt, they want to tell people about that, you might have something that says something about the person. For example, in my shirts as Metal Motivator, my thing doesn’t say anything about me, it says “Motivated by metal” or “Eat, drink and be metal”. It says something about the person wearing it.

Sometimes a lot of these artists that we have in our group have really great lyrics, you know, really very positive lyrics and I said you can take any one of your lyrics, put that on a shirt and have that up for sale, I mean, today. Literally today. You don’t have to have it shipped to you, you don’t have to bring in inventory, whatever. You can literally take a line from one of your songs, put that on a shirt, put that on a store today and start promoting that to your existing list. 

32:15 Leah: Totally. 

32:17 CJ: Yeah, what she’s saying there about creating new merchandise, don’t just think it has to be your album cover or your band, it can be a lyric…

32:25 Leah: It can be a philosophy, a cool emblem of some kind. With my crowd, they love the Celtic culture, I could just put a cool Celtic knot and be done with it. That’s all they need, so it doesn’t have to be crazy elaborate or expensive at all. It’s a beautiful thing. Last couple of things we have on this list is you could do live streams daily or even weekly for your fans. Do it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, wherever you want to go, Twitch, wherever you are and wherever your fans are. Do those live streams.

I would be doing it except I’m super busy with Mythologie, my candle business and our launch for The Online Musician 3.0, otherwise, I probably would be doing something myself. So, in this case, you’re just going to have to take my advice and do it because it is working really well for so many people, they’re having great success with it. You have people’s attention now more than ever. So many people are home, they’re online, they’re bored, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to capture their attention. So, be doing that. 

33:27 CJ: Yeah, one of the things I would encourage them to do as a motivator, myself, is… Leah, I’ve got thousands of videos already recorded that I could post, but what people need right now is something more relevant. So, I have to go live. 

33:44 Leah: Yeah. 

33:45 CJ: I’m not a musician, but what I would tell these musicians who are listening, is take advantage of this time to be inspiring. Take advantage of this time to be encouraging. It’s not just about you going on to play, it’s about you to talk to them, too. You can sit there with your keyboard in hand, you can sit there with your guitar in hand, you can sit there, in Leah’s case with her harp in hand and you can have a little conversation with them and then just share some music with them.

But be inspiring, people need encouragement right now, they want hope, they want to have some sense of normalcy and friendship and this is a great way for you to do this in real time. And Facebook absolutely loves live video. I mean, loves live video. So, the more you do it, may be a little weird if you haven’t done this before, start now, maybe a little hit and miss and you may struggle, but if you just keep it up Facebook is going to start warming up to you and saying okay, let me share it to more of your audience. 

34:43 Leah: That’s right. 

34:44 CJ: It’s not just a one-off. Do it regularly. 

34:46 Leah: Yep. And last thing is just now is a good time while you’re home to make more itself. I mean, write a new album, write a new single, collaborate with other people online. There’s all kinds of apps and software out there where you can meet other musicians and meet in online meeting rooms and jam. Now’s the time to do that and create more stuff. Just go to create. I think that so many people are just stuck sometimes on like a mental hurdle that they’re stuck on, all these technical things or whatever.

Sometimes you’ve just got to take a breather from it all and just go create new music. Go create new art. I think that’s a great note to leave off on is make the most of this time. Again, we just want to reiterate to lean into your music business. Do not back off, this is the time. This is actually the opportunity of a lifetime for those who have eyes to see it. Many people are “Crying in their coffee” as they say and just like oh no everything’s going to hell in a hand basket. There’s others of us that are saying no this is an opportunity. There’s always opportunity during a crisis, there is. There’s always opportunity.

If you have eyes to see it and you’re willing to take that opportunity, work harder than everybody else, you will reap the rewards and when things get turned back on and we can leave our houses and the economy bounces back, you will see an incredible unleashing of all that hard work and a huge reaping of all those seeds that you just planted during this time. I’m confident that you can not only survive but thrive during this time. 

36:22 CJ: Amen. Amen or oh me. Very, very very good, Leah. Thank you so much, again. All this came out of that little post that you did and so glad that you wrote that and put that together. I know a lot of people are going to get a lot out of this, guys. Again, remember that, let that be your mantra here for the next month or so, lean in. In fact, until they release you from the lockdown and all this sort of stuff, let that be your mantra every day. I’m leaning in. I’m not going to whine, I’m not going to complain, I’m not going to worry, I’m not going to waste my mental energy on these other things, about my problems.

I’m going to spend my time leaning in on my music business because I believe that people want to hear from me. They want to hear my music, they want to connect with me. Build your audience, if that’s all that you do, just build your audience, get your brand awareness out there. There’s so much that you can do. Take advantage of that right now. Again, if you’re listening, please leave a review for this podcast. We read all of those reviews. Leave us some stars if they offer that. We would certainly love to hear from you.

Again, keep in mind that good things are coming, the new release of TOM is coming out. The upgraded version, TOM 3.0. Please get some more information right now at explodeyourfanbase.com. If you’d like to connect with us in our Inner Circle program, the most inexpensive way for you to get started to become a marketing master is to join the Inner Circle membership, it’s just less than $20 a month. Your life and your music business is worth at least that much. So, go to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

We appreciate you guys. Leah, as your co-host,  I appreciate you. 

38:06 Leah: Thanks. I appreciate all of you guys listening and please do leave those reviews. We read them and I cherish them. Thank you, guys. We’ll see you next time. 

38:15 CJ: This episode is sponsored by The Online Musician 3.0, the upgraded version of the flagship music marketing course from the Savvy Musician Academy. This cutting edge music marketing course is set to release soon, so sign up now for our waiting list to receive up to date information at explodeyourfanbase.com.

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins recently said in an interview, “If I was going to give you 60-seconds of advice, I would put your whole focus into reaching people through the internet.” There’s no better way to start reaching your ideal fans on the internet than by The Online Musician 3.0, which covers cutting edge to topics like mindset training, branding secrets and tutorials, creating a website that converts, Instagram for musicians, YouTube for musicians, using and leveraging Facebook groups monetizing your music, creating a successful album launch and much, much more. If you’re ready for your next level in creating your own online music business, then sign up now for our waiting list at explodeyourfanbase.com

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.