Episode #100: Interview with Anna Brzozowska (Elite Student)


This week C.J. interviews another successful SMA student, Anna Brzozowska, an ethereal pop artist originally from Poland but is currently living in Spain. Anna shares her story of how she almost gave up on her music after the expenses of touring, but after finding SMA, she’s back to building a lifetime music career.

If you’re wondering about your artist identity, how to write your own copy, what is the basis of marketing and building your online business, then this is the episode for you!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Developing your micro-niche as you go along
  • To be yourself or a character?
  • Why you shouldn’t just get someone else to do it for you
  • Being yourself in your copy
  • The principles of marketing are still the same
  • The expenses of being a live musician
  • Anna’s experience with Savvy
  • The two mental blocks that every musician must get past
  • The significance of having the right mindset and a strong heart 


“I want to encourage anyone who’s starting out; who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along.” – @aniabmusic [0:02:53]

“I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.” – @aniabmusic [0:09:41]

“You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:59]

“I don’’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.” – @aniabmusic [0:14:28]

“The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life is when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:17]

“The education is important, but without heart; without the right mindset; without overcoming yourself, it doesn’t matter how much information you have.” – @metalmotivation [0:42:45]

“I will recommend Leah to the death to a musician, but it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change.” – @aniabmusic [0:43:50]

“You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind.” – @aniabmusic [0:44:11]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

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

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Anna’s Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/AniaBmusic/

Anna’s Website — http://aniabmusic.com/

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at The Savvy Musician Academy, blessed once again to do another one of my most favorite things to do on the podcast here, which is student interviews. And this is someone that I’ve actually worked with personally in the past. We did some branding work together last year, and what a positive spirit, such a hard worker. And I’m so delighted to have my dear friend, Anna, who I’m going to have her say her last name for you because even though she’s living in Spain, she hails from Poland. My dear friend, Anna, why don’t you tell everybody your last name?

01:00 Anna: Brzozowska. Good luck.

01:02 CJ: She was trying to coach me through that before the podcast and I said, “There’s no way, honey. You’re just going to have to do that.”

01:11 Anna: The Polish people like to make it hard, throwing a bunch of consonants all together.

01:19 CJ: And I should be used to it. One of my closest friends, I think I told you about him.

01:23 Anna: Yeah. You’ve mentioned him.

01:24 CJ: Mike Chliasiak. That’s not how you say it, you may know how to say it.

01:30 Anna: How do you write it?

01:31 CJ: It’s C-H-L-I-A, Chliasiak, something like that. I don’t know. The key would be to have those first few letters.

01:47 Anna: Yeah, it might take a while to decipher that.

01:49 CJ: Right. Thankfully, we just call him Metal Mike, and so that makes it really easy. And your artist name is Ania.

01:57 Anna: Ania.

01:57 CJ: Ania.

02:01 Anna: Yeah, because Anna and Ania is the same name in Polish. Anna would be the more formal version in all the formal papers. But friends usually call me Ania, which that’s why I chose that, the more personal form.

02:14 CJ: Okay. Well, I’m just going to call you Anna today. But everybody will have contact information in the show notes. And of course, we’ll have you mention those in a little bit here, so that everybody can find you and enjoy you. But let’s go back in a little bit of history, Anna, and tell me first of all, when … No, first of all, tell me the kind of music that you play. And I want to talk a little bit about how you discovered Leah for the first time.

02:42 Anna: Well, my micro-niche, ethereal, pop, folk blend. That’s what I have called it. And it took me a really long time to figure that out. So I would want to encourage anyone who’s starting out, who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along, so don’t fixate on it. It’s totally possible to write ad copy and to communicate with your fans and to portray the kind of emotion that you think your music has without knowing your micro-niche. So if you have trouble with that from the beginning, let it go and move on. You’re going to get there.

03:24 CJ: Right. Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that in the elite coaching group with other students because, and even some of the TOM students, because as you know, they do get fixated on-

03:36 Anna: And that was probably one of them, which is why I’m kind of mentioning it right from the get-go because I know it’s kind of one of the big hurdles, and it doesn’t really need to be, so that was my point.

03:50 CJ: Well, do you find, Anna, and this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but do you find that the micro-niche was really helpful for you to target in your audience more so than something to describe yourself?

04:06 Anna: I would have to say I don’t think it was the most important part of … I believe, I think actually, I came to the realization that it was more ethereal pop after I started talking to you. Was it last year when we had our call? And I’ve been doing ads and getting people on my email list a long time before that, and I think I did a good job nailing it. I haven’t actually changed the ad copy for my opt-in since then. Yeah. Because it’s working, it’s really working well. So I have used this description on a lot of other places, like on my website, because I think this is exactly what it is, so it helps me communicate it better to my fans. But I don’t think it’s imperative. It hasn’t been imperative for me to get the targeting right.

05:01 CJ: Yeah. Well, as I mentioned offline for those, again, who listen, I consider you one of the more exemplary students from the elite program. And I’ve enjoyed not just working with you, but also to watch what you do because your genre, your brand, everything is so reminiscent to me of Leah, not in the sense that it’s the same. But I mean, it has a similar sort of vibe and intrigue and a fantasy element and all of these type of things. And it’s just so, you can just look at your stuff and just see, oh, wow, it seems like she has everything just targeted in. And it looks beautiful, all well done, the photography, the artwork and all that. But then you don’t appreciate all the effort that went into something like that, just like in Leah’s case. It didn’t just fall out of the sky. She had to put in so much time and effort. What was that process like for you?

05:57 Anna: Well, I think I struggled more with finding the description and finding out where to exactly place my music, like which box to put it in because we are, as you know, forced to put it in a box. If we release our music to iTunes, we have to put a genre and a sub-genre at least. And I think that was more of a struggle for me than the visual part because I just consider it to just kind of be me. And I like nature photography. I like beauty. I like that ethereal. I think kind of also the way I look and the way I behave, I think it kind of all goes into that just because it’s the way I am. It’s not a character that I’m playing because sometimes people have this character, and that’s totally okay. That’s their character. But for me, it’s just me. So it just came very naturally for me to find out the visual stuff. But to be able to describe it, that’s a whole nother story. I need help with that.

07:09 CJ: Yeah. And I’m laughing because it’s so true. I mean, I’ve seen the pain that others have gone through trying … It’s you. It’s what you’re doing. And yet, it’s so hard to put it into words sometimes.

07:20 Anna: I think that’s why it’s hard because you’re too close to it.

07:24 CJ: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s well said.

07:26 Anna: You have a different perspective. 

07:28 CJ: Yeah. Well, this really brings up a point. And I was going to ask you a little bit about the history, but now that we’re into this, I’m going to just keep going in this direction. But I think this is a really important point, Anna, because I’ve had this conversation a lot recently. And it’s been one of the most paramount and prevalent problems with a lot of the students that I have worked with. And that is feeling like it’s okay, not just okay, but coming to the conclusion that you can really be just you, not somebody else, not … Like I said, it’s okay if you’re going to be a shtick, or a front, or whatever, a character so to speak. But what I find with the elite students, most of them aren’t looking for, most of them want to be themselves.

They just don’t understand all of these terms like branding and micro niche and all these sorts of things, so they feel almost pressured to be something they are not. And then what that does is it holds them back because they can’t be resolved. You know what I mean? Because you’re always, every time they try to do something, create an ad, write copy, or do something, they’re neutralized because they’re afraid they’re going to send the wrong message, write in the wrong voice, that sort of thing, so they can never fully be committed because they’re always second guessing themselves.

08:49 Anna: I think maybe the hurdle here sort of is the term marketing. It’s kind of unromantic in terms of the artistic world. And I think it’s important to know that it’s not like you’re learning some kind of magic tricks. You’re learning principles, yes, but then you have to apply them to you and be genuine in what you’re doing because, I mean, it’s okay if you’re a character and that’s really you. That’s like a movie character or whatever. I don’t think that’s necessarily a wrong route. But you’re pretending to be something that you’re not, you’re going to get exhausted really soon. So I think you can only pretend for a short amount of time, and then you just get tired of it. So I think it’s important to be you, and I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.

09:47 CJ: Yes.

09:48 Anna: We have to narrow down our targeting because we don’t have the budget to just throw our ads out to the whole world like record labels or huge corporations do. So we have to be a little bit more savvy and know who we are looking for, who might be inclined to like our music. And then once they hear it, they can decide whether they like it or not. But first, they have to hear it. And this is about building lifelong relationships, so I think if you’re pretending to be something you’re not, it’s not going to work, at least not long-term, which is why I think coming to terms with the learning marketing, it’s not that you’re learning a bunch of tricks or a bunch of tools that you can use, it’s principles that work, yes, in psychology. But it’s about being genuine and about building the relationships, those are important factors here.

10:46 CJ: You said that very well, so well that people think, “Wow. That sounds really simple.” But like we just noted when you tried to describe yourself. Trying to describe yourself, it’s not an easy thing to do, and to give yourself permission to be you. And I had a coaching call recently with our friend Helen from the elite. And we were talking about this very thing, and she was just trying to get things dialed in on her branding. I may have her come on and we’ll talk about that more in detail. But again, it was that challenge of, she’s like, “You mean I can just be me?” I mean, but across the board.

In other words, the difference that social media has made, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this, and I want you to speak to it, but part of the difference the social media’s made is that you’re more than just the musician. You’re also the messenger. In other words, there’s a personal element here that’s inclusive that you couldn’t include in a YouTube video. You couldn’t have as the end result of a Google search, or somebody stumbling upon you on the internet. It’s you’re reaching out to people for the very first time. You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads and that sort of thing. But it’s more than just them hearing your music. You’re not just posting music. You’re posting you, your life, all of that. What has that been like for you?

12:12 Anna: You kind of, you introduce yourself from the very beginning with your emails because, yeah, they see your ad and they sign up for the … They see something that intrigues them, the description, whether it’s a photo or the description of the music. And they get curious, so they sign up and want to hear the songs. And yeah, then they hear the songs and like the music, or love the music even, and are very excited about it. But you also introduce yourself, even though you write out these email sequences beforehand and it’s automated, but you are the one personally writing it. You’re pouring your heart into it, and you’re really letting people into your life, sort of, and also through social media. For me, it’s just easier to be myself because then I don’t have to think about it. You know?

13:06 CJ: Touche. Yeah, that’s an important part because it’s like the old truth about telling lies. You have to remember all of the lies that you tell. So much easier to just be yourself. And that brings up a question that a lot of people will ask oftentimes on webinars and things, Anna. They’ll say, “Well, can’t I just have someone else do this for me? Or can I hire?”

13:36 Anna: Yeah. But is it a good idea? I don’t think so.

13:39 CJ: Yeah. Well, why don’t you think that’s a good idea?

13:42 Anna: Because I think you need to be personal, and there is nobody who knows exactly who you are like you know yourself. And you need to put yourself out there because you’re the artist. You’re the one connecting with your fans. You’re the one who is trying to build a lifelong relationship with those people. And I, in many cases, really consider them friends. You know? And even though we have different backgrounds, different ages, even different interests many times, there is this musical emotional language, sort of, that brings us all together because music is emotions, it’s expressing emotions. And that is what binds us together. And I don’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.

In the beginning actually, I remember, I even told this to Leah. And I think one of the first courses that I did when we actually had calls with her, I told her, “I find it really difficult to write ad copy for the ads if I try to be short and concise.” But I had absolutely no problem just writing emails because I was considering these people, I was writing to a friend, being just honest, being who I am, and introducing myself. See, I’m a person who loves using emojis, so I use them very often in my emails and my copy because I just like it. It brings some color into my life. So just be yourself, nobody can be yourself like you can, obviously.

15:27 CJ: Well, yeah. I mean, the emoji thing actually fits your brand, much like it does with Leah. And there’s a few others who can. You get others who don’t. Like for me, if I used it in the stuff that I do in my own personal projects, it wouldn’t go over as well. But that just makes your point, which is, you’ve got to be you.

15:44 Anna: Yeah. Exactly.

15:45 CJ: And if that’s who you are, then that’s part of what makes, creates the flavor of your personal brand to these people. But what about also, Anna, not just being yourself, but in terms of handling all of your social media, not farming it out to someone else? But what about getting to know your audience, getting to know their likes and dislikes? If you’re farming that out to somebody else, then you’re still, two or three years down the road, you’re still just as ignorant of your audience as you were when you started.

16:17 Anna: Exactly. Then you’re just putting yourself in the place of being a product. You’re not really the artist and the person connecting with people. You’re just a product that someone is trying to sell, someone else is trying to sell.

16:30 CJ: Yeah.

16:31 Anna: And I just don’t feel like that’s right. And even if it would work, if you would have some sort of awesome copywriter or whatever, I think what would end up happening is that people wouldn’t really get to know you. They wouldn’t [inaudible 00:16:51] what they were writing. Might’ve been excellent copy, and engaging and all that, but it wouldn’t be you. And probably at some point, that would come out.

17:02 CJ: Yeah. It would come out. You would become disingenuous at that point. And people see through that. And it’s social media, and I was telling someone recently, and I’ve said this a lot. But if you have learned the principles of marketing, and that’s one thing that Leah’s good about is that-

17:20 Anna: I’m still learning.

17:21 CJ: Yeah. But these are tried and true principles that have been around before the internet. And so one of the things that I always appreciate about Leah, because I come from traditional marketing, but is the fact that nothing that she’s doing is some sort of tactic, or trick, or anything like that. It’s very much based on the proven principles of direct marketing. However, okay, and this is a big, however, social media has changed even that. And so the best way I can describe it is if we went back to when advertising and marketing began, let’s say over 100 years ago or so, when you started to see ads in papers and things like that, and written on the side of a building, and then eventually television and radio, all the principles that we know from marketing came from the history of marketing because you couldn’t talk to somebody one on one.

You were always putting something out in front of the public hoping the right person saw it. Right? So that means you have to, whether it’s a direct marketing letter that you get in the mail, or something, people have to create that know, like, and trust element within a few seconds. You know what I mean? So that created the kind of language, the words that they use, keywords for marketing and all of that, so imagine if marketing and advertising started at the very same time that social media began. Would the marketing rules be different? Absolutely, because now you’re no longer showing something on a billboard or in a magazine ad, not knowing who you’re talking to. You know exactly who you’re talking to. And oftentimes, it’s face to face.

So in that sense, the rules have changed. You’re still using the same thing with incentives and benefit driven and branding principles and all of that. But you have the social media element. So to me, that’s why with social media coming in, and SMA at the same time, is the best response to what happened with Napster at the end of the 20th century. In other words, what happened, what hurt the music industry because of technology is now being turned around because of what we can do with technology. And again, you’re a great example of that. So what has that learning process been like? How empowered do you feel now? I know you said you have much to learn. We all do. But now sitting behind the keyboard, knowing what you can do.

19:59 Anna: Yeah. I feel very empowered. And even though I might not be exactly where I want to be yet, but I have to say I feel empowered and I feel in control over my life and over my music. Contrary to what went on when I actually released my first album, which I’m a perfect cliché actually, of someone who did everything wrong. I was true to the music and I’m so proud of it. So I didn’t listen to all these voices, oh, I know what’s going to sell on the radio. I did my thing, and I’m proud of that to this day. And the process of creating that album took me two years, but I had absolutely no plan whatsoever after that. I did not know anything about marketing. I did not know anything about anything, to be honest. I just released it kind of hoping for the best. And we all know what kind of strategy that is. That’s not very good.

And kind of relying on other people to do certain things. And I think it’s cool to rely on people to do certain things after we actually learn what is involved in those things, so that you can actually control whether they are doing a good job or not, which at that point, I couldn’t. So the situation was, I released my first album. I won some internet contests. Yeah, my music received recognition from strangers. And I received offers to play in clubs across the country even, things like that. But for ticket sales, though I played with very good musicians, session musicians that, very talented musicians. They all have families to feed. I, of course, paid them. So if I had to travel across the country to play a concert, I would have to pay for transportation, pay my musicians, and then hopefully, maybe make something back from ticket sales without having a fan base first that I could even contact beforehand. Listen guys, I’m going to play here and here.

Or even better yet, do a presale of tickets, so that I could actually get a feel for the demand, and have a fan base and a foundation sort of, of people who I could contact and tell them about it. If the club puts up a poster that you’re going to play, that’s not promoting anything. And also, people come in there anyway, buy drinks, so they don’t really care that much. So it just turned out to be an expensive hobby. And I got really depressed and frustrated, and I actually left music for more than a year. I engaged in another project. I started blogging about an unrelated topic, also started doing some marketing courses and learning the online thing, just kind of touching basically a little bit. And then my then boyfriend gave me one of the best presents he ever gave me because he introduced me to a Leah webinar. And I’ve been listening to this podcast. I’ve heard people say that they have previously seen Leah ads. I have not seen not even one Leah ad before I saw her webinar.

And I saw the webinar because he brought me the computer and said, “Listen, this girl, I think she’s cool. Listen to this. I think it will be good for you.” And I listened to it and immediately I was sold. I was sold. I had not seen any ad, just by what she was saying, it gave me … It was like a light bulb, and I was listening to this girl talking about these marketing principles that I’ve already listened to other marketers talk about. And I was like, “Duh.” Why didn’t I think of it like I could apply it to actually music and not this blog that I was doing? You know?

24:13 CJ: Oh, yes.

24:14 Anna: She did an amazing job of translating all of these terms into the art world, the music world. And also, I think the fact that she had five kids, and I think at that point, she had released three albums and never did a tour, and everything was online. That also spoke to me. I was sold on it because as much as I love touring and I want to do that in the future, and I think that giving live shows is one of the most rewarding, but also stressful for me. So I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it to make a living, living on suitcases and having to tour all the time to be able to pay my bills. That’s not the kind of life I want for myself.

So this model that she was presenting was really, really speaking to me. And my gut told me that, yeah, this is my path. This is the road I’m going down. And it’s probably going to take me a long time, but this is the road I’m going. So since then, I’ve done several courses. And I consider Leah to be my mentor.

25:24 CJ: That’s great. That was my next thing, going to be my first question. Glad we’ve got to the history. But tell me then. What was the first course that you took? Do you remember?

25:34 Anna: I believe it was TOM 2.0. Yeah. I printed out a whole bunch of notes and I took them with me to Poland. And I was studying it over Christmas. And I was like, “Oh,” and soon after that, I left the whole blog project that I was doing because I knew I had to focus on my music. And I’m actually surprised that I think it’s because I’m a little bit nervous talking to you in the setting. But normally, when I tell this story, I get tears in my eyes because I believe that I am not sure I would be doing music if I hadn’t seen that webinar.

Maybe I would be, but eventually I would get to it, but it will take me a long time. And I was really, I wasn’t happy. It was like a year maybe, where I couldn’t even listen to music because then all these emotions kept bubbling up. I really think music, it’s one of the most emotional languages and kind of a catalyst, I think, emotional catalyst. It brought up emotions that I wasn’t ready to deal with, and I felt like a failure for leaving it and all of those things. So this kind of gave me new life. I get really sentimental when I think about it.

27:02 CJ: Well, I’m glad you didn’t tear up because there’s no crying on this podcast, at least not while I’m here.

27:07 Anna: I’m happy about that too.

27:11 CJ: That’s right. I was going to say, Leah’s the soft one. But no, she’s not very soft either. She can be pretty brutal too. No, I think that’s really important to say. And I think that really spoke to a lot of people who are listening to this podcast, Anna. Because isn’t it amazing how you can have a gift and a love for a talent and an artistic expression as much as you can have one, and yet be willing to shelve it, be willing to put it aside, simply because of a lack of information? It wasn’t because-

27:49 Anna: Yourself.

27:50 CJ: Yeah. The heavens weren’t against you. There was no … The force was not against you. It wasn’t written in stone. No, it was just simply without that information, without that confidence.

28:02 Anna: Yeah. You’re right. You’re absolutely right. Without that information, you have absolute … Without clarity of what the next steps can be, you’re just kind of frustrated. You don’t know what to do with your life. In summary, if you get the right information and you believe in your ability to figure things out, because that’s also very crucial, you’re not going to know everything from the start. And you’ve got to accept that fact that you’re going to have to take it step by step, but with the right information and kind of clarity of where it can take you, it’s really so, so much easier to just list the first …

Okay. What’s the first thing I need to do? What’s the second thing? What’s the third thing? What is going to bring me to the next level? Kind of figure that out. But you’re absolutely right. You need the right information.

28:55 CJ: I love the fact that you added that clarity aspect because confusion can stop you. It can neutralize you in your tracks because again, you don’t know. And I do a lot of motivational speaking. But I’ll often tell people, “You really don’t need a motivational speaker per se because it’s like throwing gas on top of a car instead of putting it inside the car.” The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life, it’s happened in my life, is you’ll never be more motivated than when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems, whatever they may be, financial, or personal, health, or relationships, whatever. When you understand and you can see light at the end of the tunnel, and you can see, it may not be solved overnight, but you know what to do, you know where to go.

29:43 Anna: When you see small improvements in what you do, like you can see, okay, this is not exactly where I want to be, but look at where I was and where I am now. And you see that you’re going in the right direction. That can be very motivating as well, I think.

29:58 CJ: Well, you would be a good example of this because you’ve obviously made a lot of progress down the road. And so you took us back to that time where you gave it up for a year. You watched this webinar, you get in some of the courses, so obviously, things are changing. Now we fast forward to the present day. Do you see yourself quitting?

30:18 Anna: No. Don’t make me laugh.

30:22 CJ: “Don’t make me laugh,” she said. Right?

30:25 Anna: Of course not. No, I’m in it for the long haul. This is my life. And let’s just put it this way. I already tried quitting, and we saw how that turned out.

30:35 CJ: Right.

30:36 Anna: Being depressed and frustrated with my life and not being able to listen to music. How bad is that? You can’t do it.

30:43 CJ: Right. Yeah.

30:44 Anna: Not doing that again, no.

30:46 CJ: So then it’s reinforcing. It’s self-reinforcing with each new day, with each new victory, with each thing that you learn and apply, et cetera. These little victories every day, these little adjustments you make and the little hurdles and the little troubles you come across and the problems you have to solve. I bet you’ve grown tremendously in your ability to troubleshoot and solve problems because you went from artistic, and yeah, you were blogging so you’re doing technology things. But I bet this was a much different level with all of the email and different things, and shopping stores and e-Commerce. And that’s a lot of technology to learn.

31:27 Anna: It is. It is. But you take it one day at a time. And I actually like the part of doing a course and building things, and having kind of instructions. Okay, I’m following this. It can be really interesting and fun. It’s like putting together a puzzle piece.

31:45 CJ: You have to then appreciate the way Leah outlines and structures her courses because she knows what hurdles you’re going to come to. She knows what not to cover and what to cover and when to cover it because everybody wants … They want to jump to the hardcore stuff first, and they don’t do the foundation.

32:08 Anna: Yeah. Leah has an absolute awesome ability to … She tells you stuff in the right order. And she explains things very well. She translates it really well for us musicians. Like I said, when I listened to the webinar, I had to like, “Duh. Why didn’t I think I could apply this to music?” You know?

32:33 CJ: Right.

32:33 Anna: It was such an obvious thing when she was talking about it. But it’s not as obvious apparently for very many people. And she has a really brilliant, I think, ability to not only translate this into this language that we need as artists to understand this, how this business works because we have to treat it as a business. But also, she’s a very good teacher, which is why I’m in many of her courses, several of them. And one of my near, short-term plans for the near future is going back over TOM 3.0, which she just released. I’m going to. And since I was TOM 2.0, I got an upgrade. And I’m definitely going to take advantage of it, yep. I think it’s important to always think … Never think you learned everything there is to know. There’s no such thing.

33:35 CJ: Yeah, such a great example to go back and go over things again. And isn’t it amazing? Because I know you’ve probably done that with things in elite, et cetera, certain modules you may go over again. And it’s kind of funny how you can actually pick up more things that second time or third time in town. I mean, you mentioned to me offline that you’re a dedicated listener to this podcast. And so man, that’s such a great example again that you never stop learning. And that’s what I look for in people. Do you have that hunger? Don’t think you know it all. Right?

34:11 Anna: Oh, yes.

34:15 CJ: What do you think are your big victories in this journey that you’ve been on now as an online musician? What are your victories?

34:24 Anna: Well, first of all, overcoming some of my personal hurdles, like mindset things. One such thing is I think, and I don’t think I’m very original in this, I think this is the case with many musicians. We have a tendency to downgrade ourselves in the way of, we’re just doing music. We’re not really helping people with anything. It’s just music. Can I really charge for this? But actually, I was surprised at how much my music can help someone. I was so surprised at the amount of emails that I’ve been getting, really awesome emails from my fans, telling me how my music helped them through a difficult time in their lives or helped them get through chemotherapy, for example. And many emails like that, that brought me to tears, and it makes you kind of realize, yeah, music is an emotional language, I think, like I mentioned before.

And it touches my soul greatly, to the point that I couldn’t listen to it for a period of my life. So why would I assume that it’s nothing? And yeah, of course, not everybody is going to like it and relate to it. But there are those people that really appreciate it, that it actually changes their lives. And those are the people that you’re doing it for, so that is kind of one thing. And the second thing that I think, mindset thing, that I had to overcome is getting over the guilt of charging for your music.

36:04 CJ: Oh, wow. Yeah.

36:08 Anna: And I suddenly thought to me this way, because like I mentioned, I was blogging, hair stuff, like hairstyles. At one point, I did an eBook even. And I was thinking, “If I can do an eBook in a month, yeah, there is a lot of work involved. But there’s relatively low cost involved in creating an eBook.” And you can be done in a month, and you can very well charge $15 or more, much more even, for an eBook. And then you feel guilty for charging for a CD, where it took me two years to create the music, two years. The cost of productions, production, the studio, and not to mention the instruments, equipment, all of the years of education that you put into it, the hours you put into practicing. You’re not paid by the hour as a musician for practicing your craft, for sitting and writing.

And after all that, you’re guilty, you’re feeling guilty to charge $15 for a CD. Let’s add also the photography and all of the manufacturing of the CD itself. So it’s ridiculous to feel guilty about it. After that, I stopped feeling guilty. So I think these are the things we as musicians oftentimes have to get over. And the fact that I was able to build my store, that I now have fans that are buying my music, strangers that are signing up that are loving it, that are buying it. I don’t have to spam my family, “Like this.” I’m not doing that, “Oh, like my page,” no, no, no. None of that anymore.

38:01 CJ: You don’t care if you ever post anything about your music on your own personal Facebook profile, because you know how people can be so tempted. They’re so reluctant to devote themselves to their business page, their Facebook business page because they’re so used to getting love from family and friends on their personal page. And they just say, “Well, can’t I just do it there?”

38:22 Anna: In my case, I think it’s different. It’s completely turned around because I’m hardly active on my personal page. And because I’m hardly active, I don’t get a lot of engagement there. I think just start posting on your page, then you’re going to get more engagement when you’re actually posting, I think that’s the key.

38:40 CJ: No, you’re right. I’ve been teaching a lot lately, just in light of the virus and lock downs and things, we did a popup mastermind and whatnot, as you know. And so many of the concerns that people have is how much they have to post, or how much they have to show up on social media. It’s a shock to them. But understanding this new era of the music industry, as we said earlier, you’re not just the musician, you’re also the messenger, so there’s this element of your personal life that, yes, you’re sharing. It doesn’t mean you have to take your phone into the bathroom with you and broadcast every personal moment.

39:26 Anna: You don’t.

39:30 CJ: How have you found that balance there between the musician and the messenger?

39:35 Anna: Well, I think a big part of it is what I mentioned before, is just being myself. And then I don’t think about it as much. And of course, I don’t post everything from my personal life. You have to have some boundaries and you have to know what your own boundaries are that you’re comfortable with. And I mean, let’s face it, even on my personal pages, I wouldn’t post everything. So basically, I think I’m just used to whatever I post to my friends, I feel I can post to my fans because I’m not a person who likes to air dirty laundry. It’s not a huge struggle for me anymore because I have I guess figured out what it is that I like and what my fans appreciate, which is a lot of, like I mentioned, the ethereal is kind of in my music and in the nature, magical places. I follow, for example, Instagram accounts, and I see some photos that I absolutely love, and I just share it. It takes me a second. I see something I like, I share it, or I program to share it later.

And then you can also recycle some things because not everybody is going to see it the first time you post it. So you can just as well recycle things, and you have even tools to help you with that. So the longer you do it, the easier it gets, I believe.

41:04 CJ: Yeah. You’re right. And it’s such a simple concept, but people do struggle with that. But again, I think it’s a mindset thing. And I think it’s why I appreciate when I asked you about victories, you described mostly the things that were victories over yourself more so than learning about this particular software, or some special trick that Leah taught in her elite program. It was really more about you. And that’s what I tell people. Listen, you could do so much more with half the information that we talk about on Savvy Musician Academy. It’s really more about you. When I went to school for visual communications way back when, we’re not going to talk about how far back, Anna, thank you. But this was before the desktop revolution, so this was before everything really changed with computers, not just the internet.

I mean, this was way before the internet. This is 10 years or so before the internet. But if I go back to the course material, I mean, how much of that is even relevant to me today? Not much. But yet, I would not be here if it weren’t for that. And I’ve got a few friends, maybe five or six, who were in my graduating class, and it was a very big class, but just five or six. And only a few of those actually did something with it. So it just goes to show you it’s yes, the material is important. The education is important. But without heart, without the right mindset, without overcoming yourself, doesn’t matter how much information you have.

42:53 Anna: The course is not like you’re swallowing a magic pill, and you watch a few videos, and suddenly everything changes. No, you need to put a lot of hard work into it. And a lot of times, it will take different people take different amount of times. I consider myself one of the ones who take longer time, actually, to get certain things done. But that doesn’t matter. It’s my journey, nobody else’s. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It really is a question of mindset, and I think the key is to believe, believing in yourself that you will … Believe in your ability to figure things out. And sometimes to figure those things out, you have to seek good teachers that you connect with and who you kind of feel in your gut are giving you relevant information.

And I will recommend Leah to the death, to a musician. But it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change. They will need to change, I think that’s why I mentioned those mindset victories because I think that’s the most crucial thing. You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind because if you don’t do that, then you’re just going to stop yourself in the tracks.

44:22 CJ: Yeah. That’s what I mentioned earlier, the resolve thing. It’s hard to be resolved if you’re always questioning yourself. It’s hard to be fully committed if you’re questioning yourself. You never see when a lion attacks an antelope or something, it’s not like the lion’s going, “Should I? Is this the right time?” They don’t wonder about anything. They’re a lion. That’s what lions do. So if anything, we marvel at how ferocious it is. You know what I mean? And we need to be that way, ferocious in a good way, aggressive in a healthy way. And again, I appreciate what you just said. This is something that I share a lot of my motivational stuff, which is I just want people to have confidence in two areas.

Number one, confidence that there are principles that exist that’ll help you create the results that you want. And number two, confidence in yourself that you can discover and apply those principles. And that’s really all it is. You’ve got to know that Leah’s success, or Anna’s success, or anything else’s success, is not a mystery. It’s not chance. It’s not that being in the right place at the right time. No, very, very hard work based on proven principles, nothing more than that. Very unglamorous, but they’ve been consistent.

And so they were confident that there were principles that existed that can help you find your audience. I know there’s a lot of musicians out there, Anna, you see them in the groups, where they think their little micro niche or genre’s just the most unique thing in the world. But no, there’s people out there who will be your ideal super fan. Right? And if you apply these principles, I’m not guaranteeing or promising you, you’re going to reach what you’ve seen in others, but I guarantee you, you will have a much, much more enjoyable time playing music. And look at Anna. She said she’s not where she wants to be. She’s got so much more that she wants to do and express. But she’s not going back.

46:17 Anna: I’ve enjoyed the journey, and with competence comes confidence.

46:23 CJ: Yep.

46:24 Anna: So the more we learn, the more confidence we get. And it’s like a circle. So we need to keep learning. That’s what I believe firmly.

46:34 CJ: So Anna, what lies ahead for you?

46:39 Anna: Well, like I said, short-term, I’m going to go over TOM.

46:45 CJ: She’s going back to school, guys.

46:48 Anna: Going back to school. I’m just going to keep researching my data and tweaking things because I haven’t mentioned this yet, but during this lockdown, I might have suffered some financially in other areas. But I have to say my online store is doing better than ever.

47:06 CJ: Good.

47:06 Anna: It really is a great time to be an online musician, guys. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you do because it’s really no time like the present to get started. And I have to say that also gives me more confidence because I see where it is going. And it’s not only the fact that I’m making money from my music, but also the messages I get from my fans, the impact I see that it has, the emails I mentioned to you before. That is also, that is maybe even more valuable, not to downgrade the monetary part because obviously, it is important to keep making music.

And everybody has bills to pay. And we all want to live comfortable lives and we all deserve that. So that’s also a mindset thing that I think we should get over, or I don’t know how to phrase it better. But yeah, it’s not only the monetary part that gives you the reward. But then you see that you have a bigger and bigger and bigger audience. And those are people who are connecting with you. It really gives you the control. It puts control in your hands. You’re the only one who can mess it up. And you’re the only one who can make it into a success, so it’s up to you.

48:34 CJ: Wonderfully said. How can people learn more about you?

48:38 Anna: Well, they can visit my website. I’m not using my last name.

48:43 CJ: Thankfully. I can’t pronounce it, let alone spell it.

48:48 Anna: So it’s aniabmusic.com. Ania with an I, so it’s A-N-I-A, B, music.com.

48:58 CJ: Very good. And so from there, you can also get all of her social media channels. We will include this in the show notes, ladies and gentlemen, so you’ll be able to connect with her and follow her because, I mean, I recommend you follow the students because you’ll be able to see realtime the application of this stuff that’s taught in the course. You can learn a lot just by following some of our students. And of course, Anna is a great example, as I said previously. So thank you, everybody, for listening to us. Anna, thank you so much for joining me.

49:26 Anna: Thank you so much for the invite. It’s an honor, really.

49:30 CJ: You bet. So again, guys, if you’re interested in going further in what Savvy Musician Academy has to have, if you feel like that your music might be at the place, you’ve made some music, you’ve got some albums, you’ve got a social media following, you might consider our elite program, which Anna is in. And you can learn more there at callsma.com. We’re also changing and going to a new format for our inner circle, so if you’re just getting started, you’re not ready to drop a huge chunk of change right now, and you would just like to get your feet wet, because maybe all of the stuff that Anna and I talked about just sounds Greek to you. All these words and marketing terms you’re using, I don’t know anything about that. Well, we can get you up to speed in a very inexpensive way in our inner circle program.

You can learn more about that at savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. This is CJ, branding and mindset coach here at Savvy Musician Academy. So good to be with you. I will see you on the next episode.

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.