Episode #110: An Interview with Jason Stallworth (Elite Student)


This week C.J. is joined by Jason Stallworth, one of our first Elite students. There is so much experience and advice shared that it’s hard to pinpoint any in particular. Really what you get this week is a look into the life of someone who is really doing it and their best advice for you.

As Jason states, “That’s the biggest thing—you have to be in this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music…that passionate about your music to stick it out.” A lot of people are quick to give up, but by applying what SMA teaches, and what you’ll learn in this podcast, you will see results and then scale what’s working. It’s so simple we often overcomplicate it. Well, this is one decision you don’t have to overcomplicate, listen to this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show to keep building your music empire!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Intro to Jason Stallworth
  • Surveying to find your micro-niche
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Page like ads
  • Writing better copy
  • Putting out organic content
  • Using vulnerability to connect with fans
  • Responding to all your fans
  • Launching and promoting your album
  • Creative ways to promote your sales
  • Diversifying your income
  • Committing to the long run
  • Going back through the course
  • Using what you learn from SMA in other places


“I think I made it more complicated than what it needed to be. I was like, ‘Well, what’s my micro-niche now?’ Going through the steps though, asking your fans, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen that’s been so helpful to me.” – @jasonstallworth [0:10:57]

“Not everything’s going to work like you expected, which is why we test things. So, just be authentic and organic. I mean, it’s your genre, so, you know how your audience speaks.” – @jasonstallworth [0:22:20]

“You have to present yourself and your music in a way that’s beneficial to them (your audience).” – @jasonstallworth [0:31:08]

“Launching your album, or I should say promoting your album, doesn’t stop after it’s launched, you have to keep that momentum going.” – @jasonstallworth [0:37:54]

“You give that message out there, that authentic message that tells what you are and what you do, but also tells that person that, ‘Hey, I’m one of you.’” – @jasonstallworth [0:45:34]

“That’s the biggest thing, you have to be in this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music, that passionate about your music to stick it out.” – @jasonstallworth [0:48:39]

“If you’re getting frustrated over these types of things, then that frustration is going to show whenever you do put something out there on Facebook or on Instagram or wherever you’re putting it on.” – @jasonstallworth [0:52:50]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Jason Stallworth’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/jasonstallworthmetal/

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

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

The Inner Circle – https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

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. So great to have you guys once again on the premier music marketing podcast. And if you want to do me a solid, you can go ahead and leave a review for this podcast. If they give you the option to click stars, then click as many stars as you can. Write something nice because we do read those. They’re a huge encouragement to us and it does help other musicians like yourself to find the Savvy Musician Show. No student spotlight today because the whole episode is going to be a student spotlight, somebody who I’m very, very anxious to have on this show because we go back and forth on Instagram and Facebook and all, in the groups all the time because he’s a fellow metalhead.

And his project is so interesting, I’m not going to try and describe it to you, we’ll get to that with just a second with him. But welcome Jason Stallworth. Brother, how are you, man?

01:18 Jason: Dude, thank you so much for having me on, man. This is awesome. I feel honored to be here.

01:23 CJ: Well, I think somebody, if they listen to the podcast for any length of time, they may start to think, “Wow, man, there’s a lot of metal people.” Which just goes to show you, if you can sell metal, I guess you can sell anything.

01:35 Jason: You just have a valid point, man. Yeah, metal is not a popular genre. It’s not a mainstream genre, especially in the U.S. here.

01:42 CJ: Yeah. So, you are a metal instrumentalist initially, but then you’re also got the vocal aspects. In other words, it’s heavy on the instrumental’s part, it’s not band, per se. You’re running this whole thing by yourself, right?

01:57 Jason: It’s all me. I started out, like you said, as an instrumental musician and the first three albums were instrumental metal, and it progressively got heavier over time. But this last album I put out last year, Masterpiece, I actually always wanted to do a vocal album, so, I did. I put it out there and I gained some new fans from that. So, it was a really interesting take. But I want to go back one second here, I did not do that on my own, this album was unique in the fact that I hired out certain parts of it like the drums, for example, that one of the piece that had to be just spot on, especially for metal, this type of album, because this album was more of what you would hear from a band, not necessarily a solo guitarist.

So, I really upped my game and hired people that can do very well what I cannot do. That was a crucial-

02:52 CJ: Right. In other words, they’re not band members, it was, you had to get people to do this. So, very much a project of yours, which is interesting that you just mentioned that, and I’m going to back up here in a second we get to the, where does Jason come from? And all this stuff. But you’re typically, you would have a guitarist doing something, would be just your shredder types, Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, that kind of thing. Whereas, for you, the specific genre is more death metal. So, it’s, think of the shredding being applied to riffs.

03:29 Jason: That’s a very good way to put it. Yes.

03:33 CJ: Yeah. So, it’s not the same thing, it’s not what you’re going to get with the typical, not to criticize neoclassical shredders or anything like that, but if you’ve heard one, you’ve heard the other 125 of them. But I’ve always said, in most death metal songs, you’ve got about 20 individual regular heavy metal songs just in the amount of riffs contained in one death metal song. So, the complexity is pretty serious.

04:02 Jason: It is. And it’s funny you mentioned that, because even the prior albums, my first three albums, which were almost more like hard rock, classic heavy metal, which I still love. I really want to combine melodic death metal with that classic heavy metal, the bands that you and I both go way back to like the early Exodus, early old Metallica, I had to specify old Metallica there. But I didn’t want to be one of those to just fill every millisecond of the song with a guitar solo. I wanted to leave the room for the rhythm parts to breathe.

04:35 CJ: Right. So, take us back now, how long have you been recording music? And then when did you discover Savvy Musician Academy?

04:47 Jason: I’ve been playing music, man, since 1989. I’m an old guy. But I didn’t really pursue it as a profession until I released my first album back in 2013. And I had a little break in between my younger years. And I won’t get into this, but I made some, not the best decisions, life decisions in my early years, and I think sometimes that can prevent you from pursuing when you have other responsibilities. So, fast forward, 2013 released my first album. I started hearing about Leah. Man, I want to say 2014/15, somewhere along that line. And I might be off on that a little bit, but I heard about it. I even called Steve. I even talked to Steve on the phone. He probably doesn’t remember this, but I think this wasn’t when Leah was just starting out. And they were doing like an interview process.

It was probably the first generation Savvy. And I almost pulled the trigger but I didn’t, was scared to jump into something and spend the money, and especially on something that’s nontraditional. A couple of years after that, I guess it was back in 2018/19, I pulled the trigger. I’m like, “I’ve got to do something.” So, I decided to do something.

06:04 CJ: Yeah. So, did you start originally in the Online Musician, or did you go straight for Elite?

06:09 Jason: I went straight for Elite, man. This is one of those things, and you know this all too well when you know you’re supposed to do something with your life, you have to take it to the utmost level and be committed and jump in and not look back. So, I started out of the gate with the Elite program.

06:28 CJ: Anyway, it’s interesting you say it that way because I do find this as the case. And it’s a confidence issue with a lot of people that can’t do the math. And so, they’re unsure of themselves, they’re unsure of the marketplace. So, when you have something like the music industry, which people assume to be very difficult to get into no matter what version you’re trying to do, whether it’s independent or with a label, whatever, it’s going to be hard, difficult. And so, they second-guess themselves. And so, they want to go minimal, get their feet wet. And I get that, I understand. But I love the fact that you didn’t do that. Because what that tells me is, you’re not denying the reality of the difficulty of doing this on your own, you’re not denying the reality of the difficulty of the music industry as we know it. What you’re saying is, “I’m confident in me.”

07:20 Jason: Absolutely.

07:20 CJ: You know what I mean? “Once I get the information, once you tell me how I can solve this problem, how I can get my music out there, how I can remain in to pay… You tell me how, well, I know I’ll pay the price. So, I’m not worried about that part, I just need the information. So, why jack around with all of these individual courses or something like that? Let me just go for the broken beat that much further down the road, instead of starting online.” Not to criticize anybody who starts with Online Musician and then two years later gets into Elite, but I can certainly see the logic.

07:51 Jason: And I think there’s two things when you talk about that, there’s two things I think of. And I heard a recent quote, I think it’s from a movie and about 20 people have quoted this, “If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.” You’re talking about the confidence aspect, and then, “No, I don’t have this, or I don’t have that, or I’m not sure about this.” You have to take that step forward. The thing that happens after that, and I think a lot of people don’t quite get this, is that, even when you jump in, there’s a buttload of work that you have to do after that, and you have to be consistent. You have to keep pushing and pushing and pushing.

I hear you and Leah talk, especially recently on the podcast, and I love this, you’re talking about the shiny object syndrome. What’s the hack? What’s the secret? That sort of thing. And I knew that was not the case from the beginning. So, I went into the Elite knowing that, okay, yeah, I’m getting… I mean, it’s a step by step program. It’s amazing. The things that I have out there now, it’s like, wow, I didn’t have anywhere near that before. So, things are progressing, but I just want throw in there, I just throw in there that you still have to work very hard, very diligent, and work on the right things, of course, and keep pushing.

09:02 CJ: So, in your case, again, started recording 2013, you said was your first album?

09:08 Jason: Yes, my first. Yeah, 2013.

09:10 CJ: Okay. So, by the time you started to target people was… Is this last album, Masterpiece, that you just put out, is that the first album officially for Jason Stallworth post Savvy Musician Academy, or did you release an album earlier using these techniques?

09:25 Jason: No, that was it. That was it. And so, this happened at the best time because that album changed my musical… And metal’s metal. You and I know both metal’s metal. But when you go from instrumental to lyrics, that can definitely further define that style that you’re doing. You keep your old fans, hopefully, but you’re appealing to a different audience at that point. So, having the course before I released that album, that was just extremely helpful.

09:53 CJ: Yeah. Again, it’s interesting for people, I think, to hear, as we have on this podcast with the different students, the different genres, the different approaches, being in the different place. Like the last student I had on here was J.R. Richards, who used to be in the charts. Signed and sold a few million records. But in this new world now, everybody’s on an equal plane. And so, you have to change the methodology as far as getting to know people, your audience and whatever. So, here you are applying all of this to this new record which you just did. Tell me a little bit about your audience targeting. Was that a challenge for you at first? Did it take a while for you to get that dialed in?

10:37 Jason: I made it more of a challenge than it had to be. It’s funny how you can look back and see some of the mistakes you made. And that was an awesome podcast, by the way. I was listening to that on leg day last week, so, squats and then CJ here.

10:51 CJ: Can you concentrate on leg day?

10:55 Jason: No, but it is funny. I think I made it more complicated than what I needed to be. I was like, “Well, what’s my micro-niche now?” Going through the steps though, asking your fans, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen that’s been so helpful to me. If you ask them, they will tell you exactly what they think and what they want from you. But I was like, “Well, I’m going from instrumental to this style. So, do I need to target more death metal style people? Do I need to do this, that?” And I think I overthought the process a little bit more than I should have.

But I ultimately have figured it out, and what I’ve found is that when you have your brand, and I listened to something from actually you this morning when you have your brand out there, I don’t want to say you can do whatever you want, but people are… they’re going to listen to you as an artist. You know what I mean? And as long as you’re not going from like death metal to, let’s say, country or something like jazz or something.

11:53 CJ: Yeah, you’ve got flexibility.

11:54 Jason: You know what I mean? And so, I really think that I overthought that process and maybe spent a little bit more time trying to revamp emails and do this and do that to change things to cater it to what I thought it should be. And I should have just stepped back and breathed a little bit. It’s like, “Okay, I’ve built an audience, I’m continuing to build that same audience and they’re loving everything I put out.”

12:16 CJ: Well, yeah, and it’s a good way to say it because I have seen that happen a lot with people overthinking. And in fact, that’s one of the biggest hindrances I’ve noticed is people getting stuck actually, especially with the micro-niche thing. And which is a double-edged sword because it’s one thing you really want to get that dialed in, I understand that but then another thing, it keeps you occupied and busy, so you don’t really have to fully get out there. I’ll see people literally go for months still belaboring over their micro-niche, and I’m just thinking, “Man, I’d just made a guess at it in five minutes and just started running ads and get myself out there and seeing if I can connect with people.”

And it’s funny though, because if there’s any genre of music, Jason, that you could technically dial in, where it’s really divided into micro-niches, it’s going to be heavy metal.

13:17 Jason: Got you.

13:17 CJ: I mean, there’s wars over genres in within metal. But in another sense, it’s not so particular when you’re getting something new out there. For example, I shared one of your videos on my Instagram and Facebook page.

13:34 Jason: Thank you for that, dude.

13:35 CJ: But I didn’t really get into details about genres and things like that, and people were responding so well. Nobody was harping on it, they were just saying how much they liked it. So, it’s like, “Oh, okay, yeah.” Just get it out in front of metalheads, and we’ll start working our way through. Because sometimes there’s people who listen to music for the enjoyment of it, and then there’s people like yourself, who are into it from a musician’s standpoint. So, the periodicals you read and the videos you watch and the news you keep up with is a little bit different.

For example, when I used to do my targeting for Metal Motivation, I would be thinking about the Blabbermouths and the Metal Injections and all of these different kind of news, gossip type sites and whatever, but then I realized, you know what? If you just read all the comments that those people typically leave on the articles they post there, you’re like, “I don’t want any of those people following me, they’re just a bunch of trolls.” You know what I mean? I want the guys and girls who just enjoy the music. One of the great eye-opening instances I has, I took my kids to see Metallica a couple years ago.

14:46 Jason: Nice.

14:46 CJ: And we went to our biggest sports stadium, indoor sports stadium where our hockey team plays or basketball team plays here in Raleigh, and they had record attendance for the Metallica show. The entire history of that stadium, as many comedians, and bands, and circuses, and big shows, and sporting events that it’s had in its entire history, the record-setting event was a Metallica show. Okay?

15:17 Jason: That’s crazy, dude.

15:19 CJ: Heavy metal, ladies and gentlemen. But here’s the interesting thing is when I drove up to it, me and my kids are getting out, we’re walking, we had to walk because we had to park far away, we’re going through it, and you’re looking at the parking lot at all the cars, and based upon the cars, it looked no different than an NFL playoff game.

15:38 Jason: Wow.

15:38 CJ: You could not tell by the cars, what kind of event this was. Now, I saw Metallica originally back in ’83, the cars that I saw at that time were not the cars that I saw at this time. There was no Mercedes and SUVs and… You know what I mean? It was like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a bunch of rockers piling out of an old van with smoke coming out. So, it was interesting to say, “Okay, I’m walking into the biggest heavy metal band of all time, setting a record attendance.” And from the outset, you could not tell that this was a heavy metal event. Go inside, and outside are people wearing T-shirts. I had to look around for someone who looked like me. I saw kids, I saw teenagers, you know what I mean? I saw people just, maybe they were long-haired and whatever back in the day, but they got jobs and they can’t necessarily live like that now.

Now, the whole point of all of this is that I’m thinking, “Huh, these are people who just love the music. They’re not necessarily going to metal bars, they’re not necessarily reading Metal Injection or Blabbermouth, they don’t necessarily have a subscription to Metal Hammer magazine, and maybe they’ve never heard of Arken, but they buy heavy metal, they love heavy metal.” And so, there’s a huge swath of people that you don’t necessarily have to get so dialed in to target. You know what I mean? And it’s a very, very interesting dynamic, and I think that goes across with everybody. So, long story short, what did you learn? What’s the key thing? You’re going to run some targeted ads, what’s foremost in your mind as far as how you’re going to approach that?

17:31 Jason: The first thing, if I’m running let’s say a like ad, something as simple as a like add, I will keep it at a high level, which goes along with what you were just saying there. So, I might just choose Amon Amarth or something like that, which is a melodic death metal band. But they’re a very much liked melodic death metal band. They’re not so deep into death metal to where… you can actually understand Johan Hegg’s vocals. But then I might also include somebody like Megadeth, somebody like that, because I know, if someone likes both of those bands, they’re going to like my music. And like you just said, that brings in such… it’s metal, sure, but it brings in a wide audience. You have so many different types of people that listen to this style of music.

And I do think that that goes across most genres as well. You’re going to have different types of people that… Look, we live in a huge world, and we’re multicultural, and we’re global. I did a collaboration with an Arabian dude last year. I didn’t know that that culture in Dubai was into heavy metal, but of course, some people are. So, it’s just interesting the types of people that you may not think will like your music, but they do. They’re into it.

18:49 CJ: So, tell me then, was it eye-opening to see the worldwide potential for a fan base?

18:57 Jason: It was. There’re certain countries that are known for metal, like Japan is known for metal. The European countries, which, that’s where metal’s popular, bands like Nightwish and Arch Enemy. U.S., it’s kind of died down, it’s kind of bubblegum metal. I shouldn’t say that, but it’s different, I’ll just say that. Metal today is much different than ’83 when you went to the Kill ‘Em All concert.

19:26 CJ: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

19:27 Jason: I’m very jealous of, by the way.

19:28 CJ: Kill ‘Em all, for one, it was Raven and Metallica.

19:31 Jason: Man, wow. That had to be epic. But, yeah, I was just blown away by some… I’ve got a lot of fans. When we run the ads, when we’re trying to run the cheap likes, or not, I shouldn’t say try, when we’re running the cheap like ads, I’m getting people from countries like India, and the Philippines. And I’m like, “Man, there’s metalheads all over the world.” And I feel bad sometimes for not acknowledging that not knowing that, and being maybe so close-minded to that, but they’re all over the place.

20:03 CJ: Just for everybody to know, when you say page likes ads, likes ads, what do you mean by that?

20:09 Jason: That’s basically, just for someone starting out, that’s basically running an ad and putting your brand out there. You can be an image or a video, putting it out there. Now, people have to see it and actually like it. And I want to clarify something real quick because there’s people out there that say, “Well, you can just buy likes on Facebook.” No, you can’t. They have to be interested. First of all, you’re targeting the types of people that you know are going to be or have a better chance of being interested in you and your music and what you have to offer. And then they have to physically like it, you’re not buying. So, I want to clarify for that if anyone’s listening who’s like, “Well, you buy ads.” No, you don’t buy likes, then you have to physically take an action.

20:54 CJ: Yeah, there’s no scamming here, these are opt-in type things. And you don’t want something that you can just buy, you want people that you target and that sort of thing. So, how does this affect your copy? What was the process for you to figure out, “Well, what do I need to say to these…” It’s one thing to target them, it’s another thing to have your video there, but then it’s a completely other thing to say, “Well, what do I say? What do I write to these people?”

21:21 Jason: I’m going to say this, at first, I just sucked bad at copy, and I was almost sounding like a used car salesman or like trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t suck. That was rather fun. And I found myself doing that because I have taken, I’ll step back a little bit, before I took Leah’s course, the Elite course, I have spent thousands of dollars on, not music courses, but entrepreneur courses. And, CJ, you’re in this space as well, the entrepreneur world, and you know how much stuff’s out there. And I don’t know, you just kind of get this salesy thing that just automatically comes out. And that’s not me. So, what I found that works best for me is just being me, just being organic and talking just like you and I are chatting right now.

And I’m trying to think of a headline, but I can’t… my mind just wouldn’t work right now, but just putting something that you feel at the moment that’s organic. Not everything that’s going to work like you expected, which is why we test things. So, just being authentic and organic. I mean, it’s your genre, so, you know how your audience speaks. I don’t think it’s something that you have to overthink and really dig into as like, “Well, I wonder what they’re going to like.” It’s your music, you already know what they’re going to like. So, that’s kind of the big thing that I took away from that.

22:42 CJ: Yeah, and I’m glad you said that because, sometimes I can sound like a broken record, just trying to hit on these same points again and again about how social media has changed everything. And since my background is in marketing and all this sort of stuff, I remember the old school days, and I know the principles. In fact, we’re teaching in the Inner Circle now, you were part of that, a copywriting series right now. Because if, ladies and gentlemen, direct response marketing had begun at the very same time that social media had begun, the current rules that we understand in traditional direct response marketing would be different. Because marketing is based on the fact that you don’t know who you’re reaching, and so, you have to really, really quickly, whether it’s through a printed direct mail piece that someone gets in their physical mailbox, or an email or what have you, you’ve got to establish that know, like, and trust aspect within seconds.

What they put on the outside of the envelope, if it’s not… your thing could go right into the round drawer real, real quick. They could trash that thing real, real quick. And then when you open it up, and they’ll try to put your name at the top, and they’re like, “These people don’t know me, how did they get my name?” Well, they got it somehow, through a brokerage. So, they got your name and they’re trying to say… But you know that it’s not genuine, you know this is not authentic. And so, here we have a social media platform where everybody is personal. And you’ve heard me say this in our classes where it’s, your post, when you run a page like ad like you’ve done, Jason, that that ad is appearing right before a post from their mom, and right after a post from a best friend.

So, you can’t come across as that vacuum cleaner salesman, you can’t come across as a billboard. You can’t be screaming, “Sale, sale, sale.” You have to come across as personal. And so, that means the language. In some cases, you’re not marketing in the classical sense, like when you’re creating content. And I want you to tell me a little bit about your approach to just content for your existing social media following. How do you feed them? In other words. But that content is marketing in the longterm, because you’re establishing the relationship, but it’s not marketing in the sense that it’s not necessarily offering something. Right? So, tell us a little bit about your approach to feeding your audience.

25:14 Jason: Well, the one thing I would not do is send you an ad, CJ, for a fast-food restaurant. I remember you mentioning that in a prior podcast, which goes back to your point that you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. What I like to do, what I found works best for me is, I’m a guitarist, so, like the easiest thing I can do. And I don’t want to say it’s the easiest, that’s not the reason, but it’s natural, it’s for me to get in front of the camera and just play guitar. Metalheads love that, they love to hear that, sometimes just in a full mix. I’ll actually record just… I’ll make up something on the fly, record it in the full mix, shoot it real quick and sync the audio and video, which is a little process there. Other times, I’ll just plug into my amp and just jam, and I get a lot of response from that. I get a lot of comments, a lot of likes.

And one of the things you can do as a musician, for you guitar players out there, or whatever instrument you play, or even vocalist is, you can lean in towards your expertise in that. And then you get other fans that play your instrument or sing and you entice them as well. So, that’s just a side note. But that’s something that I do. And I can go back, and I can look at these short little videos, and I can see which ones perform well, what resonated with the audience? Sometimes I don’t know if this is going to resonate or not. So, you have to have that analytical mindset, which is another thing I really sucked at, man, before getting into this course is looking at all the data and stuff, just boring to me at first.

Now it’s a little bit more exciting. So, I’m like, “Okay, I see this, this had more progress.” So, I can repurpose that for a video view ad or even an opt-in, if I want to, something like that. So, that’s a big thing. Now, something recently, and we talked about this a couple of weeks ago in one of your sessions, CJ. And this was something that really resonated is, get out there and start talking to your audience more. I’ve actually been, every Friday, been doing just like a little motivational speech or inspirational, not speech, I shouldn’t call it that, but just really connecting just some things that I’ve learned that weekend, even some failures. One of the best things you can do is share your failures with people. And I don’t mean to ramble here, but on social media, everybody’s doing great, right?

On social media, everybody’s got the big house, they’ve got the nice car, the perfect body, and yada yada. They want their best, and they want you to think that, “I’m on top.” Everybody’s a celebrity. So, I will do the opposite sometimes. A couple of weeks ago, I like to lift weights, for those of you don’t know too, that’s been a passion, as long as guitar playing has, I tried to deadlift the weight, and I was filming it, and I was trying for a max I’d never gotten before, I failed at it. So, I decided to post that and make that as an inspirational video for people that, “Hey, you’re not always going to succeed. And just because you see everybody else out there seemingly succeeding in things, they’re not, but it shouldn’t matter. It’s okay to fail and get back up and try again.”

So, just long story short there, I’ve been talking a lot more, almost as much as I’ve been playing to my audience as well. And I have noticed more comments come in from that, more likes and so forth, and just have a lot more engagement. Now that’s further creating my brand, not as just a metal musician, but also as, “Hey, Jason’s helping me in life right now. He’s sharing some of his failures or some things.” I’ve had so many emails come in after that and messages, it’s like, “Wow, I had no idea, dude.” And I know you probably get that all the time being in the motivational space. They’re like, “Hey, you saved my life today, CJ.” Stuff like that. I’m sure you get it.

29:10 CJ: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you then answer somebody who says, “Okay, that’s all well and good, I’m glad Jason’s inspiring people, and I’m glad he’s getting the feel-good metrics of people writing into more likes on this inspirational stuff, but what does that have to do with him selling his music?”

29:28 Jason: It has everything to do with it. Because, first of all, you have to understand that you’re not a known musician. You can be the best musician in the world, but if you’re in this independent artist space, you’re not Metallica. Metallica, they don’t have to say anything, they can put an image out there of their latest CD, unless it’s St. Anger, because I think that was kind of rough.

29:51 CJ: Yeah, it’s rough.

29:53 Jason: But I’m joking. James Hetfield is going to kill me if he hears this. But, no, they can do that, right? Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, they can do that. Slayer, they can put something out there because they’ve been under a label for all these years. Us as independent artists, we don’t have that. So, we have to build, we have to nurture. If I just post my stuff out there, then, hey, it’s crickets. And look, I’ve done it before. I mean, before I got into this course and started learning about promoting music and that sort of thing, I would just tell friends and family and post, “Hey, here’s my album on Facebook.” And yeah, you had couple likes or whatever, but nobody’s really paying attention to it.

But when people find out that you connect with them, and that what you’re doing resonates with them, they start becoming attached to you. It’s really interesting. CJ, I had somebody in Germany buy my album, my CD. They paid more for shipping than what my CD cost. I’m floored by that sort of thing. And when I get little things that happen like that here and there, it’s like, wow. But it’s because you connect with your people, you show that you care about them. And one thing I will say is, you have to present yourself and your music in a way that’s beneficial to them. Because I can talk about me all day as like, “Well, I started playing music, blah, blah, blah, and today, my song’s about this, or my album’s going to be about this.”

They really don’t care that much, but when you start making it about them, and you start asking them questions and they interact, and then you respond to them, it’s like, whoa, okay, that’s a game changer.

31:37 CJ: Yeah, I love the way that you’re phrasing this because independent space is a great way to describe it. People who are in this independent space, which is becoming more and more and more as they learn about this, the rules are different. Now, for a lot of people that say, “I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like a musical career to me, just seems like you’re on social media,” well, here’s what everybody has to understand, we’ve heard about the new normal, we’ve heard about all the ramifications of what we’ve gone through in this particular year 2020 with COVID-19, et cetera, well, I mean, think about how radical the change is. In fact, I posted this morning about that, it was that e-commerce retail online sales are 75% higher than they were at this time last year. Well, obviously because of COVID.

But that means people are learning, “Okay, you know what? I don’t have to go and get certain things.” Like last night, I had to get some new running shoes. And I’m just going to get the same brand I had done before, so, I don’t have to go try on shoes. So, I literally just ordered them, and they’ll be here whenever they get here. I don’t necessarily need them like today, but I was on the treadmill last night and I looked at the bottom of mine, I said, “I need to get some new ones.” Yeah. But it used to be, “All right, well, I’ve got to get down to a Foot Locker or whatever at the mall and go try some stuff on.” No, I know, according to the brand, what my shoe size is. All I have to do is online.

So, so many things that we would normally go out for, we don’t have to. Now with food dash and all these other things, people are ordering food. And again, this is changing everybody’s thinking now. Now you think of, like, I homeschooled my kids, Leah homeschool her kids now. Mine are grown, but I homeschooled. So, you thought about people thinking you’re weird. When I’m homeschooling in the ’90s with my kids, they thought we were weird. But the whole world is suddenly homeschooling. The whole world. Now, I wonder how many commercial real estate buildings are going to be put up for sale after this, when companies now realize, “Wow, we’ve got employees working at home and everything didn’t break down. We’re still getting the numbers done. In fact, we’re getting more, we’re saving money on gas, we’re saving money on this, saving money on that.”

So, the world is going to radically change. And look how many meetings and classes and things are being done on Zoom, and Google Hangouts, and Facebook, and how many bands are now live-streaming. Madonna is now in the exact same position as Jason Stallworth. They’re both on the exact same position, nobody’s playing any live events. Nobody’s touring, nobody’s doing anything. If she has to release an album, guess what, she’s got to do it online. You know what I mean? Everybody. One of my favorite bands, Primal Fear, just came out with an album. Right?

34:33 Jason: Yes. I love that album, by the way, dude.

34:35 CJ: Metal Commando, dude.

34:36 Jason: Metal Commando, yes.

34:37 CJ: But online. They can’t tour, they can’t do anything. So, guess what, everybody, now, being on social media and doing what Jason’s doing, sharing inspirational messages, playing some guitar, sharing his life, doing album launches, which I want him to talk about here in just a second, but doing everything Savvy Musician Academy style will continually become the norm, from here on out. So, as much as we hate the ramifications of in every respect of what’s happening as a result of COVID-19, on the other side of it, there’s this upside for people like you, for people like me, and for those listening that, yeah, man, you can build an online music career. And now, you damn well better.

35:30 Jason: Absolutely. It’s funny you mentioned that, the upside, because a lot of people live in the fear and like, “Oh, my God, my business is going to fail. This is going to happen.” And my heart does go out to a lot of the businesses that are local and that sort of thing. But one of the things I learned in a book that you and Leah recommended is something about the millionaires, the difference between the middle class and millionaires. One of the things I talked about is middle class, they get down when things go south, but the millionaire mindset is, when things go bad, you see opportunity, and misses pretty much opportunity right here to pursue that, even more now that online space is just, it’s more prevalent for us right now to do that. So, yeah.

36:15 CJ: Tell us about your album launch.

36:19 Jason: I’m actually working on a new album, man. So, I’m getting ready to crowdfund, I don’t want to get into the bells and whistles here, but I think I’m going to use Shopify, they have a plugin or something for crowdfunding. That’s something I did not do last year when I released Masterpiece. But I think one of the key things you have to do for album launch, without even going into all the details, is make a plan. And we have the plan in Savvy, of course, but be serious about it, break out the spreadsheet. I’m old school, sometimes I might use a spreadsheet. I use Apple Pages, or Apple, whatever it’s called, Numbers, but I also use old school pen and paper. I like to write things down that way too before I put it into the spreadsheet, because it just gets ingrained in me and it becomes life, if that makes sense.

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned in this course about album launch thing is, you have to plan, you have to plan it out. You can’t just tell a few people like, “Okay, I’m releasing it tomorrow.” You have to plan it out. And I know us musicians, we’re like, “Well, it’s done. I want to put it out there today.” You know what I mean? But, no, make a plan. Use Leah’s advice in the course. And sometimes you may, I don’t want to say you’ll deviate from it, but you’ll find little nuances that may be fit what you’re doing. You know what I mean? But at least use that as a template, as a guideline to go by. But you have to plan that out. You have to plan the pre-launch, launch day, and then even the post-launch. It doesn’t stop.

Launching your album, or I should say promoting your album doesn’t stop after it’s launched, you have to keep that momentum going. But it’s the same philosophy though that that pre-launch, that plan that you make, it’s the same philosophy as like a spaceship taking off. They use a ton of power just to get off the ground. After that, they’re kind of coasting a little bit, you still have to do. So, that’s just crucial. The pre-launch is crucial.

38:21 CJ: Yeah. And this is where I think people miss it, Jason, I’m sure you’ve seen people say this too, where they say, “I don’t see how you guys do this.” Or, they hear about Leah’s success or results and they think, “Oh, it’s got to be a scam. It’s got to be this.” Instead of just saying, “Okay, well, maybe there’s something I don’t know about, maybe they’re doing things I’ve never heard of before.” There’s a lot of independent bands out there with a Facebook page just filled with events, and they do put out a CD or what have you, and they have a little CD release party at their local metal bar or something like that, but it doesn’t really go much more than that.

And so, for you, part of your pre-launch, for example, for your next album, is the inspirational video you’ll do tomorrow as you get it, because you’re running page likes ads, you’re bringing new people in. You’re putting out this relevant content, sharing your life and your music and your thoughts with this audience that you’re building, getting them engaged. Facebook is keeping track of all of that engagement, and so then you can then target these people. You can get them on email lists. So, you have this ever-growing following that’s really attached to Jason Stallworth. And so, that’s happening now. And if he doesn’t release this album for another year, ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be determined by everything he’s doing right now. So, he’s maximizing all that he can have.

And so, again, you can either watch somebody like Jason do it, or you can participate in it yourself. Stop this doubting, stop the criticizing, stop the cynicism. Stop being so cynical and just start doing what’s necessary to get these things done. I know you don’t want to get in all the bells and whistles, but are you going to do anything differently on this next album, based on what you just learned with Masterpiece?

40:21 Jason: Yeah. Honestly, the big difference is, is going to be more. Yeah, I mean, I’m going to do more of everything that I was doing. There’s nothing in particular that I would do differently or even add to that. One thing, I’ll step back from it, one thing I have started doing lately is, when someone buys a CD from me, I will film it, and I’ll put that out there. What I want to tell people is, you don’t want to ask for sales every time, because, again, remember, you’ve got to make it about them, but don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Even if it’s not an ad that you’re running, you don’t want to make every video and every post about that, of course, but, like every fifth video, it might be me going to the post office.

41:04 Jason: I might feel myself driving to the post office just chatting with folks. I’ve actually made a few sales that way. Going to the post office to mail a CD, you get that little cha-ching. We love that little Shopify sound it makes when you get a sale. My wife’s like, “Did we make money again?” I’m like, “Yep.” It’s like a little management.

41:25 CJ: Yeah, you should be able to weave it into all of your content. Because, if people truly love you, and they love the culture that surrounds the music, then they want to hear more about it. I can’t say how many people have said to me, when I write something inspirational, said, “Dude, that’ll be great on a shirt.” Or, “Hey, bro, do you have a book?” Or they’re asking me for products that they know they have to buy. They’re not asking me for a free book, they are not asking me for, if I’ll put that on a T-shirt, though they’ll say, “Dude, that’d be great on a T-shirt. I’d buy it.” So, they’re asking for it. If they know, like, and trust you, as I’ve said before, they’ll buy cat food from Jason Stallworth, even though he puts out melodic death metal.

42:14 Jason: That is true.

42:15 CJ: Because they just love Jason. Right?

42:18 Jason: I love that. We love cats, we take care of a bunch of feral cats, but no, you have an excellent point in that. And that also brings another thing that I want to point this out. This is crucial that I learned in the program is that is to also diversify your income. Leah talks about the five streams of income, and that’s just a starting point. You mentioned a book, I published a book on Amazon called Heavy Metal and Weights in 2017, right before I joined the course. And so, I got to thinking about those different streams of income, and that could be it too. If you’re a writer, write something. If you have a blog post, that’s something I do as well. You can blog about the gear you use, and you can get affiliate income from that. That’s a completely different business altogether.

That was one of the things I really learned to do is just not to, focus on your music, yeah, but it’s not just that, you have to open up the door and do other things related to that as well. And I’ve heard Leah, I’ve heard you say this 1,000 times, don’t hang on that thing that will, “I might just take off and make it, that one thing might just boost one day.” It’s not that, it’s just consistent action every day, the grind, and then diversifying like that. So, that was one of the things that I really took home from the course.

43:43 CJ: Yeah, it really is. You have options, and that’s what’s important for people to notice, is that you don’t have to isolate it to thinking, “How many CDs do I need to sell to make a living?” No, because you can sell the CD, you can sell a vinyl, you can sell download, you can sell T-shirts, you can sell hoodies, you can sell mugs, you can sell hats, you can sell prints, and posters, and coasters, and shower curtains, and bedspreads, and socks, and… Oh, you’ve seen all the crazy stuff you can put your artwork on. And again, if you’re cognizant of the culture that surrounds, of course, you and I know heavy metal culture very well, because you can always spot the heavy metal person in the crowd, right?

You walk by and somebody’s got a Maiden T-shirt on, you’re just going to throw the horns at them. I’ve gone to the grocery store with a Metallica T-shirt or an Iron Maiden T-shirt on. I mean, they may not recognize Amon Amarth like you have on. But I’ll have the butcher, who I’ve never met before, as I’m walking by, Maiden.

44:49 Jason: That’s great, dude.

44:52 CJ: They’re out there. But, again, it’s just about connecting with people who would be perfect for you. So, was that eye-opening for you, a concept of the Superfan? And how would you define the Superfan?

45:07 Jason: The Superfan is exactly that, is connecting with those people. Is first finding those people, and we have to be active in that. And the course, of course, goes to that, teaches you how to do that. But it’s finding those people, and then making that connection, just as you would in the grocery store. You saw the dude with the Maiden shirt on, you had that instant connection you saw him, and it’s the same way online. You go out, find those, you give that message out there, that authentic message that tells what you are and what you do, but also tells that person that, “Hey, I’m one of you.”

I see so many ads, CJ, where you’ll see an image of somebody just holding the metal horns or something like that, and the ad doesn’t even have to say anything sometimes, it’s like, “Okay, yeah, that’s me, that’s my fan. That’s it.” And it pulls you there.

45:59 CJ: I’m so glad you said that because, I got into audience targeting when this copywriting series we just started in the Inner Circle, and I’m talking about how, when you really got your targeting in, the less important the copy becomes. And I’m teaching on copywriting. All right? So, half the battle is targeting. If I’m targeting well, for example, my Facebook page just says, “Metal Motivation.” So, if you got an image of a metalhead in that profile picture, and then the blue Facebook letter saying, “Metal Motivation,” and then the image I’m putting in there is an image that I always use of this heavy metal female model, if my targeting is right like Jason just said, and they see that, what do I need to say?

46:43 Jason: Nothing.

46:44 CJ: They’re going to stop and go, “What is that? Because, however, somebody knew to put that ad in front of me, and I’ve never heard of this Metal Motivation before, but it’s directly relevant to me.” So, the copy obviously helps, because you can explain to people what it is in shorthand, and get them to take some sort of specific action because that’s direct response marketing. But what Jason’s talking about is imperative. Because, if you know who your audience is, then you can get that dialed in. That’s why I tell people all the time if you just spent the next year getting to know your audience, getting that dialed in, and learning how to engage with them, even if you didn’t sell a single thing or didn’t even try to sell a single thing, you will be so prepared for anything at the end of that year.

Because you were setting up, “I know the principles, I know all the things I’m supposed to be posting. I know how to get people on my list. I know how to get them engaged. I know what they want to see from me. I know how to post the relevant stuff,” on and on and on. Your set up to sell now. You’re completely set up to sell. What I see as a problem, Jason, is that people get in the Elite course, and they get go through it as quick as they possibly can, and they’re like, they just finished the course an hour and a half ago, within two hours, they’re releasing their album launch and they’re like, “Well, how come I’m not selling anything? How come I’m not getting anybody interested?” It’s funny.

48:17 Jason: It’s funny because our society today teaches us right now, we want things instantly. We think that we should be able to go through step A through D, and then take an action based on that, and boom, the results appear. And it just doesn’t work like that. And that’s the biggest thing, you have to be into this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music, that passionate about your music to stick it out. And not just read the book, so to speak, and then go take an action, and then say, “Oh, well, this didn’t work. Okay, I give up.” Or, it’s the course’s fault or whatever, whoever’s fault, or the green little gnome. But, no, you have to consistently take that action every day. And it’s something that you have to develop over time as well.

I always like to consider myself decent at marketing, because I’ve done marketing in other spaces as well with another website that I own in the fitness arena, and I like to think of myself as decent at that. But then, after going through the course, it’s like, “There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know, and there’s a lot of stuff that has changed and it’s constantly changing.” But you have to just be engulfed in this as a business. It is not just an art anymore. Yeah, that’s a big part of it, but you have to be ingrained and fully committed to it, and like, and I heard you talking about Grant Cardone, you have to 10 times it. Everything you do, you have to be in it, and 10 times. Do even more.

49:49 CJ: Yeah. Like Jason just said about his next album release, it’s, “I’m just going to do more, that’s my plan, do more of everything.” And I think what happens is, again, I see the same problems with our Elite students, they’re trying to follow everything in the course. And so, all their questions in the Facebook group are about, “How do I connect this to this? What are your stats on this?” And all of the same metric questions and all of that. And they’re still wondering why they’re not getting sales, why their ads cost so much, and all of these things, because they think they’re following the plan. This is what everybody’s missing. It’s the human element that makes the sales.

All that stuff that you’re learning about how to run an email campaign and how to do you know a nurture plan with your emails and an album launch and page likes ads, all of the stuff that you learn in Elite. It only is intended to scale what’s already working organically, which means, if you’re connecting with, that’s what I said, if you spend the next year just building your audience, getting to know them, knowing what they respond to and building that know, like, and trust relationship, a very engaged audience, now you’re ready to sell. So, they go through all the proper steps and they’ve got everything together, everything is pristine. They’re using the right email software that Leah recommends, they’ve got Shopify, they’ve got all the right retargeting apps, everything is set.

They’ve really thought out their email, nurture campaign, everything is set, and it’s not working. Because they forgot it’s not about that initially, that’s half of it. The other half is, you have to engage with your audience. So, I love the fact, Jason, that you said earlier, you started to add this inspirational component to this, and sharing the foibles as much as you’re sharing the victory, sharing the stuff that people don’t normally share, because they, like you said, they want to put their best self out there, but now you’re real to them, which again, build that trust element. And so, now, Jason said he considers himself a decent marketer. He’s learned more, which means he’s even more of a decent marketer, but now he’s got this two-edged sword.

The fact that he’s knowing and building this audience, and growing even more and more proficient of the details of digital marketing. How do you stop that?

52:21 Jason: It’s unstoppable at that point.

52:23 CJ: Yeah, it’s unstoppable.

52:24 Jason: It really is, because, like you said, you can have everything else right on the technical side, and still miss the boat. And it’s frustrating. And one thing I’ll say, CJ, is, how we feel and the things that we tell ourselves, and even the things that happen in our life, how we perceive those and how we react to them, that carries out to how we put ourselves out there. So, if you’re getting frustrated over these types of things, then that frustration is going to show whenever you do put something out there on Facebook or on Instagram or wherever you’re putting it on. That kind of stuff just has a way of carrying forward. So, you really have to make the decision, okay? And it’s a choice that we make to get out of that headspace and say, “You know what? I’m just going to…” Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board. I’ve gone back through the program, Elite program, certain parts of it multiple times.

I’m going through Savvy 3.0. I didn’t start out in Savvy 3.0, but I’m going through it right now because, the thing is that this is not one of those things where you just, you read it one time or go through it one time and then, “Okay, I’m done. Let me go see if it works now.” It’s one of those things that you have to saturate yourself and you have to recognize your weak areas, and then go back and work on those weak areas. So, I know in the course the points where I need to go back and read and work on and listen to, and it’s like, “Okay, let me just go back to this.” And I’m that guy, I have to read the book twice anyway to get it, I realized that about myself, but at the same time though, the information is there, so, you go back through it again, and then you apply it. But at the same time, what you’re saying about connecting with folks, you have to do that.

And it’s got to be organic, it’s got to be genuine and authentic. And you’ve got to show people that you truly care about them. Because that’s what really people want at the end of the day. Yeah, they love your music and all that stuff, but if they come to you and it’s like, “Oh, I like the song, the song meant so much to me,” but then you have this attitude, it’s like, “Oh, crap, somebody just sent me a message on Facebook. I’ve got to respond to this now.” Or, “There’s just too many comments to respond.” I respond to every single comment. That’s one thing I do and it’s one thing I encourage everybody to do, don’t say you’re too busy because you’re not, you have time which you make time for. You’re a little hard-edged here, but these are the things I put myself through. I’m hard on myself on that aspect, it’s like, “No, you need to get off your butt and respond to that comment.” You need to prioritize those things.

55:02 CJ: Yeah, when I’ve taught, not just in SMA, but I’ve taught marketing seminars elsewhere for just other businesses and things, and, Jason, I’m surprised when I do my presentation, which people enjoy, but the question I get afterwards is, “How much time is this taking you? Can I get someone else to run my social media for me?” Et cetera, et cetera. I tell them, I say, “Listen, where the world is headed, no. You can’t hire this out because that’s not authentic, you’ve got to do this,” especially those who are online musicians. And we’ve had people, who have been in our groups, Jason, who, they’ve got somebody… there’s musicians who paid for the Elite course and have someone else taking the course.

55:52 Jason: Wow.

55:55 CJ: Something’s going to get lost in the communication there. And so, If you’ve got, for example, as Jason just said, someone who’s going back through things again and again, reading the book twice, as you said, that’s really dialing down, doubling down and making sure you’ve got all of this dialed in. Because you want it to be second nature. You want it to be so that you can really operate on the fly, and you really know what your audience wants. And there’s other things you can get people to do. For example, my oldest son helps me. I produce so much video content, dude.

56:35 Jason: You do, man.

56:36 CJ: It’s crazy. But what I’ll do is, okay, well, I can repurpose content, right?

56:41 Jason: Yep.

56:41 CJ: So, I’ll send him videos that are longer and whatnot, and I’ll say, “Chop these up.” And he’ll go and he’ll chop them up, get the captions together and he’ll give them some graphics or whatever and he’ll put them together with graphics. And the next thing I do, I’ve got 25 pieces of content out of one particular podcast interview or whatever. But I’m running this for several entities. I’ve got several different podcasts and different things that I do, so, I need his help. I mean, I can do all those things, I just don’t have the time to do it all. But, through all that, he gets to know more and more of the respective audiences and platforms. So, he knows to think like me in terms of what I need. He’ll produce stuff and I’m like, “Oh, perfect.”

He could say, “Dad, I came up with this, and this, and this, and this, what do you think?” “Oh, dude, those are perfect. I could use those here, here, and here.” So, you can get things to help lighten the load down the road, but if you’re going into this thinking, “How can I get the most amount of results with the least amount of work?” You’re probably not out for this.

57:42 Jason: Yeah, you nailed it. You’re probably not cut out for this. Keep your day job or whatever it is because this is not going to be for you. Whether it’s this course you take, or you don’t take a course, or you take some other course, with that mentality, it’s just not going to work.

57:58 CJ: Yeah. And I’ll get people who will balk at some of the expenses associated with this. Because you’ve got to get your Shopify store, you’ve got to get your website. You’ve got your hosting fee, you’ve your Shopify fee. If you’ve got certain apps, maybe they cost you eight bucks a month here, you’ve got your email service provider can cost you 40-something dollars here. And then you’ve got ads and all of this sort of stuff. And so, people are just like, they balk at it. But I don’t know what people think businesses actually do. Even if you got signed for record labels, you’re spending that money.

58:39 Jason: Oh, yeah.

58:39 CJ: You think it’s the record label spending it, no, it’s all taken out of your income. You’re getting pennies, they’re getting the dollars. And this is minimal expense, minimal effort compared to what you would have to do if you try to do it the industry-standard way. But also, think about it, you said you do marketing for another project that you have. If something happened, you couldn’t do the music thing anymore, dude, you could market God knows what. Right?

59:17 Jason: Don’t say that, CJ, if I couldn’t do the music thing anymore, man, I’m dead, dude. I’m on to the next life at that point.

59:22 CJ: Jason’s like, “Don’t speak that on me.”

59:24 Jason: No.

59:25 CJ: But you know what I mean? In other word, you could-

59:27 Jason: No, you’re right. You’re right.

59:29 CJ: Or somebody needed a paysheet, you want some extra money. Somebody say, “Hey, Jason, I’ve been following you, I own a roofing business, a landscaping business. I don’t know this business, could you help me with my marketing?”

59:40 Jason: Absolutely. Yeah.

59:41 CJ: Absolutely. “Could you help me build my social media?”

59:45 Jason: You can build a shop for them. And you can build a Shopify site. And Shopify is easy. But some business owner that doesn’t want to spend the time, you could build that for them. You could build a website. You can do so many things.

59:55 CJ: You could address their graphics, you could address their copy, you could address their social media, you could help them with videos, you could help them with photos. You could tell them what photos to use. I mean, dude, they would be like, “Dude, you’re a pro.” Because you’re touching everything, literally everything. It’s not like you’re just saying, “Oh, I know how to do graphics.” Or, “Oh, I know how to be a social media manager.” No, you could just take care of their email. I mean, anything and everything you can potentially do. That’s how important a marketing education is. It’s like with sales, once you learn how to sell, most salesmen that you meet, I mean, successful salesman, they didn’t work for one company. They’ve been from company, to company, to company, to company. Because good salespeople can always find a job.

1:00:39 Jason: That’s true, and that’s really what we are now. And one thing, CJ, I’ll say is, with this whole marketing thing, and I mean promoting your music and some of the negativity that you might get with people not wanting to spend or not wanting to take the effort, once we realize, and this is something I’ve been telling myself over the past couple of years since I’ve been in the class is, once you realize that every single thing is your fault. Meaning, my fault. Everything in life that happens is, and I don’t mean fault in a bad way, but everything starts and ends with Jason, everything starts and ends with CJ. And once you accept that, you’re free. Your mind and your heart is just more free to, “Okay, now I get it. Let me go through this part of the course again. And how can I integrate this now? How can I act on this? How can I connect with my people better?”

You even said on, I think it’s the last podcast that, the question that you don’t get is, “How can I connect with my audience better.” It’s always about the shiny objects. It’s like, “Well, what do you use to do this?” And those are good questions, yes, but it’s about connecting with the audience and then realizing that at the end of the day, it all stops and starts with us.

1:01:54 CJ: Yeah, I could have a crap website, crap e-commerce site, any platform, you give me any platform, you give me any email service provider, whatever, lowest on the totem pole, you name it, you give me all the bad stuff, and I could still outsell the average person in whatever. Just because it has nothing to do with that, it has to do with creating desire in that audience. And so, when people say, “I don’t understand why people aren’t buying.” I said, “Of course, you do. They’re not buying because they don’t want to buy.” One thing I’ll say to that-

1:02:33 Jason: Have you ever gone to a website or you’ve had somebody on social media, and you’re looking to buy something from them? You’re digging through their website, and then you finally find it, and it’s not fancy or anything, it’s like, “Oh, I got it because…” of something that they said, or something they wrote that just connected with you, and you said, “That’s me. I need more of that.” So, you’re digging. There was a guitar player I was following a while back and he just had some amazing lessons, and I’m like, “Okay, let me go to his YouTube then find his web link.” And I’m taking all these paths to get to find out if he sells something.

1:03:12 CJ: Dude, that is… I keep trying to tell people that’s the key. When people want something, they’ll go through. Because we get preoccupied about the buyer’s experience. And is the button the right color? And is the copy just right? And all of that kind of stuff. That’s all for scaling. Somebody wants something, they don’t give a damn what color the button is, or whatever, they’re just… And that they may have to go through the checkout process. I had this just a little while ago, I had to ship something, and so, I went to print out the label for it, to put slap on a box to send to a friend of mine something, because I don’t want to go to the post office. So, I have the ability to print it out, print the label out, just put it on and put it in my mailbox.

It was a small enough box that I could just put them. I’m not going to the damn post office, Jason. It’s not going to happen. So, I know, because I’ve done it before, I’ve printed labels from the United States Post Office website. So, I did it. It put in all the information for me, all the information of the guy I’m sending to and checked off everything and tried to add it to cart. It had two options, add to cart or add to cart and start another label. And every time I did the add to cart one, and I went to the cart, the cart showed empty. So, it lost everything that I filled. I had to go through that two or three times. You too hate going through starting all over again, putting all your credit card information, but I was so passionate about not going to the post office.

By that third time, I got it done and got the label printed out, stuck it on there and got it in my mailbox. I was determined not to do that. So, who cares about the user? I’m still, even if I was in that situation again, as much as I had a problem with that, I’m still going to go back to that post office website and do it again.

1:04:55 Jason: There was a benefit to you getting-

1:04:57 CJ: The benefit.

1:04:58 Jason: Right. And if we portray for ourselves in that way, that, hey, being part of CJ’s world or being part of Jason’s world, there’s a benefit to you. And that is, first of all, you’re getting some awesome music, but you’re also getting a person that cares and is connecting with you. And that’s what that’s all about.

1:05:18 CJ: Yeah, I think it’s important to create desire in your audience. And there’s a 1,000,001 ways to do that, because people are just like, “Well, yeah.” But what if they don’t really want to buy it? There’s not a strong enough desire to just buy the music. Well, then you have to create different versions of that desire. And that’s weird for people to think. And so, like on my side, Metal Motivation, what I do is, I create a sacred sense of obligation, a debt, I create a debt in my end-user. So, sure, they’ve probably got enough T-shirts. They don’t necessarily see my Metal Up T-shirt and go, “Oh, I’ve got to have that, that looks so awesome.” No, no.

So, how do I get them to buy it? By being so good to them, and adding so much value, and they’re like, “I have to support my man.” And they buy the shirt. Even if they don’t buy it for themselves, they’ll buy it for somebody else. And I’ve had so many people, Jason, who’ve purchased, then went to find the contact information, sent me an email and said, “Dude, I just ordered from the site, I just wanted you to know how much you mean to me and all that you’ve done, and I just wanted to give back.” Then they’ll say it on Facebook, “I just wanted to give back.” And they’ll come back and tell me that they bought. And I completely ignore their comment… No, I’m kidding.

I go in there, of course, celebrate them for that. But, all of that, Jason, what we’re talking about is human. It’s not technology, it’s human. I always say, when you truly understand how social media works is when it disappears, and you realize you’re just talking to people. That’s all it is.

1:07:08 Jason: You’re right. Because do you think Metallica is going to write you back? Do you think James Hetfield or Lars or one of those guys… No. With us, yes, we’re going to respond. And that’s why, another reason why I think it’s so important to acknowledge people and respond to them, especially if they have something that’s more than just a word long, I still thank everybody any way or give them a metal horn or something like that in the response. But if someone’s leaving you a comment though, and you just ignore it, you don’t respond, then that tells them that, “Well, they think they’re too big to respond to me.”

1:07:42 CJ: Right. That’s why I say it’s amazing, and I’m sure you’ve had this, where people have messaged you and you get back to them. They’re like, “I didn’t even think you were going to write back.”

1:07:50 Jason: I’ve had that, yeah. They’re like, “You actually responded.” I had one person say, almost right away, he was like, “Oh, great, another one of those people is not going to respond.” And I’m thinking, “Dude, you just sent this an hour ago. Give me time to finish my steak or whatever.” Of course, I responded. I’m like, “No, man, I’m here.”

1:08:09 CJ: What I started doing as of late, I don’t do this all the time, but because people feel that way, surprised that you respond, I’ll respond with voice.

1:08:21 Jason: Oh, nice.

1:08:22 CJ: They’ll write, “Hey, man, do you have any…” Or, “I loved your whatever,” some post. Sometimes the Instagram profile is obviously not their name, so, I’ll click on it, and I’ll see their name. It might say Death Metal Guy or something, but then I’ll click on it and it’s Dave Martin. So, then I’ll go right back and I’ll say, “Dave, hey, man, thanks for writing. So glad that meant a lot to you, man. Just appreciate you and hope you have a great weekend.”

1:08:52 Jason: They’re like, “Wow.”

1:08:53 CJ: I mean, “He had to go find out what my name was, and he answered me.” And I’ve had people I’ve done it for, and they’re like, they’ll take it and they’ll go and show their wife or their husband or something, “Hey, listen, he actually just answered me, literally answered me by name.” Because what that does is that turns your fans into evangelists.

1:09:17 Jason: Yes, it does. Yeah.

1:09:18 CJ: You know what I mean? They become champions for your cause. So, now, your name is now safe with them when you’re not there.

1:09:27 Jason: That’s an awesome thing to have.

1:09:28 CJ: You know what I mean? When somebody talks crap about you, there they are to defend.

1:09:33 Jason: That happens, that that happens, CJ. What you just said is a real thing. I rarely get any trolls. I’m on YouTube as well, and that’s where I started building a bigger presence way early on. And over the years, I’ve had one or two negative comments, but I don’t even have to say anything to those, because there’s like four or five people jumping in right away. It’s like, “Hey, you don’t know your ass from a hole on the ground. This is a good guy.”

1:09:57 CJ: That’s right. Yeah, I mean, it’s all of that, guys, and I know that we kind of machine-gun style this today and there’s probably, it’s like they say, you’re like a porcupine because you have so many points. We dropped a whole lot of points on them today, but I think it just goes to show that there’s a richness and a depth to this. I would not be a part of the Savvy Musician Academy, because I’ve got other things to do. Jason and I follow each other, so, Jason knows the other things that I do. I don’t have to be here at the Savvy Musician Academy.

1:10:26 Jason: Well, a lot, dude.

1:10:29 CJ: I don’t have to do this. This is not some kind of scam or what have you. I’m in it because, A, Leah is a dear, dear friend of mine, and she is the real deal. I saw somebody comment on one of her ads the other day, it was so funny. They go, “Oh, yeah, you’re successful, which is why I’ve never heard of you.” And I’m like, “Dude, you just encapsulated the entire selling points of the Savvy Musician Academy.

1:11:00 Jason: They’re clueless.

1:11:01 CJ: You’re not one of our Superfans. Of course, you wouldn’t have heard of her. She’s only targeting people who would like what she does.

1:11:08 Jason: Exactly, dude.

1:11:10 CJ: So, it’s just like, Dude, come on, man. But anyway, it’s a message we’re preaching, Jason, because we believe it works, and, of course, it’s great to see it working in someone’s life, in business like yourself. And, of course, all of us metal cats that are in the Savvy Musician Academy kind of all high-fiving each other all the time, because we’ve got several of them, we do, we’ve got several of them.

1:11:37 Jason: That’s growing.

1:11:38 CJ: Yeah. And so, of course, Leah’s one, and we want to see every genre, we love all of our Savvy students. And what’s great is, a lot of the going back and forth are people from different genres helping each other out in the Facebook groups and sharing their results and their metrics and their how-tos and their apps, and it’s really wonderful to see, to see like Jason will come out with something that’s melodic death metal, and you’ll see people from pop, and ambient music, and country, and probably different, who knows? Political view, who knows? All chiming in, celebrating what Jason did and vice versa. Jason’s doing the same thing for others. It’s such a great community. Have you gotten a lot out of it? Because I know you… You’ve been around. How long have you been in Elite.

1:12:30 Jason: I’m one of the Elite veterans, I guess. I jumped in, I don’t know how long it had been established, but I was in the first Elite program.

1:12:41 CJ: You were in Elite before I got to Savvy.

1:12:44 Jason: I believe so, CJ. I think it was 2018 sometime. I get my years mixed up sometimes. But, yeah, I think it was a first-generation Elite or the very first course that she laid out, which was really awesome. And other thing I’ll tell everyone is that the community is more like a family, and you get so much out of each other as well. And you even form friendships and things like that. You know Ken Candelas very well, CJ, him and I have started something on the side as well. So, other things can happen through this as well. I mean, yeah, your music, you’re going to work on that, and you’re going to build that, build your audience, connect with your fans, but there’s so many other little opportunities that you’re not even thinking about right now that just pop up later as you meet other people.

So, I’ve gotten so much out of it, even outside of the course, not only course itself, but just even some of the friendships and things like that that I’ve formed. So, yeah, I mean, I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m very proud to be part of it.

1:13:52 CJ: Dude, I know that like yourself, because you’ve referenced the podcast several times during this interview, and there’re several other Elite students who listen to the podcast, I know that they’re like high-fiving us as they listen to us because they know exactly what we’re talking about. And this may sound like a webinar, this may sound like a sale. It’s really not a sales pitch.

1:14:17 Jason: It was a good sales pitch, right? If it was. I’m kidding.

1:14:22 CJ: I didn’t send Jason questions, Jason had no idea what I was going to ask him about. In fact, when he first popped up, I said, “Dude, I’m not even going to ask how you’re doing, because I want to save everything, all our energy, all our inspiration for our talk.” And we’re just gravitating towards what we’re passionate about. And like Jason said, it is like a family. And so, just like you talking to someone else at another kid’s birthday party would talk about your kids or your pets or your whatever, talk about work, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re passionate about music, A, and then, B, being able to have this new way to navigate in the new era of the music industry. And having a phenomenal example in Leah, to have set the standard for everyone and be the pioneer who’s paved the way and being able to now grow individually and apply these things to ourselves, and modify them and shape them.

Some things work, some things may not work, it all depends on the particular artist. But what’s not to be excited about when you’re like, “Wow, this is really possible, this is really happening, I’m really getting results”? Well, is Jason a millionaire now? No. But who cares? He’s moved in an inch, he’s going to move in a mile. If he sold 10, he can sell 10,000.

1:15:44 Jason: That’s another thing I learned, if you can sell one or 10, you can sell 1,000. And you were talking about scaling up earlier because that’s for a different conversation. But, yeah, I mean, you do have to go into it with confidence and that attitude that, “I am committed though.” That’s the one thing. And this just popped in my head, I remember several times you and Leah both saying that people will buy a course, and you can see who’s going through the course, and go through a couple modules and not finish it, never finish it. So, you had to go in there knowing that it’s going to be worked out. And that’s one thing I want to stress with everyone is, it is work, guys. I mean, it’s a lot of work. It’s hard work. It’s not easy.

I mean, yeah, the path is there, and everything’s there for us, but it’s tough sometimes. It is. And if you’re not willing to put in that work, like we were talking about earlier, you’re going to get people saying, “Well, how much time is this going to take?” Probably not for you, if that’s the case, but you have to love what you do. I know you and Leah obviously genuinely loves seeing people succeed. And that’s hard for some people to wrap their head around. Because a lot of people just think, well, you’re just in it for this, or in it for that. But, no, you guys, and myself included, we generally love to see people do well, because we think that the world is a better place when everyone is succeeding and doing well.

Now, you may get into this and then surpass me, and that’s fine. That doesn’t matter. But we want everyone to do well, and we want everyone to pursue what they’re passionate about, leave their legacy when they leave this earth, their legacy is here, their music, and pursue that and do what they love to do the most.

1:17:27 CJ: Yeah, you got one shot at life, clock is ticking on the only life that you’ve got. So, let’s maximize all that we are, all that we can do for this greater purpose. And I love the fact that so many musicians, and you included, Jason, that are in Savvy, are serving greater purposes. What a great attitude that you have, what an inspiration you truly are. You’re a metal motivator, man.

1:17:49 Jason: I love that, dude.

1:17:53 CJ: But of course, you would be. That’s why you were in Elite. That’s why they picked you. You know what I mean? It’s the quality of music, A, quality of person too. And there’s no haters.

1:18:06 Jason: No, there’s not.

1:18:07 CJ: Our Facebook group sees no… Everybody’s sweet, everybody’s kind, everybody’s serving, everybody’s helpful. Because once you’ve got money on the line, and you’ve invested your money and your time to learn a business and create a business, you realize that bad attitudes cost you. You drive people away, it taxes you emotionally, you’re not sleeping, you’re not healthy, you’re not putting out the kind of output that gets communicated to your fans, next thing you know, man, you’re suffering for it. It should be obvious to everybody by now that I think Jason and I could go all day talking about this stuff. Been over an hour here. I’ll publish it as it is, I don’t care. I think this is great, great, great content. Jason, I appreciate you being on here. Why don’t you tell everyone how they can learn more about what you’re doing.

1:19:02 Jason: Sure. And it is an honor to be on here. When you reached out to me, I was stoked. I told my wife, I’m like, “I’m almost CJ.” Yes.

1:19:11 CJ: We’re going to metal this thing up.

1:19:12 Jason: Yeah. Thank you so much. Because this was not planned, there was no agenda, we just basically started chatting like two cool people. I guess the best thing to do is just go to my website is my name, not my name .com, but jasonstallworth.com. Jason, and my last name is S-T-A-L-L-W-O-R-T-H, jasonstallworth.com. And of course, as we were taught, you can pretty much access everything from that website, including my shop and all that good stuff.

1:19:40 CJ: Yeah, follow him on Facebook and Instagram, he does post all of the, not just the inspirational content, like he said, he’ll play metal. And in fact, it was one of his metal videos when he was playing, I said, “Dude, this is awesome.” So, I immediately just shared it with my pages, because I want people to experience music, and not just whatever, because there’s so much great stuff out there. And unless you’re connected with these people on social media, you’re not going to find it. So, connect with him on all those pages. So, jasonstallworth.com. And guys, if you want to go a little bit deeper, you can always check out theonlinemusician.com, to check out Online Musician 3.0, because that has just recently been released within the last couple of months.

And it’s a great way to get the organic aspect to this, what we were talking about, before you do all the scaling with ads and all. That’s a great way to do that. So, go and check that out. Jason, thanks again, man.

1:20:36 Jason: Thank you, dude.

1:20:37 CJ: All right guys, we’ll see you later. Take care.

The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. And when they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now. If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast.

For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction, plus tips, tools, news updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting, and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

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.