Author: 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.

The difference between making $0 month and $10,000 with your music

How I went from $0 in music sales to $1000 to $5000, to $10,000 and beyond…

Most people want to shortcut. They want to reap all the rewards without putting in the risk and the work to get there. That’s like signing up for a gym membership and thinking that you should automatically have abs in a month. Ha!

The reality is that you CAN take a short cut: listen to people who are already achieving the results you want. But don’t just listen. DO.

Take ACTION.
But don’t just take action TODAY…. you have to be in this for the LONG HAUL and be CONSISTENT over a long period of time!


THAT is how you get abs and how you make progress in anything!

Why do I bring up revenue as a marker of success? Simply because that’s what musicians ask me about day and night. They want revenue.

They want to fund their passions, dreams, next album and be able to pay the bills from it and quit the job they hate.

Okay then, we can do that…. but it’s going to take a major shift in your attitude.

Here are 10 things you must do to get there:

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1. Create amazing, quality music that the market wants. Quality means it’s in demand, and quality means it sounds great, regardless of the budget.

2. Identify your niche, your “twist” that a smaller group of people are actually excited about. You don’t need millions of fans, you only need a 1000 die-hard fans that are in love with your music.

3. Have a consistent image & brand across all social platforms, your website, and merchandise. What does your brand communicate? What feeling does your imagery create in your fans? If you don’t know, you’re likely missing out on a lot of sales.

4. Be purposeful in what your music stands for and build a culture around your music. People see your music as bigger than just the music. It’s part of their way of life. It’s a lifestyle brand.

5. Have a detailed understanding of how to launch your music online whenever you have a new release. You know how to plan and execute an online campaign, in a matter-of-fact, methodical way. No guessing.

6. Launch your old and new music perpetually to new people every single day. This is called an “evergreen launch”. It is always running, and the sales pay for the campaign.

7. Automate your “lead gen” or new fans. There’s a way to attract new fans every single day, 24/7. You know how to build relationships, and automate the process of taking a new fan from Aware to Engaged to Buyer.

8. Be fearless when it comes time to sell. If you want to succeed, you have to get over this. But even better, your system does the selling, and you don’t have to even talk to one single person (so yes, you can be successful as a hard-core introvert).

9. Regularly ask for feedback from your fans and survey them. Use the data they give you and you turn it around and make more music, merch products, bundles, and whatever they want based on that feedback. Don’t guess: ASK!

10. Be willing to take a RISK. Stop being afraid of what people will think. Don’t ask “How can I stand out online?” … just put your head down and start DOING what you know you should!

I am currently having my biggest physical music sales month… maybe ever. Mostly selling CDs.

What has taken me from $10,000 to $20,000 per month?

Doing exactly those 10 things over and over and over.

Getting better at it.

Dialing it in.

Then testing and experimenting even more.

Taking more risks.

Sometimes failing.

Learning from it.

Stepping out in faith.

Putting more faith in my fans.

Being more transparent.

And continuing this journey in the Wild West of the New Music Industry!

Episode #032: The Art & Science of Stage Design Pt. 2

Hey everyone and welcome back to the Savvy Musician Show! In this episode we dive into Part Two of our conversation with Matty Chirichillo, as he tells us about touring, the music industry, and putting together a great show. Matty is a DJ, Songwriter, Music Producer and Production Manager/Systems Engineer at Pure Joy Productions. After covering some important topics in Part One of our interview with Matty, today we are jumping in and discussing hiring the right people according to your budget, funding your tour, organizing transport, and much more. Matty’s enthusiasm and young expertise is so inspiring and we are sure you will find a few of gems in our conversation that you can apply to your own career. For all this and more be sure to join us!

Key Points From This Episode:

    • Putting together a skeleton crew for a great, low-cost tour.
       
    • Considering different ways of funding a tour and its expenses.

    • Figuring out salaries and the going rates for different roles.

    • The vehicle, the driver and the laws around these.

    • Hiring a visual artist and the video and projection aspects of a show.

    • Matty’s last little piece of advice to our audience.

    • And much more!

Tweetables:

“You got to have some idea of tickets being sold before you get there and really working on your marketing aspect and doing a real hard marketing push no matter what.” — @MattyChirch [0:06:28.4]

“At the end of the day even though these bands have a lot of big budgets everyone is still trying to save money.” — @MattyChirch [0:08:09.3]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Matty Chirichilo — https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattchirichillo

Leah McHenry — https://leahmusic.net/

Leah on Twitter — https://twitter.com/LEAHthemusic

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

Facebook For Musicians Mini Course — http://facebook4muscians.com/

Episode #031: The Art & Science of Stage Design Pt. 1

Welcome back to the show everyone. Today we are joined by Matty Chirichillo who is here tell us all about how to put together a successful tour and all the different aspects that go into this. Matty has worn a lot of hats at his young age, having toured with the Eagles amongst other big names, travelled the world as a DJ, and worked in studio as a producer and musician. In this first part of the conversation we cover Matty’s early years and how he got into the music industry. Matty then breaks down the logistical aspects of touring and offers tons of great advice for accounting, merchandise, and who to hire. The conversation continues in part two, so stay tuned for that too!

Key Points From This Episode:

    • Some background on Matty, his work and area of expertise.

 

    • Where to start when planning a first tour.

 

    • Tour accounting and Matty’s own tips for this endeavor.

 

    • Tickets, merchandise and logging all these numbers before paying anybody.

 

    • The different roles and people you need to take along.

 

  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“It’s super important of really being kind and never burning bridges wherever you go because if you are really serious about touring, you will see all these people again.” — @MattyChirch [0:07:57.9]

“One of the biggest ways to create revenue for yourself as an artist these days is from the live touring.” — @MattyChirch [0:11:31.8]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Matty Chirichilo — https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattchirichillo

Leah McHenry — https://leahmusic.net/

Leah on Twitter — https://twitter.com/LEAHthemusic

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

Facebook For Musicians  — http://facebook4musicians.com/

BVRLY — https://bvrlymusic.com/

Excel — https://products.office.com/excel

The Eagles — https://eagles.com/

Airtable — https://try.airtable.com/

Episode #030: From $0 to $20k Per Month in Music Sales Without Touring

Welcome back to the Savvy Musician Show. Today on the podcast we are going to be talking about using Facebook as a platform and the strategies Leah has used that have led to some amazing results lately. Since implementing these strategies, Leah has gone from zero dollars, zero fan base, no knowledge about business or the music industry whatsoever, all the way to making $20,000 a month in music sales. Inside this episode, we will go over exactly how Leah did this, especially as a recording artist who doesn’t tour, which is absolutely unheard of! Stay tuned as we go over how to build your culture, why you cannot ignore Facebook as a platform, and how to micro-niche down to let your brand stand out. So to jump into the savvy side of Facebook, stay tuned to today’s episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The reason behind why Leah chose not to go on tour.
  • What motivated Leah to become a savvy musician.
  • Understanding that there is no cheap trick or tactic to success.
  • Why it is important to build a culture around your music.
  • Micro-niching down in order to stand out in a saturated industry.
  • Importance of having a congruent brand across all platforms.
  • Why knowing your audience is a precursor to your marketing strategies.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“Facebook has absolutely changed everything I was doing.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:04:19.1]

“You need to build a culture around your music using Facebook.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:06:38.1]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Leah McHenry — https://leahmusic.net/

Leah on Twitter — https://twitter.com/LEAHthemusic

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Facebook For Musicians Mini Course — http://facebook4muscians.com/

Episode #029: Behind the Scenes of a Profitable Tour with Martjin Westerholt

Welcome back, everybody! On the show today we have Martijn Westerholt from the symphonic metal band, Delain. Martijn is here to tell us all about his experiences as a successful full time touring musician over the last two decades. We chat about his early career and former bands before discussing the set up with Delain. From there Martijn unpacks what goes into a tour for him and the band and what the process looks like from start to finish. Through the interview, our guest is kind enough to offer advice to those only starting out on this type of venture and then compare it with the more seasoned set up that he has with his work currently. Martijn offers great advice on staging a spectacle, conquering new markets and the value of having a strong team to work with. He also gets into some financial advice and the best use of earnings when trying to build a future as a touring band. For a great conversation with an experienced professional, be sure to listen in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A little about Martijn and his current band Delain.
  • The songwriting process for Delain.
  • Some of the accomplishments of which Martijn is most proud.
  • Planning for the future and focussing on building support.
  • Thinking about the idea of conquering countries and picking the right markets.
  • The importance of spectacle and putting on a great show.
  • Presenting yourself appropriately on stage in accordance with the music.
  • The order in which Martijn goes about planning a tour.
  • Why you should find good people to sell merch and work the sound desk.
  • Where to invest your earnings when you are starting out.
  • Maximizing profit from live shows and cutting costs.
  • Doubling down and selling more merchandise.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“You have limited resources at your disposal, so you should make every shot count and I think it’s very important that you reached the right people.” — @delainmusic [0:06:46.8]

“You have to think about the market you’re targeting so I’m not talking about the people, I’m also talking about the countries.” — @delainmusic [0:07:26.4]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

LEAH — https://leahmusic.net/

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Martijn Westerholt — https://www.discogs.com/artist/254736-Martijn-Westerholt

Within Temptation — https://www.withintemptationrecordings.com

Delain — http://www.delain.nl

Orphanage — https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Orphanage/778

Nightwish — https://www.discogs.com/artist/215663-Nightwish

Rammstein — https://www.discogs.com/artist/11771-Rammstein

Episode #028: How to Quit Your Day Job and Play Music Full-Time Pt. 2

Welcome back to the Savvy Musician Show and the second part of our conversation with Daniel Coates about going full time with your music career. Daniel travels and performs around the world as Suntara and in this segment we will continue our foray into how he made this a viable and profitable venture. We chat about capturing live shows on video and how Daniel uses this footage, and we get into taking a leap of faith to find your audience. Daniel also expresses his gratitude for his family who are always on the road with him before we think about the exponential growth of musicians following their dreams and finding their own magical way in the world. For all of this and much more, be sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The volunteer who films all of Daniel’s shows for his promotional use.
  • Taking the risk before you can see the whole path.
  • Daniel’s target audience and hitting it out of the gate.
  • Building an audience out of a look alike profile.
  • Daniel’s family’s involvement and the inspiration and motivation they give him.
  • The ripple effect of following your dreams.
  • Reconciling the calling for spiritual music and the business and marketing side of things.
  • Using your own micro-niche and building events and experiences out of that.
  • The power of retargeting and following up on interest.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“We started it out with a certain amount of savings and it wasn’t enough but then we manifested some money, it just came from an unexpected source and things just opened up as we went along.” — @suntaramusic [0:03:12.3]

“People think that kids get in the way off you living the dreams but they actually make you do it, they make you do it.” — @suntaramusic [0:11:39.1]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

LEAH — https://leahmusic.net/

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Daniel Coates — http://www.suntaramusic.com/about/

Suntara Music — http://www.suntaramusic.com/

Suntara on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/suntaramusic/

Eventbrite — https://www.eventbrite.com/

Episode #027: How to Quit Your Day Job and Play Music Full-Time Pt. 1.

In this episode of the Savvy Musician Show we are joined by Daniel Coates from our very own Savvy Community. Daniel is a great example of someone who has taken some of the lessons we teach at the academy and applied them to making a living from what he loves, his music. Daniel is here to tell us all about how he did this and the unique way in which he applied these lessons to his own model and ambitions. We chat about the time leading up to his full time career switch and how he then managed to make the change to an international touring musician. Daniel explains his live shows and the marketing strategy that goes into planning these. He also gets into life on the road with his family and how he has built this into his career. For an inspiring conversation with someone who has successfully created a viable music career, be sure sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A little bit of Daniel’s backstory and how he made the switch to full-time musician.
  • The defining moment that forced Daniel to make his own way.
  • Daniel’s advice to someone trying make a living from their art.
  • Some information on Daniel’s live show and what it involves.
  • Daniel’s basic marketing strategy for getting people to attend his events.
  • The things Daniel tweaked to start making a profit from his music.
  • Touring with family and making that work on the road.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“It eventually arrived and it arrived largely because of the information that you put together for us, that’s a huge part of it.” — @suntaramusic [0:08:46.2]

“I went to Portugal and I lost money and I went to Italy and I lost money because I did, I made some mistakes and I didn’t have enough events and I wasn’t doing this day workshop.” —  @suntaramusic [0:19:43.2]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

LEAH — https://leahmusic.net/

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Daniel Coates — http://www.suntaramusic.com/about/

Suntara Music — http://www.suntaramusic.com/

Suntara on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/suntaramusic/

Eventbrite — https://www.eventbrite.com/

Episode #026: What Is Windowing and Should You Try It?

In this episode of the Savvy Musician Show Leah will be talking about windowing and its usefulness as a launch strategy. First off, Leah unpacks exactly what windowing is and how it has traditionally been used in the film industry to try and maximize revenue for films across platforms. She then looks at who in the music industry the strategy might be applicable to and why you would actually consider employing it in the first place. From there she unpacks some of the fundamental pros and cons of windowing and how to navigate these for best results. The last part of the episode is spent examining Leah’s own experiences with this strategy, in her current album launch cycle. For a great and informative exploration of the idea and its utility, be sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What is windowing? And looking how it has been used in the film industry.
  • Who can successfully use windowing as a strategy?
  • Basic pros and cons of windowing your album launch.
  • The importance of communication and framing your choices to your fans.
  • Considering piracy and losing revenue across platforms.
  • Setting expectations and preparing for the unexpected.
  • Leah’s own experiences with windowing in her current launch cycle.
  • Why Leah has now chosen the accelerated windowing strategy for herself.
  • Hitting six figures for the launch and revenue goals for the rest of the year.
  • Exposure over windowing in building a following.
  • Leah’s challenge to those looking to build a bigger audience.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“All my marketing strategies for my album are encompassed in what I can do online and how I can promote my fan base year round and then I create assets and my albums are assets and these assets are what I market every single day.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:01:38.6]

“By controlling the experience, you’re controlling where and how people can access that media.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:04:11.3]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

LEAH — https://leahmusic.net/

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Episode #025: How to Run a Successful Facebook Group for Your Music Brand

In this episode we are dealing with a fundamental part of running your brand in the current climate and that is how to utilize a particular area of social media, namely Facebook Groups. Things have changed over the years across social media platforms and the current system and algorithm on Facebook has resulted in a downturn for the use of Pages due to lack of reach and natural growth. This has led many businesses to turn to groups as a way to build community, connection and ultimately revenue. We chat about about naming your Group, the ins and outs of running it, content selection, moderation and much more. The episode rounds out on the topic of turning group members or groupies into customers, and ultimately making money. So join us and get your music brand growing and blossoming today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The move away from Pages towards Groups on Facebook.
  • Why should you have a Facebook Group for your music brand?
  • The algorithmic changes that Facebook has implemented recently.
  • The real purpose of starting a group on Facebook.
  • Naming your Facebook Group around the culture of your music brand.
  • How to run, limit and contribute to your Facebook Group.
  • Laying out rules and making sure members see them.
  • What to post and how to select content.
  • The exciting new ‘watch party’ feature for Groups.
  • Allowing others to post and moderately these.
  • Turning groupies into customers, email lists and funnels.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“My goal here is to give you some quick strategies that you can implement and get started on right after this episode.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:01:16.6]

“If you don’t have these big threads going on then that tells the algorithms that the content isn’t interesting and it’s not worth showing more people..” — @LEAHthemusic [0:06:24.8]

“The purpose of building this group is all about building authentic relationships.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:08:49.2]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Leah — https://leahmusic.net/

Savvy Musician Academy — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/

The Super Fan System Elite Program  http://www.callsma.com/

The Super Fan System Elite Program — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/elite/call/

Mark Zuckerberg — https://www.facebook.com/zuck

George Bryant — https://www.linkedin.com/in/gebryant

The Lord of the Ringshttps://www.tolkien.co.uk/product-category/the-lord-of-the-rings/

Enya — https://enya.com/

Buffer — https://buffer.com/

Meet Edgar — https://meetedgar.com/

Episode #024: How I’m Using Spotify Ads for a 6-Figure Album Launch

If you’re a musician who has been looking for clarity on how to approach Spotify, this episode is for you. Listen as Leah creates a Spotify Ad and highlights the features the platform offers artists to market their music. 

Important Things To Remember

  • If you want to target multiple countries, you’ll need to purchase multiple ads.
  • Different audiences are on different platforms.
  • Always try to focus your ad to a granular audience.
  • Record your own audio for you ad. Put some energy into it!
  • Utilize Facebook Pixels by directing people to your website.

Revisit the Highlights

01:00 – Submitting a Song To A Playlist

02:30 – The Goal of Streaming Sites

04:00 – Spotify Targeting

05:40 – Spending Minimum

06:25 – Building the Ad

08:15 – Targeting Your Audience

14:15 – Making an Audio File for Your Ad

17:15 – Directing People to your Website

 

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