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.

Episode #051: Micro-Niche VS. Branding

On today’s show we are breaking down the difference between a micro-niche and a brand! Leah and CJ systematically look at each and how it relates to your own music career and especially how to use them to your advantage. They talk about how to differentiate and categorize yourself with these concepts and how they should not be confused with each other. Leah makes the point that using her audience’s own interests and ideas around genre has made a world of difference in her success. Owning a niche and taking charge of the conversation around topics can make impact how and audience responds to your content very meaningfully and really pursuing this path to the best of your abilities will have amazing rewards for you. The episode ends off with some reminders about the importance of support through these processes and why that is such a focus at the Savvy Musician Academy. For all this and more, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A special message of thanks from Chad!
  • Defining micro-niches and sub-genres in the music world.
  • Differentiating brand from micro-niche and genre. 
  • Tying your brand to an audience’s interests and deeper desires. 
  • Owning your niche and the conversation and perceptions around it. 
  • The support that is offered inside of Savvy Musician Academy. 
  • Why Leah stays in the trenches of the music industry. 
  • Today’s simple action step to do with your branding. 
  • And much more! 

Tweetables:

“I am not concerned about being world famous. It always makes me laugh.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:05:24]

“I am blessed with a little bit of intuition before I understood the theory of any of this. I’m still learning so much.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:17:59]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

The Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

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

CJ on Twitter — https://twitter.com/metalmotivation

Tony Robbins — https://www.tonyrobbins.com/

Chad Anderson (student spotlight) — https://www.fromtheseruins.com/

Episode #050: When You Don’t Have Fans To Release Your First Album

On today’s episode, Leah and CJ talk about the commonly faced dilemma of how to release an album when you don’t have fans yet and take you through some of the steps to build this fanbase. You have to have some music, even if it’s not professionally recorded, in order to engage and grab people’s attention in some way. There are so many free tools at your disposal that allow you to be creative when starting out, that a small budget should not stop you. Instead, you have to start by putting yourself out there, without waiting for what you have done to be perfect. People will be drawn in by real life, vulnerability and authenticity, rather than an overly polished person that is not easy to relate to. By being real, potential fans will feel involved in your life and much more likely to stick with you and show great loyalty throughout your career. Letting people into your life is not easy, but it is necessary to create a relationship and build rapport with your fan base. Once you have started putting yourself out there and begun to engage with people, it is important to use that momentum to actually record something professionally that fans can get their hands on and that you can use as a starting point for building your email list, your brand and your culture. To learn how to get started on all of this and more, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • You have to start with some music in order to build a fan base.
  • Some things you can do for free to generate a fan base. 
  • You don’t have to be perfect to release your music. 
  • Realness, rawness and authenticity are very relatable. 
  • What Leah does to let her fans into her life. 
  • Where to go after you’ve started building your fan base
  • Why email lists are so important. 
  • How to start building your brand and creating culture after gaining fans.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“You’re giving people a taste of something and they’re going to follow.” — CJ Ortiz   [0:10:20]

“Let people fall in love with you.” — CJ Ortiz [0:33:48]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Savvy Musicians Mastermind on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/groups/savvymusician/

Book A Call With Our Team — www.callsma.com

Jessi Frey (student spotlight) — https://jessifrey.com/ 

Episode #049: Becoming an Online Musician: Your Key To Future Success

On the show today, CJ and Leah look at what it really means to become an online musician in today’s music industry, talking about what it takes, the buy-in and commitment to achieve the results you have always wanted. Leah starts off giving a brief definition of what she thinks being an online musician is and from there they look at ways in which you can add this branch of activities and income to your current setup. Leah runs through just how much this can help you and the multitude of benefits you can get from relatively low overheads once you commit to the goal of becoming an online musician. They talk scaling, social media formats, time constraints and adaptability. All things you should be clear and aware of going into this. Leah shares a bit of her personal story and how she overcame great odds and a difficult situation to get to where she is today, helping others do the same. For this, be sure to join us on the Savvy Musician Show!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A student spotlight message from Steven! 
  • Simply defining what an online musician is. 
  • How to add the online component to what you are doing right now. 
  • The amazing benefits of adding this dimension to your repertoire. 
  • Understanding the important concepts of scaling and adaptability.  
  • Reports about the changing format of Facebook’s newsfeed. 
  • Getting ahead of the game and becoming an online musician now! 
  • Common misconceptions and misunderstanding about this field. 
  • The time you put in contributes to the results you get.
  • If Leah can do it, so can you! 
  • Some action steps that you can take today!  
  • And much more! 

Tweetables:

“Without touring then, you are doing better than some of the more successful touring bands in terms of each member, what they earn.” — @metalmotivation [0:09:05]

“If you’re an indie artist, you don’t have a label with a huge amount of capital to do it for you. This is an easy, economical, affordable, doable way to do it.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:13:13]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

The Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

Savvy Musician Mastermind — https://www.facebook.com/groups/savvymusician/

Crossing the Chasmhttps://amzn.to/2WdFcpT 

Blue Ocean Strategy https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/what-is-blue-ocean-strategy/

Steven Vrancken (student spotlight) — https://stevenvrancken.com/   

Episode #048: Bonus: Leah Answers Your Facebook Ad Questions

Today on the show Leah and CJ are tackling your questions on Facebook ads! That’s right they are fielding exactly what you asked and giving you the best answers they can muster so you can get rolling with better ad strategies and getting your music and merchandise moving! Facebook and other social media advertising done right can take you from floundering uncertainty to a blossoming career under your own personal control. Leah stresses the importance of copywriting, metrics and getting into the nitty gritty of what works and what does not, you need to learn your way around it all if you want to master it. We discuss the evolving algorithms and how best to stay up to date with them, how to balance your advertising strategy between what is happening now and long term goals and which shop platforms are best. Leah also answers questions on location targeting for events, marketing merchandise compared with music, calling it quits on an ad cycle and more! So be sure to join us today on the Savvy Musician Show!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A special student spotlight message from Mia!
  • A little bit about Instagram ads and how to use them to increase purchases. 
  • Staying up to date with the ever changing Facebook algorithms.  
  • Balancing general, long term ads with specific new content promotion. 
  • The importance of copywriting in promoting and selling your products. 
  • Why to use Shopify instead of Bandcamp.
  • Targeting specific areas and Facebook’s location targeting.
  • Should you market your merchandise differently to your music? 
  • The different types of of ads you can run and which are most effective.
  • The basics of great Instagram ads!
  • How to know when to end your running of a particular ad.
  • Making the most of what you have and getting some skin in the game. 
  • And much more! 

Tweetables:

“hat’s most important is that you know and understand your audience and your brand and everything ahead of time.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:05:38]

“That’s the kind of stuff that you do in marketing and advertising is you just test this stuff.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:11:03]

“Some people look at the Image and they don’t even read the text. You want to use all those different assets they’re giving you to the full potential.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:14:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

The Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

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

DotComSecrets — https://www.dotcomsecrets.com

Exactly What to Say — https://amzn.to/2HhCDyO 

Shopify – https://www.shopify.com/?ref=savvy-musician-academy 

Mia Ramer (Student Spotlight) – https://www.mia-music.com

Episode #047: Why Your Music Isn’t Making Any Money: Paid Traffic

On today’s show, Leah and CJ are talking all about paid traffic. This is the last official episode in the five-part series we’ve been doing called why your music isn’t making any money. We’ve been focusing on all the different ways you might not be marketing your music or implementing and hopefully, it’s going to help you. This last episode is all about paid traffic. Advertising. We’re discussing the dos and don’ts as well as some of the best performing ads that are killing it year round, why Leah is able to do all of this as a stay at home mom, five kids who are home schooled and an artist that never tours. This is the secret sauce. So for all this and more, keep listening!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Defining organic reach versus paid traffic.
  • When paid traffic is appropriate to use.
  • What is meant by pixeling your audience.
  • Targeting your bullseye audience.
  • Using paid traffic for anything and everything related to the fan journey. 
  • The fan journey – awareness, engagement and then a sale.
  • Reaching thousands of people through Facebook.
  • The dos and don’ts of paid traffic.
  • Stop boosting your post – it not achieving anything productive.
  • Why you shouldn’t be running ads from your phone – use a desktop.
  • Keeping your ads separate – don’t run it from your personal profile.
  • Marketing 101 – The importance of understanding Facebook Pixel.
  • Don’t run ads unless your Pixel is installed everywhere.
  • Having a clear objective before posting ads.
  • Why not to run Instagram ads from Instagram.
  • Using Chrome browser and Chrome pixel helper when creating ads.
  • Getting proper training on exactly how to use ads for Facebook and Instagram.
  • Understanding effective targeting and knowing your target audience.
  • Using customized dimensions for different placements.
  • Leah’s 3 main ads: a like campaign, an opt in ad and a video view ad.
  • Building a page to create awareness, having social proof and a bullseye audience.
  • The multi touch point process.
  • And so much more!

Tweetables:

“Paid traffic is going to be your shortcut to the desired result.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:05:03]

“It’s appropriate to use paid traffic anytime, any way related to the fan journey.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:11:19]

“Get clarity on your niche and your brand and the culture of your music. You need this for effective targeting.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:25:20]

“Don’t underestimate the power of social proof.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:31:49]

“No matter what I’m doing I am constantly building my music business no matter what.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:37:01]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

The Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

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

Facebook Ad Manager — https://www.facebook.com/business/tools/ads-manager

Facebook Pixel — https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-ads-pixel

Fiverr — https://www.fiverr.com/

Episode #046: Why Your Music Isn’t Making Any Money: Email Marketing

On today’s show, we are talking all about email marketing, email in general and why it’s a huge missing ingredient for most musicians. This forms part of the series we have undertaken on the Savvy Musician Show, on how to make more money through your music! We all know how important marketing is, and marketing yourself and your own music even more so. People often have different ideas about whether something is relevant and how it actually gets done. But Leah and CJ are here today to help you realize why building an email list is so important and how to go about it in the correct way. They also go into extensive detail on all of the features inside of their programs. So for all this and more, keep listening!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The longevity of email, especially on a transactional level.
  • How e-commerce is growing – as long as there is e-commerce there is email.
  • Why you should be building your email list.
  • Being able to control, customize and personalize the experience for your fans.
  • Email being considered a powerful asset for you as a musician entrepreneur.
  • Immersing people in what you’re all about and adding value to their life.
  • Email as the number one source of revenue in e-commerce.
  • Direct response marketing approaches in email.
  • Uploading your email list to the Facebook platforms and showing ads.
  • Methods that increase revenue – pre-purchase and post purchase campaigns.
  • Using your email for cart abandonment – getting the buyer back.
  • Best tools for email marketing.
  • Using a professional email service provider and landing page provider.
  • Why it’s all about optimization.
  • And so much more!

Tweetables:

“There should be a huge importance and urgency for every musician to be building their list.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:06:43]

“The longer someone stays with you on your list and is a customer with you, the greater the lifetime value.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:11:42]

“It’s really important that you engage with people on the platform the way people like to engage on it.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:18:26]

“If it doesn’t have pixel integration, run away. You need this to make money. It is online marketing 101. You always use a Facebook pixel, you always track the traffic on any of your pages or websites.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:34:18]

“Stop cheapening out on tools and trying to get free this and free that everything.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:34:49]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

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

Shopify — https://www.shopify.com/?ref=savvy-musician-academy

Drip (60-Day Free Trial) — https://drip.com/savvymusician 

Lead Pages — https://leadpages.net/savvymusician 

Episode #045: Why Your Music Isn’t Making Any Money: How To Ask For The Sale

On today’s show, we are tackling the question of how to ask for a sale. This forms part of the series we have undertaken on The Savvy Musician Show, on how to make more money through your music and selling is as important a part as any! Leah and CJ are giving you the inside scoop on the simple ways to convert fans and admirers into paying customers, in ways that don’t feel slimy or coercive. This is a big problem for a lot of musicians, feeling like they are not and do not want to be, salespeople. But with this easy to follow introductory episode you can see how easy it is to start turning a profit and take positive action towards it. The discussion covers direct and passive promotion, approaching a warm audience, email and copywriting and why so many of your audience will be excited to pay you something for the value you offer. For all this and a great conversation on the nature of selling, be sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A special student message from Wendy Nicole Hall 
  • Leah’s own journey to learning to be a better seller 
  • The central role that selling plays in our lives
  • Direct promotion and response marketing
  • Pitching to a warm audience and leaning into your advertising
  • Why to treat your music career more like e-commerce
  • Taking control of your own musical destiny!
  • Passive promotion and where to find your fans
  • The psychological desire to support someone who offers you value 
  • What to look forward to in the next episode! 
  • And much more! 

Tweetables:

“It was actually copyrighting that taught me how to sell. I didn’t have to read a book on how to sell.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:06:16]

“Direct promotion has a huge place. I spend at least 50% of my time doing this sort of thing.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:19:10]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

The Super Fan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

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

CD Baby — https://cdbaby.com

Bandcamp — https://bandcamp.com

Nightwish — http://nightwish.com/en

Epica — http://www.epica.nl

Game of Thrones  — https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones 

Elder Scrolls — https://elderscrolls.bethesda.net

Episode #044: Why Your Music Isn’t Making Any Money: Your Shop

On today’s episode, Leah and CJ break down the next part of the question of why you may not be making more money from your music! They are focusing on the all-important aspect of your shop and how to make sure you are making the most of the platform. They are talking about which platforms are best and why, user experience, the checkout process, retargeting and more! Leah has her favored systems and she explains exactly why she recommends them over other services. We talk about the important things to keep in mind when linking to and setting up your shop and how to make sure you don’t lose customers through abandoned carts and not following up. Leah also stresses the importance of clearly directing customers to your shop, a point a lot of independent musicians seem to gloss over. For all this and a bunch more, be sure to listen in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why you cannot neglect talking about money
  • A great message from Lauren from our Superfan System Elite program
  • Considering the common questions that give rise to today’s topic 
  • Putting yourself in the shoes of your customer during the buying process 
  • Remembering the mantra that people care about themselves
  • What platform are you using and how responsive is it? 
  • Facebook pixels, marketing 101 and why Bandcamp is behind the curve
  • Retargeting and making sure you do not lose sales
  • The checking out experience on your online shop
  • Walking through your own payment and checkout 
  • Creating a familiar and trustworthy feeling
  • Clearly communicating where and how to buy your music
  • Your shop page is for one thing!
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“There’s some things that really, at the end of the day, are not really going to affect your bottom line and so forget about that stuff and start focusing.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:03:10]

“You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of your fan and potential customer and actually walk through the process of buying something.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:06:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

Shopify —https://www.shopify.com/?ref=savvy-musician-academy 

WooCommerce — https://woocommerce.com

WordPress — https://wordpress.com

Jeff Bezos — https://www.biography.com/business-figure/jeff-bezos

LeadPages — https://leadpages.net/savvymusician 

Stripe — https://stripe.com

Flag nor Fail — https://flagnorfail.com

Quest Nutrition — https://www.questnutrition.com

Drip — https://drip.com/savvymusician 

AWeber — https://www.aweber.com

BigCommerce — https://www.bigcommerce.com

Episode #043: Why Your Music Isn’t Making Any Money: Website

Key Points From This Episode:

On today’s episode, Leah and CJ launch a five-part series to delve deeper into why your music isn’t making any money, starting with the website. They reflect on what they’ve discussed in previous episodes, talking about targeting the “superfan” as well as what success in the new music industry looks like and how crucial a website is in all of this. It is easy to think that because of the multitude of platforms available today that a website is not necessary, but as they show, it is clear that a good website is necessary. They talk about some of the misconceptions people have when they are not making money off of their music and how to overcome these mental blocks. Fixing your website and putting in effort and consideration in at the start, means you can fill gaps perhaps you weren’t aware of. CJ and Leah give some simple, yet vital points to help you kickstart a website that excites people and keeps them coming back for more. For all this and much more, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The five parts that will help you understand why your music is not making money.
  • A success story from the student spotlight series. 
  • Why even today, with all social media websites are necessary.
  • What happens when you have a bad website.
  • Websites are more predictable than other social media 
  • The importance of a great URL.
  • The myths people believe when they don’t make money from their music online. 
  • Simple tips to improve the quality of your track. 
  • Being well connected is not the basis of success.
  • Which things musicians do wrong on their website. 
  • Good reasons for using more sophisticated page building sites.
  • The importance of thinking about the end user experience.
  • Why having good graphic design makes a greater impression.
  • Why being consistent across many platforms will help you succeed.
  • The difference between mobile friendly and mobile responsive.
  • And much more!

Tweetables:

“You just need a select number of people; you’d be surprised at how little that amount needs to be that could give you even a full-time career playing music.” — CJ Ortiz [0:21:59]

“80% of website traffic is happening on a mobile device.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:45:18]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

Fiverr — https://www.fiverr.com/

Book-A-Call —  http://www.callsma.com 

Episode #042: Why Every Musician Should Care About Their Metadata

Today we have such a cool guest joining us! His name is Sebastian Wolff, and he has been involved in the video game music industry for over a decade, modernizing practices of rights management, royalty collection and assessing music publishing opportunities for game developers, publishers, and composers. Sebastian also co-founded the US mechanical rights company called Loudr, which was acquired by Spotify in 2018. In addition, he founded Materia Collective which is a leading video game music group that manages soundtrack distribution and publishing and produces CDs, vinyl and sheet music. On this episode we get deeper into the business side of the industry, talking about licensing and rights and how artists should go about making sure that they remain on the legal side of things. Sebastian explains to us what metadata entails and why it should be a top priority for any artists, particularly because of its revenue implications. He has so much more knowledge to share with us, so don’t miss out on today’s episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A quick introduction to how Sebastian got started in the exciting world of video game music. 
  • Finding Loudr and recognizing a need for licensing and rights assistance in the industry. 
  • Sebastian’s view on streaming and how it is placing a higher demand on the quality of music. 
  • How song covers contribute to the industry and what their legal implications are.
  • The strict regulations around uploading cover songs on social media platforms. 
  • How to get rights for publishing and selling and the best companies to consult. 
  • What metadata entails and why it is so relevant to all industry role-players. 
  • Embedding your metadata and advice and how to approach and manage it. 
  • Why artists still need to register copyright, even before releasing their music. 
  • What Sebastian is learning at the moment and the book he recommends to everyone. 
  • How artists can increase their revenue and why doing the not-so-fun bits is necessary. 
  • And much more! 

Tweetables:

“From almost like a free market perspective, it’s like every song needs to be good, you know? As supposed to in the old music industry, it was like, you could have an album with just a couple of hits and the rest would be fillers.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:07:59]

“Anytime you’re making use of something that you don’t fully own, you need a license or a per-mission of some degree and even if it is an email from someone who has the ability to grant those rights.” — @SebastianWolff [0:14:04]

So metadata is more than an album title. It is also ISI identifiers, it is subtitles, it is translations, it is IPMs, it is ISNI numbers for artists, it is ISWCs for compositions, it is ISRCs for tracks, sort of all of these standards that are part of this music ecosystem.” — @SebastianWolff [0:23:20]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Sebastian Wolff — https://sebastianwolff.info/

Sebastian Wolff on Twitter — https://twitter.com/SebastianWolff

Loudr — https://loudr.fm/

Materia Collective — https://www.materiacollective.com/

Easy Song Licensing — https://www.easysonglicensing.com/

Harry Fox — https://www.harryfox.com/#/

Songfile — http://www.songfile.com/

DistroKid — https://distrokid.com/

Soundrop — https://soundrop.com/

SoundExchange — https://www.soundexchange.com/

I Will Teach You To Be Rich — https://amzn.to/2IND4SN