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 #021: How Health and Fitness Affect Your Music Goals

When you study the habits of successful people, you’ll notice there are a few habits they all seem to share. One of those habits is a lifestyle that focuses on mental and physical health. In this episode Leah talks about how pursuing health can teach us lessons that will extend into the way that we approach our business and our music careers. 

Important things to remember

  • Statistically, successful people are health conscious people.
  • Your instincts run counter to achieving fatigue.
  • Progress doesn’t happen until you feel like you are ready to give up.
  • Even olympic athletes have coaches.

Revisit the highlights

02:10 – Health Habits of Millionaires

04:36 – Mental Challenges in Health and Business.

07:19 – Meaningful Resistance

15:12 – Reactions to Fatigue

17:39 – Pushing through Pain

18:30 – Coaching

Call SMA


Episode #020: Pt. 2 Finding Your Voice with Brett Manning

Brett is one of the worlds most sought after vocal coaches, largely because of his uncanny ability to “see with his ears,” and instantly invent exercises that get astounding results. His client list contains winners of the world’s most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammys.

In Part 2 of this interview, Leah and Brett talk about what separates pros from amateurs and how to seriously uplevel your singing game.

Important Things to Remember

  • Amateurs take tips. Pros train with a plan.
  • If you want to be paid more, you need to increase your skill.
  • You find the notes through flow, not force.
  • Expose. Involve. Upgrade.
  • Amateurs practice just until they get it right. Pros practice until they never get it wrong.
  • First is mechanics, then muscle memory, then music.

Revisit the Highlights

01:00 – Why Coaching Matters

05:00 – Having A Business Mindset

07:13 – Focus on What Matters

12:21 – The Importance of Singing like Yourself

15:20 – Three Overlapping Circles that Guide Your Training

20:40 – Getting Permission from your Audience

23:00 – When You Don’t Have A Coach

24:14 – Quick Vocal Tip

30:44 – Building Trust with Your Audience

34:04 – Singing is Mental

37:17 – Finding Results


Episode #019: Pt. 1 Finding Your Voice with Brett Manning

Brett is one of the worlds most sought after vocal coaches, largely because of his uncanny ability to “see with his ears,” and instantly invent exercises that get astounding results. His client list contains winners of the world’s most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammys.

In Part 1 of this interview, Leah and Brett talk about what it really take to be consistently great singer.

Important Things to Remember

  • Motivation is crap. Drive is unstoppable.
  • The resistance that tries to stop you is the things that strengthens you.
  • If you have to strain to hit a note, you won’t get it right.
  • Positive thinking is not effective without a plan.
  • If you never lose you are never getting better.
  • The more technique you have, the more loose and reckless you can be.
  • A competitive singer is trying to find a song to show off their voice. An artist is trying to find their voice to show off a song.

Revisit the Highlights

03:32 – Developing your Brand as a Singer

05:45 – Humility is the Key to Learning

13:22 – The Drive to Conquer Your Mountain

20:20 – Common Lies about Vocalists

28:23 – Finding Meaningful Victories

28:45 – Leveling up your skill set

37:56 – Being Dangerously Interesting, not Technically Interesting

41:37 – What it Means To Sing with Soul

Episode #018: When Your Music Ads Become Profitable with Brian Judy

Brian Judy is the man behind behind Delta-S. He makes dark electronic music that focuses on storytelling and character building. He has found that the best way to find your audience and create moving music is to embrace what makes you unique.  

Things to remember

  • You only know what to do if you know who you are.
  • Be confident in what you make, what it represents and why people should listen.
  • Music is meant for other people and to impact the world.
  • Identify what you music is about, make it excellent, then identify your audience.

Revisit the highlights:

03:50 – How to Stand Out

07:00 – Break though with Facebook ads

08:53 – Finding your Niche

10:11 – Collaborating with Fans

12:00 – How Superfans Change You

13:35 – Music is not for ourselves

15:35 – Tools that help stay organized

Episode #017: Selling Your Music Confidently with Ben McGarvey

Ben McGarvey, makes Folktronic music under the name Minute Taker. His music started out the traditional way – playing shows and flirting with record labels. After joining the Savvy Musician Academy, he has started learning how to build his career online. Now he’s selling records and seeing his online engagement grow. In this interview Leah and Ben talk about focusing ads, data mining, the necessity of marketing and how marketing can build your confidence.

Important things to remember:

  • Ask your fans who they think your music is inspired by and use that inspiration to target more fans.
  • Data mining helps you read your audience’s mind so that you can build the perfect ad.
  • Perseverance and research is the key to success.

Revisit the highlights:

00:20 – Minute Taker

04:20 – The Goal is to Share It

07:21 – Social Media Growth

11:00 – Superfan System

12:38 – Data Mining

18:22 – Focusing your marketing.

Episode #016: What is Branding & How to Stay Motivated with CJ Ortiz

For nearly 20 years, CJ Ortiz has been consulting individuals and organizations on achieving, improving, communicating, and packaging their visions. Metal Motivation is about maximizing all that you are, and all that you can do, for a purpose greater than yourself and doing it with a metal mindset.

Important Things To Remember:

  • Branding is idea driven. It’s when ideas take form.
  • To stay motivated, stay focused on your motive.
  • It’s not enough to be talented. You need to be relentless if you want to reach and sustain your success.
  • Differentiate or Die.
  • Most people fail because they don’t stick to the fundamentals.

Revisit the Highlights:

05:29 – Branding

07:50 – How To Get Motivated

13:39 – Developing Self Control

19:05 – The Old Music industry Is Dead

36:24 – Understanding Social Media

45:31 – The Fundamentals

Episode #015: Crowdfunding Planning Guide

Lack of funds has always been an concern for budding musicians. In the past, artists tried to fix that problem but getting the attention of record labels. But now you can raise your own capital, involve your fans in the process, and not sacrifice your art or your profits. It is possible to launch and execute a successful crowdfunding campaign. All you will need is a strategy and determination.

Important things to remember:

  • Crowdfunding is not just about the funds. It is a marketing tool.
  • When crowdfunding, consider costs for merchandise, fees and shipping.
  • Crowdfunding is not charity. It is a transaction.
  • Average contribution is response to an email is higher than responses to other forms of communication.
  • Consider doing a pre launch video.
  • You need an audience, a project, a budget, a plan, and campaign assets.

Revisit the highlights:

04:14 – Why you should crowdfund
10:38 – How to know if you are ready
24:15 – Deciding on your funding amount
28:58 – Picking your platform
31:59 – Fixed or flexible funding?
34:49 – Picking the perks of the offer
36:30 – Delegating tasks
38:31 – Campaign assets

Crowdfunding Guidebook

Episode #014: How to be a Better Performer with Live Performance Coach Lang Bliss

Lang Bliss brings his vast experience of over 30 years in the music industry. He has worked as a drummer, producer, programmer, songwriter and arranger in the music industry for years. He’s worked with Michael W. Smith, Michael McDonald and Big Daddy Weave, to name just a few. As a Live Music Producer based in the Nashville area since 2009, he is passionate about helping artists with their live shows.

Important things to remember:

  • If people only know the song and connect to the song, you won’t build a following. They have to connect to you.
  • Preparation creates confidence.
  • Audiences respond. Artists initiate.
  • “The song is the script.”

Revisit the highlights:

06:40 – Speaking your audiences’ language

18:42 – Common Mistakes Made on Stage

21:49 – Dealing with Stage Fright

25:55 – How does this Apply in a Digital Format?

30:20 – Audience Expectations

30:58 – Making Live Videos more Engaging

33:47 – Working with Personas

36:52 – Necessary Mindset Changes

Episode #013: How to Build a Massive Email List

If you are looking to build a fanbase and turn your music into a career, having a email list is a necessity. The great thing about an email list is that it helps you to break free from the algorithm and agendas of the social platforms. With a good email list, you have a direct connection to your audience that no one can take from you. In this episode Leah talks with her launch specialist, Garrett Gamble, about how to build an email list that works for you.

Important things to remember.

  • Email allows you to have direct contact with your fans without having to consider algorithms.
  • Your fans love you, but they love themselves more.
  • The goal is to build a mutually beneficial relationship with your fans.
  • Why guess when you can ask?

Revisit the highlights.

18:10 – How to Build Email Anticipation
31:00 – Industry Standards For Open Rates
36:23 – Bad Subject Lines
40:18 – Giving people more than music


Episode #012: The Business Behind Cruise Ship Music Festivals with Andy Levine

Andy Levine is the founder and CEO of Sixthman, the industry leader in themed destination events that focuses on building fan communities through unique vacation experiences. Sixthman breaks down the walls between artists, heroes, partners, and their passionate fan bases by creating exclusive, interactive, and intimate environments on board. Sixthman has produced theme cruises with Kid Rock, John Mayer, Lynynrd Skynyrd, KISS, Jillian Michaels, Barenaked Ladies, Lyle Lovett, Sister Hazel, Patty Griffin, Train, 311, Zac Brown Band, VH1, Graceland, and dozens more. Sixthman was named the #1 fasted growing travel company by INC 500 Magazine in 2011 and the #87th overall fastest growing company in America.

Important Things to Remember.

  • If you work with your hands, rest with your brain. If you work with your brain, rest with your hands.
  • Make your fans feel seen and heard.
  • Take such good care of your guests that they come back and bring friends with them.  

Revisit The Highlights.

02:47 – The Importance of Community and Culture.

09:49 – How Does a Band Play A Cruise?

14:40 – Seven Checkpoints for Building an Experience.

21:39 – Building an Immersive Experience.