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 #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

 

Call SMA

 

Episode #023: 87k in One Month Pt. 2

Leah just completed a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. The campaign exceeded it’s $50K goal by $37K.  In this episode Leah continues to break down how she raised 87K in a month, why this campaign was different than previous campaigns and how she organized the campaign to make it as effective as possible.

Important Things to Remember

  • When someone wants a product, they feel like they need it.
  • Remember the 5 Calendar phases.
  • You don’t have a launch day, you have a launch month.
  • Use Google Sheets and Airtable to keep you organized.
  • Make sure someone takes ownership of each task.
  • Pick a platform with a clean mobile experience.

Revisit the Highlights

03:12 – Creating a Need  

09:34 – The 5 Calendars

17:20 – Observations

25:00 – Delegation

 

Call SMA

 

Episode #022: 87K in One Month Pt. 1

Leah just completed a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. The campaign exceeded it’s $50K goal by $37K.  In this episode Leah breaks down how she raised 87K in a month, why this campaign was different than previous campaigns and how she organized the campaign to make it as effective as possible.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • When choosing a platform, make sure they accept Paypal.
  • Create scarcity by providing limited edition items.
  • Make it all about the fan.
  • Make sure your platform supports Facebook Pixels.

REVISIT THE HIGHLIGHTS

09:09 –  Why This Campaign Was Different

11:24 –  The Purpose of Funding

12:25 –  Giving Less Options

22:23 –  Informing your Fanbase

32:20 –  Facebook Pixels

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