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 #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.


Episode #011: 3 Biggest Mistakes Musicians Make on Facebook

If you aren’t using Facebook to build your fanbase then you are missing out. Facebook can be a powerful tool that helps you find your fanbase. If that hasn’t been your experience then you are probably trying to figure out what you are doing wrong.
You need to figure out what you are missing so you can fix them immediately. That’s why Leah walks you through three common mistakes she sees musicians make on Facebook.   

Things to Remember

  • Put a link in your personal profile that leads other to your professional profile.
  • Google does not spider your personal page.
  • You can’t use Facebook Ads with a personal profile.
  • Brand continuity established trust between yourself and your audience.
  • Build a community and culture around your music.
  • Posting is all about quality.

Revisit the Highlights

  • 00:42 – Using your personal profile.
  • 09:19 – Using outdated graphics.
  • 12:23 – Promoting your music in all posts.


Episode #010: Student Interview: Ty Richards

Ty Richards Podcast Interview With Leah McHnery on the Savvy Musician Show

Ty Richards is a father and graphic designer from Austin, TX. Last year he went from having a few Facebook friends to being on the college radio charts.  In this interview Leah talks to Ty about what works, what hasn’t worked, the difficulties of playing live and how to be the most effective with what little time we have.


  • “You have to market in a different way than you normally communicate as an artist. It has to be super clear.”
  • “You aren’t a victim to where you are at. It’s easier to connect with fans than it’s ever been.”
  • “Don’t wait for the stars to align, work with what you have.”
  • “Take in notes in the form of a ‘to do list.’ Take actionable notes.”


  • 05:15 – Performing Live
  • 07:30 – Benefits of going small
  • 13:00 – Finding and nurturing your audience
  • 17:00 – The Payoff
  • 20:00 – The New Music Business
  • 24:19 – Limitations can guide you

Episode #009: Why I Deleted My Soundcloud Account

There are an endless amount of social media accounts that an artist could create in order to connect with their audience. It’s tempting to throw yourself on all of them and hope for the best. Odds are that strategy hasn’t given you the return that you were hoping for. There’s a reason for that. Not all Social Media is created equal.

Important things to remember:

  • Having a large number of listens do not necessarily equal sustainability.
  • Make sure you are getting more than you put in.
  • Aim for quality not quantity.
  • Reviews are great social proof.

Revisit the highlights:

02:56 – Do everything purposefully

04:34 – Return on Investment

05:25 – Social Proof

06:37 – How to get social proof


Episode #008: How I Manage My Time and Seasons

As an independent musician, you are responsible for your own success. There’s much more to do than just write and record your music. You also have to consider your marketing, your branding and your content creation. In order to handle your growing music career and still keep your personal lives in order, you will need to have a plan.

Important Things to Remember:

  • You can’t do all things at all times. Work in seasons.
  • Be mindful of how often you are context switching.
  • Get help with things outside of your zone of genius.  
  • Don’t delegate your marketing. It needs to be an accurate representation of who you are.

Revisit the Highlights:

01:30 – Beat the mental game

11:04 – Balance is a Myth

13:45 – Quarterly Focus

17:12 – Delegating

22:17 – The 80/20 Rule