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.

Social Media for Music – Are you Doing it Wrong?

Social Media for Music - Are you Doing it Wrong?-featured

Social Media for Music - Are you Doing it Wrong?

 

What if I told you you’re probably not “doing” social media right?

 

That everything you thought you were supposed to do… you should NOT do?

 

….And the very thing you SHOULD do – feels completely counter-intuitive?

 

 

Let’s see here…. have you been doing any of THESE?

  1. Inviting all your personal friends & family to ‘like’ your page?
  2. Inviting all the people you went to high-school with & people you barely know to ‘like’ and “follow” your page?
  3. Begging people to “PLEASE LIKE & SHARE!!!!” every time you post your song?
  4. Not getting much traction building your fanbase online?
  5. Been using your personal profile for music (a BIG no-no!)?
  6. Wondering why you’re getting no engagement and people don’t see your posts? (it’s not because Facebook is evil or trying to scam you)
  7. Wondering how you can get more fans on your Facebook page and turn that into income?

 

Here’s the thing.

 

Social media is here to stay and the world is never going back to the way it was.

 

 

Either you are the kind of musician who decides to understand HOW to make social media work for your music, how to actually build a fanbase and a legitimate income with your music using this incredible tool…

 

…..or you won’t and you’ll be left behind in your knowledge and your skill, and your music will be buried with the rest of the talented artists who aren’t willing to step it up and learn this.

 

 

Those are the musicians I call the 98%.

 

 

They are genuinely talented, but don’t have the guts, the grit, or the tenacity to learn new stuff that will get them somewhere.

 

They want it all done for them (lazy).

 

Guess what, in the New Music Industry, you need to make your own bed.

 

You need to do it yourself.

 

The ball is in your court.

 

It’s called liberty.

 

You either view this as the greatest opportunity in the world, or you view it as a burden because it means more work for you.

 

I choose to view it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

And it’s brought me success in my own music.

 

Another thing: If you make music, you’re actually in business for yourself.

 

If you were to launch your own Subway franchise tomorrow, you would need to invest in some tools, some skills, and knowledge so that on launch day your sandwich shop could actually stay open, make people happy, and so you could stay in business.

 

 

Most musicians are silly:

 

They won’t bat an eyelash at dropping $10,000 in the studio, but completely RESIST spending a tiny fraction of that to learn how to actually market their music.

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

 

If you have no fanbase to market your music TO, your time and money spent in the studio was completely in vain.

 

Unless you want to be a basement artist, then go for it. 🙂

 

If music is nothing but a hobby and you have no interest in selling CDs, no interest in gaining a worldwide audience who recognizes you and gives your music the appreciation it deserves… then you definitely DON’T want to learn any marketing skills.

 

If you’re totally happy and content being a BROKE musician who is unknown in your genre, then you definitely DON’T want to increase your skill and knowledge of social media, Facebook particularly!

 

If, however, you know that music is part of your calling in life (even if it’s only part-time)…. then you need to increase your knowledge in how to promote your music online – the SMART way.

 

This is where the rubber meets the road.

 

 

Hundreds of social media platforms come and go, but Facebook is here to stay and it’s the one place you need to be to truly skyrocket your success.

 

 

Why? It’s where your fans are. This is where they mostly hang out.

 

I’ve been testing and experimenting with all kinds of strategies on my own music page and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt…..

 

……the $80,000 I made just in digital royalties last year happened because I figured out how to strategically use FACEBOOK to turn complete strangers into my die-hard SUPERFANS.

 

That’s how I did it.

 

If you want to do what I’m doing and learn what I’m learning… then you definitely want this mini-course will show you exactly WHAT TO DO and WHAT NOT TO DO on Facebook to

 

  • build a super-targeted audience that goes bonkers for your music
  • build your own tribe and music-evangelists who promote you to everyone they know
  • like, follow, and share your music organically (without you sounding like a desperate beggar)
  • actually translate casual visitors into new fans who buy your music on day 1

 

 

Decide now, which kind of musician are you?

The kind that says, “I’m just going to do what I’ve always done,” and 12 months later wonders why they STILL don’t have a following, why they STILL aren’t making any CD sales, and getting no engagement…?

 

 

…..Or are you the kind of musician who decides to get ahead of the game and rides this wave of phenomenal social media exposure?

 

 

Yes!!! That is what I thought. (Usually the people who read my articles that I talk to are highly intelligent, talented, and hard-working. They just need to be pointed in the right direction.)

 

Now is the time to gain the skill and knowledge you need to take advantage of the best music tool on planet earth.

 

==> That’s why I put together a simple mini-course called Facebook For Musicians. <==

 

IMPORTANT: USE THIS DISCOUNT CODE TO GET 50% OFF

“FB4M”

 

Social Media for Music - Are you Doing it Wrong?-2-

 

Because this ultra-short course is brand new, we’re offering it at a 50% discount. Take advantage of this while you can!

 

You will learn everything to know about running your Facebook page for music in less than 1 day.

 

I challenge you to stop procrastinating on your dreams and get off your assets and DO something about your music this year. Right now. Today.

 

Do it!

 

 

Success is on the other side of action.

 

Learn this simple skill. You’ll thank me later.

 

I’ll see you on the inside.

 

XOX,

Leah

 

P.S. Don’t forget to use the special discount code “FB4M” to get the 50% off while this is brand new! This promo is ending soon so get in now. Start today and I’ll see you in there!

How To Be A Successful Musician When You Have Kids

How To Be A Successful Musician When You Have Kids-featured

I just finished reading several articles on how parents “do music” when they have a kids and a family life.

 

Most of the musicians I read about were touring musicians. And I gotta hand it to them: several, if not all, just cart their kids along.

 

The kids learn to adapt and have their own adventures on the road.

 

I think that’s cool. I think it’s brave. At some point I would like to try that myself.

 

I do foresee an enormous amount of effort and planning on a whole new level – beyond the strain and efforts of a normal tour.

 

This might all be worth it, of course, just to have the adventure itself and to have your whole family see and experience the world through the lens of music and music lovers.

 

Now, what about other parents that can’t or don’t want to bring the whole family on the road?

 

Many musicians with children have day jobs and bills and mortgages and school routines that don’t allow for touring at all.

 

Is there a solution to this?

 

And how does a parent find the TIME to create music, record, and do the other music marketing and promotion activities required to validate their calling (even if it’s a side calling)?

 

If you’ve never heard of me before, for the record, I’m Leah, I have five children under the ages of ten and I do not tour.

 


 

But I make a living with my music.

 

I also homeschool. Life is crazy busy. So I understand, truly.

 

#1 Realize that touring is no longer necessary to build a fanbase

 

Touring is fun. Touring is fulfilling. Touring is part of musical TRADITION.

 

But….. I dare say, touring is not NECESSARY to building a fanbase or making a sustainable income now.

 

There are folks who will disagree with me vehemently.

 

But they are wrong (LOL).

 

I know this because I and many others have built a fanbase around the world strictly by promoting our music online.

 

People need to open their eyes and see how drastically the music industry has changed.

 

We’re in a new (online) economy now, which has opened the doors for virtually every talented musician and band.

 

I can write a song, record it, and then upload it to any platform.

 

Then someone in another country discovers it while I’m SLEEPING.

 

They love what they hear, listen to all my discography, buy a CD, buy some merch, and share my music with their social media networks.

 

Then this process repeats with my new fan’s friends ten more times, and all before I’m awake at 7 a.m.

 

I open my inbox to discover $100 worth of direct downloads and merch sales while I was snoozing away, and several emails from new fans who just discovered my music and are ECSTATIC.

 

They want to know if I have anything else.

 

I head downstairs with my smartphone in hand, making a mad dash for the coffee machine.

 

I look at my digital sales report from the past 2 months and see a ripple effect happening across all the streaming and music sales platforms.

 

My royalty payment for the week (on this one platform) is over $1800.

 

Yay me!!

 

Many people can and do live off of this income!

 

How To Be A Successful Musician When You Have Kids-1-

 

It then occurs to me as I drink my first coffee and transfer my royalties to Paypal that I’ve just accomplished this without performing a single TOUR, or gigging at all.

 

I accomplished this while being a full-time, stay-at-home mom, homeschooling my FIVE children, and running my music business strictly on the Internet.

 

Now, this is not me patting myself on the back.

 

No, this is me giving you HOPE.

 

 

Most people have more time on their hands than I do. You could do better than I. You could go further, longer, and really do amazing things.

 

What you must realize: none of this would have happened for me without the Internet, without file sharing, and even piracy.

 

Shocking, I know!

 

But I’ve reached tens of thousands of fans around the globe just because of the Internet. It’s allowed me to make a NAME for myself instead of keep my music completely undiscovered in my basement.

 

If it weren’t for the Internet I wouldn’t be making a dime as a recording artist. No one would know who I am. My large fanbase in Europe would not have my CDs sitting on their shelf.

 

 

#2 How do you “do it all”? ….. You don’t.

 

PRINCIPLE: You can’t do everything.

 

You can’t be doing five-hundred things, plus a Kickstarter campaign, plus writing your album, plus working full-time, plus driving your kids to karate, plus shooting music videos, and skydiving all at the same time.

 

That’s insane!

 

 

PRINCIPLE: Whenever you add something onto your plate, you need to take something off.

 

If you already have a very busy life with work, kids, other pursuits, obligations, etc. and then you add recording a new album on top of that, you will either: a) never finish your recording project; or b) burn out.

 

There are probably other negative things that could happen, but generally this is what happens.

 

The project gets put on the back-burner because “life got in the way.”

 

Or you push through and are miserable, stressed out, and burn out afterwards, almost taking the joy out of the music itself.

 

That’s not a good place to be, for you or anyone around you.

 

Whatever your situation is, you can’t multi-task your entire life. At least, not sustainably.

 

 

TAKE AWAY: Recognize what season of life you are in and what season of life you want to be in.

 

Be realistic about what you can accomplish and then schedule that time in advance.

 

It’s not romantic, but you need to schedule your practice time, writing time, recording time, and any other activity into your calendar.

 

If you can’t do it in large blocks of time (usually we need this to get into the “zone”), then do it in smaller 30-minute to 1-hour chunks on a more regular or daily basis.

 

 

ACTION: Consider getting up an hour earlier than you normally do. Drink your coffee and play your instrument.

 

 

Don’t even put pressure on yourself to write anything brilliant; just play.

 

By the end of day 5, something new will be brewing. Guaranteed.

 

This is really a discipline or habit.

 

In every other sector and industry, this is what successful people do.

 

They get up early, and they do the most IMPORTANT thing first. They get it done. Then everything else in the day can come at you, and your music will still have come first.

 

You did it!

 

 

#3 Define the Season You’re In

 

This follows on the heels of the previous point, but, more specifically, recognize what season of life you’re in.

 

 

Are you in a season of just increasing your playing skills?

 

When you’re busy with babies, kids, or important but time-consuming life stuff, perhaps the only time you can afford is a quick 15-minute session of vocal warmups and practice.

 

That’s OK!

 

It doesn’t mean you’ll never get anywhere with your music.

 

Just know that’s where you’re at right now.

 

 

Are you in a season of writing?

 

If so, then writing becomes your priority.

It means you turn off the TV at night.

 

As soon as the kids are asleep, instead of watching shows, you head straight to your instrument.

 

Know your season.

 

 

Be deliberate and purposeful about your season.

 

There is a time and season for everything.

 

 

As a parent, the most important key is to learn how to work SMART instead of HARD in your music business to maximize your TIME and leverage your talent.

 

There’s nothing worse than living a life of regret. When you’re born to be a musician, nothing can stop that draw that you have to music. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of your music career. The good news, as I’ve shared in my own personal story, is that you can now enjoy a profitable music career and family life. It does not have to be one or the other.

Featured Student of the Month: Lauren Mayer

Featured Student of the Month: Lauren Mayer-2-

Featured Student of the Month: Lauren Mayer-2-

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Lauren Mayer lives in the San Francisco bay area, and she writes political satire & topical comedy songs, as well as musical theater and children’s music, and performs as a cabaret duo with her vocalist husband. She has never held a “real job,” other than working as a musician (pianist, music director, vocal coach, custom songwriter), and something must have rubbed off on her now-adult sons, because her 23-year-old is a musical theater performer and her 20-year-old is a percussionist & composer.

 

 

I’ve supported myself as a musician for 37 years (and if you’re doing the math, let’s just say I started really, really young!), and I’ve always believed in my talent as a songwriter, but I just figured I wasn’t any good at marketing. I’ve written & recorded over 20 albums of comedy songs, children’s educational music, and children’s musicals, but with each one, after the first few sales, the CDs collected dust in my garage. For the past 4 years, I’ve been doing weekly topical songs on my YouTube channel, but I didn’t really expect much from it – as my now 20-year-old son liked to remind me, “Anything over 100 views is viral for old people.” I knew I needed help, but I wasn’t sure where to look, and I found the whole idea overwhelming.

 

Leah’s course was the first one I’d heard about that approached it from the point of view of a musician who was letting us learn from her mistakes, and that really appealed to me. So I signed up this past October, and I was impressed with how much I learned right off the bat. I figured I had a lot to learn about social media, and those tips & resources were fantastic, but it turns out I also got great insights about things like time management, budgeting and planning an album, and building a fanbase.

 

However, the biggest breakthrough for me has been how this class has completely transformed my approach to marketing. I’ve always been uncomfortable with self-promotion – it felt needy, like I was begging for people to notice me, to please buy my CD, and I’d been raised to believe that trumpeting my own accomplishments was wrong because it might bother people or make them feel bad. I think that’s pretty typical for women, especially my generation. But as soon as I started, the exercises in the first couple of modules (about micro-niche and brand) gave me a whole different approach.

 

True confession here: I really, REALLY didn’t want to do one of the branding exercises (where we asked our Facebook community for what words came to mind when they thought of our music). But the only way to qualify for the money-back guarantee, just in case, was to prove that I did all the homework. So I swallowed my immense discomfort and posted it – and I still get choked up when I think about the result. I got over 100 responses, all incredibly supportive and encouraging, and people told me how much they value my music, with comments like “you’re informed and hilarious,” “your music is brilliantly thought-provoking,” or “your song made me laugh for the first time since the election.”

 

It made me realize that I am creating something people will want to buy and support, and marketing is simply making it available to them, not “asking” them for anything. And now I look forward to finding new ways to find and engage with fans, marketing feels like a fun way to share my sense of humor, rather than a burden. (And the course was way faster and cheaper than the comparable amount of therapy it would’ve taken me to get to this point!)

 

Of course, I’ve also had some practical, tangible benefits:

Did a successful crowdfunding campaign (reached my goal – with 9 minutes to spare!)

Produced my best album yet, which I just completed this month, and the whole process was way easier and more efficient

Updated my artist Facebook page, learned how & what to post, and set up regular automated posting. My page has gone from inactive to getting tens of thousands of views for every video I post, and from zero to several hundred likes in just a few weeks

– Every day I’m adding to my superfan base.

Streamlined my YouTube posting process

Great time-management tips (in the Bootcamp)

 

What’s ahead for me: developing and implementing a focused marketing plan for this CD, then starting the whole course over again for my kids’ music. In fact, I feel like I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of all the ways I can market my music, and I’m excited about all of this, as opposed to dreading having to do marketing work. That alone was worth the price of the course, several times over.

 

Thank you!!!!!

 

Connect with Lauren to see what she’s up to:

 

Website:
http://www.laurenmayer.com/

Youtube:
youtube.com/psychosupermom

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LaurenMayerComedySongs/

Twitter:
@laurenscomedy

 

New album:
“Guess I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Sniffing Glue” http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer17

 

NOTE: Grow your fanbase & make a living with your music like myself and thousands of my students. You can join my free introductory training by clicking the link >>> https://theonlinemusician.com/fanbasev1

~ LEAH

Featured Student of the Month: Lauren Mayer

Featured Student of the month: Katherine C.H.E.

Featured Student of the month: Katherine C.H.E.

Featured Student of the month: Katherine C.H.E.

 

Katherine C.H.E. is a Nashville raised Folk, Pop, Country, Jazz, Gospel Singer/Songwriter

 

I’m a little older (won’t say how old) than the average “just starting out” musician. So, I’ve lived a lot of life and have a lot of experience to bring to the table.

I loved music and wanted to be a singer/songwriter when I was young. I listened to and fell in love with every form of North American music from indigenous music to jazz and folk and country and pop and gospel and dixieland…

When I had my son, he was really colicky. The ONLY thing that would soothe him was if I’d sing, so, I started singing to him, and as I was singing 24/7 for about six weeks, I was reminded of how much I love to sing. It planted a seed.

Then, about five years ago, I finally got the courage to head to some open mics, and I quickly started having my own shows.

Three years ago, I dropped everything to dedicate my life to music, and it has been a challenge to juggle being a good mom and trying to do music AND make a living from it.

Touring is out right now, scheduling live performances is a real challenge, and I was not making the progress I wanted to make in my music career.

Then, I found Leah’s program, and it gave me hope. She’s a mom, too!

Like I do with most things, I dove right in.

I got The Online Musician program at the beginning of this summer and after going through it decided the best first step for me would be to have a real CD; so, I spent much of the summer recording and mixing it while I continued to study the course.

I released the CD on September 15, and everything is sort of coming together – exploding, really.

Two days after its release, on September 17, my CD, “Campfire Sessions,” hit #1 on the Amazon Folk Album chart. #1! I’m still in awe of that.

Following Leah’s program helped me get clarity around my offering and my goals. In July I set some financial goals. First goal was “by September 1” and my next goal is “by February 1.”

I hit my September goal in mid-August, and my music income continues to increase.

Leah speaks about the power of clarity, and she is so right. I used to teach that myself. Getting clarity has an almost magical quality. When you get clear, it is as if miracles start appearing.

Meanwhile, I have been working on building my FB page.

My FB page reach has exploded following Leah’s FB advice. Even at 400 Likes, I had a reach of over 2000 and great engagement for the size of the tribe.

Before doing Leah’s program, posting on FB was like posting into a VOID. Now, I get likes and loves on each post. I get shares, and I even get replies.

As an example, I posted a simple, static video of one of my songs on FB just two days ago. It already has a reach of 180 and has had 82 views (really listens because there’s nothing to view). That is so great, and I definitely expect the numbers to grow as my Likes increase.

Following Leah’s instructions I have already created the entire pipeline to attract Super Fans!

I’m also using Leah’s techniques on my Twitter page and have increased my engagement there massively. @KatherineCHE

I’m starting to get press for my new CD.

“Her Campfire Sessions CD… takes the listener to a simpler time and place… a magic world of light and music.”

Here’s the full article:
https://issuu.com/independentnewspaper/docs/c_section_9-21-16web/10?e=0

I’m getting great reviews of my new CD on Amazon, too http://tinyurl.com/CfireSesh

And here’s another layer of what has been going on for me: about the time I started this program, I had a MASSIVE flare-up of a life-long skin problem. I don’t talk about this much, but I want to share here because it is a part of why this program is so powerful to me… It is VERY painful when this happens. It feels like I have blow-torches burning my skin 24/7.

Being in so much pain is EXHAUSTING. Truly draining. So, I’ve been sleeping odd and many hours. And it is very unsightly.

Meanwhile, because I have been following Leah’s program, I was able to push forward with all of this on my own time. I did not have to try to cover it with makeup and summon the energy for live performances. I could look like a monster and record and mix and interact with fans in my home.

This course has been and will continue to be a True Blessing and Just the Miracle I needed.

I am moving forward and have great confidence in the success I’m having and will have with my music ON MY OWN TERMS and when/as I am able.

I have hope, a plan, and the tools to implement it – thanks to The Online Musician program.

Thanks, Leah and Team Online Musician. ♥

 

 

Connect with Katherine C.H.E. to see what she is up to:

Website:
http://www.KatherineCHEMusic.com

Facebook:
http://www.Facebook.com/Katherine.CHE

Instagram & Twitter:
@katherineche

Youtube:
http://www.YouTube.com/KatherineCHE

Patreon:
http://www.Patreon.com/KatherineCHE

Reverbnation:
http://www.ReverbNation.com/KatherineCHE

 

 

If you want to grow your fanbase & make a living with your music like myself and thousands of my students, join us on September 22nd for my free online mini-series.
Click below to save your seat now >>>

>>> EXPLODE YOUR FANBASE TRAINING

 

Featured Student of the month: Katherine C.H.E.

From Broke Musician to a 6-Figure Music Business

From Broke Musician to a 6-Figure Music Business

From Broke Musician to a 6-Figure Music Business

 

I was literally changing my youngest kid’s diaper….

 

He was on the change table, and I was off in space, deep in thought.

 

(These things become second nature after you have a bunch of kids…)

 

 

Times had gotten hard in our family. I was a stay-at-home mom of now 5 kids. They needed me. I poured myself into them the best I could with the energy I could muster up via the coffee machine.

 

My husband was a good worker and wanted nothing more than to provide for his family and give us a safe and secure life. But the construction company was not doing well. Work was slow.

The jobs were becoming scarce, while the cost of living kept going HIGHER.

 

 

We were stressed out.

 

 

Then the cherry on top: the rental house we were living in went up for sale, and we would be forced to move soon. Not only that, but we couldn’t even afford the rent anymore, because work had slowed down so much.

 

 

What were we going to do?!

 

 

The initial anxiety and fear and stress we felt… well… only those who have been in that position can know how that feels.

It’s the sheer panic of being helpless.

 

But it was later on… when I was at the changing table with my baby, doing the mom thing, that I realized that not only would we SURVIVE this situation, but we would actually be OK… and there was even hope for a brighter future for our entire family.

 

 

How did I know that?

 

 

Because of the royalty paycheck I had just received that morning.

 

 

Just that week, I was praying, asking God to direct our family out of this unstable construction business and into something else.

… But all this time I thought it would be a new business idea or a career change my husband would take.

 

I had NO idea what would happen next!!

 

I had no idea my side music hobby would turn into something! I called it a hobby for so long that I didn’t really take it seriously until that morning…

 

 

I received over 💰 $2175💰 in digital royalties.

 

 

And that number was beginning to become a regular weekly occurrence.

 

 

It occurred to me in that moment that this independent music thing I’m doing is actually going somewhere. That the skills and knowledge I’d acquired was actually paying off
… and we were literally LIVING off my royalties!!

 

When our “reliable” job failed… it was my stupid MUSIC that was paying the bills, buying groceries and diapers, and keeping us afloat!

 

And that’s when I knew… I needed to kick it up a notch.

…or TEN.

 

So I asked my husband Steve to join me in my music career and help me take it to the next level… And we did.

 

After taking a whole crap-load of business courses, marketing seminars, and reading bazillions of books… I put my knowledge into action.

 

Using the “1000 fan model,” I took my music sales from approx. $5000 per year to over 6-figures last year!!! 🎉🎉🎉

 

And in an age where people say the music industry is dead!!

 

 

Can you believe that!

 

I’m here to tell you it’s FAR from dead…. and don’t believe anyone who tells you that!

 

>>>>> FAIR WARNING: you do need to know what you’re doing and have a plan of action. In order to succeed, you need to be very strategic. <<<<<

 

I did NOT wing it.

 

I reinvested a large portion of my music royalties into EDUCATING myself and INCREASING my skill level because I knew it would come back to me 10-fold.

 

And it did! That’s why I succeeded. Since then, my friends and music colleagues have been bugging me to share my secrets.

 

 

“How the heck have you accomplished this when apparently musicians aren’t getting paid anything from Spotify?” they asked me…

 

 

Not everyone has the time, money, or patience to go through the hassle of investing in bazillions of courses, seminars, and books that aren’t even related to music. I understand.
Well, instead of making my friends go through the same process I did (it took a couple years worth of INTENSE studying, and THOUSANDS of $$$)…

 

… I boiled down everything I learned from the marketing masters and came up with a very methodical, strategic approach which took me to my 6-figure music business now.

 

It’s called “The Online Musician.”

 

 

I’ll show you exactly how to do what I did and build a 6-figure music business with only 1000 superfans.

 

It’s really not that hard to do.

 

Even if you’ve never created an album or recorded anything before.
Even if you’ve never done a tour (I still haven’t done a tour!)
Even if you’re starting from GROUND ZERO.

 

This is a very simple, but stealthy approach to launching a successful music career online. The internet has changed absolutely everything we do now!

 

If you get nothing else out of reading all this way… you need to know what is possible for YOU if you’re a talented & determined musician… right at this very moment in time.

 

I hope you will feel encouraged!

 

We’re in a special place in history. We might never have this opportunity again… not like this.

 

Now’s your turn to change your music destiny.

 

I hope you’ll decide to change your musical fate today like I did, not that long ago.

How to speed up by slowing down, learn new instruments, and nap for song ideas

This week has been exciting! My creativity is starting to flow, and I’m feeling that forward momentum with my songs, which is really motivating me to keep moving.

 

<< Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 2      Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 4 >>

 

Today’s report is a shorter one and very digestible with just three main takeaways. It’s definitely worth the 2 minutes it will take you to read this!

 

 

Takeaway #1: You must slow down in order to speed up.

 

My producer suggested I learn how to program drums since I always send him what sounds like ballads: keyboards and vocals. Sometimes it’s built up quite a bit, but it’s hard for him to picture what I’m wanting it to sound like without the beats there.

 

 

I have no idea why I never learned how to do this. I guess I feel like I know nothing about drums.

SO… I downloaded a drumming program that some of my favorite songwriters use – EZdrummer. It’s great for the songwriting process.

Then I had to do my LEAST favorite thing of ALL TIME: read a manual. I absolutely hate manuals – they couldn’t be more boring, and sometimes they’re overwhelming too. I just want the specific info I need right now and I don’t want to waste my time with the other peripheral stuff.

 

But I read the manual (mostly) and then was much more efficient with EZdrummer because I knew how to navigate and control the software without wasting time with trial and error, figuring it out myself.

 

This took me several hours to learn the software, which at the time felt like it was really setting me back in my process. I felt like I needed to be further along. But once I had a cool beat in my song, I realized that I was MUCH FURTHER AHEAD with that song than I would have been if I didn’t learn the software.

 

So I had to literally slow down to learn the software, but I really sped up in the bigger picture because my song is now way more complete than it would have have been.

 

Now I’ll be much more efficient with this in the future and it will have a compounding effect on the time that I’ll save writing the beats and drums for my future songs.

Learn More…

Takeaway #2: Try something new and challenging, like learning a new instrument, or virtual instrument.

 

Learning the virtual drums has made me use my brain slightly differently than I have before during my creative process.

 

At the same time, I’m having awesome new ideas for songs that I’ve never had before because my brain has more creative power now. Think of it like an artist adding new colors to their pad.

 

When we try new things and have new experiences, it expands our creative boundaries and allows us to see things that were perhaps hidden previously.

 

I’m so excited about this! Lots of good songs are about to be written.

 

So I recommend that you challenge yourself to explore that new instrument that interests you.

 

 

Takeaway #3: For more creative ideas, do LESS, rest MORE. Allow, don’t force. And the ideas will come.

 

I’ve found that more ideas are coming to me when I REST more. As in, try to take a nap. I don’t rest with the intention of coming up with an idea; there’s no pressure.

 

I just lie down with the intention to fall asleep, or not – just rest. Allow freedom for my brain to explore or turn off if needed.

 

Normally at night I have a window open, a fan on, and a sermon playing so I have something focused to think on, and not let my mind wander endlessly for hours.

 

But the times I have had song ideas pop up that have actually turned into real songs, I have zero noise. No fan, no podcasts – nothing. This total quiet gives my creative brain freedom to create.

 

This requires that I plan ahead to meet my daily responsibilities and tasks so I can actually carve out time to REALLY rest without feeling pressure to get up and do something else.

 

When you get into this state of mind, you’ll notice that your brain is allowing creativity to take place, rather than forcing it. And that, my friend, it a beautiful thing.

 

 

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something that you can apply to your own process.

 

As always, drop me a line in the comments below with any questions or observations you have about this week’s report. Let me know how you plan to apply these takeaways.

 

With love,
LEAH

 

P.S. Click here if you’d like me to notify you via email when I release my weekly updates like this one. Cheers!

The Difference Between Professionals and Amateurs

Savvy Musician Academy, the online musician, Leah mchenry, facebook for musicians, music career marketing, music industry education

Do you know what the difference is between a professional and an amateur? This week I want to talk about writer’s block, Resistance and getting the job done.

 

#MakingTheAlbum Week 5

<<< Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 4

 

 

Hey, guys. Welcome back to my Making The Album updates.

 

I promised you that I was going to keep it real and be completely honest in these updates. Well, you could say that reality has hit hard because, lately, it’s been tough. This is probably the hardest time I’ve ever had writing an album.

 

Because of that, I’ve been reading a lot. Now, before you guys start sending me a whole bunch of messages, I know I said I’m not supposed to be reading non-fiction at the moment, but the truth is, there are a couple of non-fiction books that have been getting me through this, and I want to share them with you.

 

As always, you can watch the video for all the details, but one of the most important books I’m going to recommend to you is called The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. It’s for artists, entrepreneurs – anybody who is born to produce something, even if they never get famous. It’s for anybody who knows it’s in their blood to do something creative.

 

Click Here To Learn More…

 

I’ve talked about writer’s block in the past, but here’s the thing: I’ve never really struggled with songwriting. That’s never been a problem for me – until now.

Because of that, I believed a myth. I believed that, if you’re truly talented, if you’re supposed to do something, it’s going to come easy. Now, I’m finding out that that is totally false.

 

 

Here’s the myth that I believed: if you’re truly talented,
if you’re really supposed to do something,
it’s going to come easy. That is totally false.

 

 

This time around, I’ve discovered there’s two people living in my head – the entrepreneur and the artist – and they are really at odds with each other. So, part of the struggle I’m having is letting go of the entrepreneur side a little bit. There’s a time and a place for that side of me to take dominance, but not when I’m supposed to be in artist mode.

 

In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield talks about Resistance, which he describes as an internal force that tries to stop us from doing whatever it is we’re born to do. You know how sometimes you find yourself doing anything to avoid sitting down and working on your music? You’ll wash the windows, put your books in alphabetical order, clean the lint out of the washing machine filter… all before doing the thing that you love to do most. That’s because of Resistance. It often appears as procrastination, but it comes in other forms, too, and sometimes they’re subtle.

 

Steven Pressfield says that how an artist responds to Resistance shows who they really are. The amateur will avoid, avoid, avoid, because he knows the work is painful. The professional will embrace it. The professional sits down and does it anyway. The professional musician struggles through the pain of creation, whereas the amateur would rather avoid the pain entirely, and therefore will never write their symphony.

 

 

The professional musician struggles through the pain of creation,
whereas the amateur would rather avoid the pain entirely,
and therefore will never write their symphony.

 

 

So, do you want to be an amateur or a professional? Basically, what it comes down to is, how much pain tolerance do you have? How uncomfortable are you willing to get to achieve the end result that you ultimately want?

 

Initially, it’s going to feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill, but once the boulder gets over the top, it’s downhill from there. Be encouraged: at some point, it does break and the creativity will flow. What I’ve found is that the stuff that comes after I push through is usually my best work.

 

So that’s where I’m at – pushing through the pain. I know, however, that when I come out the other side of this, I’m going to feel fulfilled and proud of what I’ve written.

 

 

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest
of us just show up and get to work.”
~ Chuck Close, visual artist

 

 

I’m coming to the end of the songwriting process. I’ve got about three songs to go, but I’m open to making changes if any new, better ones come along. I’m starting to look to the future now – what I’m going to try with my marketing this time around. I’m excited to experiment.

 

Probably soon, I’ll be sharing with you about the income I made this last year, which I’m really happy with, considering that I did nothing new musically.

 

I hope you keep following me, and that you’re encouraged by what I have to say.

 

As you’re thinking about your own projects, see if you can figure out how Resistance works against you – what tactics it uses to stop you from making music. Let me know what you come up with in the comments below. And here’s the challenge: in the war against Resistance, are you going to be a professional or an amateur? Maybe the secret to being successful all boils down to this:

 

 

“Go to your studio and make stuff.”
~ Fred Babb, artist

 

 

With love,

LEAH

 

P.S. Click here if you’d like me to notify you via email when my weekly updates are released.

Tips for calming down a stressed, creative brain and still getting everything done

Savvy Musician Academy, the online musician, Leah mchenry, facebook for musicians, music career marketing, building a fanbase

I would describe this past week as “scattered” (Post-It Notes are a girl’s best friend)

 

#MakingTheAlbum Week 4


<<< Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 3      Click here to watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 5 >>>

 

I’m still in the middle of song-writing, and I will be for a while. This album is a labour of love, so I’m taking my time to craft meaningful, enduring songs. The problem is, my producer and I have been collaborating on several songs at the same time, and each song is at a different stage. That happens when the ideas start to flow and you want to get them down before you lose them. Also, because he lives in Germany, he works on one or two while I work on another couple. We communicate well, mostly over Skype, but, creatively, switching from song to song makes me feel so scatterbrained. I prefer to work on one song, get it done, and move on to the next.

 

Last week, I talked about my experience of learning how to program drums, so that I can more easily show my producer the feel I’m going for with each song. Once I’d learned the basics, I was like one of my children when they get a new toy: “Whoo! The novelty!”

 

After I finally sent my first effort to him, though, he said to me, “You know, I think your drummer sounds a little hysterical, and no drummer could ever play that.”

 

I laughed and said, “OK, just bear with me. I’m going to tame this. My drummer is going to take a chill pill.”

 

Honestly, though, I think my drummer was echoing the rhythm of my brain. I know at times I definitely feel hysterical, and I need to tame my thoughts and take a chill pill. There are so many details and steps that I have to remember, and things that I have to tackle to achieve my goals, that my brain works overtime.

 

Learn More…

 

So this week’s video is all about a tool I’ve found that is a miracle for getting organized, calming down a stressed, creative brain, and clearing the way for ideas to flow.

 

There are all sorts of apps and planners and things you can use to get organized and make sure you don’t forget to do things, but sometimes the simplest ways are best, and this tool is as simple as it gets: it’s Post-it notes. With lists. In bright colours. Stuck up on my computer screen, where they’re in my face.

 

When you write things down, you free up some mental bandwidth for creativity. You no longer need that little juggler who sits up there in your brain, trying to keep too many balls in the air.

 

 

Use Post-it notes to remember things,
and free up some mental bandwidth for creativity.

 

Essentially, I have three Post-Its, with different a type of list on each one.

 

The first Post-It list is my TO DO list – all the physical tasks I need to get done that day, in order of priority from top to bottom. So it might be “finish backing vocals on track two,” “create Facebook post,” and “give drummer chill pill.” I even write a reminder to color every day. (If you’re confused by that, go back and take a look at my previous videos!) If you write your TO DO list as you’re finishing up each day, when you come down to work the following morning, there’s no pressure to remember everything. As soon as you sit down at your computer, you can see it all there in front of you, and you just do what it says.

 

As musicians, we need to get to a skill level
where playing or singing is such second-
nature that our muscle-memory kicks in
and we don’t have to think any more.
Then we’re engaged in the moment.

 

 

On the second Post-It Note is a list of things I need to remember both while I’m “in training” and when I’m performing.

 

I want to have a certain level of vocal precision and technique before I go into the studio. Being a musician is like being an athlete. You don’t start training a week before the Olympics; you train for months – years – beforehand. When you first start out, your muscles get shaky because they’re not strong enough, and you need to strengthen them by practicing. As musicians, we need to get to a skill level where playing or singing is such second-nature that we can smile, let our muscle-memory kick in, and not have to think about technique any more. Then we’re engaged in the moment, and we can enjoy it.

 

So I write out tips for myself, to help with my training. The first tip is to smile before I sing. Smiling relaxes the body, which makes for a better vocal tone.

 

 

Our bodies associate smiling with relaxation.
My tone will be better when I smile before I sing.

 

 

The second tip is “visualize the notes I want to hit with ease.” Some people are skeptical about visualization. They think it’s mystical, or a little fishy. But a lot of my stumbling blocks come from my beliefs and the mental limitations I put on myself. I believe that God created our minds to be extremely powerful, and that it’s actually a really helpful mental technique to visualize the notes that I want to hit as though they’re easy.

 

 

A lot of my stumbling blocks come from my beliefs
and the mental limitations I put on myself.
God created our minds to be extremely powerful,
so I visualize myself hitting the notes with ease.

 

 

The final tip is for when I’m performing. My vocal teacher pointed out to me this week that I’ve been so focused on technique, technique, technique, that I’m neglecting to engage my emotions and just perform. So that’s what I’ve been working on this week – forgetting technique and feeling the song.

 

 

There’s a time and a season for technique.
There’s a season for preparation – for working out.
Then there’s a time to forget about all that, trust
in your hard work, and engage your emotions.

 

 

The final Post-It Note is a reminder of the things I’m doing to address my challenges. My greatest challenge at the moment is sleeping.

 

If you’re not sleeping, you’re not good for anything. I’ve had a good hard look at why I’m not sleeping well, and I believe that my cortisol level is actually the problem. I’m such an ambitious person that, even when my body isn’t active, my brain is thinking, creating, problem-solving . . . all of which raises cortisol levels. My internal drummer needs to take a chill pill. Even though I find what I do fun, my body perceives it as stress – something that uses up the mental bandwidth. I can’t be at peak performance-level unless I address this, so I’ve started taking some adaptogen herbs that balance hormones and help to manage stress, I make sure I do some belly dancing every day (I’ve been belly dancing for years!), I go to bed by a certain time, making sure I read beforehand, which I love to do, I try to stick to a low-carb diet, and I’m using essential oils.

 

So those are my Post-it note lists. How can I possibly remember all the little things on them at any given time? I can’t. But the Post-its ensure that I never forget, and that takes the pressure off.

 

A lot has happened this week. I’m tackling a lot. I’m addressing physical, mental and emotional issues. All of those things will affect creativity, and ultimately how our projects turn out, so remember to take care of yourself – your body, your mind and your emotions.

 

In the comments below, give me your own tips for calming an overactive or hysterical brain, or your creative uses for Post-it notes!

 

With love,

LEAH

 

P.S. Click here if you’d like me to notify you via email when my weekly updates are released.

What should musicians do about file sharing?

What should musicians do about file sharing

I don’t know about you, but when I first launched my music into the interwebs, I wasn’t sure if I was doing myself a disservice or not.

 

I was sorta freaked out that people would steal my music.

 

I know for a fact there are programs for downloading videos and songs right off of YouTube.

 

What the heck. What do you do about that?

 

It’s a really sticky and sort of complicated debate. But here is how I look at it:

 

 

First off, I absolutely believe in private property.

 

If I create a product I own the rights to that product.

 

But with music it’s a bit weird….. because……. did I really invent those chords??

 

Do I own that chord progression and time signature?

 

Did I invent that exact string of words in that exact consecutive order???

 

I think not.

 

If we really think about it, nothing is new under the sun at all.

 

You do own the physical CD and the t-shirts, however.

 

If you disagree with me, that’s totally fine. But the reality is that you and I BOTH must face this situation, so let’s just think about this for a minute……….

 

So, on one hand, the music is a recycled version of someone else’s stuff… It’s just a fact… We all do it.

 

We’re all influenced by the music we grew up with and listened to. We put our own spin on it, yes. But it’s undeniable.

 

On the other hand, we created something. It’s our art. We put time and money and effort into something, and it feels like people just want to take it for free and not pay us for it.

 

WELL, let me just calm your nerves a bit. I have learned there is a difference between PIRACY and FILE SHARING.

 

They are not the same.

 

PIRACY is indeed stealing. It would be like taking my CD, making copies of it for the purpose of selling them for money. That’s piracy.

 

FILE SHARING is literally like going to your friend’s house to watch season 6 of LOST on Blu-ray.

 

Did you pay for that?

 

No.

 

Did you enjoy your friend’s copy of that show?

 

Well, yeah.

 

Would that be considered “stealing” since you now have enjoyed that show without paying for it?

 

Um… I guess not?

 

Are you more likely to buy your buddy that DVD for Christmas, because you experienced the bonus features yourself?

 

YEAH, definitely.

 

The bottom line is the stats show file sharing increases the likelihood of the consumer purchasing a product.

 

That would be your music.

 

The internet is not going away. We can’t change what people do. So I say… *so long as it’s not unethical or immoral*… if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

 

I’ve actually posted my music on file sharing sites before as a way to get more exposure and publicity.

 

It’s true!! File sharing is actually FREE ADVERTISING.

 

I say go with it. It just means we have to be creative and SMART when it comes to HOW we will make money as an independent artist online.

How to activate your creative brain and start writing your album

Savvy Musician Academy, the online musician, Leah mchenry, facebook for musicians, music career marketing, music industry education

I’m taking you behind the scenes for an A-Z look at the creation of my new album!

 

#MakingTheAlbum – Week 1

Watch #MakingTheAlbum Week 2 >>>

 

The other week I was wondering how I could turn things up a bit and deliver NEXT LEVEL value to the Savvy Musician Academy family for 2017… One big idea was the clear winner.

 

I’ve began writing my next album that will release in 2017, so I thought, why not create a behind-the-scenes look at the complete process of creating and launching an album?!

 

I’m so pumped to be able share this with you!

 

You’re going to see how I use a very specific process to write, record, master, and launch this album!  I’m even going to show you how I build my fanbase (pretty much passively) while I’m creating the album! (Hint: I’m also going to use crowdfunding to build a buzz for the release!)

 

The good, the bad, and the ugly will be posted on this blog, Facebook, and Instagram every week. I won’t always be wearing makeup. I won’t always have good things to say as I struggle with all the things us musicians face. Things are about to get REAL.

 

Click Here To Learn More…

 

This week is the first entry in this series that I’m calling, #MakingTheAlbum. In this video, I talk about my struggles with getting the creative juices flowing and how to overcome writer’s block.

 

I definitely recommend you watch the video, but here are some quick tips that I’m doing in this writing phase:

 

  1. Make room for creativity. None of us can do it all, when you add something (music, writing) to your plate, make sure to take something else off.
  2. Create a routine that works for you. Starting your day off right will give you the best chance at success throughout the day. Plan your day to take care of responsibilities while reserving time for your music (avoid interruptions).
  3. Find inspiration. I choose to read non-fiction books and play video games to find inspiration for my specific niche: Celtic Metal. Think of different media that will inspire you to create your kind of music.
  4. Say no to writer’s block. A friend recommended a great book to overcome creative blocks – it’s called The MacGuyver Secret. Basically, it helps to get your inner subconscious working on those ideas even when you’re not thinking about it.
  5. Pick low hanging fruit first. I initially picked songs that I had already written before and I knew I wanted to go on the next album. I didn’t have to totally start from scratch and come up with something brilliant. It took the pressure off.

 

I look forward to you joining me on this incredible journey as we learn and experiment together! It’s going to be amazing.

 

Much love!

-LEAH

 

P.S. Make sure to click here for weekly “Making The Album” updates! I’ll send them straight to your inbox. 🙂