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

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

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

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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

The Superfan System Elite Program —

Leah on Twitter —

Facebook Ad Manager —

Facebook Pixel —

Fiverr —

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

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

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

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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

Superfan System Elite Program —

Leah on Twitter —

Shopify —

Drip (60-Day Free Trial) — 

Lead Pages — 

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

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

The Super Fan System Elite Program —

Leah on Twitter —

CD Baby —

Bandcamp —

Nightwish —

Epica —

Game of Thrones  — 

Elder Scrolls —

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

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Superfan System Elite Program —

Shopify — 

WooCommerce —

WordPress —

Jeff Bezos —

LeadPages — 

Stripe —

Flag nor Fail —

Quest Nutrition —

Drip — 

AWeber —

BigCommerce —

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Leah on Twitter — 

Fiverr —

Book-A-Call — 

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

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

Key Points From This Episode:

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


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

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

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

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Sebastian Wolff —

Sebastian Wolff on Twitter —

Loudr —

Materia Collective —

Easy Song Licensing —

Harry Fox —

Songfile —

DistroKid —

Soundrop —

SoundExchange —

I Will Teach You To Be Rich —

Episode #041: How to Plan Your Music Year & Set Goals That You Can Achieve

On the show today we are breaking down how you can set out your year and goals to make better progress in your music career! This means having a broad outlook for the year ahead and then sectioning it off into quarterly chunks, ready to be accomplished! The conversation covers a few of the questions we have been receiving from the Facebook Group and the common themes from these and balancing achievable goals with ambitions that stretch your abilities and reach. From there we go on to discuss just how to go about the process of goal setting from the early stages to some of the specific and nifty tricks to give you the upper hand on your tasks. We talk brainstorming, resources, tools, deadlines, categories and a whole lot more. If you are struggling to get around to setting goals or whether you need help with measuring and completing your to do list, this is the episode for you!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Some of the questions we received over at the Facebook Group.
  • The importance of putting yourself out despite the discomfort. 
  • Small and important lessons to take away from everything. 
  • Why should you plan for the year in advance? 
  • The starting point for planning. 
  • Brainstorming, whiteboards and getting the ball rolling.
  • Giving yourself enough time and runway to accomplish your goals. 
  • Leah’s list of goal categories.
  • The brain dump for each of your goals!
  • Implementing gradual habits and how this can help you.   
  • Some tools to help you plan out your year and stay on track. 
  • Inspiring resources and the benefits you can accrue from reading. 
  • Quarterly deadlines and sticking to them!
  • And much more!


“My starting point is I like to brainstorm, I just do a giant brain dump.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:15:11]

“I like to give a six month runway into any kind of a launch if possible. You start planning the album launch six months ahead of time.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:22:41]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Annual Planning Guide Download:

Leah McHenry —

Leah on Twitter — 

SMA Spotify Course —

Savvy Musician Academy Facebook —

The Super Fan System Elite Program  —

Bulletproof Coffee —

Crowd Funding Podcast Episode —

Album Launch Podcast Episode —

Rocket Fuel — 

The Synergist – 

The Synergist Quiz —

Episode #040: The Current State of The Music Industry & Why You Don’t Need a Label

On today’s spontaneous episode, Leah McHenry is joined by new cohost CJ Ortiz, an experienced branding and marketing expert, who works as a coach in the Elite Program. They delve into various topics related to the new music industry, such as the power of online marketing and how rather than being hopeless, aspiring musicians should see this new space as one full of opportunities. Leah shares some of the reactions she got when she put herself out there and how through perseverance, she is now able to support herself and her family with her music. She shares how, through learning about marketing, rather than music, she has been able to empower herself and create an authentic and sustained connection with her fans. If you’d like to find out how to start to do the same, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Groups on Facebook that you can join. 
  • How CJ and Leah’s friendship started. 
  • How much Leah’s career has grown.
  • How to adapt when changes happen in marketing. 
  • Success in the new music industry is defined differently than before. 
  • Shifting your mindset in defining success is key. 
  • The music industry is shifting in an unprecedented way. 
  • Some success stories of people who have used these principles. 
  • If you learn the basics of online marketing, it can translate across various spheres. 
  • When Leah realized that she could take control of her career. 
  • Some pros and cons of record labels. 
  • What a Facebook pixel is and why it’s important. 
  • How Leah was able to find and target her ‘superfans.’
  • And much more


“How I had any success at all, by the way, was I stopped studying the music industry,” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:09:15]

“The only thing that matters is your little music industry that you just created.” — CJ Ortiz[0:11:00]

“That’s our biggest challenge as musicians- is to help people understand that we exist in the world.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:32:25]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Savvy Musician Mastermind on Facebook —

Savvy Musician Spotify course —

Leah on Twitter —

CJ Ortiz —

Episode #039: What Is Artist Development?

Today’s show takes on a new format where CJ Ortiz joins Leah McHenry as cohost. CJ has over 20 years of experience in marketing and helping both individuals and organizations to achieve their visions. Currently, CJ works as the mindset and branding coach at the Superfan System Elite Program run at The Savvy Music Academy. In this episode, Leah and CJ talk about what artist development really is, delving deep into the complicated topic. They discuss what some crucial aspects of the artist development process are and how they think most traditional artist development companies are falling short and failing their clients. Leah also gives some insight into the process she has used to develop herself as an artist and how she thinks The Savvy Music Academy is breathing fresh air into artist development. Join us today for this and a whole lot more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The primary problem in the music industry since Napster. 
  • What is artist development? 
  • Leah’s five-year plan for Savvy Musician Academy and where she realized this.  
  • The problems with traditional artist development agencies.
  • Leah’s insight into artist development in the new music industry.
  • Two things which are key to artist development.
  • Musicians should see themselves as entrepreneurs. 
  • How Savvy Musician Academy is doing artist development differently.
  • The role of the coach and how they should work. 
  • Leah’s own coaching style. 
  • How DIY management is different from traditional management
  • An understanding of branding that goes beyond logos and fonts. 
  • The real meaning of online marketing.
  • Making time to write or practice every day. 
  • Building a fan base is a perpetual activity.
  • And much more!


“The destiny of the company is artist development, but not in the typical sense.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:08:04]

“A high percentage of success is in the mindset part and the personal development part of it.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:13:48]

“It doesn’t help to blow sunshine up somebody’s backside.” —  CJ Ortiz [0:22:40]

“We’re like Robin Hoods.” — CJ Ortiz [0:50:26]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

SMA: Superfan System Elite Program —

Episode #038: How To Write Commercial Hit Songs with Friedemann Findeisen

Today we are joined by Friedemann Findeisen, a songwriter and songwriting coach. He has written over 1,000 songs in more than 100 styles and also has his own successful YouTube channel, Holistic Songwriting, where he explores various topics related to songwriting. In addition to this, he has also written a book, The Addiction Formula, where he shares his insights into how to ‘crack’ the songwriting code. In today’s episode, Friedemann talks about the book as well as holistic songwriting, which looks at the at various aspects that affect the process of songwriting and the quality of the song that is produced. He also shares some of his success stories, his own songwriting process, and some tips and tricks of the songwriting trade. Join us today to learn some of the ins and outs of how to write a successful song.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Foundations of songwriting and why they are important.
  • What holistic songwriting is; more than music.
  • The pillars of creating a great song.
  • How to know when a song is good and will be a success.
  • Why the formula is not only for pop songs.
  • Understanding that “commercial” does not have to mean pop.
  • Most important tips to make your song addictive.
  • Learning how to understand the energy distribution of songs.
  • Importance of establishing image.
  • Success stories from Friedemann’s experiences.
  • How Friedemann helps other people.
  • The problem of incongruency.
  • Examples of successful intuitive lyric writing.
  • Finding out who your fan avatar is.
  • His approach to songwriting.
  • And much more!


“It’s easier to connect to your songs if they follow a certain blueprint.” — Friedemann Findeisen [0:03:13]

“To me, there is three pillars of a really great song.” — Friedemann Findeisen [0:06:41]

“It’s not just the music, it’s the people behind the music.” — Friedemann Findeisen [0:24:46]

“Have more purple cows in your lyrics.”  — @LEAHthemusic  [0:39:22]

“It’s that honesty that fragility that I think people really get addicted to.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:48:25]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Friedemann Findeisen —

Friedemann’s Patreon page —

Holistic Songwriting on YouTube —

The Addiction Formula on Amazon —