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 #050: When You Don’t Have Fans To Release Your First Album

On today’s episode, Leah and CJ talk about the commonly faced dilemma of how to release an album when you don’t have fans yet and take you through some of the steps to build this fanbase. You have to have some music, even if it’s not professionally recorded, in order to engage and grab people’s attention in some way. There are so many free tools at your disposal that allow you to be creative when starting out, that a small budget should not stop you. Instead, you have to start by putting yourself out there, without waiting for what you have done to be perfect. People will be drawn in by real life, vulnerability and authenticity, rather than an overly polished person that is not easy to relate to. By being real, potential fans will feel involved in your life and much more likely to stick with you and show great loyalty throughout your career. Letting people into your life is not easy, but it is necessary to create a relationship and build rapport with your fan base. Once you have started putting yourself out there and begun to engage with people, it is important to use that momentum to actually record something professionally that fans can get their hands on and that you can use as a starting point for building your email list, your brand and your culture. To learn how to get started on all of this and more, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • You have to start with some music in order to build a fan base.
  • Some things you can do for free to generate a fan base. 
  • You don’t have to be perfect to release your music. 
  • Realness, rawness and authenticity are very relatable. 
  • What Leah does to let her fans into her life. 
  • Where to go after you’ve started building your fan base
  • Why email lists are so important. 
  • How to start building your brand and creating culture after gaining fans.
  • And much more!


“You’re giving people a taste of something and they’re going to follow.” — CJ Ortiz   [0:10:20]

“Let people fall in love with you.” — CJ Ortiz [0:33:48]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Savvy Musicians Mastermind on Facebook —

Book A Call With Our Team —

Jessi Frey (student spotlight) — 

Click For Full Transcript

00:23 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, and I am the branding and mindset coach for the Savvy Musician Academy, headed up by the lovely Leah McHenry, who is with me today again for Episode 50, Leah, your platinum episode.

00:39 Leah: Hey. Yeah, I’m so excited. I’m so glad that we’re doing these episodes weekly now. I mean, obviously we got to episode 50 a lot faster, but I had no idea if the podcast was even – if anyone was even going to listen to it when we first started it. I didn’t know, like are musicians even listening to podcasts? It was a bit of a test, but yeah, we’re getting increased downloads every single month. Thank you, guys, for subscribing. Thank you for leaving us reviews.

And we are starting some prizes, by the way, for people who leave us reviews. It’s definitely a benefit. If you leave us a review and then e-mail us at [email protected], send us a screenshot of your review and we’re going to put you in a draw to win something very good.

01:22 CJ: How about that? I didn’t even know that. Look at all the stuff you learn on The Savvy Musician Show, even when you co-host it. Well again, such a joy to be with you, Leah. And we can go long on any particular subject, and she showed me some time back a list of some of the things that she was still wanting to cover. The list was still very, very long and that doesn’t include all the stuff we come up with just in our conversations.

So, yeah, this particular area of thought is just absolutely huge, because it’s in an ever-changing, ever-evolving state, right? The technology is always changing. The media is always changing. The rules are always changing. And so, one of the great things about the Savvy Musician Academy is that everything is happening real-time, so you’re able to get information, such as we share on this podcast of just the latest things. Because Leah, this is not something you did a few years ago and you’ve been teaching on it ever since.

You are literally doing it, practicing it every single day, way ahead of your own students, going far more than your own students, working harder than your own students. I see it all the time, you’ll come in, chime in, show some results, talk about what you’ve been doing, some of the tests and different. You’re always experimenting with things, not afraid, not intimidated at all, always staying plugged into the new information. And so, I like to keep up with her, even though I am doing very similar things in a different space, the more the coaching and personal development industry, the rules are exactly the same. 

And so, Leah is a huge resource for me as well. I mean, I get to double-dip here when I get to participate and have these conversations with her. But Leah, it’s been great to watch this history. One of the big this, we can’t get around the fact that for a musician, everything centers around an album. We want to talk about today about releasing an album when you don’t have any fans, so I think you guys are really going to enjoy what Leah’s got to say, because I think that’s a dilemma where everybody’s in, right? They have something they want to write and produce, but they don’t have an audience.

03:43 Leah: Yeah. It’s a common question I get all the time, which is why this became a podcast episode. Just so you know guys, if you’re listening, if you have a question, write in to us, or write in the Facebook group and that could become a podcast episode. We pay attention.

03:58 CJ: There you go. Well, in each episode we love to start with a student spotlight; one of the folks that are in the actual Savvy Musician Academy, or the elite group. Today’s is by Jesse Frey, who writes #win. That means that they’re going to report a good testimony about how they’re getting results.

Jesse writes, “I recently closed a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. It was a fixed campaign with a goal of £3,000, that would be 4,000 over here. In 28 days, I raised £4,690, which is about $5,461 – however. I guess, you’re converting into –

04:38 Leah: $6,100 American.

04:40 CJ: American. From 44 backers and reached 156% of my goal.

04:48 Leah: That’s fantastic.

04:49 CJ: That’s pretty good results for crowdfunding campaign.

04:51 Leah: That’s amazing.

04:53 CJ: Because that’s what you did, right?

04:55 Leah: Yeah. It all starts with these smaller campaigns too. Just this morning, I was reading in our student group, a woman had an amazing successful crowdfunding campaign. She just raised $30,000 too. So, the amazing thing is that once you learn these principles of online marketing and just how to engage your fans and build a buzz, you can start with a small crowdfunding campaign like this and the next one will be bigger and the next one after that will be bigger than that. And you can really bring your fans along for the ride, but you’re also going to gain a lot of confidence that you can do something bigger than the last time.

I love that that was our student spotlight today, because today we’re talking about the chicken or the egg scenario. When you don’t have fans to release your first album, should you release music first? And, crowdfunding is going to play a part in that discussion, what we’re talking about today.

05:40 CJ: All right, well let’s get them started. What can they do, Leah? Right now, they don’t have any fans, but they’ve got music, they’ve got ability. What do they do?

05:50 Leah: Yeah. So, if I’m talking to somebody, a musician and they’re asking me a question in our group or something, “Leah, I don’t have fans yet. I don’t even have an album yet. What should I focus on first?”

My response is always the same. You have to start with some kind of music. A lot of them are telling me, hey. Or a lot of them have heard me say, “guys, you need fans to release your music to.” That’s very true, and so that’s why we do focus on fan building year-round. 365 days a year, I’m building my fan base. Now that’s true. But if you don’t even have music yet, it’s pretty hard to build a fan base off of nothing.

The question then becomes, what’s your situation? Do you have a budget to create some singles, or an EP? Because that would be my first thing. If you’re really on a shoestring budget, I would say there’s stuff you can even do totally for free to start building a fan base, such as live videos; Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, those are all – and even short little clips on Snapchat, or whatever you’re using. Now when I say live videos, it could be of you playing live, or just singing into your phone. Or it could be somebody else recording you playing a gig or something. I mean, the options are endless. Be creative.

But the point is you can certainly showcase your talent. You can play your music. People can hear it for free without you ever even being in the studio. You can bet that people have gained tens of thousands of fans overnight when some of these live videos go viral. One of them is – a perfect example is one of our students, Ted Yoder. Ted Yoder did this very thing. He went through The Online Musician, that was our flagship course a few years ago, like really popular, and he was encouraged. I was encouraging them to do live videos.

Now he had albums and everything, but he was just being faithful. He told us later in an interview that he was intimidated. He didn’t really want to do live videos, but Leah said to do it, so he was doing them. He plays the hammered dulcimer. He just did this one video in his backyard and it was such a casual setting. His kids are running around. There’s a raccoon running around somewhere in his backyard and he just played this song Tears for Fears on his hammered dulcimer.

And that thing went so viral in 2016, I believe it was. It was the most viral video on all of Facebook, second to Chewbacca Mom. Now you guys remember that that video Chewbacca Mom with – she put on the mask and she was laughing hysterically? That video was the top live video in all of Facebook and I can’t remember I mean, what it was, a 100 or 200 million views or something crazy. Ted’s was second. Ted’s was second.

So, from that live video, I mean, that’s not even professional recorded, he even messes up a few notes in there. It was not perfect. It was so unique, so cool, so raw, real and different that people shared and shared and shared and shared and he literally – I mean, he had brand-new fans coming to his Facebook page. I think he had like 200,000 people on his Facebook page in a week. It was crazy.

If you want to talk about like, “I don’t have music yet, or I don’t have a budget Leah,” you need to start putting yourself out there in this way. Now, I’m not guaranteeing you’re going to go viral. That’s really an unpredictable thing. If you don’t do that, you’re never going to have that opportunity. So, the point is start doing stuff like that. That’s one of the main things I would start with.

09:26 CJ: Yeah. I think, I’ve seen people even sponsored ads and things of people singing into the little iPhone headphone microphones and trying to build an audience that way. It was a similar thing, when I got started, I was going to put out a book originally. Then I thought, “well, yeah. I really don’t have anybody to sell to.” So, I said, “okay, well, let me just take portions of this book and start putting it on a blog and then posting that on Facebook.” Now this was 2008. It was a long time ago. At the time, I knew I had to build that audience first and I could use some of the things that I was writing for something larger as means to get out and whatnot. And then once video became more of a thing, I could use it that way as well.

But what you’re saying is you’re giving people something to get their hands around. You’re giving people a taste of something and they’re going to follow. That’s important because that’s going to give you that person to build this ongoing relationship, which we’re going to talk more about. But how is somebody then, Leah, going to – because if they’re going to start building fans, right, you’re bringing somebody along, you’re creating followers. What does this musician now who’s getting all of these fans need to keep in mind? Because this is a bunch of people they don’t know that are coming to their page.

10:53 Leah: Yeah. I think this is going to tie into everything that you apply later on as you build a fanbase and as you keep going. I want you to keep in mind that perfectionism is not what people are looking for. It’s not what your fans are looking for. Like I said, Ted Yoder had millions and millions of views. His video was not perfect. He screws up in a couple of times and I don’t mean that as a criticism. You can hear he played a wrong note.

11:21 CJ: No, he told me he wishes you’d quit bringing that up that he messed up in his video. No, he didn’t say that.

11:28 Leah: Yeah. The point is that it wasn’t perfect and people ate it up. The first thing I want you to keep in mind is to be raw, real and authentic. That’s what people want these days. I think of the majority of the population, we’re so over airbrushed Britney Spears. We’re so over that fake perfectionism. If you guys watch The Voice, or American Idol, any of these, most of the contestants, they look like real human beings. They don’t all look like models. They’re real humans and they have flaws and that’s part of what is makes us attractive, to be honest.

Somebody who just looks like a Ken or a Barbie doll, it makes us feel bad about ourselves because people do the comparison thing. As you are building an audience from nothing, I want you to continue being raw, real, authentic, and especially being vulnerable. I mentioned I think in the last podcast episode about even me, just being real and opening up to my fans about my health journey and things that I’ve been really struggling with. It’s not easy. It’s scary, you guys. Realize that it’s going to be scary.

And just know that that’s a normal feeling and everything’s going to be fine and you’re probably not going to get nearly the trolls or the hate that you think you’re going to. And when people see that you are really being yourself, there’s nothing more attractive than that. So, be willing to be vulnerable.

13:05 CJ: Yeah. We have to highlight the fact that social media has changed things. When you say online, for example, it’s like, what do you mean? Well Google, a search engine is online just as much as a social media channel is online, but they’re two totally different things when it comes to how information is accessed.

In Google, you are searching for information. In social media and like in Facebook in particular, it tends to be shared. And that’s a really big difference. When we are encouraging people to go online, social media is playing such a huge role in this, the viral videos, etc. You don’t get a viral video on a Google search, right? These are the things that happen in social media, where you can have that viral effect, that little share button that they can click. They’re sharing it with other people, people that they know.

And so because of that, your whole approach has to be different than the way things used to be. Because I think what a lot of people are imagining, Leah, when they think of what you do, they think it’s just an online version of what record labels used to do, which is you sign an artist, record a record, you get your marketing people and you put the album out and that’s it, right? And you’re pushing music out to a market. If that band, or musician ever meets fans, it will be at a show, a venue or something like that, record signing, that kind of thing.

What we’re talking about is so beyond that. You mentioned the vulnerability. You mentioned some of the ways that you’ve been vulnerable yourself and the support that you’ve received from your followers. This is a whole different thing. You’re coming out from behind the keyboard, so to speak, from behind the drum set, behind that studio. And you’re engaging with an ever-growing audience that you’re being very intentional about this. And so, that requires then, you can’t – there’s no place for you to hide, right?

15:02 Leah: Right.

15:03 CJ: You’re broadcasting live, you’re writing something, you’re sharing something. Yeah, you can throw some makeup on if you’re a woman, but other than that, there’s not a whole lot you can do. All the physical attributes are going to be there, your kids running around in the background, whatever it is, noise, all of that, it’s just – it’s real, it’s raw, it’s authentic. But, like you said, that’s what people want. If you can connect with an audience that loves your music and loves your niche, man, you can do wonders with that.

15:33 Leah: Yeah. I think you need to look at it like doing life with your fans. That’s what a lot of churches and communities, that’s what they do together. It’s like, we’re doing life together. You need to do life together with your fans. So, I’m incorporating a lot more of my life in my Instagram stories. I’m using a lot more Instagram stories lately. But little clips of just my kid rocking out to a song in his car seat.

And actually, what I share on Instagram stories are a lot different than what I’m sharing in the feed. This is not in our notes, but my feed is very branded and on point, because when people go there, it’s important that there’s consistency there. My Instagram stories is a little bit different. It’s like a different platform really. I’m sharing snapshots. I’m really mixing things up there. So, I might promote a t-shirt there and then the next minute, I’m showing how we just juiced two big bins of spinach and I’m going to drink it. So, I did that this morning.

Then the next one, I actually posted – I talked about raw and real. I actually posted Instagram stories, a clip of a demo of one of my songs in the making right now. Now for a lot of artists, that is out of bounds. You should never share your demo in the demo format with people. They’re going to judge it. They don’t hear it in whatever. I didn’t care. I just knew my fans would really like it. I just knew they would. I say, “hey, it’s a demo.” A lot of them were just like, “ah, I can’t wait for that to be produced. I can’t wait to have that on Spotify. I’m going to play that on repeat.” I got really good feedback from it.

So, I’m really letting them in behind the scenes, showing them my family, showing them me. Sometimes I’m wearing makeup, sometimes not very much at all. Showing them, just like the other day I did a little Instagram live, giving them a little tour around my house and in my studio, just showing them where the magic happens. So, I think that’s really important. When you don’t have – I mean, whether you have a huge fan base, or no fan base at all, it’s just something you need to start doing; let people in, let them see behind the scenes. That is going to make them feel so connected to you so fast. And this is why no label can ever do that for you. No PR service, no artist development company can ever, ever, ever do that for you. You have to do it.

17:42 CJ: That’s powerful guys. You don’t need a record yet. We’re not even out of – you our recordless at this point. You’ve already got music out there. You’ve already got fans that are learning to know you and trust you, even love you to that degree. You’re being your real self. You’re getting to share a life with them. And again, we still haven’t gotten to a record yet. That’s the big issue here is what do you do if you don’t have that?

So, now that we’re building this culture, this life, this shared life, this community, Leah, where can they go from there?

18:18 Leah: Well, as soon as you’re able to, you need to get a recording, right? So, I think that if you’re doing live videos, and this is a scenario, right? So, let’s say somebody is just – they’re just getting started. Let’s say you’re doing live videos. You’re putting stuff out there. Building a fan base with the little that you have, it’s always about doing as much as you can with the little you have. You can really squeeze that so much value out of that, if that makes any sense.

But as you’re building that fan base, you can crowdfund your very first EP. That doesn’t need to be very expensive, right? You don’t need to raise $10,000. We’re talking about $2,000 or $3,000 maybe, and get an EP done. Or at least a few singles. You could probably do three singles, or an EP. From there, you can really work off of that. Actually, one of my EPs, typically, EPs don’t sell as well as a full album. One of my EPs sells really, really well. It’s because, I don’t know, the artwork is right, the songs on it are really good and people just really liked that one.

Typically, I’m going to encourage you to if you can, do a full album. If you can’t, get something out there. 

Now once you have music, you’ve got something you can work with for the future. You can start selling it. Now, if you only have two or three singles, you’re not going to make a lot of money with it, okay? You’re not going to make a lot of money off of singles in general. You can make some money on Spotify and streaming platforms if you write a really good song and you take our Spotify course and learn how to work it and get on all the playlists, trigger the Spotify algorithm to put you on Spotify’s playlist. I mean, you could definitely earn some significant income with that.

But as far as doing everything, I’m talking about building an e-mail list, marketing, advertising, really building a brand, you’re going to want a full album. So, as soon as you’re able to do that, go for it. At the very beginning, just start crowdfunding a small amount to get that EP.

20:17 CJ: Now, it’s good for them to have this growing social media community, but you always said that that’s real estate you don’t own, right? They need to get, people to that list. And they could use even some of the recorded music that they do, a sample or whatever is a way to get people on an e-mail list.

20:37 Leah: Exactly. I always want to encourage you guys, as soon as humanly possible – I mean, the minute you decide you want to be a professional recording artist or musician, you want to make a career out of this, you better start building your e-mail list ASAP. Now we did in an extensive podcast episode a few back on e-mail lists and why it’s so important. So, make sure you go back and listen to that for a lot more details. We share a ton of advice. I would encourage you right now, start building your e-mail list aggressively.

I mean, when you want to be aggressive, you want to do some exchange, right? Where you’re giving someone something and in exchange, they’re going to give you their e-mail address to get that something. So, there’s an exchange of value happening. To this day, free song downloads absolutely still work. Like I said, I’m running ads right now, building my list every single day, trying to get a thousand new people on my e-mail list every single month. That’s my goal. I’m using free songs to do it.

It works in every genre, because we have students in every single genre across the board from hip hop, to country, classical. And it works for everybody right now. In the future, that could change. It could change, but I’m not worried about it at all, because we’ll just switch it to something else. We’ll offer something else that they want. Doesn’t really matter. So, people out there who are recommending that you don’t do – free song downloads don’t work anymore, that’s hogwash, absolutely it still works. Like I said, I’ve built my list of 50,000 people with it. It works.

And even young people. I think, sometimes you have to be savvy, because if your demographic, they’re all 18, they still use e-mail, but you might want to also – you can be creative. You can offer something behind the scenes, or a video clip, or something that nobody else has seen. Like get creative. They want something from you and they want to be on – it’s not like you have to bribe people. If they’re interested in your music, they’re going to want to hear about what’s going on behind the scenes. Start building your e-mail list and actually e-mail people.

At Savvy Musician Academy, we love an e-mail service provider called Drip. And we actually have a special link that if you sign up for drip, that I think you get 60 days for free. I’m not entirely sure of the details, but we’ll put that in the show notes. We’ll put our special link in there if you want to give it a try. If you for some reason it’s over your price range, you can start with MailChimp, you can start with something like that. I know MailChimp is free to start when you get up to a certain number of subscribers. I think you get up to 2,000 subscribers and then they make you pay. You can get started with that, no problem. And when you’re ready to switch over to something a little more advanced, robust, that’s really going to help you sell more online, switch to Drip later.

But I tell all my musicians, all our students, “if you’re dead serious about making money, go to Drip.” Seriously, they’ve done some incredible things, especially for e-commerce that I love. It’s making me more money.

23:38 CJ: Yeah. As you’ve mentioned in the past, it’s owned by the same company who does Leadpages, which is for those who don’t know what that is, you see those sales pages, and if you click on an ad or something, you’re taken to a page where you can put in your e-mail address and take advantage of an offer, Leadpages is the premier company and software for that. They own Drip. And so that means those get to be integrated.

You also teach, Leah, in your course, which we’re not going to cover today, but you have covered it before. We’ll cover it again, I’m sure. The e-commerce end of things, selling shirts and mugs and jewelry and things like that through the Shopify store. And very well integrated also with Drip. There’s a ton and ton of things that you’ll learn over time that you’re going to need something like Drip for.

But to get started, again we’re just trying to get you through the door to use something like MailChimp or what have you, just to start building up a list and again, get in this habit like Leah said, of writing to – imagine if you had, and I’m just asking any musician or band that’s listening right now, imagine if you had a 100 new people that were interested in your music and you met them in a small hotel conference room for the very first time and you could sit up there and talk to these 100 new people, what are you going to say to them, right? It’s your meeting. And this is what it’s going to be like for you. You’re going to have more and more people getting to know you and they’re going to want. As Leah said, they’re going to want to hear from you. They’re going to want to live life with you.

And so, these tools, these technological tools that we have online are so much easier to use nowadays. It should be anathema to anybody, not to take advantage of them. What she’s saying is you’ve got to start right away building that e-mail list, because in essence, this is going to be A very, very personal, because you’re not writing to someone who sees a comment, or makes a comment on Facebook. You are in their inbox, so it is very, very intimate and it’s something that you own. So, if Facebook goes away, something happens, you still have people that you’re connected to.

25:55 Leah: That’s right. I call it cross-pollination, where once in a while, or once a week on Instagram I’ll say, “Hey, go download this free song. I’ve got something for you.” Or I have it like, I use Linktree in my Instagram bio. I love Linktree. So, it’s a great little tip for you guys, where you only get one link in your profile. Linktree. There are other ones out there, Link in Profile and Link.Bio, but this one is my favourite so far.

And you can put a bunch of different links in there for people to go and do things. I’ve got YouTube and all that. At the top, I’ve got get a free five days of Celtic metal. I’ll tell people on Instagram, “go sign up for this song.” And so, I’m cross-pollinating. Getting people from that platform onto my e-mail list, because again, I own it. I own that data. Nobody can take it away from me. If the algorithms change and I lose all contact with every single one of my fans, I’ve got my e-mail list. And those people are extremely valuable to me. Really important guys.

26:52 CJ: And from there then, as you’re going to now be creating this relationship with e-mail on social media, Instagram, Facebook, you’ve got to start thinking about who you are to them, which we often refer to as the brand aspect. And there’s a whole lot more we could say about any of these things, guys. We’re just covering it in cursory fashion. You got to start thinking now, Leah, about brand and culture. You’re great at this. Why don’t you share a little bit about that?

27:23 Leah: Yeah. I mean, we’ve done an amazing episode in the past about branding and culture. So, I want you guys to also refer back to that. We will cover it at a high-level here. For a little more in-depth conversation on that where we’re just dedicating our whole time to it, go back to the culture episode and branding episode. But culture and branding, they’re very synonymous in a lot of ways. They work hand in hand.

Culture is something I want you to start thinking about, which is why do people come together for your music? Why would people sit around a campfire and congregate around your music? So, I want you to think in terms of lifestyle. Whenever I take musicians through this exercise, I always ask them, “if your music was a soundtrack to a magazine, what magazine would that be?” If you go check out at Barnes and Noble, you can find every magazine. One’s on log cabins, quilting, horse racing, cars. I mean, backpacking through Europe. They’re all niches, tiny little micro-niches some of them. There’s a magazine for that, for lawn care or whatever.

And so, I always think if your music was a soundtrack, which one would it be? Because if you open up one of those magazines, you start looking at what are the articles in this magazine? What are the ads they’re posting? What are the common colours? What are the fonts they’re using? It will tell you so much about what your potential culture could be for your music. I love that exercise. I love taking people through that. It’s very enlightening. And it’s something that you can really start to imagine.

Now you don’t have to have it nailed down after the first week. This is something – it’s a process. You might take a year to really dial it in and hone in on that, what that culture is. If when you’re starting out, I want you to start thinking about it and start thinking about what magazine your music would be a soundtrack to. Now, what do you without information once you have an idea? Well, that’s going to determine your social posts, it’s going to determine the topics you’re talking about.

And I mean, because my posts are on my Facebook for example, we’re making movie references, we post memes that are really funny, Lord of the Rings type stuff. I’m not always posting about my music. My music is maybe 10%, 20% of my posts. The rest are culture building type of posts. That’s important to build camaraderie, a community based around a common lifestyle. And my music just happens to be part of it.

29:53 CJ: That’s pretty amazing that again, nobody’s saying that you’re building something that’s never existed before. These niches are a combination of elements. And that there are these people who think just like you, who love the same things that you love and getting – you watch the same shows, read the same magazines as you said.

Even though you all do that, you as the artist, you as the one who’s communicating, the better you understand those things, the better you understand even your own interests, your own motives the more skills you’re going to be at creating content online that people want to engage with. The more they engage with your content, the more the algorithms are going to like you. Everything is so much easier, the more you learn about your audience.

And this is something that was – and we’ve said this before is was difficult to do prior to the internet. You had very, very limited demographics is really all you pretty much had. Just basic things about gender, or homeownership, or a zipcode, or they’ve bought this in the past. I mean, it was very, very limited and very, very expensive.

Now for pennies on the dollar, you can get down and find somebody who loves this music and reads this book and watches this TV show and likes to go out to eat and lives in this particular zip code. You can literally get that specific. And if you’re going to bring in people that are that specific to your music and that particular lifestyle, the more you understand about what makes them tick, what interests them, what they’re passionate about, what their pains are, and you can speak to those, you can address those, man, the relationship is going to be off the charts. Bands and musicians have never had this ability.

That’s why people are shocked when they finally meet their rock star because they’re like, “he’s nothing like they thought they were, or she was nothing like they thought they were.” yeah, because you never knew them. All you knew was their poster, was their album cover.

31:59 Leah: Right. My fans know me. I feel they really know me. The more vulnerable I am in social, the more they’re going to know me and that’s going to create a bond. You bet, when I go to release my next album, they’re going to buy it. They’re going to buy a whole bunch of other merch in between those albums because I’m marketing to them. But they know me, they trust me, they feel we’re already friends.

Especially if you can put your face on camera, some of us are so camera shy. I am definitely somebody who struggled with being camera shy. When I look back at my videos, for the first videos ever made for Savvy Musician Academy, I was so camera shy. Our graphic girl said to me, “Leah, it’s like you were a totally different person back then compared to who you are now.” I said, “yeah. It took me that long to just open up and get over myself and get comfortable.” That’s the nature of the beast guys. It’s a little bit uncomfortable doing it sometimes, but it’s so worth it. So, you’ll get over it and you’ll get better.

33:02 CJ: Well, so there it is guys. If you don’t have an album out yet and you’re in that catch-22, you’re in that rock and a hard place, well this is what you’re going to do. You’re going to release something. You’re going to use the tools that are there; Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram, grab your phone, play some music, which Leah has already described, the viral videos that are just raw and have millions and millions of views. Not again that you need to do that, but it’s just showing you the capacity.

For some of you, if you just got a thousand people to see it, you’d be amazed at that. That is a place to begin, get to know those people, get them on an e-mail list, communicate with them regularly, study the culture that you’re all a part of, share your heart, be vulnerable as she says, let people fall in love with you. Then when it becomes time for you to do an album release, you will be positioned so well and you’ll come out of the gates in a way that nobody ever has and you’ll be the story, you’ll be the example, you’ll be the one everyone appeals to.

And even though this takes time to learn, as Leah said, you can spend a year doing some of this stuff, but how quick does a year go by? Wouldn’t you rather be them much further down the road, right?

34:18 Leah: That’s right. Thanks for summing that up so nicely.

34:23 CJ: Well guys, thanks again. Leah, let’s leave them with something simple they can do today.

34:28 Leah: Yeah. If you’re listening to this and you are just at the very beginning of your music career and you’re just wanting to launch this stuff online, I would love for you to join our free Facebook group. You can just look up Savvy Musicians Mastermind in Facebook and join that, and we will start coaching you right in that group. We’re going to give you amazing content. We’re going to give you some challenges and you’re going to get a lot of support from other people there. Go ahead and join that group and I can’t wait to see you in there.

34:57 CJ: Amazing. If you’re listening to us on iTunes, or Spotify, or Stitcher or Google Play, or whatever, be sure to leave a review on this show and give us some stars because it helps us to rise in the rankings and helps other people just like you to discover this amazing show. Believe me, I’m a listener too. I’m a fan. Such a big fan that I somehow weaseled my way into becoming a co-host.

35:26 Leah: We’re so glad that you are.

35:27 CJ: It’s good to be here. Well Leah, thanks again. Guys, we will see you next time.

Episode #049: Becoming an Online Musician: Your Key To Future Success

On the show today, CJ and Leah look at what it really means to become an online musician in today’s music industry, talking about what it takes, the buy-in and commitment to achieve the results you have always wanted. Leah starts off giving a brief definition of what she thinks being an online musician is and from there they look at ways in which you can add this branch of activities and income to your current setup. Leah runs through just how much this can help you and the multitude of benefits you can get from relatively low overheads once you commit to the goal of becoming an online musician. They talk scaling, social media formats, time constraints and adaptability. All things you should be clear and aware of going into this. Leah shares a bit of her personal story and how she overcame great odds and a difficult situation to get to where she is today, helping others do the same. For this, be sure to join us on the Savvy Musician Show!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A student spotlight message from Steven! 
  • Simply defining what an online musician is. 
  • How to add the online component to what you are doing right now. 
  • The amazing benefits of adding this dimension to your repertoire. 
  • Understanding the important concepts of scaling and adaptability.  
  • Reports about the changing format of Facebook’s newsfeed. 
  • Getting ahead of the game and becoming an online musician now! 
  • Common misconceptions and misunderstanding about this field. 
  • The time you put in contributes to the results you get.
  • If Leah can do it, so can you! 
  • Some action steps that you can take today!  
  • And much more! 


“Without touring then, you are doing better than some of the more successful touring bands in terms of each member, what they earn.” — @metalmotivation [0:09:05]

“If you’re an indie artist, you don’t have a label with a huge amount of capital to do it for you. This is an easy, economical, affordable, doable way to do it.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:13:13]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

The Superfan System Elite Program —

Savvy Musician Mastermind —

Crossing the Chasm 

Blue Ocean Strategy

Steven Vrancken (student spotlight) —   

Click For Full Transcript

00:22 CJ: Welcome again to the Savvy Musician Show, this is CJ Ortiz and I am a branding and mindset coach here in the Savvy Musician Academy and I’m delighted to be joined once again by the lovely lady herself, Leah McHenry. It’s good to see you.

00:38 Leah: Hey, good to see you too.

00:40 CJ: Isn’t this awesome?

00:40 Leah: Even though we’ve been chatting for an hour already.

00:44 CJ: Yeah, there’s a lot of – there’s the offline podcast that nobody gets to see or hear. Was telling somebody just the other day, again, this is a conversation that you and I have had Leah, about just that what you want in a podcast is for someone to feel like a fly on the wall as they say. 

You know, people they respect and say, “Boy, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when those two meet up,” or what have you. That’s been more or less the sentiment from the students in the Elite Group. Even though they hear from both of us separately, they’re like, “Well, this would be fun.”

01:18 Leah: Yeah.

01:18 CJ: Let’s hear them talk together and that’s actually really flattering coming from them Leah, because I have been through some of your other courses, they’re going through the Elite Course and they have monthly coaching calls with you and whatnot. 

So they know so much in detail that the general public doesn’t know about what you teach but yet they are still so interested to hear you and I chat about these things because there’s just certain things that come out through a conversation that maybe they didn’t catch, you know? In a particular module or what have you. That’s really pretty cool.

01:56 Leah: Yeah, exactly. There’s so much that happens organically in conversation that it’s not in the notes and that’s great. We’ve always said we’re never going to run out of things to talk about, surprisingly, when it comes to the music industry or just mindset or success or business. We’re just never going to run out of topics.

02:17 CJ: No, that’s why – like you just said, we kind of kick ourselves because we – or shoot ourselves on the foot as they say because we end up catching up before and we end up eating into our podcast recording time. 

Here we are even now trying to get to the podcast but I think it’s all again part of that dynamic of just – we’re both very passionate about these subjects and I know Leah that you have such a heart for seeing musicians succeed in this new era of the music industry.

A lot of people are saying that now, a lot of people are saying new era this and I’m – Leah, in all honesty, I see ads all the time from people who would be within your niche market in terms of the Savvy Musician Academy and I’m looking into their copy, I’m seeing what they’re talking about and I’m not seeing even anything remotely close to some of the stuff that we’ve talked about. 

That’s your main I think now, even to what we’re talking about today which is being an online musician because that’s really what we’re saying. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about that, you know? There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what that means, I can find – you can ask the average band or single artist, Leah, “Do you have a Facebook Page for example?”

They’ll say, “Sure.” Then we go to their Facebook page and all you see is a bunch of posted events, you know? There’s no engagement, there’s no intentionality to anything that they’re really doing, it’s just a place for them to post. It’s not any different than putting up flyers back in the 80s on Sunset Boulevard. The exact same thing. 

When people say online musician, they don’t necessarily know what you mean, Leah. When you say, online musician but – we’re going to talk about that today ladies and gentlemen. First I want to share with you a student spotlight which is something we like to do in the savvy musician show. 

Today is by Steven and he writes, “#win. A little while before the course started, I was already busy contacting user-generated playlist curators. I never asked them to consider placing my song in the top five to 10. This helped me with one specific playlist of plus 8,000 followers to get one of my six songs in this playlist, moved to position three. This approach is definitively helping.” 

Now, he’s referring to the Spotify course, right? That you recently put out.

04:39 Leah: Yes, we have a brand new Spotify course to help people learn how to take advantage of it. Spotify is your friend, it’s not your enemy. Streaming and just how to increase revenue, that’s awesome, He’s applying it and it’s working, that’s great.

04:52 CJ: Yeah, he said, “Yesterday I got 914 streams and 584 listens,” highest numbers he had gotten so far. He’s excited about moving forward, he finishes by saying, he’s so grateful to be a part of this community and community is truly right, in fact, that’s one of the benefits that I’m seeing in any sort of group coaching thing is not just having that support but having that sense of community, well, you’re filled with people who are just like you.

Motivated people that are trying to create an online music business. You’ve got a couple of groups, right? You got the – 

05:28 Leah: Yes, we have a free group, it’s called the Savvy Musician Mastermind and that’s for anybody can join that. Whether you have ever taken a program from us or not, we welcome you there, we’re going to give you our podcast content, it’s kind of a nice convenient place to get it and we post free stuff in there all the time and we just have amazing discussions and if you want help with anything, we’ve got amazing admins there to answer your questions, it’s a great place to be.

Then we have our official student groups. If you are in one of our programs, you can ask course-related questions there and we also have great admins there as well.

06:03 CJ: Online musician. Leah, first of all, let me just ask you. Simply stated, how would you define what an online musician is.

06:12 Leah: Of the top my head, this is not in my notes. Of the top of my head, an online musician is adding an online component to your music career. If you’re even like a full time touring musician, that’s awesome, I’m not saying to quit that, I would never tell you that.

It’s literally distributing your music, marketing your music, growing your fan base doing all the different online digital marketing activities and adding that component to your career. Thereby leveraging your time, leveraging your talent, growing your brand worldwide, while you’re sleeping. So that’s how I define it.

06:51 CJ: That’s really good because I think, this goes back to mentioning what I did about the other people that are doing something similar and as the Savvy Musician Academy, marketing your music and things online. Is that people, when they think that the rules have changed, because of the internet and social media that you know, from the old days of the record labels. 

It really hasn’t changed in terms the way people are still trying to approach this. Until they learn that they really have to do a lot of the things that you just described, you’re going to talk more about what some of these things are.

07:28 Leah: Yeah.

07:28 CJ: It’s really not an online musician thing yet. You mentioned something I thought was really key which is setting over against a touring only musician, you know what I mean? To somebody need then, if somebody’s going to make this decision, to become an online musician.

Are you saying they’re just adding this component to it or in your case, you don’t tour, you’re doing more success, you’re doing – you’re having more success, Leah, then probably, I’m going to speak only from the metal community, there’s a lot of popular bands but I guarantee you, there’s not a single member of any of these recorded artists who are touring and playing in all the big shows not anyone of them are making the money that you’re making. And you don’t tour.

08:12 Leah: Yeah, let’s just distinguish, this is just my music sales, this is not from my coaching academy. I always have to make that distinguishment because people always on my ads, people are so original, not. They’re just like, “I know how you make six figures, you just teach courses on it.” I’m like, “Wow, so original, no one’s ever said that to me before.”

No, it’s all separate, yeah. You were going to ask me a question about that or I just kind of butted in.

08:41 CJ: No, I think it’s an important point of distinction here that you, without touring, okay, are earning more just through your music and again, to make that point all the haters and everything that are going to accuse you of saying, well, you’re just telling all these, how they do this and so that’s how you’re making your money. No, she’s doing that now because she’s making that money from her music and merchandise sales.

Without touring then, you are doing better than some of the more successful touring bands in terms of each member, what they earn because I know a lot of guys that are in big bands and I follow them on social media and they’re right back at the day job when they get off the road from touring.

They do it for the love and they’re hoping for obviously something better. But, you know, as I exclusively touring musician, that’ s a very difficult nut to crack. How then can somebody add this online component to what they’re doing right now?

09:40 Leah: There’s so many things to add. I mean, you can start with the basics with social media and that sort of thing. I think every band out there realizes they need to have that but I don’t know if they understand to the extent that they need to add it. I was just telling you, before we got on this podcast episode, about, I recently made a very kind of vulnerable scary post to my fans about some of the health issues I’ve faced.

If any of my students know that I’m really into health, I’m really into fitness and I’ve just struggled so bad to meet my goals and you know, I’ve been doing lab tests and all the stuff to try and figure it out. I’ve never really expressed this to my fans before, I’ve always tried to maintain an appearance of – I’m the same as I was five years ago. I look a certain way, I’m very careful about the photos I post. I just told them, “Guys, this is what I’ve been struggling with. I just have to be transparent and honest with you guys.” 

I really let them into my vulnerability and I told them, it’s difficult for me to post this, it’s scary for me to post this but I feel that I cannot be an authentic artist without sharing with you what I’m going through. That’s the extent I’m talking about, when I say social media, I don’t mean posting posters and little graphics to your next tour. You can do that and you should. But going so much further with it, letting them into who you are for real and being vulnerable with them, it’s not easy, it’s the internet, so it’s very foreign feeling to kind of wear your heart on your sleeve and just put yourself out there.

Beyond social media, there’s so much more to it than adding the online component. I mean, we’ve talked about this in the previous series. From everything from list building, advertising, all the email marketing. There’s so much you can do where once that system is running, it works for you. I just posted a brand new opt-in ad to build my email list. I’m getting very aggressive about building my email list again.

I want to add a thousand people a month to my email list and brand new fresh people. The reason is because I plan on doing another album launch at the end of this year and I’m going to give myself a nice, long, runway with fresh new people who are interested in what I’ve got to offer. I’ve got that running, I’m getting opt-ins at less than 40 cents each for people to get on to my email list which in the marketing world is an unbelievable, amazing price and I always get these prices.

That’s always what I’m paying for even a brand new ad. It’s because I know my audience online, these are cold by the way, these are not current followers or cold traffic, they never heard of me before. They’re opting in, I’m sending them emails, all about who I am, I’m sending them free music, I’m taking them to, hey, here’s YouTube. I’m getting them multiple touch points is what we call it. 

I’m doing all of this and it’s all happening while I’m sleeping. Of course, I monitor it. I never want to say it’s completely passive, I don’t really think that’s accurate. You have to monitor it, you have to tweak things, you have to keep your eye on it but adding this online component, I cannot – I don’t have the time – there’s not enough time in the day or the week or the year for me to go out and literally shake every single person’s hand compared to how many tens of thousands of people are seeing my ad every day. That’s not humanly possible and yet I’m building a brand by doing this. 

When I say adding an online component, there’s many things you can do but this is just one example is having something continually running where it’s basically a huge awareness campaign, we need mass exposure, if you’re an indie artist, you don’t have a label with a huge amount of capital to do it for you. This is an easy, economical, affordable, doable way to do it.

13:24 CJ: List some of the benefits that this – people, the obvious thing that people are going to think of is just well, I could sell more CDs or maybe I can sell some shirts. But there’s a lot more to it that someone, especially as a touring musician can add by just having this online component working for them.

13:41 Leah: Yeah, for sure. First of all, like I just said, I’m always building my audience, right? The fact, if you’re a touring musician, you could just put two and two together here. If you can reach tens of thousands of new people who have never heard your music before and you can do it for pennies every single day, do you think that that will have an impact on your ticket sales when it comes time to sell that?

Do you think that if you learn digital marketing and advertising that you could sell more tickets or more VIP experiences or more merchandise? Do you think that if you just add two plus two equals four? I can only say that it will enhance everything else you’re doing offline. Hands down.

14:31 CJ: If you have a lot of competition. Because I run a venue before and in Dallas Fort Worth, that’s a very competitive space and if you have a following and if you are prolific on social media and you’ve got great brand awareness. Then you’re going to get more of the gigs, you’re going to get more of the slots, venues, promoters are going to take you seriously because again, in a very competitive space, lots of bands and artists are out there, all competing for the same stage time.

What can really differentiate you is if you have a crowd. Doesn’t necessarily – there might be other bands who might be better than you but you’ll get the gigs because you’ve got the audience. Remember, the vendor and the venue is not – they’re not selling music per se. What they’re selling is warm bodies in there, drinking beer and you know, to them, like I used to say to people when I get original artists who would come and criticize me for running cover bands.

I’d say, “Hey, listen, man, I’m just a glorified jukebox. I’m here to sell Bud Lite, I’m not here to – I’m with you offline, we can talk about your music all day long. I’d love to hear your CD but when it comes to what we’ve got to do to make money, I need bodies in the door. If you can’t bring me bodies in the door, I can’t put you on that stage.”

15:50 Leah: Right.

15:50 CJ: Somebody’s got that following, they can do that.

15:54 Leah: Absolutely. I mean, I think that’s probably the easiest sell ever. That’s probably why I built my career backwards in a sense, for one reason, I had to because I couldn’t be a touring musician with my little kids at home and homeschooling, all that. Although, now that they’re a little older, we’re extremely mobile. We spent five months kind of going through Ireland and the UK and we were able to bring our kids and they were doing home school on the computer.

Hey, never say never, I definitely plan on touring one day. The other reason, I just saw the advantage of being able to build my fan base online first and build my – basically, create a demand before I ever go on tour. 

When I do tour, I’m going to be able to sell out my shows and I’ll also create more opportunity because now I’ve actually made a name for myself if I want to get ton like a bigger tour with maybe a much bigger band than me, hey probably have heard of me by now. The opportunities it is going to create for me in the long run by having built my fan base online, by having a huge email list, by having a YouTube audience, by having an Instagram audience and all of this. It’s only going to benefit me in the future for anything I want to do.

17:03 CJ: Tell me, you mentioned something a little while ago about scaling. I know that’s one of the benefits that somebody can explain what that means.

17:10 Leah: Right, scaling just means that whatever little thing you’re doing that’s working. If you add more budget to it, you can increase the results of that current result. That means, for example, anything I’m doing online, let’s talk about my opt-in add right now that it’s really cheap, I’m adding new people to my email list every single day. 

If I want to scale the ad and it’s working well, I can add more budget to it and it gets more people on my list. I can do that with advertising, I can do that with email, I can do that with – mostly it’s an advertising scenario, that’s usually when we’re talking about scaling something we’re referring to advertising. You can apply it to other things as well.

The point is that you can’t scale something that’s not working, you can only scale something that’s already working. It will only – that’s why I don’t recommend boosting posts. I know there’s other competitors out there that actually tell people to boost posts and I’m like, “Dude, you do not run a large business then, because – maybe even a small one. Because you wouldn’t be telling people that.”

Because again, it’s like – boosting post is only going to force people to see something that the algorithm already deemed was not worth showing people. Why would you throw money at that?

18:25 CJ: I think, Leah, in all honesty, the average band or musician that has a Facebook Page in a little website and what have you and is doing their best to be an original artist, probably when they think of what we’re talking about, they think, well that means I got to boost posts because that’s the button they see on their little – they see those buttons.

18:44 Leah: I mean, Facebook.

18:45 CJ: They’ve never been in the ad manager.

18:45 Leah: That’s just a cash machine.

18:46 CJ: You know what I mean?

18:47 Leah: That’s right, yeah, that little boost post button, that’s just a little ATM for Facebook. That’s not really going to help – that’s not real advertising. There’s so many limitations to it. 

That’s literally just going to force it into the newsfeed and by the way, there are rumours and not just rumours, there are reports that the newsfeed as we know it right now is going to be going away like the top — I think Facebook’s newsfeed guy, I forget his name but he’s actually left Facebook now. He is gone and the newsfeed as we know it is going away. 

We don’t really know exactly, it looks like it is going to become more and more like Facebook stories. Where it is going to be not vertical but like a horizontal experience swiping left and right sort of thing. We don’t know what exactly it looks like but the bottom line is that it is going to be ever-changing. We don’t know exactly and you have to be able to adapt and this is why you need to know the ads manager and you don’t want to be boosting posts. Like who knows if that feature isn’t going to be there and then what are people going to do?

So you have to be adaptable. You have to be on your toes and need the latest information and that is not something you can get even at marketing school. I heard a stat the other day that said, “When a university course is launched or released, by year three, that information is obsolete.” It is literary irrelevant and especially in the marketing world. So that it why I tell people “Yeah, you can go to Berkeley online and spent 20 to $50,000 on a music marketing degree, that would be completely irrelevant to you or you can work with us and we actually give the latest and greatest information.” 

And I think that is a huge decision or part of the decision of becoming an online musician is understanding what that means, what does that even mean in terms of your headspace, your mindset around this. It means you have to be open to constant change and that is something people are not always prepared for. Constant change, especially with technology things, are changing so fast. 

Like I just said the newsfeed as we know it is going to be going away. They are replacing it with a different kind of format. They are already making changes right now and I just saw some new things on my mobile newsfeed yesterday. They are different, they are really heavily promoting groups and all that sort of thing. But adaptability and knowing what the latest trends are where things are going and going, “Hey, cool they made a change. How can I make that work for me?” 

Instead of freaking out. And I think all the bands out there that are not willing to be adaptable and not willing to be a student of it, they are going to seriously lose out. They are going to leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table over the course of a year or two and they’re just going to hurt their music business. So I think you got to have an attitude of adaptability. 

21:33 CJ: Yeah and these things that we don’t know will hurt us in the long run and people are somewhat embittered when it comes to things like social media especially Facebook. Facebook obviously gets a lot of heat, some of it deserved. But yeah, I mean these are the things where we are forced to adapt because we can say, “Okay, well now I am just going to get off online.” Well fine, now what? 

21:58 Leah: Right, now you are back to gigs and playing in front of 30 people and hoping that somebody buys an album? 

22:04 CJ: Yeah, so you don’t have a choice. I mean there is that. There’s the fact that you have to move forward into this online space. So better to be equipped, better to put the emotional reaction aside and just say, “Okay, well let me see how I can start to master this,” and again, you know going back to what you said about scaling is you can get some of these basic components down, how to properly run a Facebook page, how to run some basic ads as opposed to boosting posts. 

How to engage with your followers, you know what kind of post, learning the culture and all of the things that you talk about, Leah. Just those simple things alone, would so revolutionize the average musicians I hate to say profession because they are still working on it but you know what I mean. What they are doing musically would be so enhanced. 

22:53 Leah: Yeah and it is interesting too, where we are and this episode is about making the decision to become an online musician, we are really laying the groundwork and not just me but we have lots of other colleagues out there in the music industry and business people I never heard of before, people I haven’t met but we’re laying a groundwork here in the marketplace in general for a collective awareness of the fact that they even need to make this decision to add this online component. 

And to become wise and become an entrepreneur in some sense and I was explaining too in our staff meeting yesterday just to our – I have to cast vision a little bit for our Savvy Musician team and I was just telling them, “Listen guys, there is a book called Crossing the Chasm and it is all about – it is more a book written for technological trends and market places but it is so applicable to what we are seeing right now and there is basically a bell curve in market awareness of something. 

We’re at the very, very bottom of the curve where people don’t even realize that they need to make this decision to become an online musician. To add this component that they should be leveraging their time and their talent and learning new skillset here. Five to 10 years from now, I believe that every musician will be a digital marketer. I believe that then that will be what we called kind of like – there is going to be a general awareness. 

Right now, people who are studying with us and learning right now they are what we call the early adopters. They are also probably the same people that go out and buy the new iPhone and they don’t care that it has bugs. They don’t really care, they are going to just get it. They stand in line for 24 hours to get access to the latest technology because they want the latest and the greatest. 99% of musicians I would say are not these people. So the people in our programs are way ahead of the game. 

Way, way ahead and 10 years from now they will be making a lot more money than anybody else but 10 years from now, most musicians will know that they should be doing this and by then, it is going to be a very crowded extremely competitive place. So the decision to become an online musician can be very prudent to make that decision now and jump in with two feet and say, “What do I need to learn? What skills do I need to learn and create and improve on to get a head start now?”

25:19 CJ: Yeah, I think that has to be heeded as a warning and so in a sense, guys, you are being called to this. She is beckoning to you to come join because she wants you to do well. She wants you to thrive. She wants you because you can do it. She did it. 

And that is the important point. So you got to believe it is possible, right? These are all the misconceptions that we have and why don’t you address some of those? When you try to explain this sort of thing, what do people normally misunderstand about it? 

25:53 Leah: I think with some of our students I’ve heard complaints about, “Oh, I didn’t know it was going to cost me this tool and that tool and these ongoing monthly expenses and everything,” and I am going, “What are you even complaining about?” First of all, this is a business. If you are running a McDonalds or any kind of business, you are going to have expenses like what did you think this was. I mean this is not entertainment where you just sit back and relax and let things happen to you. This is a pro-active business-minded approach. 

So yes, you are going to have tools, you are going to have landing pages. You are going to need website hosting. You are going to have advertising, you are going to need a little advertising budget. But it is so much less expensive than the alternative or compared to the old school model. What were our options before the internet? That is my question and what would it cost to get on the radio? What would it cost to go on tour? 

It is still extremely expensive. What would it cost to get a billboard or TV spot? Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the venue, you know? It is so less expensive. I mean the fact that I can run a Facebook ad for $10 a day and get 50 people to join my email list that day, incredible. You don’t even appreciate how inexpensive this is. So that is one thing. It is a huge thing that I always want to address. 

And I always tell our students, don’t cheap out on crappy tools and try to get everything for free online. It will hurt your business. You know, sell an extra pair of shoes in your closet on Bidding Wars on Facebook. Do what you got to do, get that extra 50 bucks a month so you can get proper tools. Like really, you’re creative, think outside the box. I don’t really have a lot of tolerance for people who say they can’t afford these tools. 

You can, you are just spending your money somewhere else or you have a bunch of crap that you don’t want to sell and you are lazy. So you know, you just say it the way it is. It is very inexpensive. 

27:51 CJ: Now what about time? I mean that is a big deal, right? How much time is this going to take Leah? 

27:57 Leah: Yeah, it does take time. I mean do you ask yourself that question when you want to learn an instrument or do anything? I mean yeah, it is going to take time. If you want a six-pack of abs, is that going to happen in a week? No. That is going to take some time and it is going to take consistency and dedication and not falling off the wagon and a whole lot of other things. It is the same thing with anything, right? 

Yes, it is going to take time but again, the advantage of being an online musician is the time leverage you get. So again, I am not out there, I am not even talking to a single person and yet they are joining my email list, listening to music and buying stuff. You know I think I made $500 by the time it was 10:00 this morning. So without having to talk to a single person or having to leave my house or still in my pyjamas I was doing my workout this morning and it was sales were rolling in. 

So you know, time-consuming? Yeah, it takes a little time especially the learning curve to learn how to do this stuff but once you know it, I mean think about all the time I am saving now and think about the leverage I am getting. So that is really amazing. 

29:04 CJ: So now it is just something that I see a lot, Leah, is people think, “Oh, well it is going to work for her because she is this or she has that,” or what have you, does this work for everybody or are they just going to keep comparing themselves to you?

29:18 Leah: Yeah, I think sometimes people do and I think more even so our students who think, “Oh well, Leah is successful because she has this really special little niche and everything and I admit, I have kind of carved out something unique and special but I encourage everybody to do that. I mean this goes back to branding in some of the episodes we have talked about in the last few episodes here. You know I have created a – you know it is The Red Ocean, Blue Ocean. 

I don’t know if you guys have read that book. The Red Ocean, it is very crowded and the sharks are feasting and there is blood in the water. The Blue Ocean is where there’s not a whole lot of competition, the sharks is not really circling and there is a lot of space and so that is why I like micro niches. That is why I like niching. That is the whole idea behind niche marketing and so I would say besides the fact that yes, I worked very hard to find a blue ocean for my music and get into a niche, based on what my fans are telling me and feedback and all of that. 

But I would say outside of that you guys, I’ve had every disadvantage that you could have when it comes to building a brand and you might look at me and say, “She is so successful, so it is easy for her.” I was not successful before. Like I said, some of you guys know my story but I had no connection in the music industry, whatsoever. I had no fans. I had one album really that I had help creating. 

I had kids, babies in diapers. I sang that first album nine months pregnant with very limited diaphragm space and no extra budget. I was doing this, it took me two years to make that album because I would record it on the weekends when my husband could watch the kids when he was home from his construction job and that was the only time I could do it, right? So I had no advantage in the music industry. I didn’t even know anything about business, I knew nothing about it. 

So you know I would say if it worked for me, it can work for anybody because I guarantee you, most of you don’t have five kids. Most of you aren’t homeschooling. Most of you have more time on your hands than I did and I just didn’t have any extra help guys so. 

31:32 CJ: You didn’t have any band members to do anything.

31:35 Leah: No, there you go. Yeah, exactly so I had to compose everything. I had to hire people and I did it on a shoestring budget. I’ve had an enormous challenge in front of me to accomplish everything I have. But it also served as an advantage and that I was forced to bootstrap and I think bootstrapping, there’s entire books in the business world written about bootstrapping and what a useful advantageous situation that is. When you are forced to bootstrap it, I mean there is something psychologically, especially if you are all in and you have that switch turned on that says, “I am going to succeed no matter what.” 

If you have that switch turned on nothing can stop you and that is what I am looking for in working with people. I am really not interested in working with people who are like, “I want to pursue this but it is a little thing on the side. I am not really all in.” You’re never going to see results. You have to have that switch turned on where you are almost mad. 

You almost have to get a little angry and have that little bit of an aggression behind your decision just like, “I am angry that I haven’t seen results and I am going to find out how to make it happen.” That is what happened to me and long before Savvy Musician Academy was created, I remember sitting in a chair in the living room and Steve telling me, we were just advised by the government. The government told us because we are so far behind in taxes that we should file bankruptcy. 

And when the government advises you to file bankruptcy because of your taxes, you know it is bad. And I just looked at it. I was so angry not at him but just the situation because I knew it was bad. The Canadian government by the way pretty much rapes businesses who we were very lower middle class. One income household and it was like pay for groceries or pay taxes, which one are we going to do? Well we have kids to feed. 

So I got angry in that moment and I said, “Like hell are we going bankrupt. That will not happen.” So a switch turned on in me and I said, “I will find a way. I will find a way to use whatever gift is inside of me. Whatever I have and whatever I can do at home, I will take this little and I will turn it into much.” I don’t know how and I made a decision. My first decision, I am going to make a $100,000 with my music and I am going to somehow figure out how I’m going to do that. 

I just think I know there will be expenses, I know that that might not all be profit but I am going to figure out how am I going to make a $100,000. So I made a decision out of anger and frustration in a good way, in an aggressive way, that I am going to change our family situation and I am going to do it with my music and from that moment on, it happened. Literally months later, I started making incredible progress with my music just by using social media. 

So before I knew anything about advertising and just putting in the effort making the decision, declaring a number saying this is the number I am going to hit and I will reverse engineer how it is going to happen. That changed everything, that changed our entire lives. So that is the story behind how Savvy Musician even ever came about guys. 

34:51 CJ: Wow, I don’t even want to add in because I want people to just meditate on what you just said because that’s this whole episode is about deciding to become an online musician and the key thing of what you said was you were brought to that place where you had to make that decision. “This is what I am going to do.” Now you didn’t have necessarily a Savvy Musician Academy to lean on. So it was double — you described with doing all of this on your own. 

Being pregnant and struggling financially so let us add to it the fact that you don’t have any resources to figure out how to do this and so this is several years ago and so look at where social media was at that time. So to be able to do this now and for someone to make that decision now it is so much better to make that decision now and before things change too much and everybody starts crowding this online space now is the best time guys. 

Now is the best time for you to decide to become an online musician, what action step would you give them, Leah? 

35:52 Leah: Well today, if you haven’t fully, fully committed to yourself, your music your career I want you to make that decision right now. I mean you know there are some sayings out there, “Crap and get off the pot.” Whatever you want to say but it is just like, make the decision. Are you all in or are you out? There is no in-between, you can’t dabble in this stuff and get a result that you really are looking for. You got to be fully committed, all in. 

Educate yourself and you know if this is something that you really want to pursue and you would like our help, we are here for you. So number one, the fact that you are listening to this podcast is a very wise decision. So the first thing that I want to tell you is subscribe, make sure you are getting these podcasts. What we are delivering to you is the best advice that we could give for free. We have a lot of advice that is not free and it will give you 10X what is on this podcast. It will 10X the results. 

You can’t get everything you need here but the other thing I would have you do is book a call with us, so we can help you see if and how we are able to help depending on where you’re at in your music career. You can go to and somebody, myself or one of our team members will help you. We are going to help you get some clarity on where you’re at. So that is what I am going to leave you with today. 

37:23 CJ: That is awesome. So, guys, I hope you are going to make that decision today. There is again, minimal things that you can do right now but it is important that you do something right now. If you put it off, you are going to keep putting it off. So do something today, sign up, do something today, make that phone call and I guarantee you good things can happen when you begin to take action. 

Leah, thank you so much once again for all your counsel, wisdom and advice and it is always a joy to be with you and do one of these. 

37:50 Leah: Thanks CJ. We’ll see you guys next time. 

Episode #048: Bonus: Leah Answers Your Facebook Ad Questions

Today on the show Leah and CJ are tackling your questions on Facebook ads! That’s right they are fielding exactly what you asked and giving you the best answers they can muster so you can get rolling with better ad strategies and getting your music and merchandise moving! Facebook and other social media advertising done right can take you from floundering uncertainty to a blossoming career under your own personal control. Leah stresses the importance of copywriting, metrics and getting into the nitty gritty of what works and what does not, you need to learn your way around it all if you want to master it. We discuss the evolving algorithms and how best to stay up to date with them, how to balance your advertising strategy between what is happening now and long term goals and which shop platforms are best. Leah also answers questions on location targeting for events, marketing merchandise compared with music, calling it quits on an ad cycle and more! So be sure to join us today on the Savvy Musician Show!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A special student spotlight message from Mia!
  • A little bit about Instagram ads and how to use them to increase purchases. 
  • Staying up to date with the ever changing Facebook algorithms.  
  • Balancing general, long term ads with specific new content promotion. 
  • The importance of copywriting in promoting and selling your products. 
  • Why to use Shopify instead of Bandcamp.
  • Targeting specific areas and Facebook’s location targeting.
  • Should you market your merchandise differently to your music? 
  • The different types of of ads you can run and which are most effective.
  • The basics of great Instagram ads!
  • How to know when to end your running of a particular ad.
  • Making the most of what you have and getting some skin in the game. 
  • And much more! 


“hat’s most important is that you know and understand your audience and your brand and everything ahead of time.” — @LEAHthemusic [0:05:38]

“That’s the kind of stuff that you do in marketing and advertising is you just test this stuff.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:11:03]

“Some people look at the Image and they don’t even read the text. You want to use all those different assets they’re giving you to the full potential.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:14:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — 

The Superfan System Elite Program —

Leah on Twitter —

DotComSecrets —

Exactly What to Say — 

Shopify – 

Mia Ramer (Student Spotlight) –

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 —