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Episode #115: The Last SMA Podcast?

Leah’s back! Where has she been? What’s she been doing? Where to from here for music marketing and the Savvy Musician Academy?

In this episode, Leah joins C. J. for an in-depth discussion of her new business, Mythologie Candles, and what her plans are for the near future.

But they also discuss this podcast because after a recent survey conducted by Leah of followers and students of the Savvy Musician Academy, a lot was revealed that prompted a reconsideration of our efforts.

Long story short, Leah and C. J. discuss the plan to take a sabbatical on the podcast in order to invest more in the coaching of our existing students.

BUT… there’s a ton of great principles taught in this episode, so don’t miss it!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Catching up with Leah
  • Mythologie Candles is booming!
  • How to market a sister brand
  • Polling your audience
  • The state of the podcast
  • Focusing more on the students
  • People who buy the course but fail to engage
  • 2020 in hindsight
  • How different personality types work together
  • The new Instagram 4 Musicians course

Tweetables:

“We know that those who have already invested in courses, if we dedicate more to them, to help them get results, that is probably the best investment of time and money.” – @metalmotivation [00:31:25]

“You can make it happen. It really does come down to, ‘How bad you want a music career?’” – @metalmotivation [00:38:54]

“That’s where musicians shine is we think outside of the box.” – @LEAHthemusic [00:41:28]

“My magic phrase, getting to half a million dollars in six months with this company was, ‘I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out.’” – @LEAHthemusic [00:42:30]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Mythologie Candles — https://mythologiecandles.com/

Instagram for Musicians — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/ig4m

Explode Your Fanbase — https://explodeyourfanbase.com/

Leah’s Business Instagram — https://instagram.com/realleahmchenry

Episode #114: How To Make Money With Spotify

Are you trying to figure out how to get more streams on Spotify? Did you know we offer a course on this? This week C.J. welcomes Dave Powers, the co-founder of the course, and Kirk Smith, one of its top students and rising stars.

Dave and Kirk tell how they started making hundreds of dollars and thousands of streams a day by focusing on getting on big playlists by building relationships with curators and sending them steady streams of singles. You could do this too and it all starts with learning more with this weeks episode of The Savvy Musician Show.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introduction to Dave Powers and Kirk Smith
  • Why focus on Spotify?
  • What is a curator?
  • The power of the playlist
  • Releasing singles instead of albums
  • Staying consistent with reaching out to curators
  • A steady stream of content
  • Spotify is content marketing
  • User-generated, algorithm, and editorial playlists
  • Keeping users on the platform
  • The music business is a relational business
  • Getting past rejection
  • Why you should be in the Spotify course
  • Focusing on one music style
  • Bad quality music fails quickly
  • Having faith in yourself and the principles
  • The Spotify course group

Tweetables:

“I ought to focus on a platform that actually could make me money rather me spending money to grow.” – @Mtncitymusic [00:04:08]

“I put the record out. I probably should’ve been putting out singles, but I learned that lesson.” – Kirk Smith [00:08:39]

“I’m starting to see like, ‘Okay, I need to plan stuff out to where I’m putting out every six to eight weeks or every couple months.’” – Kirk Smith [00:11:30]

“Spotify is content marketing, and the content is the music… their main thing isn’t to get music to people. Their main thing is to get people to Spotify.” – Kirk Smith [00:11:56]

“You have to be consistent with reaching out and with making the content.” – Kirk Smith [00:18:52]

“The sole purpose of any platform is to keep people on the platform.” – @metalmotivation [00:21:22]

“Selling your music is not the end. It’s a means to an end. It’s one part of all the things that you will do in this new era of social media-driven marketing where you’re sharing a lot more of your life than just the music itself.” @metalmotivation [00:22:05]

“If your desire with everything that you post is to keep people on the platform, attract them to it, and keep them on the platform for as long as possible, guess what the algorithm is going to do with your content? It’s going to favor it.” – @metalmotivation [00:22:55]

“I think in the last couple of years, there’s been a real understanding among artists that culturally people are listening to one song as opposed to albums more frequently.” @Mtncitymusic [00:24:20]

“Whereas Spotify is technically the label now. The curator becomes A&R.” – @metalmotivation [00:30:19]

“The music business has always been a relational business, but I don’t know of a time when there’s more opportunity for an artist to develop relationships that can advance your career outside the context of a record label.” – @Mtncitymusic [00:31:42]

“If you have bad quality music, good marketing helps bad products fail quickly.” – @Mtncitymusic [00:50:52]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Kirk Smith (Spotify) — https://spoti.fi/2FcCAFM

Dave Powers — https://www.facebook.com/mountaincitymusic/

Spotify for Musicians — https://savvymusicianacademy.com/spotify/

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy, and I love hosting this Savvy Musician Show podcast, premier music marketing podcast. I just don’t know another one out there like it. They are echoes and not voices. No, I probably shouldn’t talk like that, but it’s a joy come each and every week to feature interviews and inspiring messages and great how-to information on how to market in this new era of the music industry, and today’s podcast is no different.

00:00:56 CJ: I love the diversity we’ve been having as of late, and today’s really special because I’ve got two guests with me today, one who I’ve gotten to know through the Savvy Musician Academy, one of our Elite students who’s also a participant in one of our products, which we’re going to talk more about, and then another who we’ll meet here for just a second. So, first of all, Dave Powers, welcome to the podcast. Good to see you, man.

00:01:20 Dave Powers: Hey. Thanks so much, CJ. I’m stoked to be on this with you, bro.

00:01:23 CJ: Great to have you, and also with us today is Kirk Smith. Now, Kirk, are you a student also at Savvy?

00:01:31 Kirk Smith: Yeah. I have a few of the Savvy products, and I found out about Spotify. It’s a course that Dave did through that.

00:01:38 CJ: Great. Well, and that’s what we’re talking about today is Spotify and just to set that up, the great revolution of the modern music industry really happened at the end of the ’90s with the advent of Napster with torrent bit streaming, with people digitizing their CDs, and now, all of a sudden, these MP3s, which nobody had ever heard of started to literally be networked together. So, you weren’t even sometimes getting one whole song from somebody. You were getting a complete file from thousands of different computers’ networks. I don’t know how it all worked, but that was Napster, and of course, it turned everything upside down. Of course, there’s a metal guy. I remember Metallica being very outspoken about this, and they were mocked because people just saw them as greedy musicians and all of that.

00:02:27 CJ: Well, now, they’ve been since justified in their argument, but then it went from there because for a few years then, that’s what was happened, a lot of file sharing, and people were getting used to the MP3s via podcast and all that, and then with the advent of the iPod, then Apple started to try to montage this MP3 digital phenomena. So, now, everybody was talking about downloading music that you could legally and pay for just $0.99 a song or $9.99 for an album. You were downloading music.

00:02:58 CJ: Now, in our day, if you were to say you were downloading music from iTunes, you’d be considered ancient. You’d be like AOL, but that just doesn’t seem like that all that long ago, but now everybody’s used to now the next phase of that, which is streaming music, and I remember Pandora and all that coming on the scene, and that was what everybody was doing for their music. Of course, you had to put up with commercials and all that kind of stuff, but then the market dominator became Spotify, and that’s really changing things now. So, Dave, why don’t you take us because at some point, Spotify became such a dominant that Leah felt the need at Savvy to get a Spotify course going. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?

00:03:47 Dave Powers: Yeah, it’s been really cool to partner with Leah and the Savvy Musician Academy actually and creating this course. So, the basic deal that I was working on as I was building my Facebook platform, and as I got into the 150,000 followers and stuff like that, I started turning my attention to Instagram, and as I thought about that, I thought, “I ought to focus on a platform that actually could make me money rather me spending money to grow.” So, even though I continued to be active in our social media stuff on Facebook and Instagram, I really just turned my attention towards Spotify, and one of the things that I found out, CJ, was that all of these big artists were whining and complaining because of what you just articulated. They’re used to getting $9.99 for an album or $0.99 for a song, and after everybody’s splits come out, the artist who’s maybe getting about $0.70 of that.

00:04:42 Dave Powers: So, if you sell a million individual songs, you get $700,000, but on this new landscape with Spotify, they were paying artists about four-tenths of a cent per stream. So, if you go from making $700,000 for a million songs sold to somebody streaming your song a million times and you make $4,000-

00:05:05 CJ: Wow.

00:05:07 Dave Powers: … you better believe they were frustrated. On the flip side of that though, all the indie artists were like, “Wait a minute. We get to make money when people listen to our music? This is awesome. I don’t care if it’s four-tenths of a cent. I’m getting money, man. This is great.” So, that’s the mindset that I have was I’m just curious how this whole platform works, and I started doing a bunch of research and trial and error stuff, and I think on July 1st, 2017, we had about 629 monthly listeners with 150,000 Facebook followers, and that just made me so mad because it was like I’m trying to promote market on Facebook and drag all those people over, and there wasn’t that connectivity at that time. So, I got frustrated and started calming myself and trying to think through processes and stuff, and this idea came to me about how to connect with curators that aren’t under the organizational umbrella or not being paid by Spotify.

00:06:10 Dave Powers: They’re just normal people, average people making playlists that other people find and follow. So, I started reaching out to those people in over a, I don’t know, seven-to-eight-week period of time. I went from 629 monthly listeners to 62,400 monthly listeners.

00:06:27 CJ: Wow.

00:06:27 Dave Powers: By the end of that year, I started in July. So, December 31st, my goal was to have 50,000 streams total in my music, and I already had 20,000 or 30,000 at that time. Using this process, we blew that out of the water, man. We ended up the year of 1.8 million streams instead of just 50 like my goal was. So, anyway, just jumping into that space, and it occurred to me. Man, I can really help other musicians really similarly to how Leah processed stuff. She found a really beautiful niche and insight on how to create streams of income by selling merch and different things like that, marketing yourself as an artist online. Then she said, “Whoa. I have a passion to help others.” So, her and I share that same passion.

00:07:18 Dave Powers: So, we developed a friendship and got to create a course together to help other musicians find a stream of income through streaming, and that’s how I met Kirk. He’s part of the Spotify for Musicians course, and Kirk has blown it up. I literally cannot wait for him to tell you his story today. It’s so cool.

00:07:36 CJ: Awesome. Kirk, tell us, what’s going on?

00:07:39 Kirk Smith: First of all, I’m so pumped to be here and be talking to you guys. I’m so grateful for everything that’s been happening. Literally, it’s changed my life.

00:07:48 CJ: Wow.

00:07:50 Kirk Smith: I’m a producer, and I mix and I master, and I’ve been working with artists forever and helping them make their own product and take it market themselves. It was about two years ago, I was like, “Well, I want to make my own content. I want to do my own thing. I like producing and mixing/mastering, but I want to make music. I got it inside of me. I want to do it.” So, probably for about a year, I just made music in the mornings, at night when I had time, and just built up a collection of songs, instrumentals, started to find my own little voice and what I liked and my aesthetic. Right when I went to put it out… I think it was May 2019. I got ready to put it out, and I came across the Spotify course, and I was like, “Okay, so I need to look at this.”

00:08:39 Kirk Smith: I put the record out. I probably should’ve been putting out singles, but I learned that lesson, but I put out the whole record, and actually, a couple days before, I was like, “Oh, man. I need to make sure all my stuff works.” So, I basically created a single so that I could flesh out the infrastructure of everything and make sure it all works and Spotify for Artists and the backend and all my links and everything. So, I just created a single in a day, so I would have something to prime the pump before the album dropped, right? So, created the single, put it out, and I started going through his program. I reached out to curators. I had my little template script, and I was just trying to do as many as I could a day.

00:09:32 Kirk Smith: If I got five a day, I did five a day. If I got 10 a day, I did 10 a day, and pretty much every single day, I was chipping away at it and building my list, and I got crickets. Tons of people, no response, but every once in a while, I got a little response. “Hey, love the music. Great,” and I was telling all these people, “Hey, my album drops in a couple months. Is it okay if I follow up? People were like, “Yeah, cool.” So, I’m building this list, and I mean I can remember when I get my first thousand streams, and I was like, “This can work. This is going to work.” So, it’s like those little… I’m getting into fishing now, and it’s like you get those little nibbles, and you’re like, “Okay. There’s fish here,” and then you might get a bite, but you don’t hook it. You don’t bring it in.

00:10:25 Kirk Smith: But when you bring one in, you’re like, “Okay. This is going to work.” So, this whole process of reaching out, building the list was awesome. It was very exciting. Some days and some weeks, it was arduous, but you keep at it. So, did that for I don’t know months and months and months, and all the while I was building relationships. So, I built relationships with a couple of artists. We ended up collaborating and doing some songs together. So, we shared each other’s audiences. I ended up connecting with some really cool indie labels that are in my niche and said, “Hey, if you ever want to do something together, if there’s anything I can do for you guys, that’d be awesome.”

00:11:07 Kirk Smith: So, we ended up doing some projects together. I got on a compilation, and the thing about it, it’s just amazing way to just build relationships. We just kept building relationships and making music and following up with more music. So, all along in that process, I’m pushing the music that I have, but I’m building more content, so I’m making more content to get ready and now, I’m starting to see like, “Okay, I need to plan stuff out to where I’m putting out every six to eight weeks or every couple months, I got something that I can do.”

00:11:42 CJ: Now, when you say the content in every six, you’re talking about a song?

00:11:45 Kirk Smith: I’m talking about a song.

00:11:46 CJ: Okay.

00:11:46 Kirk Smith: So, here’s the mind-blowing thing I realized with Spotify is it’s content marketing. Spotify is content marketing, and the content is the music. So, what I realized was, Spotify, their main thing isn’t to get music to people. Their main thing is to get people to Spotify. That’s how they function. That’s how they’re able to give music to people, but their bottom line is getting people to Spotify, and they need content marketing in order to get people to their platform, and that’s the music. So, once I realize that, it’s like, “Okay, they need a steady flow of content.” Just like YouTube likes a steady flow of content and all the others, they like a steady flow of content. Now, it doesn’t have to be I drop a song every single day, right?

00:12:38 CJ: Right.

00:12:39 Kirk Smith: But I could do something every eight weeks, every six weeks, every five weeks, and it’s easier for me because I can produce mix and master, but just seeing that that’s… Spotify is content marketing with that light went off. So, then I had my EP coming, and I started doing singles on my EP. By this time, I probably had, I don’t know, four to 7,000 monthly listeners, and I was just like through the roof, and I was making $2 a day or $3 a day on music, and I’m like, “This is crazy,” and I’m like, “I’m not touring. I don’t have to buy a van. I don’t have to change tires. I don’t have to fill it up with gas. I don’t have to leave the house, and I’m making $2 a day,” and I’m like, “This is amazing. This is awesome.” I was like, “It’s not gonna pay all the bills, but I’m able to share my music and meet people and work with artists,” and it’s like, “This is awesome.”

00:13:37 Kirk Smith: So, that’s how it was going and growing. Then I’m working on my EP, and I’m like, “I’m going to chop this up into singles.” I sent it out some to some of my fans and some of my friends before I released it and said, “What do you guys think? It had some of the songs that they liked,” so I was like, “Okay, I’m going to lead with that,” and I put out a couple songs. I actually used artwork from my three-year-old finger paintings, and I did digital representations of his finger painting because it was just really cool, and I was like, “I don’t have to pay a graphic artist.”

00:14:15 CJ: [crosstalk 00:14:15].

00:14:15 Kirk Smith: I’ll pay him down the road in college. So, I started putting out the singles, and one of the singles ended up getting picked up by a really famous band in my niche. They put it on one of their quarantine playlists. I was so blown away and messaged them. It was like, “Thank you so much,” and it was getting picked up by a lot of my kind of top playlist of the relationship I had built. So, it was getting some good traction, and then I followed up six weeks with another single, and that got a lot of good placements, and then I think it was about a month later or where it was later, I drop the EP, and it’s like, “Okay, cool.” I open up my little app the next day, and it says a 100,000 plays for your EP, like the morning of, and I was like, “Honey, I think we did it. I think we hit the jackpot.”

00:15:18 Kirk Smith: So, I was freaking out. Come out to find or I found out that it basically tallied all the streams from my first two singles and lumped them into the EP, which is cool, so I wasn’t getting a 100,000 streams a day. It was all right. Once I got over that emotional realization, I was like, “This is amazing. Let’s keep going,” and essentially three weeks later, or 10 days later, I get on a little editorial playlist, and it’s something that’s called a personalized playlist. So, you have the user-generated playlists, the algorithm playlists, and the big boys editorial playlist.

00:16:01 Kirk Smith: This was somewhere in between editorial and algorithmic, and I got a little bump in my numbers, and I have a little list of my own that I’ve been building through giving away music, and I said, “Hey guys, go to this list. Check it out here. Make sure you smash the heart and listen to it all the way through, and then three days later, I got on another editorial playlist. The crazy thing was it wasn’t even the song that I pitched to the Spotify for Artist pitch song. So, someone must have listened to the EP, and they just like this other song better, which was really cool.

00:16:45 Kirk Smith: So, I was like, “It’s not even the song I pitched,” and it’s starting to pick up on these little editorial playlists. So, every time, every couple days, it got on another editorial playlist, and every couple days I would send it out to my people and say, “If you haven’t listened already, go here, hit the heart, listen to it all the way through,” and it went from… I was getting 6,000 streams a day before all this happened, and then it jumped up to 14,000 streams, and then I was somewhere I didn’t have cell service, and I was driving, working all day, finally got onto the interstate, and I’m looking at my phone like, “Something’s weird. These numbers are really, really high. This is crazy.”

00:17:28 Kirk Smith: Then I saw an email, and it said, “Yeah, you’ve been added to this editorial playlist, and the playlist had 1.4 million followers,” and since then, that was the 25th of last month July, and since then, I’ve been getting 30,000 streams a day.

00:17:48 Dave Powers: That makes me so happy.

00:17:52 Kirk Smith: Hey, yesterday, Monday is the bump day. Yesterday, I broke 40. I had 40,300 streams.

00:18:02 Dave Powers: No kidding. So, dude, did you do the math on that? How much did you make in that one day?

00:18:08 Kirk Smith: Well, the math is always different for me because this… Some of my stuff are 50-50 splits with other artists. So, I round down a little bit, but yeah. I think when I do point 0.004, it turns out to be $160 or something. So, it’s something like that.

00:18:27 Dave Powers: Okay. That’s nothing to blink at, man.

00:18:29 Kirk Smith: Dude, I mean, I was excited to make $2 a day, $3 a day. I mean, I knew it would grow, but just that idea of, like it’s truly passive income. I definitely have done a lot of leg work and a lot of things to make the content and to talk to the people. It is a lot of work, and it’s consistent. You have to be consistent with reaching out and with making the content, but today, I’m talking to you guys. I’m making some plans for some new music. I got to fish with my son this morning, and I’m making 160 bucks. So, it’s been amazing. It’s really been amazing, and the thing that I realized too that I wanted to just mention throughout this whole process was I can remember years ago talking to a big record executive, and they were talking about how they broke this song. It was a really famous song, and they were just telling me how they broke it, meaning they blew it up.

00:19:29 Kirk Smith: They started in a very small radio markets, college radio, local radio, and they would play the song, and then the popularity grew. They would take those numbers, and they would take it to the next market, and then they would take those numbers, and they’d bring it to the big boys. So, they started in the small markets, and as they got the spins and the popularity, they’d bring it up to the bigger markets, and as this is all happening, I’m realizing, “This is the same thing,” like these curators, like Dave said, they’re just regular people who love music, and you reach out to them. You build relationship with them, and it starts to affect the algorithm, and then the algorithm starts to affect… The numbers can start to get the attention of the editors.

00:20:19 Kirk Smith: So, I’m just like, “Okay. It’s just like breaking a record in a radio promotion thing,” and now Dave has shown us how, independent artists, we can become our own promoters in this sense. So, it’s amazing, super cool.

00:20:34 CJ: What’s interesting about this is how similar it is to album rock in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s where they would put out 45 singles, and you always have to have something on the B side. What would always happen is the B-side song would be the one that makes it, right?

00:20:54 Kirk Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

00:20:55 CJ: If anybody knows your history of rock bands like Kiss, Kiss’ famous ballad, the original rock ballad, Beth, was just a B-side song. It was not the one they were trying to promote, and that thing took over the world. So, it’s very, very common. The other thing is how similar this is to the way the other social platforms are actually working because you’re quite right, and I’ve been arguing this a lot lately that the sole purpose of any platform is to keep people on the platform. So, you want to draw people to it, which means, and I said that social platforms are much akin to the government. They don’t produce anything, but yet they control everything.

00:21:38 CJ: So, Spotify, YouTube, they don’t make anything. Even the record labels didn’t make anything. They’re powerless without creative artists. They’re powerless without the musicians. So, it does. It becomes a content thing, and it’s a challenge sometimes when at Savvy, we’re trying to get musicians to get the same philosophy as it relates to their music. I’ll tell them, “Selling your music is not the end. It’s a means to an end. It’s one part of all the things that you will do in this new era of social media-driven marketing where you’re sharing a lot more of your life than just the music itself. You’re contacting people, like you’re collaborating with people.”

00:22:24 CJ: This necessity of being the mother of invention, you’re diversifying, and it’s like, “Okay, well, these are new challenges, new precipices we have to reach, and there’s limitations, but there’s also freedom,” and there’s also opportunity if you keep a great attitude and realize that the algorithms whether it’s Spotify or Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, the algorithm… I always tell people. Just make a covenant agreement with the algorithm to have the same desire that the algorithm has and the algorithm will show you love. If your desire with everything that you post is to keep people on the platform, attract them to it, and keep them on the platform for as long as possible, guess what the algorithm is going to do with your content? It’s going to favor it, and I love to see that this is working across the board.

00:23:10 CJ: So, I’m sure you guys have both heard from the Instagram headline that was bannered about just in the last few weeks of the CEO, Spotify, saying, “You can’t just be putting out a record every two or three years. Everybody, of course, all the musicians are getting bent out of shape about it, but this is in essence what he means, right?

00:23:29 Kirk Smith: Correct, and yeah, I read that article, and I’ve listened to a bunch of interviews with him, and he seems like a good guy. The thing is it’s like, okay, if you made a records’ worth of material in two years or in a year and a half, you could still break that up and release it over the course of a year and a half, and you’re basically not having to, like not to make an album every four weeks. So, it’s the release schedule and strategy, even not as much as just the amount of content that you have to create.

00:24:02 CJ: Dave, do you think that we’re still suffering from the hangover of the record industry in the sense that you have to put out an album and thinking that way as opposed to what this new market is forcing artists like Kirk and yourself to do?

00:24:20 Dave Powers: I think in the last couple of years, there’s been a real understanding among artists that culturally people are listening to one song as opposed to albums more frequently, and I think the invention of the playlist or that concept anyway has really accentuated that concept, because you’re pulling from a variety of different artists and listening to more of an eclectic, or even I was going to say an eclectic mix of music, but even in the same genre, just jamming all these different artists together, they’re typically not adding entire albums but their favorite songs. So, I think it’s starting to click for artists all over. Hey, we’re in a culture where we used to prioritize listening to and enjoying an album, and now, our culture is shifting to listening to and enjoying a variety of different artists on a playlist, and that’s our new album.

00:25:12 Dave Powers: So, I know that there’s some purists though that are hanging on to the creation of the album and don’t want to do the single thing because they want people to engage with a body of work and have an experience and have continuity and all that stuff. So, I don’t think that that concept will ever die. I don’t think in the listener or in the artist, but in general in culture, I think people are starting to get the idea, “Okay. We’re in a single-oriented culture, so we probably need to create and release some.”

00:25:42 CJ: Yeah, and I think… I mean, it’s great. I love that you call them purists because that’s literally the way that it ends up because a purist can end up as the starving artist whereas Kirk over here is like, hey, he’s happy to go fishing and do the passive income thing. So, I think in some cases, you can have both because obviously, like Kirk can add the Facebook, Instagram, Shopify component to this, right? He can eventually get into then building a more personal relationship where he’s sharing his life and his fishing trips on Facebook and all these sorts of things and getting people to buy, merch or anything else.

00:26:24 CJ: Because he’s got a foothold with Spotify, he can expand because again, it’s the same principles that are in application, but Dave, I really like what you just said that the big transformation in people’s thinking and artist’s thinking is to think in terms of the playlist, less in terms of the album, and again, it doesn’t have to be that that’s all that you do, but it’s a great way for you to be competitive to get yourself to the place and again, you can cultivate and build your fan base and put out an album if you want, put out a concept Pink Floyd album if you want. But to get to that place, we got to get you out of the day job. We got to get you out of… You need some of that passive income, so that you have more money to spend, more time, excuse me, to spend on these other things.

00:27:12 CJ: So, I love this idea of… because I think that’s a really big aha, Dave, in all honesty is musicians try to think in terms of the playlist, which means, yeah, you’re thinking in terms of individual songs, and there’s probably a lot of artists listening to us right now, Dave, who’ve never even heard of something like a curator.

00:27:32 Dave Powers: Okay, so let’s define that. So, a curator in this new music business era is somebody that just creates a playlist on one of the streaming platforms. So, they jump onto Spotify. They have their personal account. They put a bunch of their favorite songs on a list, they make it public, and people start following it over time, and that amount of people begins to grow, and I think the definition of a curator isn’t just somebody that makes a playlist and sets it and forgets it. A curator is somebody that wants to create an experience for themself and for others to enjoy. So, it’s almost like creating a concert for any live musicians. There’s a flow to concerts and where you play specific songs and tell specific stories because you’re trying to create moments, and I think a curator has that similar thought process that as somebody’s listening through their music, they’re trying to create moments.

00:28:34 Dave Powers: Like the curators that are overseeing some of the editorial playlists that Kirk is on, they are very much tuned into creating an experience. His music is… Kirk correct me if I’m wrong in terms of the way that I articulate your music, but it’s ambient, instrumental. It’s peaceful. It’s really easy to listen to. It’s easy to sleep to, and I think, Kirk, isn’t that right? That one of your biggest playlists is called… It’s something about sleep, isn’t it?

00:29:02 Kirk Smith: Yeah, Deep Sleep.

00:29:03 CJ: Deep Sleep. That’s a great game.

00:29:06 Dave Powers: It is. I think that’s the one with 1.4 million listeners. So, if any of you that are listening by the way want to enjoy some really peaceful beautiful music and support Kirk simultaneously, check out the Deep Sleep playlist on Spotify. It’s a great playlist, but oh, man. I just lost my train of thought on what I was saying.

00:29:23 CJ: Well, there’s I want to capitalize on what you just said because this… I’m really taken aback about how much of what we’ve discussed is just a different version of the way the record industry was being done. For example, the concept of the single, much like it was in the old days with the 45s, the B-side you get all the airplay, but then also what you just mentioned with the curator, the curators are the new A&R. It’s the guys who would go out and find these bands, who are getting all this popularity on a local scene, and they go in and they see the band perform, and they see a full house, and right after the show, they go back, and they sign that band. That’s the way it used to be done back then.

00:30:05 CJ: So, the curator is the new one who’s out there scouting, so to speak. Even though content producers are trying to share their stuff with curators, it’s the same process whereas Spotify is technically the label now. The curator becomes A&R. They become the people who are out there scouting and bringing in the new talent, so to speak. So, sure, it’s still an uphill climb for the artist. That’s also the same as it’s always been in the record industry.

00:30:39 CJ: However, there’s more autonomy now in the hands of the artist, but the challenge is still there to be creative.

00:30:50 Dave Powers: That’s right, and one of the things that I’m loving about this current setup and how Spotify is structured is it really places opportunity in the hands of the artists that they didn’t use to have. I mean, you used to have to have a record label that’s advocating opening doors and all of that stuff, but currently you can do what Kirk did. He just would find playlists. He would reach out to those people that created the playlist, and he’d create a relationship with them, and I don’t know if you guys caught this. When he was talking, he said, “I made an initial contact. I started developing a relationship, and then I told them, ‘I’m going to be releasing more music. Is it cool if I reach back out to you?'” What was he doing? He was creating future opportunities. He was opening up doors for himself in the future to touch back with them and submit a song to them.

00:31:40 Dave Powers: Man, I’ll tell you what. The music business has always been a relational business, but I don’t know of a time when there’s more opportunity for an artist to develop relationships that can advance your career outside the context of a record label. It’s phenomenal.

00:31:58 CJ: Yeah, I think this is great. So, Kirk, where to from here for you? What’s your next hill to conquer?

00:32:06 Kirk Smith: Well, I got to wait three months for the checks to start rolling in. There’s that, but essentially, what I’ve done is I’ve got music done in the can. I have an artist/friend who’s not a three-year-old, who’s helped do some of the work for the next basically four singles. So, she’s a great artist, and I got the artwork done. I got the music done, and I’ve got the dates chose, so I can release… I think it’s four singles, and then I’ll do the EP in January. So, basically, from at this point, I’m going to try to stay on Spotify’s radar. I’ve done a few collaborations. I just came out with the EP this Friday, and I got a single coming out in September, another in October, and basically, I’m going to try to have a release every four weeks until January, and then depending on everything else in the world, I’m going to make more content to fill up the next year. So, find a week or two week, where I know I can just hunker down and make the content.

00:33:13 CJ: That’s cool.

00:33:15 Kirk Smith: Yeah, and now that there’s actually money starting to trickle in, I can leverage my time to do that instead of working on the early mornings and the late evenings on music. So that’s one thing is I’m going to try to stockpile the content and stay on their radar by making sure I can at least pitch one song to editors every four weeks, and that’s the first thing. I’m also doing some list building with giveaway music. So, I’m trying to grow my email list and-

00:33:44 CJ: Good.

00:33:45 Kirk Smith: … stay on that and tinker around with Facebook ads. I’m using part of my revenue from streaming to pay for some of my Facebook ads and all that kind of stuff. Then, honestly, what I want to do is start again from scratch. I have other music that I like to make that’s not in the ambient, cinematic peace world, so I’m basically going to create another album’s worth of material and make a plan to start this all over again-

00:34:16 CJ: That’s great.

00:34:17 Kirk Smith: … because I hear you guys talk to artists sometimes about like, “Well, I like this music, and I like to make this music,” and I don’t want to… It’s like, “Okay, that’s fine. Just pick one. Start making that kind of music. Make it as best as you can. Start putting it out, and if you build that to a place, it might give you the opportunity to start a side project or to start another thing and then start what else other kind of music do you want to build.” So, that’s how I approached it when I had that same conversation with myself. It’s like, “Well, I like doing all this stuff.” It’s like, “Well, just start. Just pick a thing that you like to do and do that as good as you can and build it.” So, that’s where I’m headed.

00:34:56 CJ: What I love about the attitude here is the commitment to the long-term approach, which I think gets a lot of people. I just saw a comment in one of our Facebook groups for someone who’s been in that particular course. A group for I know over a year was asking about their branding. They’re thinking about tinkering with their branding again, and I said, “Man, I wish you were so much further down the road. I wish you were just… ” Sometimes, I want people who just are fearless, don’t know what they’re doing, and are just willing to go on the internet and break stuff.” It’s the person who’s always thinking and never gets started. They never commit to one thing. They’re just afraid to leave the other stuff like, “Is it their other kind of music that they love to do that if they leave it alone, if they don’t tell everybody about it, then everybody’s going to think that they’re this artist and not this kind of artist?” You don’t have to worry about that.

00:35:48 CJ: The news cycle is very, very short. People have short attention spans. They forget real easily. Don’t worry about that. What you need to do is to, I think, and I think this is the case with you, Kirk, is you have to taste results, you know?

00:36:04 Kirk Smith: Yeah.

00:36:04 CJ: You have to taste that. So, it’s a self-reinforcing hunger because it keeps like fire. Fire is the one hunger that grows stronger the more you feed it.

00:36:17 Kirk Smith: Correct. Correct, and it’s like the two things. It’s like getting a taste of someone liking your music or getting a ad or that kind of thing. That’s one thing that feeds the fire. The other thing is getting okay with a rejection or getting okay with crickets. That’s really hard for an artist to put themselves out there and to feel like, “Oh, they didn’t like it,” or, “Oh, they didn’t respond back.” It’s like you can’t push through that until you start really experiencing it and experiencing that mix with people resonating with the music, and I think once you experience it enough to where you’re comfortable in your own skin, and you start to believe in your own music, then it allows you to just keep sharing, and it’s like, “You know what? A lot of people aren’t going to dig this music, but I really like it. It resonates with me, and I know that there’s people resonating with it because they’re telling me.”

00:37:15 Kirk Smith: So, that fuels you to be like, “This is fine. I’m going to put this out there. I’m going to share it, and some people are going to get it, and some people won’t, and that’s okay.”

00:37:25 CJ: Yeah, I think that’s amazing, and I think that people, right now, the response of most musicians to things like Spotify is just… It’s just somebody else who doesn’t do anything in music or is jacking the artist again. That’s how they see it instead of saying, “Okay, well, this is the… ” It’s the way I look at things politically. People will act online as so emotionally as if a president really changes that much of their life, like 50% of their life as they know it is going to be changed based on the next president. It would have to be because that’s how much they’re going off about it whereas I’ve lived through several presidents in my lifetime, and I can still buy pizza. I can still watch football and do all of these sorts of things. Nothing’s changed fundamentally about my life, nothing has, but people act as if it’s the end-all and the be-all because we need something to blame for our lack of effort.

00:38:23 CJ: We need something to blame for our lack of willingness to take care of ourselves to build the life we want, build the career we want, achieve goals, experience real achievement and lasting change. So, it’s helpful. We’re all the ultimate environmentalists. In other words, not that we hug trees, but that we think everything’s determined by things external to us. So, we’ve got to have the right politician. We got to have the right policy. It’s these technocrats that are killing us. It’s amazon. It’s Spotify. It’s Apple. It’s all of these people. It’s they’re at war against me, and that’s why I am where I am. No. That’s not why you are where you are. You are where you are because you’re filled with self-doubt, fear, procrastination, laziness, and a host of other.

00:39:08 CJ: You’re in your own way, but here’s the thing is, yeah, you are your own biggest problem, but that means you’re also your own best solution.

00:39:15 Dave Powers: That’s right.

00:39:16 CJ: You want to get to the place where we can say it’s up to you, and you feel like that’s good news whereas lot of people, you tell them it’s up to you, and it scares the hell out of them because they don’t feel like they can trust themselves. Well, the Savvy, this is what this… It’s about equipping the self-governing musician. That’s what we do. We give you the tools and methods and applications to help you do what you do. We don’t write your music for you, and we can’t turn you into a go-getter. If you don’t have that, you know what I mean? You can know all the knowledge in the world about marketing and algorithms and all that stuff and still have what Kirk’s been calling crickets. Nothing but crickets in what you try to produce and the efforts you try to make.

00:40:02 CJ: So, you have to be willing to get out of your own way, which is what Kirk did. So, Dave, as we wrap this up… I mean, Dave, sell me your Spotify course.

00:40:17 Dave Powers: Okay, that will be fun actually, and CJ, I just want to just jump in before I sell you the course. Is there an opportunity for us to just get some basic numbers so people have an understanding of where Kirk started, where he is today, and also give a name of his art so that they can go find it on Spotify or Apple Music or whatever and help support him? Is that cool if we should do that now or should we do that after this?

00:40:45 CJ: Yeah, I would have concluded with contact information for both of you guys.

00:40:48 Dave Powers: Oh, man. Sorry about that.

00:40:48 CJ: I’m a professional here, Dave, but thank you for trying to hold my hand, pal.

00:40:56 Dave Powers: Dang it. Sorry, man. I was listening. You’re like, “Oh.”

00:40:58 CJ: Well, one thing that I think would really be helpful is what you just mentioned about just summarizing the numbers timeline because that was obviously told throughout the story. So, I think that’s a great thing to share, Kirk, real quick before Dave talks about Spotify.

00:41:12 Kirk Smith: Yeah, totally.

00:41:13 CJ: Encapsulate that for us.

00:41:14 Kirk Smith: Absolutely, and I would say it’s like when I talk to my artists and talk to people I’m like, “If you could do one thing to start this whole journey, I would say take this Spotify course. It’s powerful. It’s elegant. It simple in a lot of ways. It just takes you being consistent and working it.” So, it’s not overwhelming in a technical sense. It doesn’t necessarily cost you anything to implement the strategy other than your time. So, just my testimonial is do it. Take the course. I’ve recouped my money 100 times over from what the investment was into it, and I’m making relationships with people.

00:41:56 Kirk Smith: So, five stars testimonial, whatever, I’m all in. It’s amazing. I might have had 50 streams and maybe two monthly listeners. I would have had three if my mom had Spotify.

00:42:13 CJ: When was this though?

00:42:14 Kirk Smith: This was April 2018.

00:42:17 CJ: Okay.

00:42:18 Kirk Smith: No, 2019.

00:42:20 CJ: Okay, great.

00:42:20 Kirk Smith: April 2019. It’s all blended together, and I built it up to probably 7,000 monthly listeners, and then it went to 12,000 monthly listeners, and it crossed 20,000 monthly listeners, and I got on this playlist probably about three and a half weeks ago, and I was like, “Oh, man, wouldn’t it be cool if I got to 80,000 monthly listeners? That would be so flipping awesome. I cannot believe it.” I’m waiting for it to populate. It hasn’t updated today, but as of yesterday, I’m at 325,000 monthly listeners.

00:43:01 CJ: Wow. So, we’re talking about just over a year? Just over a year, 18 months.

00:43:07 Kirk Smith: Wow, and I’m on track at least for this month to get a million streams in a month.

00:43:13 CJ: Kirk, that’s great, man, and guys, this is ambient music.

00:43:18 Kirk Smith: Yeah.

00:43:19 CJ: Okay? We’re not talking about pop or hip-hop or straight-up rock and roll or something like that. This is just ambient music. So, there’s no lyrics in there?

00:43:30 Kirk Smith: No lyrics. I like to write songs, but it takes me so dang long to write a song. I’m like, “I can just crank out music and just do it like that.”

00:43:38 CJ: Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ve got a lot of ambient players in our Elite course, as Dave probably knows, and we’ve got one guy, Jeff Pierce who’s guitar, and he’s worked with Windham Hill over the years, and he’s just put out his, I think, his 13th album or something, and he does really, really well just like CD Baby. These people are still buying these CDs, but like I told him, I said, “You know what? I and I think a lot of people are closet fans of ambient music because my background is design marketing and all these sorts,” so I still do a lot of creative type stuff and CDs correspondence and writing emails and blog posts and all this stuff. So, even though I’m a metal fan, I can’t listen to lyric-based music and think conceptually.

00:44:23 Kirk Smith: Yeah, you never get anything done.

00:44:25 CJ: But I don’t want it necessarily to be quiet either. So, for a long time, in fact, that’s where I came up with the phrase that Leah was the heavy metal Enya because I would listen to ambient music all the time. So, of course, Enya always pops up on every ambient channel and all of that. It’s the Kenny G of ambient music, but then when Leah first sent her music to me, I think this is beginning of 2012 or something like that, and I listened to it, I thought I was just so struck. The first thing I thought was she’s a heavy metal Enya, but it was because I was a devoted listener to ambient music. As the harder I get in relation to that is maybe some smooth jazz, but anything that’s relaxation or ambient or whatever spacey, it’s easy to put in the background. It creates atmosphere. It truly is musical life enhancement. It truly is mini escapism.

00:45:27 CJ: So, I’m not surprised, but I think for our listener, they feel like, again, thinking like the old industry, it’s got to be something poppy. It’s got to be something that everybody can sing along to, three-and-a-half-minute song, but you’re proof that that’s not the case.

00:45:43 Kirk Smith: Yeah, it needs to be something that you believe in, something that resonates with you, but then the key is to just go find other people who would most likely it because if I was going to go reach out to a bunch of metal curators and be like, “Check out my new thing,” it’s like I’m going to get laughed at, and no one’s going to like it.

00:46:02 CJ: Just tell them it’s heavy metal ambient music. They’ll be like, “What?”

00:46:05 Kirk Smith: Yeah, mix minus guitar, drums, bass and vocals.

00:46:12 Dave Powers: I love that, Kirk. I love the story. I love the journey that you’ve been on. I’ve been tracking with you along this journey obviously because you’ve been a part of the course, and just watching you stay faithful just step after step, man, day after day, engaging in the process some days more than others, some days like you articulated in your story. Sometimes, it was like, “Man, this is a grind.” Sometimes, it’s exciting. Sometimes, you have to deal with a bunch of internal stuff like CJ was talking about of mindset and what do you do with rejection and how do you process all of that stuff, but man, it has been so cool to watch you just keep moving, keep moving and then boom, this thing break open for you. That is so awesome, man. I love that.

00:46:59 Kirk Smith: Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it.

00:47:01 Dave Powers: Then CJ, I really love the perspective that you bring to the table. I love the wisdom, the insight that you have. I’m so thankful for you, man. Thank you for serving artists so well so beautifully.

00:47:13 CJ: Oh, you bet, man.

00:47:13 Dave Powers: I really appreciate you. I learn something from you every time I hear you talk. So, I just want to let you know, man, I appreciate you a lot.

00:47:20 CJ: I appreciate that, and of course, we have to say thank you to Leah and-

00:47:25 Dave Powers: That’s right.

00:47:25 CJ: … Steve for giving us this platform to be able to do this. It’s funny because I’m playing music myself, but my background is all of this stuff that we’re talking about, but I’m a music guy, and I know tons of music because I’ve run venues. I have so many friends that are independent artists, bands, club owners, and the promoters and the like. So, for me, to have the opportunity to work with musicians like yourself is so important because I understand the setbacks. I understand how disappointing it can be and yet, we all want to keep music alive, and I want artists to be taken care of. So, it’s like, “Man, what part can I play in helping to make that happen?” So, I’m grateful to be in a position where we can hear these stories and hear these testimonies and get these interviews and get these insights from what you guys are doing because you’re pioneers, man.

00:48:32 Dave Powers: That’s awesome.

00:48:33 CJ: You don’t have somebody to follow. You guys are creating this seemingly out of nothing. Like we said before that necessity being this mother of invention. So, Dave, thank you for working with Savvy to put together such a course that is making a difference. So, man, I mean it too. I am not afraid to sell anything especially something that I believe in. So, Dave, sell me Spotify.

00:49:03 Dave Powers: Okay. The majority of the students in the Spotify for Musician course are ambient, instrumental players, creators, and singer, songwriters. There’s every genre represented in the group that’s taken the course. We’re working with hundreds and hundreds of artists all over the world, but one of the things that I articulate to people, I say, “Look, if you’re taking your music career seriously, and you’re taking ownership of it, then this is a course that’ll help you actually practically line by line, literally point by point go through the process to get the results.”

00:49:39 Dave Powers: I started a brand new project in march just to see if it would work again, and I put out one song. I followed all of my advice in the course. I went from zero monthly listeners and zero followers in a brand new genre. So, I wasn’t borrowing my relationships from my singer-songwriter duo that me and my wife have. Brand new genre, no contacts. I just started fresh, went through it, and it went from zero monthly listeners to 12,500 monthly listeners in 30 days.

00:50:10 CJ: Wow.

00:50:11 Kirk Smith: Awesome.

00:50:12 Dave Powers: It just works. I mean, it still works. It’s cool because I have the advantage of working with and walking alongside all these artists from all over the world and watching them. As they faithfully engage in the process, I’m seeing their music grow just like we’ve watched Kirk’s music grow, but I don’t know. I was still curious. Will it work for me again? Or was that a fluke? I’m sitting here watching it work for others, but is it going to work for me though? So, I did it, and it just works, man. It’s unbelievable because it’s rooted in the concept of relationship, and it’s rooted in hard work. So, one of the things that I tell people when I’m talking about this course, I said, “Look, if you have bad quality music, good marketing helps bad products fail quickly.”

00:51:04 Dave Powers: So, what I’m teaching you in this thing is it’s a form of relational marketing. It’s not just a one-time benefit. As you build relationships, it has reoccurring benefits to you over and over. As you release more music, they’ll be interested in putting more of your music on their playlists. So, I always tell people, “Look, if you have a bad product, a bad quality music or whatever, you can follow this course. You can jump in and do everything I tell you, and it’s not going to work because you have a bad product.” So, I guess number one is if you’re going to take your music seriously in terms of a career or even monetizing your hobby, it really does need to be quality, and sometimes our closest friends and family, they’re just too scared to shoot you straight.

00:51:54 Dave Powers: So, you really do need to get some outside feedback and stuff because we think something sounds awesome, and everybody else is like, “Barf. That’s really not great.”

00:52:03 CJ: That’s true.

00:52:03 Dave Powers: But they don’t want to be mean, so they won’t tell you. So, anyway, this course is so awesome for people that want to take their long-term hopes of, quote, making it or making some money off of their music. If they’re willing to put the hard work in, they’re going to make money if they have a good product. They don’t have a good product, they’ll work their butts off and not make money. So, there you go. Fascinating sales pitch, right?

00:52:31 CJ: Yeah, no. I love that. I love that because we sound so much alike, Dave. You’re hitting the nail on the head. There are so many ways to skin a cat, as they say. So, which is the best way? Which is the best marketing? They probably all work, but it really does come down to the individual themselves and dealing with the circumstances as we have them, which are not all together bad. I would argue that the chances of… Now, we say success doesn’t mean playing in a stadium. Nobody’s playing any stadiums right now or signed to the label or that sort of thing. No. What’s successful is you earning income from your music so that you have the opportunity and the time and the incentive to do it more. I think most people, that’s all they’ve ever wanted. They’re not asking for the moon. They’re not asking for the big record deal necessarily because they know they’re playing something like ambient or an obscure genre here and there, and they understand that you’d be lucky to get even on an indie label, small indie label somewhere.

00:53:37 CJ: So, to really empower the individual artists like this is so fantastic, and sometimes people aren’t ready for the more comprehensive in-depth Elite program, Dave, as you know, but what I love about this, Dave, is that it’s so targeted on a particular door. You know what I mean?

00:53:59 Dave Powers: Yep.

00:54:00 CJ: One door, something that like the old image of the salesman who just got to get his foot on the door to exploit that, to get you a taste of this, because I could see how someone like Kirk for example gets a taste for this, and pretty soon he’s like, “Okay, I got the Spotify thing down. I’m going to go tackle this platform over here. I’m going to go apply these same principles over here, learn what I got to learn, and with a little patience and some diligent effort, man, I’m going to break through there too.” All the fears and the guesswork and the inhibitions and the speculation all gets burned away because you’re now not just confident that there’s principles out there to achieve success in any area, but even more importantly you’re confident in your own ability to persistently apply those principles.

00:54:51 CJ: You got to have confidence in those two areas. You got to know there’s a way it can be done, and you got to know that you’re dogged determined enough to put out the effort to do that, and I think that gets us back to I think the main problem I see, not just with people who’ve never taken the Savvy course, but people in the Savvy course still in their own way, still self-defeated, still their biggest obstacle. So, I think the beauty of the Spotify course because it is so targeted and focused on a particular platform that’s measurable, you know what I mean?

00:55:23 Dave Powers: Yeah.

00:55:23 CJ: The metrics that Kirk gave us are easy to measure. We got curators. We got playlists. We’ve got numbers. We know the percentage. It’s something we can easily measure, not the multiplicity of things you’re measuring with social and email and stuff as in Elite, but what a great way and what a great opportunity through this one course to train yourself to become the larger marketing beast that you’re going to eventually become. That’s as much a part of this as anything else is. You got to get your head around something targeted enough to give you the confidence that you need to say, “I can take this anywhere.” That’s what Leah did with her mythology candles. She did just like what you did, Dave, zero based. She didn’t take her existing music audience and suddenly start selling candles to them. She started from scratch just like you did.

00:56:20 Dave Powers: Yep, genius.

00:56:23 CJ: Isn’t that amazing?

00:56:23 Dave Powers: I love it. Yes, it is. One of the common conversations that I’ll have with artists that we’re working with right now is people that just said, “Man, I’ve had so much hope and so much dreams that had been destroyed over the years. I got this music. I don’t know what to do with it. I want it to get out there and make a positive impact on people’s lives, or I want an opportunity to stretch out a little bit and show the potential fans music, and I don’t know how to do it, and I’ve just given up,” but when I saw about this course how targeted it is, how practical it is step by step, I started getting some of my hope back, and it reminded me of an ancient quote that is, “When hope gets deferred, your heart gets sick,” and there’s something too that when your hope just keeps getting pushed out and pushed out and pushed out and pushed out, it starts sickening your heart, so it makes you want to give up.

00:57:19 Dave Powers: I see so many artists that want to just give up. So, maybe there’s some artists listening that feel that way. I’ve had these hopes and these dreams, but I’ve never been able to break through. I’ve never been able to get traction. I mean, I was just talking to an artist the other day about this course, and he articulated this exact same thing for the hundredth time that I’ve heard from 100 different artists. “I don’t feel like I’ve worked so hard and I’ve got nowhere,” and I’m like, “Dude, good news. If you just do these few things, I think there’s 16 lessons or something in the course. Literally, sit down for two and a half or three hours, do what I tell you, and if your music doesn’t suck, you’re going to see results.” It’s hilarious how it works, man.

00:58:04 Dave Powers: So, I think that it’s really helpful when you start getting hope restored. It does all kinds of amazing things for you internally. It removes a bunch of natural barriers like fear or laziness. You start getting some motivation. Like Kirk, man, he’s getting seriously motivated to create new music, and now he’s thinking about, “Ooh, I’m going to start a different project,” because what he’s doing is diversifying his streams of income, right? He’s like, “I’ve got multiple styles of music in my heart,” so I’m going to engage in the ambient. I’m going to do this other stuff. He’s creating multiple streams of income by using the same information and the same method. It’s genius.

00:58:44 CJ: It really is, and it reminds me of another verse. It talks about how the spirit of man can endure sickness, but a wounded spirit who can bear, and in other words when you’re sick, physically, if you’ve got a strong heart, strong spirit, you can endure it, you know?

Dave Powers (00:59:00): That’s right.

00:59:01 CJ: But if your spirit is sick, if you’re wounded from defeat and failure and all of these things, what bears you then? If your spirit is wounded, what bears you then? I don’t want to over-promise, but I think again what we’re just saying is so important that a simple course so targeted and so practical as Dave noted would give you these little victories. That’s what kept Kirk going the whole time.

Dave Powers (00:59:29): That’s right.

00:59:30 CJ: The one or $2 a day, those were little victories, and little victories add up to rebuilding self-confidence just like multiplicity of little defeats add up to wounding that confidence.

Dave Powers (00:59:40): That’s good.

00:59:41 CJ: So, there’s a healing restoration for… And creative people are wounded oftentimes because they’re afraid of judgment. They’re afraid of the criticism. They don’t want to necessarily put themselves… They wish they could just hide away in the studio all day and let the label do all the work.

00:59:55 Dave Powers: That’s right.

00:59:56 CJ: But now they have this opportunity to build themselves back up. So, what a targeted way to do that. There’s a, ladies and gentlemen, a restoration I think that you might need that a simple little course like that can help you achieve, as you just get some victories, something measurable for you in a very targeted way, and let’s target something like Spotify that everybody considers to be just another enemy to the artist. No, let’s target this and see some game for you because you can break out into the other platforms as we noted.

01:00:30 CJ: Dave, let me just ask. Besides the actual course material, is there anything else special about Spotify for Musicians like a Facebook group or something like that?

01:00:41 Dave Powers: That’s one of the best features. I’m glad that you brought that up. There is a private Facebook group for anybody that goes through the course, and that thing is awesome. I think, Kirk, haven’t you found a ton of value in that?

01:00:52 Kirk Smith: Absolutely. It’s great to bounce ideas off other people. I built some relationships with other artists, and it’s just like, “Hey, this is what I’m thinking. Is this something you guys have done before?” It’s amazing. It’s a great part of the program.

01:01:06 Dave Powers: It is. There’s a lot of collaboration and community. There’s a great vibe in there. There’s not people chewing on each other or cussing each other or whatever. There’s lots of encouragement, lots of people sharing tips, and like Kirk did a 15-minute video the other day talking about some of his journey and just encouraged people and seeing comments and likes and people, like man, way to go Kirk instead of being like, “You idiot or jerk,” or whatever. Like, “You’re making all this headway, and I’m over here not seeing any.” They were just so encouraging and Facebook affirming of him in his journey. So, it’s probably, like the content that I do in the course is so practical point by point, literally follow the directions, and if your music doesn’t suck, it will work.

01:01:53 Dave Powers: But the best part in my opinion is that continuous ongoing support system, like Kirk said, bounce ideas off of each other and just be like, “Hey, I’m trying this. Does this work?” Or, “Hey, I just discovered this. Everybody go check this out.” There’s a cool vibe in there, man. It’s really cool.

01:02:10 CJ: That’s so valuable especially for the position that I’m in where I’m overseeing or participating in these different groups because I see that dynamic at play across the board with everybody helping each other, and the difference is, as you noted, you’re not getting the haters and the naysayers and all of this because all the people that are in there are people, A, just like you that’s-

01:02:33 Dave Powers: That’s right.

01:02:34 CJ: … trying to do this and then also though, but these are people who have skin in the game.

01:02:39 Dave Powers: That’s it, man.

01:02:39 CJ: They made a very small financial investment to be there. Now, it’s part of the course guys. So, that’s an ongoing thing. The course is one thing. The ongoing relationships and reinforcement and accountability and new ideas and new tips because as we know, three months, technologies can change things. So, new hacks or methods or whatever can come about. So, yeah, you can exploit in a good way. You know what’s happening because you’re in there with a bunch of Elite people, so to speak, people that are really taking their music marketing to the next level. So, because we’re all pushing on this invisible membrane, between us and success, we learn some things. If you ask, seek and knock, the universe spits out solutions sometimes.

01:03:27 CJ: So, we can glean so much more, so I love the fact, Dave, that there’s a Facebook group and people I’m sure all over the world probably, right?

01:03:36 Dave Powers: Yep. Yep.

01:03:37 CJ: Isn’t that great?

01:03:39 Dave Powers: It’s amazing.

01:03:40 CJ: Kirk, you have any concluding thoughts for us?

01:03:43 Kirk Smith: Yeah, yeah. Since we all got little verses, I’ve been chewing on one myself lately, and it’s the one that says, “Faith without works is dead.”

01:03:54 CJ: Dead, yeah.

01:03:57 Kirk Smith: The hardest thing for an artist to do is not reach out to the curators. It’s not set up their account. It’s not find a graphic artist. The hardest thing for an artist to do is to believe in themselves. That is the hardest thing. So, once you grapple with that and go to that place and realize that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you are an amazing person regardless of your performance and your numbers and that you have something to say and that you have a voice and you should use it and believe in that, like that’s the faith part, but then you got to do the work.

01:04:42 Kirk Smith: So, sometimes when you’re doing the work and you don’t believe in yourself, it makes doing the work really hard. It’s like, “Oh, man, I got to reach out to these 10 guys today, and only one of them is going to probably message me back, or maybe nobody will today,” or you got to deal with this technological thing or trying to pitch to a Spotify editor and what do I say in the pitch part and what kind of genre do I label it this time? Or whatever.

01:05:06 Kirk Smith: It’s like the works are way harder when the faith is not there, but you can’t just have the hope and the dream and the faith, and it’s all going to work out and don’t put in the work. So, it’s faith and works. It’s believing in yourself, and then it’s grinding it out and putting it out there.

01:05:25 CJ: Yeah, show me what you believe by what you do, right?

01:05:26 Kirk Smith: Yeah, yeah.

01:05:26 CJ: Show me what you believe by what you do. Maybe keep quiet, and I’ll be able to see what you’re saying. So, yeah, I love this whole thing. In fact, you know what I’m going to do, man? I’m going to recommend to Steve that we put this video on the Spotify sales page. Even though we’re just technically recording the audio here for the podcast, I always make sure I snag the video just in case. So, because this I think is a great way to present the course, so we’ll see about doing that as well. Let me first just mention where they can learn more about Spotify. Then I want you guys to share your own contact information, but you guys can go to savvymusicianacademy.com/spotify. So, savvymusicianacademy.com/spotify to learn more about this course. Now, Kirk, tell everybody how they can follow and see what you’re doing.

01:06:22 Kirk Smith: Sure. If you’re into ambient music and you want to listen, you can go do a search for We Dream of Eden. We Dream of Eden. You can check it out on Spotify. I’m also on Bandcamp as well as all the other platforms.

01:06:39 CJ: Yeah, channels and platforms. Dave, how about you?

01:06:42 Dave Powers: You can search for my music at just by searching mountaincity, which is one word, mountaincity. Then you’ll see pictures of my sweet heart on there and listening to some good songs. We just released a song actually about families who have gone through miscarriage, and man, we’re just hearing so much feedback from people that are not knowing how to process that loss. So, we’re getting to jump in with them and help them process the pain. It’s so amazing. My wife did an amazing job on writing that song, but that’s called Graveyard, but yeah, you can find me there. My email’s [email protected] So, if you want to shoot me an email and pick my brain or whatever, I’d be happy to talk with you.

01:07:28 CJ: Yeah, and then I think what happens oftentimes is regardless of somebody’s personal genre preference, I think, and I would encourage the listener that I hope you’re interested in these two guys to follow their journey, to follow their process. You can learn a lot by observing and listening. So, it’s nothing to do with whether you like ambient or Dave’s music, or it has nothing to do with that. It’s about being connected to people who are determined to succeed and are applying proven principles to make that happen. You learn a lot that way. So, go and check them out, but gentlemen, once again, thank you so much for being with us today on The Savvy Musician Show.

01:08:08 Kirk Smith: Thank you so much, CJ.

01:08:09 Dave Powers: Thanks, CJ. Thanks so much, man. You are an inspiration and an amazing host. I appreciate you, and Kirk, thanks so much for coming on, bro. You did great.

01:08:18 Kirk Smith: Thanks, man. Thanks for inviting me. It was super fun.

01:08:20 CJ: So, ladies and gentlemen, what you can do for me, do me a solid and go to your favorite podcast player whether it be Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and the like, Google Play. Just be sure, and if they give you the opportunity to leave stars, click all the stars and write a empowering comment because, hey, we read those things, and it’s your reviews that help this podcast reach musicians just like yourself. To learn more about what we’re doing, again, just go to savvymusicianacademy.com, and once again, for our Spotify course, Spotify for Musicians, savvymusician.com/spotify, and I will see you soon. Take care.

Episode #113: Getting Fans to Buy Your Music (Coaching Session with Welter)

This week is a paragon case study of a band who has been at it for awhile, doing pretty well, but looking for what they can do to take it to the next level. Insert C.J. sitting down with Elliot and Dave from the band Welter, all the way from Australia, and we have almost two hours of real discussions and problem solving in the new music industry.

From things that have worked great to things that have become problematic for Welter, there’s something here you’ve either dealt with yourself or most likely will encounter and the best advice for how to handle it is in this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introduction to Elliot and Dave from Welter
  • How to evolve with a tagline
  • Growing beyond your micro-niche
  • Being true to yourself with your posts
  • What is the good life?
  • Fans making their own interpretations of your songs
  • Making the music the focal point
  • Being resolved in yourself
  • Promoting the music and the culture around it
  • Writing copy to get the click
  • Always adding value to the fans experience
  • Creating a healthy sense of obligation
  • Being authentic with your social media
  • What are good metrics?
  • 10x everything
  • A new email campaign idea
  • The algorithm rewards daily posting
  • Fan page vs. fan group
  • Nurture sequence and sales pitch balance
  • How to get someones interest
  • Non-clickbait engagement
  • Creating hashtags from your lyrics
  • The Aspirin of music
  • Using the momentum of your audience against them

Tweetables:

“It’s the only way I have as a person of getting the paint out or getting the chisel and the cold hammer and etching your name into the wall of time. The only way I have of doing that is by writing some songs and making some music.” – Elliot: @weltermusic [0:07:51]

“I’m not in search of a destiny. I’ve chosen the destination.” – @metalmotivation [0:09:37]

“It’s about honesty, and we need to be honest about who we are and how we feel about our branding, what we post on Facebook, everything that we write, everything that we do, and everything that’s seen as us needs to be honest, it needs to be who we are.” – Dave: @weltermusic [0:16:56]

“As soon as you write a song and put it out there, it’s not yours anymore, it’s for the listener and they can take on their own interpretation too.” – Dave: @weltermusic [0:25:47]

“To witness, for example, the lion attack the antelope up close, we’re taken aback as humans by the ferocity, the violence of the moment, and that’s resolved. That’s the complete elimination of self-doubt. ‘I am a lion and this is what I do.’ You are musicians, and this is what you do.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:51]

“There’s nothing more potent in your promotional arsenal than the music itself. Second to that is going to be what you have to say, your relationship, the story of the band, what you believe, your values, et cetera.” – @metalmotivation [0:32:25]

“So all we’re focusing on is writing copy that gets people to press play. That’s all we want to do. What can we say in the shortest, sweetest, most powerful, provocative way that forces them to click play?” – @metalmotivation [0:34:00]

“Everybody listens to the same radio station, WIFM, ‘What’s in it for me?’” – @metalmotivation [0:35:36]

“Which is a good thing to do, creating in them a healthy sense of obligation, creating in them a good debt, a debt they want to pay, which means buying the shirt, going to the event, attending the livestream, getting on an email list, buying the CD, sharing it, those sorts of things. That comes because you continually deliver on that promise to add value to their life.” – @metalmotivation [0:41:10]

“The funnel sits on our fan page and that’s where we’re bringing all the potential people.” – Dave: @weltermusic [01:07:39]

“I make my funnel approach very, very simple. I want to do one thing through anything that I say or post or share with my audience. I want to add as much value as I can. So I have to decide, okay, well, what adds the most value?” – @metalmotivation [01:23:16]

“So why not 10x it? Why not multiply our efforts to excel, because it’s only going to mean more people are going to hear music that’s going to lift them out of their troubled moment for a time. And that’s worth it.” – @metalmotivation [01:46:18]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Welter — https://www.facebook.com/weltermusic

Instagram for Musicians — https://www.savvymusicianacademy.com/ig4m

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to, The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at, The Savvy Musician Academy. Thanks for joining me once again on the premiere music marketing podcast. Today is something very, very special. Once again, I’m going to take you behind the scenes and get the full insight into a one on one coaching session with a very talented band from Australia, called, Welter. They have been members of our Elite program for well over a year. I did work with them over a year ago, and we are revisiting their branding and their positioning and their marketing. From this time forward, there are going to be so many golden nuggets dropped in this particular coaching session and they agreed to share it, so I’m so thankful to them for it. We’ll have more to say about how to get in contact with them. Information is also included in the show notes, but let’s go in right now to this one on one coaching session with Welter.

As we dive back in, it was over a year ago, Dave, that you and I first talked about Welter. I remember first of all, using you guys as an example throughout the year in my further one-on-one branding sessions, as well as the group coaching calls, because of the unique situation that you guys were in. I remember the first thing that struck me when I first reviewed the content was how professional the sound was. The way I described it to people is, “If you were to flip on the radio and you heard this song, you wouldn’t think twice that this was from a major label and a major contemporary artist, you just didn’t know the name.” I could play the songs you guys had shown me then, and somebody would say, “Oh, I know the band,” and they’ve never heard you before. They’d be like, “I know the band,” it’s just so professional, so well done. The hooks are great. The lyrics are great. The storytelling is great. And I was listening to the other songs that you guys just recently sent to me. I said, “Here’s more of the same, I’m doubly convicted.” I hear music all the time. What I do is listen to tons and tons of genres, and you guys are by far the most professional unit out there. So it’s just a delight for me, from that aspect, to speak into this from a branding and a marketing standpoint, helping you guys to position, as we say, this new era of the music industry. So it’s great to revisit with this a year later. And, so now it’s just not me and Dave, we’ve got Elliott, the primary song writer here, and vocalist. So, Elliot, great to have you as well, man.

03:08 Elliot: My pleasure. Here we are.

03:09 Dave: I think we’re lucky. Not lucky, we’re just blessed that we’re surrounded by, I think we used this tag line when we were doing the crowdfunding the other week that, to produce exceptional music, you need to have exceptional people around you. I think that that’s what we have, we’ve had a long time producer, Tony Wall, that’s pretty well been with us since the start and we’re talking 25 years relationship. I like to actually say that we kind of know what we’re doing now.

03:48 CJ: Just about got it figured out.

03:50 Dave: Yeah. And Tony’s worked with some exceptional people, he’s worked with a lot of top Australian artists, right through to KISS, Ed Sheeran, he works for Russell Crowe’s production company, so it exposes him to a lot of artists around the world that he actually gets to work with too. So he knows his stuff. He’s done his time.

04:21 CJ: Well, it’s interesting with you guys, because I know you’ve both been around a while. You’re not new to this. You’ve been friends, you said, about a quarter-century you’ve been friends together. How long have you been playing together?

04:33 Dave: That’s the same time, pretty well. Pretty well, isn’t it, El?

04:36 Elliot: Yeah. It’s pretty close. Yeah. So it’s 1994, I met. So, and then I was playing a band and Dave filled in for a few gigs and then we went, “Ooh, gee, that’s pretty good. That’s better than the old jazz drummer we had, who, his version of time was a fluid arrangement.”

04:59 CJ: Some fourth dimension time.

05:01 Elliot: Yeah, that’s right.

05:03 CJ: I just did, and I’m not sure when it’s actually dropping, but I just did a podcast episode on fulfilling your creative mission. I’d mentioned in it, the obligation that artists have to their calling, if you will, despite the difficulties of the music industry, despite streaming services or the new age of the internet, COVID-19, not being able to get out there and play live as much. Despite all of that, so you have more than enough reason to quit, more than enough reasons to say it’s not meant to be, right. But I always push them, to say, “Do you have a love for what it is you’re doing creatively? Do you have the ability to do it? And is that proven? And are there any possible paths for you to fulfill it?”

Because you can have the first two, and be trapped on a remote desert island and there’s no path to fulfill it. So there’s no fulfilling it, right. But we’re not in that case. So if we can check off those three boxes, then even though we may not have figured out the exact way to break through, we still have a sacred obligation to fulfill this duty to ourselves, because what’s happening in the both of you, and of course your band mates as well, is a creative drive that’s been there since you came out of your mother’s womb, that is no different, no less powerful or more powerful than what was in Shakespeare or Spielberg. Right?

06:38 Elliot: I agree. Yeah, I agree. And it’s interesting, when we stepped away from, there was a tipping point in when I had, my first child was born. So a time way back when called, “BC,” before children, when I sacked the band, I sacked the manager, I sacked everybody, and I said, “I can’t do this anymore because my partner is going to be having a child and I’ve ran away and joined the circus.”

And we felt that the whole band go that way, and I lost a baby in my creativity. And it’s really interesting, after I let it go, you realize how cut adrift I was by doing that. And looked at the economic obligations at the time, demanded that for me, because we couldn’t keep touring and playing every single center into the band. But at the same time as an artist and as a writer, I was really, really lost. And I’ve really connected with that.

I have a chat to a good mate of mine, a piano player, and he says, and I said, “It’s the only way I have as a person of getting the paint out or getting the chisel and the cold hammer and etching your name into the wall of time. The only way I have of doing that is by writing some songs and making some music, and the only way that I can actually smash my name into the wall of time, and Dave and I and Welter’s name into the wall of time is by keep creating music.”

It’s funny. Some people call it a gift, or it’s a blessing or a path, but sometimes it’s also of a curse, too. And if the only gift you have, the only way you can actually make your name out there is to write some songs. You want get one or two chances to do that and some people would never get the chance to, so possibly it is a gift, but it’s also a curse too, the curse of being artistic.

08:44 CJ: Yeah. So anything that we do, right, in time and history is subject to variables. So it’s always relative. It’s relative to its time. And we’d love to be able to, we throw around words like independence and things like that, but nothing is ever really independent. Not at all. We are trapped by so many circumstances that control, and we know of great musicians in bands throughout the years, who’ve died in plane crashes, or drugs, or whatever. So, in one sense, there’s seemingly a providential hand, unseen hand guiding things. And then there’s another sense in which it is all up to you.

09:29 Elliot: Yeah. That’s exactly right.

09:31 CJ: So we do this dance. The way I prefer to treat it is to just say, “I’m not in search of a destiny. I’ve chosen the destination.” And so everything is about continually moving down the road and adjusting as we go. So that brings us to today and just this coaching session about Welter, and branding and positioning, which is what I prefer to use, I prefer the word, “Positioning,” than I do, “Branding,” because branding conveys the idea of something seen, like a soup can label or a cereal box label in the store. We see the brand-

10:07 Dave: Something on the outside.

10:09 CJ: Yeah. Something on the outside, but not, rather, branding is a position that you, as an artist, as a band, own in the mind of the marketplace. So that’s what we want to do is, and that’s why it’s a way in. So I think last time when we talked, it was about, Welter, as taking from the song, The Good Life, and talking about the good life. The point was not to isolate it to the single idea but to find a way in. You just need a little wedge, it’s like the salesman who sticks his foot in the door, just something to exploit. It’s not that you have to bang that drum forever. No, because what we want is to get away from sales copy and a social media post, and a logo, into listening to music. Right?

So that’s the part, for example, someone like me never touches. It’s like, “No, our job here,” it’s like Leah likes to say is, “We’re selling a click.” That’s all we’re selling, because we’re figuring if they do that, then these people will be hit by the very same thing I was hit with every time I’ve listened to Welter, which is “Golly, man.” It’s just good music. And I can’t think of somebody who would not like it. I’m a metal guy, I know you guys have listened to all sorts of music over the years, but I’m a metal guy, genre-wise, but I know serious people who love music, know good music, no matter what it is.

So where does this leave you guys today, having spent the last year, obviously you did so behind the scenes, on your websites and your social media, you’re obviously doing that today. You’ve been writing, where are you guys at now? What are the challenges that you’re having?

12:04 Elliot: You want to take this, Dave? 

12:04 Dave: El?

12:05 Elliot: Yeah, I’ll take this. For us, the choice of using the good life as the positioning was good for us a year ago. Obviously with our connection with the wine industry and the connection with us working live and playing live with my clients, doing wine tastings, it was a seamless cohesion of two ideas, of music and wine together, in this idea of the good life. Having moved, because all gigs have dried up and they will be for a year or two.

So having moved away from that, and also there’s a perception that comes with working in the wine industry, which is, if the whole band was working in the bourbon industry, or the whiskey industry, it was the whiskey and folk music, or something like that, or gin and folk music. It would have a certain attitude, but wine comes with a different attitude, which is interesting, and that we’ve been picking up on in the last year. And that attitude is one of, yes, of the good life, but also it’s one of exclusion and not inclusion, because the people that really know wines, and look, I worked in the wine game as a sales person on and off for years. But for the people that really know wine, they are really quite snobby and exclusive, and it’s a way of dividing people.

As an artist, it really bugs me, because of that perception about wine. Because, like people who know anything about anything, they use it as a weapon to divide and conquer. And it really fucks with my mind, because as an artist, it is about inclusion for me. And so whatever the positioning has to be an inclusive position. So wrapping it together in the good life and it creates an exclusivity in a group of, so if you’re not into our music, if you’re not into the good life, then you’re against us in some way. And whatever’s happening in around the world, there’s a rise of polarization, and it really affects me that I’m contributing to it in a very small way with this, “We’re making music for the good life, as opposed to the bad life, as opposed to.” That’s where I’m getting right now, and it’s that elitism, that quasi-elitism that really kicks me. When, The Good Life, was first came up with, and the idea was there, I actually wrote the song in a really bleak, the song is extremely bleak and dark. I wrote it about with so much sarcasm, “Welcome to the good life. Yeah, yeah, we’ve got the good life.” It’s a really dark, nasty song about friends dying of cancer, about people living really, really poor, about being isolated in this brand new world.

So to then flip that on its head and going, we’ve got this song called, The Good Life.” I go, “Yeah, okay, well, let’s see how that fits.” And now sitting with, The Good Life, and, no, it’s a little bit, people won’t get my sarcasm, and Australia is a very, very sarcastic country, and so that’s where we always lean into sarcasm so well. The English and the Australians are famous for it, but it doesn’t sit as a positioning for me anymore, I don’t feel comfortable. I’ll throw to Dave. What do you think with that, Dave?

15:41 Dave: Yeah, we’re both in agreement on this and it’s only been just in the last four months that we’ve, just with this shift and with everything that’s going on with the pandemic, and the world and things aren’t great at the moment for a lot of people. And I’m just starting to feel that, it’s such a good tagline. It is a great tagline, “Music for the good life,” but I do feel that it could be sending the wrong message.

This is our position, and this is our perception. We actually were special guests on another musician friend of mine, who’s got quite a good following too, and we were special guest on his live stream gig the other week. And he was helping us out with the crowdfunding and said, ” Look, come and play. And I’ll push the crowdfunding campaign and then we’ll have a bit of a chat.” So we did that, and it was interesting that when we were on his show and he said, “Look, I want to ask you guys about, “Music for the good life.” I love that.” So he’s perception different to Elliot and my perception.

But the fact is that, as you’ve also said, CJ, in previous podcasts, that it’s about honesty, and we need to be honest about who we are and how we feel about our branding, what we post on Facebook, everything that we write, everything that we do, and everything that’s seen as us needs to be honest, it needs to be who we are. Regardless whether, “The good life,” is actually a really good tagline and part of what makes the brand up, if we don’t feel comfortable with it, then I don’t think we’re being honest to ourselves. And therefore that’s going to reflect through, I think, is the way I feel.

17:36 CJ: Okay, well, I think part of the problem is a little bit of a misunderstanding, which is not uncommon. Because we talked a long time ago, and even just over an hour or so. So there’s not, I wasn’t in charge of the campaigns, I wasn’t writing any of the copy, I wasn’t pushing the brand. So I did not mean elitism or to focus only on the wine aspect.

18:02 Dave: No, no, I understand that.

18:05 CJ: Yeah. That was a shoo-in, in terms of getting some attention out there. But, “The good life,” was one of those things where you could at least because you wouldn’t know who to target. The music was so, I don’t mean commercial in a bad way, it’s so wide appealing. So who you target-

18:25 Dave: Yeah, it’s a way of getting around having, not that whole micro-niche.

18:27 CJ: Yeah, there’s no way to penetrate this market. So let’s target people who love cooking channels and love wine and love all these things, because the thing about that is they’re not in elite communities. They’re just people who just happen to like food, and they go out a lot, and they like to drink wine, because in the midst of a crazy world, they want to be able to tap a glass and say, “We’re still living a semblance. Life is still good. There’s a reason to be happy. There’s a reason to enjoy this journey. This is a good life.” Not as elitist in a mansion, but as just all of us, just we’re calling life good. That’s the good life.

If anything, we’re redefining the good life, we’re saying, “No, this is just like anything. Everybody loves wine. Everybody loves,” we were talking to last night at one of my coaching groups about IPA beers, the guys were talking about cigars and all of that. And I know these are not rich people, but these guys were going off, on one guy was going off on these cigars from Nicaragua. So he’s put research into finding this cigar from Nicaragua, recommending it to each other, guys are recommending bourbons and things like that. And I know these are men of meager means, but what does that tell you, is that’s how they’re living the good life. In other words, it doesn’t take much.

I’ll drink a beer or two every day. And so my lady will say to me, “Why is that necessary? There’s only one reason to drink. Why do you feel like that?” She goes, “I’m not just going to drink one.” I said, “Well, I will.” Because to me it’s that little symbol of just, “I’m free.” You know what I mean? I’m not constrained religiously. I’m not constrained politically. I’m not constrained socially or anything like that. It’s my little way of just saying, because when I was a kid, that’s what it meant, drinking beer and being of age to go into the pub or that sort of thing.

20:34 Elliot: It’s being responsible for yourself.

20:36 CJ: Yeah, being responsible for yourself. So it’s like saying, “Yeah, man, we’re living the good life. We’re just a bunch of guys around a backyard barbecue. We’re not rich, and some of us are out of a job, and some of us have marital problems, but you know what, we’re here, gentlemen, cheers, we’re living the good life.”

So it was never intended and I would never intend something that was supposed to be elitist. It was supposed to be a spin on the idea of enjoying.

21:03 Dave: Yeah. And we didn’t take it as that either, CJ, at all, too, and I think, to get transparent as far as my situation and myself working in the wine industry, me falling into the wine industry is not by choice. It was by necessity. But at the end of the day, I have noticed that there has been, just with some comments that have come through and some negative comments that have come through, not that we’ve had a lot on, we haven’t had many negative comments-

21:45 Elliot: Trolls. We haven’t had many trolls.

21:46 Dave: On our fan page and trolls, but the ones that we have, I think the fact is that I think that they see us as different. One that came through was like, people seem to think that we are living this grandiose life because we all work in the wine industry. And it’s not that we’re trying to portray anything. All we do is just say, “Look, we work in the wine industry.” But it seems to be there’s this other perception out there that it’s all grandiose for us and, who are these guys pushing their music? And they all work in the wine industry.

But at the end of the day, we work in a call center. We could be selling a Telco product, right. But we’re not, we’re just selling wine over the phone. So it’s not a glamorous job. It’s not where I want to be, and I’m quite happy to say that I just turned 56 a week ago, and this is not where I want to be in my life is, I had to sit back and go part of my drive, as Leah got us to do a long time ago, was your heaven and your hell, well, this is my hell. Sitting for five to eight hours a day behind a computer, on a phone, trying to talk people into buying wine. That’s not where I wanted to end up at 56 years old. And now with COVID and everything like that, there is no job for a 56-year-old anywhere else. And playing music is really the only thing I know how to do really well. Especially with Elliot.

So I think we need to try and work out a different way of portraying who we are as musicians, and as people through our music, and something that came up out of the crowdfunding campaign, which has been such a good exercise compared to the crowd plan, the campaign we did three and a half years ago before we really knew what we were doing. And going through SMA and Tom, and then joining the Elite course, it was just great. It’s just opened up our eyes. And the one thing we discovered, when we made the video, that first thing that came up was, after 25 years, Dave and El have still got something to talk about, our musical conversation is still there. And that’s really sat quite well with me and Elliott, is that it’s about our musical conversation, because that’s starting to get to the core of us.

And I think it’s more that thing that we want to actually start to get out to people, because it’s about that connectivity and connecting to people. And also our music also is about moments in life, and a lot of people, the super fans that we do have are committed, and they’ve bought everything we’ve released. One of the biggest things for them is, somebody posted a comment a while back, a couple of weeks ago, about, Million Star Motel, the song. And she says, “Every time I hear that song, I’m straight back on the front veranda, on a summer’s night in Texas, drinking a beer with my late father. Every time I hear that song.” And I go, “There you go, there’s a moment in life.” And that’s what our music does to people. And it’s that whole thing about, as soon as you write a song and put it out there, it’s not yours anymore, it’s for the listener and they can take on their own interpretation too. So, and I think that’s now starting to get to us and our honesty. Wouldn’t you think, El?

26:00 Elliot: Yeah, I get what you’re saying, CJ, that the good life is that idea of the simplicity of life, and an overarching simplicity is what we’re aiming towards. However, with what we’re doing with our music and what we’re doing with our lives, attempting to connect the wine, is in the last three or four, since COVID, it takes the focus and the spotlight away from the hero being the music, and it always felt, and I know a lot more about wine than Dave, but it always felt a bit weird that I was pivoting and writing posts and posting more about wine. Where I can talk till I’m blue in the face about the structure of the song that I wrote, the initial ideas behind the song and who I was referencing, and what are the underlying themes of any particular song and I’m much easier with myself and more honest if I’m actually posting about that.

So it always felt there was a definite conflict between, “Okay, there’s this overarching positioning called, The Good Life, and it’s encompassing this, and this, and this, and this. And one of those, this’s, is the music, but it’s not the hero anymore, or it didn’t feel like the hero, but it always should be the major focus for us.

27:27 CJ: No, I would agree wholeheartedly. Yeah. These are, again, I think the biggest challenge with anything like this, especially something that’s as complex and evolving and morphing as branding is, is that unless you’ve got somebody that’s what they do, directing things, like a label would have, it’s going to be very hard because you guys are just going to follow what we talked about and originally, and then it’s going to eventually be interpreted your way and so may get really, really heavy emphasis on the wine. Whereas I might’ve said, “Well, let’s reel that back in. It’s a little bit too much when,” I might’ve said, “Let’s make the music the hero, these things are just little ways to open doors.” It’s when I talked about the wine and food industry, I meant that more, for example, for the ad manager, than I did the verbiage.

28:25 Dave: The verbiage. Yeah.

28:27 Elliot: And writing shit about wine appreciations and that sort of stuff, because it always feels weird when I’m, as the writer, I need to support the things that I’m writing about mostly, as my major focus.

28:44 CJ: But having said all that, I’m more trying to give some explanation as to what we originally had talked about, what the actual meaning was, the challenge of, obviously, maintaining that brand over time, but I’m not advocating it, because if it’s not something you feel, it’s not something that you feel like is honest and authentic to you then it’s important that we clear that clutter because that’s not what we want. What we want is for you guys to feel absolutely resolved.

29:14 Elliot: Yeah, right.

29:15 CJ: Yeah. So-

29:16 Elliot: And behind and locked in. In lockstep with an umbrella that we know is going to keep us dry.

29:21 CJ: Right. There’s nothing you can be more resolved about than yourselves.

29:24 Elliot: Yeah, that’s right.

29:26 Dave: Yes.

29:26 CJ: You know what I mean?

29:26 Elliot: Yeah.

29:26 CJ: That’s the one thing you can get behind, you can talk about, you can sell, that you’ll never lose a wink of sleep at night. You won’t say, “I wonder if I’m doing this…” There’s no second guessing. And so when I explain to people resolved, resolved is like your dog going after the squirrel. The resolved is like the lion seizing the antelope. There’s no questioning in the mind of the animal or the dog. It is resolved. To witness, for example, the lion attack the antelope up close, we’re taken aback as humans by the ferocity, the violence of the moment, and that’s resolved. That’s the complete elimination of self-doubt. “I am a lion and this is what I do.” You are musicians, and this is what you do. The thing that struck me, which is interesting in relation to what you guys are saying is when I was watching the videos that you sent, Dave, the second one, which I don’t remember the title. Well, it was the Learn to Swim one.

30:23 Dave: Learn to Swim, yeah.

30:24 CJ: Yeah. Just a little brief cameo there by Elliot talking about the origins of the song and what was emphasized in his family about swimming and that sort of thing. I remember thinking, and then I’d gone to your Facebook page right after that, and I said, “I need to see a lot more of that, a lot more of that banter.” Only because, and I think it ties into what you guys are saying, in a recent one of these that I did with J.R. Richards, one of the Elite students and-

30:55 Dave: Yeah. Well, that was really good, that one. I think listening to that podcast, for me, I think that has to be one of the most powerful podcasts for me, only for the sheer fact that is that I so relate.

31:10 CJ: Yes, yeah.

31:11 Dave: I think it’s because, I mean, I think J.R. is a slightly different style, but I think where his music’s coming from is from a similar place.

31:22 CJ: Yeah, I used the phrase, which came to mind as, Elliot, you were talking, “Musical life enhancement,” which is a different way of saying, “Music for the good life.” It’s just if saying, “The good life,” carries with it an element of baggage, well then, we can’t change minds.

31:42 Dave: No, no.

31:43 Elliot: No, no.

31:43 CJ: So don’t spend a penny or a moment trying to convince people, “No, this is what we mean by good life. To hell with it.” You know what I mean? It’s fine. So I think at this point, again, when I to listen to the new songs you sent me, again, I have to go with my first impressions, which is I’m struck by the music. Therefore, I believe that people will be struck by the music, which means what Elliot was saying, the music is the hero here, which means the music is the savior of sorts. So the music has to get us out of where we are right now.

32:21 Elliot: Yeah, that’s right.

32:22 CJ: The music is going to have to carry us to the next level because there’s nothing more potent in your promotional arsenal than the music itself. Second to that is going to be what you have to say, your relationship, the story of the band, what you believe, your values, et cetera, et cetera. So those are the two most potent weapons that you have in your arsenal, music being first. Therefore, if we’re going with the premise of, okay, let’s stop talking about the grand themes like your branding or a tagline. Let’s get away from that stuff for a second. Because we can get so fixated on that and we get away from the very real way that people will experience this music for the very first time. So if there’s anything that’s most important, I would say it’s that. It’s how will a potential person hear or experience Welter’s music for the very first time? How’s that going to happen? Well, in a COVID world without a record deal and no radio play, it’s probably going to be social media. That’s probably where they’re going to see it. Therefore, instead of leading so much with a pitch, or a theme, or a tagline, don’t lead with one thing, lead with each song.

33:54 Elliot: It’s like the song the hero every time.

33:58 CJ: Every time. So alls we’re focusing on is writing copy that gets people to press play. That’s all we want to do. What can we say in the shortest, sweetest, most powerful, provocative way that forces them to click play? Because that play button, right, that appears over the thumbnail of a video that shows up on our screen or our newsfeed is one of the most powerful action converting tools on the internet.

34:27 Dave: Yeah, it goes back to selling the click.

34:29 CJ: Selling the click, right. Next to the X thing that appears in the corner of the video that makes you close it. They’re two very, very powerful action encouraging things. So what does it take-

34:44 Dave: That’s one thing I took away from the J.R. podcast because you were talking about, I don’t know, one of the songs that J.R. had written or you used an example of, “If you’ve written a song about loss and that song is the song that is on the ad, well then, make the tagline say, ‘Have you lost somebody recently? This song’s for you.'”

35:11 CJ: Right. “This song’s for you,” right. And that’s all-

35:13 Dave: And I mean, yeah, you play it.

35:15 CJ: Yeah. We don’t need to get into, “And so and so produced the album.” Because each song is your baby. You want to talk about where the baby was born, what time he was born, and how much he weighed, and whether he peed on the doctor, and who the doctor was. You want to go into all the details. You’re going back to when you and your wife met. Nobody cares, right? Everybody listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “What’s in it for me?” They want-

35:43 Elliot: No, “What the fuck’s in it for me?” You missed the F.

35:48 CJ: Exactly, yeah. So if we can appeal to whatever their self-interest is in this regard, nobody puts up a defense for self-interest. I haven’t had the person turn down a compliment or turn down free money, right? They just don’t put defenses up for that. So, that’s where we want to attack if we can use that sort of language here. Because this is not a bad thing, this is music that literally can… I think as we said in the J.R. discussion, we’re not claiming the song cures cancer. It’s not going to fix the political climate. No. And people understand that. It’s a mini escape. And so, in fact, I was writing one of our copywriting workshops a couple of weeks ago. I was talking about, “Don’t write the usual stuff. Let this song take you on a journey,” that kind of thing.

I said, “Write something more like, ‘Let’s lift you out of your newsfeed for just a second, for just a few minutes, and change the course of your day. Check this out.'” It’s an honest claim and that’s not BS. You can deliver on that promise. Because, again, as I listen to Welter music, the songs that I’ve heard, I don’t cut them short. I listen to the whole thing, right? Because I can see the craftsmanship. So I want to know what the middle is going to be, I want to know what they’re doing in the bridge, I want to hear the end of it. Now, that’s a little bit more on the mechanical side, but I think people are that very same way. A lot of people, and they hear just that right song and they pull into the parking lot at the store, they’ll sit-

37:42 Elliot: They’ll turn the engine off and they’ll just sit there and go, “This is going somewhere. This song’s going somewhere.”

37:47 CJ: Exactly. So they want to finish it. And it was just for a moment. They know that they have to get out of the car, go and do the grocery shopping and back to life, so to speak. But they had that little escape and they don’t ask music to do more than that because they know they can always return to it, which is why some people will loop it sometimes.

38:10 Elliot: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, go on.

38:11 CJ: They’ll play a song over and over again because it takes them somewhere. They’re not ready just yet to get back to the day. They just want that moment. And so that is a dynamic that’s at play whether they’re listening to Welter or not, right?

38:23 Elliot: Love that. Love that.

38:24 CJ: So if that’s what they’re doing then, okay, well then, we can do that because we’ve got the perfect music for it and we’ve got the perfect message for it. Even though, so some of the stuff might be sarcastic, it could be melancholy. Well, think again, going back to poor J.R., we’ll keep referencing him here, is he said, “A lot of my songs are melancholy, but I’m an optimistic guy.” And I said, “Well, yeah-“

38:48 Dave: I thought that was great.

38:50 CJ: … “you should hashtag that, melancholy optimism.”

38:54 Dave: Yeah. It’s like the positive negative.

38:56 CJ: Yes, a positive. Because what it does is it just says, finally, someone’s honest.

39:01 Dave: Yeah.

39:02 CJ: Do you know what I mean? They’re honest about it. They’re not making a claim that’s too hard to believe and they’re not being boring. Again, if we understand, again, getting away from the grandiose branding and taglines and the logos and all that stuff, that’s stuff that’s important to us, but going into, how are you going to meet that first new fan or follower, listener? It is going to be on some sort of newsfeed, whether somebody else shares it or you targeted them and you’re just appearing.

Dave, I think as you probably are familiar with, because you’ve listened to a lot of the stuff I’ve said, that post, your promotional post, is appearing just before a post from their mother and just after a post from a good friend. So we don’t want it to appear like a billboard or a car sales ad. We want it to come across as something from a friend, from someone who cares, from someone who has something other to say than politics or whatever the latest trending story is. They’re here to brighten the day, this again, musical life enhancement.

It’s, let’s take people up out of the newsfeed for just a little bit. And they’re saying, “You know what? Thank you, Welter. I’ll have more of that. I’ll give it a like. I’ll give it a share. I’ll leave a comment, et cetera.” By doing that, then the longer term process over the year, it’ll be a blend of more of that approach along with the data that Facebook is going to keep track of for every video you’ve done, and how long people have watched, and retargeting those, trying to get that cold audience warmer, and warmer, and warmer, to where they start to convert. They get that, which is a good thing to do, creating them a healthy sense of obligation, creating them a good debt, a debt they want to pay, which means buying the shirt, going to the event, attending the livestream, getting on an email list, buying the CD, sharing it, those sorts of things.

That comes because you continually deliver on that promise to add value to their life, which takes us then to that second aspect, which is in your tool chest, the what you have to say outside of the music, as artists, as friends. That’s why I enjoyed what came in front of the Learn to Swim song was just that little story behind it. Because, you’re both excellent communicators and who doesn’t love an Australian accent over here in the West? So it’s welcomed, it’s embraced, it stands out, it’s significant, it’s out of the norm. For example, I’m not surprised that you had such great feedback in Texas. That’s my home. Because, Texas and Australia have a lot in common. Texas has a lot more in common with Australia than it does New York.

42:47 Dave: Yeah.

42:28 Elliot: Yeah, I get that.

42:30 Dave: Yes. Yeah.

42:30 CJ: New York is another country.

42:32 Dave: No, I do get that.

42:32 CJ: Australia is just Texans with another accent, right?

42:38 Dave: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

42:40 Elliot: Wide open spaces, man.

42:41 CJ: Wide open spaces, wild animals, that pioneer cowboy sort of attitude. We’ve all seen the Crocodile Dundees. We know you guys wear cowboy hats and-

42:50 Elliot: Yeah, all the time, yeah.

42:51 CJ: … do all that stuff, right?

42:53 Dave: Yeah, yeah, we’re all carrying a big knife too.

42:55 CJ: All carrying a big knife. Exactly. So, that’s where that second element comes in. So with you guys, I would be less of putting an emphasis on, “Let me find culture things to post.” No. I think what you want to post is Welter.

43:19 Dave: Yeah. Which is what I do, because I do most of the posting and I think this is something that it’s going to start to change because Elliot and I have been talking more about other things that we’re going to post. Because it’s something that has always resonated with me and this is something that I know that you say a lot with the podcasts and with the Inner Circle and the Hot Seats and things like that too, is that you’ve got to be honest.

The key is to build a relationship and I’ve heard you said it plenty of times before when people are asking, “Oh, what tool do I need? And blah, blah.” And it’s just like, no, the reason why they’re not buying is because they’re not buying. You haven’t built that relationship. The only way somebody’s going to buy from you is gaining that relationship and out of that relationship comes trust. Then people will buy. And it’s building that relationship.

So something I’ve done is just that everything that I post on our fan page and in our Facebook group is me. I’m not trying to go out there and find the thing that somebody may like. I’m posting quotes that actually resonate with me. But what I don’t do is that I don’t just find a quote, post it and say, “I really like this.” I actually write about the quote. I generally will always post, what is it about that quote that affects me? Why does it affect me? And be honest about it.

Then there’s things like, for me, is that, look, I grew up as on the beach, I grew up in the bush, and nature is a big part of my life because I now live in Steel City and I don’t get out there enough. So I do a lot of that sort of stuff too. I think now it’s trying to find that, as we say, there’s always that 70%, and those percentages, as far as music and other stuff that you post. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 12 months since we really did the whole last branding session. Now, we started with pretty well nobody on our email list and we’ve ended up with about 1600 people-

45:51 CJ: Of course.

45:51 Dave: … on our email list. I think I went back through that email list and I think out of that 1600, I suppose, maybe six to 7% of people who’ve actually gotten on board. I’m going, “All right, why?” But most of those 1600 people have come on and taken the free stuff. They’ve grabbed the free album, but could we get them to jump on board the crowdfunding campaign? Or could we get them to actually buy an album? No. But 6% have. Now, I know, like from Elliot’s perspective in direct sales, and El’s been in it for a long time, six, 7% is actually really good figures because most companies work on around three to 4%. If you’re getting that, you’re doing really well. For me, I don’t think-

46:51 CJ: You need a bigger list.

46:53 Dave: Yeah, well that’s it, you need a bigger list.

46:54 Elliot: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s exactly right, yeah.

47:00 Dave: I don’t think from my perspective, I know we’re selling music here and I think that we should be aiming at a bigger percentage. I’d like to see over 10%.

47:06 Elliot: Yeah. One thing CJ just pulled up is that maybe we’re not actually building up the debt that they’re feeling, that we’ve changed… Because, I love that lifting you out of your newsfeed and asking you to change. Because once we do that to one person and do it again to them, there is a debt. If we just give them an album, they go, “Oh yeah, that was pretty good. Yeah. Thanks very much. I’ll go over here now.” There’s no debt involved. We haven’t actually asked them that, “This might actually change you.”

47:41 CJ: Yes. Right.

47:42 Elliot: Yeah. So there’s no twist in the contract. There’s no actual sort of barb in the freebie that, “Just by taking this album, yeah, you’ve got more music in your life.” I’ve got lots of music in my life already. But if you actually put the barb in and say, “Look, this might actually change the way you see Australia, or this might actually change the way you see, this might take you out of your newsfeed.”

48:08 CJ: Right.

48:09 Elliot: Yeah.

48:11 CJ: Yeah, I think part of the challenge here is asking, how honest and authentic do you really want to be? Because, for example, let’s say your actual audience was to hear this discussion, right? I think people would walk away going, “Wow, I’ve been following them for a year and I didn’t know half of that about these guys. I love this banter about how they make the sauce, that they’re literally thinking their musical enterprise this deeply.” And for example, you said earlier and you were being honest, Dave, you said, “Basically, I’m 56 and this is not what I want to do with my life.” Well, I would love to see you post a video with that title.

49:02 Dave: Yeah.

49:03 CJ: Do you know what I mean?

49:04 Dave: Yeah.

49:05 CJ: I would love to see a video on Australian sarcasm. I would love to see a video on what you just said. “I grew up in the bush and the beach. Now I live in Steel City.” Because, you know how much I do this sort of stuff. So when I listen to someone talk, I think of probably 100 different kinds of social media posts out of just their conversation. But they never say those things. You know what I mean? So we never get that. It’s like, yeah, part of the appeal of situational comedies, right? Sitcoms, part of the appeal is, and not because everything’s pristine and motivational, but it’s appealing because it’s dysfunctional sometimes. It’s appealing because it is situational comedy. It’s, let’s create a quagmire in 30 minutes and watch our favorite characters try to work and navigate their way through this.

50:06 Elliot: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

50:07 CJ: So if authenticity is important here, then the beauty, and the spots, and the heartache, and the victories, and the stories, and the technical detail of nailing a particular drum part, whatever it may be, anything and all things Welter.

50:36 Dave: Yeah. Well, look, it’s something I try to do. I mean, I even, with our Facebook group, I do Friday night weekend share.

50:45 CJ: Okay.

50:46 Dave: Most of the time it’s a video and I’ll always do a Friday night or at the weekend share. That’s just part of getting people on board to share what they’re up to on the weekend and it’s all good. I did one the other night where I fell over. I mean, this job that I do has developed a level of anxiety that I’ve never experienced in my life because of the whole pressure of, you’ve got to keep performing, you’ve got KPIs that you’ve got to meet all the time. That doesn’t sit well inside me and it’s developed a certain amount of anxiety in my life.

I’m open about that because, again, we’ve got so many songs that are about mental health and stuff like that and we live with it day in, day out. So I don’t have a problem actually being open and saying, “Well, I fell down and it’s okay I fell down.” I post that to the group because there are people in the group that also have their own issues. I got a lot of comment back on that. I managed to get out of Sydney for a week a couple of weeks ago and went up and saw my brother. He lives up on the Mid- Coast of New South Wales. It’s some of the pristine coastline of Australia. And for me, it was like, on my way back, I took my time and I stopped into some of my old surfing haunts and it was photos. I pretty well posted my whole trip to Facebook. That’s the sort of thing that I do.

I suppose one question I wanted to ask was, because we talk about if people aren’t buying, they’re not buying and you’re not building the relationship. And if you’ll be completely honest when you’re posting… And we do post our videos and things like that. I think we could probably a bit more. And as we’ve discovered today, I think there’s a few more things that we can do musically. I suppose, when do you actually cross that line and go, “You know what, maybe these people aren’t our people. Maybe these people are the people that grab the free stuff and run. So maybe they’re not our people”? So is there a point where you go, “Maybe we need to tweak our targeting. Maybe the people that are coming in and grabbing the free stuff are the people that grab the free stuff and run out the store”?

53:21 CJ: Honest answer is no because I would find the same metrics across the board, not just for other artists doing this, but for coaches, for other small business type things that are marketing online, you’re going to see the same numbers. You’re going to see the same sort of responses. I’ve had this conversation with Leah. You’re just going to get the very same thing. It’s hard to find, “Hey, who’s the emotional impromptu spender?” Because Facebook, I don’t know, we don’t know how to find those exact people. Which means that the onus is on us to…

It’s not so much that and I’ll often say the relationship is important to it. The relationship is only important in the sense that you’re creating desire, because that’s why people buy. People buy because of desire. That sounds axiomatic, but I’ve always prided myself on having a keen perception of the obvious. But it’s more than that. It is that in any relationship, the best way to have someone do something is when the driving force is them, right? Like your kid, you can’t force your kid to do certain things. You want them to take the onus, take responsibility, the failure to launch, or drive the car, or get the job. You want them to do it. Nobody wants to be-

54:47 Dave: Or get up at 6:30 this morning when my son’s got to get up and go to sport and I’m sitting here going, “Well, I wonder whether he’s going to do it or I’m going to have to go and kick him in his arse.”

54:55 CJ: Yeah, exactly. You don’t want to force people. Well, on my motivational, so people will write in to me, “Hey, I got a brother,” or a friend or something, “who’s addicted to alcohol,” or addicted to this. “Could you talk to them?” And I say, “No, I can’t.” Because Alcoholics Anonymous will tell you, if they’re not ready, if this is not something they want to do, it’s a trivial pursuit. You’re never going to get them to do it. It has to be their desire. And you know, for example, Dave, in the course, and once you get into Elite, especially with the gory details of e-commerce and all these things, we’re getting down to the color of buttons, right, that you’re using and where the placement of the text is. I mean, little things to try and get that extra edge of every possible conversion.

However, have we not all been in situations where we wanted something and the website of the person or company that was selling it was a piece of crap? And we had to go through the cycle of putting in our card information because the shopping cart got all messed up two or three times. And we had to chase them down for the confirmation email, but we did it. Why? Because, we wanted it. Whereas, what happens with students in the Elite course is they start thinking, “Well, no, if I get everything just perfect, that’s all it takes.” No, you have to go above and beyond.

Someone asked me last night in another coaching call, because they were getting taken off of a salary plus commission situation into being strictly commission. So, that put the fear of God in him. And so he had asked, he says, “Is there anything you’d recommend I read, CJ?” I said, “Yeah. Read Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule.” Because, what you’re going to find out in these situations is, what do we do? 10X everything, 10 times. Hit them again, and again, and again, and again. There’s nobody more brutal about this. The most brutal person that I know about that is Leah. Leah will ride her list hard, especially on Black Fridays and all the holiday and the pre-album, I mean pre-launch stuff. All that, she hits them hard. A lot of us, we’re halfway. We’re not quite really-

57:33 Dave: Yeah, we hit them hard through the crowdfunding campaign.

57:36 CJ: Yeah.

57:36 Dave: I don’t know if you saw the video I posted in the group, because I kind of thought it was a good thing to do. Because I know there’s a few students out there that are about to do crowdfunding campaigns. I think there’s a couple of them that have gone like…

57:52 CJ: Yeah, yeah.

57:52 Dave: Look, we did have a successful, 147%.

57:55 CJ: Great.

57:55 Dave: Look, and I did, doing this course, and I rode that list hard, man. I was like, it was every day and-

58:06 CJ: Right. You just need a bigger list though, right?

58:11 Dave: Yeah. And I do look at that. I’ve got 67%, 1,600 people if that was 160,000 people.

58:20 CJ: If that was 6,000 people?

58:23 Dave: Yeah, exactly.

58:24 CJ: Yeah. But that’s sort of … because that’s what I want to … the emphasis I want to make when it comes to getting away from the more abstract things and getting down to the gory details of where the conversions happen, where people meet Welter for the very first time. So how can we win each one of those battles? So the first battle to win is the battle of the newcomer, the new audience here.

58:44 Dave: Mm-hmm.

58:44 CJ: Meeting them. So what can we do? We’re not going to write a novel on a post and telling them who the producer was on the song and all of these things. We’re just going to appeal to a felt need that’s represented in that song to get them to press play.

58:58 Dave: Yeah.

58:59 CJ: It’s like, okay, what after that? Well, we’ll get to that. Let’s win that battle. The next battle is going to become, okay, what can we do for those who do follow? To become more engaged and fall more in love with Welter and help to build that sense of obligation. To get them to that next level, whatever that may be. It could be a purchase, it could be email lists, could be anything. And that is where this other content comes in. Like when you went to go visit your brother, and so that Friday night thing you’re doing. And some of these other things to talk about. To just be honest.

Not to say that everything needs to be a complaining session about life or how difficult life is, but you mix it up. You say, hey, I’m 56 and this is not where I want to be, and you share. You just say, guys, I struggle with what I have to do. I’m doing what I have to do daily for my family and for Welter, but this is not all I want to do. And maybe you’re in that situation. Maybe you’re in a situation that’s just not comfortable, it’s just not where you want to be. But you say, I find myself torn between two wills. I wish I could escape it, but I know I can’t because I bear the burden of responsibility.

So what drives me? What drives me is, what I feel is my sacred duty to my musical calling. It’s what I know. Like you said, it’s what I do best. And I know that it touches another’s life. I know that I’m not really touching someone’s life on the other end of a sales call, but I know that I’m touching your life with the music that me and Elliot write. And if that’s the relationship that you’re building and that’s the way that you’re sharing your heart, they’re going to fall in love with you. Much the same as meeting that woman and getting to know her over time. That these sorts of things get created or just even any sort of friendship gets created that way.

1:00:51 Dave: Yeah.

1:00:53 CJ: These are each of the different battles we have to win. The newcomer and then getting the existing follower more and more engaged. And using video because video keeps them on the platform longer, video gets them, they get more information rather than having to read something. They’re getting to know the real you. And then that information, once again, is being tracked. So we can then use this data over the last 30 days, 90 days, six months, 365 days of everybody that interacted, watched, shared, whatever. And then we can target them with other things, and everybody’s going to be at different levels.

1:01:32 Dave: Yeah, right.

1:01:32 CJ: You’ll be targeting people who’ve just been following you for a month, and they’ll take action now. And you get somebody who’s been following you for six months and they still won’t take action, but they’ll take action six months from then, you don’t care.

1:01:45 Dave: Yeah.

1:01:46 CJ: Your job is to be faithful. That’s one of the hardest things for people to do, be faithful. Showing up. There’s something very daily about daily living. Just that showing up every day and doing more and more and more and more, because it gives them something more, the taste of Welter. And it gives the Facebook algorithm and the Facebook ad manager more ways to study. Because the only entity that’s more interested in your audience than you are, is Facebook. Facebook does not produce content. Like the government doesn’t manufacture anything, but they make sure to make a hell of a lot of money. They make nothing. They tax. They tax our inflated currency, that’s how they make money. Facebook produces nothing. And if Zuckerberg was to put himself out there and actually produce a video, he’d get more crap than he would praise.

1:02:43 Dave: Yeah.

1:02:44 CJ: Right? Facebook produces nothing, which means Facebook is like a record label in that they’re solely … or a streaming service like Spotify. They’re solely reliant upon the productivity of others. Therefore, Facebook is … they’re thinking, Welter, if you guys want to form a relationship here, a contract, a covenant, a relationship, we’ll bond with you. If you as Welter make your prime priority and function keeping people on our platform.

1:03:20 Dave: Yeah.

1:03:21 CJ: If you’ll do that for us, if you’ll keep your fans, the people you target on our platform for as long as possible, we’ll favor your stuff in the newsfeed as over against someone else.

1:03:32 Dave: Yeah.

1:03:33 CJ: Because they’re a hit and miss, they show up once a week, once a month, we don’t know what they’re going to do. You guys, you keep experimenting. And the algorithm can see what you’re doing, it knows what you’re doing. So you’re giving the algorithms something to … In fact, what’s great about the ad manager, and we use this lingo, Dave as you know is, it’ll say that once you start running a new ad, that the Facebook ad manager is learning. It goes through the learning phase. And the algorithm eats it up without emotion.

1:04:07 Dave: Yeah.

1:04:08 CJ: And so, I think that’s part of what we have to do. We have to be like the algorithm. We have to eat up this process and do it without emotion. We have to be very mechanical about it because it does come down to the mechanics. All the while marrying it to the very pure, authentic, honest, genuine, Welter, personalities, stories, music, and all of that together. It’s a challenging thing to do. It’s a delicate balance, it takes practice, it takes works, which is all the more reason for you to show up daily.

But I would make each song, as we said earlier, the hero, and let that be the tip of the spear, bringing everybody in. And then once they get in, you can show them a little bit more of the other. Just a word of … and again, I can’t say that Leah would say the same thing as I would, but I understand the importance of groups. I do. The challenge I have with that is that, especially for the creatives, and I’m not saying that’s the case with you guys, but I’ve seen it happen with a lot. Is for the creative soul, we’re strapped with a lot of fears. And fear of success, which is tied to the fear of judgment and criticism and these other sorts of things.

So the more you can give us, that’s busy work. That’s why they love coursework, because they can keep working on all the course stuff and never do any promoting online, or something like the group. Like we just had this with another group member, excuse me, another student with their group. And it’s like, I can see how they’re very focused on the culture, trying really hard to get participation in the group, but none of it is really leading anywhere. So I just tell him, I said, “Listen, I appreciate that effort. I’d prefer you direct it more to the business page.”

1:06:04 Dave: Yeah.

1:06:05 CJ: Because that’s where the action happens. People get in the group and they kind of feel at home. And I don’t want-

1:06:11 Dave: It’s interesting you’ve said that.

1:06:12 CJ: I don’t want you to feel too much at home. I want you to remember we’re a freaking band selling music.

1:06:17 Elliot: Yeah.

1:06:18 Dave: I agree with you there. And it’s interesting because it all goes back to, back early in the course as well too. And any student that listens to this is, guys, it’s testing and it’s retesting.

1:06:36 CJ: Mm-hmm.

1:06:36 Dave: And it might take a year, it might take two years. And here we are just over 12 months down the trackback on another call with you CJ, because it’s about going back. It’s about okay, looking at where we started, where we are now, what’s happening? What do we need to tweak? What’s not working? And it’s constantly, it doesn’t stop. You constantly need to keep rechecking, checking the stats and working. Now it’s, I suppose almost 12 months now since we started the Facebook group. And you’re right, I find now that I don’t know how much energy I want to put into the group because of the fan page. And as you say, the fan page is the engine room. The fan page is where that funnel …

1:07:32 CJ: Exactly.

1:07:33 Dave: … that we use ads manager.

1:07:35 CJ: Yes.

1:07:35 Dave: That’s where the funnel sits. The funnel doesn’t sit in the Facebook group.

1:07:39 CJ: No.

1:07:39 Dave: The funnel sits on our fan page and that’s where we’re bringing all the potential people.

1:07:44 CJ: Yeah. And that’s where the metrics are being kept.

1:07:49 Dave: Exactly. And the people that are going to click on the download your free album, they’re going to click that in that side of things. It’s only down the track whether that person wants to actually be a part of a closed Facebook group, which is just an extension of Welter. And I’ve been thinking a bit more about that myself-

1:08:14 CJ: Yeah. I started a group, I had one for my mental motivation page and I got like 1500 people in there fast.

1:08:23 Dave: Yeah.

1:08:24 CJ: And I messed with it for a while, and I said, “Man, this is a waste.” So I shut it down. It’s still there, but I took it offline. Because the reach was just as bad there as it was on the Facebook … but I can’t boost a post or run an ad to a group.

1:08:41 Dave: Yeah.

1:08:41 CJ: So I can’t reach them. I am completely at their mercy because there’s no way to promote. The other thing is that, again, there’s not any metrics being taken. So if I get-

1:08:52 Dave: No, no.

1:08:53 CJ: So I-

1:08:54 Dave: And I found with video … Facebook changes all the time, and I know the whole point was because back then Facebook, the algorithms wasn’t favoring fan pages as much. And they wanted to get back to content and engagement and groups was good for engagement, because I know Facebook has gone through, they were getting taken through the wringer.

1:09:22 CJ: Right.

1:09:23 Dave: With certain things that was happening and posts shouldn’t be on Facebook and he was getting dragged through the wringer. So it was Facebook about getting back to going. Well, groups is what the platform was meant to be. It’s about engagement and people engaging with one another in a really good way. So that was a way of doing that. What I have found just recently over the last few months is, Facebook is really favoring video content. And we’ve noticed as El knows too, that when we’ve done our live stream gigs. I mean, we did live stream gig a little while back, and our reach, the reach was crazy. It was like 20 or 30,000 people. We had thousands of people view and we’ve never had that before on any posts. And that made me start to think about, okay, we need to do more of this.

1:10:21 CJ: Yes.

1:10:23 Dave: And I think that’s where we’re heading now. I think I’m starting to move a little bit away from the group. And I’m not promoting that everybody should close the grid and that it might work for some people too.

1:10:37 CJ: Yeah. Some things that are really-

1:10:38 Dave: So as you say, don’t ever look at somebody else’s-

1:10:40 CJ: Yeah, exactly. Don’t. One size does not fit all. And obviously time is very limited and we want to make sure we maximize the efforts of what we post. But I think, again, the challenge is always to back up. So when Facebook started emphasizing groups, the issue was keeping people on the platform. And groups which are based on affinity are … So people, if there’s a group on this diet or a group on these exercise, people and relationships and what have you, those people will go in there and they’ll chat all day long.

1:11:16 Dave: Yeah.

1:11:16 CJ: Keeps people on the platform. Now, Facebook ultimately doesn’t care. They couldn’t give a damn that all of these people are on, spending time on the platform in a group, because that’s not where Facebook makes its money. Because Facebook can not tell its advertisers that they’ll show ads in a group. You can only show ads on newsfeeds and that sort of stuff. So if people are in groups, they’re not seeing ads.

1:11:52 Dave: Yeah.

1:11:53 CJ: So again, it’s back up. And I say again, what does the algorithm want? The algorithm wants people on the platform. Groups is one way to do that, but if you can do it as a page, the algorithms is like, I don’t give a damn.

1:12:04 Dave: Yeah.

1:12:05 CJ: I’m going to put your stuff in the feed because you keep people on the page. So if a live stream from Welter is keeping that many people on the page on a Friday night or something like that, cool. Facebook doesn’t care. I don’t care if it’s a group, it’s, are you keeping people on the platform? In fact, if anything, keeping them on the feed, even better. So again, it’s just, once you understand that that’s the dynamics at play and that the secret to social media is when … when the coin will drop for people with social media is like I said before, is when social media disappears and you realize you’re just talking to people.

1:12:41 Dave: Yeah.

1:12:42 CJ: If you don’t have to be somebody else or be a techno-wizard or whatever. There’s not some, Facebook hasn’t changed the face of … no, it’s, people still buy crap for the same dumb reasons they did before.

1:12:56 Dave: Yeah.

1:12:57 CJ: It’s, nothing has changed, it’s just a different medium. It’s social media, and media means broadcasting. You had mainstream media. Remember as kids, there were a few channels. We had BBC, or over here ABC, CBC, that was it. Now you’ve got this smorgasbord of whatever. So it’s not the mainstream media, it’s not alternative media, which is alternative broadcasting, mainstream broadcasting, where the television, newspaper, radio. Social media, which simply means broadcasting information from person to person.

1:13:33 Dave: Yeah.

1:13:34 CJ: So more people are now, with heads tipped at 45-degree angles, staring at a little screen.

1:13:41 Dave: Yeah.

1:13:42 CJ: But look at the good news, because I’ve seen people sitting in their living rooms, looking at their phone while the big TV was on.

1:13:51 Elliot: My kids do it all the time.

1:13:52 CJ: Right. But look at the price difference of advertising between the ad showing up on the little screen that they’re looking at. And they’re looking at that little screen while the commercial on the big screen. The big-screen commercial is a few million pounds, the little one here is …

1:14:10 Elliot: Cents.

1:14:10 CJ: Yeah, 3 cents per video view.

1:14:13 Elliot: Yeah, yeah. Nothing.

1:14:14 CJ: So it’s in our favor.

1:14:17 Elliot: Yeah. Yeah.

1:14:18 CJ: So we just got to get them interested in … what does it take to get them to watch a video? That’s our first battle.

1:14:24 Elliot: Yeah.

1:14:24 CJ: Then what does it take to get that audience engaged? Probably on the Facebook page, video type content. So if you guys do a live stream and you’re talking in something like this, I can take this video, which I often do with all of my stuff, is I download these videos and then I throw them over to my son and he’ll chop them up into clips.

1:14:42 Dave: Mm-hmm.

1:14:43 Elliot: Right.

1:14:44 CJ: You know what I mean? And so whatever little subject was, so put that substitute. We make it so it goes on Instagram, it goes on Facebook and there’s a little blurb there. So there’s a little two minutes, one minute, whatever, a little clip of just a little point that got made or a funny thing or what have you. Something emotional, provocative, whatever it may be. And so your multi … you don’t have to just keep sitting down and making content. Make long-form content, chop that crap up. Maybe some of that can be turned into a blog, maybe some of that can be turned into just a little meme. Just multipurpose and just squeeze every last drop you can out of what you already have. And really harvest the information that you guys have between the two of you.

1:15:27 Dave: Mm-hmm.

1:15:31 CJ: And your conversation, because of your history, talking whether music, life-

1:15:34 Dave: Yeah.

1:15:35 CJ: … whatever.

1:15:36 Elliot: Just on a larger point, going back to where that umbrella sits with the good life. I’m happier if we stick with it, but we just pull back from that idea of what, of being a controversial time right now. So if we can sit with that, Dave, as an idea, or where are you sitting with the initial idea about the brand, the positioning?

1:16:02 Dave: Well again, I think as CJ said, I think the tagline is something that’s probably smaller. It’s a smaller concern. And I think what you’ve said, CJ, it’s making the music the hero. It’s making the songs, the hero now more than anything.

1:16:21 CJ: Yeah. I would leave it-

1:16:22 Dave: A tagline to tagline. It’s a throwaway thing anyway, we can change that tomorrow. And we could go back and say music are bad things that matter in life.

1:16:31 CJ: Right. If anything, just leave it alone. Don’t do anything. Just leave it alone and start acting this other way.

1:16:39 Elliot: Yeah.

1:16:39 Dave: Yeah. Because again, as we said earlier, it’s our perception on why the good life is not sitting well with us. Because here we have gone on streaming as guests and you’ve got the artists that’s now turned around saying, I love this good life thing. What’s all this about? The music is the good life, I love it.

1:16:58 CJ: Yeah.

1:16:58 Dave: Okay, well, that’s his perception. Okay, so that’s our perception. So we just have to change our mindset.

1:17:04 CJ: The majority of people don’t have a problem with it. But that’s the nature of, you post something creative or you put something out there and you get 100 comments, 99 are great, and there’s one jackass.

1:17:21 Elliot: Yeah.

1:17:21 CJ: But that’s the one who makes you think, I’m not posting anymore.

1:17:26 Elliot: Yeah.

1:17:27 CJ: 99 people, you change their life. But this one idiot almost gets you to quit.

1:17:33 Dave: Yeah. It’s a good one too. He really went to town, might have got to the point where he ended it with saying that we should be killed.

1:17:48 CJ: Oh my gosh.

1:17:51 Dave: That one went to Facebook. I sort of pushed that one out and said, yeah men, this guy’s been a bit too full-on. You need to remove-

1:17:58 CJ: Yeah. Well, I mean, people get it. They get what you’re saying. And they think it’s a great line because everybody’s heard the phrase, the good life, and it’s something we all use. Nobody uses it in a bad way, man. Here’s another example.

1:18:11 Elliot: Yeah.

1:18:12 CJ: What do people say all the time, living the dream.

1:18:16 Elliot: Yeah.

1:18:17 CJ: Are they literally living the dream?

1:18:19 Elliot: No. Yeah.

1:18:23 CJ: You know what I mean?

1:18:25 Dave: I think I have heard that as a sarcasm more than the-

1:18:27 CJ: Yeah. We’re living the dream. But Just say, music for the good life. In other words, I think most people are smart enough to say, well, these guys obviously aren’t talking about … Because you’re not putting yourself out there as a bunch of aristocrats.

1:18:41 Elliot: No.

1:18:41 CJ: Just a bunch of guys playing great music. They’re saying, you know what? I get it.

1:18:45 Dave: Yeah. And we’re not standing in front of Lamborghini’s-

1:18:49 CJ: No. It’s the good life. In other words, that life is good. Let’s live a good life. Let’s celebrate the little things that make life a little bit better. We are where we are. I’ve seen people at bars with their drinks and sitting at a table, but they’ve got the master down to here. But by golly, they’re going to that pub, they’re going to that beach bar, they’re going. Why? Because in the midst of all of this, we have to live some semblance of the good life or what is this all for?

1:19:22 Dave: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true.

1:19:23 CJ: It’s like I tell people all the time, there are no motivational speakers in North Korea because it makes no sense. You know what I mean? Motivational speaking only makes sense when you can choose your career path, when you have options when you have things that you want to achieve and goals and all of that. When you have choices, choices in life.

1:19:46 Elliot: CJ, I’ll have to correct you there, there’s one motivational speaker.

1:19:52 CJ: That’s right. And everybody loves him, or else. You know what I mean? So in other words, in a life where we still celebrate the liberty that we have-

1:20:04 Elliot: I’m going to blow your mind here, CJ.

1:20:06 CJ: Yes.

1:20:08 Elliot: I don’t think you can read that. Can you read that?

1:20:11 CJ: Kim Jong-un, the character and the actor. And he’s written a book.

1:20:15 Elliot: He’s written a book and it’s a skinny, skinny book.

1:20:17 CJ: Wow, that is skinny. It’s more like a folder. You guys are advocates for what life is supposed to be about. And you got to consider yourself that. You are advocates, you’re ambassadors for living a good life.

1:20:36 Elliot: And not just that, but also living … the artist life is not necessarily one of living a good life. Dave and I are surrounded by riches and Lamborghinis, but living a fulfilled life and living an artistically developed and rich life is a good life for us.

1:20:55 CJ: Right. And again, there you go. You keep giving me all of these wonderful things to post about. This wonderful concept and you share that. Say, you know what, the good life. What is the good life? And talk about whatever, the good life for them is just any opportunity that you have to share your Welterosophy. The philosophy of Welter, the Welter worldview, the Welter outlook on life.

1:21:24 Dave: I think that’s something we could probably look a bit more on our emails too.

1:21:29 Elliot: Yeah.

1:21:30 Dave: I mean, our nurture emails, we went through a whole nurturing sequence last night and I know a lot of students get, they get really stuck on the whole email content. And it’s that happy medium, I think you actually went over on the inner circle call-

1:21:49 CJ: Yeah, well, that’s Friday. Saturday for you, yeah.

1:21:53 Dave: Yeah, yeah. And just trying to … it’s that relationship, but at the same time, they can get that you’re still trying to sell.

1:22:00 CJ: Yeah. Right.

1:22:02 Dave: But you don’t want to be sales pitchy, but you still need to sell because that’s what you’re there for in the long run. And I think with our nurture sequence, we went through our nurture sequence. And it’s kind of like, okay, well, you’ve got 14 emails and your nurture sequence people come through, they grab whatever it is that you’re offering. For us, it’s a free album download. Then there’s 13 emails that they’re going to get over the next few months because it’s an email a week type thing. And it’s like a case. Once it got to the end of that, then it’s like, okay, well now what do we send them? It’s continuing that relationship. It’s continuing that email.

1:22:44 CJ: Yeah. I’m a little different in my approach. I don’t like the nurture sort of thing. I mean, that’s okay when you’re talking to a cold audience, but even then I would probably make it very, very short. Because I’m not going to pretend that people give a damn. I’m not going to-

1:23:05 Elliot: Mark up any bodies.

1:23:07 CJ: Yeah. I’m not going to blow sunshine up my own blessed assurance. They’re there waiting for it, all 14 of those emails. I make my funnel approach very, very simple. I want to do one thing through anything that I say or post or share with my audience. I want to add as much value as I can. So I have to decide, okay, well, what adds the most value? And you think through a lot of that stuff. So that’s why with me, with email, I just figure whether they’re new, or they’re already following? Whether they opted in from a cold ad, or they’ve opted in from a retargeting ad that they already follow me? Either way, they need maybe one or two emails to introduce. Otherwise, they’re going to be a part of my weekly, I’m here to add value to your life. That’s it. Because again, nobody, whether they’re cold or warm, nobody puts up a defense for self-interest.

1:24:13 Elliot: Yeah.

1:24:15 CJ: You’ve heard me use this comparison before when it comes to copy, how to get somebody to read. I could get somebody to read an entire ream of 500 sheets of paper, that you buy at the office supply store. I could get somebody to read every single page if I filled every page with type. I use the example of saying, okay, let’s say you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party. I’m posting a New Year’s Eve party at my house. And my house is full. And I’m running all over the place trying to get everybody … makes sure they’re fed, their drinks are filled and all of that. And then all of a sudden, 10 o’clock at night, there’s a knock on my door. I don’t hear it, because I’m running all over the place. Somebody says, CJ, you got a delivery guy at the door.

And I’m thinking, I’m going to tear this guy’s head off. How dare you show up in my house, 10 o’clock, two hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve when I’m hosting a party, what could possibly be that important? And then I run to the door and I open the door and the guy says … he hands me a stack of paper. And I’m like, what are you doing? And what the hell am I going to do with a stack of paper? And he just gives it to me. And I grab that stack of paper out of his hand, all frustrated, and I look at it and it’s got type on it. But at the very top of the first page in big, bold black letters, it says, what everyone thinks about CJ.

1:25:47 Elliot: And you stand there for two hours and read it.

1:25:49 CJ: I’m like, oh, well, excuse me, ma’am, thank you. And then I’m like, holy crap. I go a couple of pages deep. I’m going to be thinking about that through the whole party. That’s going to take me until 2:00 in the morning to shut everything down, get everything cleaned up. And I’m still not going to go to bed because I’m going to start reading that damn stack of 500 sheets of paper. Self-interest. That’s all that matters, self-interest. So, do I need, in that sense, maybe a nurture sequence? Maybe, sometimes, if you want a short campaign. Yeah, I understand that. But what I do, for example, I want to keep that funnel very, very simple. And so I’m just going to say, okay, because I’m always adding value. So you either like the stuff I have to say, or you don’t. So I’m going to let that be the determining factor.

1:26:42 Dave: Yeah.

1:26:42 CJ: So you get on the list, you get an introductory email, hey, I’m CJ. This is what I do. I’m a cardinal to five galaxies and I’m brother wonderful and whatever. I’ll tell them all the history about how wonderful I am. But after that, it’s just every headline the next day is, if you’re not feeling motivated today, this is for you. And then a day later, “Hey man, the five money tips that changed my life, that got me out of debt.” Now think how I lost 10 pounds over the holidays. Just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. They might not open everyone, but you’re going to have a hard time unsubscribing though. And it’s not all about me; it’s about them.

But what happens is you’re like, “I love him. I just love that he just shows up. He’s always there, and I love reading the copy because it’s not dry. There’s the humor in there, there’s the sarcasm in there, there’s some of the choice words in there, and it’s not too long.” And I break up the text, little bullet points, and I keep it fast-paced. And sometimes, there’s no BS. And there’s no, “Hey, buy this.” I just showed up and I added value today. And I may start with, “Hey, hope you’re having a good day. If not, you’re on my list, man.” You know what I mean?

Like for example, I do this podcast right here you can see called The University of Badassery Podcast. And I do it with a guy who’s ex-Delta force commando. So it should be like your SAS. Elite, elite, elite. And so when we try to get them on the mailing-

1:28:27 Dave: Give me two sec, I’ll be back. You keep talking.

1:28:28 CJ: You bet. When I try to get them on the mailing list, the popup window just simply says, “Get your ass on my list.” But for that, they’re like, “Oh, absolutely.” And I don’t promise them anything, I’m not giving them anything, they don’t get a free song. They don’t get anything. They just got, “Get your ass on my list. You want to keep up with what’s going on? get your ass on my list.” And they’re like, “I love that attitude. I love that.” So they want to be identified with that. But this is all human psychology. So for example, we talked here for just about an hour and a half, and how much have we talked about software? How much have we talked about the technology? How much have we talked about these other things? I keep saying this to our Inner Circle students, our Elite students. It is the human element, but it gets lost because we’re in this new world of social media. So we feel like we’ve got to have the right gadgets, the right techniques, the right methodology, the right technology, the right app.

1:29:28 Dave: The tools get in the road and the tools end up becoming this blinker in front of everybody.

1:29:35 CJ: What time do I post? How many times do I post?

1:29:43 Dave: I was guilty of it early on. I think with the Elite course, in some respects, I know some students actually, the Elite course made the tools even more of an importance. For me, it actually showed me the fact that it’s just like, “No, the tools are just there to help enhance what you already have.” And that is this, that’s being you, and getting that. And that just helps you get reach in a way. But you can do it all without hardly any of the tools if you’ve got the relationship-building worked out, and you’re constantly showing up and building that relationship.

1:30:26 CJ: Imagine how easy the Welter equation could be. Because we have said the music stands on its own. It’s great. I can put that in front of anybody and I know it’s going to work. That’s why the targeting doesn’t mean much to me. Who the hell is not what … what idiot’s not going to like Welter? So all I’ve got to do is get that music in front of them. So I can use that to bring people in. And then if they find not just great music, but quality, life-enhancing, value-based content on a regular basis from these very warm guys, long-standing friendship. People should be able to tell your story. “Oh, I love listening to those two. I love that he calls him El, Dave and El. I love that he calls him El. That’s such an Australian thing to do, you know what I mean?”

1:31:14 Elliot: I don’t call him Dave-O, though.

1:31:17 CJ: That’s right.

1:31:20 Dave: Would do that.

1:31:22 CJ: Where’d Dave go? Dave-O’s on smoke-O.

1:31:27 Elliot: It’s a very Australian thing, Dave-O.

1:31:30 CJ: But people should be able to tell that story, right? They should be able to know you guys. So if you’ve got the great music, and then you’ve got the great regular content in conjunction with the music for your existing followers, and email, then the backend sort of takes care of itself. It shouldn’t be that hard, which means the problem is still on this front and middle-end. So just as an experiment, here’s what I would challenge you to do: Just the email … just don’t sell anything for a month. I want you to send three emails a week for one month. So we’re taking the 10x rule. We’re going 10 times, we’re going to max it, we’re going to do more.

So we’re going to say, “Okay, I’m going to send three emails a week for a month. We’re not going to sell anything, and it’s just going to be adding value.” That’s it. Just loving on them, ministering to them, building them up, making them laugh, whatever it is. Just something short, sweet, to the point that’s just like, “Ah.” Just value, great, strong little subject lines in the email so that they’ll open it, great content, and just leave it at that. Just see what that does.

1:32:51 Elliot: That was an excellent idea because Dave and I have been talking about what are we doing after we’ve just smashed our email list for the crowdfunding campaign. And we’ve just been, “Go, go, go, go, go, go, go.” And what are we doing now to that email list? Let’s just love them back for a little while, which is really nice.

1:33:09 CJ: Yeah, love them back for a little bit. And I think what it’ll do, it’ll get you into the habit of emailing more often, and just getting that stuff out there, and just saying, “Huh, you know what? I’m getting acclimated this new-“

1:33:23 Dave: Because I think at the end of the day, it’s the one aspect … I think I’ve got the whole Facebook thing. I’m constantly scheduling posts. That’s my weekly jam is I’ll spend an hour or two, and I schedule a heap of posts for the week. And then during the week, something pops up, and I’m going to post that. It’s the email that’s been the challenge. And I think, too, the difference with social media and Facebook is that you get a response, and you could see that response. Emails are a little different because it’s not so much social. Not everybody’s going to reply to your email. Very few, actually, are going to reply. So you send it out there and kind of go, “What’s going on at the other end?”

1:34:26 CJ: Until you give them a reason. People will ask about getting engagement, so the natural thing to do is to ask questions. Dave, you’ve heard me talk about this before. So let’s say somebody gets on there and says, “Hey, what’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite cheap food?” Or, “What are you listening to today?” Or, “What are your three favorite movies?” You’re baiting them. People will answer, but it’s not honest engagement. You don’t have to ask anybody a single question. If I’m going to get somebody to leave an opinion, all I have to say is, “Favorite cheap food? Pizza beats burgers, hands down, no argument, exclamation point.” And they’ll give me their opinion. I’ll get people to say, “Damn, right, man. Pizza, preach the gospel of pizza.” Another guy will say, “Pizza ain’t it, man. Burgers beat pizza, hands down.” And then somebody going come in there and say, “No, tacos.” Look at your newsfeed. Somebody posts something, their political opinion, they’ve got a hundred comments.

So it’s not baiting, this is not technique, it’s being human. So I would also challenge them. We’ll add another item that you could potentially give out there to bring them onboard to your email list. As you post this more inspirational content types of value that you’re adding, just sharing your hearts, we’ll take some of these posts and take some of these emails, and we’re going to compile together into a little ebook. Just a little, The Good Life, and just 10 little topics or whatever, nothing lengthy. Just 10 little topics just about that Welter outlook. Just a little anecdote and then a quick, like the Daily Devotional type thing.

It could be 15-pages long, larger type. Again, nothing crazy, but just as just a simple, inspirational thing that someone can download. Again, it’s the literal verbal equivalent of what the songs do. It could be song-based. It could be anything. But anyway, you just do this, and it’s just as something extra besides the music. And they could just say, “Oh, Welter is three-dimensional. There’s other dimensions to them. The more I get to know them and hear from them, the more I see how rounded out they are.” Because our tendency is to just kind of show the one side and not so much these other aspects.

1:37:07 Elliot: It’s interesting when you’re running a shop. A shop facade is pretty skinny, the old facade of a shop. But there’s so much going on in the back end that you don’t actually see.

1:37:18 CJ: Yeah, like I would be tempted to go back to your song Learn To Swim and say, I bet there’s some cool lines in that song. Because it’s such a great little encapsulation of a philosophy: Learn To Swim. It was something that was imposed in my family. And so now you take this learn to swim concept into other things, and you can always use that as a hashtag at the end of a post, #LearnToSwim. Actually, you learn to swim. So anything that you post that has to do with someone learning something later in life or whatever, you just finish #LearnToSwim. So now you’re setting them up for it because you’re dripping the idea to eventually buy the shirt Learn To Swim. So when they wear the shirt that says Learn To Swim, and someone says, “What does that mean? Learn to swim.” Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Learn to swim, man. Come on buddy, learn to swim. Got somebody that’s not pulling their weight? Learn to swim, mate.

1:38:16 Dave: There’s a lot of lines in our songs that just make them great. It’s something we hadn’t actually looked at-

1:38:32 CJ: It’s what I told my son when he asked me, “Dad, what do you want me to do?” Because I’ve got with just my Metal Motivation page, I’ve got 11 years of 365 days a year, seven days a week posting. And I mean hardcore. I’ve got thousands of videos, memes, articles. You name it, I’ve got it. So he’s like, “Well, dad, what do you want me to do?” Harvest. There’s so much. And a lot of it is in the places we don’t think to look. So lyrics are obviously a place, your relationship is a place, your story, your history. Like I said, so many things you guys have said here today, I said, “Oh, there’s a post. Oh, there’s a thought, Oh, there’s an idea. There’s a shirt.” You know what I mean? But you just hammer-

1:39:20 Dave: I’ll be rewatching this when you post it so I can take down little notes.

1:39:25 CJ: Exactly.

1:39:26 Dave: What am I saving? Oh, that’s gold.

1:39:27 CJ: There are so many things. There’s some people that will say, “Well, can you give people too much?” I don’t think so. Not in the information age. Even if they don’t consume everything, what I want them to think is, “Damn, he’s a machine.”

1:39:46 Elliot: The reason that is because I have the ability to stop hearing things. Everybody has the ability to stop hearing things and stop reading things. And we just go, “Yeah, I was present when I was actually listening to you, but I wasn’t listening.”

1:39:59 CJ: Exactly, yeah. So it’s just understanding, “Okay, well the one thing I haven’t tried is more.” And so we’re looking for a technique, we’re looking for the most amount of pay for the least amount of work. And that’s a hireling. And when it comes to Welter, the founding members of Welter certainly shouldn’t be hirelings. They’re going to act as owners, which means, “Oh no, we’re the biggest advocates.” Okay, well what does the biggest advocate … you’ve probably got some people who are like total fans of Welter. How do you know? Because of how much they post about it.

1:40:42 Dave: Yeah, how much response we get.

1:40:47 CJ: Right. So who should be the two biggest super fans? I should be looking at them right now.

1:40:51 Elliot: Yeah, that’s me.

1:40:51 CJ: So you guys should be out there banging the drum. And this is not braggadocious, this is not boasting. And you tell people, “Listen, I am the biggest advocate for my music. I spent my life making it, and so I’m giving you 50-something years worth of life experience in music for a $20 CD. So say thank you when someone does something nice for you.” That’s what I tell people all the time. They’ll say, “Wow, that your book is $20. Really?” “Yeah. You’re getting 30 years of marketing experience for $20. So say thank you when somebody does something nice for you.” Jackass.

1:41:35 Elliot: Braggadocious. I’ve learned a new Texan word: braggadocious.

1:41:45 Dave: That’s going to go on another song.

1:41:48 CJ: I can imagine that as a Welter song, Braggadocious. Well, listen guys, is there anything else that you wanted to-

1:41:59 Elliot: I’ve got a full book, man. I’ve got a full book, which is excellent.

1:42:02 CJ: And it’s bigger than Kim Jong Il’s book.

1:42:04 Elliot: Yeah, it is.

1:42:09 Dave: I think it’s good. For me, this is kind of like another reset, you know what I mean? You go along for a while and then you need to kind of stop, you need to reflect, you need to go back and go, “Let’s just reset that again.” And then continue forward. And I think a lot of students get caught up in that, and it’s so much to take in. And as you’ve mentioned before, being artists, we’re perfectionists, and we just want everything to be just right before we let it out there. Because that’s what we do with our music. We don’t want people to see or hear our music until we feel that it’s just right now. So that the moment people go into this whole world of, “Okay, well now we’ve got to market ourselves. We’ve got to be the record company. So we’ve got to do it all. So we’ve got to do it all perfect.” It’s just like, “No, you don’t.”

But along the journey, you just need to stop and have a look around, and just reset yourself too. And take the pressure off yourself. And this is what I said in the video that I did for the group on the crowdfunding campaign. Because suddenly, we put all this pressure on ourselves. And I was starting to go, “My God, we’ve got to get this released, and then we need to get this happening.” And then I started reading the Crowdfunding Sorceress book. And it made me stop, and it maybe think about, “Hold on, we’re an independent band. Which means we call the shots, which means I don’t have a manager or record company standing over saying, ‘This is the release date, dude. And you boys better get your ass, and you boys …'”

And I was like like, “Well, hold on. We want this to be a successful campaign. So we need to just stop and take our time. So let’s move our release date because we can. Who’s telling us that it has to be released on the 1st of October? If it’s now going to be the 1st of November, it’s the 1st of November. We can do that because we’ve got the power.” And that just took a straight off us, because then we could come back, and sit back, and go, “Okay, now we can make the video we want to make.” And then it took us … how many takes did we do for that video?

1:44:40 Elliot: Six takes.

1:44:41 Dave: Six or seven takes. And that was six or seven times me editing that video.

1:44:47 Elliot: And then rewriting it-

1:44:48 Dave: It’s just we could take the time, and we rewrote the narrative. But it allowed us to actually just take the pressure off ourselves. And I think if anything I could say to any student out there: Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Give yourself goals and make yourself accountable, or you won’t achieve anything. But we don’t have to put this unnecessary pressure. Because the moment we get overwhelmed, what happens? You stop. You just can’t move forward. Like deer in the headlight moment.

1:45:30 CJ: Yeah, you neutralize yourself, and there’s no reason to be neutralized. This is your project, this is your calling in life. You are the agents in charge. And so yeah, you do, you get to set the agenda, you get to set the navigation, the course, and you get to reap the rewards. But you’ve got a whole lot of people that are happy to enjoy that journey with you, and what a great opportunity it is. And so this is the bright side that we always have to keep in mind. It’s not something you have to do, it’s something you get to do. And my challenge is, without pressure, do more. But do more because it’s worth it, do more because there’s a reason, do more because there’s a cause, do more because the music is great.

So why not 10x it? Why not multiply our efforts to excel, because it’s only going to mean more people are going to hear music that’s going to lift them out of their troubled moment for a time. And that’s worth it. You know what else does that? Aspirin. So you’re right on a par with Aspirin, man. And they make billions of dollars selling Aspirin. Aspirin is not going to fix that broken arm. You know what I mean? You don’t get aspirin for the guy with massive chronic pain. It’s minor pain relief. That’s what you guys are into. You’re in minor life-relief here.

1:46:55 Dave: The Aspirin of music.

1:46:55 CJ: That’s right. So that’s reason enough. And there are people very, very passionate about Aspirins. They’re passionate about it because it does make a difference. And it makes a difference because that’s what everybody wants to do. People have two primary motives in life: They’re trying to avoid pain and gain pleasure. That’s it. And your music does both. So that’s reason enough. And so you have to believe it.

It’s hard because we’re like, “I don’t want to sell my music.” Not necessarily you guys, but people struggle with that sales concept. Sell it. Just like do you go and complain to the local pharmacy because you had to buy Aspirin? Did you write a letter to the Bayer Aspirin company saying, “How dare you manufacture this, hire all these people, manufacture this little tablet, and I have to drive down there and get it? And you’re going to charge me money for it? How dare you. You don’t think enough of my headache, do you?”

People understand commerce. They understand that. And so what we want to create is that wonderful, sacred, happy debt where they say, “I’ll do anything.” Because when I post stuff, do you know what people say to me all the time? I’ll get my little one liners or write my posts. They’ll say one of three things. “Dude, you do any events? I would love to see you live.” “Hey man, that should be on a tee shirt. I’d buy it.” “Dude, you got a book?” They’re asking me for what? E-commerce products.

1:48:34 Elliot: Yeah, they’re motivated buyers straight away. Aren’t they?

1:48:41 CJ: Yeah, they’re motivated buyers, because you created that in them. They have that desire, so they’re telling it back to you. So if you guys posted, for example … what if all you did was post the music videos that you posted? What are people eventually going to ask? Do you have-

1:48:51 Elliot: A CD?

1:48:53 CJ: Yeah. Di you have a CD? An album? Right. Then you start sharing with them all about Learn To Swim, or The Good Life, and you’re using these hashtags. What are they going to say? “That would be great on a tee shirt.” So use people’s … it’s like in judo. I remember as a kid taking it. And one of the coolest things I learned was the teacher said, “Okay, I want you to grab me by the lapels, and I want you to push against me. And what will be my natural response? Just like anybody’s, to push back. When I start to push back, as soon as I start to push back, I’ll use all my force to do it. I want you to immediately release your stance, fall to the ground and bring me over your shoulder, because that’s the direction I’m headed.” So you deceived me by pushing on me to get me to push back, and as soon as I did, you broke and threw me over, because now was heading forward, my momentum is headed that way, and I can’t stop. So then you would be on top of me on the ground.

Use the momentum of your audience against them. Not in a bad way, but you start to create this push in them. So now, you’re just more steering traffic than you are trying to constantly reel it in. So that’s what I mean by creating desire, creating desire, creating desire. And there’s multiple ways to do that, just as there is in any relationship.

1:50:24 Elliot: Yeah, love it. Thank you, sir.

1:50:27 Dave: Awesome.

1:50:27 CJ: I had a great time with you guys, man.

1:50:30 Elliot: It’s now seven o’clock Sydney time, and I’ve got to get my daughter out of bed and get her to school.

1:50:36 Dave: Likewise, I’m about to do the same. There you go, guys, bring it back to reality.

1:50:41 CJ: Exactly. Enough marketing life enhancement, let’s get back to the hardcore realities of life.

1:50:49 Dave: Now, it’s to time make lunch and drop someone to school.

1:50:53 CJ: It’s a delight to talk to you guys. I enjoy having this front-row seat to the Welter marketing project.

1:51:00 Elliot: Hey, CJ, it’s really good to meet you, man.

1:51:03 CJ: It’s great to meet you too, bro. You guys are so talented.

1:51:07 Dave: Thank you very much. We really appreciate it. We’ll catch it on the next podcast. I can’t get up at 4:30 every morning on a Saturday to watch it live, so I tend to watch it when I get up at about 10 o’clock.

1:51:27 CJ: You’ve been with us for a long time, so you know the details. You’re like, “Nah, I’ll just message him if I have something I need to say.”

1:51:34 Dave: Yeah, that’s it exactly. I’ll send my comments in afterwards.

1:51:39 CJ: Sounds great. Look forward to it. Have a great week, gentlemen.

1:51:42 Dave: You too, mate.

1:51:43 Elliot: Cheers, mate. Be well.

1:51:46 CJ: Well, I hope you enjoyed this coaching session. I know it was a little long, but I didn’t want to take anything out of it. There were so many great things. And you could see how great guys they are, how committed they are to their project. And I know it speaks to a lot of, not just our students, but those of you who are just wondering what to do about this new era of the music industry. If you’d like to learn more about them, just go to Facebook.com/Weltermusic, check out some of their music and merch, and support these guys. As you can tell, they are the right kind of band to follow.

If you’d like to learn more about what you need to do to take your next step, go to the savvymusicianacademy.com today. We’ve got podcasts, we’ve got lots of products available, courses for you to take, things for you to sign up for. There’s a lot of good things happening. We just released TOM 3.0, that is TOM, The Online Musician, 3.0. You’ll learn more about it there, as well as Instagram for Musicians, which was also just released. And I’ll have more to say in the close about the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which is something I host, and I would love to have you become a part of it. We can help take you to the next level. If you’re ready, then don’t delay. Go to savvymusicianacademy.com today. We’ll see you next time. The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. And when they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly If they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now.

If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast. For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction, plus tips, tools, news, updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting, and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. 

Episode #112: Making Your Home A Music Factory With Steven Wood

Whether it’s a top of the line music studio, just your phone and instrument, or somewhere in between, you should be using what you have to be making more music, reaching more people, and building the relationships between you and your fans. So how do you maximize your resources and abilities to increase the output and quality of your music from your home? 

This week C.J. welcomes Steven Wood to the show, someone from outside Savvy Musician Academy, but someone very familiar with the new music industry. They go so deep into how to turn your home into a music factory, that by the end of this episode, you will be inspired and equipped to be pumping out more and better music from your own home than ever before.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introduction to Steven Wood
  • Musicians dropping out of the business
  • Studio vs. live musician
  • Trying to get discovered on social media
  • Mixing everyday
  • Reverse engineering
  • Different DAW’s
  • Getting familiar with your gear
  • Producing: less is more
  • Pro’s and Con’s of perfectionism
  • How to do a cover song
  • The emotional impact of music
  • Limiting your area to get things done
  • Keeping it simple and clear
  • The song makes the musician

Tweetables:

“A live guy, he’s looking at it different than the typical studio guy. He’s looking at, do I want to continue to keep on going to these clubs and getting home 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:07:02]

“You got to think, not just with different hats of production, but also different hats you had to put on when it comes to marketing and knowing that one basket is not the way to go.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:10:15]

“Record companies can get you on radio. And to a degree that’s about the only thing that they can do for you.”  – @stevenwoodmusic [0:12:01]

“I think that’s what everybody right now in this new form of the wheel that we’re trying to create in the virtual world of not just music, but everything else. How do we make a living? How are we successful using a computer and a mouse?” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:12:49]

“I’ve learned to a degree it doesn’t matter which DAW, digital audio workstation, I use. For some reason, it’s still sounds like Steve Wood mixed the song.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:19:44]

“When it comes to producing, really, man, I mean, less is more. It may sound like whole lot’s going on, but it is. But yet individual parts all make up this beautiful pie. And so just let the song tell you where to go.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:21:53]

“I believe that the song is what makes the artist, then the artist has a chance.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:26:17]

“If you say, ‘Man, all I like to do is play guitar and sing.’ Well, work the hell out of that.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:34:48]

“Music is supposed to deliver an emotional experience. I don’t care whether it’s Metallica or Rod Stewart.” – @metalmotivation [0:36:20]

“If you have to explain the song before they listen to it, then you didn’t do a good job. Because the songs should be able to play on its own and take you on a journey.” – @stevenwoodmusic [0:42:56]

“I’m not talking about software. I’m not talking about hardware. I’m not talking about any of these things. I’m talking about what it takes to touch someone else, what it takes to inspire someone else, what it takes to… It’s the human aspect.” – @metalmotivation [0:50:35]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Steven Wood — https://www.facebook.com/stevenwoodmusic

Instagram for Musicians — https://www.savvymusicianacademy.com/ig4m

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at The Savvy Musician Academy. Welcome once again to this premier music marketing podcast. Thank you so much for all of the support. We got good things happening. I’m delighted about today’s episode because this is something special. And it’s something that we really haven’t addressed before at Savvy, because Savvy is more about the marketing side of things.

But as you know, the world has changed, dramatically. And musicians who have made their living playing local gigs or touring musicians are now having to look at online. You got artists that are in bands looking to do their own albums and EPs and do whatever they can to maximize the online aspect. So I wanted to address the actual process of production, the actual process of home recording.

And when I thought about this topic, I thought there’s nobody else that I could bring in that I know personally would be better suited for this than one of my dearest best friends in the world, he’s been a good friend of mine for about 20 years. And he is a musician, extraordinary, producer, engineer, singer, song writer. He’s done it all. So I said, “You know what? let me get him in because he is such a stickler.”

And I know this personally, even when he does some of his other creative stuff, he is such a perfectionist. So he goes the extra mile on everything. So I want to welcome today my buddy, Steve Wood from Steven Wood Music. Good to see you man.

01:55 Steven: Good to see you CJ. How you doing, buddy?

01:57 CJ: Wonderful. Well, buddy, thank you for taking the time out. We’re going to try and keep this serious. Because we have lots of serious conversations. It’s just that they’re constantly sprinkled with jokes.

02:13 Steven: And they may last a millisecond. Because we got to get one in and we can… There’s amazing things we keep rolling with the serious topic though.

02:24 CJ: We do. And we talk about everything else. We don’t really talk a whole lot about music doing we?

02:28 Steven: No. I mean, I think we both appreciate both sides of what each other likes personally. I mean, of course, you’re a metal. I like metal. It’s nothing that I can do. It’s nothing that I would have even attempt to be, but I love listening to it. It’s for different activities in my life, that I love listening to it for entertainment purposes of working out. I mean, but I grew up on rootsy stuff, country blues, gospel, all that kind of stuff.

02:59 CJ: Yeah. So you do a lot of country music. In fact, you’re working on an EP right now. Tell us a little bit about that.

03:06 Steven: It drops in the Fall, but…

03:09 CJ: That’s a movie referenced.

03:12 Steven: Yeah. People right now are remodeling their homes. They’ve got all this time to do stuff. I think, musicians right now are doing that as well, they’re having more time to think. Actually, I was talking to a musician the day, and a lot of guys are leaving bands. Not because of, they think COVID will take over and they’ll never get to play again. A lot of guys are getting some alone time to think about, do they really want to do this?

03:40 CJ: Wow.

03:41 Steven: Yeah. So a lot of guys and gals out there are rethinking their passion for live music for maybe even for a career. And two or three people I know personally are-

03:53 CJ: So are they considering just leaving it altogether?

03:56 Steven: Yeah. You hear either that, or you hear not trying to make a living at it. They want to keep it always a part of their life. I didn’t grow up thinking, “I want to learn how to play guitar or piano because I want to make a bunch of money.” That was an afterthought of possibly what could happen. But the main reason all of us start to learn is because we love the instrument. We love music.

04:22 Steven: And so a lot of them are saying, “I want to go back to just loving my first love, the music.” And let that be the driving force. They’ll probably starve but besides… No, I’m kidding. They’ll get a job and they’ll do something on the side. But they’ll go back to just loving music. That doesn’t say that you can’t make a living and love music. But, yeah, a lot of guys and gals are rethinking this whole thing.

04:46 CJ: That’s really interesting. Well, tell me…

04:50 Steven: I decided to say that about the EP thing is that people are remodelling their homes. Artists are doing that with their own songs. They’re writing songs more. They’re in the studio right now. Matter of fact, I’ve got some songs shipped off to Nashville this past week and these guys are busy. I mean, they’re more busier… Some one guy told me that he’s more busy than he was when COVID was not even an issue.

05:16 CJ: You might as well start, yeah, putting that music out there.

05:24 Steven: Yeah.

05:25 CJ: That’s interesting. So, to go back to visit because you brought up something that I think is, something to highlight. Because I think you’re right that musicians are changing their minds about things. So is there then a real pressure upon a lot of these musicians that maybe there just feeling like, “I would love to get rid of that burden. I don’t want to have to think about music, my art that way anymore.”

05:48 Steven: Maybe so. And also possibly they’ve had time… They can’t do it. They can’t go out to the clubs and play and because they got dates in the book. All those dates have been wiped away. So now they got actually an easy out, if you may, to tell the people, “Hey man, I’m just done with it. I’m enjoying this time alone with my family and blah, blah, blah.” Yeah. There’s all kinds of reasons why, but I think it divides the true road dog from the perfectionist musician that loves to sit there and work all day long on one song and make it “a masterpiece.”

That’s why there’s such a big difference between a studio musician and a live musician. It’s because a live, they like the feeling… You play guitar in the past, but if you were an artist I could see so see you being an artist and lover of the building and the co-moderator. You know what I’m saying? There’s some people that want to be in the studio, that’s me, I like product production.

And so with the guys that are thinking in that manner, such as a live guy, he’s looking at it different than the typical studio guy. He’s looking at, do I want to continue to keep on going to these clubs and getting home 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. So it’s a different reason and decision than it would be for a guy that’s just more into recording.

07:20 CJ: Yeah. I mean, I have to imagine that a lot of the people who are taking courses at Savvy Musician are a little bit of both. They have to be because… And I think that’s going to be a challenge because how does the person who really just wants to be in the studio really just wants to tinker, really just wants to work on making good art, how do they switch gears and become not just a performer, but a marketing person trying to handle all the things that a label has done in the past.

But now suddenly this is thrust upon people. And so they’re trying to play catch up and I guess, the only solace or comfort that they have is that, okay, Well, at least if I’m just marketing online I don’t have to get out there and necessarily and-

08:09 Steven: Right. It’s amazing how, well, there’s plenty of other artists out there that have gotten started by TikTok, Instagram, YouTube. And then they got a record company that was interested at them. After they already had 2 million people streams on Spotify and whatnot. So it can be done, it takes dedication and hard work to do that. So you do have to think with many hats.

This is just a small story, but my youngest son, his name’s Blake, he just wrote a song in the studio, we produced it on him. So he’s just a very business minded type of feller. I mean, he’s sings so funny but he gets so focused. I don’t really truly understand it all, but there’s this thing called trending on TickTock and he understood the inroads of how to get that done. And he created this little video with his brand new single on there, and it just blew up. He went viral.

09:12 CJ: Really?

09:13 Steven: Yeah. Within a matter of a week he’s got… I have to look on my Spotify, but he’s got over a 100 and some 1,000 likes on TikTok, but he’s got like, I don’t know, 25,000 streams on Spotify.

09:30 CJ: Wow.

09:30 Steven: If you know anything about Spotify, that’s very difficult. So when you see these bands getting a million streams, that’s a pretty big deal because there’s so many artists out there on Spotify. So for him, a nobody, not touring, no band, never done it really, except he’s a songwriter, to have close to 20, 25,000 streams within a matter of a week and a half or so, that’s pretty impressive.

Now what the lesson to be learned is that he got TikTok, used another format, and social media to get him going and get his name out there. And then he fed those people his Spotify song, it’s out. You got to think, not just with different hats of production, but also different hats you had to put on when it comes to marketing and knowing that one basket is not the way to go.

10:26 CJ: Yeah. That’s something Leah’s talked about a great deal. You don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And if he’s got a sharp business mind, which it sounds like he does, he’s going to start saying, “Okay. I’ve gotten used to getting the strings. I’ve gotten used to the likes and the shares, but I know money is being left on the table. I know I need to monetize this more.” And so that’s when it gets into a more comprehensive marketing approach is taught here.

10:54 CJ: And I’m glad you brought up your son, you’ve got three who play music, right?

10:58 Steven: Right. Mm-hmm. A total of four, but only three.

10:59 CJ: A total of four, right. But I know, Hunter, the oldest is not a musician per se. Justin, Jonathan and Blake, you mentioned Blake, the youngest, and Jonathan, your second he’s out in Nashville, right?

11:14 Steven: That’s right. Mm-hmm. He’s country artist. Yeah.

11:17 CJ: So he’s doing the old school move to Nashville, slug it out in the bars and try and get something done.

11:26 Steven: Yeah, he is. Now, his producer, that’s been working with him for a couple of years. His name is Justin Weaver, big songwriter. I mean, he’s a very successful. But he decided he wanted to start producing some people and actually found Jonathan on Instagram. So be encouraged, it can happen on social media and it can happen fast and whatnot. But again, Jonathan hasn’t “signed a deal” and yet they’re not so sure that, that’s the future, maybe.

I think the thing right now, record companies can get you on radio. And to a degree that’s about the only thing that they can do for you. If you can get a deal with Spotify, or if you can get a deal with these different social medias that can just get your song out there and rolling, that can create a buzz for you to go start doing, go from a club to a big event.

I think Luke Combs just said, he started off just up in the Asheville, North Carolina. He got a song that then I want song or two, they started doing really, really good on Spotify. Next thing you know, within two years he’s done stadiums. It can happen overnight, but yet it can happen slowly, but a solid thing that you’re also learning. You said this to me a long time ago, “Learn as you write. Write as you learn.”

12:48 CJ: Right.

12:49 Steven: And I think that’s what everybody right now in this new form of the wheel that we’re trying to create in the virtual world of not just music, but everything else. How do we make a living? How are we successful using a computer and a mouse? And it’s just part of the success, part of the workings. But he’s a typical artist. It’s actually good for guys like… His name is Jonathan. His stage name is John Wood. You can look him up on Spotify.

But he’s your typical artist to where he enjoys this concentrating on songwriting, playing the guitar, honing on his skill and lounging someone else that’s this passionate about the marketing, passionate about producing, et cetera, to take him and mold him, make him so forth. Because he has no desire at all to throw up Pro Tools. Now he does. There’s times in the past I have thrown up Logic or Pro Tools.

And I set him up, I leave the room and he does his own vocals. But he doesn’t really enjoy it because it’s a painful process for someone like his personality that just wants to get the vocal done.

13:59 CJ: Right. And your dad said, you’re saying, “It’s not quite right.”

14:06 Steven: I’m yelling from them. They’re downstairs saying, “It sucks.” That’s actually a true story.

14:12 CJ: Really?

14:13 Steven: Yeah. I have the gift of encouragement.

14:18 CJ: You have the gift encouragement.

14:19 Steven: No, but he knew when I said it sucks, he knew immediately it sucked too. Not because he’s off-pitch at all. It was because he was singing like somebody else. But he went right back in there and did it again and nailed it. But my point in all is that he is not the type that just wants to go out and buy every new plugin that makes his recordings better. And he’d rather much rather just sit back and write songs, hone in on his skill and then allow someone to carve him and whatnot.

14:52 CJ: Well, let’s talk about this a little bit. As long as I’ve known you, you’ve been production driven and you do great live, you play live, you’ve done it all for the most part. But the two things that stand out to me the most is that sense of doing something with excellence and using all the tools at your disposal to do that, and your ability to write songs. So you’re very much an independent artist.

And for that reason, you’re not a student here or anything like that. So Steve is an outside voice. This is why I wanted to have him on, I don’t want everybody to just be blabbing about the Savvy Musician Academy. This is really about what we’re looking at with the music industry. And Steve is involved in that, his kids are involved, his whole family is involved in music.

And so it’s a very serious thing for them. And for Steve writing great songs and producing those great songs is very, very important. So, Steve, I got guys and gals out there of all kinds of musical genres who now are looking to start getting their music out there. Even if at this point, it’s not necessarily that they’re putting an album together, but they’re just producing content for engaging their audience. If someone comes to you and says, “Hey man, listen, I’ve been playing live. I’ve never really sat down and tried to put out quality music to people online. You got any tips?”

16:22 Steven: Yeah. I would say, “Pay me and I’ll do your stuff.”

16:26 CJ: Exactly.

16:29 Steven: Well, you’re saying they’ve never done any recording at all? Is that what you’re saying?

16:36 CJ: Well, I mean, I’m sure they’ve done. I mean, how to make it better. They’ve may have done stuff on garage band or something like that. I mean, what are some things they need to really take into account to produce something that’s more excellent, just do a better job, just get themselves to that next level?

16:53 Steven: Wow. There’s so many ways of looking at that question and answering that question. For number one, there’s the guy that already knows how to record.

17:04 CJ: Right.

17:06 Steven: That one, that answer is good luck, experience, experience, experience, experience, experience. That’s all. What makes a great mixer is just a guy that’s just mixes every day just about and continues. But here’s another thing about writing songs, mixing, musicianship…I told my kids growing up, I said, “Listen, songwriting, ask yourself when you hear that awesome song, whether it’s not just vocally, it just more of a song writing.” for example.

Ask yourself, why is that song? You love the song, but why do you love the song? Well, it causes emotional. Well, yeah, but what did they do to make you to stir that emotion? How did they present song that created the emotion? And so therefore you’re looking at someone successful. I heard one guy talking about songwriting. He says, “You don’t say there’s a book on the table.” He’d say, “In the song, you describe there’s an old dusty Bible on an antique table that mama had. And there’s a bottle of whiskey sitting next to it.”

So you’re trying to create this. So you’re creating emotion. So when it comes to recording, say, “Okay, well, why is that a kick ass recording?” Well, you listen to it. Oh, the kick is just a little bit louder than the bass on that song. So therefore the song you’re doing is a little bit like that. So you might want to cheat. That’s not cheating really. I mean, there’s no new thing under the sun in a lot of departments and especially in recording.

So you listen intensely with a different side of your brain when it comes to the creative world. So I would say, start really listening, not just listen to the tune and get all involved emotionally, but ask yourself, “Why is this a great mix? What’s making this a great mix? What’s making this a great recording. Why is this a good song?” And then try to search for the answer. Pick it apart. There’s a lot of times guys will… They call it reverse engineering.

And it’s just a term they use for saying, “Let’s figure out why this thing is doing what it’s doing.” The same goes with these songs, with the mixes, with the recording. That’s one way of answering the question for people that’s already doing that, but are very frustrated and why they can’t get that “pro sound.” The pro sound, it could be your equipment. Most likely what I’ve learned… This is pretty cool too.

I’ve got Pro Tools, I’ve got Logic Pro and I’ve also got mix bus, which is by Harrison. I’ve learned to a degree it doesn’t matter which doll, digital audio workstation I use. For some reason, it’s still sounds like Steve wouldn’t mix the song. Even it could be with stock plugins. It could be with third party plugins. Some sound much better and they get you further down the road. But at some point you got to say, “Okay, there’s something that I’m doing. I’m interpreting the song. I’m interpreting a mix to sound like this.”

And you’ve gotta be honest with yourself and say, “That sucks.” Or, “I like that. What do I need to do?” Okay. So that’s one side of it. The other side would be start small. If you have no recording equipment, start small. Just go get a unit, an audio interface. It goes into the computer. You can use garage, man, if you’re on the Mac format. It makes it a little more cumbersome. Are you on a garage band? Are you on something else right now?

20:49 CJ: What I used to edit this audio will be on Adobe Audition.

20:52 Steven: Yeah. I mean Adobe Audition. It has a multi-track view and also has that mastering view. Actually you can use Audition. But garage man is pretty hard to get the… Because what you want to do is you want to hear yourself as you’re going to tape. So I would say, “Get a copy of Logic Pro.” That’s 199, a $200 interface, and then just get to learn whether it’s YouTube. I think there’s also lynda.com.

You can find some recording one-on-one type of things in there. But just get familiar with recording. Get to know what it sounds like when you’ve gone too far into the red, you peaking too hard and you realize, “That’s sucks. I need to pull down.” So you’re learning the fundamentals. And then just experiment, experiment, experiment. And then slowly but surely it’ll be aha moments for you.

And then when it comes to producing, really, man, I mean, less is more. It may sound like whole lot’s going on, but it is. But yet individual parts all make up this beautiful pie. And so just let the song tell you where to go. But other than that, I mean, it’s a frustrating journey. For a perfectionist, it is. I mean, I just put out a song. I hadn’t sent it to CV Baby yet, but I just put out a song that I’ve probably mixed 10 times because every time I heard it, there was something a little different I need to change. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be that way, but be prepared you might.

22:38 CJ: As I said at the outset, there’s a perfectionism there. But it comes across in the stuff that you do. You’ve done some cover songs. You haven’t gotten flagged by social media. I don’t know how you did that. But actually, one of the things I’d like to do with my weekly Savvy Musician inner circle live stream, which happens at a private Facebook group is all open each live stream, give people time to get on it by playing one of the other students’ videos.

So one of their lyric videos or that sort of thing. So I thought, “You know what? Let me give them a little Steve Wood.” And so I played yours, your cover of the… What’s the Rod Stewart song?

23:22 Steven: I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

23:23 CJ: Yeah. I Don’t Want To Talk About It. But we’re going to talk about it.

23:28 Steven: Okay. Let’s about that, yeah. I appreciate you’re doing that, man.

23:30 CJ: Yeah, no, you bet. Going back to what you said, why does the song sound good? Why does it move you and all of that, it was great to watch people immediately moved by this.

23:43 Steven: Wow.

23:44 CJ: They were immediately moved by it. And they’ll start coming… It’s a pay group, so you’ve got the better people are in there. It’s not all the freeloaders and bad attitudes in there. So these are people who really have stock in the game. You know what I mean?

23:56 Steven: Cool.

23:57 CJ: They want to do this. So I thought it’d be also a great example of showing them what you can do to build brand awareness without necessarily playing your own music. But there’s no getting around the fact of how well it was done and how simple it was done. Whereas we’ve got people creating lyric videos. You weren’t doing a lyric video. You were sitting right where you are right now. Your kitchen is behind you, and we can see your fuse box way in the back.

24:28 Steven: That’s true. There was one. Yeah.

24:31 CJ: So that’s how much Steve was paying attention to the backdrop. So, but-

24:36 Steven: And give me a 5D and blur that sucker in the back.

24:38 CJ: That’s right. What I loved about a lot of your stuff, Steven, it’s whether the original stuff, or the stuff when you do covers, you own my ears within 30 seconds.

24:51 Steven: Well, I appreciate it.

24:54 CJ: Well, I guess even the songs you wrote, you know that going into it. Because trying to think of the Rod Stewart song, this many years removed, I couldn’t think of it.

25:06 Steven: But you had to tell me it was a Rod Stewart cover. I think two things that I pay attention to maybe, is that, one first and foremost, if you’re doing a cover song, do it in your key. I don’t care how great the original guitar riff is an E. And you sound like you’re screaming because someone’s pulling on a certain danger zone part of you. Don’t do it. Bring the sucker down. But in C, on the song, put your stamp on it, your personality stamp on it.

That one, and maybe find a cover. There’s so many good songs that were never put in the lime light. Rod Stewart is a good example. Sure, I mean, it’s not buried deep, but it’s not one of his biggest hits type of thing. And what is funny about it is, I’m not a big Rod Stewart fan. I just thought the song was cool and it fit me. It fit my voice after I played around with it.

I like the song. No one gets famous because they’re just an awesome singer. This is one part I am to stick around. I believe that the song is what makes the artist, then the artist has a chance. It’s always comes back to the song. So I’d say sing it in your key, make sure it’s a good complimentary song for your voice. And then basically make sure it’s a song.

The scrutiny, if you’re doing I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, you’re a girl. I mean, good luck. You better nail it. But if you do some song that people thought you wrote it because they’ve never heard it before, but yet it’s been recorded by somebody. Then you’ve got a little bit better of a chance to get people to appreciate you.

26:56 CJ: Yeah, because I think people, and this has happened when I’ve shared your music just to my own personal page. And you’ve gotten friend requests and people complimenting who aren’t even from the genre. You know what I mean? They’re people who follow me. So they’re metal motivation type people. But they love it just as much as I do.

And your interpretation, we’ll call it that, of that particular Rod Stewart song, because I cannot recall the original, I know it’s going to be better. You know what I mean? Because I can see why you chose it. I can see the buildup, I can see… Even though it wasn’t like three something minutes, it wasn’t very long.

27:36 Steven: No.

27:36 CJ: At all.

27:37 Steven: Yeah.

27:38 CJ: But, yeah, it was a great story. It was so encapsulated, and it just leaves you with this, “I’m ready to hear this guy do something else because I wouldn’t have known that was a cover.” From cover to original doesn’t matter, I’m enjoying this performance online.

27:59 Steven: Cool.

28:00 CJ: That’s something that I really want people to think about. Because if you saw the video and… You know what? Maybe I’ll put a link to that video in the show notes so that people can go and actually watch it on Facebook. Because the point I wanted to get across to my own students was, “This is how simple, but yet something so simple can leave such a profound, emotional impact on your audience.”

But the emotional impact had to do with the things you were just describing. The song choice, making sure it’s in your key, something that you can really deliver, something that’s going to convey that emotion. And then it gets into the production itself. Because it’s not just that… Because you literally played on the keyboards, and you literally sang into that microphone. But you took all that and took it into your logic or whatever and did your magic. So how long a process was that for you?

29:06 Steven: Well, first, how I do it, is I’m just right now, man. I’m probably going to eventually get me a couple of nice cameras. Right now I’m just using my iPhone. Set my iPhone where I want it. I have a little holder for it. And position it where it can see me. If you can see the keyboard, great. Sometimes it doesn’t. You can just tell that I’m playing. So what I’ll do, I will hit record on my Logic Pro if I’m dealing with Logic Pro or Pro Tools.

Hit record and make sure it’s recording my piano and my vocal, and then hit record on my iPhone from a video, and then I’ll clap my hands one time to set up. So it’s recording video, and my daw is recording as the same time. Later on I sync it up. But here’s what’s cool, after I’m done doing the video part, I can shut that off and I can continue to keep on adding other instruments I want to, to what I recorded already.

So it’s like the Elvis and the movie sound. I’m playing a piano, but all of this other music is coming out of the piano because I got to go and put other stuff. There’s the challenge that I want to make sure my mouth is matching. You can tell that I’m singing the song, so I’ve got to get it on that one take. There’s one time that I messed up a word, but it wasn’t so bad to where I could go back and just sing it, over dub it, and just sing it exactly the way it should. And you couldn’t tell.

But everything I do is one take and then I try to build around that. The reason why I did this too, is because of the perfectionism. It was a way for me to grow not away from perfectionism. There’s really no such thing as perfection. But you can tell yourself all you want to, but you still going to struggle with that. But this was a goal for me to say, “Okay, I’m just going to sing this song, and I want to do it one time through and then whatever it sounds like, that’s what it sounds like. I want to deal with it. I can EQ whatnot, later whatnot.”

But I think I learned that if you wait until you think a song is done and ready to present to the public, for a perfectionist, it never is ready. I’ve got stuff in my computer that I’ve recorded 10 years ago that I was listening to the other day that I haven’t put out because, “it wasn’t ready.” So this was cool because… It was cool. It’s a good lesson for me to learn that majority of the people out there do not hear what you’re hearing when you say it’s not ready or it’s not Nick’s perfect.

If it’s just piano and me singing and bass and strings or something like that, I mean, I don’t want to talk about it. I think it was a total of accounting editing, video editing, was probably a couple of hours because I wanted to mix it. Makes it decent. So accounting video editing, thumbnail. So a couple hours is not bad.

32:22 CJ: That’s pretty good. I could probably do it in an hour and a half.

32:27 Steven: Yeah. Well, that’s why I’m on this podcast.

32:30 CJ: To learn.

32:31 Steven: To learn.

32:33 CJ: To learn from the experts. No, I mean, again I’m titling this particular episode, Producing Music From Home. And so what I want to challenge everybody with, and that’s why I wanted this to be more of a discussion with Steve, is I just want you to hear from somebody who’s using his skills to really put himself out there in a way that’s creative, but simple. But because he’s paying attention to the things that him as a music professional has learned are the most important things, song, choice, performance, these sorts of things, then the music is making an impact.

And whenever he puts stuff out, I always try to share it because I love what he does. I’m still a huge fan of this guy. We’re best friends. We hang out all the time. Again, we don’t talk about this stuff. We do not talk music ever.

33:30 Steven: If we do, it’s you saying that you appreciate my music.

33:33 CJ: Yeah.

33:34 Steven: We don’t. Yeah.

33:34 CJ: Yeah, it literally doesn’t. But to watch what he does and the amount of time and care and attention he puts, I appreciate it as an artist, as a creative person. I’m not a music artist, but as that person who loves to create content and put things out there and create brand awareness, it’s a joy for me to watch it because Steve is doing so much instinctively. I keep telling him, I mean, he’s got so much to say to so many people. So I thought, “This is a great opportunity to have him on, to talk about it.”

34:09 Steven: I was going to tell you something long ago about, the other thing about the whole video. What I love about that, is that it puts me in a parameter. It puts me in a little bit of a box. So it gives me… You’re thinking that it would be horrible, but yet I think sometimes limitations is the best thing for us. ‘Cause then we got all this small area to do what we want to do. So don’t be afraid to be limited in… If you say, “Man, all I like to do is play guitar and sing.” Well, work the hell out of that.

And do the best you can. Make it look awesome, however you do it within that parameter. Don’t worry about these guys that have 12 thumbnail videos, have shown the drummer over here and they are on right of the screen, that’s what they do. That’s not you. So just do what you do.

35:04 CJ: No, I’m glad you said that. Because we’ve got, for example, in the Savvy Musician Academy, a lot of emphasis on, during the COVID thing, especially doing live stream, right? So you’re going Facebook live and just playing live and that’s good. And I think that’s great. I don’t know that I would advise you to do that. I think it would be a completely different vibe, a completely different vibe.

And because I know that if I listened to one of your songs or one of your covers, I’m listening to the whole thing. I’m going to get a little mini escape here for a few minutes and then back to life. I know that you’re always going to deliver on that. I don’t say, “Oh, well, I’ve heard his music before.” No, I’m always going to listen. So that tells me is what matters is not necessarily the methodology or the latest hack or what everybody else is doing.

Like you said, you got those players in multiple locations and they’re all putting new songs together. That’s all entertaining to watch. But to me, those don’t deliver any kind of emotional experience. And to me, music is supposed to deliver an emotional experience. I don’t care whether it’s Metallica or Rod Stewart. No, it’s supposed to deliver something. You can work out, like you said, to the hard rock and the heavy metal and that kind of stuff. I mean, is that any different than me hearing you do a Rod Stewart cover and go, “Damn, that’s three and a half minutes well spent.”

36:43 Steven: No, it is no different. We don’t say we love music just because we love music. We love music because it does something to us. It reminds us of emotions of yesteryear. Yeah, exactly. You put on music a lot of times because you want to feel what you felt when you was in high school listening to that same song. Yeah, you’re right. If you don’t feel nothing after that, whether you’re the one singing it or you’re the one listening to it, then you get the wrong song.

37:12 CJ: So how conscious are you whenever you put together a cover of write your own music and doing all that production? How are you separating the purity of that desire to produce something that gives somebody experience to the actual gory details and work-oriented involved in producing something like that?

37:34 Steven: Well, I think I know what you’re asking. Well-

37:36 CJ: You know what I mean? Because you can get, in other words, so caught up in the production of things that you forgot the-

37:44 Steven: The motivation. You forgot the inspiration almost.

37:47 CJ: All I can tell people as a motivational speaker type guy, after doing this now online for almost 11 years, I don’t care about anybody’s problems anymore. You know what I mean? I’m just producing content at this point because I’ve just heard so much. So you lose that sense of mission that you had. So you all pray for me because I’ve obviously lost my sense of mission.

But you know what I’m saying? How you can get so caught up. Because I talked to so many people, Steve, who are, “What app is that? What program is that? What’s the setting on that?” And not enough discussion about… I would tell people about recently, because I see questions all the time in our Facebook groups about metrics and this software and this hack and whatever.

And I said, “It’s funny to me if you want to know why their fans aren’t buying their CDs or their shirts.” And I’ll tell them, “They’re not buying because they don’t want to buy. You haven’t created in them a desire to buy yet.” And so they would keep asking these questions. And I said, “It’s funny to me is the question I never see asked by the student, is how can I better connect with my audience?”

39:00 Steven: Yeah. Piggyback on the whole emotion thing. You said something to me about the whole marketing thing. Let’s just say I was a comedian and I was known for saying, “Yee-haw.” Okay. You told me that creating a t-shirt, you said, “Steve wouldn’t do shit.” Right? But creating a t-shirt that says Yee-haw, would this be the selling point? And that’s the same goes with the song.

In other words, you may be an incredible singer. You may be can play a guitar, piano, totally kick ass. But if you don’t have the emotion that, Yee-haw concept of saying, “That’s what’s selling the t-shirt, that’s what selling the song.” The Yee-haw of the song is the emotion. You got to have that. It always comes back to the song. A matter of fact, so many historical stories about artists that, they loved them but they had no songs.

They’re saying, “Go back, write some songs. Come back.” And as soon as they heard these songs, and typically the songs are created from out of experience, out of something they were finally being honest about. You’re asking a question a while ago about something else, maybe from concept to production. How do I do that without getting too-

40:15 CJ: Right. Without losing the spirit-

40:17 Steven: Without the spirit. Yeah. Sometimes you have to hurry up, you have to hurry up and write the song and then once you get that core done and it’s the first piano and vocal out there, no matter if it’s up-tempo or ballad you got to hurry up and do it. And then you’ve got the ghost, now you can start building the flesh and bone, which is the bass and drums and everything else around it.

But you’ve got to get the ghost. You got to get the spirit of the song, which is going to be… Sometimes if that song’s not written within a matter of days or whatnot, it doesn’t even affect you no more. And you model that one pass that goes on to someone else. I’m speaking esoteric here, but you know what I’m saying. It’s just that you got to move on these things when it’s moving you. And-

41:09 CJ: Yeah. What I want our students to get from this discussion is that I want to turn their little home, whether it’s an apartment or a bedroom or a house into a music factory because you’re isolated to the home, right? So that means not just an output of albums, but how you’re going to reach and touch your audience. You mentioned your son earlier. He did something on ticktock and then went over to Spotify.

Other people are on YouTube. Other people are doing this, going direct on Facebook, et cetera. So there’s all these different ways that people are trying to maneuver in this new era of the music industry, that’s so controlled by the internet and social media. That the one common denominator in them all is songs, and the experience that happens with songs. So that’s the thing that doesn’t change.

Whether it’s you shooting on an iPhone, posted on Facebook from an old Rod Stewart song, it’s the same thing as me sitting in my mom’s Chevy Nova in 1973, watching the windshield wipers as she drives down the road, listening to Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and getting lost in thought, you know what I mean? It’s the exact same effect that does it. The technology and the culture, there’s nothing has changed that aspect. And I really want-

42:30 Steven: Yeah. It’s the same thing in advertising. Content is King. Your content is your song. And what’s the hardest thing to do is take the emotion and the inspiration you got that you thinking, “Man, this is just killer.” Is interpreting that, is getting in and out of the heart, out of the soul on the paper and trying to share that with the world, what you feel about it.

That’s the hardest thing. And I heard a one songwriter says, “If you have to explain the song before they listen to it, then you didn’t do a good job.” Because the songs should be able to play on its own and take you on a journey. And I think that’s a great advise.

43:11 CJ: I think, yeah, and it’s a great way to say it. People want to discover, they want to be surprised. Lyrically how it turns out at the end. We just lost Charlie Daniels. And who doesn’t know Devil Went Down to Georgia, and who listens to half the song, right? If you don’t stay around to see Johnny tell the devil what to do with themselves, then… You know what I mean? I mean, nobody’s going to do that.

They’re going to listen to the whole song because that story, you don’t want to leave that story half told. But when the first time you heard it, one of the things has been great is watching some of these reaction YouTubers. Some of these young African American kids who are going back and listening to all kinds of stuff, crazy stuff from back in the day. And I saw one little buddy, he’s just got such a precious spirit about him.

He just loves all the music. And he heard Devil Went Down to Georgia for the very first time, the live version from when the album first came out. You know where he says son of a bitch instead of son of a gun?

44:20 Steven: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

44:22 CJ: He almost tore up the ceiling, man. So it was great to watch somebody experience that song for the first time because I know what’s coming. And they get to experience that. And you just realize, wow, I’m literally watching the power of music. Because in that moment he doesn’t care about what’s happening outside his bedroom window. He didn’t care about who’s in the White House or what’s going on in the world for that moment. What he only cares about is that why in the world the devil’s in Georgia.

44:54 Steven: Well, even think of a negative way. This is why preachers in the… I don’t know, man. Probably forever, 50s on up have been preaching against rock and roll, is not so much because of the lyrics. So it’s because they recognize the effects, the emotion, the super mountain of effects that it does for people that love that music for one. But it does.

You see in movies where a person that shouldn’t be listening to it all of a sudden start tapping their toe and then the next thing they’re all into it. So it is all about emotion, man. It’s like Myelene said a long time ago. He said, “Music’s like dynamite. You can use it to build roads for a good thing. You can use it for bad thing and kill people, whatnot.”

But I don’t know if that music will actually kill people. I’m sure if I’m going to go rob a bank tonight, I’m probably going to put on some thug music. Some death metal. Yeah, it’s movie soundtracks. Oh, it is.

45:58 CJ: Right. Yeah. And I think keeping that in mind, when you turn your little place into a music factory and doing what you can to think more deeply as Steve was mentioning about why certain songs move, why certain productions move you, think about these. Ask yourself these critical questions. And because they’re going to be things that you want to put in place when you put your stuff out there.

And it’s okay that you don’t want to do a live stream. It’s okay that you don’t want to be that live entertainer. And maybe you are the one like he described earlier who’s maybe more studio musician, just likes to get locked away and spend the whole day on a song. Well, you can still utilize that. Because Steve is that way. I look forward to the stuff that he puts out. So that means he’s taken into consideration what music does, the emotional effect that it’s intended to give, and then he’s doing everything he can to make sure he delivers that experience in the most professional way possible. Would you say it’s as simple as that?

47:06 Steven: Yeah. Going back to the whole design firm thing, that the content. We’re talking about brand all the time, we’re talking about the logos and stuff. You can make something look pretty. But if the content, if that icon or that logo doesn’t speak for who you really are as identity, then all you got it’s just a pretty swoosh. Yeah, or whatever. So you have to have the emotion and then after you get that, and if you’re solid on that this is the lyrics, or this is what I want to convey. Yeah, then by all means, take it to the limit with what you can do in the production value. But the production value will not make the song. It’s the fringe benefits.

47:49 CJ: Yeah. I think you’re right. Content is king. And it was Paul Rand, I think, who was talking about different kinds of art. And he’s a graphic designer. He had said sometimes it’s the more abstract, or graphics, the more simple shapes and stuff that convey the most content because you’re going to have to get involved in interpreting it. As opposed to the Norman Rockwell paintings, which we all agree are photo-realistic, interesting, whatever. But only for a minute.

They’re very boring because all the interpreting has already been done for you. So there’s no big idea behind it. There’s nothing to really inspire emotion. I mean, something very simple can actually be something that is profound to your mind and leaves you there thinking a very simple thought. And I think-

48:51 Steven: That’s a great thing to say too, CJ, is that, to be profound or to be inspirational or to be just really thought-provoking, it doesn’t have to be just incredibly put together far as lyrics. It can be very simple, right? I wrote a song called, Let It Go. And I could have done a bunch of different words, but I said little few little phrases, and I just said, “Let it go.” You can picture someone is saying, “Hey, man, I’m speechless. Just let it go.”

If I was successful on any part of the song, I felt like I was good on just interpreting the emotion behind that one little small area of saying, “Just let it go.” It doesn’t have to be mind blowing. You don’t have to be some freaking poet that just knows how to put music together. It can be very simple and still blow people’s minds because it might blow the person that’s going through that particular situation at that time. They might just think, “Golly, man, he’s speaking right to me.”

49:58 CJ: So, guys, this is what goes into being an artist. And so as you work within your own little music factory, I want you to keep some of these things in mind because they’re the important things. And even on the marketing side, when I teach it’s… I’ve been in this for 30 years and my degree is in it and I’ve used the computers and the software. This is long before the internet. I was a part of the desktop revolution. But despite all that, the things that I harp on when we’re talking to the students…

Anybody who’s listening to this podcast knows I’m not talking about software. I’m not talking about hardware. I’m not talking about any of these things. I’m talking about what it takes to touch someone else, what it takes to inspire someone else, what it takes to… It’s the human aspect. I tell people all the time, Steve, that you’ll really understand how social media works when the platform and the technology disappears, and you realize you’re just talking to somebody. But people think they got to become something else or it’s going to be a special hacker or something that does it. No, it’s still the same human element.

51:12 Steven: Yeah. When you go back to our background, well, I got a deeper background in the church world. We’d always talk about this before, or even over a beer. We found how preachers sometimes get up there. They’re not really talking to people, man. They’re talking at them. A successful motivator even, not just a preacher, but a successful motivator is one that you feel like he’s… Man, he’s talking to me. No, he’s just talking to me. But he also cares about me. So if you can convey that authenticity through your art, no matter what it is, if it’s a song or it’s a painting or whatever it is, you can convey that and it comes across genuine. Then you’re hit. Yeah. Amen.

51:57 CJ: All right. And, Steve, how can people learn more about what you’re doing?

52:02 Steven: Well, they can just go to Facebook and Steven Wood Music. I think it’s facebook.com/stevenwoodmusic. And then I’m also there on personal page as well. So look me up, and I may not be your fancy, but we may be a friend that we can share ideas with musically.

52:22 CJ: Yeah, just I will encourage everybody to go check that out because he does a lot of video versions. Again, these cover songs, some of his own stuff, and you’ll see some of the stuff his kids are doing. It’s just great because Steve has a hand in a lot of that production. So this is just… This is content for the online space.

And so I think you’ll see what I see in it, which is just a very well executed. But again, emphasizing good song choices, good song writing, good production for the sake of giving people a very real musical experience no matter whether it’s online or offline. Steve, thanks again, buddy, for being with me, man.

53:00 Steven: Absolutely. Man. Thanks for having me on here.

53:03 CJ: All right, guys, remember you can always help support this podcast by going to your favorite podcast player. Leave a review. If they give you stars, I mean, click as many as you can. But write your comments because we do read those and they do help others to discover this podcast. And you guys are a huge encouragement to us, so we love to hear from you. I will see you next time on the Savvy Musician Show.

The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. When they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online.

They need answers and they need them now. If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle Membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast. For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction plus tips, tools, news updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

Episode #111: Fulfilling Your Creative Mission

Are you having writers block? You just can’t figure out what the song is supposed to be about or what goes with that great riff you’ve had forever? It’d be great if the answer just magically fell out of the sky, making it so easy everyone could do it, but we know that’s just not the way it is!

Creativity comes from relentless hard work. You keep trying new ideas until… Boom! There it is! It’s perfect! Nothing else will do! It only took 99 other horrible ideas but the 100th one is just the cats pajamas and makes it all worth while. As C.J. puts it so simply and unequivocally, “Creativity doesn’t come from inspiration, it comes from perspiration.” Again, it’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. So tune in to what C.J does best, motivating you to achieve your full potential and creative ability through daily hard work, and explode your creativity with this weeks episode of the Savvy Musician Show.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Fulfilling your creative purpose in life
  • Perspiration not inspiration
  • Your ideal workspace
  • Everything starts as a demo
  • Achieving more output
  • Disciplining yourself for daily work
  • Feeding your creative process

Tweetables:

“The secret to creativity is not inspiration, it’s perspiration… Perspiration is what gives birth to inspiration.” – @metalmotivation [0:08:26]

This is the creative process. It’s not Hollywood. It’s a crucible of relentless, persistent problem solving, where you turn yourself inside out in order to make a… riff into a killer song.” – @metalmotivation [0:14:26]

“You’re as capable as anyone to go beyond your present output right now.” – @metalmotivation [0:14:46]

“How can you expect other people to appreciate your gifts, talents, and abilities if you’re not treating them well. How do you treat them well? By submitting them to the process of hard work.” – @metalmotivation [0:21:17]

“Be faithful to your musical mission, your calling, by working hard daily.” – @metalmotivation [0:23:58]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Instagram for Musicians — https://www.savvymusicianacademy.com/ig4m

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This a CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. I hope you’re doing well. We are well into the year. What a crazy year this has been, but I hope you are on target. I hope you’re on course, man. I hope you’ve set a path, navigated something for you and your music business. Maybe you’ve been just listening to this podcast and that’s about all that you’ve dabbled in, in relation to the Savvy Musician Academy. I want to challenge you to go deeper though. I want to challenge you to join us. We’ve got so many great things happening right now.

For example, TOM 3.0 release just a couple of months ago, The Online Musician 3.0 so many people are getting so much out of it. Even our elite students, those who’ve already purchased the course have gone back into this new version to go through it again. That’s how important this information is. Lee has also just released Instagram For Musicians. I know that’s been a long awaited product, real teaching, effective teaching about how to move the needle forward in your music business on Instagram. So learn what to do with hashtags and what to post and when to post and creating promotions and working with your profile. And the pictures and the captions that you write. All the varied details of building a dedicated following on the Instagram platform. More and more people are having success on Instagram. And so this is something you don’t want to do without. Just visit savvymusicianacademy.com.IG4M.

But what I’ve got for you today is really, really special. I want to talk to you about creativity and the creative process. Creativity and the creative process. This is something that obviously you, as an artist feels like you know something about. That you’ve been creative. You’ve written songs, maybe you’ve drawn pictures or painted pictures. You’ve been creative before. And that’s your strength. Your strength is creativity, but why is it though that some of the most creative people can be sometimes the most self-destructive? Or why is it that sometimes the most creative people can often be the most self-defeating?

I’ve met so many creative people who are so unsure of themselves, so critical of themselves. So afraid of success, so afraid of being judged. And yet they have something to bring into the world, something to make the lives of others so much better. And yet they hold themselves back. My challenge to you is that you have a sacred duty. You have a sacred obligation to your creativity, a sacred obligation to fulfill your creative mission in life, to fulfill your creative purpose in life. Because where would we be without music? Where would we be without film? Where would we be without great stories? Where would we be without Shakespeare? Where would we be without all the wonderful things that creative people like you make every day.

You might say to yourself, “Well, CJ, that’s well and good, but I’m not Shakespeare. I’m not Steven Spielberg. I’m not Stephen King”, or whoever. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, because you have something that you can deposit in the lives of other people, whether it’s one other person, or a million other people, or somewhere in-between. You have something to give. And all the evidence you need to know that that’s the case is the fact that one, you have the desire to create and write music. And number two, that you’ve done it in the past. That’s a simple way to look at finding your purpose in life. It’s a simple way to find your calling. A simple way to find direction in life is just to ask yourself the question. Do you have a true love and passion for music?

Number two, do you feel like you have a native ability to do it? And number three, do you feel like there are the resources and the path for you to follow, to get there? So it’s one thing to have a love of music and be creative, and you’re trapped on a desert Island somewhere never to be found to the day that you die. So you might have the ability, you might have the passion, but there’s no way to get there. But I think we can answer most of those questions. You do have a love of music. You do have an ability to do it. And there are resources and there are the paths that you can take to do that, to do something with your music.

If those three boxes can be checked off, then you don’t need a permission slip to take a chance on yourself by starting your own music career. You don’t need anyone’s permission. That’s all you need to know. That’s the universe giving you the official nod, that you can go and fulfill your purpose in life to create music. If you have a passion for it, an undying passion, if you have an ability for it, it’s proven. And if there are the resources and a path that you can take. Now you might figure, “Well, CJ, I’m not signed to a record label.” Well, you’re at the right place. The Savvy Musician Academy is the right place for you to be.

05:44 CJ: You don’t need a record label. Leah has shown you a path, a way that you can have your own music career, just because you want to, without touring without a record label. Doesn’t mean you can’t do those things But you can do them without them. That’s the important point. You are not isolated and there are resources. There are courses. There are things that you can learn to help you fulfill this mission, fulfill the vision of purpose that you’ve always had for your life. And not stand in your own way anymore. Not be the one blocking your way with self-defeat and self-doubt. Negotiating yourself out of your vision and dream. Talking yourself out of what you could potentially do with your life. Why would you do that? Why would you stand in your own way? Why would you talk yourself out of it? Why would you not be your own best friend, your biggest fan, your biggest coach?

Think about it, you’re wired to do this. And the other thing that we can talk about as it relates to creativity is there’s a sense in which things are waiting to be discovered. For example, there was a time in history when there was no technology, there was no art. There was nothing. There was trees and there was rocks and there was water and there was sky and there was birds. There was nothing else. There wasn’t a wheel, there, wasn’t a spear, there wasn’t anything. There was a time when that’s all there was. But think about this, go back way back then, and if you were to have a commercial jet airliner, could that plane have taken off even back then? Of course, because the laws that govern flight, thrust and lift, they existed back then, even though nobody had discovered them yet. So there was the potential for flight, the potential for cell phones, the potential for a great recipes, the potential for Shakespeare, the potential for film and television, all of those things were there waiting to be discovered. It just took time.

So how long has Romeo and Juliet been ready to be told? Well, it just took time before we got to the place where a man named Shakespeare banged on the universe long enough to pull out that story. You see, there’s a sense in which things are just waiting to be discovered. And that’s creativity. Real creativity is when you make something out of nothing. It’s when you use invisible means to create visible things. The secret to creativity is not inspiration, it’s perspiration. It’s wrestling with a problem until the universe spits out a solution. You see, that is what we call technology. Technology is not a cell phone, technology is not a computer. Those are simply manifestations of technology.

You see, the word technology is taken from the root word “techne”, and it’s a Greek term. And it means artisan, craftsman, an artisan. That’s what the word “techne” means. That’s why you call new technology, state-of-the-art technology is about art. So technology is not an end product, technology is a process. It is creating visible things through invisible means. Like I said, you can go back far enough in history and there were no planes. There were no cell phones. There was nothing. And now we live today where we have all of that and more.

So how did we get here? Did people discover cell phones under a rock through excavation? Did you pull laptop computers out of a tree? Did you have to unearth airplanes? Is that how we discovered them, like we discovered the tunes of Kings Tut? Absolutely not. These physical things were created by invisible means, by extracting the principles that create these things. That’s what did it, that process is technology. It’s creating visible things through invisible means. That’s creativity. That’s why the secret to creativity is not inspiration, but perspiration. It’s wrestling with a problem until that universe spits out a solution. It’s banging on the doors of reality, until ideas and creative solutions come forth.

10:37 CJ: See, people have romanticized the idea of inspiration, as if it’s some sort of magic muse that touches your mind when you least expect it. And you may have had a creative thought randomly strike your skull. But that’s usually after you’ve been thinking about the problem for some time. And developing that inspired idea into a completed project requires sweat and diligence. See, sometimes I get my most creative ideas, not necessarily when I’m trying, but when I’m not trying. As I think about something over and over and over and over again, I’m wrestling with it at my desk. Can’t get that breakthrough. Then I go wash the dishes. I go mow the lawn. I go vacuum the rug. And then what happens? All of a sudden, boom.

But it’s not that the creativity or inspiration invaded my mind from nowhere, it was preceded by arduous work. It was preceded by perspiration. Perspiration is what gives birth to inspiration. And then there’s the issue of time. If you just had enough time to get away to some remote location, then you’ll be hit with creativity like a lightning bolt, and make your masterpiece. Won’t happen, captain. It won’t happen. Creativity is forged in the furnace of a busy schedule and a crowded desk. There’s nothing romantic about it. It’s plain tough. You know, Stephen King, who I mentioned earlier, he wrote his first novel Carrie, in a double wide trailer, in his laundry room, a little tiny laundry room on a folding card table with an old typewriter while being an English teacher. That’s where he wrote that. So much for the creative space.

It takes work. See, only those unfamiliar with the creative process, they get creative when it comes to what it takes to make something great. So my objective here is to dispel the myth and shoot you up with a chemical blend of reality and blunt truth. And the truth about creativity is that the harder you work at what you do, the more creativity you’re going to find. The real secret is that nobody writes a completed song, or the perfect story at their first attempt. What they do first is what writers call a first draft. Or what artists will call a pencil sketch. Again, this is important. Nobody writes the perfect song, the perfect book, the perfect anything on the first draft. They do numerous drafts. That’s why this called a first draft. It’s what you call a pencil sketch. It’s where great ideas for buildings and whatever begin with a pencil sketch.

You just empty yourself on paper, or your instruments. Don’t worry about how good it is. Just get it down. Put it on your phone, record it, just get it down somewhere and then work on it. Go over it repeatedly, making refinements with each pass and then walk away from it. Because when you come back after a few days, you’re going to see flaws, or ways that you can improve it and then refine it even more. And before you know it, that thing will be bulletproof. So much so that others after hearing it will say, “It was meant to be.” Michael Jackson used to say that sometimes it feels like the songs write themselves. The great statue makers of the Renaissance would say that when they look at a piece of stone or marble, they just take away what doesn’t belong there. And the image comes out of it. There’s something very magical, if I can use that term about creativity.

But it’s matched with the effort to bang on the universe. To work hard, to knock, and to look and to pursue. And to sweat and to go over these things again and again and again, until they become better and better and better. This is the creative process. It’s not Hollywood. It’s a crucible of relentless, persistent problem solving, where you turn yourself inside out in order to make a sketch into a masterpiece, or a riff into a killer song. You’re as capable anyone to go beyond your present output right now. You’re capable. You’re capable to go beyond where you’ve gone this far. You’re capable of so much more. But it’s going to take a willingness on your part to go through that fiery furnace of real creativity. You can train your mind to do this. Don’t be a sissy about it. You can train yourself to do this. It’s not the most impossible thing in the world. The creative person has so much power, so much potential.

15:51 CJ: And as I said, at the outset, you don’t have a choice in the matter. Oh sure, you can choose against it. But your conscience is going to bother you if you don’t fulfill this musical mission in your life. You say, “CJ, how do I know?” It’s like I said, do you have a passion for it? Do you feel like you’re wired and gifted to do it? And are there the resources and the paths needed to get you there? If you can check off all of those boxes, then the rest of it is just sweat equity. The rest of it is just perspiration, working and slaving away. Yes, by yourself. And yes, it’s lonely. But improving yourself, refining your skills, getting your ideas onto paper, or onto tape, so to speak. Doing, and working and refining and going over and over these things, until you produce the greatness that you’re wired to produce.

I wanted to inspire you today. I wanted to encourage you. I wanted to build you up. I didn’t want you to think, “I can’t go any further. 2020 is too much for me. It’s been too hard up to this point. So many things are against me. It just seems like it’s so hard these days.” Yeah. Life is hard. Yes, things are difficult, but guess who’s bigger than life? You. Guess who’s stronger than life. You. You say, “CG, how could you say that? How could I be stronger than life?” Because I’ve found so many people, just like you, who overcame the circumstances they were facing. They overcome the difficulties. They overcome the resistance. When they finally realize, you know when you overcome the resistance of life? It’s when you finally realize that your greatest obstacle is yourself.

You’ll overcome life when you overcome you, because a stronger you can pretty much face everything. A stronger you can pretty much deal with anything. The stronger you become, the less resistance can affect you. The stronger you are, the more you can lift. The further you can go. The more you can do. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that you have the personal power that’s needed to do what’s required to fulfill your musical mission, to achieve that goal in life. To do everything that you’re wired and intended to do. Your potential is so great. It should boggle your mind.

And maybe you have those moments. You have those moments where you realize, “Man, I am talented.” And then you check yourself, because you don’t want to get the ego. But maybe you do have those moments where you realize, “I do really love this. I love what I want to do. I love the creative process. I love working on my songs. I love doing these things.” But then you meet your other self. The self-doubt, the second guessing, the one who really stands in your way. It’s not your circumstances that matter, because the stronger you become, man, the more able you are to face anything in life. And it has nothing to do with your physical stature. I don’t care how big you are, wealthy you are, how well known you are. It’s got nothing to do with that. It’s got nothing to do with how physically strong you are.

It has to do with how mentally strong you are. How strong you are in your inner constitution, because that’s what’s going to carry you. That’s what’s going to build you up. That’s what’s going to take you to new levels. This is the creative process. This is what we’re involved in. Don’t let this idea of creativity be romanticized. Again, that you have to get off to some special place, some romantic place to finally do your great work. No, you do your great work right now in that apartment, in that cluttered apartment, in that busy environment, in that crowded desk space. That’s when you do it. That’s when you get creative. When you shut out the circumstances and you hone in and you focus on the process, focus on the art, focus on the discipline. Become one with this process. This is real creativity. This is real technology. It’s creating something out of nothing. It’s using invisible means to create visible things. It’s not inspiration, it’s perspiration. It’s wrestling with the problem until the universe spits out for you, your solution.

20:49 CJ: I want you to be inspired. I want you to be motivated. We don’t have to cover necessarily principles of marketing every time on this podcast. Again I’m the Branding and Mindset Coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. My gig is motivation. My gig is mindset, because the other stuff is actually easy. Learning new skills, like marketing, or copywriting, or branding, or Facebook advertising. Man, you can learn that. That’s not the big deal. The problem is not learning those things. The problem is you standing in your own way. The problem is you not taking your creativity seriously. The problem is you not taking yourself seriously just like Michelangelo, or Michael Jackson have. You got to take yourself seriously. Take your gifts, talents, and abilities seriously, and treat them that way.

How serious are your gifts, talents, and abilities? Are they serious enough to put to practice every day? Are they serious enough to break through to new levels? How can you expect other people to appreciate your gifts, talents, and abilities if you’re not treating them well. How do you treat them well? By submitting them to the process of hard work. That’s how you do it. That’s how you honor what’s inside you. You make it more. The way you honor what is inside you, in terms of your gift, talents and abilities, is by multiplying them. By making them more than they are right now, by becoming prolific in your creative output. Always be writing, always be posting on social media, always be building your audience. Always be thinking, always be resourcing, reading stories, getting more creative ideas about songs to write. Doing more things. Engaging with your audience, conversing and communicating and communing, if you will, with other musicians and creative people.

Get outside of music. Talk to people who write, talk to people who paint, talk to people who do other things. And find inspiration from things outside of your field of degree. Find inspiration from the sources you wouldn’t normally find in. And It’ll change the way that you think. You’ll come back and look at your own music in a different way. Learn more, reach out more, go more, discover new things. These all feed your creative process. They all empower you to come up with new and diverse solutions for greater output, greater musical creations. You have so much more potential. You have so much more potential.

Those who are unfamiliar, like I said, with the creative process, they think it’s something else that makes something great. They think you have to be special. No, you just have to work hard. You just have to put in the time, put in the hours. That’s the reality. That’s the truth. The harder you work at what you do, the more creativity you’re going to find. You don’t write things on the first draft. You don’t finish the completed song just in one take. That’s very, very rare. You just go over more and more. You don’t hold back. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just get it down on paper, get it down on your phone, record it. And then just keep making those refinements.

So again, creativity is not spitting out the completed project in one shot. That’s not what inspiration is. It’s just one little hair of an idea. One little speck of an idea that you relentlessly work until it becomes a full orchestra. A complete play, a complete novel, a complete film, a complete song. You work the idea, you develop these things. That’s your job. That’s your mission in life. That’s your responsibility. Be faithful to it. That’s all I ask of you today. Be faithful to your musical mission, your calling, by working hard daily. That’s how you be faithful. You don’t have to reach the stars just yet. You don’t have to make a million dollars just yet. You don’t have to be the most popular person in the world just yet. You just have to be faithful today.

So cast off the yawn, cast off the plans for the nap, cast off all the other worrying and concern and things you were going to bask in today, and get right back to work. Discipline your mind, will and emotions, and just get right back to work. Can you dig that? Man, I hope you can.

Episode #110: An Interview with Jason Stallworth (Elite Student)

This week C.J. is joined by Jason Stallworth, one of our first Elite students. There is so much experience and advice shared that it’s hard to pinpoint any in particular. Really what you get this week is a look into the life of someone who is really doing it and their best advice for you.

As Jason states, “That’s the biggest thing—you have to be in this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music…that passionate about your music to stick it out.” A lot of people are quick to give up, but by applying what SMA teaches, and what you’ll learn in this podcast, you will see results and then scale what’s working. It’s so simple we often overcomplicate it. Well, this is one decision you don’t have to overcomplicate, listen to this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show to keep building your music empire!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Intro to Jason Stallworth
  • Surveying to find your micro-niche
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Page like ads
  • Writing better copy
  • Putting out organic content
  • Using vulnerability to connect with fans
  • Responding to all your fans
  • Launching and promoting your album
  • Creative ways to promote your sales
  • Diversifying your income
  • Committing to the long run
  • Going back through the course
  • Using what you learn from SMA in other places

Tweetables:

“I think I made it more complicated than what it needed to be. I was like, ‘Well, what’s my micro-niche now?’ Going through the steps though, asking your fans, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen that’s been so helpful to me.” – @jasonstallworth [0:10:57]

“Not everything’s going to work like you expected, which is why we test things. So, just be authentic and organic. I mean, it’s your genre, so, you know how your audience speaks.” – @jasonstallworth [0:22:20]

“You have to present yourself and your music in a way that’s beneficial to them (your audience).” – @jasonstallworth [0:31:08]

“Launching your album, or I should say promoting your album, doesn’t stop after it’s launched, you have to keep that momentum going.” – @jasonstallworth [0:37:54]

“You give that message out there, that authentic message that tells what you are and what you do, but also tells that person that, ‘Hey, I’m one of you.’” – @jasonstallworth [0:45:34]

“That’s the biggest thing, you have to be in this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music, that passionate about your music to stick it out.” – @jasonstallworth [0:48:39]

“If you’re getting frustrated over these types of things, then that frustration is going to show whenever you do put something out there on Facebook or on Instagram or wherever you’re putting it on.” – @jasonstallworth [0:52:50]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Jason Stallworth’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/jasonstallworthmetal/

The Online Musician 3.0 – https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us – http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle – https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. So great to have you guys once again on the premier music marketing podcast. And if you want to do me a solid, you can go ahead and leave a review for this podcast. If they give you the option to click stars, then click as many stars as you can. Write something nice because we do read those. They’re a huge encouragement to us and it does help other musicians like yourself to find the Savvy Musician Show. No student spotlight today because the whole episode is going to be a student spotlight, somebody who I’m very, very anxious to have on this show because we go back and forth on Instagram and Facebook and all, in the groups all the time because he’s a fellow metalhead.

And his project is so interesting, I’m not going to try and describe it to you, we’ll get to that with just a second with him. But welcome Jason Stallworth. Brother, how are you, man?

01:18 Jason: Dude, thank you so much for having me on, man. This is awesome. I feel honored to be here.

01:23 CJ: Well, I think somebody, if they listen to the podcast for any length of time, they may start to think, “Wow, man, there’s a lot of metal people.” Which just goes to show you, if you can sell metal, I guess you can sell anything.

01:35 Jason: You just have a valid point, man. Yeah, metal is not a popular genre. It’s not a mainstream genre, especially in the U.S. here.

01:42 CJ: Yeah. So, you are a metal instrumentalist initially, but then you’re also got the vocal aspects. In other words, it’s heavy on the instrumental’s part, it’s not band, per se. You’re running this whole thing by yourself, right?

01:57 Jason: It’s all me. I started out, like you said, as an instrumental musician and the first three albums were instrumental metal, and it progressively got heavier over time. But this last album I put out last year, Masterpiece, I actually always wanted to do a vocal album, so, I did. I put it out there and I gained some new fans from that. So, it was a really interesting take. But I want to go back one second here, I did not do that on my own, this album was unique in the fact that I hired out certain parts of it like the drums, for example, that one of the piece that had to be just spot on, especially for metal, this type of album, because this album was more of what you would hear from a band, not necessarily a solo guitarist.

So, I really upped my game and hired people that can do very well what I cannot do. That was a crucial-

02:52 CJ: Right. In other words, they’re not band members, it was, you had to get people to do this. So, very much a project of yours, which is interesting that you just mentioned that, and I’m going to back up here in a second we get to the, where does Jason come from? And all this stuff. But you’re typically, you would have a guitarist doing something, would be just your shredder types, Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, that kind of thing. Whereas, for you, the specific genre is more death metal. So, it’s, think of the shredding being applied to riffs.

03:29 Jason: That’s a very good way to put it. Yes.

03:33 CJ: Yeah. So, it’s not the same thing, it’s not what you’re going to get with the typical, not to criticize neoclassical shredders or anything like that, but if you’ve heard one, you’ve heard the other 125 of them. But I’ve always said, in most death metal songs, you’ve got about 20 individual regular heavy metal songs just in the amount of riffs contained in one death metal song. So, the complexity is pretty serious.

04:02 Jason: It is. And it’s funny you mentioned that, because even the prior albums, my first three albums, which were almost more like hard rock, classic heavy metal, which I still love. I really want to combine melodic death metal with that classic heavy metal, the bands that you and I both go way back to like the early Exodus, early old Metallica, I had to specify old Metallica there. But I didn’t want to be one of those to just fill every millisecond of the song with a guitar solo. I wanted to leave the room for the rhythm parts to breathe.

04:35 CJ: Right. So, take us back now, how long have you been recording music? And then when did you discover Savvy Musician Academy?

04:47 Jason: I’ve been playing music, man, since 1989. I’m an old guy. But I didn’t really pursue it as a profession until I released my first album back in 2013. And I had a little break in between my younger years. And I won’t get into this, but I made some, not the best decisions, life decisions in my early years, and I think sometimes that can prevent you from pursuing when you have other responsibilities. So, fast forward, 2013 released my first album. I started hearing about Leah. Man, I want to say 2014/15, somewhere along that line. And I might be off on that a little bit, but I heard about it. I even called Steve. I even talked to Steve on the phone. He probably doesn’t remember this, but I think this wasn’t when Leah was just starting out. And they were doing like an interview process.

It was probably the first generation Savvy. And I almost pulled the trigger but I didn’t, was scared to jump into something and spend the money, and especially on something that’s nontraditional. A couple of years after that, I guess it was back in 2018/19, I pulled the trigger. I’m like, “I’ve got to do something.” So, I decided to do something.

06:04 CJ: Yeah. So, did you start originally in the Online Musician, or did you go straight for Elite?

06:09 Jason: I went straight for Elite, man. This is one of those things, and you know this all too well when you know you’re supposed to do something with your life, you have to take it to the utmost level and be committed and jump in and not look back. So, I started out of the gate with the Elite program.

06:28 CJ: Anyway, it’s interesting you say it that way because I do find this as the case. And it’s a confidence issue with a lot of people that can’t do the math. And so, they’re unsure of themselves, they’re unsure of the marketplace. So, when you have something like the music industry, which people assume to be very difficult to get into no matter what version you’re trying to do, whether it’s independent or with a label, whatever, it’s going to be hard, difficult. And so, they second-guess themselves. And so, they want to go minimal, get their feet wet. And I get that, I understand. But I love the fact that you didn’t do that. Because what that tells me is, you’re not denying the reality of the difficulty of doing this on your own, you’re not denying the reality of the difficulty of the music industry as we know it. What you’re saying is, “I’m confident in me.”

07:20 Jason: Absolutely.

07:20 CJ: You know what I mean? “Once I get the information, once you tell me how I can solve this problem, how I can get my music out there, how I can remain in to pay… You tell me how, well, I know I’ll pay the price. So, I’m not worried about that part, I just need the information. So, why jack around with all of these individual courses or something like that? Let me just go for the broken beat that much further down the road, instead of starting online.” Not to criticize anybody who starts with Online Musician and then two years later gets into Elite, but I can certainly see the logic.

07:51 Jason: And I think there’s two things when you talk about that, there’s two things I think of. And I heard a recent quote, I think it’s from a movie and about 20 people have quoted this, “If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.” You’re talking about the confidence aspect, and then, “No, I don’t have this, or I don’t have that, or I’m not sure about this.” You have to take that step forward. The thing that happens after that, and I think a lot of people don’t quite get this, is that, even when you jump in, there’s a buttload of work that you have to do after that, and you have to be consistent. You have to keep pushing and pushing and pushing.

I hear you and Leah talk, especially recently on the podcast, and I love this, you’re talking about the shiny object syndrome. What’s the hack? What’s the secret? That sort of thing. And I knew that was not the case from the beginning. So, I went into the Elite knowing that, okay, yeah, I’m getting… I mean, it’s a step by step program. It’s amazing. The things that I have out there now, it’s like, wow, I didn’t have anywhere near that before. So, things are progressing, but I just want throw in there, I just throw in there that you still have to work very hard, very diligent, and work on the right things, of course, and keep pushing.

09:02 CJ: So, in your case, again, started recording 2013, you said was your first album?

09:08 Jason: Yes, my first. Yeah, 2013.

09:10 CJ: Okay. So, by the time you started to target people was… Is this last album, Masterpiece, that you just put out, is that the first album officially for Jason Stallworth post Savvy Musician Academy, or did you release an album earlier using these techniques?

09:25 Jason: No, that was it. That was it. And so, this happened at the best time because that album changed my musical… And metal’s metal. You and I know both metal’s metal. But when you go from instrumental to lyrics, that can definitely further define that style that you’re doing. You keep your old fans, hopefully, but you’re appealing to a different audience at that point. So, having the course before I released that album, that was just extremely helpful.

09:53 CJ: Yeah. Again, it’s interesting for people, I think, to hear, as we have on this podcast with the different students, the different genres, the different approaches, being in the different place. Like the last student I had on here was J.R. Richards, who used to be in the charts. Signed and sold a few million records. But in this new world now, everybody’s on an equal plane. And so, you have to change the methodology as far as getting to know people, your audience and whatever. So, here you are applying all of this to this new record which you just did. Tell me a little bit about your audience targeting. Was that a challenge for you at first? Did it take a while for you to get that dialed in?

10:37 Jason: I made it more of a challenge than it had to be. It’s funny how you can look back and see some of the mistakes you made. And that was an awesome podcast, by the way. I was listening to that on leg day last week, so, squats and then CJ here.

10:51 CJ: Can you concentrate on leg day?

10:55 Jason: No, but it is funny. I think I made it more complicated than what I needed to be. I was like, “Well, what’s my micro-niche now?” Going through the steps though, asking your fans, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen that’s been so helpful to me. If you ask them, they will tell you exactly what they think and what they want from you. But I was like, “Well, I’m going from instrumental to this style. So, do I need to target more death metal style people? Do I need to do this, that?” And I think I overthought the process a little bit more than I should have.

But I ultimately have figured it out, and what I’ve found is that when you have your brand, and I listened to something from actually you this morning when you have your brand out there, I don’t want to say you can do whatever you want, but people are… they’re going to listen to you as an artist. You know what I mean? And as long as you’re not going from like death metal to, let’s say, country or something like jazz or something.

11:53 CJ: Yeah, you’ve got flexibility.

11:54 Jason: You know what I mean? And so, I really think that I overthought that process and maybe spent a little bit more time trying to revamp emails and do this and do that to change things to cater it to what I thought it should be. And I should have just stepped back and breathed a little bit. It’s like, “Okay, I’ve built an audience, I’m continuing to build that same audience and they’re loving everything I put out.”

12:16 CJ: Well, yeah, and it’s a good way to say it because I have seen that happen a lot with people overthinking. And in fact, that’s one of the biggest hindrances I’ve noticed is people getting stuck actually, especially with the micro-niche thing. And which is a double-edged sword because it’s one thing you really want to get that dialed in, I understand that but then another thing, it keeps you occupied and busy, so you don’t really have to fully get out there. I’ll see people literally go for months still belaboring over their micro-niche, and I’m just thinking, “Man, I’d just made a guess at it in five minutes and just started running ads and get myself out there and seeing if I can connect with people.”

And it’s funny though, because if there’s any genre of music, Jason, that you could technically dial in, where it’s really divided into micro-niches, it’s going to be heavy metal.

13:17 Jason: Got you.

13:17 CJ: I mean, there’s wars over genres in within metal. But in another sense, it’s not so particular when you’re getting something new out there. For example, I shared one of your videos on my Instagram and Facebook page.

13:34 Jason: Thank you for that, dude.

13:35 CJ: But I didn’t really get into details about genres and things like that, and people were responding so well. Nobody was harping on it, they were just saying how much they liked it. So, it’s like, “Oh, okay, yeah.” Just get it out in front of metalheads, and we’ll start working our way through. Because sometimes there’s people who listen to music for the enjoyment of it, and then there’s people like yourself, who are into it from a musician’s standpoint. So, the periodicals you read and the videos you watch and the news you keep up with is a little bit different.

For example, when I used to do my targeting for Metal Motivation, I would be thinking about the Blabbermouths and the Metal Injections and all of these different kind of news, gossip type sites and whatever, but then I realized, you know what? If you just read all the comments that those people typically leave on the articles they post there, you’re like, “I don’t want any of those people following me, they’re just a bunch of trolls.” You know what I mean? I want the guys and girls who just enjoy the music. One of the great eye-opening instances I has, I took my kids to see Metallica a couple years ago.

14:46 Jason: Nice.

14:46 CJ: And we went to our biggest sports stadium, indoor sports stadium where our hockey team plays or basketball team plays here in Raleigh, and they had record attendance for the Metallica show. The entire history of that stadium, as many comedians, and bands, and circuses, and big shows, and sporting events that it’s had in its entire history, the record-setting event was a Metallica show. Okay?

15:17 Jason: That’s crazy, dude.

15:19 CJ: Heavy metal, ladies and gentlemen. But here’s the interesting thing is when I drove up to it, me and my kids are getting out, we’re walking, we had to walk because we had to park far away, we’re going through it, and you’re looking at the parking lot at all the cars, and based upon the cars, it looked no different than an NFL playoff game.

15:38 Jason: Wow.

15:38 CJ: You could not tell by the cars, what kind of event this was. Now, I saw Metallica originally back in ’83, the cars that I saw at that time were not the cars that I saw at this time. There was no Mercedes and SUVs and… You know what I mean? It was like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a bunch of rockers piling out of an old van with smoke coming out. So, it was interesting to say, “Okay, I’m walking into the biggest heavy metal band of all time, setting a record attendance.” And from the outset, you could not tell that this was a heavy metal event. Go inside, and outside are people wearing T-shirts. I had to look around for someone who looked like me. I saw kids, I saw teenagers, you know what I mean? I saw people just, maybe they were long-haired and whatever back in the day, but they got jobs and they can’t necessarily live like that now.

Now, the whole point of all of this is that I’m thinking, “Huh, these are people who just love the music. They’re not necessarily going to metal bars, they’re not necessarily reading Metal Injection or Blabbermouth, they don’t necessarily have a subscription to Metal Hammer magazine, and maybe they’ve never heard of Arken, but they buy heavy metal, they love heavy metal.” And so, there’s a huge swath of people that you don’t necessarily have to get so dialed in to target. You know what I mean? And it’s a very, very interesting dynamic, and I think that goes across with everybody. So, long story short, what did you learn? What’s the key thing? You’re going to run some targeted ads, what’s foremost in your mind as far as how you’re going to approach that?

17:31 Jason: The first thing, if I’m running let’s say a like ad, something as simple as a like add, I will keep it at a high level, which goes along with what you were just saying there. So, I might just choose Amon Amarth or something like that, which is a melodic death metal band. But they’re a very much liked melodic death metal band. They’re not so deep into death metal to where… you can actually understand Johan Hegg’s vocals. But then I might also include somebody like Megadeth, somebody like that, because I know, if someone likes both of those bands, they’re going to like my music. And like you just said, that brings in such… it’s metal, sure, but it brings in a wide audience. You have so many different types of people that listen to this style of music.

And I do think that that goes across most genres as well. You’re going to have different types of people that… Look, we live in a huge world, and we’re multicultural, and we’re global. I did a collaboration with an Arabian dude last year. I didn’t know that that culture in Dubai was into heavy metal, but of course, some people are. So, it’s just interesting the types of people that you may not think will like your music, but they do. They’re into it.

18:49 CJ: So, tell me then, was it eye-opening to see the worldwide potential for a fan base?

18:57 Jason: It was. There’re certain countries that are known for metal, like Japan is known for metal. The European countries, which, that’s where metal’s popular, bands like Nightwish and Arch Enemy. U.S., it’s kind of died down, it’s kind of bubblegum metal. I shouldn’t say that, but it’s different, I’ll just say that. Metal today is much different than ’83 when you went to the Kill ‘Em All concert.

19:26 CJ: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

19:27 Jason: I’m very jealous of, by the way.

19:28 CJ: Kill ‘Em all, for one, it was Raven and Metallica.

19:31 Jason: Man, wow. That had to be epic. But, yeah, I was just blown away by some… I’ve got a lot of fans. When we run the ads, when we’re trying to run the cheap likes, or not, I shouldn’t say try, when we’re running the cheap like ads, I’m getting people from countries like India, and the Philippines. And I’m like, “Man, there’s metalheads all over the world.” And I feel bad sometimes for not acknowledging that not knowing that, and being maybe so close-minded to that, but they’re all over the place.

20:03 CJ: Just for everybody to know, when you say page likes ads, likes ads, what do you mean by that?

20:09 Jason: That’s basically, just for someone starting out, that’s basically running an ad and putting your brand out there. You can be an image or a video, putting it out there. Now, people have to see it and actually like it. And I want to clarify something real quick because there’s people out there that say, “Well, you can just buy likes on Facebook.” No, you can’t. They have to be interested. First of all, you’re targeting the types of people that you know are going to be or have a better chance of being interested in you and your music and what you have to offer. And then they have to physically like it, you’re not buying. So, I want to clarify for that if anyone’s listening who’s like, “Well, you buy ads.” No, you don’t buy likes, then you have to physically take an action.

20:54 CJ: Yeah, there’s no scamming here, these are opt-in type things. And you don’t want something that you can just buy, you want people that you target and that sort of thing. So, how does this affect your copy? What was the process for you to figure out, “Well, what do I need to say to these…” It’s one thing to target them, it’s another thing to have your video there, but then it’s a completely other thing to say, “Well, what do I say? What do I write to these people?”

21:21 Jason: I’m going to say this, at first, I just sucked bad at copy, and I was almost sounding like a used car salesman or like trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t suck. That was rather fun. And I found myself doing that because I have taken, I’ll step back a little bit, before I took Leah’s course, the Elite course, I have spent thousands of dollars on, not music courses, but entrepreneur courses. And, CJ, you’re in this space as well, the entrepreneur world, and you know how much stuff’s out there. And I don’t know, you just kind of get this salesy thing that just automatically comes out. And that’s not me. So, what I found that works best for me is just being me, just being organic and talking just like you and I are chatting right now.

And I’m trying to think of a headline, but I can’t… my mind just wouldn’t work right now, but just putting something that you feel at the moment that’s organic. Not everything that’s going to work like you expected, which is why we test things. So, just being authentic and organic. I mean, it’s your genre, so, you know how your audience speaks. I don’t think it’s something that you have to overthink and really dig into as like, “Well, I wonder what they’re going to like.” It’s your music, you already know what they’re going to like. So, that’s kind of the big thing that I took away from that.

22:42 CJ: Yeah, and I’m glad you said that because, sometimes I can sound like a broken record, just trying to hit on these same points again and again about how social media has changed everything. And since my background is in marketing and all this sort of stuff, I remember the old school days, and I know the principles. In fact, we’re teaching in the Inner Circle now, you were part of that, a copywriting series right now. Because if, ladies and gentlemen, direct response marketing had begun at the very same time that social media had begun, the current rules that we understand in traditional direct response marketing would be different. Because marketing is based on the fact that you don’t know who you’re reaching, and so, you have to really, really quickly, whether it’s through a printed direct mail piece that someone gets in their physical mailbox, or an email or what have you, you’ve got to establish that know, like, and trust aspect within seconds.

What they put on the outside of the envelope, if it’s not… your thing could go right into the round drawer real, real quick. They could trash that thing real, real quick. And then when you open it up, and they’ll try to put your name at the top, and they’re like, “These people don’t know me, how did they get my name?” Well, they got it somehow, through a brokerage. So, they got your name and they’re trying to say… But you know that it’s not genuine, you know this is not authentic. And so, here we have a social media platform where everybody is personal. And you’ve heard me say this in our classes where it’s, your post, when you run a page like ad like you’ve done, Jason, that that ad is appearing right before a post from their mom, and right after a post from a best friend.

So, you can’t come across as that vacuum cleaner salesman, you can’t come across as a billboard. You can’t be screaming, “Sale, sale, sale.” You have to come across as personal. And so, that means the language. In some cases, you’re not marketing in the classical sense, like when you’re creating content. And I want you to tell me a little bit about your approach to just content for your existing social media following. How do you feed them? In other words. But that content is marketing in the longterm, because you’re establishing the relationship, but it’s not marketing in the sense that it’s not necessarily offering something. Right? So, tell us a little bit about your approach to feeding your audience.

25:14 Jason: Well, the one thing I would not do is send you an ad, CJ, for a fast-food restaurant. I remember you mentioning that in a prior podcast, which goes back to your point that you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. What I like to do, what I found works best for me is, I’m a guitarist, so, like the easiest thing I can do. And I don’t want to say it’s the easiest, that’s not the reason, but it’s natural, it’s for me to get in front of the camera and just play guitar. Metalheads love that, they love to hear that, sometimes just in a full mix. I’ll actually record just… I’ll make up something on the fly, record it in the full mix, shoot it real quick and sync the audio and video, which is a little process there. Other times, I’ll just plug into my amp and just jam, and I get a lot of response from that. I get a lot of comments, a lot of likes.

And one of the things you can do as a musician, for you guitar players out there, or whatever instrument you play, or even vocalist is, you can lean in towards your expertise in that. And then you get other fans that play your instrument or sing and you entice them as well. So, that’s just a side note. But that’s something that I do. And I can go back, and I can look at these short little videos, and I can see which ones perform well, what resonated with the audience? Sometimes I don’t know if this is going to resonate or not. So, you have to have that analytical mindset, which is another thing I really sucked at, man, before getting into this course is looking at all the data and stuff, just boring to me at first.

Now it’s a little bit more exciting. So, I’m like, “Okay, I see this, this had more progress.” So, I can repurpose that for a video view ad or even an opt-in, if I want to, something like that. So, that’s a big thing. Now, something recently, and we talked about this a couple of weeks ago in one of your sessions, CJ. And this was something that really resonated is, get out there and start talking to your audience more. I’ve actually been, every Friday, been doing just like a little motivational speech or inspirational, not speech, I shouldn’t call it that, but just really connecting just some things that I’ve learned that weekend, even some failures. One of the best things you can do is share your failures with people. And I don’t mean to ramble here, but on social media, everybody’s doing great, right?

On social media, everybody’s got the big house, they’ve got the nice car, the perfect body, and yada yada. They want their best, and they want you to think that, “I’m on top.” Everybody’s a celebrity. So, I will do the opposite sometimes. A couple of weeks ago, I like to lift weights, for those of you don’t know too, that’s been a passion, as long as guitar playing has, I tried to deadlift the weight, and I was filming it, and I was trying for a max I’d never gotten before, I failed at it. So, I decided to post that and make that as an inspirational video for people that, “Hey, you’re not always going to succeed. And just because you see everybody else out there seemingly succeeding in things, they’re not, but it shouldn’t matter. It’s okay to fail and get back up and try again.”

So, just long story short there, I’ve been talking a lot more, almost as much as I’ve been playing to my audience as well. And I have noticed more comments come in from that, more likes and so forth, and just have a lot more engagement. Now that’s further creating my brand, not as just a metal musician, but also as, “Hey, Jason’s helping me in life right now. He’s sharing some of his failures or some things.” I’ve had so many emails come in after that and messages, it’s like, “Wow, I had no idea, dude.” And I know you probably get that all the time being in the motivational space. They’re like, “Hey, you saved my life today, CJ.” Stuff like that. I’m sure you get it.

29:10 CJ: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you then answer somebody who says, “Okay, that’s all well and good, I’m glad Jason’s inspiring people, and I’m glad he’s getting the feel-good metrics of people writing into more likes on this inspirational stuff, but what does that have to do with him selling his music?”

29:28 Jason: It has everything to do with it. Because, first of all, you have to understand that you’re not a known musician. You can be the best musician in the world, but if you’re in this independent artist space, you’re not Metallica. Metallica, they don’t have to say anything, they can put an image out there of their latest CD, unless it’s St. Anger, because I think that was kind of rough.

29:51 CJ: Yeah, it’s rough.

29:53 Jason: But I’m joking. James Hetfield is going to kill me if he hears this. But, no, they can do that, right? Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, they can do that. Slayer, they can put something out there because they’ve been under a label for all these years. Us as independent artists, we don’t have that. So, we have to build, we have to nurture. If I just post my stuff out there, then, hey, it’s crickets. And look, I’ve done it before. I mean, before I got into this course and started learning about promoting music and that sort of thing, I would just tell friends and family and post, “Hey, here’s my album on Facebook.” And yeah, you had couple likes or whatever, but nobody’s really paying attention to it.

But when people find out that you connect with them, and that what you’re doing resonates with them, they start becoming attached to you. It’s really interesting. CJ, I had somebody in Germany buy my album, my CD. They paid more for shipping than what my CD cost. I’m floored by that sort of thing. And when I get little things that happen like that here and there, it’s like, wow. But it’s because you connect with your people, you show that you care about them. And one thing I will say is, you have to present yourself and your music in a way that’s beneficial to them. Because I can talk about me all day as like, “Well, I started playing music, blah, blah, blah, and today, my song’s about this, or my album’s going to be about this.”

They really don’t care that much, but when you start making it about them, and you start asking them questions and they interact, and then you respond to them, it’s like, whoa, okay, that’s a game changer.

31:37 CJ: Yeah, I love the way that you’re phrasing this because independent space is a great way to describe it. People who are in this independent space, which is becoming more and more and more as they learn about this, the rules are different. Now, for a lot of people that say, “I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like a musical career to me, just seems like you’re on social media,” well, here’s what everybody has to understand, we’ve heard about the new normal, we’ve heard about all the ramifications of what we’ve gone through in this particular year 2020 with COVID-19, et cetera, well, I mean, think about how radical the change is. In fact, I posted this morning about that, it was that e-commerce retail online sales are 75% higher than they were at this time last year. Well, obviously because of COVID.

But that means people are learning, “Okay, you know what? I don’t have to go and get certain things.” Like last night, I had to get some new running shoes. And I’m just going to get the same brand I had done before, so, I don’t have to go try on shoes. So, I literally just ordered them, and they’ll be here whenever they get here. I don’t necessarily need them like today, but I was on the treadmill last night and I looked at the bottom of mine, I said, “I need to get some new ones.” Yeah. But it used to be, “All right, well, I’ve got to get down to a Foot Locker or whatever at the mall and go try some stuff on.” No, I know, according to the brand, what my shoe size is. All I have to do is online.

So, so many things that we would normally go out for, we don’t have to. Now with food dash and all these other things, people are ordering food. And again, this is changing everybody’s thinking now. Now you think of, like, I homeschooled my kids, Leah homeschool her kids now. Mine are grown, but I homeschooled. So, you thought about people thinking you’re weird. When I’m homeschooling in the ’90s with my kids, they thought we were weird. But the whole world is suddenly homeschooling. The whole world. Now, I wonder how many commercial real estate buildings are going to be put up for sale after this, when companies now realize, “Wow, we’ve got employees working at home and everything didn’t break down. We’re still getting the numbers done. In fact, we’re getting more, we’re saving money on gas, we’re saving money on this, saving money on that.”

So, the world is going to radically change. And look how many meetings and classes and things are being done on Zoom, and Google Hangouts, and Facebook, and how many bands are now live-streaming. Madonna is now in the exact same position as Jason Stallworth. They’re both on the exact same position, nobody’s playing any live events. Nobody’s touring, nobody’s doing anything. If she has to release an album, guess what, she’s got to do it online. You know what I mean? Everybody. One of my favorite bands, Primal Fear, just came out with an album. Right?

34:33 Jason: Yes. I love that album, by the way, dude.

34:35 CJ: Metal Commando, dude.

34:36 Jason: Metal Commando, yes.

34:37 CJ: But online. They can’t tour, they can’t do anything. So, guess what, everybody, now, being on social media and doing what Jason’s doing, sharing inspirational messages, playing some guitar, sharing his life, doing album launches, which I want him to talk about here in just a second, but doing everything Savvy Musician Academy style will continually become the norm, from here on out. So, as much as we hate the ramifications of in every respect of what’s happening as a result of COVID-19, on the other side of it, there’s this upside for people like you, for people like me, and for those listening that, yeah, man, you can build an online music career. And now, you damn well better.

35:30 Jason: Absolutely. It’s funny you mentioned that, the upside, because a lot of people live in the fear and like, “Oh, my God, my business is going to fail. This is going to happen.” And my heart does go out to a lot of the businesses that are local and that sort of thing. But one of the things I learned in a book that you and Leah recommended is something about the millionaires, the difference between the middle class and millionaires. One of the things I talked about is middle class, they get down when things go south, but the millionaire mindset is, when things go bad, you see opportunity, and misses pretty much opportunity right here to pursue that, even more now that online space is just, it’s more prevalent for us right now to do that. So, yeah.

36:15 CJ: Tell us about your album launch.

36:19 Jason: I’m actually working on a new album, man. So, I’m getting ready to crowdfund, I don’t want to get into the bells and whistles here, but I think I’m going to use Shopify, they have a plugin or something for crowdfunding. That’s something I did not do last year when I released Masterpiece. But I think one of the key things you have to do for album launch, without even going into all the details, is make a plan. And we have the plan in Savvy, of course, but be serious about it, break out the spreadsheet. I’m old school, sometimes I might use a spreadsheet. I use Apple Pages, or Apple, whatever it’s called, Numbers, but I also use old school pen and paper. I like to write things down that way too before I put it into the spreadsheet, because it just gets ingrained in me and it becomes life, if that makes sense.

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned in this course about album launch thing is, you have to plan, you have to plan it out. You can’t just tell a few people like, “Okay, I’m releasing it tomorrow.” You have to plan it out. And I know us musicians, we’re like, “Well, it’s done. I want to put it out there today.” You know what I mean? But, no, make a plan. Use Leah’s advice in the course. And sometimes you may, I don’t want to say you’ll deviate from it, but you’ll find little nuances that may be fit what you’re doing. You know what I mean? But at least use that as a template, as a guideline to go by. But you have to plan that out. You have to plan the pre-launch, launch day, and then even the post-launch. It doesn’t stop.

Launching your album, or I should say promoting your album doesn’t stop after it’s launched, you have to keep that momentum going. But it’s the same philosophy though that that pre-launch, that plan that you make, it’s the same philosophy as like a spaceship taking off. They use a ton of power just to get off the ground. After that, they’re kind of coasting a little bit, you still have to do. So, that’s just crucial. The pre-launch is crucial.

38:21 CJ: Yeah. And this is where I think people miss it, Jason, I’m sure you’ve seen people say this too, where they say, “I don’t see how you guys do this.” Or, they hear about Leah’s success or results and they think, “Oh, it’s got to be a scam. It’s got to be this.” Instead of just saying, “Okay, well, maybe there’s something I don’t know about, maybe they’re doing things I’ve never heard of before.” There’s a lot of independent bands out there with a Facebook page just filled with events, and they do put out a CD or what have you, and they have a little CD release party at their local metal bar or something like that, but it doesn’t really go much more than that.

And so, for you, part of your pre-launch, for example, for your next album, is the inspirational video you’ll do tomorrow as you get it, because you’re running page likes ads, you’re bringing new people in. You’re putting out this relevant content, sharing your life and your music and your thoughts with this audience that you’re building, getting them engaged. Facebook is keeping track of all of that engagement, and so then you can then target these people. You can get them on email lists. So, you have this ever-growing following that’s really attached to Jason Stallworth. And so, that’s happening now. And if he doesn’t release this album for another year, ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be determined by everything he’s doing right now. So, he’s maximizing all that he can have.

And so, again, you can either watch somebody like Jason do it, or you can participate in it yourself. Stop this doubting, stop the criticizing, stop the cynicism. Stop being so cynical and just start doing what’s necessary to get these things done. I know you don’t want to get in all the bells and whistles, but are you going to do anything differently on this next album, based on what you just learned with Masterpiece?

40:21 Jason: Yeah. Honestly, the big difference is, is going to be more. Yeah, I mean, I’m going to do more of everything that I was doing. There’s nothing in particular that I would do differently or even add to that. One thing, I’ll step back from it, one thing I have started doing lately is, when someone buys a CD from me, I will film it, and I’ll put that out there. What I want to tell people is, you don’t want to ask for sales every time, because, again, remember, you’ve got to make it about them, but don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Even if it’s not an ad that you’re running, you don’t want to make every video and every post about that, of course, but, like every fifth video, it might be me going to the post office.

41:04 Jason: I might feel myself driving to the post office just chatting with folks. I’ve actually made a few sales that way. Going to the post office to mail a CD, you get that little cha-ching. We love that little Shopify sound it makes when you get a sale. My wife’s like, “Did we make money again?” I’m like, “Yep.” It’s like a little management.

41:25 CJ: Yeah, you should be able to weave it into all of your content. Because, if people truly love you, and they love the culture that surrounds the music, then they want to hear more about it. I can’t say how many people have said to me, when I write something inspirational, said, “Dude, that’ll be great on a shirt.” Or, “Hey, bro, do you have a book?” Or they’re asking me for products that they know they have to buy. They’re not asking me for a free book, they are not asking me for, if I’ll put that on a T-shirt, though they’ll say, “Dude, that’d be great on a T-shirt. I’d buy it.” So, they’re asking for it. If they know, like, and trust you, as I’ve said before, they’ll buy cat food from Jason Stallworth, even though he puts out melodic death metal.

42:14 Jason: That is true.

42:15 CJ: Because they just love Jason. Right?

42:18 Jason: I love that. We love cats, we take care of a bunch of feral cats, but no, you have an excellent point in that. And that also brings another thing that I want to point this out. This is crucial that I learned in the program is that is to also diversify your income. Leah talks about the five streams of income, and that’s just a starting point. You mentioned a book, I published a book on Amazon called Heavy Metal and Weights in 2017, right before I joined the course. And so, I got to thinking about those different streams of income, and that could be it too. If you’re a writer, write something. If you have a blog post, that’s something I do as well. You can blog about the gear you use, and you can get affiliate income from that. That’s a completely different business altogether.

That was one of the things I really learned to do is just not to, focus on your music, yeah, but it’s not just that, you have to open up the door and do other things related to that as well. And I’ve heard Leah, I’ve heard you say this 1,000 times, don’t hang on that thing that will, “I might just take off and make it, that one thing might just boost one day.” It’s not that, it’s just consistent action every day, the grind, and then diversifying like that. So, that was one of the things that I really took home from the course.

43:43 CJ: Yeah, it really is. You have options, and that’s what’s important for people to notice, is that you don’t have to isolate it to thinking, “How many CDs do I need to sell to make a living?” No, because you can sell the CD, you can sell a vinyl, you can sell download, you can sell T-shirts, you can sell hoodies, you can sell mugs, you can sell hats, you can sell prints, and posters, and coasters, and shower curtains, and bedspreads, and socks, and… Oh, you’ve seen all the crazy stuff you can put your artwork on. And again, if you’re cognizant of the culture that surrounds, of course, you and I know heavy metal culture very well, because you can always spot the heavy metal person in the crowd, right?

You walk by and somebody’s got a Maiden T-shirt on, you’re just going to throw the horns at them. I’ve gone to the grocery store with a Metallica T-shirt or an Iron Maiden T-shirt on. I mean, they may not recognize Amon Amarth like you have on. But I’ll have the butcher, who I’ve never met before, as I’m walking by, Maiden.

44:49 Jason: That’s great, dude.

44:52 CJ: They’re out there. But, again, it’s just about connecting with people who would be perfect for you. So, was that eye-opening for you, a concept of the Superfan? And how would you define the Superfan?

45:07 Jason: The Superfan is exactly that, is connecting with those people. Is first finding those people, and we have to be active in that. And the course, of course, goes to that, teaches you how to do that. But it’s finding those people, and then making that connection, just as you would in the grocery store. You saw the dude with the Maiden shirt on, you had that instant connection you saw him, and it’s the same way online. You go out, find those, you give that message out there, that authentic message that tells what you are and what you do, but also tells that person that, “Hey, I’m one of you.”

I see so many ads, CJ, where you’ll see an image of somebody just holding the metal horns or something like that, and the ad doesn’t even have to say anything sometimes, it’s like, “Okay, yeah, that’s me, that’s my fan. That’s it.” And it pulls you there.

45:59 CJ: I’m so glad you said that because, I got into audience targeting when this copywriting series we just started in the Inner Circle, and I’m talking about how, when you really got your targeting in, the less important the copy becomes. And I’m teaching on copywriting. All right? So, half the battle is targeting. If I’m targeting well, for example, my Facebook page just says, “Metal Motivation.” So, if you got an image of a metalhead in that profile picture, and then the blue Facebook letter saying, “Metal Motivation,” and then the image I’m putting in there is an image that I always use of this heavy metal female model, if my targeting is right like Jason just said, and they see that, what do I need to say?

46:43 Jason: Nothing.

46:44 CJ: They’re going to stop and go, “What is that? Because, however, somebody knew to put that ad in front of me, and I’ve never heard of this Metal Motivation before, but it’s directly relevant to me.” So, the copy obviously helps, because you can explain to people what it is in shorthand, and get them to take some sort of specific action because that’s direct response marketing. But what Jason’s talking about is imperative. Because, if you know who your audience is, then you can get that dialed in. That’s why I tell people all the time if you just spent the next year getting to know your audience, getting that dialed in, and learning how to engage with them, even if you didn’t sell a single thing or didn’t even try to sell a single thing, you will be so prepared for anything at the end of that year.

Because you were setting up, “I know the principles, I know all the things I’m supposed to be posting. I know how to get people on my list. I know how to get them engaged. I know what they want to see from me. I know how to post the relevant stuff,” on and on and on. Your set up to sell now. You’re completely set up to sell. What I see as a problem, Jason, is that people get in the Elite course, and they get go through it as quick as they possibly can, and they’re like, they just finished the course an hour and a half ago, within two hours, they’re releasing their album launch and they’re like, “Well, how come I’m not selling anything? How come I’m not getting anybody interested?” It’s funny.

48:17 Jason: It’s funny because our society today teaches us right now, we want things instantly. We think that we should be able to go through step A through D, and then take an action based on that, and boom, the results appear. And it just doesn’t work like that. And that’s the biggest thing, you have to be into this for the long game. You have to be passionate about your music, that passionate about your music to stick it out. And not just read the book, so to speak, and then go take an action, and then say, “Oh, well, this didn’t work. Okay, I give up.” Or, it’s the course’s fault or whatever, whoever’s fault, or the green little gnome. But, no, you have to consistently take that action every day. And it’s something that you have to develop over time as well.

I always like to consider myself decent at marketing, because I’ve done marketing in other spaces as well with another website that I own in the fitness arena, and I like to think of myself as decent at that. But then, after going through the course, it’s like, “There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know, and there’s a lot of stuff that has changed and it’s constantly changing.” But you have to just be engulfed in this as a business. It is not just an art anymore. Yeah, that’s a big part of it, but you have to be ingrained and fully committed to it, and like, and I heard you talking about Grant Cardone, you have to 10 times it. Everything you do, you have to be in it, and 10 times. Do even more.

49:49 CJ: Yeah. Like Jason just said about his next album release, it’s, “I’m just going to do more, that’s my plan, do more of everything.” And I think what happens is, again, I see the same problems with our Elite students, they’re trying to follow everything in the course. And so, all their questions in the Facebook group are about, “How do I connect this to this? What are your stats on this?” And all of the same metric questions and all of that. And they’re still wondering why they’re not getting sales, why their ads cost so much, and all of these things, because they think they’re following the plan. This is what everybody’s missing. It’s the human element that makes the sales.

All that stuff that you’re learning about how to run an email campaign and how to do you know a nurture plan with your emails and an album launch and page likes ads, all of the stuff that you learn in Elite. It only is intended to scale what’s already working organically, which means, if you’re connecting with, that’s what I said, if you spend the next year just building your audience, getting to know them, knowing what they respond to and building that know, like, and trust relationship, a very engaged audience, now you’re ready to sell. So, they go through all the proper steps and they’ve got everything together, everything is pristine. They’re using the right email software that Leah recommends, they’ve got Shopify, they’ve got all the right retargeting apps, everything is set.

They’ve really thought out their email, nurture campaign, everything is set, and it’s not working. Because they forgot it’s not about that initially, that’s half of it. The other half is, you have to engage with your audience. So, I love the fact, Jason, that you said earlier, you started to add this inspirational component to this, and sharing the foibles as much as you’re sharing the victory, sharing the stuff that people don’t normally share, because they, like you said, they want to put their best self out there, but now you’re real to them, which again, build that trust element. And so, now, Jason said he considers himself a decent marketer. He’s learned more, which means he’s even more of a decent marketer, but now he’s got this two-edged sword.

The fact that he’s knowing and building this audience, and growing even more and more proficient of the details of digital marketing. How do you stop that?

52:21 Jason: It’s unstoppable at that point.

52:23 CJ: Yeah, it’s unstoppable.

52:24 Jason: It really is, because, like you said, you can have everything else right on the technical side, and still miss the boat. And it’s frustrating. And one thing I’ll say, CJ, is, how we feel and the things that we tell ourselves, and even the things that happen in our life, how we perceive those and how we react to them, that carries out to how we put ourselves out there. So, if you’re getting frustrated over these types of things, then that frustration is going to show whenever you do put something out there on Facebook or on Instagram or wherever you’re putting it on. That kind of stuff just has a way of carrying forward. So, you really have to make the decision, okay? And it’s a choice that we make to get out of that headspace and say, “You know what? I’m just going to…” Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board. I’ve gone back through the program, Elite program, certain parts of it multiple times.

I’m going through Savvy 3.0. I didn’t start out in Savvy 3.0, but I’m going through it right now because, the thing is that this is not one of those things where you just, you read it one time or go through it one time and then, “Okay, I’m done. Let me go see if it works now.” It’s one of those things that you have to saturate yourself and you have to recognize your weak areas, and then go back and work on those weak areas. So, I know in the course the points where I need to go back and read and work on and listen to, and it’s like, “Okay, let me just go back to this.” And I’m that guy, I have to read the book twice anyway to get it, I realized that about myself, but at the same time though, the information is there, so, you go back through it again, and then you apply it. But at the same time, what you’re saying about connecting with folks, you have to do that.

And it’s got to be organic, it’s got to be genuine and authentic. And you’ve got to show people that you truly care about them. Because that’s what really people want at the end of the day. Yeah, they love your music and all that stuff, but if they come to you and it’s like, “Oh, I like the song, the song meant so much to me,” but then you have this attitude, it’s like, “Oh, crap, somebody just sent me a message on Facebook. I’ve got to respond to this now.” Or, “There’s just too many comments to respond.” I respond to every single comment. That’s one thing I do and it’s one thing I encourage everybody to do, don’t say you’re too busy because you’re not, you have time which you make time for. You’re a little hard-edged here, but these are the things I put myself through. I’m hard on myself on that aspect, it’s like, “No, you need to get off your butt and respond to that comment.” You need to prioritize those things.

55:02 CJ: Yeah, when I’ve taught, not just in SMA, but I’ve taught marketing seminars elsewhere for just other businesses and things, and, Jason, I’m surprised when I do my presentation, which people enjoy, but the question I get afterwards is, “How much time is this taking you? Can I get someone else to run my social media for me?” Et cetera, et cetera. I tell them, I say, “Listen, where the world is headed, no. You can’t hire this out because that’s not authentic, you’ve got to do this,” especially those who are online musicians. And we’ve had people, who have been in our groups, Jason, who, they’ve got somebody… there’s musicians who paid for the Elite course and have someone else taking the course.

55:52 Jason: Wow.

55:55 CJ: Something’s going to get lost in the communication there. And so, If you’ve got, for example, as Jason just said, someone who’s going back through things again and again, reading the book twice, as you said, that’s really dialing down, doubling down and making sure you’ve got all of this dialed in. Because you want it to be second nature. You want it to be so that you can really operate on the fly, and you really know what your audience wants. And there’s other things you can get people to do. For example, my oldest son helps me. I produce so much video content, dude.

56:35 Jason: You do, man.

56:36 CJ: It’s crazy. But what I’ll do is, okay, well, I can repurpose content, right?

56:41 Jason: Yep.

56:41 CJ: So, I’ll send him videos that are longer and whatnot, and I’ll say, “Chop these up.” And he’ll go and he’ll chop them up, get the captions together and he’ll give them some graphics or whatever and he’ll put them together with graphics. And the next thing I do, I’ve got 25 pieces of content out of one particular podcast interview or whatever. But I’m running this for several entities. I’ve got several different podcasts and different things that I do, so, I need his help. I mean, I can do all those things, I just don’t have the time to do it all. But, through all that, he gets to know more and more of the respective audiences and platforms. So, he knows to think like me in terms of what I need. He’ll produce stuff and I’m like, “Oh, perfect.”

He could say, “Dad, I came up with this, and this, and this, and this, what do you think?” “Oh, dude, those are perfect. I could use those here, here, and here.” So, you can get things to help lighten the load down the road, but if you’re going into this thinking, “How can I get the most amount of results with the least amount of work?” You’re probably not out for this.

57:42 Jason: Yeah, you nailed it. You’re probably not cut out for this. Keep your day job or whatever it is because this is not going to be for you. Whether it’s this course you take, or you don’t take a course, or you take some other course, with that mentality, it’s just not going to work.

57:58 CJ: Yeah. And I’ll get people who will balk at some of the expenses associated with this. Because you’ve got to get your Shopify store, you’ve got to get your website. You’ve got your hosting fee, you’ve your Shopify fee. If you’ve got certain apps, maybe they cost you eight bucks a month here, you’ve got your email service provider can cost you 40-something dollars here. And then you’ve got ads and all of this sort of stuff. And so, people are just like, they balk at it. But I don’t know what people think businesses actually do. Even if you got signed for record labels, you’re spending that money.

58:39 Jason: Oh, yeah.

58:39 CJ: You think it’s the record label spending it, no, it’s all taken out of your income. You’re getting pennies, they’re getting the dollars. And this is minimal expense, minimal effort compared to what you would have to do if you try to do it the industry-standard way. But also, think about it, you said you do marketing for another project that you have. If something happened, you couldn’t do the music thing anymore, dude, you could market God knows what. Right?

59:17 Jason: Don’t say that, CJ, if I couldn’t do the music thing anymore, man, I’m dead, dude. I’m on to the next life at that point.

59:22 CJ: Jason’s like, “Don’t speak that on me.”

59:24 Jason: No.

59:25 CJ: But you know what I mean? In other word, you could-

59:27 Jason: No, you’re right. You’re right.

59:29 CJ: Or somebody needed a paysheet, you want some extra money. Somebody say, “Hey, Jason, I’ve been following you, I own a roofing business, a landscaping business. I don’t know this business, could you help me with my marketing?”

59:40 Jason: Absolutely. Yeah.

59:41 CJ: Absolutely. “Could you help me build my social media?”

59:45 Jason: You can build a shop for them. And you can build a Shopify site. And Shopify is easy. But some business owner that doesn’t want to spend the time, you could build that for them. You could build a website. You can do so many things.

59:55 CJ: You could address their graphics, you could address their copy, you could address their social media, you could help them with videos, you could help them with photos. You could tell them what photos to use. I mean, dude, they would be like, “Dude, you’re a pro.” Because you’re touching everything, literally everything. It’s not like you’re just saying, “Oh, I know how to do graphics.” Or, “Oh, I know how to be a social media manager.” No, you could just take care of their email. I mean, anything and everything you can potentially do. That’s how important a marketing education is. It’s like with sales, once you learn how to sell, most salesmen that you meet, I mean, successful salesman, they didn’t work for one company. They’ve been from company, to company, to company, to company. Because good salespeople can always find a job.

1:00:39 Jason: That’s true, and that’s really what we are now. And one thing, CJ, I’ll say is, with this whole marketing thing, and I mean promoting your music and some of the negativity that you might get with people not wanting to spend or not wanting to take the effort, once we realize, and this is something I’ve been telling myself over the past couple of years since I’ve been in the class is, once you realize that every single thing is your fault. Meaning, my fault. Everything in life that happens is, and I don’t mean fault in a bad way, but everything starts and ends with Jason, everything starts and ends with CJ. And once you accept that, you’re free. Your mind and your heart is just more free to, “Okay, now I get it. Let me go through this part of the course again. And how can I integrate this now? How can I act on this? How can I connect with my people better?”

You even said on, I think it’s the last podcast that, the question that you don’t get is, “How can I connect with my audience better.” It’s always about the shiny objects. It’s like, “Well, what do you use to do this?” And those are good questions, yes, but it’s about connecting with the audience and then realizing that at the end of the day, it all stops and starts with us.

1:01:54 CJ: Yeah, I could have a crap website, crap e-commerce site, any platform, you give me any platform, you give me any email service provider, whatever, lowest on the totem pole, you name it, you give me all the bad stuff, and I could still outsell the average person in whatever. Just because it has nothing to do with that, it has to do with creating desire in that audience. And so, when people say, “I don’t understand why people aren’t buying.” I said, “Of course, you do. They’re not buying because they don’t want to buy.” One thing I’ll say to that-

1:02:33 Jason: Have you ever gone to a website or you’ve had somebody on social media, and you’re looking to buy something from them? You’re digging through their website, and then you finally find it, and it’s not fancy or anything, it’s like, “Oh, I got it because…” of something that they said, or something they wrote that just connected with you, and you said, “That’s me. I need more of that.” So, you’re digging. There was a guitar player I was following a while back and he just had some amazing lessons, and I’m like, “Okay, let me go to his YouTube then find his web link.” And I’m taking all these paths to get to find out if he sells something.

1:03:12 CJ: Dude, that is… I keep trying to tell people that’s the key. When people want something, they’ll go through. Because we get preoccupied about the buyer’s experience. And is the button the right color? And is the copy just right? And all of that kind of stuff. That’s all for scaling. Somebody wants something, they don’t give a damn what color the button is, or whatever, they’re just… And that they may have to go through the checkout process. I had this just a little while ago, I had to ship something, and so, I went to print out the label for it, to put slap on a box to send to a friend of mine something, because I don’t want to go to the post office. So, I have the ability to print it out, print the label out, just put it on and put it in my mailbox.

It was a small enough box that I could just put them. I’m not going to the damn post office, Jason. It’s not going to happen. So, I know, because I’ve done it before, I’ve printed labels from the United States Post Office website. So, I did it. It put in all the information for me, all the information of the guy I’m sending to and checked off everything and tried to add it to cart. It had two options, add to cart or add to cart and start another label. And every time I did the add to cart one, and I went to the cart, the cart showed empty. So, it lost everything that I filled. I had to go through that two or three times. You too hate going through starting all over again, putting all your credit card information, but I was so passionate about not going to the post office.

By that third time, I got it done and got the label printed out, stuck it on there and got it in my mailbox. I was determined not to do that. So, who cares about the user? I’m still, even if I was in that situation again, as much as I had a problem with that, I’m still going to go back to that post office website and do it again.

1:04:55 Jason: There was a benefit to you getting-

1:04:57 CJ: The benefit.

1:04:58 Jason: Right. And if we portray for ourselves in that way, that, hey, being part of CJ’s world or being part of Jason’s world, there’s a benefit to you. And that is, first of all, you’re getting some awesome music, but you’re also getting a person that cares and is connecting with you. And that’s what that’s all about.

1:05:18 CJ: Yeah, I think it’s important to create desire in your audience. And there’s a 1,000,001 ways to do that, because people are just like, “Well, yeah.” But what if they don’t really want to buy it? There’s not a strong enough desire to just buy the music. Well, then you have to create different versions of that desire. And that’s weird for people to think. And so, like on my side, Metal Motivation, what I do is, I create a sacred sense of obligation, a debt, I create a debt in my end-user. So, sure, they’ve probably got enough T-shirts. They don’t necessarily see my Metal Up T-shirt and go, “Oh, I’ve got to have that, that looks so awesome.” No, no.

So, how do I get them to buy it? By being so good to them, and adding so much value, and they’re like, “I have to support my man.” And they buy the shirt. Even if they don’t buy it for themselves, they’ll buy it for somebody else. And I’ve had so many people, Jason, who’ve purchased, then went to find the contact information, sent me an email and said, “Dude, I just ordered from the site, I just wanted you to know how much you mean to me and all that you’ve done, and I just wanted to give back.” Then they’ll say it on Facebook, “I just wanted to give back.” And they’ll come back and tell me that they bought. And I completely ignore their comment… No, I’m kidding.

I go in there, of course, celebrate them for that. But, all of that, Jason, what we’re talking about is human. It’s not technology, it’s human. I always say, when you truly understand how social media works is when it disappears, and you realize you’re just talking to people. That’s all it is.

1:07:08 Jason: You’re right. Because do you think Metallica is going to write you back? Do you think James Hetfield or Lars or one of those guys… No. With us, yes, we’re going to respond. And that’s why, another reason why I think it’s so important to acknowledge people and respond to them, especially if they have something that’s more than just a word long, I still thank everybody any way or give them a metal horn or something like that in the response. But if someone’s leaving you a comment though, and you just ignore it, you don’t respond, then that tells them that, “Well, they think they’re too big to respond to me.”

1:07:42 CJ: Right. That’s why I say it’s amazing, and I’m sure you’ve had this, where people have messaged you and you get back to them. They’re like, “I didn’t even think you were going to write back.”

1:07:50 Jason: I’ve had that, yeah. They’re like, “You actually responded.” I had one person say, almost right away, he was like, “Oh, great, another one of those people is not going to respond.” And I’m thinking, “Dude, you just sent this an hour ago. Give me time to finish my steak or whatever.” Of course, I responded. I’m like, “No, man, I’m here.”

1:08:09 CJ: What I started doing as of late, I don’t do this all the time, but because people feel that way, surprised that you respond, I’ll respond with voice.

1:08:21 Jason: Oh, nice.

1:08:22 CJ: They’ll write, “Hey, man, do you have any…” Or, “I loved your whatever,” some post. Sometimes the Instagram profile is obviously not their name, so, I’ll click on it, and I’ll see their name. It might say Death Metal Guy or something, but then I’ll click on it and it’s Dave Martin. So, then I’ll go right back and I’ll say, “Dave, hey, man, thanks for writing. So glad that meant a lot to you, man. Just appreciate you and hope you have a great weekend.”

1:08:52 Jason: They’re like, “Wow.”

1:08:53 CJ: I mean, “He had to go find out what my name was, and he answered me.” And I’ve had people I’ve done it for, and they’re like, they’ll take it and they’ll go and show their wife or their husband or something, “Hey, listen, he actually just answered me, literally answered me by name.” Because what that does is that turns your fans into evangelists.

1:09:17 Jason: Yes, it does. Yeah.

1:09:18 CJ: You know what I mean? They become champions for your cause. So, now, your name is now safe with them when you’re not there.

1:09:27 Jason: That’s an awesome thing to have.

1:09:28 CJ: You know what I mean? When somebody talks crap about you, there they are to defend.

1:09:33 Jason: That happens, that that happens, CJ. What you just said is a real thing. I rarely get any trolls. I’m on YouTube as well, and that’s where I started building a bigger presence way early on. And over the years, I’ve had one or two negative comments, but I don’t even have to say anything to those, because there’s like four or five people jumping in right away. It’s like, “Hey, you don’t know your ass from a hole on the ground. This is a good guy.”

1:09:57 CJ: That’s right. Yeah, I mean, it’s all of that, guys, and I know that we kind of machine-gun style this today and there’s probably, it’s like they say, you’re like a porcupine because you have so many points. We dropped a whole lot of points on them today, but I think it just goes to show that there’s a richness and a depth to this. I would not be a part of the Savvy Musician Academy, because I’ve got other things to do. Jason and I follow each other, so, Jason knows the other things that I do. I don’t have to be here at the Savvy Musician Academy.

1:10:26 Jason: Well, a lot, dude.

1:10:29 CJ: I don’t have to do this. This is not some kind of scam or what have you. I’m in it because, A, Leah is a dear, dear friend of mine, and she is the real deal. I saw somebody comment on one of her ads the other day, it was so funny. They go, “Oh, yeah, you’re successful, which is why I’ve never heard of you.” And I’m like, “Dude, you just encapsulated the entire selling points of the Savvy Musician Academy.

1:11:00 Jason: They’re clueless.

1:11:01 CJ: You’re not one of our Superfans. Of course, you wouldn’t have heard of her. She’s only targeting people who would like what she does.

1:11:08 Jason: Exactly, dude.

1:11:10 CJ: So, it’s just like, Dude, come on, man. But anyway, it’s a message we’re preaching, Jason, because we believe it works, and, of course, it’s great to see it working in someone’s life, in business like yourself. And, of course, all of us metal cats that are in the Savvy Musician Academy kind of all high-fiving each other all the time, because we’ve got several of them, we do, we’ve got several of them.

1:11:37 Jason: That’s growing.

1:11:38 CJ: Yeah. And so, of course, Leah’s one, and we want to see every genre, we love all of our Savvy students. And what’s great is, a lot of the going back and forth are people from different genres helping each other out in the Facebook groups and sharing their results and their metrics and their how-tos and their apps, and it’s really wonderful to see, to see like Jason will come out with something that’s melodic death metal, and you’ll see people from pop, and ambient music, and country, and probably different, who knows? Political view, who knows? All chiming in, celebrating what Jason did and vice versa. Jason’s doing the same thing for others. It’s such a great community. Have you gotten a lot out of it? Because I know you… You’ve been around. How long have you been in Elite.

1:12:30 Jason: I’m one of the Elite veterans, I guess. I jumped in, I don’t know how long it had been established, but I was in the first Elite program.

1:12:41 CJ: You were in Elite before I got to Savvy.

1:12:44 Jason: I believe so, CJ. I think it was 2018 sometime. I get my years mixed up sometimes. But, yeah, I think it was a first-generation Elite or the very first course that she laid out, which was really awesome. And other thing I’ll tell everyone is that the community is more like a family, and you get so much out of each other as well. And you even form friendships and things like that. You know Ken Candelas very well, CJ, him and I have started something on the side as well. So, other things can happen through this as well. I mean, yeah, your music, you’re going to work on that, and you’re going to build that, build your audience, connect with your fans, but there’s so many other little opportunities that you’re not even thinking about right now that just pop up later as you meet other people.

So, I’ve gotten so much out of it, even outside of the course, not only course itself, but just even some of the friendships and things like that that I’ve formed. So, yeah, I mean, I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m very proud to be part of it.

1:13:52 CJ: Dude, I know that like yourself, because you’ve referenced the podcast several times during this interview, and there’re several other Elite students who listen to the podcast, I know that they’re like high-fiving us as they listen to us because they know exactly what we’re talking about. And this may sound like a webinar, this may sound like a sale. It’s really not a sales pitch.

1:14:17 Jason: It was a good sales pitch, right? If it was. I’m kidding.

1:14:22 CJ: I didn’t send Jason questions, Jason had no idea what I was going to ask him about. In fact, when he first popped up, I said, “Dude, I’m not even going to ask how you’re doing, because I want to save everything, all our energy, all our inspiration for our talk.” And we’re just gravitating towards what we’re passionate about. And like Jason said, it is like a family. And so, just like you talking to someone else at another kid’s birthday party would talk about your kids or your pets or your whatever, talk about work, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re passionate about music, A, and then, B, being able to have this new way to navigate in the new era of the music industry. And having a phenomenal example in Leah, to have set the standard for everyone and be the pioneer who’s paved the way and being able to now grow individually and apply these things to ourselves, and modify them and shape them.

Some things work, some things may not work, it all depends on the particular artist. But what’s not to be excited about when you’re like, “Wow, this is really possible, this is really happening, I’m really getting results”? Well, is Jason a millionaire now? No. But who cares? He’s moved in an inch, he’s going to move in a mile. If he sold 10, he can sell 10,000.

1:15:44 Jason: That’s another thing I learned, if you can sell one or 10, you can sell 1,000. And you were talking about scaling up earlier because that’s for a different conversation. But, yeah, I mean, you do have to go into it with confidence and that attitude that, “I am committed though.” That’s the one thing. And this just popped in my head, I remember several times you and Leah both saying that people will buy a course, and you can see who’s going through the course, and go through a couple modules and not finish it, never finish it. So, you had to go in there knowing that it’s going to be worked out. And that’s one thing I want to stress with everyone is, it is work, guys. I mean, it’s a lot of work. It’s hard work. It’s not easy.

I mean, yeah, the path is there, and everything’s there for us, but it’s tough sometimes. It is. And if you’re not willing to put in that work, like we were talking about earlier, you’re going to get people saying, “Well, how much time is this going to take?” Probably not for you, if that’s the case, but you have to love what you do. I know you and Leah obviously genuinely loves seeing people succeed. And that’s hard for some people to wrap their head around. Because a lot of people just think, well, you’re just in it for this, or in it for that. But, no, you guys, and myself included, we generally love to see people do well, because we think that the world is a better place when everyone is succeeding and doing well.

Now, you may get into this and then surpass me, and that’s fine. That doesn’t matter. But we want everyone to do well, and we want everyone to pursue what they’re passionate about, leave their legacy when they leave this earth, their legacy is here, their music, and pursue that and do what they love to do the most.

1:17:27 CJ: Yeah, you got one shot at life, clock is ticking on the only life that you’ve got. So, let’s maximize all that we are, all that we can do for this greater purpose. And I love the fact that so many musicians, and you included, Jason, that are in Savvy, are serving greater purposes. What a great attitude that you have, what an inspiration you truly are. You’re a metal motivator, man.

1:17:49 Jason: I love that, dude.

1:17:53 CJ: But of course, you would be. That’s why you were in Elite. That’s why they picked you. You know what I mean? It’s the quality of music, A, quality of person too. And there’s no haters.

1:18:06 Jason: No, there’s not.

1:18:07 CJ: Our Facebook group sees no… Everybody’s sweet, everybody’s kind, everybody’s serving, everybody’s helpful. Because once you’ve got money on the line, and you’ve invested your money and your time to learn a business and create a business, you realize that bad attitudes cost you. You drive people away, it taxes you emotionally, you’re not sleeping, you’re not healthy, you’re not putting out the kind of output that gets communicated to your fans, next thing you know, man, you’re suffering for it. It should be obvious to everybody by now that I think Jason and I could go all day talking about this stuff. Been over an hour here. I’ll publish it as it is, I don’t care. I think this is great, great, great content. Jason, I appreciate you being on here. Why don’t you tell everyone how they can learn more about what you’re doing.

1:19:02 Jason: Sure. And it is an honor to be on here. When you reached out to me, I was stoked. I told my wife, I’m like, “I’m almost CJ.” Yes.

1:19:11 CJ: We’re going to metal this thing up.

1:19:12 Jason: Yeah. Thank you so much. Because this was not planned, there was no agenda, we just basically started chatting like two cool people. I guess the best thing to do is just go to my website is my name, not my name .com, but jasonstallworth.com. Jason, and my last name is S-T-A-L-L-W-O-R-T-H, jasonstallworth.com. And of course, as we were taught, you can pretty much access everything from that website, including my shop and all that good stuff.

1:19:40 CJ: Yeah, follow him on Facebook and Instagram, he does post all of the, not just the inspirational content, like he said, he’ll play metal. And in fact, it was one of his metal videos when he was playing, I said, “Dude, this is awesome.” So, I immediately just shared it with my pages, because I want people to experience music, and not just whatever, because there’s so much great stuff out there. And unless you’re connected with these people on social media, you’re not going to find it. So, connect with him on all those pages. So, jasonstallworth.com. And guys, if you want to go a little bit deeper, you can always check out theonlinemusician.com, to check out Online Musician 3.0, because that has just recently been released within the last couple of months.

And it’s a great way to get the organic aspect to this, what we were talking about, before you do all the scaling with ads and all. That’s a great way to do that. So, go and check that out. Jason, thanks again, man.

1:20:36 Jason: Thank you, dude.

1:20:37 CJ: All right guys, we’ll see you later. Take care.

The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. And when they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now. If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast.

For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction, plus tips, tools, news updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting, and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

Episode #109: Copywriting For Social Media & Email

So you’ve got a social media post to make or an email to send out, but what exactly do you say? Are you seeing the results you want from your posts and emails? 

Whatever your situation is with your copywriting, it can always improve. This week, we’re sharing a live stream from the Savvy Musician Inner Circle in which C.J. teaches a packed lesson on copywriting for social media and email. If you want more results from your posts and emails, tune in to this week’s episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Traditional copywriting
  • Personal vs impersonal branding
  • Compound marketing
  • Positioning is branding
  • Your ideal customer
  • Audience targeting
  • Direct response marketing
  • Benefit-driven copy
  • Building long-term relationships

Tweetables:

“Writing copy for your personal brand on social media and email is going to require modifying traditional copywriting. But you must still understand the fundamentals in order to know why.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:40]

“You can’t write your copy if you don’t know who you are.” – @metalmotivation [0:08:45]

“Half the battle of great copywriting is audience targeting.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:00]

“That’s your ideal customer, the person who’s going to most going to benefit from what you’re offering.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:47]

“Direct response marketing relies upon you targeting the right audience with benefit-driven copy.” – @metalmotivation [0:17:38]

“People are expecting results quicker than they should. And the reason being is because they don’t have a relationship established.” – @metalmotivation [0:20:11]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thanks once again for joining me on this premier music marketing podcast.

I’ve got something special in store for you today. I want to take you inside our Savvy Musician Inner Circle, where we do a live stream each Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM, where we go into teaching the depths of music marketing. I thought it would be a great idea to kind of give you an inside look at what happens in one of these private Facebook groups, so I’ve decided to share the first part of a brand new series I’m doing on copywriting for social media and email.

The game has changed. I’ll explain why in this particular session, but I think you’re going to get a lot out of it. And again, I want to give you a behind the scenes, look at some of the powerful things we’re doing here at the Savvy Musician Academy, specifically in the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, let’s go to that live stream right now.

I’m thrilled to be able to start this new series with you guys about copywriting, copywriting for social media and email. Put on your seatbelts, man. Copywriting for social media and email marketing. This first part, direct response marketing. That is the traditional term. Direct response marketing. It’s much, much different in the age in which we live now because social media and email are changing the game.

Now, email can be a tad bit different and we’ll get into that, obviously, but for the most part, social media has changed even that. Because now, things have become so personable, things have become such an issue of following, you are following certain people, that email becomes an extension of the first place that they originally met you, which is going to be on social media. So my, how things have changed. Writing great copy is different in the age of social media.

Why is that? Now, when I say different, we’re setting it off against traditional copywriting. Now, I was taught traditional copywriting. That’s where I cut my teeth. Traditional copywriters never had to consider something like writing for social media because there obviously was no social media. They would have preferred it. You ask any marketer, they would say, “If we’d have had something like this back in the day to talk to people at this level, target people at this level, personally,” they would have loved it.

Traditional copywriters never had to consider writing for social media, especially when it’s a personal brand. Okay, now, again, this is different. What’s the opposite of a personal brand? Well, that would be an impersonal brand. Well, what is an example of an impersonal brand? Well, that would be Coca-Cola, Nike, Amazon, Apple. They are impersonal brands. When you see the Facebook page of any one of those corporations, you’re not talking to the CEO every day like say, your fans will talk to you every day.

You are a personal brand. So traditional copywriting never really had to deal with personal brands before because traditional copywriting was always anonymous. The person that was writing the copy was not even an employee of the corporation. Those who are writing copy are typically outside agencies that are being hired. So traditional copywriting is anonymous. Traditional copywriting is focused on trying to get strangers to act immediately, right? It’s direct response.

So they’re trying to get you to act immediately when they don’t have a whole lot of time to create the know, like, and trust element. They don’t have a lot of time. You get the piece of mail, they’ve got seconds to lure you in to read what’s inside that envelope. Most of the time, you just throw the envelope away, right?

Traditional copywriting also does not create longterm relationships. So the copy that you read in a sales letter or something like that is not copy that’s designed to carry you to the next letter they’re going to send you. So they’re not finishing that letter by saying, “Hey, look forward to our letter coming next week.” They’re not trying to cultivate a longterm relationship with you. They’re trying to make a single sale in one item, in one marketing device. Okay?

So the kind of copywriting that we’re doing is different. We’re not going for the sale on the first time out. We’re not trying to sleep with the girl on the first date, right? We’re trying to build a relationship. So that has an effect on the copy.

05:09 CJ: Social media is changing the way we need to think about writing copy. It’s changing the way we need to think about it. So some of your copy is going to involve sales, obviously. Some of your copy is going to involve storytelling, right? Sharing that personal stuff. Some of your copy is going to involve conversation.

So it’s going to be so much different than traditional copywriting, but just because it is doesn’t mean we don’t need to be focused on traditional copywriting or the principles that govern it. Writing copy for your personal brand on social media and email is going to require modifying traditional copywriting. But you must still understand the fundamentals in order to know why.

So again, I hope I’m getting this point across that we’re now writing. Our copywriting is for personal branding. You are not a corporation. You are not a store. You are a personal brand. Even if you’re in a band, you’re in a personal brand situation. And this is social media, so it’s not one sales item, one marketing piece that you’re sending them. You are leading them into a relationship.

Not underhanded, I’m talking about something sneaky. I’m just saying, they’re being led along a customer journey, right? So you’re going to have this ongoing relationship, so that needs to inform how you write your copy. But you still need to understand the fundamentals of traditional copywriting because they’re going to weave in and out.

So the key here is now positioning yourself. See, so many other elements go into copywriting and it’s going to be important that you keep that in mind. We’ll talk about that. Images, all of this. Everything goes into the positioning of your personal brand and that informs together, they are one message. I’m not trying to separate copy just because we’re talking about copywriting doesn’t mean images aren’t important. We’re not going to talk about video. We’re not going to talk about other things. No, they all work together.

I’ll talk about them together. The emphasis is going to be on copy, but I’ll be talking about images and video and all that sort of stuff, because it works together. I want you to see these things as working together.

It’s like exercise, right? If you’re a bodybuilder, you train body parts in isolation. But what you’re going to hear a lot about today, for example, now, is functional training, which means doing functional movements. Because you’re not just trying to build muscle with functional training, you’re trying to strengthen yourself to handle the more common, functional aspects of life.

So the movements involved now, what they call compound movements. A compound movement is when you’re doing a training that involves multiple body parts, not just one. So you’re not just isolating a curl, for example. You’re doing a squat or a deadlift that involves both the back and the arms and the shoulders and the quads, all of these sorts of things, right?

It’s a compound. It’s made up of many body parts doing the movement, not just one. So what I’m talking about his compound training here. Even though we’re emphasizing copywriting, it’s going to be involving multiple aspects because they work together in your marketing and I don’t want you to see them in isolation. I don’t want you to see copy divorced from images and vice versa.

Okay, so great copy takes into consideration the positioning of a product or person. Great copy is going to take into consideration the positioning of a product or person. You can’t write your copy if you don’t know who you are. You can’t write your copy if you’re not sure about your brand, sure about your positioning. So positioning is another word for effective branding. I prefer the word positioning to branding, but I’m going to use branding because that’s what people understand.

The problem I have with the word branding is branding implies something that seen. Okay, branding implies something that’s seen. So if I say “brand,” people think logo, cereal box, soup can label, right? Website. That’s what they think of when they think of branding. The decals on the side of a work truck. That’s what they think when they think of branding, they think of something seen.

No, those are all manifestations of branding. But branding is something that happens in the mind. That’s what branding is. It’s an indelible, unerasable mark, right? You brand a cattle, you burn into their skin, a brand, a mark. It’s an image you cannot erase. Same thing that actual branding, it’s something that gets stamped onto the mind of your potential marketplace that cannot be erased. But that’s also the positioning that your personal brand holds. It’s the position you hold in your potential marketplace.

Positioning, therefore, must inform your copywriting. You want to position yourself, which means to determine the most beneficial function of something directed at the ideal customer for it, right? If you want to position yourself, it means determine the most beneficial function of something directed at the ideal customer for it.

10:26 CJ: So what’s the most beneficial function of your personal brand, right? It’s obviously music, inspiration, other types of things. All of these things work together. That’s the beneficial function. In other words, the function of your personal brand that causes a benefit in the ideal customer. That’s positioning. Those are the two things you want. You want to fully understand your most beneficial function directed at your most ideal customer. That’s how you are positioned.

Now, half the battle here, half the battle of great copywriting is audience targeting. Now, that may sound obvious at the outset, but a lot of people don’t think of it this way. Great copy is only great when it’s directed at the right person, whose life would be most changed by the benefit of what you offer. Okay?

So somebody could send me something, like some little doodad for my house. I don’t really need it. I guess it’ll help out, but it’s not really something I’m thinking about. It’s not a pressing problem. I mean, it kind of helped, but not really. I don’t really care. So great copy is only going to be great when it’s directed at the right person, whose life would most be changed by the benefit of what you offer. That’s your ideal customer, the person who’s going to most going to benefit from what you’re offering.

So think of musical genre way, think of micro niche that way. Think of your personal brand and what you post that way. What you say in your email, think of it that way. Great copy is directed at the person whose life would most be changed by the benefit of what you offer.

So you’ve probably, for example, thrown away a ton of great sales copy that you’ve never even read. You’ve thrown away tons and tons of great, well-written sales copy simply because when you opened your mailbox and saw the sales envelope, it was from a company selling something you don’t need. Great sales copy, phenomenal sales copy. And you threw it in the trash. Why? Because what you saw from the envelope, from the direct mail piece, it doesn’t apply to you. Or from the email, it really doesn’t apply to you. So you never read it.

What good is great copy if it’s not targeted to the right people, right? Half the battle is audience targeting, I’ll make the point even more so. But if someone sent you something that could solve your most pressing problem, how good would their copy really need to be?

Couldn’t they just say, “If you’re struggling with blank, call us at 1-800 We Fix It for a free consultation.” So long as that blank is something that’s one of your most pressing problems, you’re listening now. And the copy doesn’t need to be as good, does it?

Literally, somebody could get somebody’s response right there alone. If you’re struggling with blank, call me. Sure. Well, you say, “No, that wouldn’t work CJ.” Oh, really? You find your most pressing problem, yeah. You’ll call me.

Imagine yourself with a toothache. A really, really bad toothache and it’s a Saturday night, midnight when it just starts to hurt you. And you’re like, “What am I going to do? I can’t get my dentist to do anything now.” And all of a sudden you see an infomercial on TV that says, “If you’re struggling with the toothache on a Saturday night at 12:00 and your dentist isn’t available and you want relief in the next 10 minutes, call now.” Don’t you think you’d call?

Yeah, because it’s about as relevant to a pressing problem as you could possibly get. We want to get as close as we can to that, but that’s half the battle. So how great does my copy need to be to get somebody to call? Not great. I just need to really amplify and describe their problem to them and they’ll call. Make sense?

Writing to create response. This is what this is. This is direct response marketing. David Ogilvy, one of the most famous and successful advertisers who have ever lived. He once wrote, “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” For example, “When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.'”

15:09 CJ: He’s referring to the age of the rhetoric guys, back in ancient Greece. So one guy gets up, Aeschines, and he says his speech and everybody says, “Oh, well, how well this guy speaks, how wonderful, what a creative, wonderful speech. We all clap our hands.” When he gets up and speaks, they say, “let’s march against Phillip. Let’s take action.”

Direct response copywriting. It’s not about being flowery, friendly, creative or any of that stuff. I don’t give a damn about being creative. I want to be clear. And I want to cause direct response. I want to cause action to be taken. That’s what you want.

Think of some of the commercials that you love. Half the time it’s because they were funny or creative or something like that, but you don’t remember necessarily what was being sold or who was selling it. Doesn’t matter.

It’s far better to have the infomercial saying, “If it’s midnight and you’ve got a toothache and your dentist is nowhere to be found and you need pain relief in the next 10 minutes, call now.” You don’t give a damn about creativity or anything like that, right? It’s copy directed at you to create a response. You’re writing to create response, which is why it’s called direct response. We want a direct response, not a general response, a direct response. That’s marketing.

Ogilvy also said, “Every copywriter should start his career by spending two years in direct response.” Well, that’s what you’re doing. That’s why Leah said that even if you don’t have a career in music, if you go through the elite course, for example, you can have a career writing copy. You can have a career in direct marketing, because you’re going to know how to sell anything.

You could sell your marketing services. That’s reason enough to go through Super Fan System Elite Program, because not only can you sell your music, but you can get a whole bunch of clients that you could market to. Think about that one.

Benefits versus features. Benefits versus features. See, every product has a feature, right? I have a microphone here. It has certain features. I can look through the manual and look at all the technical features of this. I don’t care about it. I’m interested in the benefits. How will it make me sound? Can it be plugged into this? How much is it? I want to know more specific things relating to me.

Direct response marketing relies upon you targeting the right audience with benefit-driven copy. Direct response marketing is targeting the right audience with benefit-driven copy. Not feature-driven, benefit-driven.

This means understanding the difference between benefits and features. Some people still get these two confused. So nearly three quarters of people who read information that is helpful to them, it’s going to be information that tells them about something. They read information that’s helpful to them. They don’t read information that’s a description about something. They’re not interested so much in product information. They’re interested in benefits. So when people will read copy and keep reading it, it’s because it keeps telling them what it’s going to do for them.

If all you get into is a description of product and service, people are going to start checking out. Even if you are mentioning features, they have to be phrased in a way that’s a benefit. Again, go back to the microphone here. You say this particular technical feature will give you the warm sound you’ve always dreamed of. Sound like other professional radio and podcast performers with this new PR-40 microphone from Heil.

People want to know how you can help them. How you can make them feel better, right? People are after two things. Pleasure, gaining more pleasure, or getting rid of pain. It’s the two things they want. They want to gain pleasure, or they want to get rid of pain. Doesn’t matter what it is. That’s their primary motives in life. So it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, what you’re offering, what you’re doing, what you’re communicating. It’s got to be addressing one of those two things, helping them gain pleasure or helping them avoid pain.

So it’s all about relationship building. I’m going to cover more depth in this series, but here’s what you got to keep in mind. Great copy will play a major part in your branding as well as the relationship that you build with your fans.

And I can’t emphasize the relationship aspect enough. You can’t create relationship with mechanics. It doesn’t work. Just like you began with theory and technique in becoming a musician, you create art when you become one with them. So the problem students have is that they’re focused on the technology and the technique and so they expect results quicker than they should.

20:06 CJ: And I see this all the time. I’ve seen it this week in the Facebook groups. People are expecting results quicker than they should. And the reason being is because they don’t have a relationship established. So that is going to be affected, obviously, by copy. They haven’t created that relationship yet.

You see, because everything that you’re learning right now, think of it, whether it’s e-commerce or creating a mailing list or opt-ins or running ads for page likes or boosting posts or anything that you do online, that you’re learning from the Savvy Musician Academy.

Think of them like when you took piano classes or when you took guitar lessons or whatever it may be. Remember when you learned the rudiments? Remember how mechanical everything was? And then think how long it took for you to get to the place where you weren’t thinking so much about that anymore and it was morphing into art. You weren’t thinking so much about those things. It was more focused on art.

Well, it’s the same thing here. So when I see somebody who’s been in, for example, our Elite course, and they get to the eCom Blitz and they start that, or the opt-ins and they start that, the next thing you know, they’re like, “I’m not getting any results.” So then they go back into the group and they post, “Hey, other Elite students. Why don’t you share with me what you guys did for your nurture emails? Show me what you guys did for your eCommerce blitz. What kind of results did you get? How much are your ads? Can I see your ads?” Et cetera, et cetera.

They’re trying to find out what the problem is. The problem is you’re trying to create art and you’re still dealing with the fundamentals. You’re still dealing with technique. Your people aren’t ready to buy yet. You’re learning stuff and I know you want to make money and I know you want to turn this thing quickly, but you haven’t built the relationship yet. So it’s just not going to work. It’s very mechanical. And so you expect results a little bit too quickly.

That’s why I’m always telling you, the majority of what we’re dealing with. It has more to do with the personal, not so much the software, not so much the methodology.

You think, “Okay, I I did my fan frenzy. I’ve got this many fans now. I’ve done some posting, I’ve done some Facebook lives and now I’m retargeting that few hundred people. I’ve got 300 people on my email list and I’m ready for my album launch. I’m ready for my whenever.” You’re not ready.

You’re not ready and that’s okay. This is longterm, what we’re building. It’s important that you learn all of this. Which is why I think the Savvy Musician Inner Circle was so important because I needed a way to do a little more personal coaching because I can’t talk to everybody, there’s just too many of you. But I needed a way to focus on the things where I see people are struggling and through this sort of format of both teaching, as well as answering questions and that sort of thing, I can focus in on the areas where I see people struggling.

So again, I’m watching what’s happening in the Facebook groups. I don’t comment on everybody’s posts. I got my stuff to do, too y’all. But I see what people are saying and I know what the problem is. You can look at everybody else’s email campaigns, everybody else’s ads, everybody else’s ad manager, everybody else’s cost per click. You could look at everybody else’s results and it’s not going to make a difference. Your audience isn’t buying because they’re not ready to buy yet.

And the reason why they’re not ready to buy yet is not because they don’t have money. They’ll turn their nose at your t-shirt ad or your CD offer and then later that night buy a bunch of pizza and beer. It ain’t about money. It’s about desire. You haven’t created desire yet. You’re trying to sleep with your Tinder date on the first time you go out. You got to build the relationship. You got to build the relationship. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this special podcast featuring the live stream from our Savvy Musician Inner Circle. If you’d like to get your feet wet in marketing, or if you’d like to just get plugged in to a place where you can learn the lingo, learn more about the software, learn more about the techniques of copywriting and email and graphics and branding and positioning, all of the wonderful stuff that will help you move your music business forward, I encourage you to sign up today for the Savvy Musician Inner Circle.

You can learn more at savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. It’s just $27 a month and I think your music career is worth that much. Also, if you’d like, you could leave a review for this podcast. We certainly encourage that. It’s a great way to help other musicians like yourself discover the Savvy Musician Academy. Plus, we read all of your comments so it’s a great way for us to get insight from you, how the podcast is affecting you, what needs to be said. And of course, it’s a huge encouragement for us so please do that today.

25:14 CJ: And again, thank you for all the wonderful support that you give us here at the Savvy Musician Academy. I’ll be with you next time on The Savvy Musician Show. Take care.

The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. When they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now.

If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast. For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction plus tips, tools, news updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

Episode #108: The Power Of Personal Branding For Your Music Business

When people think of you and your music, what do they think of? Well, whatever that is, that’s your brand! What we want, is to design and utilize this idea to build your music business.

This idea should be personal, authentic, and we want to amplify it however we can. If you understand how important this is, then you already know the next step is to click that play button and try and learn as much as you can from C.J. in this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What is branding?
  • Idea-driven branding
  • What differentiates you in the marketplace?
  • The effective marketing strategy
  • Personal branding
  • Brand awareness/engagement/marketing
  • Being authentic

Tweetables:

“65% of those surveyed following the Savvy Musician Academy… are solo artists, not actually band members.” – @metalmotivation [0:03:23]

“Branding is not something seen. It’s something that happens first in the mind of the marketplace, in the mind of your potential super fan, when they encounter you and interact with you.” – @metalmotivation [0:06:28]

“It’s not just an issue of who can spend the most money on advertising. It’s an issue of who can most differentiate themselves, which is again, idea-driven branding.” – @metalmotivation [0:08:57]

“The new era of digital marketing is really personal branding.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:54]

“Your personal brand is something that’s already inherent in you.” – @metalmotivation [0:20:38]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

David Williams’ Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/weltermusic/

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thank you once again for joining me for the premier music marketing podcast. I am so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you listen. I’m so glad that you support this show.

Before we get into today’s topic, let me just share a student spotlight with you. This is from one of our long time elite students, David Williams from Australia. He writes, “#win. Seeing my R-O-A-S,, ROAS or Return On Ad Spend, is a nice feeling. And at the same time, to hit 58% of our target on our crowdfunding campaign on day four of 30 is very rewarding. Now is not the time for us to sit back and become complacent. Now is the time to dig deep and work harder. The new goal is to get 200% or more of our target, and the only way to do this is by engagement and connection with our audience. If your super fans feel they have a relationship with you, then they will do what you ask them to do.

Proof of this, we had fans in the US … I’m in Australia … rally together on their own accord and make a single $1,200 pledge. Now our job is to learn more about these fans. The more we know about them the more we know who to target, as there are thousands of them out there waiting. We still have a long way to go in understanding our audience, but by the results we are seeing, we are getting there.”

Isn’t that awesome? Great job, David Williams. Welter is the band out there in Australia, again, working very hard at their branding and connecting with their audience, which leads me into today’s topic, the power of personal branding in your music business. That’s the power of personal branding in your music business.

Now, branding is one of my specialties. I’ve been involved in it for years and years and years. I’ve been in advertising, marketing, branding, promotion and the like for 30 years. That’s my field of degree. That’s what my degrees are in. That’s what my professional life has been about for tens of thousands of hours over those 30 years. I’ve seen just about everything that can be seen. I’ve done everything from the design to the advertising, copywriting, public relations, publishing.

I’ve served as an editor and branding consultant for every kind of organization, both profit, nonprofit, personal. You name it, I’ve done it. This is a topic that I’m very, very versed in. And in the age of social media now where there’s so many people talking about these things … Most people weren’t talking about branding 10 years ago. I was. But now with social media, everybody is talking about that.

Now, in a recent survey done here at the Savvy Musician Academy … I was looking at the statistics the other day … we learned that 65% of those we surveyed were solo artists. Isn’t that interesting? 65% of those surveyed following the Savvy Musician Academy, engaging with the content, 65% are solo artists, not actually band members.

For those of our students who are in bands, it is still the case that the marketing being done is still done by an individual, which means that branding can be a tricky thing when you take into account that branding process is happening primarily on social media. In other words, a band is not writing collectively on social media. It’s typically one member of the band. And even in our courses, both elite and the online musician, we typically have a single band member that’s taking the course and then relaying information and such to their band, but also bands are smart to appoint somebody to do this.

But either way, you’ve got to think through the branding process. First of all, what is a brand? It might help to get that defined because the word is put about so much that I don’t think it’s adequately defined. What I want to do is first, we’ll define branding by defining first what it is not, okay? Branding is not something seen with your eyes. Now, that’s important because that’s usually what people think. Branding is not something seen. In other words, it’s not a logo. It’s not a product label. It’s not packaging, okay? It’s not a website. Branding is also not a story, although a good many self-appointed branding experts would say, otherwise. They’re saying, “Well, your brand is your personal story.” No, that’s not your brand. A story is not a brand. People are only so interested in your story.

05:18 CJ: Branding is also not a promise, although again, that seems to be what’s touted online by the so-called experts who were saying nothing about the topic just a few years ago. You see, here’s what happens, guys. People are online seeing other people making money with an online business and so they take courses and the people teaching the courses tell these people about branding and marketing and copywriting and social media. Then, these people go and they start their own businesses teaching the very same thing. But for the most part, there are very, very few people out there who’ve done branding for umpteen years like I have, very few. It’s not something you see. It’s not a story. It’s not a promise. Now, I’m not saying those things don’t matter. We’ll talk about that, okay? But that’s not the essence of what branding is.

If branding is not something visual, then what is it? Branding is not something seen by the eyes. It’s something that happens in the mind, and in particular, what happens in the mind of your potential super fan when they first encounter you and then interact with you, okay? Branding is not something seen. It’s something that happens first in the mind of the marketplace, in the mind of your potential super fan, when they encounter you and interact with you.

The branding process is going on the entire time and you’re either reinforcing your brand or you are distorting it. See, some people come up with what they think is their brand and then they operate differently for the rest of the time, so their audience gets confused. They don’t know what this person or organization or business is about, so you’re either reinforcing your brand at all times, or you are distorting it, confusing your message.

But again, branding happens in the mind, not the eyes. It happens in the mind. But what does the mind hold? What goes in the mind? The mind holds ideas, okay? The mind holds ideas, which is why a strong, differentiating idea needs to be driving your music business. Differentiating means the thing that gives you and your brand distinction from your competition. That is a differentiating idea. The differentiating, the thing that makes you different, must be strong so that it can drive itself into the mind of your marketplace.

Let’s take, for example, the idea behind Leah’s music business. Leah has done a fantastic job, first of all, of targeting her audience based upon her micro niche of female-fronted Celtic metal, but her brand, or the idea behind her music, is that she’s blending an almost new age type of sound with heavy metal, okay? This is why she’s referred to as the heavy metal Enya. And that happened years and years ago and I’m the one who mentioned that to her, because at the time I was listening to some Enya and I heard her music for the first time. I said, “You’re like a heavy metal version of Enya.”

In other words, Leah is creating the type of musical dynamic created by new age artists like Enya. And that is just enough of a differentiation to help her stand out from other female-fronted metal bands who happen to be on record labels. Isn’t that interesting? Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re on a record label or you’re doing it yourself like Leah is, you’re all being featured on social media, so the competition is now equal. It’s not just an issue of who can spend the most money on advertising. It’s an issue of who can most differentiate themselves, which is again, idea- driven branding.

Therefore, what I teach is that the real purpose of an effective marketing strategy is to amplify your differentiated brand to a new audience while reinforcing in as many ways as possible to your existing audience. Okay, I’m going to say that again. What I’m teaching is that the real purpose of an effective marketing strategy … I didn’t say branding strategy, marketing strategy … is to amplify your differentiated brand to a new audience while reinforcing it as many ways as possible to your existing audience.

The purpose of marketing is to amplify the brand. That’s the purpose of marketing. Marketing is not just sales. The real purpose of marketing is to amplify branding, okay? It’s to amplify your differentiated brand to both a new audience, as well as your continual content that reinforces that brand within your existing audience. And reinforcing to your audience means dramatizing that idea-driven brand in as many ways as possible, okay?

10:21 CJ: Now, social media makes this beyond easy because platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to create various forms of content, such as images, text, video articles, and more, okay? That’s what I mean by dramatizing it. You dramatize that brand. In other words, you put it in action. You show it displayed. You manifest it through the images, through the texts things that you post, through the videos that you do through the articles that you write, through the products that you show, through the music that you feature.

This is all amplifying. This is all dramatizing and therefore marketing your brand awareness. This is why branding and the new era of digital marketing is really personal branding, okay? The branding in the new era of digital marketing is personal branding and not branding in the traditional sense, such as that done by major corporations like Coca-Cola, Apple, Nike, Amazon, et cetera, right?

In other words, places like Apple, companies like Nikon, Amazon, Coca-Cola, the head of the company is not on there every day interacting with fans or customers, right? These are big corporations, big entities. They cannot personal brand. You are personal branding, even if you’re in a band. And if you’re a solo artist, even more so, okay? But if you’re in a band, it’s still personal branding That’s working because fans are following and interacting with people, not a product or service. When it comes to your music business, you’re not a product. You’re not a service. You’re a personal brand, okay? People are following you, a person. They’re not following an album.

When it comes to effective personal branding, there are three goals you want to achieve. Number one is brand awareness. Number two, brand engagement … I’ll explain these … and number three, brand marketing. Brand awareness is both making new people aware of your personal brand, as well as keeping you top of mind with those who already follow you. You ever had that where you post something and someone says, “Man, I haven’t heard from you in a week,” or, “I haven’t heard from you in months?” And you say, “Yeah, but I post every day.” Well, that’s the Facebook algorithm working against you, right? Okay. You want to keep your content out there so that those who are following you will have you at top of mind, but then you also want to make new people aware of your brand. And so all of this is brand awareness.

And number two, brand engagement, which is using the amplification of your brand. So as to create engagement with your existing audience, this is important guys, because not only does it get fans involved with you, but it also provides social media platforms with the data on those who engage with you so that you can target them later with your marketing, because if you provide engaging content that keeps people retaining you top of mind and gets their feedback and gets their likes and comments and shares, then the social media platforms like Facebook are going to keep track of that and so you’ll be able to target those specific people who’ve already engaged with your content much later.

And then third, brand marketing is when you’re pushing promotions, offers, and opt-ins in such a way that your audience actually enjoys them. Imagine that. See, typically, we think that people will be turned off by our advertising. This is common with creative people. They are afraid to advertise because they don’t want to turn people off or drive them away with advertising. But if the promotions … Now, listen closely … If those promotions are related to the overall brand and culture of your music, then your audience are more inclined to welcome those promotions.

For example, if you build an engaged list of followers, right, and they hear some of your music on a Facebook live video … Say you go live on Facebook and you play some music … they’re going to ask, “Do you have an album? If not, you should. Your music’s great,” right? That’s what they’re going to say. Or if they see one of your song titles or you post one of your lyrics by itself, they might write back and say, “Man, that should be on a tee shirt. I’d wear it. I’d buy it,” right? They respond to you. They respond to you by saying, “You should have products. You should have music. You should have merchandise.”

In other words, they’re saying your brand should be marketing. It should be marketing corresponding products, the kind of products that they’ll consume. They’ll consume music. They’ll consume apparel. They’re saying your brand should be marketing corresponding products, because they’re not going to tell you, “Hey man, do you have an album?” They’re not going to ask you if you have an album and then get all bent out of shape when you post an ad for your music, okay?

15:38 CJ: Marketing, brand marketing is when the promotions and all of that is promoting in accordance with that brand or culture. This is why I’ll often tell our elite students to get really creative when it comes to the type of products they sell. Instead of just putting your album art on a tee shirt, put an inspirational lyric that you’ve written. You might find people buy that before they buy just your name or album cover on a shirt or a coffee mug or what have you.

Be creative, because people wear something, when they wear something that says something, even if it’s a band tee shirt, they’re trying to communicate something about themselves, that, “This is the kind of person I am.” For example, I’m a heavy metal guy, so if I walk around with a Metallica or Iron Maiden tee shirt on, I’m not trying to say Iron Maiden necessarily. I’m saying, “I’m a metal head.” I’m saying, “I love metal.” That’s what I’m saying, right?

There’s a purpose behind why people wear what they wear. And so if you have some cool lyrics or a cool saying, something inspirational, or what have you, provoking, then that can be the perfect thing for some of your music merchandise.

Again, when it comes to branding, think of personal branding instead of corporate branding. In other words, think of being a personal brand instead of being Coca-Cola and try to think of your brand as an idea being driven into the minds of your fans instead of a logo, the look of your website, your album art, et cetera, because typically when we say branding, people think of something seen, like you think of cereal brands in the grocery aisle, right? Soup cans in the grocery aisle. You think of that. It’s visual. No, it’s the idea that is the brand. That is the part you cannot erase, hence the word branding. Logos, packaging, websites are manifestations of the brand idea, but they are not the brand itself.

And remember that branding is something that’s happening, whether you like it or not. Your objective should be to think through brand first and do your best to control the way you’re understood. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be vulnerable or open about things, okay? In other words, I have to guard my brand and protect it so I can’t show any weakness. I can’t show my personal life. It’s got to be, everything is about this controlled brand. That’s not what I mean. Quite the opposite. Being authentic as a person is just as important as the idea you represent to your fans as an artist. Again, this is personal branding on social media and social media means broadcasting from person to person. You have to play the role of a person, okay? So it’s quite the opposite. Being authentic is just as important as the idea you represent to your fans as an artist.

Let’s go back to Leah as an example. Leah’s fans hold two seemingly opposed ideas in their heads when it comes to her. Number one, they see her as the archetype fantasy queen so often found in fantasy literature, film, and television, right? If you looked at her album covers, you see her dressed in this fantasy theme. It looks like you could be looking at a cover of Game of Thrones when you look at her album covers, right? She fits that mode. You could see her as a character in one of these stories. But then number two, the other idea, they see her as a wife and a mother living her real life because she posts about that. Again, these are opposing ideas. Which is it? Is she the archetype fantasy queen or is she the wife and mother living her life?

Well, that’s the brilliance of what she does, okay? Because even when she’s sharing her personal life, it’s still within the context and flavor of the cultural ideals that her and her fans share. For instance, a few years ago, if you’ve been following her, you’d know that her family was touring throughout places like England and Ireland. They were visiting castles and all kinds of stuff and she shared that stuff with her kids out there and walking through and experiencing all of this. Well, that fits in with her musical brand, right? Her fans would love to be there too. They would love to tour those places. And so here’s Leah blending all of that, so she’s still embodying or personifying her brand. She’s like a modern day mythological archetypal fantasy queen. And now she’s expanded that into a sister brand called Mythology Candles. But even that is still consistent with the idea she embodies as a person and as an artist.

20:49 CJ: How do you get started on your personal brand? First, understand that it’s not something you make up and just put on like a costume. Your personal brand is something that’s already inherent in you. It should be something that you can embody or represent. It has to be genuine. The difference is that even though you already embody this idea, your social media marketing is about dramatizing and amplifying that idea to a large audience through the internet, okay? Again, the brand has to be something that’s already in you. It can’t be disingenuous. It’s not just a costume you’re putting on. This has to be something that you literally embody as a person. This idea must be living and breathing through you.

Another example, I have my own personal brand and it’s a motivational project that I’ve done for about 11 years. Its target audience is people who love heavy metal and motivational content, okay? My target audience is people who love heavy metal and also love motivational content. They read motivational books. They listen to motivational speakers. They read motivational stuff, but they also are diehard fans of heavy metal.

Why that particular niche? Why did I target that? Well, because I’ve always been a diehard fan of heavy metal and I’ve always done motivational speaking and coaching. The project I do is called Metal Motivation. So it’s authentic for me to do it. Now, I don’t go on there and sound like a wrestler or put on a show or something like that. I’m talking no different to them than I’m talking to you right here and right now. It’s just that I’m a metal head who happens to be a motivational speaker.

The simple idea is CJ is like Tony Robbins meets Metallica. Simple, right? That’s the idea behind the personal brand, but it’s still authentic to me. I didn’t just say, “Oh, I should do metal motivation, so let me start listening to heavy metal so I don’t sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about.” No, I’ve always listened to heavy metal. Heavy metal has been the soundtrack of my life. I find heavy metal to be motivating. It was natural. It’s an idea that fits, that works on social media, and that is genuine to me.

Now, even though I say CJ is like Tony Robbins meets Metallica, it’s an easy way to explain it, but the point is not the tagline, okay? It’s the idea behind the tagline that’s important. I should be able to market that personal brand effectively even without the tagline. I say that because students will often get fixated on taglines and logos and things like that and they think that that’s the key so they have to come up with something like that. They have to say they are blank meets blank. No. I rarely, if ever, ever post my tagline. All they have to do is show me Metal Motivation, Metal Motivation content, targeted to the right audience and that’s all. But that is branding because I’m amplifying and dramatizing the central idea. I’m driving a highly differentiated idea into my target audience’s heads, okay?

It is not the key to find a tagline. It’s to find a brand, a differentiated idea. The tagline is used just like logos or packaging. It’s just another way to amplify the idea-driven personal brand. On social media with branding your music, you are not a corporate brand. You are not branding like Coca-Cola or Nike. You are a personal brand. That’s what you are. You’re branding yourself or yourself as a representative of your band and so all of your content is about dramatizing and amplifying that central idea behind what makes you unique, all of the cultural aspects, and again, social media gives you so many ways to dramatize those ideas by the content that you post, and this is where you can be as creative as you want.

As you learn your audience, see what they respond to, give them more of the same so that you can continue to grow, keep a highly engaged audience, building that brand awareness, right, building that brand engagement, building that brand marketing. This is the power of personal branding for your music business. Can you dig that? Hope you can.

25:39 CJ: Listen, thank you so much for joining me as always on the Savvy Musician Show. I love this podcast. I would love if you would help me spread the word. Share this content on your social media platforms. If you can, please right after this podcast, go and leave a review on whatever podcast player you’re listening on, Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, et cetera. If they say offer to give stars, give us as many stars as you can. This is going to help other people discover this podcast as well as build us up, encourage us because we read the things that you write.

If you’d like to go further with us at the Savvy Musician Academy, right now, TOM 3.0, The Online Musician version 3.0 is available. Go to theonlinemusician.com and check that out today. And also if you are looking for something even more, then visit us again at savvymusicianacademy.com, where there’s tons of content there, previous episodes of this podcast. Get yourself informed, learn more, and then join us in one of our courses. We would love to stand with you in creating your personal success. Take care.

Episode #107: Music Marketing Without Paid Advertising

Would you keep betting on a horse that never won a race? Seems ridiculous, but people keep throwing money at advertising for posts that never did well in the first place. In this episode, C.J. sums it up perfectly when he says, “If it doesn’t work organically without paid traffic, it’s not going to work with paid traffic.”

It works or doesn’t work because of how well you know your audience. C.J. explains that you need to be focusing on understanding your audience, what they respond to, what inspires them, what they will click and share and what will expand your reach. This concept is so simple it is overlooked and yet so important it needs your complete attention. Check out this week’s episode so that you don’t overlook what you should be doing everyday. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Being the bright side
  • Getting past looking for secrets and hacks
  • Connecting with your audience
  • This is a longterm business model
  • Focusing on organic reach
  • Multiplying what already works
  • Researching friends for superfan information
  • Putting in the work everyday

Tweetables:

“The whole world is learning the hard way that they should have been building an online music business.” – @metalmotivation [0:00:48]

“I almost never see questions about the very thing that creates sales… ‘How can I better connect with my audience?’” – @metalmotivation [0:06:11]

“Being an online musician is a longterm business model.” – @metalmotivation [0:07:08]

“If it doesn’t work organically without paid traffic, it’s not going to work with paid traffic.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:18]

“The person who’s totally abandoned to their audience is the person who’s going to learn their audience, and the person who learns their audience is going to be the person who sells. That’s going to be the person who succeeds.” – @metalmotivation [0:19:49]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Amy Vanessa Dullum Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/amygoloby/

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thank you once again for joining me on this awesome music marketing podcast. I hope it’s making a difference in your life and in your music business. This is a great way to educate. A great way to share important information to further equip you to move the needle forward in your online music business.

That’s right, online music business. The whole world is learning the hard way that they should have been building an online music business. It’s sad to see so many venues and bars and entertainers shut down by the lockdown, but this is your opportunity to make a change. This is your opportunity to pivot in your life. Don’t sit there and be discouraged. Don’t sit there and cry about it. Don’t sit there and worry about it. Don’t be anxious. It’s better to take action than it is to sit, worry, and wonder.

There are so many things that you can do, and you may be envisioning a negative future for yourself, a negative future for the world. If your mind is so soaked in news headlines, or what’s going on in your Facebook newsfeed. Yeah, you might be a little discouraged about the future. But you don’t have to be. You know why? Because you are the bright side to your circumstances. Look in the mirror, because that is how you look on the bright side. You are the good news in your situation. Because, with determination, with effort, with work, you can create something out of nothing.

You can do what Leah did. You can do what so many other of our students have done, create an online music business from your own home. You can do it. That’s what this podcast is all about. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please do us a favor and leave a review and check off some stars on whatever podcast player you’re listening on. It helps other people to discover this podcast, and we read all of your comments and reviews, and it’s a huge encouragement to us.

Before we get started today, I want to share just a student spotlight by Amy Vanessa Dolan from our Elite course. She writes, “#win. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes and getting great feedback from the group, so I decided to stop and share some wins so far. I started with 2,500 Facebook page likes and ran like ads for a couple of weeks. I maintained a worldwide audience at one to 2 cents per like and a big four audience. I also included other buying countries at about 10 cents per like.

“I now have over 14,000 page likes and my post engagement is through the roof, up by 200%. It’s so weird to actually get comments and shares every time I post something. Yesterday, I started running my opt-in ad to the same big four audience. And so far, I’m getting 18 cents per conversion. I also made my first sale from my thank-you page. I’m selling my bundle offer for about $35-plus with shipping. So after paying shipping an ad cost, I made a profit of $20 in one day. Hopefully, I can keep making sales like this. It’s encouraging to see that the process is working.”

Exactly. We’re going to talk something about, even though you heard her talk about paid ads, we’re going to get into the fact that it’s not even about the paid advertising. It’s not even about the special techniques or software. I’m going to set you free from wondering how in the world Leah does it. How in the world these other people do it and why you can do it too without spending money on advertising. That’s what I’m talking to you about today, music marketing without spending money on ads. You’ll find out why Amy’s little program worked.

Now, this is one of the most important things about what Leah teaches at SMA that most people miss. I’m going to say that again. This is probably one of the most important things about what Leah teaches at SMA, the Savvy Musician Academy that most people miss. I find even our Elite students are missing this, it’s called the shiny object syndrome, shiny object syndrome. That’s when you’re distracted from what’s most important because you saw something you think new or innovative holds the answer to your problem. You think there’s got to be some special thing, some special hack.

And so, what’s the big problem for the online musician? Well, sales and the lack thereof. That’s the big problem for today’s online musician. Even again, our Elite students struggle with this very simple truth. They think there’s got to be a secret, and so they get distracted. The shiny object. It’s got to be this software. It’s got to be that hack. It’s got to be something secret. The big problem is sales. They say, “How does Leah sell so much and how come I don’t? There’s got to be an app. There’s got to be a hack. There’s got to be something she uses that I’m not using. Or maybe if I steal her ad copy, I’ll get better sales. I’ll just copy and paste and just replace her name with mine.”

05:36 CJ: I wonder what time of day she posts on social media. Ever thought about that? I get that question a lot. People want to know, when’s the best time to post on social media? Or maybe I don’t have the right number of emails going out. On and on and on. I can tell this is the case. How? Because of the majority of questions that are asked in all of our Facebook groups. Not just Elite, but our online musician groups, our free mastermind groups. It’s the same questions over and over. Questions about the shiny objects and not the right questions. I almost never see questions about the very thing that creates sales. I don’t see questions about that.

I have yet to have someone write in and post in our Facebook group, “How can I better connect with my audience?” I never see that. It’s always, “Settings on this piece of software.” Or, “What does Leah do about this?” Or something else? It’s never, “How can I better connect with my audience? How can I better understand my audience?” I never see that question. See, because people want to hack. They want something that breaks the code to sales, but they never find it, because it doesn’t exist in software. It doesn’t exist in some secret about some special thing that’s working now in social media that you can find your way around the algorithm. Hack the algorithm.

Remember, being an online musician is a longterm business model, not a short one. Being an online musician is a longterm business model, it is not a short one. For example, most people today that are making money through e-commerce are throwing up social media pages in Shopify stores in order to capitalize on trending issues, whether it’s politics or pet lovers. That’s how they do it. These entrepreneurs are all about the latest hacks and tricks, because they know the window of revenue for their products is so small. So whatever the trending story is, whatever is popular, they just create products or find manufacturers of these products that they can put up a short standing store for a while and a short standing Facebook page and just try to take advantage of that window of opportunity.

They’re not building a longterm business. These are short-term hacks. They brag about how much money they make, but they’re not going to be making money continually. These are short-term solutions. At SMA, we’re teaching a longterm approach to building a personal brand through the proven principles of branding, culture building and direct digital marketing. It’s longterm approach, not short term. We want your music business to be lasting for years, not months. That’s why the investment upfront has to be so significant. It’s also why Leah, for example, doesn’t teach on Facebook ads.

In her latest course, The Online Musician 3.0, or TOM 3.0 for short, she does not teach on Facebook ads. None. We do that in Elite, but she doesn’t teach it in TOM. TOM 3.0, the latest version that just released, doesn’t teach on Facebook ads. Is she trying to cheat you? Is this some kind of underhanded way, like the phone company, to get you to buy something more expensive? Absolutely not. This is the best thing she could do for you, is to leave out the ads. Because she wants you to understand one thing, if you can’t build an engaged following of super fans who buy your music and merchandise, then all the apps, all the tricks, all the hacks are not going to help you.

Okay? That’s because the purpose of her in-depth teaching on social media advertising, email marketing, are about scaling what’s already working organically. But people get blinded by the shiny object, so they think, “Oh, the secret is the Facebook ad manager. Oh, the secret is the Facebook Pixel, and I learned that in Elite, so let me get into Elite. What you find out is, Elite students who aren’t selling anything. Because it’s not for that. The Facebook Pixel is not your answer. The latest hack is not your answer. A special retargeting app is not your answer. They’re only there to enhance and scale and multiply and maximize what is already working organically.

10:15 CJ: You have to make social media digital marketing work organically before you start spending the money. It’s as simple as that. It’s so simple that gurus have to help you misunderstand it. So simple that gurus have to work overtime to help you and I misunderstand this. Again, I don’t see those questions in the Facebook groups about, how can I better connect with my audience? They think it’s a trick. They think it’s a hack. They think it’s somewhere found in the technology or their misuse of it. In other words, you got to create an engaged following who’s ready to buy your music, but you got to do it without pain advertising. That’s why she left it out of TOM 3.0.

If you do that, then paid ads can greatly increase your results and your profits. But if your posts or your emails aren’t working organically right now, then they’re not going to work if you put hundreds of dollars behind the advertising. It’s not going to work. If it doesn’t work organically without paid traffic, it’s not going to work with paid traffic. For example, boosted posts. That’s the most basic fundamental way you could do any kind of paid advertising on Facebook. A boosted post. People think, for example, that the smart thing to do is to boost a post to get more reach, when the really smart thing to do is to post regularly and organically without paid ads and whichever post performs well organically is the one you should boost.

See, people only think, “Okay, well, boost means I want it to get to more people.” That makes sense, but if you don’t know that that post is going to perform well, don’t spend money on it. But if it performs well organically, then whatever money you spend is going to multiply the results. You won’t just get double the amount, you’ll get multiplications of the amount of reach and engagement. If it’s already working organically, then money spend behind it is going to multiply the results. Why is that? Because that organic post is already proven. It’s already shown itself to work. That’s when you put money behind it.

What does all this tell us? Well, it tells us you got to find your ideal super fan. You’ve got to get them engaged through regular content. You got to understand what inspires them, what causes them to get engaged and respond and take action. You got to build a relationship with them where they know you, where they like you, where they trust you, where they share your content with other people. You have to keep this in mind with everything that you do online, whether social media or email. Isn’t that true? Why would you think that just spending money is the key? It’s not the key. Spending money with advertising just multiplies or scales the results you’re already getting organically.

So everyone that recently signed up for Leah’s TOM 3.0 course are set up for this very thing. Because again, she doesn’t cover the Facebook ads. She intentionally left out paid ads to save you a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of frustration. Because people will think they’re just going to throw money at it. They think ads are the way out. They don’t get the results because they haven’t first done it organically. That just leads to frustration. They become an enemy to themselves. They start talking self-defeat and they talk themselves out of the music business. They just think it just wasn’t meant for them, when it’s just because they’re doing it wrong.

That’s why she covers, for example, in TOM 3.0, mindset stuff, goal setting. You got to have plans. You got to have goals. You got to have things mapped out. You got to be prepared to win mentally. You got to know your micro niche. You got to create culture. You got to understand branding, build your website, build your audience, learn how to monetize your music, stuff like that. She covers all of that in TOM 3.0, but none of that is based on Facebook ads. Because ads only expand and scale what’s already done.

Now, again, I said, even our Elite students are struggling with this. So music marketing without paid ads is something very organic and very natural. You should be able to figure out who your ideal superfan is. What are they like? What music do they like? Obviously, things similar to your genre of music. What other artists are comparable? What do they follow? What are other pages that they follow? Think about the culture that surrounds your music. Is there a particular magazine that your culture reads? A TV show or a movie that they watch? A book that they read? Certain things that they’ll follow or do? Hobbies, interests?

15:26 CJ: All of these things are going to help you to target your ideal superfan. Maybe you have friends on your own Facebook profile right now that you could say, maybe you go through your friend list right now and think of three or four people that you could say are your ideal superfan. They’d be a great example. Well, go look through their stuff. See what they’re talking about. Find out more about how they think, what they’re interested in. Look through their page and you can find out what they follow, what they like. You might be inspired to consider targeting things you’ve never considered before. Things to talk about in your posts that you’ve never talked about before. Then figure out how to write some copy. Figure out when to promote. Figure out what your fans are interested in and how you can get them to convert. How you can get them to support you, et cetera, et cetera.

You got to know culture. You got to know your branding. You got to know your website, your audience, all of these sorts of things. Well, that’s what SMA teaches. That’s what you’ll always hear on this podcast or what Leah will teach, for example, in TOM 3.0. These are great ways for you to get started. The thing is, is that I don’t want you to be distracted by the shiny object syndrome. I don’t want you to think it’s something special. It’s not something special. It’s not a secret. It’s not a secret. If you can get what you’re doing to work organically, and I’m talking to everybody, not just people who are just listening to this podcast that have never taken a course at SMA. I’m talking to our TOM students. I’m talking to our Elite students as well. You have to get things working organically. You have to do it without paid advertising.

If you can do that, if you can learn, then selling becomes so much easier. All I want you to learn how to do is to sell. All I want you to learn how to do is how to create an engaged audience, is to get people to follow you, get them to know, like and trust you. I know my audience. What I do with my projects, I know my audience. I know the words they use to respond to. I know the kind of offers that they like. I know the topics they want to hear about. I know what to say to them. I know what to show them. Leah knows her audience. She knows what they want. She knows what they want to hear about. She knows what they want to see. She knows how to create engagement, and that’s the key.

That’s why you can never seem to find the hack. That’s also why it’s easy for marketing gurus to take your money from you, because they’re showing you and telling you that it’s a hack. That it’s a secret, and if you can only get behind their pay wall, their subscription, the cost of their course, then you’ll discover the secrets. There’s no secrets. There are no secrets. Sure, we use that term sometimes in our marketing copy, but there really is no … It’s only a secret because you don’t know it. But what I mean is that there’s no special hack. No. What we’re talking about is common knowledge. Like I said, I don’t ever get that question in the Facebook groups, “How can I better engage with my audience?”

No. People are thinking about everything but that. They’re going over and over their Shopify store, over and over their website, over and over how to set up this email feature or that thing. It’s always something like that. Now, I’m not saying those things aren’t important. Obviously, they’re what we use to scale what’s already working organically. So they are important, and we want you to figure that out, but I know that the people who are asking about those things aren’t getting anything working organically right now.

I’d rather have the person that is totally abandoned, I mean, 110% abandoned to their audience, their brand, their culture, creating content, getting those people engaged. I’d rather have that person going crazy with that and not having a clue how to set up a website, than the person who knows all the technical stuff, and yet can’t get a single person engaged. Can’t get any reach with their posts. Can’t get anybody to sign up for an email list. Can’t get anybody to buy a tee shirt. Because the person who’s totally abandoned to their audience is the person who’s going to learn their audience, and the person who learns their audience is going to be the person who sells. That’s going to be the person who succeeds.

20:01 CJ: The rest of it is easy. All the email marketing and software. Yeah, it’s challenging. It’s a lot to learn. It takes time, but that’s the easy part. Believe me, it’s the easy part. Learning your audience, learning a bunch of individual human beings, that’s where the challenge is. But that’s also where the profits are. That’s where the money is for your music business. That’s where it’s found. I want you to show up and don’t come back to me. The question everybody comes back to me, “Hey CJ, how much do I have to post? It seemed like I got to spend a lot of time on social media. I have to comment and answer all these people.” If you say that, you are not cut out for this. Because what you’re looking for is the shade and the wage, the most amount of pay for the least amount of work.

No. When you’re building, it’s going to take everything that you’ve got. So yeah, showing up every day on social media. Showing up regularly with your emails. Answering people, answering inbox messages, creating a relationship, researching. Looking at what people are saying, taking notes. Learning more about your culture, studying your audience, studying your competition. Learning more and more and more about what’s working online. All of this can be done without spending a single penny on paid advertising, and it is the one thing that’s going to guarantee that your ads will work in the future. Because you’re going to know what to say down the road when it comes to writing your own ads. You’re going to know exactly what to do, because you’ve already proven it.

Invest yourself in the fundamentals of online marketing, especially as Leah teaches, for example, in TOM 3.0. Invest yourself in that. Get to know your micro niche, get your mindset right. Set some goals, learn to create the culture around your music. Learn about brand and get your website built. Build your audience up. Learn the keys to monetizing your music. Learn these sorts of things, and you can do all of that without paid advertising. Man, that’s exciting. You should be tearing up your ceiling right now. You should be writing me an email right now telling me, “CJ, I love you for setting me free from thinking that there’s always a secret that I’ve got to discover.”

No. The power is in your hands right now to learn your audience, to find out what works, to show up every day, to build the culture and lifestyle around your music and create your little online music empire and make a full-time income doing it and never have to leave your home if you don’t want to. I mean, for some people, it’s too good to be true. They say, “CJ, that’s just too good to be true.” I talked to some other musicians. They said, “That’s too good to be true.” No, it’s not too good to be true because other people are doing it. We see it all the time at the Savvy Musician Academy, and nobody set a better example of doing this than Leah has.

Get started today. Don’t put off your music business anymore. You can start doing these things right away. If you’re in our Elite program, then get back to the basics. If you’re in TOM right now learning things, you’re going to learn so much, but please use this message today, this episode today, as the way you’re going to keep yourself focused and encouraged during the time you go through TOM 3.0. If you’re not a part of TOM 3.0 or of any of our other courses, then you should check it out. You should check it out. Go to theonlinemusician.com right now, theonlinemusician.com, learn more about TOM 3.0. It’s packed. I only mentioned a few things. That thing is packed with content that you can use and you don’t have to spend any money on advertising.

Also recently launched, is our Inner Circle program. I’d love to have you join me there, savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. I’ll finish out the podcast with that, but thank you so much again for being with me. Please, once again, leave a review. Check off some stars, help other people discover this music marketing podcast. It’s always a pleasure to be with you. Good things in store. Good things on the way. Stay happy. Keep smiling. Keep your head up. Stay motivated. Stay aggressive, healthy aggression. Resist what is resisting you. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Give yourself for yourself. That is the meaning of sacrifice. Give something of value to get something back of greater value. So give yourself for yourself. Pay the price, make the sacrifice. Your life and music business are worth it. No one can do it but you, but we’re here to help you to walk arm in arm. We are committed to your success. We’ll see you soon.

25:09 CJ: The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. When they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now. If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast.

For one low monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction plus tips, tools, news updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle.

Episode #106: Starting Over: A Coaching Session with an Artist Who Once Sold Millions of Records

Imagine selling millions of records only to end up starting from scratch in an entirely new music industry. This is the story of J.R. Richards and our SMA student guest joining C.J. this week. J.R. was the vocalist for the 90s band Dishwalla, which had two Gold and Platinum albums, and also won Billboard Music and ASCAP Awards. 

Now as a solo artist with a mainstream sound, C.J and J.R. tackle how to find his audience through other ways than sub-genre targeting. If your music is more mainstream and you are trying to find your audience, this is the episode for you!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introduction to J.R. Richards
  • Finding old fans vs. making new fans
  • What is your personal brand?
  • Finding your audience as a mainstream artist
  • Focus through resolve
  • Having an ultimate objective
  • Expanding and targeting key audience demographics
  • Culture-based niche marketing
  • Writing emotionally focused copy
  • The almighty play button
  • Juxtaposition to find new ideas

Tweetables:

“It’s one thing to understand everything theoretically, it’s another thing to apply to your own music business, and connect with your fans, and figure out how that monetization needs to work for you.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:10]

“I love the idea of being resolved because resolved means there’s no second-guessing, and I don’t want to see someone second guess themselves when they need to be marketing.” – @metalmotivation [0:18:43]

“I really don’t care what your logo looks like because for all intents and purposes, the only logo that people are seeing is a profile pic and a blue name.” – @metalmotivation [0:46:11]

“I’m actually excited about going back through the program again just because it’s a lot, and you have to kind of mature with it in order to fully appreciate what’s going on. It’s like reading a book twice that you really enjoy. You’re going to get a lot out of it the second time around.” – @JRRICHARDS [0:54:28]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

J. R. Richards Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/JRRICHARDSMUSIC/

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: All right. You and I have never spoken before, correct?

00:25 JR: No.

00:25 CJ: Okay.

00:25 JR: This would be the first.

00:27 CJ: I heard some of the music. Wow.

00:30 JR: Awesome.

00:30 CJ: Oh, man. You are one incredible vocalist.

00:37 JR: Thanks. I appreciate that.

00:39 CJ: I see how you barely got in this group. And what are you doing in the UK with that American accent?

00:51 JR: Oh, well my wife is British, and my wife, she’s a film director.

00:57 CJ: Oh, good.

00:58 JR: And we were living in California, that’s where we met for quite a long time, and we have four boys that are either some of them are dual citizens, some are just British, one is just American. It’s kind of weird. It depends on where they were born. And one of them is special needs. Highly special needs.

01:22 CJ: Oh, okay.

01:23 JR: So we were caring for them in the States, and it was okay for a while, but then it just became so expensive. We decided to move here just because healthcare is free.

01:35 CJ: Ah.

01:37 JR: And it’s excellent. Just to give you an example, even with health insurance, we have been at a hospital for a couple of months and we were paying … We figured out we paid about $2,000 a day above what we were paying in insurance. So we were like, “There’s no way that we can maintain this.”

01:56 CJ: Amazing.

01:59 JR: Hence the move.

02:01 CJ: Yeah. Wow.

02:02 JR: Yeah.

02:03 CJ: Well, shoot. Bless you, guys. Man, I know that’s a lot to carry, but hey, if you’re not going to be in the States, UK or Australia I guess would be the place to be.

02:17 JR: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, indeed. So yeah. It’s not a bad place. We live in a little village in Oxfordshire, and the house is … It was the old dairy house for the big manor house that’s on the village property. If you think like Downton Abbey, that kind of thing.

02:34 CJ: Right.

02:35 JR: In fact, that’s our address. There’s no street name and no number. It’s just dairy house.

02:41 CJ: That’s hilarious, man.

02:43 JR: Yeah. It’s crazy.

02:44 CJ: Yeah. So you’re a long way from the US suburbs?

02:48 JR: Yes. Yes, I am. I am. Quite a ways away. So we’re about 45 minutes, 50 minutes from London, but yeah.

02:57 CJ: Well, good. All right. Well, tell me a little bit … Obviously, again you’re an accomplished vocalist and all of that, very experienced in the music business, and as you know, the music industry has changed dramatically. So give me just a little bit of brief history about your particular music career, what’s brought you to this place in terms of working with Leah, and when did she first appear on your radar, et cetera?

03:22 JR: Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, I’ve been singing and writing songs forever, so I was in a band, an American brand, that got signed back, and this is a while now. ’93 to A&M Records, and our first album, we had a number one hit and sold a couple of million albums. We went on to make a second one, it did pretty well, and then got stuck in the big Universal PolyGram merger.

03:53 CJ: Right.

03:53 JR: And we were put on Interscope Records, but they didn’t have any … They just didn’t have the staff to work what we were doing, and we weren’t initially there, so that created problems. So we begged to get out of that deal, and then signed with another independent label in the early 2000s, and put out a record that did pretty well, and did a couple of more albums after that. Then around 2005, a couple of guys in the band had left, and I think I was pretty much done at that point too, and just wanted to be … It’s time to be dad more than being on the road all the time and just had to do the solo thing.

But I have to be quite honest. I left music for a little bit, and then slowly crept back towards it around 2008, 2009, and put out my first solo album in 2009, and I’ve done four solo albums now.

04:50 CJ: Okay.

04:50 JR: So-

04:51 CJ: Since 2009?

04:52 JR: Since 2009. Yeah. So, I’ve been busy musically, but I did take a break there. But back in the day when we were signed to A&M, it was all go, man. You’re either writing an album, you’re recording an album, or you’re on tour, and there really was no break because I was writing all the songs for the band. Anyway, so it was pretty crazy, and then during this time where I’m trying to figure out, “Okay. I’m trying to figure out how to reinvent myself.” I come from a very old school environment in terms of how the music industry operates. It’s completely damaged, I’m catching the tailspin so to speak as it’s about to hit the ground and watched it the ground, and wasn’t part of that, and then watched a lot of friends that were very talented just give up, and I’ve been pushing hard to try to stay doing this. It’s one of the few things I know how to do well, then I started seeing Leah show up around … Gosh, it must’ve been around 2014 maybe.

It was really early on, and I think what caught my ear was her understanding of what the industry was, and how it was changing just because I have so many friends that are still in it, and so many friends that have left, and have been involved in all aspect of it too from the major label side of it to be a complete, total independent artist, and watching distribution and everything change. So, I was really actually quite impressed at this person who’s never been … She was never on a label or big part of some group that is managing to pull this off on her own, and I was like … So, I paid attention to it. I said, “I’ve got to take a look at what she has to say.”

It might have been like Tom. Certainly it was Tom 2.0, and yeah. Then went from that to the leap thing, and what you guys offer there, the deciding thing blows my mind because for somebody like me who’s having to reinvent himself, I’ve sold millions of albums, but it’s not like I can go out and do that now. I don’t have that who environment that created that. It just doesn’t exist anymore. So, I can still sing, and I can still write songs. I’m just trying to figure out how to fit. But I don’t need to sell a million albums to still owe money to a label. I’d be happy to sell 50,000 and actually be comfortable.

07:24 CJ: You’d sell 50,000 and make more than the person who’s in a band selling 5 million albums?

07:30 JR: Oh yeah. Easily. Easily. God, if I had sold 100,000 album, I would be a freaking millionaire. Ridiculous. So much less effort because to go out and support that amount of people buying your albums, and all the things that you have to do in order to keep everybody happy, and all the commitments that are involved with that, it’s a 24 hour, seven day a week job, which I just can’t do anymore. But you don’t have to these days. It’s really interesting to see how things change. It’s going to go further, the direction that Leah has been spearheading. So [crosstalk 00:08:13]. What’s that?

08:14 CJ: Whether everybody likes it or not?

08:16 JR: Yes. I know, and I know a lot of people who don’t like it, and I know a lot of people that ignore it, and a lot of people that just don’t believe it even though it’s happening.

08:26 CJ: Yeah, because the whole industry has shut down. Even down to your local pub. So even if you’re just an acoustic player looking to pick up … You might not even be able to go into the tunnels and the subways-

08:40 JR: Yeah.

08:40 CJ: … and put a hat out these days.

08:44 JR: Yeah. You’re absolutely right. I was supposed to be on tour in the Philippines, and all of Southeast Asia, Australia, US. I had to cancel everything, and that was a pain. So then it was even more if I’m like, “All right. How am I going to get myself financially through this time?” So, I’ve been digging deeper into what the lead course has taught me, which is amazing. You can go so deep with it. So, I have a long ways to go.

09:20 CJ: And I think everybody, your first obviously taken aback by Leah’s story, and of course, in your case with a truckload of kids, it’s good to see someone else with a truckload of kids who is managing that as well, doing it without touring, which was her choice at the time, the choice of everybody now, not even Madonna can tour. So everybody is essentially on lockdown. But then you do get into the deeper parts of the information and people think, “Oh well, the secrets must lie beyond the paywall.” So in this elite program, I’ll figure out the apps, and the tricks, and the techniques of how Leah truly does this, and then I’ve seen dozens of people go through elite, and they’re no different than when they were before Tom 2.0.

10:10 JR: Right.

10:10 CJ: Because it’s one thing to understand everything theoretically, it’s another thing to apply to your own music business, and connect with your fans, and figure out how that monetization needs to work for you and all of that. So, I think that’s where a lot of people get obviously challenged, and so it’s not just, “Hey, if I pay enough money for a course, the more expensive it is, the more I’m guaranteed that I’m going to be successful.” No. I’m not any more than someone who goes to Berkeley is guaranteed anything. You can go to Harvard Medical School. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be a great doctor or get hired as a doctor at all. You could be working at a department store.

There’s a PhD glut, there’s an MD glut out there of people who are not doing what they need to be doing. So, I think that’s what brings people to these types of one on one sessions where we can look at somebody’s stuff and see where the challenges are. Maybe where they want to go, maybe they were in the reinventing process, personal branding. So where are you at right now?

11:12 JR: That’s a good question. Well, I think a lot of it is I’m kind of at a place where I’m trying to … Well, I guess I’m trying to do two things. I’m trying to reconnect with people that had brought albums of mine before in the past, just to let them know that I’m still here, and I’m still making music, if they’re interested. Then there’s this whole idea of actually going out and finding new people, even though I’m not being played on the radio, and those kinds of things don’t happen anymore, and this idea that you can go and find your audience do social media. It’s pretty amazing.

So those are really the two things. I don’t know who much time I should spend trying to find old fans. Should I focus more on trying to find new people, and therefore, find the old people too?

12:09 CJ: Right. Well, what’s your thinking, the logic behind why you’d want to reconnect with old fans? Not that it’s bad. I don’t have an opinion now, but what’s your motive or reason?

12:19 JR: I guess is just because I already have a relationship with them to some degree. I don’t know. Certainly back in the day when you’re selling albums, it was very one way. So nowadays, somebody buys an album and I give them a personal thank you. That’s before that connection ever happens. I guess I was thinking initially, that’s a good way. It’s the low hanging fruit. Those people have already vested themselves into something you’ve done.

12:45 CJ: Right.

12:45 JR: But I don’t know.

12:47 CJ: Yeah. When you say old fans, we’re talking about 1993 kind of old fans?

12:52 JR: Well, if we’re selling them, it’s probably at ’95, but yeah. From ’95 to 2005.

12:58 CJ: Right, right. Yeah. So if we take out the idea of old fans, and we say, “Okay. Well, what’s the desired outcome?” Because old fans are a means to an end, not the end itself.

13:11 JR: Right.

13:12 CJ: You’re not trying to see where they’ve been, and how are things with the kids. You’re trying to get to a warmer market is what you’re after?

13:21 JR: Yeah.

13:22 CJ: So in other words, if we can create the warm market just as fast, or easier, or cheaper, then reconnecting old fans with a new audience, then hey, who cares who it is.

13:33 JR: Right. Exactly. That makes sense. Yeah.

13:35 CJ: So we can’t put character in the cash register. That’s going to be our starting point.

13:38 JR: Right, right.

13:41 CJ: So what we want is a warmer marketing because we feel like a warmer market is going to be more apt to purchase music, right?

13:50 JR: Sure. Yeah.

13:52 CJ: Okay. Yeah. So in that regard, we can start with any aspect of what Leah teaches and take that approach. I think the easiest approach is to go after whoever is the easiest to go after. I’m not sure how exactly you would track down the old fans so to speak outside if there’s a … Are there Facebook pages or anything from your band that are still around?

14:17 JR: Well, that’s the thing. Well, they used to label it when you would choose your targeting because I was in this band called Dishwalla. You can target people who liked Dishwalla. But I think the last year when Facebook went in and thinned out a lot of those likes, or genres, or names of different things if you’re below a certain threshold, they took you out of the searching engine.

14:44 CJ: Yeah. There may be some hunt there. You can always, for grins and giggles, kick around some promotions and just see if there’s any life out there, but the new audience is ready and waiting, so we can go essentially after them. Where do you feel like you are now with your personal brand? What is J.R. Richards about?

15:10 JR: Yeah. That’s another good question. I’m trying to identify that. I do feel like I’m one of those artists that doesn’t have … Because I’m very pop-rock kind of thing. I’m very down the middle of the road. So, I think because I’m in the middle, it’s harder to know how to target people in more of a niche style because I’m not really a sub-genre of anything as much as I…

15:38 CJ: Right. I’m actually glad you said that because I’ve coached now, in this sort of setting, about 40 plus elite students over the past year and a half. It wasn’t intentional. We just did the branding bootcamp thing, and then we made the offer for people to schedule the one on ones. I didn’t think anybody was going to do it to be honest with you, and they came out of the woodwork.

16:04 JR: That’s true.

16:05 CJ: So, I’ve touched basically every genre that you can think of, and some you can’t think of because people have thought up some really, really wild and crazy stuff when it comes to music. So, I’ve had myself stretched as a branding guy. But one of the great things coming out of it is all of the guys and gals that were, as you described, middle of the road. Mainstream. And I really, really have learned to appreciate that because I think a lot of the artists get stuck because Leah’s music style and things was so genre-specific, the micro-niche makes perfect sense. The science works on paper with her, harder once you move it over to, like you said, a more pop-rock kind of thing where it’s radio-friendly. So you’re touching all kinds of people.

So, I’m into heavy metal, so it’s really easy to target all the cultural interests, and behaviors, and all this kinds of stuff.

17:09 JR: Right, right.

17:10 CJ: Because there’s magazines for that. Well, what’s the magazine for pop? I don’t know. It could be any magazine for all we know.

17:18 JR: Yeah, right. 

17:20 CJ: It could be SpongeBob SquarePants for all we know, right?

17:22 JR: Yes, yes.

17:24 CJ: But the one thing that I appreciate about that is that it’s a good thing because that means we don’t have to think about it. I don’t like us thinking about things that stop us because I’ve seen so many get stuck, because they can’t figure out that micro-niche. So, I literally saw a few people over this past year post how they were stuck for months, man. For months on that. So because they’re stuck, they’re questioning themselves. So if you’re questioning yourself, you’re not resolved. And if you’re not resolved, you’re not abandoned into what you should be doing, completely devoted with no holding back. You know what it’s like to be completely abandoned to writing or something, recording. You’re just abandoned.

There’s no, “I wonder if recording is going to feel good today.” No. You just know what you got to do, you’re ready to do it, you know what I mean? Whatever many takes it takes. If it doesn’t work on the 14th take, do you get all upset, and broken hearted, and go have your wife wipe your sweaty brow, and comfort you? No. You understand that the failure was, “I need three more takes. We’re going to get this.” So there’s no questioning. You’re completely abandoned. That’s why I love the idea of being resolved because resolved means there’s no second guessing, and I don’t want to see someone second guess themselves when they need to be marketing, which is a new thing for people to have to do.

18:58 JR: Right, right. Yeah.

19:00 CJ: You’re an artist. You don’t want to be perceived as sales-y and all of these other things, but you can be that way if you’re completely resolved. And when someone is in a genre that’s middle of the road, radio-friendly, then we’re not going to be thinking too much about genre. We’re going to be thinking about something else. So that’s when we step back and we ask the question, “Okay. J.R., what’s the great outcome that you want as an artist?” Because obviously people have to listen to you. You’re not making art for art sake. It’s commercial. It’s to be enjoyed by people in a particular medium whether it’s Spotify, CD, vinyl, whatever.

So you want people to experience the music. So what’s the ultimate outcome? What is it that you want people to get from what you make?

19:57 JR: Well, yeah. I wanted to have to enjoy it. To be an escape, because that’s what it is for me. I enjoyed it, it’s an escape for me, and it’s what music is to me whether I’m listening to it or somebody else is, or doing it.

20:12 CJ: So when you say escape, obviously you’re not writing ambient music. So we’re not talking about people literally in Pink Floyd, acid trip, going off to another place. So these are like mini-escapes?

20:31 JR: Yeah, yeah. I guess it would be, yeah. Actually, it’s funny. I think a lot of the music that I write is rather melancholy, even though I’m not a melancholic person.

20:37 CJ: Right.

20:38 JR: But yeah. Literally such.

20:42 CJ: Well, do me a favor, because that’s very interesting. Develop that for me. Why do you write so much melancholic music?

20:51 JR: That’s a good question. Obviously, it has to do with how I’m a sensitive person, and I think about things a lot. It’s interesting. I think I connect with a lot of … Reside primarily in a male audience, which I think would be the other way around when you make … Have sensitive lyrics, and I get a lot of rock dudes that are like, “Oh, man. Father’s passed away, bro.” And that was amazing.

21:14 CJ: Wow.

21:19 JR: Because it is funny how we see ourselves. It’s not typically how people see us, and there can be quite a variety of the way people see us too especially with ours, because I’ve been exploring that since working with The Savvy Academy. I figure out myself and my music. So, I never had to think about it before. There was always somebody at the department.

21:38 CJ: Sure. Yeah, the mark-

21:44 JR: It’s weird for me.

21:44 CJ: The marketing department.

21:44 JR: Oh, yeah.

21:47 CJ: You’re it now. Okay. So again, I’m not through with this melancholy thing because it’s very, very interesting to me. So you describe yourself as sensitive. Now by that, we’re not talking about weakness or anything like that. No.

22:03 JR: No. Not at all.

22:03 CJ: So you like to think about things. So why is being sensitive and/or thinking about things good? Tell me why you do that. What’s important about that? Should someone else do that?

22:16 JR: Absolutely. I think it’s important to think about emotions and those kinds of things that make us feel sad and feel happy, what makes us a better person to understand themselves better. So, I think a lot of my lyrics, subject matter is about those kinds of conversation I have with myself that obviously … I’m not doing anything, I’m not thinking anything special or different or unique. It’s the same kinds of things that everybody thinks about.

22:44 CJ: Right. Okay. So if every day you woke up, and countless people, because of what you were producing, and I want to say producing in a general sense, not just music, but everything related to J.R. Whatever he says, whatever picture he shows, whatever live video he does, whatever event he does, whatever he records. If you woke up every day, and more and more people were becoming more thoughtful about their lives, being more self-aware, growing, et cetera, would you be happy with that?

23:31 JR: Absolutely.

23:32 CJ: So that would be a close-ended objective?

23:36 JR: Yes. Yes, it would.

23:38 CJ: Right?

23:38 JR: Yeah.

23:39 CJ: Okay. So would you then say that if that is a close-ended thing, then we have an end to reach?

23:50 JR: Yeah. Absolutely. There’s a goal in mind. Definitely.

23:52 CJ: Right. Okay. So that is not recorded music at that stage. Once a life is changed, a connection is made with J.R., and a follower, a fan, a super fan, and that person is becoming these things, with the aid of the music, but becoming those things, then the music is a means to an end, and not the end itself.

24:21 JR: Yes. You’re right.

24:22 CJ: Right. Okay.

24:23 JR: Yeah.

24:24 CJ: This is good because what this does is it takes a lot of pressure off the music.

24:28 JR: Right.

24:29 CJ: Okay. So-

24:29 JR: All right. So two at this point.

24:33 CJ: Yeah. Right. So that means if you posted a meme, or you posted a video of whatever, or you and your wife, or the kids, or a personal story, or a song, any one of those things works together for J.R.’s ultimate objective, which is this … And we’ll have to come up with some way to describe it, but this enhancement of people. I’m going to use for a working title, we’re going to call this … Your mission is musical life enhancement. So that’s your job in life is musical life enhancement.

25:15 JR: That’s awesome. I have a title now.

25:18 CJ: So that’s something you can wrap your head around, right?

25:22 JR: Yeah.

25:22 CJ: It’s not genre specific, right?

25:25 JR: Yeah.

25:26 CJ: It’s not micro-niche, so we don’t have to bring in any of that stuff. Is it something people are more interested in than just specific genres as it relates to mainstream music? Yeah, I think-

25:38 JR: Absolutely. Yeah. Sure.

25:40 CJ: Yeah. I think people will take from whether it’s Snoop Dog or Simon & Garfunkel, as long as they’re both making them feel good, they probably have both on their iPod. And hopefully, some Iron Maiden, but the singing sucks. But again, that net effect. So the point is, and the reason why all of this is important, J.R., is because we’re at a particular stage right now where we’ve been around the internet for a while, the internet has been around a long time, it appeared around the same time when we saw the first cracks in the music industry with Napster at the end of the 20th century, right?

26:23 JR: Yeah.

26:24 CJ: And things have grown, and then what was once this illegal distribution of MP3s through these torrent bots, eventually it got cataloged and distributed now through iTunes, and the introduction of the iPhone, and that eventually would give way to streaming where it used to be, “Wow. You can buy a whole album and download it directly to your iPod.” That is ancient now.

26:54 JR: I know. That’s true.

26:56 CJ: But with all of those tremendous advancements, with all of those tremendous advancement, still, the artist is in the same place.

27:04 JR: Yeah.

27:05 CJ: Right? Because there is no iTunes, there is no Napster, there is no Spotify, there is no record industry without the artists. None of them can exist. So the people that are making the most off the artists are people who can’t write a damn lick. Can’t write a riff, can’t write a lyric, can’t sing their way out of a box. So we know that years removed, the music industry is unjust. Okay. So then we have to play differently. So we are going to play differently because we now have a factor on our side that we haven’t had before, and that is social media. So that’s the big game-changer because, as you noted earlier, you can now go to market. You can go and find people.

Yeah. Even if you wanted to, try and find fans of your old band and that sort of thing. So that’s an advantage. But it’s a limited one if we’re only thinking of genre. So, as I like to say, people don’t put up any defenses for self interest. I have yet to find the person I couldn’t hand a $100 dollar bill to.

28:19 JR: Right.

28:20 CJ: Very hard to find. So there’s no defense for self-interest. So let’s get as close as we can to handing people $100 dollar bills, and one thing that they love is why do they love the $100 dollar bill? It makes them feel better. Why do they love music? It makes them feel better. Why do they love a positive message? It makes them feel better.

28:42 JR: Yeah. You’re right.

28:44 CJ: So even though you’re into musical life enhancement, we know that because your stuff is mainstream, everybody likes music. So it’s not hard to target mainstream people. So we’re going to look also at, “Okay. Well, let’s look at the life enhancement stuff.” So if you find or thinking like comparable artists, you might put some of those in. I wouldn’t go into heavy billboard magazine or stuff like that. We don’t want people that are following chart type stuff. I saw you had done a great cover of the … What’s the George Michael song? A few years back you did it.

29:26 JR: Oh, yeah. Shit.

29:30 CJ: Well, I don’t feel bad for not remembering.

29:32 JR: Oh my god. I just did a whole album of covers.

29:36 CJ: Oh, did you?

29:38 JR: Yeah, I did.

29:39 CJ: Oh, that’s great.

29:40 JR: Yeah, it was cool. I just pulled stuff from growing up, and-

29:46 CJ: That’s really cool.

29:48 JR: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting too because … Not to sidestep here, but I just had taken one of the songs because I did a cover of them, Unchained Melody.

29:57 CJ: Oh, wow.

30:01 JR: But my idea was to do it more like Pearl Jam might do it or something.

30:06 CJ: Oh, wow.

30:07 JR: So, I just kept it very organic and stuff, but hitting all the high notes and everything. And as I was doing my targeting thing, and I left it rather broad, Facebook just found this niche of people who were 70 and above.

30:26 CJ: Great.

30:26 JR: So the next thing I know, I’m just selling a ridiculous amount of albums to all of these, and I’m getting all these women, one of them named Betty, and these old classic names. They’re trying to figure out how to download, they thought they brought the CD, but realized they brought the same whole download, and they can’t figure it out. It’s hilarious. It’s not who I would have targeted to initially. I just left the age thing pretty open. Anyways, I just did this last month, and I probably already sold almost 500 copies of the album, CDs.

30:59 CJ: Okay. Hold on here. Hold on here. All right. Look at what J.R. is doing here by accident.

31:06 JR: This typically not happens with me.

31:12 CJ: Well, as a marketer, this is great, great, great data. Leah would be having a fit right now because this is what she begged for. What this tells us is, “Okay. If he’s doing this by accident, what happens when we get intentional?” And I think that’s interesting because … How old are you now, if you don’t mind me asking?

31:35 JR: Oh, no. That’s fine. I’m an old guy. I’m 53.

31:35 CJ: 53? Okay. Yeah, me too. I’m actually 54, and I know … Neither of us look it, J.R.

31:43 JR: No, no. I thought I was the old guy.

31:47 CJ: Yeah. So what’s great about it is you’ve kept in shape, you’re a handsome guy, you’re a good communicator. Again, phenomenal vocalist, and I really want … I’m going to make in a podcast of this, so I really want people who are listening to this to go check out your music because this is a great example of the kind of talent you can have, and still be wondering what to do. In other words, that it just doesn’t all come down to talent, and so we have to get this marketing thing going. But what’s great about that is we think of when you and I were in our … Shoot. Oh, when you were young, the drinking age was 18.

32:34 JR: Yeah.

32:35 CJ: You remember those days. So we would be at parties, and there would be somebody who would be hanging out with us, and who would be like, 29 or 30 years old, and we thought, “What are they doing here?”

32:50 JR: Right. Ancient.

32:51 CJ: “They are ancient.” So to think 40, 45? Forget it. We’re old folks home, right?

33:00 JR: Yeah.

33:01 CJ: Well, here we now stand as mutual members of the 50 club.

33:07 JR: Yes.

33:09 CJ: And we’re sitting here thinking, “Mm-hmm (negative). No. It is not that at all.” So age isn’t the factor here, but what’s interesting about it is because of how I just described you, you can reach into two different worlds. You can reach to those younger than you easily, and you can reach to those older than you apparently easily.

33:32 JR: Yeah. Apparently.

33:32 CJ: And I thought, “I haven’t even thought of that as of yet.” I’m just thinking of who’s the ideal Superfan for you.

33:39 JR: Right.

33:40 CJ: Heck. I would have never said 70 plus.

33:44 JR: Well, I think-

33:45 CJ: 65 plus.

33:46 JR: Yeah. I think only because up until between a covers album, and having to choose songs that I grew up listening to. They were songs that were hits when these people were younger obviously. So they’re big, huge, important connectors. So that’s how I showed up on the radar.

34:03 CJ: Well, and one of the things that I think that they’re going to appreciate, and maybe they even written this to you because they’re going to see you as a young man, right?

34:12 JR: Yeah. Obviously yes.

34:15 CJ: How great it is to see a young man treating these songs with such respect, and doing such a wonderful job, and bringing in new life to them, and that sort of thing? So what we’ve got here, J.R., is a storefront. In other words, you can have multiple storefronts.

34:34 JR: Right.

34:35 CJ: Right? So we have a market that we can push this cover album to, but that doesn’t mean that very same album can’t go to a whole lot of other people.

34:49 JR: You’re absolutely right. Yeah.

34:50 CJ: So we want to get people to know you. So in that regard, I don’t need anything complex to brand you because it’s social media. So, I’m only interested in personal branding.

35:04 JR: Right.

35:05 CJ: So what’s the most personal way we can brand J.R. Richards? And is that the artist name you’re using?

35:12 JR: Yeah. Yeah, it’s J.R. Yeah.

35:13 CJ: Okay. So the most personal way that I could brand J.R. Richards is, now this is going to be deep, but the most personal way that I can brand J.R. Richards is by simply using the name J.R. Richards. So simple. That’s as plain as it gets. J.R. Richards. That’s it. That’s all we want to brand. So, I think people think, “There’s got to be …” Yeah, we can have a tagline. Sure. You might have a cute little tagline, whatever. I use Tony Robbins meets Metallica, Daily Screams For Living Aggressively. It’s just little. But people, they know CJ. That’s what they know, and at some point, the decision anymore that I’m Metal Motivator because I’m not playing music.

There’s nothing. If you listen to my videos or any of my stuff, close your eyes. It sounds like anybody else who’s doing something similar, so I’m not unique in that regard. So that’s how I would look at you as a brand. So, I’m like, “Okay.” But you’re like, “Okay. Well, I’ve already got that in place, bro. I’m already J.R. Richards. I got a page named J.R. Richards. People know me as J.R. Richards. My albums have J.R. Richards.” I know. But now you can sleep at night. That’s the first thing because I want you to be resolved.

36:40 JR: Right. Thank God for that. I guess I can get some sleep.

36:47 CJ: I started Metal Motivation 10 years ago, and when I say Tony Robbins meets with Metallica, Daily Screams For Living Aggressively, Metal Motivator, I don’t lose a wink of sleep thinking, “Did I name it right? Am I sure about this? Do I still really believe in … Is that still how I want to describe myself?” Absolutely, so I can be abandoned to the tasks, to all the necessary evils every day of marketing, and that’s what I want is J.R. Richards to be abandoned to saying, “Hey, I got one mission in life, and that is to connect with as many people as I can because my mission is musical life enhancement. And if I’m not out there doing it, people’s lives enhanced, and that’s not a good thing.”

37:35 JR: Definitely not. Definitely.

37:38 CJ: So just looking at it, obviously there’s a lot more you can get into, and we can do that. But you may have had a list of things you wanted to sort of cover in this, but that’s where I like to start is in who you are, and what you’re about.

37:57 JR: Well, yeah. That’s the fundamental part of it because I have a clue, but I don’t have a clue. And a lot of it is, like you said, it’s having something that’s a little more defined that you can say, “That’s exactly where it is.” I have a very specific target in mind.

38:12 CJ: Right.

38:13 JR: And if I’m sitting here going, “I’m not really sure if I’m this or if I’m that.” Then you’re right, how can you communicate yourself to anyone? Communicate to anyone an idea. You’re ambiguous in your own right.

38:23 CJ: Right. I think you can start, obviously when it comes to audience targeting with things that are more general in the sense of more mainstream artists, and you might want to, and again I’m just speaking off the top of my head initially, you just whipped out 500 copies to 70-plus-year-old people, so you can throw a wrench in anything that I’m saying. I realize that, but I wouldn’t shy away from who that ideal demographic is for you whether it is just-

38:57 JR: You’re absolutely right. I had a number one hit in 1996, ’97. I’m a classic artist now. It’s crazy to think, but it is true. So you’re right.

39:12 CJ: Yeah. So that’s the dynamic we have at play. These are the demographics that are at play. These are the psychographics that are at play. So that’s a lot of helpful information. As I say in battle, you have the high ground. You get to shoot down on your enemies, not have to climb up wondering what your genre, and micro-niche, and all this other stuff is.

39:36 JR: Right.

39:37 CJ: So if we know the demographic, the kind of people, then okay that helps us to sort of put different artists or bands in the ad manager to target our ads. Then we say, “Okay. Well let’s try to think outside of that a little bit, and okay, what are some other things that you might know about your fans that are things that we can target?” Again, I mention the inspirational type stuff. It’s always good to finish off your targeting with inspirational things. You want people who-

40:21 JR: Yeah.

40:21 CJ: … like inspiration. They’re happy people, and-

40:27 JR: Right. The cup is half full.

40:29 CJ: Yeah. Exactly. And you want those kind of people. So maybe who read the four agreements or what is it? Live, laugh, love, I don’t even know all the names of things. But you don’t want necessarily Tony Robbins type people. We’re not looking for real estate salespeople. They’re just happy people. They want to enjoy life, and that’s the older people, like the old bar owner that I used to work with, he was so concerned about getting young people in the bar. He didn’t want to be called a bar for older people. I said, “That’s who’s spending the money.”

I said, “These young people are doing exactly what I did at their age. Getting a case of extremely cheap beer, slamming it in the parking lot, and then going in and buying one drink or no drinks.”

41:23 JR: Right.

41:24 CJ: All right. So they don’t have money, dude. Especially nowadays. They’re all at home, failure to launch.

41:30 JR: That’s right.

41:32 CJ: So you want the people who have disposable income who can do these things, and so they have the discretionary income to be able to buy albums and things like that, and they’ll even get the tee shirts and whatnot. So then, that makes me think, “Okay.” And you’ve heard Leah talk about culture before. In other words, the things that surround the lifestyle that surround the music. Again, in her case, very easy. Castles, Game of Thrones, all that kind of stuff. That’s easy. But what about for you? What are the things that are going to be … Well, it’s probably going to be more mainstream stuff, so whereas Leah might be able to sell Leah hoodies, you might be able to sell canvas wall prints.

42:25 JR: Yeah. I see what you’re saying.

42:26 CJ: You know what I mean? Because you’re probably going to appeal to people who you might have an inspirational saying from one of your lyrics. You probably have tons of tee shirts and cool stuff just from your lyrics.

42:39 JR: Exactly. Yeah, yeah.

42:42 CJ: So, I would sell that because people are probably going to be more … Here’s one of my shirts. It says motivated by metal. So none of my shirts have my name on it, nothing to do with me because who cares? Now, of course, you’re an artist. Sure, they’re going to want probably something at some point, but initially, I want them to wear something that says something about them. So one of my tag lines for my gear is to say, “Wear your attitude.” Right? [crosstalk 00:43:12] Because that’s what I want them to do.

43:13 JR: That’s right. Yeah.

43:14 CJ: So if you’ve got some cool lyrics and stuff, then inspiration is part of your culture, right?

43:24 JR: Yeah.

43:24 CJ: Inspiration is part of your culture. The values that surround people in our age group is part of that culture. So what might they watch? Who knows? Maybe it’s Friends. So maybe they like Jennifer Aniston. Maybe they like Matt LeBlanc. Maybe they like Jerry Seinfeld. You know what I mean? Not Curb Your Enthusiasm necessarily, but maybe Seinfeld, because what is Seinfeld, Friends, and The Office all share in common? What would you call them? Not just TV, they would be nostalgic.

44:11 JR: Yes. Nostalgia is very powerful.

44:13 CJ: Right. So why does the 70 plus people buy the cover album?

44:17 JR: It’s all nostalgic?

44:18 CJ: All nostalgia.

44:19 JR: Yeah. You’re absolutely right.

44:19 CJ: So nostalgia is a huge selling point. Inspiration is a huge selling point. See, we’re starting to think not just genre. We’re trying to think psychographics. The psychology of people because we know people are going to like stuff. They’re going to like popular music.

44:37 JR: Yeah.

44:39 CJ: And I’ve heard, again, some of your stuff and I’m like, “It doesn’t matter that I’m a metalhead. This dude can sing.” So, I know that’s going to happen for other people. So now I want to think, “Okay. Well then how am I going to get these people on board? Okay. I’ve got all this in the targeting, I’ve got all this in the ad manager. Well, J.R., how am I going to get them to stop and press play?” By saying, “Hey, I’m middle of the road. Listen to my video.”

45:05 JR: Right. Yeah.

45:06 CJ: No. What did you tell me you were? You were about melancholy, sensitive, think about things deeply, et cetera. Okay. So you talked about how one guy might write in and say he talked about how he lost his father.

45:22 JR: Yeah. I get a lot of that.

45:24 CJ: Okay. So you might have a song and you say, “If you’ve ever lost someone, and it stopped you in your tracks, I wrote this for you. Dot, dot, dot.”

45:35 JR: Right. That’s-

45:37 CJ: And that’s all you’re saying.

45:39 JR: Yeah.

45:40 CJ: That’s all you’re saying. You’re not saying, “Hey, I’m an artist,” and, “Hey, blah, blah, blah.” The reason being is because social media, which means your post, J.R., is appearing right before a post from their mom or right after a post from their best friend.

45:52 JR: Yeah, you’re right. Talk about connecting with where they’re at emotionally.

45:58 CJ: Exactly. So, I’ve got a close up picture of you as a profile picture, I’ve got the blue letters of Facebook writing out your name J.R. Richards is appearing on the newsfeed. So, I like to tell people, when they ask me about their logo, I said, “I really don’t care what your logo looks like because for all intents and purposes, the only logo that people are seeing is a profile pic and a blue name.”

46:20 JR: Yeah, you’re right. They’re pretty small too.

46:22 CJ: They’re not seeing your website, they’re not seeing all your branding and all that stuff. That’s your brand. Your brand is whatever that profile picture is, which is why I don’t want you distant in the shot, I want you close up, use the face God gave you, bro.

46:35 JR: Right.

46:36 CJ: Then J.R. Richards because in other words, you look just like everybody else now.

46:40 JR: I do, right?

46:43 CJ: Right. You’re a personal brand. Then I’m just simply going to say, “If you’ve ever lost someone, and it stopped you dead in your tracks, I wrote this for you. Dot, dot, dot.” Then what do they see right below that? Well they see a video panel, right?

47:00 JR: Yeah.

47:00 CJ: A thumbnail, and then what’s that that overlays? What’s that circle thing with the arrow in it? It’s called a play button.

47:11 JR: Oh, right. Yes, of course.

47:13 CJ: Probably the highest converting tool on the internet.

47:17 JR: Yes, it is.

47:18 CJ: A play button. The only other one would be an X button, which means close it. Or expand, the two arrows in the corner. Expand it. So the play button. So the play button is great because the play button introduces a conflict. Well, excuse me, no. The play button gives you the ability to resolve conflict because if you’re interested in something, “Oh, wow. Look what these protestors just did.” Okay. How do I resolve that?

47:49 JR: Press play.

47:51 CJ: I got to press play. Okay. So my copy is about, as Leah likes to say, which I think is true, all we’re selling is the click. See, we think, “Oh my god, I got to get people on board so I can do this, so I can sell them an album, so I can …” We’re thinking of a whole funnel. No. What you’re doing right now is selling a click because we can get them past that first base, because I’m fully confident that J.R. Richards will have no problem overwhelming people as soon as you start singing. That’s the easy part. The hard part? Knowing who to target, how to get them to press play.

48:26 JR: Right.

48:27 CJ: So if we give them too much to read, we’re watering down the possibility of getting conflict. We want to get it quick.

48:34 JR: Right.

48:35 CJ: So that’s just something unresolved.

48:37 JR: Right, right. No, you’re absolutely right, and it’s funny that you mention that because for this particular ad on Facebook, I had put a video on it. So it’s just real quick like go back in time with J.R. Richards singing your favorites or whatever it is, and there’s a picture of me in front of a microphone with your click arrow on there. So boom, you can watch me sing. Granted, it’s a whole covers album, but I just happen to have chosen Unchained Melody.

49:06 CJ: Right.

49:09 JR: So you’d watch me sing 30 seconds of it or whatever, and that seems to obviously then react.

49:16 CJ: Yeah. You could have a freaking field day, dude, with headlines because you could say something like, “Let me take you back to one of the greatest songs of the 1960s…”

49:31 JR: Right. Yeah.

49:34 CJ: “Let me take you on a journey.” But very personal. Not speaking, “Hey, guys.”

49:40 JR: Right.

49:40 CJ: Because you say, “Guys,” and I’m sitting here going, “Who is he talking to?”

49:45 JR: I’m just here in the room by myself.

49:47 CJ: Yeah. The room by yourself. So all we want to do is get one person. That’s your goal. To get one single person. So I used to tell people, “This way is imagine that you saw somebody, imagine you had a song that would …” Again. You say you saw a friend of yours on Facebook, who was grieving at a post about the loss of their dad, and you know you’re not going to write a novel to them, so you’re going to message them, inbox them, and say whatever to get them to listen to the song. That’s how you need to be thinking.

50:22 JR: Right. I see what you’re saying.

50:24 CJ: For all of your songs whether it’s happy, melancholy, it doesn’t matter. That’s how you need to be thinking. If you will think like that and be as personal as that, you will bring them in by the droves. Then how you show up every day once they’re following you and all of that, it’s the same thing. Then you’re showing up and saying, “Hey, guys. I hope you’re doing well today, man. I had a thought this morning. I was taking a walk, and I remembered when I went through blankity blank.” Not necessarily music or anything like that, but you can talk about getting life enhancement.

You say, “I’ve been on this planet a long time, guys. If there’s anything, I want to live happy. I know the world is crazy, but I want to live happy, and I want you to live happy. So to hell with whatever is going on today. Let’s just be happy.”

51:19 JR: Nice. Bobby McFerrin, man.

51:23 CJ: That’s right. But everything that we’ve been talking about is about making this thing work organically for you, and man, I think you’ve got some great, great … I love the fact, I love how you started by telling me, “My music is really melancholy, but I’m a positive person.” So that to me, again, the juxtapositions are great.

51:51 JR: Yeah, you’re right.

51:53 CJ: Because they create unique positions in the marketplace.

51:57 JR: Right.

51:57 CJ: Right? Because people think, “Well, how does melancholy and optimism go together?” Well, how did metal and motivation go together? People don’t normally think about it until you think, “Well, yeah.” You don’t somebody who’s just hyper positive thinking with a complete rejection of reality itself that they don’t recognize anything. Super positive people are not helpful to reaching and talking to people who are broken.

52:27 JR: Right.

52:29 CJ: Right? The broken are masters at mending, right?

52:32 JR: Right.

52:33 CJ: You have to have lived through some things. So no, by being this melancholy optimist, which is something you might want to use as a hashtag, you might use that, dude. Melancholy optimist.

52:51 JR: That is pretty badass.

52:55 CJ: Which means I’ve been through life. “So, I’ve been through life, so I know better how to enjoy it.” Write that down. “I’ve been through life, so I know better how to enjoy it.” And you can obviously reword that or define it, learn how to enjoy it, but that’s the thought.

53:13 JR: Well, I think that from a lyrical perspective, I’ve seen a lot of things that might be heartbreaking from one part, you have difficult things that we go through in life with this, but I always try to put a positive spin on it. I hate to leave a song with like, “You’re screwed, and you’re screwed.” End of song. You know what I mean? It’s like trying to put some ray of light in there, but that’s typically how I try to deal with anything that I’m dealing with is try to figure out what that upside could be. That’s how you get through.

So this is all brilliant, and I’ve got a page of pretty awesome scribble on it right now.

53:56 CJ: Yeah. I think what’s going to happen for you is as this begins to weave itself into the fiber of your being, obviously, we went over a lot of information. And as you begin to filter it through and it becomes more you, everything that I’m telling you is principal based. But I think what’s going to happen is as you work this through, and get this part that works before the scaling, and then go back through and review some of the modules and elite, they’re going to look so much different to you now.

54:26 JR: Oh, no doubt. No doubt. I’m actually excited about going back through the program again just because it’s a lot, and you have to kind of mature with it in order to fully appreciate what’s going on. It’s like reading a book twice that you really enjoy. You’re going to get a lot out of it the second time around.

54:42 CJ: You might skip the micro-niche and branding board stuff. Dude, that stuff is not that big a deal.

54:52 JR: Yeah. It’s really more mechanical stuff. You’re right. Yes. Absolutely confident.

54:54 CJ: Yeah. When you get into the page likes, and the running video view ads, and retargeting, and building your email list, and the nurture campaigns, and creating products in your store, that’s going to be more where … It’s intimidating that it’s a lot to do, but you’re going to look at it so much different because you’re like, “Oh.” What’s going to be great is that you will not personalize it anymore. It’s going to be as mechanical as making a new record. It’s going to be like, “All right. Whatever.” It’s a lot of work, but I’ve done hard work before. I won’t be personalizing the failures, or the intimidating, or the whatever, because it’s when you struggle with that, when you start haven’t resolved with who you are, and what you’re about that it makes it … That’s why people stop, or they quit, or whatever.

But if you know who you are and you’re chomping at the bit because you’re like, “Damn, man. I jived with everything CJ said. I want to be that. I want to see how that works. I want to with some of those short headlines and see if people click play.

56:00 JR: Yeah.

56:01 CJ: You’re going to be ready to attack those things. That’s what’s going to be helpful. It’s going to be like, “This is just mechanic stuff.” And failure is a mechanical term. People make it personal.

56:10 JR: Right.

56:10 CJ: But it’s just a mechanical term.

56:14 JR: Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s all good.

56:16 CJ: Yeah.

56:17 JR: No. Having a better sense of what’s going on, plus having more familiarity with knowing how to use it and these kinds of things. I’ll be so much more effective when I go through it again just because things won’t be as ambiguous they were the first time around.

56:34 CJ: Yeah. I think you’ll be interested to learn more about you, man. We got a lot of listeners out there, so-

56:40 JR: Yeah, yeah. I’ve been looking around the edges on the forums groups, but I’ll probably be getting more into it now that I feel like I’m coming of age.

56:47 CJ: Yeah. I’d love to hear from you more, and again, if you struggle with anything or whatever, don’t hesitate to reach out. We should probably connect on Facebook and that way you can just DM me. I’m chained to my desk, I’m around most of the time, and if there’s anything that you need, just hit me up.

57:11 JR: CJ, I really appreciate that. Definitely.

57:13 CJ: Yeah. You bet, dude. No. Thanks for doing this.

57:16 JR: Yeah. I’m happy that you’re available too like this too, man. You’re the chief resource.

57:24 CJ: All right, my friend. Anything else?

57:26 JR: No, no. That’s massively helpful.

57:29 CJ: Good.

57:31 JR: Yeah. If I happen to have something quick, I’ll run it by you, but certainly, come by and say too.

57:36 CJ: Sounds great, man.

57:37 JR: I’ll let you know how I think you’re going.

57:39 CJ: All right, pal. Have a great week, man.

57:40 JR: Yeah, you too. You too.

57:41 CJ: All right. See you in a week. Take care.

57:43 JR: All right, man. Thanks so much again.

57:44 CJ: The entire music industry just changed overnight. Suddenly, every band and musician has had their live gigs canceled indefinitely. No one knows when live events are coming back. And when they do, the competition will surely be fierce. Artists are realizing they have to pivot quickly if they want to earn an income with their music. Musicians are now scrambling to figure out how to sell their music online. They need answers and they need them now. If this is you, then discover our new Savvy Musician Inner Circle Membership. It’s a private subscription-based coaching group to help you launch and market your online music business fast.

For one, low, monthly subscription, you’ll get live weekly marketing instruction, plus tips, tools, news, updates, and your questions answered. It all takes place in a private Facebook group that I, CJ Ortiz, will be hosting, and I’d love to help you build your online music business. To learn more, go right now to SavvyMusicianAcademy.com/InnerCircle.