Tag: podcast

Episode #105: Facebook or YouTube? Which is the Best Platform for the Online Musician?

If you are building a music business, should you focus on YouTube of Facebook? Well, both honestly! But as C.J. explains the pro’s and con’s of both, you’ll find that Facebook by far has the advantage.

Would you rather have 1,000,000 video views on YouTube or 100 superfans that would buy anything in your store? If you’re serious about earning a living from your music, and not just doing this for vanity, the answer is obvious and C.J. tells you how and why Facebook is the answer.  

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Getting a plan for your music business
  • How YouTube is favoring mainstream media
  • YouTube is a search engine
  • Facebook is a share engine
  • How Facebook is true social media
  • How to find your superfans with Facebooks ad manager
  • Uploading videos directly to Facebook vs. sharing from YouTube
  • Connecting your Instagram and Facebook business profile
  • Personal vs. business profile


“You need a way forward to how you can find your place in this online busy world, stand out, gain a following, build your little musical empire, and earn a living making music.” – @metalmotivation [0:02:18]

“You can get millions of views on YouTube and it not make a single dent on your bank account.” – @metalmotivation [0:04:03]

“YouTube is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:20]

“Unless somebody is specifically sitting down and looking for you, it’s not likely that they’re going to stumble upon you.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:45]

“Facebook is true social media. Social media, it’s the broadcasting of person to person.” – @metalmotivation [0:07:12]

“The first step now to building a successful online music business is going to be connecting with your ideal superfans, and the best way to do that is going to be with Facebook.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:03]

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 CJ Ortiz. I’m the Branding and Mindset Coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thank you again, man, for joining me for this music marketing podcast, where we are preparing musicians for the new music industry. In case you haven’t gotten the memo, the music industry has changed yet again. Again, things have always been schemed against the musician. The creative person is the one who’s always left holding the tab. And so what we seek to do here at the Savvy Musician Academy is empower and equip you, today’s musician, to create an online music business.

Now, a year ago, even six months ago, saying the online musician or saying building an online music business just sounded like something weird, something off the beaten path. It’s just something for DJs or somebody who does electronic music to do. That serious musicians aren’t really concerned about the online music business. They’re trying to get signed or they’re trying to build up their local followings, play in venues. Well, the whole world has changed yet again. With COVID-19, the world has been on lockdown, live music venues are closing all over the place, bars are closed. It’s harder and harder today to even get the live events. So now more and more people are rushing into the online space. But guess what? They don’t really know how to prepare an online music business. So suddenly, the Savvy Musician Academy becomes a that much more valuable source.

So excited about the times in which we live because of what’s possible for more and more musicians. And you have to look on the bright side. You have to look on the upside because so much seems to be against us circumstantially, so much seems to be against us. And it takes personal strength, it takes a strong mindset, but even that is not enough. You need a plan. You need a strategy. You need a way forward to how you can find your place in this online busy world, stand out, gain a following, build your little musical empire, and earn a living making music. That’s right. You can actually earn a living making music if you’re prepared to do the work, if you’re prepared to be consistent, if you’re ready to do something maybe you’ve never done before, but something that musicians just like you have learned and are doing right now.

So listen, before we get into today’s podcast, do me a favor. Please leave reviews for this podcast. It’s a great way for other musicians and artists like yourself to discover this informative show. Also, it is a great way for us to hear what you think, to get feedback from you. We read every review in our team meetings here at the Savvy Musician Academy. So go to your favorite podcast player and do that for us.

But today, I want to talk about Facebook or YouTube. Which is the best platform for the online musician, Facebook or YouTube? And I often pit these two against each other. I understand that there’s Spotify out there, and we can talk about Spotify on another show. But I think what happens is a lot of musicians look at YouTube much the same as they looked at the traditional music industry, or much the same as we looked at the internet. So for example, if something is successful on the internet, we say that that thing is viral. Their video went viral. So that means if millions of people happen to see your video, then you’re all set. Not at all. You can get millions of views on YouTube and it not make a single dent on your bank account.

You see, YouTube continually changes as well. And most professional, full time YouTubers could make money with not massive followings. They could still make pretty good money on YouTube. But YouTube has changed. YouTube is now favoring mainstream media, and that’s who’s getting the search rankings, that’s who’s getting featured, that’s who’s being listed in suggested videos. And so the original YouTubers, the creative people who helped build YouTube, are now being driven to platforms like Patreon to have to get their followers or their fans to actually pay for them to do their music or do their art. Whereas what it used to be, you could get the views and then you’d get money off of advertising. You can still do that, but it’s minimal and it’s becoming more and more competitive.

But there’s a simple way to distinguish the two that I think is the most important and I think will answer the question for you, Facebook or YouTube? And I say it this way. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. That’s a big difference. YouTube is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. If you need to fix your sink, you go to YouTube. Need to fix something in your car, you go to YouTube. I had to fix my vacuum cleaner. Guess where I went? YouTube. Need to learn how to do dead lifts or lift weights? Go to YouTube. You need to find out something about nutrition? Go to YouTube. YouTube is a search engine. So unless somebody is specifically sitting down and looking for you, it’s not likely that they’re going to stumble upon you. So thinking that your YouTube video is going to go viral is wishful thinking.

So YouTube, again, owned by Google, which is the biggest search engine in the world, is a… And it’s a powerful search engine. It’s amazing. I absolutely love YouTube. I’m a premium member of YouTube so that I don’t have to watch any of the commercials. I pay a fee to YouTube every month just so I can get YouTube commercial free. I love YouTube. But I love YouTube because it’s a search engine, and I don’t do the same things myself on Facebook that I do on YouTube. I don’t search Facebook for how to fix a toilet. I don’t put in hashtags into Facebook or put in keywords or searches to find how to fix this or how to make that, et cetera. I don’t do it. If I go to Facebook to look for anything, maybe it’s for a restaurant that I went to in town, I want to see if they have a Facebook page. Or if I come across another influencer or something, I want to see their Facebook page as well. That’s about it. Or maybe search for a friend or someone, connect with someone. That’s about it.

Facebook is not a search engine. It is a share engine. So if I’m not looking and searching for things on Facebook, then why am I on Facebook? Why do most people spend time on Facebook? Because Facebook is true social media. Social media. It’s the broadcasting of person to person. Therefore, you have people, individuals, communicating with each other. I like to say it this way. Facebook is the internet contained. Facebook because the internet contained.

I remember before Facebook and I was looking at something, I believe it was called classmates.com. And it was a paid subscription service that was online and that you could potentially find old high school friends. So this was back in 2000, I don’t know, 2004 or 2005. And I thought, wow, that’s great. But the problem was you were wishful thinking if you were thinking that some of your other high school friends would even know what Classmates was and be willing to pay a subscription to be on it. So that didn’t work out.

Well, guess what? 15 years removed now, I’m in contact with high school friends, grade school friends, grade school teachers, high school teachers, junior high, you name it. Why? Because of the advent of Facebook. Because prior to Facebook, if someone was goofing off online, you would typically say they are surfing the web. Now if someone is wasting time on the internet, they’re usually checking their newsfeed, checking Facebook, seeing what’s going on, looking at other people’s stuff. So it is now true social media, social broadcasting, where the news is coming from person to person. Whether it’s personal news or mainstream media news, it’s being shared person to person.

Facebook is a share engine. YouTube is a search engine. What do you think is the better platform for you to use? Now, I’m not saying don’t use one or the other. I’m just asking the question, based these definitions, which is the better platform for you to use? Because if you’re going to attract a market to yourself, if you’re going to attract super fans to yourself, you’ve got to be able to find them. What’s the best way to find them? If you had to find people to like your music today, which platform would you reach for? It’s going to be Facebook, because Facebook has individuals on there who are signed up. Therefore, it’s the internet contained.

Before social media, the internet was ubiquitous. We were just anonymous people out there using search engines to visit websites. That was the internet before social media. Now that social media has come along, if you’re going to be on Facebook or Instagram, you have to have a personal account. Therefore, everybody… It’s like everyone being on the same airplane. People contained in an individual place, that’s what Facebook is. Facebook and Instagram are the internet contained because you have to have a personal account to be on them.

10:23 CJ: So again, the first step now to building a successful online music business is going to be connecting with your ideal superfans. And the best way to do that is going to be with Facebook. Why? Because Facebook, despite the protests by privacy and security advocates, Facebook keeps a track of what we like, what we’re interested in, what we follow, et cetera. All of those posts that you like, certain recipes or products or certain entertainers or movies or football teams, all of it, whatever it is that you like or are interested in, your behaviors online are tracked by Facebook. Okay, that’s just the reality.

But is that altogether bad all the time? Well, the only upside to it, you can say, is there are times when there are ideal products or services literally placed on your newsfeed. And you might sit there and think to yourself, how in the world would anybody know that I’m actually interested in that? Well, because you’ve shown interest in other places by following certain pages or people. But Facebook keeps a track of that. And because Facebook keeps a track of that, then if you want to, as a marketer, you can go to Facebook’s database and get people who match your music. If you have fans who follow people who like music, stuff that’s similar to yours, well then, obviously you can reach those very same people.

But you can get that targeting down even more and more and more because it may be that your particular musical genre also has with it a very distinct culture or lifestyle. I could use Leah as a great example. You know that Leah does Celtic fantasy metal. So she’s not only targeting comparable artists, comparable bands as a way to target her audience, she’s also targeting things related to the culture. So Game of Thrones and Dungeons and Dragons or the Hobbit, what have you. Things that are similar or are of interest to her potential audience. Because Facebook keeps a track of all of these things, then she’s able to find those people. And as she runs her ads and does her promotions, she can narrow that down even more and more and more, where she can literally just turn on the Facebook ads and get the results that she wants because she knows her audience. She knows her audience. That’s very difficult to do on YouTube.

The other upside to Facebook is that because Facebook knows who these people are and can lead them to your page or what have you, then Facebook will also do you another solid by keeping track of the people that engage with your content. So you can be posting things on your page, and if you get a good response, good engagement, Facebook will track all that engagement. Engagement would mean likes, comments, shares. So Facebook keeps track of that. Facebook also keeps track of who watches your videos. So if you’re posting a music video or doing a live video to your fans, Facebook keeps a track of all of those. Not just who watched it, but how long they watched it. Because sometimes Facebook will say you got so many views on your video, but it’s counting as a view people who watch 10 seconds or less. Well, I wouldn’t consider somebody who watches 10 seconds of a five minute video as really a serious viewer.

So Facebook will keep track of people who watch certain percentages, like up to 50%, 75%, 95%, 100%. And so you can then later put into the Facebook ad manager, hey, Facebook, give me the list of people who’ve watched 95% of all of my videos. Not just one video, all of my videos. Now, you’re interested in those who watched 95%, because those are more potential people to be an ideal superfan. So Facebook will keep track of those, so you can go back as far as 365 days, a full year. If you’ve been posting videos and doing live videos all year, you can literally get a detailed list of every Facebook person who watched upwards of 95% of all of your videos over a single year. That could be thousands and thousands of people. They may be wanting to listen to more from you. They may want to hear more about your business, more about the merchandise that you have.

So again, Facebook is a share engine. YouTube is a search engine. So because it’s a share engine, then people on Facebook can share your content. How does somebody really share on YouTube? Very difficult to do. And since Facebook doesn’t favor third party links, meaning links embedded in Facebook from another site like YouTube… Remember it used to be years ago, you could place a YouTube link and the video would be playable right there in Facebook. Well, you can’t do that anymore. If you put in a YouTube link, that means you’re taking somebody off of Facebook and Facebook doesn’t like that, so Facebook is going to limit the reach of your video from YouTube if you try to post it on your Facebook page. But if you upload the video directly to Facebook, Facebook knows that videos are popular on their platform. It keeps people on the platform longer because they’re watching something instead of just looking at a meme.

So because of that, the algorithm will favor your content, and you’re giving also then your fans something to share. So if your music video is good, then your fans are going to share it. And again, Facebook is going to keep track of everybody who likes it, comments on it, shares it. It doesn’t matter that they even follow your page. It can be a cold audience completely, and Facebook will still keep track of that.

Why is that important, CJ? Well, in the age of online businesses, an audience is capital. An audience is capital. The the large following that you have on Facebook is greater capital than the large following you’ll have on YouTube. In order to make money from advertising on YouTube, the numbers have to be off the chart. Very, very difficult to do. But with a small following on Facebook, you can start making money almost immediately. That’s such a huge difference.

So again, I’m not saying don’t be on YouTube. YouTube is a place to be. It’s another platform. It’s another storefront. Why not just post the videos there? If you’re making videos, you might as well post them there. But if you’re going to reach your ideal superfan, it’s better to use a social media platform that requires people to have that personal account and that newsfeed. And Facebook and Instagram are the better platforms for that. And I’m sure you know that Facebook owns Instagram, and so the upside also there is you can connect the business account that you have on Facebook to your Instagram profile. And so once you turn your personal profile Instagram to a business profile, you can connect them together, and Facebook is also going to track the content there as well. And so you can run ads from Facebook that will also go to your Instagram following. And so again, you are targeting people, you are reaching people, so you can do this directly. And that’s the tremendous upside to that.

All right. Now, somebody can think, well, but YouTube is free. If I post a video to YouTube, if it gets out there, I don’t have to pay anything for it. Right? You’re right. You’re right about that. It’s just not going to do much for you. I would rather put a little money… You can advertise with a boosted post on Facebook for as little as $1 a day. I would rather run a boosted post of a video on Facebook for $1 a day than I would to just upload it organically to YouTube. Because if I can target the people, then I have a better chance of not just getting people to watch my video, but then taking action. They’ll like my page or maybe go to some offer or what have you.

So I think there are advantages there. Yes, you can add cards and links and things at the end of your YouTube video or in your comments. Yes, you can do that. But again, your ability to specifically target people is limited. You have to depend on people to be searching for something like you in order for them to stumble across you. So when you’re going to start building an online business, the way you’re going to invade that space is going to begin on the most prolific platforms for audience targeting, which is going to be Facebook and Instagram because they are share engines, whereas YouTube is a search engine.

So if you don’t have a Facebook business page, I encourage you to start one today. If you have a Facebook business page but you don’t really get much action on it you’re spending all of your time posting on your personal profile, it’s time to change, because the same problem is there on your personal profile. I know you like getting the feedback. I know you like getting the love. It feels good. It’s just not a smart business move because you can’t really do any business on your personal profile. You’re limited to how many friends you can have, you can’t do any advertising. Facebook is not keeping track of who likes or comments or shares your video or anything that you post. It’s basically useless. It’s vanity metrics. It’ll do wonders for your ego, but nothing for your business. Plus if you try to do business on your Facebook profile, you could get flagged and your account could get shut down. You want to have a business page. So if your Facebook business page hasn’t been getting any love, then it’s time for you to up your game on your Facebook business page.

Now, I know that’s a lot. There’s a lot of details, there’s a lot of unanswered questions, but you can go deeper if you would like. One of the best ways that you can do that right now is to join our Inner Circle, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which is something that I’m overseeing. So I’m the coach working with the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which we just changed. And it is in a private Facebook group, which I’m administrating. We do a live video with question and answer each Friday. Plus we’re posting in there all kinds of articles, information that you’ll need, tips, tools, and things that you can resource to help you build your online music business.

21:55 CJ: So if you want to learn how to post on social media, how to build your following, how to do a lot of this stuff, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle is the best place to start. And because of the way we’ve designed this, we’re able to keep the cost really, really low. We know that not everybody is ready for our Superfan System Elite program, and maybe not ready for the Online Musician, but this is a great place for you to exist. And if you are in the Online Musician or our Elite program, still, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle is a great place to be. Because again, questions are getting answered, and it’s really, really helping a lot of people to build their online business. Just $27 a month and you can quit any time. Just $27 a month. So imagine that. Getting a full marketing education for just $27 a month. Meet other musicians just like yourself, positive people that are building their online music business. So let’s grow and learn together. Go to savvy musician.com/innercircle.

I mentioned also the Online Musician, and 3.0 version has just come out. You can go to theonlinemusician.com to learn more about that. And if you are more advanced and you’re ready to take it to another level because you’ve plateaued in your business, you may want to check out some more about our Elite program. For right now, we don’t have the coaching element. So you can buy just the curriculum if you want. Learn more at our website, savvymusicianacademy.com. But take advantage of the great resources that we have. We’re working overtime to help you, again, build a successful online music business. So again, thanks for joining me here on The Savvy Musician show. We will see you next week with more. Have a great week.

Episode #104: Behind-The-Scenes at SMA, Part 2 with Steve Harnett (Chief Operating Officer)

Continuing our look behind the scenes here at SMA, this week C.J. is joined by our very own Steve Harnett, Leah’s wonderful husband, and our Chief Operating Officer. This is Steve’s first time on the Savvy Musician Show, but he has been with SMA since day one and his experience and insights shared today can not be overstated. 

Jumping from topic to topic with lots of humor in-between, these two great minds offer something for both the beginner and seasoned online musician in this week’s episode, so don’t miss out on getting to learn something new and meeting the one and only, Steve Harnett! 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The Synergist’s four leadership styles
  • Who SMA is for
  • Steve’s bio with SMA
  • Being your brand
  • It’s all about the principles
  • What it means to take ownership of your business
  • Reasons to add an online component to your business
  • Your music is not for everybody
  • Updates with Tom 3.0 and The Inner Circle
  • The psychology of sales through social media


“A lot of conflicts within bands could be easily resolved if everybody just took on this sort of perspective where you realize that giftings are different, they’re natural, they’re organic, and you should be complementing one another.” – @metalmotivation [0:12:32]

“Who we (SMA) are for are the musicians who actually want to make a living with their art, which is not thing to be ashamed of, nobody should ever feel bad about that ever.” – Steve Harnett [0:21:19]

“Operational people tend to be the break pedal. Visionaries tend to be the accelerator.”  – Steve Harnett [0:27:40]

“It’s about a movement, it’s about independence for musicians… and all musicians are going to be personal brands, and that’s perfectly fine, but you have to understand then that you are the brand.”  – Steve Harnett [0:30:47]

“It’s really about the proven principles of marketing because that’s all Leah has ever been doing… and those principles can be breathed through anyone who applies them and knows them.”  – @metalmotivation [0:33:47]

“The online aspect of your business is another leg of your table. You can’t have a table with one leg. You better have two or three legs on that sucker, four if you can.” – Steve Harnett [0:38:53]

“If you have an audience, you have capital. If you have social influence, you have capital. You have something someone else doesn’t. It is all to your advantage.”  – @metalmotivation [0:41:14]

“Relationship building, culture building, lifestyle building, that’s what creates the sale.”  – @metalmotivation [0:51:11]

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

The Synergist by Les McKeown — https://amzn.to/2Vm3znw

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. I’ve been having a blast lately getting to do interviews and getting to do behind the scenes stuff here at SMA. I wanted to take advantage of this downtime during the summer to give you a broader view of what the Savvy Musician Academy is all about because as I’ve said before, the Savvy Musician Academy and what it offers is the single greatest response to what has happened negatively to the music industry since Napster in the late 20th century, then what moved into the streaming services on and on and on. You’ve seen it now, venues are closing down. Either way, the only ones that ever get screwed in all of this, in the music industry, is always the artists themselves. And so, who stands up for the artists?

We don’t need just advocates. I saw a post the other day, Don Henley of the Eagles advocating before Congress for copyright issues, et cetera, et cetera. That’s never going to really touch you, ladies and gentlemen. You need to be in control of your own music business, building your fan base online while things are shutdown. We don’t know when venues will come back, how many will come back, what format will come back, what it will cost the artists. We’ve already seen things from Live Nation. They released yesterday that any shows that don’t go well will be charged to the artist. No matter what, the artist is getting screwed, as I said, so what’s imperative now is that you build your online music business and no other company is going to help you do that. No other academy is going to help you do that like the Savvy Musician Academy, through a myriad of ways which we’ll talk about at the end of this podcast, and you’ll discover them more today as I do part two of behind the scenes at the Savvy Musician Academy, and this time I’m going deep.

I’m going insider’s insider, the shadow hand. The man ultimately behind the scenes, and you may not even know who this is. When I say his name, which is Steve Harnett, you probably don’t even know who that is. Those who are in courses, especially the Elite course, will know who he is. Steve is Leah’s husband, and I’ll let him give his actual title, but he’s pretty much the one controlling and administrating just about everything of the Savvy Musician Academy, so let me bring him on. Steve, my friend, good to see you, man.

02:58 Steve: You too, dude. Thanks for having me on the Savvy Musician Academy podcast.

03:05 CJ: Is this your first time on?

03:08 Steve: Yeah, it is.

03:10 CJ: So, Leah never had you on before? She never-

03:12 Steve: No.

03:13 CJ: He’s got nothing valuable to say, so why bring him on? Oh, my goodness. Steve is my dear friend and colleague and pretty much the only other dude who is regularly on the Savvy Musician team meetings, so outside of anyone-

03:35 Steve: Outnumbered.

03:36 CJ: We are very much outnumbered, but outnumbered by brilliant women who are doing great things for the Savvy Musician Academy, but Steve, what would you classify as your official title, CFO, CEO?

03:52 Steve: I guess, COO would be the official title.

03:56 CJ: Operating officer.

03:57 Steve: Yeah, operating officer, but official titles, whatever.

04:01 CJ: They don’t mean much, do they?

04:02 Steve: We all wear multiple hats and that’s just the way it is. We have a small team and we like it that way.

04:08 CJ: That’s right. Well, and there’s more to it than chief and officer. It’s the operations part, which is so critical because if anybody who’s been through some of the courses, especially in Elite, you know the importance of personality profiles, giftings, and these sorts of things. And so for you, I forget the actual personality type of profile thing, but you are an operator, correct?

04:39 Steve: Yeah.

04:39 CJ: What does that mean?

04:41 Steve: Well, there’s basically four types of leadership styles.

04:45 CJ: That’s right.

04:45 Steve: That’s what you were referring to there. There’s the visionary which Leah is almost 100% of. The operator, the processor, and the synergist, which everybody has some level of synergism, but the other three are the ones that were predominantly gifted with one or the other of those three, visionary, operator, and processor. So, I am mostly operator and then synergist, and synergists get along with others, they’re good in teams. Visionaries obviously cast the vision and are really good at creating stuff, but they’re also the glue that holds teams together. They create the culture, which Leah’s known well for in her music side.

05:34 CJ: I laugh at that because I know the downside of the visionary. Being a visionary myself, I’m more of a visionary synergist because I do do well with teams. I love people and I strive to get a long with them. I love the concept of multiple people with multiple giftings working together. Not an operator, although a lot of these things, and I’ve seen this in other personality profiles where you grow, you become aware of what the other giftings are and it doesn’t mean you can’t touch into those things, it’s just not your natural wiring, but you can glean from that, right?

06:13 Steve: Yeah, exactly. So, you have to be in operations just because you’re independently owned and you contract and all those different things, so you have to. Otherwise, who’s going to?

06:28 CJ: Now, this was a huge breakthrough for you guys as a couple, as a family, and in particular, in business, and I want us to go back a little bit in just a second here, but I know that understanding the different roles here was huge for you guys on multiple fronts, wasn’t it?

06:49 Steve: It was, it was a big breakthrough for us because we didn’t understand each other prior to realizing the visionary, operator, processor balance and culmination. So, it was kind of frustrating before that because we didn’t understand each other, we didn’t understand the strengths and the weaknesses and how we can work together, how we can benefit each other until we learned Leah’s a visionary, Steve’s an operator, and why is that good? That’s actually the best combination in a business because you have to have both.

You can start a business with only visionary, but it’s only going to get you so far if you don’t have the operations side of things, which operations takes things more longterm, a visionary gets things off the ground. It was transformative not just from a business perspective, but also from a marriage perspective because we live together, we work together, we homeschool our kids together. Everything is out of our home, so it’s really crucial that we understand each other from that perspective, so that was really, really helpful.

07:59 CJ: And so for those listening, and again, we’ve mentioned it before in podcasts and courses, but this is something that I think is important because he just alluded to when you do work together, which more and more people are as more and more people are working out of home, maybe even now this message is even more important, Steve, going forward because now people are going to have to learn how to work together even more so at the family level and there’s that other element where you just alluded to that the visionary alone, who tends to get a lot of the fanfare, the accolades because they’re the ones with the ideas or the vision for something, they have their particular skill set that’s more publicly consumed, whereas the operator tends to be obviously behind the scenes like I said at the outset.

Maybe there’s a lot of people who don’t know who you are, but yet there would be no SMA without you, and I see it upfront and I’ll often tell people personally that my natural gifting is visionary-type, so I’m always coming up with stuff in projects and I’m a front end, public kind of guy. Everything that I do is stuff I make and push forward out to the public sphere, but for years, and years, and years, Steve, I’ve waited for my complementary gifting, the one who covers the stuff that I don’t cover, to walk through the door, and they have never walked through the door.

Now, you guys had it in a couple. I have never had that person walk through that door and I’ve always wanted it, which means, like you said, because I’m independent I have to learn operations. It’s still not my gifting, and I’m still not doing it effectively as somebody who, like yourself, who has that dedicated gifting, they never walk through the door. So, what did I start doing as an independent person? Well, I can walk through the door of somebody else and be the thing that they need.

I could never get somebody to do it for me, but I could be somebody who could operate visionary-wise, creatively, synergistically within a team, and so that has been a huge thing for me, and in fact, that’s exactly the kind of relationship that I have with the Savvy Musician Academy right now because I fulfill a lot of the creative roles. Now, here I am, even hosting the podcast and you couldn’t find Leah with Sherlock Holmes and a team of hound dogs right now. She’s having her much, much needed break, but she could do that and you guys could do what you’re doing because we do have a very small team, but we all understand this synergistic concept and it allows us to rely upon each other. In fact, when I did the interview with Amy last week, I said-

10:52 Steve: Which was great by the way.

10:53 CJ: Oh, she’s fantastic and I would just love being able to tell her and talk about just how much we all lean on each other, completely. We’re not checking up on each other. This is not micromanagement. We have independent, self-governing people all working for the same team and cause. I bet a lot of these musicians listening to us right now, Steve, wish they had that in their band.

11:19 Steve: I bet they do, I really do. I can’t imagine the struggle they must have.

11:25 CJ: So, we really encourage you guys to work on that. I don’t recall, wasn’t there a book or something?

11:32 Steve: Yeah, there is. It’s actually called The Synergist by Les McKeown. You can find it on Amazon or I believe it’s on Audible and stuff as well. Definitely worth reading because not only will it illuminate to you as a musician if you fit that [inaudible 00:11:52], you’ll have a combination of the different leadership styles, but I’m guessing most musicians are going to find themselves higher in the visionary side of things just because they are creative, but it’ll also help you understand others who aren’t visionary who you need to depend on, and then how you can find those people.

Once you understand the different styles, you can then recognize those in other people and say, “Oh, my friend so-and-so is more of an operator and processor. Maybe he can help me with X, Y, and Z.”

12:28 CJ: Right. Isn’t that interesting how you almost think that a lot of conflicts within bands could be easily resolved if everybody just took on this sort of perspective where you realize that no, giftings are different, they’re natural, they’re organic, and you should be complementing one another. Just because, again, the primary songwriter or something like that tends to get the credit or the vocalist or something who’s out front, if the vocalist and the others would understand, then you would know you need everybody and not one part of the body is more important than the other because you’re all working for this larger vision.

13:10 Steve: Right, bigger than you. It’s bigger than the lead singer, it’s bigger than the lead guitarist, or whoever, and that’s actually a really good point too that this book will cover is the fact that visionaries, operators, processors, they all have an agenda. Their agenda is self-interest, according to what their gift is. So, when you come into a team with your own agenda, and you’re not thinking about this. You’re not saying, “I want my agenda to be the top priority.” But, that’s how we act, we act out of that, and if we don’t try to be more the synergistic side of things, which is what is the agenda of the organization actually? That’s the top priority. What’s the agenda of this band? Where are we going? What’s the mission? That’s the central hub that everybody needs to be focused on and clinging to, not the individual.

14:12 CJ: That is such an important thing because, guys, I operate in that with the Savvy Musician Academy, SMA for short, because they have empowered me, whether it’s this podcast or just recently, we rebooted version 2.0 of the Inner Circle program, which I’m pretty much heading up now. We’ll have other people who will speak into it, other people teaching, that sort of thing. But, it’s under my measure of rule and at the same time, that there’s this autonomy, that there’s this self-ownership, it is completely dominated by the fact that it is a shared vision of what you guys laid down for the Savvy Musician Academy.

And, that’s not limiting, that’s not a limiting thing to me, it’s not a limiting thing to you guys can go to sleep every night and not worry about, well, I wonder what CJ is up to, or something like that. Once ego’s gone, guys, life goes to another level when ego and selfishness and self-interest is not a part of the equation. So, my heart goes out to the bands and artists that do work with people who are that way. It’s any miracle that a band survives. Bands like the Beatles, they never thought they were going to last 10 years, let alone as long as they did. I don’t even know that they lasted that long, but you-

15:47 Steve: It’s amazing.

15:47 CJ: If you don’t understand gifting and the fact that you can’t do everything on your own, you need that, and so it’s great to see that and this is very much on subject because this is very much a part of how the Savvy Musician Academy operates. These guys, they’re constantly reading, they’re constantly teachable, mentoring. They are coaches themselves. We have coaches, you and Leah are coaches, but how many coaches do you have? How much money, Steve, and don’t literally give me the figure, but how much have you guys spent on mentors and coaches over the past three years?

16:33 Steve: Lots, multiple, multiple five figures into the six figures and probably maybe even multiple six figures. We’ve spent a lot of money on books, actual coaches, one-on-one coaches, group coaching, courses, all that kind of stuff. We live by it. We used to call our family car, which is a van, not a sports car, but sometimes I like to pretend, but anyway, it’s our university on wheels. That’s how we treat it, so our kids are listening to podcasts with us and audio books all the time.

17:14 CJ: God, I hope everybody’s listening to this, that nobody leads by better example than Steve and Leah, so when they say, “Hey, this course costs this much.” That doesn’t mean A, that they’re money hungry and B, if they were money-hungry, that they’re going to take everybody in because they don’t. A lot of people get turned away, not everybody’s a good fit, so it’s not about that, and they have spent so much more money and time on their own training and their own personal development than any student that will ever be a student at … you will never spend more money on your personal education than Steve and Leah has, and that’s not just for the sake of comparison to shame you or to make you feel bad. It’s to just say no, man, everything that goes on at SMA, again, behind the scenes, is as pure as we can possibly make it.

This literally is about getting the best results for you guys, and if we say coaching, if we say a course, if we say get into something like the Inner Circle, or try this out, or take this, it’s not just to get money, guys. If you want to build your online music business, this is the stuff you got to do. Who are we going to do, send you to somebody else? Of course not, we’re going to have you start right here.

18:41 Steve: The alternative is you could go to university or college for something, but you’re going to spend a lot more money doing that and like we’ve heard from multiple of our students, you’re going to come away with nothing actionable.

18:55 CJ: We have them, we have Berklee-type grads who … totally, they were no better off. Musically obviously, you’re in a music school, that’s great, but there’s a difference between music and music business. You could play music, you could go on the street with your clarinet or your trumpet or your guitar or banging five gallon plastic drums outside of a subway and just be a purist and make money that way from the change that people throw in your hat, but if you’re going to make music for a living, it is by definition business.

So for example, I was trained, Steve, in visual communications. That’s what my degree is in, so I drew as a kid, I won art contests as a kid, and all of that. Well, I wanted to make money doing this and so I went to school for visual communications, which is essentially commercial art, which people now call graphic design or whatever. Back then, before the internet age, it was called commercial art. In other words, you were doing art to sell products advertise businesses, that sort of thing. And so, now years removed, again, as a kid I used to paint and do all these things, years removed people asked, “Hey, so do you paint or draw or something for a hobby or to relax?” I said no, business took all the fun out of that.

I’m not going to put up an easel and paint something unless I can send an invoice afterwards. I need somebody to bill, so it’s business related. You have to understand that if you’re going to play music, we appreciate the integrity of you as an artist, but it’s a business. If you’re going to make money to do it, and finance yourself, it’s a business, and to be in business, you have to learn how to become a business owner.

20:53 Steve: That’s right.

20:53 CJ: Marketing manager.

20:56 Steve: A good distinction there is we aren’t for everybody, Savvy Musician Academy isn’t for every musician. Some musicians go, “Oh my goodness, make money from your music? No, I could never.” Well, then we’re not for you and that’s okay. You can treat your music like a hobby. You can just love doing it and do it for the fun of it for the rest of your life and that’s totally fine, but who we are for are the musicians who actually want to make a living with their art, which is not thing to be ashamed of, nobody should ever feel bad about that ever. Lots of famous painters made their income by painting and being commissioned to make those paintings.

21:42 CJ: Authors have done the same and entertainment costs, it costs. It’s going to be a business either way, what we’re saying is take as much control of it as you can, so that all of these companies that we mentioned at the outset aren’t the ones who are profiting the most from your business. So, Steve, since I have you here, I have to take advantage of this opportunity because most of the people listening to this podcast are familiar with quote, unquote Leah’s story, which is obviously your story too and your kids’ story, but they’re familiar with Leah’s story and so some people, they may not believe it or they feel like there’s some missing pieces or whatever it may be, but you obviously lived this, so take us back to before the first album was sold, to those days when you guys were … well, you were working in construction and you guys were rubbing nickels together. Take us back to that time.

22:49 Steve: Nickels, maybe pennies even, but no, I grew up in construction myself, so that’s what I fell into. That’s what I knew and was comfortable with, so that’s what I did, but I had my own business. I was an independent contractor in our area for 10 years doing renovations and all that kind of stuff and it was really tough, especially the couple of years leading up to Savvy Musician Academy and even prior to that Leah really taking on her music as a business because we were going backwards.

The harder I worked, the more we paid in taxes. The more behind we got, the more in debt we felt, and it was like this impossible weight, this impossible task that we would never overcome unless we changed our circumstances. So, Leah decided that she was going to take her music more seriously as a business to help out with the family, to help out with the family income because she felt powerless and that’s one thing that she could do that she was already doing in terms of making music.

So, she studied, and studied, and learned and ended up making her first whatever it was, just a few thousand dollars and then it turned into more and then it turned into more, had her first five figure year and then shortly after that she started SMA and I helped her with that, but we had some really rough times prior to SMA even beginning and even in the start just because the stress and burden of finances really rubbed our relationship the wrong way. So, we went through some tough times there, but we’re committed, and we pushed through that, made it through to the other side and started SMA in 2015, I think it was, the end of 2015, and within a couple of months, three months or so, we came to the conclusion that I would be able to quit construction and that was not something we were aiming for, it was just, okay, let’s have this side income, maybe that will help and we’ll get rid of debt and we can start saving for a house and do all these things that we wanted to do but haven’t had the means to do for so long.

And, anyways, SMA just exploded. It hit a nerve in the market, right timing, good marketing, Leah being her ideal customer I think was a real advantage that we had in the marketplace because even to this day, maybe there are some other artists who do what they do as a full time living, but also do training on the side or coaching, but I don’t really know of any. So, Leah had an advantage in that that she’s relatable. She’s not just some person who used to do something in the market, or she used to do marketing and now she does this, or she used to do record deals and now she’s doing coaching. She’s doing it all.

26:13 CJ: Right.

26:14 Steve: From making the music, producing the music, marketing her music, building her music business and then out of those experiences, out of those challenges, successes, failures, she can now teach what is working. And so, I think that really was a key actually and still is to this day.

26:36 CJ: That in fact, which is why she’s on a bit of a sabbatical now because she has been carrying all of that and more, and plus you guys have your kids and now you’ve got the Mythologie Candle business, and so that’s escalated things as well, but again, I want to go back and ask something. You were working construction, so we’re talking like 2011 or so, ’12, when she was like, “I want to try to do something with the music.” Did that just sound impossible to you? There were no other examples really of somebody who was doing what she was doing. How did you feel about that?

27:18 Steve: There was one person, I can’t remember who it is, she’s pretty well-known now I think, that I knew of that was doing something similar to what Leah was wanting to do, or what she was aiming for. She’s another independent artist of some kind, but being the operations kind of guy, operational people tend to be the brake pedal. Visionaries tend to be the accelerator.

27:46 CJ: You’re right, yes.

27:47 Steve: So, I’m always thinking, okay, if that’s going to happen, what does that mean practically? What are we going to have to do? What is that going to look like? And so, it was maybe challenging to see how that was going to work, but I was never in a mindset of disbelief like, oh, you can’t do that, that won’t ever work. So, I think I was always hopeful and I’ve always tried to be supportive of what Leah wants to do, so I think that is really where I was at actually, just okay, do it. I’ll help you however I can.

28:27 CJ: I bet you were like, “But, I’m not quitting the day job.”

28:30 Steve: I’m not quitting yet.

28:35 CJ: Again, I remember I knew you guys at the time and to be able to watch this firsthand … which is great for me because I do come to her defense a lot because at this point, I take offense at people’s criticism of her story and that this is some sort of … she’s cheating or it’s a hack or it’s a secret or whatever. She doesn’t make music anymore. That just, she’s teaching people how to do what she’s doing and so, no, like you said, she still does it all. In fact, this year is pretty much the first that I know of, where she’s really, literally saying, hey, hold off, where she told her own music business hold off.

29:27 Steve: Yep.

29:27 CJ: Because she needs for her health, for her sanity, she needs some literal, physical downtime. Everything just has to be shut down, which is why again, everybody’s hearing so much from me lately is because I’m helping to cover things while we’re pretty much just shutting as much down as we can around her, so that she can first and foremost, be the wife and mother that she wants to be, the person that she wants to be. That’s far more important than anything on business. There’s more than enough ways that we can run a business.

30:01 Steve: Totally.

30:02 CJ: And, talk a little bit about that part, Steve, where you guys came to the place where … I’ve mentioned it. I don’t know that people have really … the coins really dropped for them that you don’t want SMA to be necessarily based on Leah.

30:19 Steve: Right, and I think what’s tough about being a personal brand, which SMA kind of has been for the sake of having one person who is the face and the front and center of the organization, but we did start SMA with a bigger vision in mind knowing that … and that’s why it’s not called Leah, it’s called SMA, Savvy Musician Academy because it’s bigger than just her. It’s about a movement, it’s about independence for musicians and though up until now it has been by default focused on her story, and she has been the face of the brand, which by the way, it’s okay to be a personal brand and all musicians are going to be personal brands, and that’s perfectly fine, but you have to understand then that you are the brand. You can’t be removed from the brand like an organization that’s built on a foundation that’s not one person.

So, there’s a lot of pressure and so being the personal brand, SMA, that Leah has that pressure, but also her own music career and of course, as a musician, and Leah is probably the most genuine, authentic person on the planet, at least that I know. And, she puts pressure on herself. There’s the pressure to be the artist that she wants to be, but then there’s also the pressure to perform in a certain way to show that other musicians can do what she’s doing. So, she’s got the pressure of her music business and then the pressure to perform as a coach in her music business, so other people can take that example.

So, anyway, long story short, I guess the conclusion that we’ve come to is that she’s been experiencing burnout for a while and it comes out in different ways, just not having energy and being able to do the things that she would like to do on a daily basis, and so this time off that she’s taking is for her health and we’re not going away, we’re just taking things off of Leah’s plate, so that she can focus on her health. So, with her music business, her music is still available, she’s still an artist, she still writes music, but there’s no pressure. It’s like, okay, you want to write a song today? Cool, go ahead, but there’s no, I have to have it done by this date, so that we can launch and create this huge marketing campaign and do all this stuff by December 31st, none of that.

There can’t be anything on her calendar, no time constraints for anything, no obligations really other than the basic, daily things of a normal life.

33:29 CJ: This is where I want to take advantage of the opportunity here, which is why I’m so glad that Steve is with us is because especially on this point because it has been based so much on Leah that people miss the point that it’s really about the principles. It’s really about the proven principles of marketing because that’s all Leah has ever been doing, and that’s why I’ll often talk about my marketing background and my experience as long as it has been, so that I can further confirm and affirm and validate that very simple thing that Leah is not pulling tricks out of a hat. She is just more consistently, more professionally, more relentlessly applying the principles that have always governed direct marketing even before the internet.

So, as Steve mentioned earlier, they spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours on their education as it comes to building an online business, and they learned from the people who have been at this for a very long time. So, they are implementing these principles. Now, someone might say, “Well, okay. Well, CJ, now we’re seeing and hearing from you. Isn’t that another personality brand?” Not at all, in fact, if it’s any visual symbol, it’s a visual symbol of what we just said because I’m not a musician. I am not a musician, so I’m not in here to tell you how to record your album. I’m here to tell you that I’m a spokesperson for the principles that are taught at the Savvy Musician Academy.

So now, it’s no longer just based on the physical person Leah. So in other words, I could step out of this chair, Steve, and someone else who’s maybe one of our Elite students who’s proficient and doing great numbers could literally sit down in this chair and coach the Inner Circle, host this podcast, et cetera, et cetera. So, they are personalities, it doesn’t mean we’re becoming robotic or impersonal at all, no. It’s just that it’s all about the principles and those principles can be breathed through anyone who applies them and knows them and this downtime I think will also help to break that visual connection, I guess, that people have to Leah being the brand, so there are added benefits to here having this downtime. And again, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to hear from her again.

36:09 Steve: Oh, you’ll definitely hear from her.

36:11 CJ: In fact if anything, we might want to put on our seatbelts because she’s going to come back rested.

36:16 Steve: That’s right.

36:18 CJ: Rested and with righteous indignation.

36:21 Steve: Yes, probably. I think the biggest thing is you as an artist have to have ownership, and that’s what Leah really does have is ownership. She owns her music business and that means not that she’s the owner of the music business, not that she’s the primary stakeholder, or shareholder, she is 100% responsible for the success or failure of it, which means she takes it very seriously, every ounce of what she does in that business and even with SMA, that she’s going to own it, success or failure. So, when you take that kind of ownership over your music business, you can guarantee that you will get results. If you haven’t seen results, that’s why.

37:12 CJ: Right. Steve, you obviously have to learn a lot about musicians and you have, you’ve talked to a lot of them, much like Amy’s done. You’ve been on a lot of student calls of people who are inquiring into SMA. If you’re going to advise the musician, what would you tell them?

37:36 Steve: Well, in this day and age, I would advise that you start with your education, really, and that doesn’t mean that you need more training on how to become a better musician. Although, if you suck, that may be true.

37:52 CJ: That’s right.

37:53 Steve: If that’s something you want to pursue and you’re not that great yet, then that’s where you need to start, but if you’re a decent musician already, you have stuff that you’ve created, you’ve recorded, you want to sell it, you want to make a real living with your music, whatever that means, whether it’s a combination of touring, physical live shows, which is fantastic, but you also have to have your online side too. Leah says this all the time, not having all your eggs in one basket. I think one thing we can take away from this whole COVID epidemic, whatever you want to call it, I have some other words for it, but we won’t say it here, is that if all you relied on was the physical presence of your music business, being somewhere, i.e. touring, you now know that you can’t depend on that.

So, you better have a backup plan. So, that’s what we’re teaching is the online aspect of your business is another leg of your table. You can’t have a table with one leg. You better have two or three legs on that sucker, four if you can. So, your online side of your business is, in marketing terms, almost an evergreen part of your business which means it’s working for you every day, every hour, whether you’re there or not.

39:23 CJ: Right.

39:24 Steve: That’s what you need to be building, so that when you do go on tours, when you do do live shows and gigs, you’re not relying on that 100% for your income. We have lots of students that I’ve talked to and that are now Elite students and such, that that was their primary source of income and they were working very hard. Musicians are hard workers, they just need some direction, but when they open up their mind to having an online aspect of their business, these other people that I’m thinking about in particular, they were like, “Holy crap, I am so glad that I started working on this because I’m seeing these results.” It’s usually income-related, obviously, but that they didn’t have before, rather than just working like dogs for ends meet, doing live gigs, taking any gig that they could, not because they wanted to, not because they felt authentic to that gig, because they had to. They literally had no choice. That’s not a position you want to be in. Why are you a musician? So, you can do what you love. Isn’t that right?

40:38 CJ: Exactly. Again, artists tend to get taken advantage of and so now we’re at this unique place in history because you can look at it in one sense, Steve, and think, wow, well, the music industry was already bad. Now you throw COVID and lockdowns and it’s just not like everything is going to open up. Even if it does open up, we’ve already lost tons of venues, so the space is going to become very competitive even in your hometown it will become very, very competitive.

So, if you have an audience, you have capital. If you have social influence, you have capital. You have something someone else doesn’t. It is all to your advantage, which is why we started the end of last year and in the beginning of this year, before this all went down, we were citing this quote by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, one of the biggest bands in the world. So, here’s a rock star, who’s already reached the pinnacle, he’s already done it. He’s set for life, and in Guitar World Magazine I think it was, he said, “If I had to give a piece of advice to today’s musician,” he said, “I would spend 100%, not 99%, 100% of my effort on the internet, online, period.” There is no other way to do that.

So, the only person that I know of that has done that, proven that it can be done, done consecutively each year, and if you doubt that, she just went ahead and did it again with a brand new audience, brand new everything for a candle business, ladies and gentlemen, in the middle of an international pandemic, she starts a candle business. Steve, I ask myself, who cares about candles when people are dying, when you can’t go out, when you can’t go to a restaurant? Why in the world would a candle business be doing well? Well, if you know what you’re doing with internet marketing, you’d be amazed what you can sell.

42:57 Steve: That’s right, totally. So, typically musicians love to create their music and then if they do do anything online it’s to put it on multiple different platforms, it’s all over the place. They have no plan, they have no strategy whatsoever, they don’t even know who their audience is. They think it’s for everybody, but it’s not for everybody. It’s for a select few. Those people are the people that are going to buy it. When you go into a music store, you don’t see people buying every CD on the shelves. They go in, if there even are CDs to buy anymore. I don’t know, I haven’t been in a store for so long, but they go and they buy a specific CD from a specific genre. They’re not buying everything, and that’s the same with … so no, it’s not for everybody, it’s for a select individual, a select few and that’s what Leah did with the candle business too.

It’s not for everybody, it’s a niche product. People who like fantasy and mythology and that kind of thing, and then she built the candles around that theme, so they’re theme based. So, they attract a specific person who’s already into whatever, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, and they love it. Even during COVID, because during COVID, they’re reading books, they’re watching Lord of the Rings, they’re playing games, Dungeons and Dragons.

44:33 CJ: They’re at home, they want the home to smell good.

44:36 Steve: Exactly, and it creates the experience that they want. It’s another way to entice their senses with the smell and the sound of a crackling wick.

44:48 CJ: It’s so true. I had a conversation with my son, Joe, yesterday who’s a filmmaker, videographer, and all that good stuff, and I told him, I said … using also SMA as an example, I said people understand that you can make money online, they understand all of these things, but in the creative fields, they’re still trapped by the way things used to be done. They’re still trapped in that way of thinking because they think, well, if I’m going to be popular, then I’m going to be a household name. I said, no, you have to get past that. You have to get to the place to where I can be super, super successful and most households don’t know my name.

45:33 Steve: Right, I think that’s probably because in our culture, we have no vision. There’s a scripture that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Well, if you have your vision just two days ahead, you have no vision for two years down the road. What are you doing? Where are you going? So, you need to have a longer-term vision. That doesn’t mean you have to have everything worked out, or how that’s going to play out because things change, but where are you going? What’s the direction you’re heading in? You have to have a destination in mind.

46:15 CJ: That’s the key, guys, and I want to finish on that note is that there has to be a destination. So, here you are trapped, locked down in your home, still wanting to play music, still have a desire to do these things, wondering if SMA is right for you. SMA is helpful with helping you determine that direction, helping you determine that vision, helping you to make a … we want to help you make a decision, and part of that may be helping you to discover that SMA is not an option for you, but don’t sit there and wonder, connect with us.

So, if you’ve been at this for some time, maybe you’ve been in the Online Musician course, you did that, and you’re still not moving the needle forward in your business, but you got a little website, maybe a store, or something like that, and you’re just stuck, you may need the Elite program, and they can still do that, Steve, at callsma.com?

47:15 Steve: They can, for the summer, we are actually closing the doors to the coaching part of the program, but they can still get started with the course material itself, and we will be back in the fall, but like you said, we’re taking things off Leah’s plate completely, so that’s one of the things that we’re closing down temporarily for the summer. They can still start with the core Elite program.

47:42 CJ: So, it’s the same curriculum, it doesn’t come with the actual coaching and that sort of thing, so very, very worth it. I think it’s more inexpensive too, correct?

47:51 Steve: It is, definitely, and they can add the coaching later.

47:54 CJ: And then, the course, we just upgrade it to the Online Musician 3.0. Now, I did Inner Circle the other day, Steve, and I was really trying to make this point about where sales come from, about creating desire and value in your audience, and one of the things that just kept coming to mind was how important the Online Musician as a course is and especially this latest version 3.0 because people are like, “Well, she’s not going into Facebook advertising.” And I said, “That’s exactly what you need right now because she’s taking out those shiny objects that you’re going to get fixated on because you could figure out everything you needed to know about the Facebook Ad Manager and all the special software and retargeting applications and all of the gory details of the stuff that’s in the Elite program, and still not sell a thing because you didn’t get the fundamentals down about what really creates sales.” Because I told them, I said, “Technique and technology is not the thing to be fixated on because those come in to help you scale what’s already working.”

49:02 Steve: Right, and we are not about tricks and tactics. That’s not our USP, our unique selling proposition like there are others out there I know of, and their thing is, oh, what’s the fad in the market right now? Oh, it’s Instagram this, or it’s Facebook ads. Here, how to sell 100 albums in two days with blah, blah, blah. Well, that’s a tactic, and that will get you exactly that, one day of sales and then you’re done.

49:34 CJ: That’s right.

49:35 Steve: So, you better have a foundation in place, especially if you want this to be long-term. If you want to make your living this year, next year, and the year after that until the day you die, you better work on the foundation.

49:47 CJ: That’s what the Online Musician 3.0 … it is a very, very powerful foundation, man. Me and my son Aaron, my other one, we help to put the videos and things together and the slides and all of the stuff for the Online Musician 3.0 and it just so-

50:06 Steve: It looks amazing.

50:08 CJ: Great job, Aaron, right?

50:09 Steve: Great job, Aaron.

50:11 CJ: It just so reiterated to me the importance of what you just said, Steve, about the foundation. You have to understand how to sell online. You have to understand the psychology of why people buy. It’s not a technique as Steve said, it’s not a tactic as Steve said, it is literally creating desire in people through a personal relationship. That’s why social media is such a game-changer, guys. There was internet marketing before Facebook, but you were relying upon people coming across you from Google searchers.

There would be no Leah if we were relying upon Google searches. Without the ability to go direct to your ideal fan, your super fan, without discovering them through social media, you couldn’t do this that we’re talking about. So, social media is the game changer, so learning about this … social media means you’re dealing with people, social media. Media means broadcasting, broadcasting from person to person instead of from your television or newspaper or what have you.

51:10 Steve: Relationship.

51:11 CJ: Relationship building, culture building, lifestyle building, that’s what creates the sale. In fact, you should be able to create such a great relationship with your ideal fans via social media and email that they’ll buy cat food from you even though you make music. In other words, when they know you, when they like you, and they trust you, they’ll pretty much buy whatever because they’ll see the fact that you’re drinking something in particular, and they’re like, “Hey, what’s that you’re drinking? I’d like to get that too.”

I see this all the time. If there’s something I happen to have, not even thinking about it, just a cup I have, they’re like, “Hey, where’d you get that cup?” Or for years, people would just say … they’ll ask me on a post that’s unrelated to sales about anything, I’m just adding value to their life through a post, and they’ll write in, “Hey, do you happen to have any t-shirts?” Or, “Hey, do you have a book?” They’re going to ask you what you have to sell, and so that’s not-

52:10 Steve: They’ll be looking.

52:11 CJ: That’s not paid traffic. That doesn’t happen because you understand the ins and outs of the Ad Manager or anything like that. So, what’s covered in the Online Musician? So, where do they go for that, Steve, to learn more about the 3.0?

52:23 Steve: I believe it is theonlinemusician.com.

52:23 CJ: Okay, so that’s your opportunity there. In fact, I think there’s still a … is there still a webinar that’s playing?

52:35 Steve: Yes, we have an evergreen webinar that’s playing, so you can go and watch the webinar and then go through that, and even that alone, go through the webinar. It’s free for goodness sakes, and take the notes like Leah tells you to and you will gain a lot out of that.

52:53 CJ: You’ll see the value of all of this.

52:55 Steve: Absolutely, that’s a good place to start.

52:59 CJ: And then lastly, what we’ve been doing, again, this past month has been the Inner Circle, and this is great because, Steve, this is weird because it’s for both novice and experienced. We got them both covered in there because as we were doing the Inner Circle, as it was done before, which was a downloadable, periodical and a membership thing where you can get some mini-tutorials and that sort of thing, but it wasn’t direct interaction, and so back in May we did this three-week pop-up Mastermind where it was live sessions, live workshop sessions in a private Facebook group and we got, what, close to 500 people from all over the world that signed up for that, and we had people after it was done writing in saying, “Where to from here?”

53:50 Steve: I want more of that.

53:51 CJ: I want more of that. I liked having my questions answered live, and so that was kind of the impetus for us changing what we would call, I guess, your 2.0 version of the Inner Circle where now that’s in a private Facebook group based on live video sessions each week, and because it’s question and answer and all of this, we’re able to take in the input from Elite students as well as people who might be new, so you’re going to learn the parlance, the language, all the lingo. You’re going to get all the fundamental type of ideas and you’re going to live, experience, and hear from Elite students and see what they’re doing.

So, we’re just scratching the surface right now. There’s so much we can push through the Inner Circle as well as tips, and tools, and books of the month, and so much recommended stuff that we can give you, and that’s right now … we just knocked off like $20. We could charge 97 easy for that thing. That’s a lot of information, bro.

54:50 Steve: Oh, man.

54:51 CJ: We knocked it down to $47. We just knocked it down $20 more for $27. If your music business and your life isn’t worth $27 … and plus, you get to deal with me.

55:03 Steve: Then, who wouldn’t want that, right?

55:04 CJ: Who wouldn’t want that? Some people are mentors, I’m your tormentor, which is again it brings in that … because I’m a motivational speaker, so you’re getting that motivational element. We deal with the mindset which is a huge part, Steve, hasn’t it been a huge part of what holds musicians back is the mindset?

55:20 Steve: That’s the biggest part, honestly. I’ve personally spoken to probably close to two or 300 musicians on the phone, long conversations, and that is the biggest hurdle that they all have is in their mindset, and that goes for everybody. That’s not just musicians, it’s anybody who is thinking of taking a bigger step or making a big decision in their life, it’s all mindset.

55:48 CJ: Exactly right. So, you’re going to get mindset, marketing, all of that for just $27 a month in the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, so you and I get to spend a whole lot more time together looking at what you’re doing and you can learn more about that at savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. Steve, we were threatening to have you on the podcast, you and I doing something probably a year ago.

56:15 Steve: I know.

56:16 CJ: It’s taken us this long, but Steve has become one of my favorite people and I trust him completely, and he’s been such a … not just a great friend, but a colleague and I’ve gleaned so much from both he and Leah and working with the Savvy Musician Academy, so it means a lot to me to have him on today, so bubba, thank you, man.

56:38 Steve: Thank you, it’s been awesome. I love it.

56:41 CJ: Give everybody’s best to Leah because I’m sure they all want to send their best, all the podcast listeners send their best. You get to tell Leah about that.

56:50 Steve: Will do.

56:51 CJ: But, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much once again for joining me on the Savvy Musician Show. Do me a favor, and go right not, literally right now, and leave us a review on whatever your favorite podcast player is, Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes, write something nice, leave stars, as many as you can if they offer that. Why is this important? Twofold, number one, it’s what helps us in the rankings, so you can help another musician, confused, brokenhearted, frustrated, confused musician out there who doesn’t know what to do, you can help them find this podcast. If this podcast made a difference in your life, guess what it will do for someone else. That helps there, and secondly, we read your comments.

It is a huge form of encouragement to us, like I tell people. People ask me, “CJ, motivational speaker, what motivates you?” I say, “You want to motivate me, tell me how much I motivate you.” That’s how you motivate a meta-motivator, and it motivates us to know that your life has been changed. It motivates us to know that you’re moving forward in your music business. It motivates us to know that there’s someone out there who’s business is actually being transformed, that you’re finding direction in life and business.

Once again, we want to know. It builds us up, and helps us moving forward, and even if it’s a critical comment, that’s educational to us as well. We just don’t think there are any. Anyway, good to see you, guys. I will be back next week 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, 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 #103: Behind-The-Scenes at SMA, Part 1 with Amy Roy (Customer Service Director)

If you haven’t already, you get to meet our very own Customer Service Director, Amy Roy. This is a treat not only personally but also professionally. You name it, she’s seen it and is now giving you priceless insight into a musicians journey through SMA and an online music business.

From your first phone call to SMA to years down the road, Amy and C.J. discuss what most musicians wish they had known years ago! Get ahead of the curve with this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introduction to our SMA Customer Service Director Amy Roy
  • Jaded musicians not being a good fit for SMA
  • What is seasonal and what is not
  • Be the engagement you want to see
  • Having a clear goal
  • The pros and cons of the course
  • Progressing before establishing your micro-niche
  • Writing copy that’s simple and emotionally effective
  • The demand for your music
  • Getting a taste of victory


“Success in the online music business is really about principles.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:58]

“You have to learn how to do things year round. It can still be in seasons, but you can’t just start a course or start building your business but then take six months off because you’re not feeling it.’ – Amy Roy [0:12:20]

“If you want people connecting with you, engaging with you, you better make sure you’re also in there connecting, and engaging, and encouraging.” – Amy Roy [0:22:13]

“I am a perfectionist, which means I’m also a procrastinator because if I can’t do something perfect the first time right away, I don’t do it at all.” – Amy Roy [0:30:24]

“I think another good thing to do when you do come up with something you’re just stuck at is at your desk or wherever have a notepad or piece of paper and just write it down. Getting that out of your brain onto paper.’ – Amy Roy [0:33:23]

‘What’s going to sell is you communicating with someone emotionally.” – @metalmotivation [0:35:15]

“Whatever genre you do, I guarantee you someone needs to hear your music right now, and someone needs to hear your thoughts and your heart right now, and it’s your job and your responsibility as a musician to give that to them.” – Amy Roy [0:39:02]

“Selling that first shirt, and getting your website up, or your Shopify store up, or reaching your first 1,000 fans, these are big victories. What we want for you is to get a taste of that. We want you to taste victory.” – @metalmotivation [0:41:42]

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

00:19 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz and the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. So enjoyable to do this podcast, and one of the best things about it is I get to talk to very, very cool people. But before I get to today’s guest, I just want to mention again that you can always do us a favor and leave a review for this podcast on your favorite player, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher. Just go there, write a cool thing about us, click stars if they tell you to click stars, and the reason being is twofold. Number one, it helps other musicians like yourself to discover this podcast and find the answers they need for their online music business.

Plus, we actually read your reviews in our team meetings here at Savvy Musician Academy, which leads me to the person who actually fields those reviews and reads them to us. You know we all wear several hats at the Savvy Musician Academy, so I thought for a long time I want to get some of the team members on here to give you guys a behind the scenes look at the Savvy Musician Academy. The person I wanted to start with is our very own, Amy Roy. Amy, thank you for being with me today.

01:36 Amy: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure.

01:39 CJ: We’re usually in a meeting.

01:42 Amy: Yes, yeah.

01:42 CJ: So we have to remind ourselves that we’re not in a meeting right now, so there’s no agenda that we need.

01:48 Amy: Yeah. We can’t just… Yeah, what we usually talk about in meetings, so much.

01:55 CJ: So much fun stuff. But when I tell people on here, Amy, that we read the reviews … As we say every single podcast episode that we read the comments that people leave about the podcast in our team meetings. Is that true or not true?

02:11 Amy: True, true. Very true.

02:13 CJ: It is an encouragement for us. Obviously people for the most part leave good things when they write their reviews, but we’re open to whatever anybody says.

02:23 Amy: Yeah. I mean, any time I get feedback, I always say thank you to that person, because I know we always think or have our opinions about companies, or customer service, good or bad, but it takes a little bit more effort to actually send that in. It takes time to write a response or feedback and then click send. So I really appreciate any feedback that we get. Constructive, that’s what we use to better the student’s experience. So we need that just as much as we need the positive, but of course the positive is always so good and encouraging, and just reminds us that what we’re doing is helping and is making a difference. Who doesn’t love some positive feedback?

03:17 CJ: Oh, yeah, especially me.

03:18 Amy: Everyone, yeah.

03:18 CJ: Especially when I’m the target of those reviews oftentimes.

03:20 Amy: Yeah, yeah.

03:22 CJ: Okay. Well, let’s kind of back up a little bit. Again, Amy is on the team here at Savvy, a very valuable part of what we do, and a lot of our students will know her, but let’s get just a little bit of backstory. Amy, how in the world did you end up at the Savvy Musician Academy?

03:38 Amy: That’s a great question. It’s very random. Most of you, if you’ve been with us for a while, will remember Melissa. She was our customer service director before I stepped in for her place. My husband actually danced with her, my husband is a dance teacher, and 15 years ago maybe, before … Maybe even longer, because I’ve known him for 16, 17 years, and they danced together before I was even in the picture, so quite some time ago, and they’ve been friends ever since. I met her a couple times, and she moved up to Canada, but we’re in Washington State, so right underneath. Let’s see, she had … SMA was new and growing, and they were looking for some more help. We have two kids, and we needed something that I could do from home, and it just fell in perfectly, and I’ve been here almost three years so far.

04:47 CJ: What did you start doing when you first came on?

04:48 Amy: Just customer, part of the success team. So just answering emails and everything. Then that grew to helping out with the social media, and now I’m helping with the Elite students and customer service director. So it’s been great.

05:07 CJ: Her measure of rule has increased incrementally because Melissa did move on, what? End of last year, was it?

05:14 Amy: Yes, yeah, mm-hmm.

05:17 CJ: Melissa was very hands-on, and so Amy had a lot to learn quickly and absorb, and she’s done a fantastic job with that. So we all rely upon each other-

05:28 Amy: Yes.

05:28 CJ: … heavily, to do what each other do. I really, really appreciate the backend of the Savvy Musician Academy, especially as people see that Leah’s plate is growing, and she’s extending into so many other things. She has said repeatedly, she did not want the Savvy Musician Academy to be so focused on her, because she can’t be that. She’s a mother, like yourself, you got things to do. You can’t be a personal brand out there, and besides, success in the online music business is really about principles. It’s about applying things that are taught in our courses and whatnot, and so that doesn’t require a personality, although we understand why people get latched onto her, because of her personal success in these particular areas. 

But again, I wanted to share more about the team of the Savvy Musician Academy, and give people who don’t know us at that level, give people who may not have taken The Online Musician, Amy, or the Elite course, kind of a backstage look, a behind the scenes look at kind of how we operate as it relates to students themselves.

06:36 Amy: Yeah.

06:36 CJ: So what’s the most challenging and what’s the most rewarding aspect of working with students?

06:44 Amy: Ooh, that’s a good one. I think the most challenging aspect is when students their …

06:53 CJ: And you can speak freely.

06:54 Amy: Oh, I will. I don’t, I like truth. I just don’t want to … I want to make sure I get it clear.

07:05 CJ: Just don’t use names.

07:06 Amy: No, I mean, in all honesty, I know if someone reaches out about our courses, I know pretty instantly if they’re going to be the right fit, if they’re going to be successful, and if they’re even going to buy a course, because of how they speak, their attitude, even via text, email, which can be very hard to decipher sometimes their intentions. The main thing that I know that they’re just not going to be the right thing is one, if they’re jaded. I know a lot of musicians have tried other courses, put a lot of money into something and have gotten burned, and they’re just like … Nothing I can tell them, no testimonials, the outline of the course, all the benefits and resources we have available, they just … 

Sometimes you just need to jump and make a leap of faith with things, especially for your business and investments and stuff, but some just can’t do it. So that’s frustrating because I know that we’re different and what we offer is different from other places, and what we have to offer is so beneficial and helpful. I’ve heard so many amazing testimonies from students, but sometimes people just aren’t, they’re kind of blocked to that, and jaded, or just burnt, and they’re not ready yet. It’s not their season to join, which could change.

08:58 CJ: Right. Can we stay here and just kind of revolve around a certain … because you just said a lot, because you’re delving into kind of the territory which I’m very, very concerned about, which is mindset, attitude, and that sort of thing. So before she tells us what the good part of it, because this is critical, Amy. What you just said is absolutely critical, because not … Because you’re seeing it on the front-end, right?

09:24 Amy: Yeah.

09:24 CJ: When they first inquire, which is interesting because they’re jaded, but they’re still inquiring.

09:29 Amy: Yeah.

09:29 CJ: You know what I mean?

09:31 Amy: It’s like that smidgen of hope, but I feel really quick that if they come to me with that mentality, they’re almost … What am I trying to say? They’re almost wanting to kind of pick a fight, or they want to complain, or they want to just tell somebody else that they were burnt. When we’re hurt we want other people to feel that as well. So I think it’s almost like an outlet to like, no, you’re not going to work but tell me why maybe, change my mind.

10:08 CJ: Right, right.

10:09 Amy: Yeah. 

10:10 CJ: Well, and the reason why this is important is because, and as Amy said, she’s talked to so many people. When you talk to so many people you can start seeing certain patterns, and you can see defense mechanisms and all of these sorts of things. So she’s becoming kind of like a psychologist in short order, reaving a “body language”, if you will. But here’s the thing, guys, is what this tells you is it’s really not so much exclusively about the course, it’s about your mindset, it’s about your attitude, because somebody, and I’ve said this a 100 times if I’ve said it once, Amy, somebody with half the information could go all the way, because when Leah started, there was no Savvy Musician Academy. There wasn’t a TOM course you could go to, there was no Elite program, there was nothing, especially for musicians, that she could really draw from to build her businesses.

So she was operating on whatever information was available from other sources outside of the music business and applying these things to the music business. But again, it just makes the point, is that it requires that level of self-confidence, being willing, like you said, to take that step of faith. But it’s not so much a step of faith if you’re confident that if someone else has done it, it can be done. Unless you’re just completely convinced something is a scam. Okay, well, there’s going to be helpful information here but it really does come down to me. So you do have to wonder if, when they talk to you, Amy, that jaded is not so much because of the courses they took before, but still may be something in them, and like you said, they may not just be ready right now. What do you think?

12:06 Amy: Yeah. The seasons, we talk about this a lot, Leah preaches it and lives it, and especially as artists, there’s inspirational seasons, and you can’t really force that inspiration and you can’t force when songs will come to you, or when that art, the art side of things will work. However, to be a business owner and to have that business mindset, in addition to your music, business is year-round. You have to learn how to do things year-round. It can still be in seasons, but you can’t just start a course or start building your business but then take six months off because you’re not feeling it. For a business you can’t do that, you have to keep it going. But I do understand that the season that I’m talking about for not starting a course, or say you just went through a life experience, or you lost a job, or you have a new baby, or someone passed away and you just, you’re not in the mindset, you’re not in the financial realm of starting something like this. 

Those are completely, I mean, that’s life. I have students reaching out that are like, “Hey, I’ve seen Leah for five years on social media and it’s my time right now.” They weren’t ready for the last five years, but they are now. So that’s, yeah, the seasons of starting something. But once you start it, you got to be ready to stick with it.

14:03 CJ: So when you talk to students on the phone, Amy, I’m sure you, like you said, you go probably deep on what’s offered in the course and whatnot. Are they surprised at how much is offered?

14:17 Amy: Yes, yeah. We’ll have the student every once in a while who just wants one course that teaches them everything, but I try to reiterate nothing is like that. This is something you’ll be working on for the rest of your career, and not everyone is exactly like you. Not everyone is ready for a whole course. I think for our brains it’s easier to take in chunks. Some people can only handle or only need the Inner Circle right now, you know? Something smaller that’s monthly, that they can digest, and just keep them going throughout the year. 

Some people just are like, “I have no idea where to start.” So TOM is the place for them, and just kind of do this massive course, build a really good foundation, and then they need to sit on that for a while, work on that, build that, and then maybe a year later Elite is going to be the next thing for them. So I think Leah is very strategic and knows from experience how much to offer and when, and in what kind of chunks, and what timeline. I forgot the question you asked.

15:45 CJ: Well, you just answered it.

15:46 Amy: Did I answer it?

15:47 CJ: You just answered it.

15:48 Amy: Good.

15:50 CJ: Okay, so going back to my other question, the one I started with, which is the good and the bad. So what’s the upside? What’s the thing that you love seeing?

16:00 Amy: I just love positive people. I love positive energy. People who ask questions and are thankful for an answer. Right now, because we’re upgrading all of our TOM students to TOM 3.0 free of charge, and I love when they ask, “Hey, do I get that? I’m willing to pay because I know the value of this.” But like nope, you get it for free, and they’re just so grateful and positive. Students who celebrate the small successes like, “I just got my website.” That is such a big deal and they’re so proud of themselves, and they know how hard it was to get to that point, or I just sold my first shirt, you know?

16:52 CJ: Mm-hmm. It’s a huge win, it really is.

16:58 Amy: It’s a huge win, and we really encourage them to celebrate every … I got my first email. Someone gave me their email and it’s not my friends or family.

17:07 CJ: Right.

17:09 Amy: I just love positivity like that, and people who know that this is a long journey, and I also love students who search for things, for answers on their own. I get a lot of students who ask me questions that aren’t necessarily in the course, but all they would have to do is go to Google and search it, and find the answer. So I say, I’m like, “Yeah, I did a quick Google search, which you can do next time.”

17:48 CJ: I’ve said that too.

17:49 Amy: Students who put in the work themselves, I think it’s so much more valuable I think when they do it themselves. Leah has very good outline, very good strategies, very good information, and she always says, “I’m not going to hand-hold you.” And that’s so important. It’s the whole if you teach someone how to fish they’ll be fed forever, and that’s what we do here, and I think it’s really important, but not everyone likes that.

18:24 CJ: Right, right.

18:26 Amy: Then they’re not a good fit, I guess.

18:30 CJ: Yeah. Well, and what’s that like, telling somebody they’re not a good fit? Because these are artists, they don’t want to be-

18:37 Amy: They don’t want to be told that.

18:37 CJ: … critiqued or told that.

18:41 Amy: I try to do it as kindly as possible, but as plain as possible. I don’t like to … SMA is not here to sucker people into buying courses. We don’t want you here if you don’t want to be here, because it’s not fun for anybody.

19:01 CJ: Right.

19:02 Amy: Right. We want all of our students to succeed, and if they’re not willing to put in the work, or if they don’t appreciate what these courses are all about, it’s probably not a good fit, which doesn’t mean that they can’t succeed, but we have a very good community here, a very positive. Our Facebook groups are great. We encourage people, we want people to succeed. It’s a good culture here, and not everyone fits into that, and that’s okay.

19:34 CJ: Yeah, and I think that’s an important point for people to realize, is as you just mentioned, we’re not just trying to put money in the cash register here by selling courses where the only criteria is that your heart is beating and you breathing. We want it to be a good fit because, as she said, which is an important point, we want you to succeed, and if we don’t feel like maybe you’re ready for a particular course, like Elite for example, or if we just don’t feel like you’re going to get what you need to get out of it, then Amy will tell you it’s not a good fit.

So again, we want to keep, as she said, that culture the way that it is. Again, going back to what you said just a little bit ago, when you work with people who are very positive, and have a great attitude, and celebrate all of their little victories, when you work on the front-end of things, like for me social media with my own projects and Savvy’s projects, you meet all kinds, and yes, you get quite a few who have snarky, cynical, mean-spirited, hating, critical just attitudes. You’re just going to get that, it’s social media, right? It’s digital roadrage, I like to call it. 

But when you get past that and you get behind a paywall where everybody in there is out for the same thing, not competing with each other, they’re competing with themselves, but they’re leaning on each other with accountability, and encouragement, and inspiration, and motivation, even though it’s in a group, an online group. Of course, we all should be better acclimated to that now after a few months in this lockdown, but it really is a powerful environment for growth. So it’s not just the course, right Amy? It’s not just the coaches.

21:33 Amy: Mm-hmm.

21:34 CJ: It’s that the community that they experience with other musicians like themselves, isn’t it?

21:40 Amy: Yeah, yeah. For anyone who ever tells me, “No one really answered my question.” Or, “No one commented on my whatever.” I ask them, “Well, how many posts have you commented on? How engaged are you?” It’s hard to be engaged within a group, because SMA, I’m sure, isn’t their only group. They probably have a bunch of other groups and stuff, but put out what you want in. If you want people connecting with you, engaging with you, you better make sure you’re also in there connecting, and engaging, and encouraging, and yeah, because if you’re not doing it, then why would anyone else do it?

22:25 CJ: I can already tell you that’s going to be a clip that I’m going to use and put out on social media, Amy.

22:33 Amy: Okay.

22:33 CJ: I can already tell you that right now because I’m going to make sure that one gets driven into the ground. Again, there are so many things she’s saying, and I’m sitting and going, “Yeah, I know what she’s talking about.” Because I experience the same thing at a different level, because I’m more on the social media side, you get it earful.

22:50 Amy: Yeah.

22:51 CJ: You get inboxed, and email, and all that. So I just see in a Facebook comment somewhere, but I know exactly what she’s talking about, and you have people who don’t chime in enough. They’re not engaged themselves, and so they get a little offended maybe or have questions when they don’t get a response right away. As a coach, I’m getting tagged, or I see notifications from so many different things, and oftentimes a lot of these questions I know that other students will hopefully chime in on, and that’s something, again, that as she just said, that they can do. They can chime in, and even if it’s just not … 

Maybe you’re not answering someone else’s post, but you’re just leaving an encouraging comment, you’re making yourself known, and for someone to so quickly revert into their protective shell and take that sort of … They’re not being disagreeable, but we don’t want you to be hurt either. You need a little tough skin and a little perseverance here, right?

24:04 Amy: Yeah. Well, an example, our moderators, who are fantastic, we have a good group of moderators for all of our Facebook groups, they’re always saying like, “I’m learning more as a moderator because I have to engage and I have to find the answer again, or I have to.” And they’re like, “I do a lot better, or I feel more connected to people.” Because they’re having to engage, but they’re more positive about it, they feel more connected, and they’re learning more, so yeah.

24:43 CJ: Wow. Amy, you’re dropping bombs here. I know if Leah hears this, she’s going to be going, “Oh that’s good, that’s a good one.” Because again, these are things we kind of wish people knew, and if they ever come to mind when Leah and I are doing a podcast, we’ll obviously bring them up, but again, we’re not seeing it at the depth that you are. We’re not communicating with people at the depth that you are, and so that’s why again, I felt it’s important for them to see because there is a student life here, there’s a student culture, as Amy noted. 

A culture we want to protect, and enhance, and grow, but there is a student life. For those who are active and participating who are sharing their #wins and that sort of stuff, I tell you what, it’s just even though I’m a coach, for me it is such a delight to see them experiencing these victories. You see those students, I wish it was all of them, but you see those students who it’s a win after a win, after a win, after a win interspersed with their struggles, but they’re posting the struggles and the questions that they’re having just as much, and so you’re seeing people actually their whole process being lived out in front of you in the Facebook group, and that’s a great thing to be able to see. 

So again, I can’t overemphasize what she’s saying enough, because again, if it’s not just the course, then your success is so much dependent upon you, how hard you work, because it’s a lot of work.

26:33 Amy: Yeah.

26:33 CJ: So in fact, tell me a little bit about that. How a lot of them are, now that they’re in a course, whether it’s TOM or Elite, in particular, they’ve gotten started and now they’re starting to meet the challenges.

26:45 Amy: This kind of goes along with that, but I feel like it needs to be said because I always … People are always kind of on the fence, or what do you do? What do you offer and stuff? I always ask, and it relates to the why. We all have a why of what we’re doing, but I think it’s important to go a step beyond that and ask, what do you want from your music?

27:12 CJ: Good question.

27:13 Amy: You have to know exactly what you want, because not really knowing what you want, your drive, and your path and your seasons get murky, and slower, and there’s no consistency, there’s no reason because it does get hard. If you don’t have that what, that end goal in mind, then it’s not going to work very well. I mean, it could be I want to just beyond social media have a small following, connect with them, and sell a couple CDs a month or a year. It could be small, and that’s fine for somebody if it’s a part-time thing, or just what they enjoy to do, or they don’t need the money, whatever, or it could be I want to be like Leah, I want to be making six figures, I want this to be my family’s only source of income, I want … 

Both of those, even though they’re completely different whys and what you want, they don’t require the same amount of work, but you need to have those in place to know how to keep going through each module and each lesson.

28:38 CJ: Yeah, because I guess otherwise the course itself becomes your goal, you’re just trying to finish it, do a good job, just like when you’re a kid in school.

28:49 Amy: School.

28:49 CJ: Yeah.

28:50 Amy: Yeah. You’re like, “Okay, I just want to get my A.” And then you’re done, which was maybe how I lived my school.

29:02 CJ: Yeah, but there’s no, as you said, there’s no larger vision or goal that’s being attached to that, so it becomes … We don’t want the course to be an end, we want the course to be the means to the end, right?

29:18 Amy: Yes. If you purchase the course, it is yours. You don’t lose access to it, you get all the upgrades, it’s your course, and you can go through it at your own pace, which has pros and cons. Pros is that you can go through it at your own pace. If you have a full-time job and family you can listen to a module a night, or a lesson a night and a module a week or something. You can stop when you need to focus on something, and get that really good, and then move on, or you can just go through the whole course really quick, see kind of the path in front of you and okay, that’s a lot I have to do. Now I’m going to go back through the course and break it down, go step by step. 

We all learn differently, so I think it’s really good that it’s laid out how it is, but it also can be a negative for some people, like myself. I am a perfectionist, which means I’m also a procrastinator because if I can’t do something perfect the first time right away, I don’t do it at all. Then life happens, and then you kind of forget about this course that you spent a $1,000 on, or however much, and it kind of just time goes by, and it gets harder and harder to pick back up.

30:55 CJ: Yes.

30:57 Amy: So there’s kind of pros and cons to that.

31:00 CJ: This is so interesting because … See, by the time this podcast is posted, the previous week’s podcast is the one I did on seven reasons why musicians fail building their online music business, and you just covered two of them. One was going over the course more than once, going over the material repeatedly.

31:22 Amy: Yes.

31:23 CJ: So in other words, people fail to apply the things, because they think they know it all.

31:28 Amy: Yes.

31:28 CJ: And they go over it again and they realize how much stuff they missed, and then the other part about it was how hard it … Being consistent because of how difficult it is to get back up and going once you’ve taken that time. I always find that it’s better for me to keep momentum. I don’t have to be the fastest person at something, I just want to keep showing up every day. I might realize that sometimes we’re going to take some time off, and that’s planned vacations or what have you, and of course you can have sicknesses or whatever, but that’s different from time off because you’re frustrated or discouraged, or don’t know what to do next. Sometimes that can stifle people because they don’t realize … In fact, another thing I said in that podcast was that the best way I find to motive someone is to show them how to solve their most pressing problem.

So if I had a student, for example, contacting me late at night, and it’s one o’clock in the morning, let’s just say, and they’re dog-tired but they’re frustrated and we just happen to talk, and they just say they’re discouraged, they want to quit, they don’t want to do anything, and then we talk about the primary issue that they’re dealing with, and I give them a solution, and the lights turn on, I guarantee you they will not go to sleep. They’ll probably spend the next couple of hours excited on the edge of their seat working on what they feel like is a little breakthrough, meaning they had so much more power still inside them. So much more energy than they thought they did, so much more inspiration, and it was coming from them, not from me telling them they can do it, but from me telling them, “No, here is how you solve that particular problem that’s frustrating and blocking you right now.”

33:14 Amy: Yeah.

33:15 CJ: Now, of course, you’re going to meet another one, but as long as you know that there’s an answer to your problem, you can keep going, right?

33:23 Amy: Yeah. I think another good thing to do when you do come up with something you’re just stuck at is at your desk or wherever have a notepad or piece of paper and just write it down. Getting that out of your brain onto paper. Most people getting started, because Leah pushes micro-niche so hard, they get stuck there.

33:51 CJ: They do.

33:52 Amy: And they don’t get anywhere else. They don’t do anything else, they don’t go to the next lesson or anything. Yes, it’s very important for targeting, but we’re not there yet. Just start with what you have. If you just have your top umbrella genre, that’s fine, just put that on a piece of paper and then move on. Get it out of your body so you can see it, and you don’t have to think. Get it out of your head, put it on a piece of paper and then move on, because I guarantee you in the next lesson, or a couple lessons down the road, or a couple days from now, something will trigger and answer that for you. So please, don’t stop.

34:39 CJ: Right. She’s touching on so many things that I’ve seen myself. That’s one of my biggest complaints. Early on I saw that they were getting neutralized, literally paralyzed over the micro-niche.

34:53 Amy: Yeah.

34:54 CJ: Because they didn’t want to make a mistake.

34:56 Amy: Yeah.

34:56 CJ: They felt like it was going to make or break them, and I would tell them the same thing, Amy, which was really the micro-niche is about your targeting more than it is about how people … Because you can have this description of this odd micro-niche that you’ve got listed. I mean, it’s not going to sell necessarily. What’s going to sell is you communicating with someone emotionally, and that can be a very simple line, and a simple lyric video, and that’s how they discover you. They’re like, “No, no, no. Don’t.” Because everybody, when I would do the one-on-one branding session coaching with a lot of Elite students, I would look at their video views ads, for promoting with their videos, lyric videos or something, and they would have three or four paragraphs of copy. If you like this artist, and you like that artist, and all of this descriptive stuff, and they would write out this elaborate micro-niche thinking that that’s going to be the thing that makes them, and it doesn’t make a difference at all. They’re not getting the engagement, they’re not getting the reach, none of it.

So I’ll ask them like, I’ll say, “Well, tell me what this song is about.” And they’ll say, “Well, it’s about finding love again.” Oh, okay, well let’s meet people there, because your little video promotion is going to show up on social media. That’s where people are going to meet you, and it’s going to show up right before a post from the best friend and right before a post from their mom. So you don’t want to come across like an elaborate billboard. I said, “So just say this. Just say, ‘Do you think you can find love again? This song is for you…’ and that’s it. That’s all I want you to write.” That’s your ad, and then just that big ‘ol play button overlaying your video is all it’s going to take to get someone who you just touched. But what that person doesn’t realize is that you put all that micro-niche targeting into the Facebook Ad Manager to select someone who would be more akin to your genre of music, even if, as Amy said, all that you used for targeting was the general genre that you were using. Even that, just so long as you’re out there knocking things over in the internet, I’m fine.

I’d rather have the person, as I often say, who’s posting 50 times a day and I have to reel them in, say, “You’re doing way too much.” Rather than the person that I have to keep lighting a fire under their blessed assurance to get them to get out and do something because they’re shy, or they’re whatever. In fact, we had in a coaching call recently, Amy, I don’t know if you know the couple from the UK, kind of a jazz duo, husband and wife, he plays keyboards, and she said, “CJ, I’m just so shy. I’m the shiest person ever.” And I said, “Well then, that’s what you need to do.” I told her, I said, “I want you to be the shiest person on social media.”

37:53 Amy: Like, what?

37:56 CJ: What does that mean? That means start your posts by saying, “I’m the shiest person on social media. I can’t tell you guys how hard it is for me to write this post. I’m nervous as a cat, but here’s my video.” And you know what? You’re going to get so much love, and so much engagement, and so much response because you’re being who you are. We’re not trying to narrow you down to all these things, even though that’s taught in the course and we need to think about it scientifically, but still, this is very, very human, you know?

38:26 Amy: Yes.

38:28 CJ: I think people think, Amy, that maybe, I don’t know if you see this, but that they feel like maybe they can’t be like Leah, so, therefore, they’re not sure if a course is right for them. They want to have that kind of success, but they’re like, “Yeah, Leah can do that, but I can’t do that.”

38:48 Amy: Yeah. Well, we don’t need another Leah.

38:52 CJ: Right.

38:53 Amy: We’ve got her, and it’s great, and we need, especially music and art right now, it’s so needed. Whatever genre you do, I guarantee you someone needs to hear your music right now, and someone needs to hear your thoughts and your heart right now, and it’s your job and your responsibility as a musician to give that to them. If it’s just for your family members, or just for your partner, or yourself, you need to make the music, and if you feel that you’re called to give it to more people, it’s your responsibility to do that, and right now it’s on social media and it’s on online platforms. So you better step up and get it out there, because people need to hear it.

39:53 CJ: Man, if I was to say to her to close this podcast, what’s the one thing you want to leave everybody with, that was it. Amy, that’s another clip.

40:05 Amy: There it is, right there.

40:06 CJ: Guys, I honestly couldn’t leave you with a better thought, because again, Amy’s not been on my coaching calls, but she sounds a lot like me, because I talk about that with, just you have a responsibility to share your art with the world. It’s not supposed to be just isolated to you. Like you said, even if it’s just a few people. Be faithful with that little bit and it could become something more, and you’ll grow with that. You may not feel like you can handle more than that, but with each level of success you grow, you grow in the process and you’ll be like, “Okay. I’m ready for another 1,000, I’m ready for another few 1,000 people.” Or what have you.

40:48 Amy: Yeah.

40:49 CJ: But again, and I hope you got that clarion call that Amy just left you, that there is a responsibility that you have to share it because the world needs more art, and the record labels, and the streaming services, and the big tech and all of that, once again, are doing everything they can to rob the musician blind and at the Savvy Musician Academy we want to be advocates and defenders or artists, and musicians, and finally put them in the driver seat and have control over steering their own music career. Amy and I have seen it firsthand. We know people by name, and we can bombard you with testimonies of people who are having successes at all levels. 

Yeah, selling that first shirt, and getting your website up, or your Shopify store up, or reaching your first 1,000 fans, these are big victories. What we want for you is to get a taste of that. We want you to taste victory. We want you to taste what little achievement. We want the coin to drop for you to say, “Oh my gosh, it really works.” Like Amy said, I got somebody to follow me or give me their email and it wasn’t a family member or a friend that I coerced or twisted their arm. It’s very, very powerful stuff. Well Amy, I’m so thankful you did this today. But hearing more from you, just very thankful for the job that you do at SMA. It is certainly ground I could never cover. It is ground Leah won’t cover. 

Leah is very clear about the boundaries of her gifting and calling.

42:54 Amy: And I don’t want to do what she does, so here I am.

42:54 CJ: Oh lord, no, right? In fact, guys, go listen to her recent podcast that we just posted. I believe it’s episode 101 on her Leah Life Update.

43:04 Amy: Yes, life.

43:04 CJ: She’s talking about seasons and boundaries, and she’s putting down the most serious boundaries I’ve ever seen her put down.

43:11 Amy: Yeah.

43:12 CJ: Are put down now as she goes into the summer season, but it’s all good things, and it’s all … We want to do what’s best, so it’s good that we are surrounded by people who are observers of life and walking in wisdom. So Amy, thank you.

43:28 Amy: Yes.

43:28 CJ: Anything else you want to add?

43:29 Amy: No, I’m just so honored to be here. This is way out of my comfort zone, so I’m glad. I like to be behind the scenes, so I’m glad to do it and I hope it brings some light, and clarity, and peace. Yeah.

43:49 CJ: Well, thank you for doing it. Thank you for doing it, and you can certainly bill me for your time.

43:55 Amy: Okay, I will.

43:58 CJ: Well listen, guys, thank you for joining us today on The Savvy Musician Show. Like I said, leave a review, some stars if you can. If you’re ready to maybe get started, one great way to do it, we just revamped our, we call it 2.0 of the Inner Circle, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, and we’ve gone off of a recent mastermind that we had, which was live video events which was so successful. Amy helped with that, and we had close to 500 people from all over the world participate in that for three weeks, and again, it was so successful we are revamping the entire Savvy Musician Inner circle to follow that line. So I’m hosting this, so you get to work with me. If that’s not reason enough, heck, I’ll send you some money and persuade you to come join me, but it’s going to be great. So you can go and learn more about that today at savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. It is we just reduced the price.

44:57 Amy: Yes.

44:58 CJ: Knocked off another $20, so I think it’s now just $27 a month.

45:03 Amy: Yeah.

45:04 CJ: If you can’t invest that in your music business, like Amy said earlier, you’re probably not right for it, it’s not time for you, you’re not serious about it. You probably just want everything to be brought to you on a silver platter. For you, the easy way is the only way, but this is-

45:21 Amy: Or we’ll see you in a couple months when-

45:21 CJ: Or we’ll see you in a couple months, right. When you keep knocking your I’ll figure it out from YouTube videos.

45:25 Amy: Have your job back, hopefully.

45:28 CJ: We see that all the time, I’ll figure it out. You can get this free on YouTube. Yeah, well after you knock your head on the wall a few more months, we’ll see you again. But we’ll be covering a lot of great stuff, and it’s all live video-based interaction, and so we’re going to be answering questions, and we’re going to get you comfortable with marketing language.

45:47 Amy: Yes.

45:47 CJ: We’re going to get you comfortable with all of these things you may not know about, but if you’re even more advanced, we’re still going to be covering things and getting questions answered because I can go deep on a lot of these topics, and so it’s going to be a great environment for everyone to be in. So savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle, and if you think you might be ready for something at the level of Elite, then maybe you want to talk to one of our coaches, would they even be talking to you, Amy, or that’d be some of the other folks?

46:17 Amy: Yeah, they can talk to me. I usually ship them off to Michael, because he knows all the details and stuff. Reach out to us at [email protected] and you’ll be hearing from me.

46:35 CJ: Wonderful. Of course, we also again, just recently released The Online Musician 3.0 aka, TOM 3.0. Where do they go for this? That’s still explodeyourfanbase.com?

46:49 Amy: Yes, I believe so.

46:51 CJ: Yes, so we have a …

46:52 Amy: Yeah.

46:52 CJ: Yeah, so we still have a webinar video there that they can watch. So go to explodeyourfanbase.com

47:00 Amy: Or straight from the website, yeah.

47:01 CJ: Yeah, so explodeyourfanbase.com and learn more about that. And after all that, don’t even say we don’t try to help you. Amy, thanks again for being with me.

47:12 Amy: My pleasure.

47:13 CJ: I’ll see you at the next team meeting.

47:15 Amy: Tomorrow, yeah.

47:17 CJ: See you then.

47:18 Amy: Bye.

47:19 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.

Episode #102: 7 Reasons Why Musicians Fail in Building an Online Business

C. J. has spent countless hours coaching musicians one-on-one on their marketing and out of it he shares seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business.

What might be surprising to discover is that the main reasons for failure or quitting don’t have to do with marketing knowledge or proficiency in technology. It’s more mindset and attitude, and most students just need to get out of their own way!

Check out this week’s episode to find out not just what these seven things are but how to understand them and more importantly what to do about them!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The 7 reasons why musicians fail
  • Not following instructions
  • Standing in your own way/self-defeat
  • Getting stuck on technology
  • Not being resolved
  • Not being consistent
  • Not understanding the significance of social media
  • Being afraid of the future


“By the middle of 2020, it should be clear that everybody needs an online business.”  – @metalmotivation [0:02:49]

“The best way to stay motivated is to know how to solve your most pressing problems.”  – @metalmotivation [0:08:28]

“Just do something every day, just show up every day, because if you stop and you let that go for a few days, not doing anything, it’s so much harder to start up again.”  – @metalmotivation [0:17:02]

“You don’t need to punish yourself. You just need to get right back at it as if you never faltered… Stop turning on yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy, be your best friend.”  – @metalmotivation [0:19:27]

“Social media is the answer to the music problem created by Napster at the end of the 20th century.”  – @metalmotivation [0:21:10]

“The key to being unafraid of the future is to strengthen yourself—to equip yourself because your best defense in life is to build a stronger you.”  – @metalmotivation [0:24:41]

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. Thank you so much for being with me again today on this awesome podcast. If you are enjoying the episodes that we deliver here on The Savvy Musician Show, do me a favor and leave a review today on your podcast player: Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, doesn’t matter where it is, please leave a comment, leave a good report, and as many stars as they’ll give you to click, because this helps other people like you, other musicians, to find this podcast. If it’s made a difference in your life, I’m sure you want it to help a fellow artist or musician, so do that for me today. It means a lot.

We also read all of your wonderful comments in our team meetings, so it’s a huge encouragement to us. On my motivational pages, which I do, people always ask me, “What motivates you, CJ?” I tell them this: “You want to motivate me? Tell me how much I motivate you.” It’s great to hear from you about how much the information being shared here is making a difference in your life and in your business.

Speaking of business, I want to talk to you today about seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business, seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business. Sometimes people are working on their online business and they don’t know that they’re doing things right now that are going to lead to failure, lead to discouragement, lead to poor results. If you can overcome these seven things, which is really not all that hard to do, but if you can overcome these seven things, it’s going to make a tremendous difference in your success. It’s going to make a tremendous difference in how far you go in your particular online business.

You see, not everybody is the same. Not everybody has the same determination. Not everybody has the same vision. Because of that, hey, they’ll make a little bit of money and that may be enough for them, but for you, and I’m speaking to you, I know you want to go further than that. I know you’re not just out here trying to make some gas money or a little money for food or a little money to pay an electric bill. I believe you want to make a living playing your music. I believe you want a thriving online music business. We all know now how important it is to build one, right? We’ve all seen it. By the middle of 2020, it should be clear that everybody needs an online business. You need an online music business.

What are the seven reasons why musicians fail in building that online music business? Well, I would say number one is they don’t follow instructions. That seems kind of funny, doesn’t it? They don’t follow instructions, or as I like to say to our elite students, “You’re not following the course.” I can’t tell you how many times I will read questions from elite students and they’re asking about something that is covered in the course, something that Leah covered in the course itself.

Number one is they’re not following the course, but attached to that is they don’t go over it again and again. One of our recent interviews with one of our students named Anna, she alluded to this. She said that she was going over her the elite course again, she’s going through our Online Musician 3.0, this new version, again, something she’s already done before, and she listens to every episode of this podcast.

In other words, she is going over this content again and again and again. Isn’t that the way it works, whether you’re watching a movie or you’ve read a book, or like in this case, taking a course, isn’t it true that you pick up little things more and more, that you better understand the importance of things more and more the more and more you go over them? Not just not following the course or following directions, but you fail to go over this information again.

I know it’s boring. I know you feel like you’ve heard it before. I know you think, “No, I got it,” but that’s not going to work. If you’re not following the course, I seen people skip certain portions: “Oh, I know that.” No, you don’t know that, right? You think you know that, but you don’t know that. It’s always good to go over the information. In fact, you would change things so much just with this alone, by making sure you are following the course and making sure you’re going over the information again and again, as much as you can. That’s why it’s good. Sometimes you just need to listen to it in the background, or if you’ve already gone through it once with your notepad, listen to it in the background while you’re doing something else. Just go over the information again and again.

Number two, number one two, outside of number one, is a psychological issue, which is people standing in their own way. People standing in their own way. It’s amazing to me how prevalent self-defeat is, right, how people can actually talk themselves out of success: They’re on the path, they spent the money on the course, and so here they go.

Then they literally talk themselves out of it. They’re still going to have the payments to make to pay for something, but they literally talk themselves out of following through. They’re standing in their own way. They have self-defeat, right? They talk themselves out of it. They believe that they don’t deserve success: It’s too good to be true or they engage in fatalism where they think, “Well, it’s just not meant to be. If it meant to be, it would be a lot easier than this. If it was meant to be, I’d be getting more results sooner,” and so they can’t press through the difficult seasons when they’re not getting results, when there’s those dark seasons where you just don’t feel like there’s answers when it’s dark outside and the wind is blowing and the wolves are howling and every temptation is for you to quit, to give in to frustration and anger and fear and reluctance and just stop.

You just want the ease of comfort, so you’re willing to compromise. You’re willing to settle for mediocrity because it’s just too hard. It’s another steep climb up that muddy slope where it just seems so difficult, so hard, but this is the crucible, this is the critical season for you. This is when you must push through. You felt good going through the first couple of courses or things, things seemed easy, picking a name for your page and getting a logo together or something like that, but then it gets more difficult, it gets more complicated.

That takes us to number three, which is getting stuck over questions about technology and marketing and social media and software and all of these things. You get stuck because it gets hard because you’re delving into areas you’ve never been before. You’ve not been this way before. You’re great at your music, you’re great when it comes to being creative, but now you’re into all the head stuff of technology and all the gory details of marketing and software and social media and now you’re getting bogged down because this is not your gifting, right? No, you’re an artist. You don’t want to talk about marketing. You don’t want to talk about writing copy. You don’t want to talk about apps and software and all of this stuff showing up every day on social media. You don’t want to talk about that stuff. You’re an artist. You just want to create, so you get stuck, stuck on these things, questions.

I’ll tell you what, this is a real key to motivation. I’m a motivational speaker and I’ll tell you that right now: You don’t need more and more cheerleaders. That’s not what you need. You don’t need more and more people telling you you can do it. The best way to stay motivated is to know how to solve your most pressing problems. That’s the best way to stay motivated: You got to know how to solve your most pressing problems.

In fact, this was the essential premise behind our new updated release of the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which I am hosting. We had such a great success with our three-week mastermind last month, so people were like, “Well, where to from here?” because it was great. Instead of just following a course, per se, everything with all the teaching was based on a live stream video, and then answering questions right there.

Somebody had recently wrote in saying, “I don’t know what to do now because where can I go to get my questions answered like CJ was answering my questions?” I thought, “You know what? This is probably the best way to do our new version of the Inner Circle private Facebook group,” the reason being is because I knew that the key to motivation is to help people solve their pressing problems. With building an online business, you have those pressing problems or those questions every day and you want to get them answered, so I said, “This is the way I want to set up the Inner Circle,” if you understand that, because if you don’t, what you’re going to think is there’s something else wrong. No, the reason why you’re struggling with motivation is not anything because of you. It’s because you don’t know exactly what to do next, right? You have clouds, you have darkness, you can’t see things clearly.

But once you do, you could hit me up late at night when you’re about ready to go to sleep, when you’re dog-tired and you’ve been working on your music business all day long and you’re about to give in and you’re just: “I don’t have any more energy, CJ. I’m done. I feel like I’m burnt out,” then you tell me the most pressing problem you’re dealing with in your online music business and I help you get an answer, I help you get a way forward, guess what? All of that burnout, all of that tiredness, all of that stuff is going to immediately leave your body and guess who’s going to be staying up late tonight? You. That motivation and that power and that energy is inside you, it’s got nothing to do with anything else. The key to motivation is knowing how to solve your most pressing problems. That’s the key.

Number four, not being resolved, not being resolved. You say, “CJ, what in the world is that?” Resolution, man. You ever heard of the New Year’s resolution? What’s a New Year’s resolution, right? It is a determination, a goal, a determination that you have. The reason why people struggle so much with keeping New Year’s resolutions is simply because they’re not resolved about what it is they want. They’re not resolved, therefore, because they’re not resolved or resolute, they can’t fulfill a resolution. Being resolved means there’s no room for self-doubt. Being resolved means there’s no second-guessing of yourself.

11:53 CJ: Think of a lion charging out of the brush, surprising a zebra or an antelope and seizing it. Do you think that lion is second-guessing itself, questioning whether it deserves to have that zebra, questioning whether, “Is this the right time for it? How should I do it?” No. If we were to literally be there on a safari in a Jeep watching it happen, our breath would be taken away at the ferocity of the way that lion would seize its prey. We would be overwhelmed by how ferocious an event it would be. That is being resolved.

We can take it even in a more simple example. For the longest time, I had this little terrier who, if it saw a squirrel or a bird or a kid, man, that terrier would literally choke itself on the leash to go after what it wanted. I mean, literally choke itself. It would be panting to go after what it wanted. That is being resolved, right? With no concern of your own wellbeing, just absolutely ferocious going after what you want.

Well, why wouldn’t somebody who signs up to learn online marketing for their music business, not be resolved? Why would somebody, who’s obviously a very talented musician like yourself, not be resolved to go after what they want? Well, it’s because they don’t know who they are. They’re fine when it comes to playing music, they’re fine when it comes to recording music, playing live or something like that, but when it comes to online marketing, they feel like they’ve got to be somebody else. When it comes to online marketing, they think, “Man, I need to be more like Leah. I need to do things a different way. I’ve got to become something else. I’ve got to do a shtick. I’ve got to become a personality or whatever,” instead of just being truly who they are.

It’s just one of the main issues I see all the time when I’m coaching one-on-one with my elite students: They’re not just resolved about who they are as an artist, what their brand is, what their niche is and they overthink things too much, so they’re not abandoned to the mission, they’re not abandoned to what they need to do to show up every day on social media and email to deliver on who they are. They’re afraid. As long as they can stop themselves and second-guess and keep going over and over what their niche is, over and over what their brand is, over and over who they are, then they can busy themselves with other things on the backend of an online music business and not do the things on the front end that are going to connect with their ideal audience. They are not resolved because they don’t know who they are and they’re not being who they need to be.

You just need to be who you are every day, your true self. I mean, I had somebody we just talked to in my recent elite coaching call, a lovely lady from the UK who is a very talented vocalist, her husband, very talented keyboard player, they have this wonderful jazz act, great music, no reason to hold themselves back at all. Well, she’s struggling with showing up like this online and social media. Why? Because both her and her husband are very shy. They’re just very shy people and it’s difficult for shy people to go out on social media and have to be something other than shy.

I just basically told her, “Here’s my objective for you. I want you to be the most shy person on social media.” I know that sounds weird: “Be the most shy person on social media.” Well, what does that mean? That means start your post by saying “It’s so hard for me to write this post. I’m the shyest person on social media.”

In other words, she doesn’t have to act like she’s bold, act like she’s not shy. Share that part. Be vulnerable. Tell everybody, “Hey, man, I’m struggling. It’s hard for me to put myself out there.” Guess what your fans will do? Rally around you. They’ll rally around. You see, that’s the game-changer, and I’ll talk more about this in a second.

Number five would be not being consistent, not being consistent, consistent in all the things necessary to build an online business. Once you’ve done things like follow the course and you make sure you went over these things, you know what you should be doing, but you’re not doing these things every day because people think it’s a race sometimes. They think they have to get it all done in the 10 weeks allotted for the course or whatever.

No, you don’t have to get everything done within those 10 weeks. This is not a race, okay? You can go at your own pace if you need to. What they fail to do is be consistent because they feel like it has to be all or nothing, either they’re crushing it every day, so they don’t know how to deal with the downtimes, they don’t know how to deal with the times when it’s a struggle, when it’s boring, so they stop and they’re not being consistent.

It’s better for you to at least do a little bit every day. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, even if it’s just a half an hour, go through one of the courses, go through one of the modules again, listen to a podcast or whatever. Just do something every day, just show up every day, because if you stop and you let that go for a few days, not doing anything, it’s so much harder to start up again. It’s like when you go to start exercise and you go to the gym or whatever, you get going, and you’re there for a week or two and you’ve got a momentum, so it’s easy to do it.

Then something happens, you can’t make it that day and then you didn’t get enough sleep the next night, so you don’t show up that following day. Then within a couple more days, now you’re engaging in self-defeat you talk yourself out of it. Now we’ve gone a week without you exercising or going to the gym. Isn’t it that much harder to start up again? Isn’t it that much harder to start up again?

But you think, “Well, yeah, but I couldn’t get to the gym.” Okay, you couldn’t get to the gym that first day. What if you just did some pushups or sit ups or something, just take a little bit of time to do something that trains your mind to show up every day. Consistency truly is, as they say, a key to success, because it’s not just the physical stuff that you’re doing, it’s reassuring yourself that you can depend on yourself to show up every day.

That’s why it’s important, because if you don’t show up and you’re inconsistent, you’re going to start condemning yourself and then guilt is going to get in and then it gets all emotional and psychological now. Something that should be very mechanical, showing up every day, doing the things you need to do, very, very mechanical, this shouldn’t be emotional, but we make it emotional, we make it personal: “I didn’t show up. Woe is me. I’m so guilty. They should throw me in jail.” Nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you failed on your diet. Nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you didn’t show up to the gym and nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you didn’t show up to do something every day for your online business.

But that’s what we do: If we don’t show up, we’re not consistent, we make it personal and we start attacking ourselves. Let’s not do that. It has nothing to do with guilt or self-condemnation. Just get right back to work as if you never faltered. That’s the key. See, but people think, “Yeah, but I deserve punishment. I deserve it. I didn’t show up, so I need to punish myself.” No, you don’t need to punish yourself. You just need to get right back at it as if you never faltered. Isn’t that powerful? Isn’t that powerful? Man. You can keep yourself in this. You can keep yourself consistent. You can be your own coach, your own motivational speaker, just stop condemning yourself, stop turning on yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy, be your best friend.

20:21 CJ: Number six: The sixth reason why musicians fail to building an online business is they don’t understand that social media is the real game-changer here. Social media is the real game-changer. You see, when we say “internet marketing,” internet marketing is not the same thing as it’s always been.

There’s been internet marketing for years, right? Online marketing has been happening for years, but back in the old days, you had to rely upon Google ads, you had to rely upon search engine advertising. The whole way internet marketing was being driven was by trying to be available to people who were online searching about how to solve a problem, so somebody wanted to know how to make more money, you had to show up and put all those keywords in. If somebody wanted to learn how to cook something or recipes, you had to make sure that with your website, you were using all the keywords in your articles and blogs and you were doing your Google ads so that people would stumble on you, you were hoping to get on the first page of Google List. It was a very, very competitive space.

That’s great because you can still have an online business, but that ain’t even close to what social media can do. Social media is so much better than that, it’s unreal. Social media is the answer to the music problem created by Napster at the end of the 20th century. I’ve been telling this to Leah for a very long time. I said, “What you’ve done with Savvy Musician Academy is the single greatest thing on Napster, because it focuses on the power of social media.”

Now, we do get into email marketing and all of that, and that’s where you do a lot of your selling, but the front end of everything is social media because you can’t get people on the email list without it. You can’t get people to follow you without social media and social media is not waiting for people to stumble on you on YouTube or Google searches, social media is going to your ideal audience and showing up in front of them while they’re just visiting their Facebook app or their Instagram app everyday like they always do. They’re may not be looking for you, but suddenly, you show up and because they already liked your kind of music and you put that information in the Facebook ad manager, your ads, your promotions, your videos show up in front of them and they’re like, “How does the Internet know this is what I want? I wasn’t looking for it, but it shows up in front of me.”

That, my friend, is the power of social media. If you don’t understand that social media is the real game-changer, you’re going to keep hoping that someone stumbles upon you. You’re going to think that if you just build a website, that everybody’s going to come visit it, that if you just set up a Facebook page, everybody’s going to come visit it, that all your friends are going to rally behind you and be your street team and promote your music business. No, it’s not going to happen. You’re going to have to reach people, but you’re never going to do that until that coin drops and you understand that social media is the real game-changer, okay? Social media is it. You’re going to have to master this stuff.

Finally, the seventh reason why musicians fail in building an online business is because they are afraid of the future. They are scared to death of the future. You see, fear, we still have fear. Everybody has fears and most of our fears, like fear of success, fear of failure and all of these things are just a grownup versions of a child’s fear of the dark. Why? Why are kids afraid of the dark? Because they can’t see, right? You turn on a nightlight or something like that. They can see. If we can see what’s going on around us, if we can see what’s ahead of us, we’re not afraid. You’re still afraid for the same reason. You’re still afraid of the dark because you don’t see what lies ahead.

It’s amazing that people would be afraid of things like success, but success says responsibility, right? You’re going to have to be responsible for more because as business grows, you’re going to have more to do, more to be responsible for. Being afraid of success, it means putting yourself out there on social media and then getting negative comments from people, getting trolls and getting critical people who say the meanest things to you or criticize your music.

That’s a reason for people to be afraid of what the future will be: “The more successful I get, the more arrows are going to be shot at me, the more people are going to criticize me. How am I going to know what to do? What’s going to happen?” or “How long has this online music thing going to last?” or “How long before Facebook shuts down or things change?” and all of this, fearful of the future. No, you’re going to adapt and overcome just like you’re doing right now. You have to grow. The key to being unafraid of the future is to strengthen yourself, is to equip yourself because I always, as I love to preach, it’s your best defense in life is to build a stronger you.

I can’t write enough self-help books, I can’t write enough self-help articles, I can’t produce enough self-help podcasts or videos to cover everybody’s personal situation, but the one thing I can say that solves everybody’s problem, no matter what it is, psychological, emotional, financial, relational, you name it, the one thing I can say that covers everything is that your best defense is a stronger you. That’s the one thing I can say: Your best defense is a stronger you, because a stronger you means the circumstances don’t really matter because the stronger you will be resourceful, a stronger you will be confident, a stronger you will be more determined, a stronger you will work harder, a stronger you will be more consistent, a stronger you will persevere, a stronger you won’t procrastinate, a stronger you won’t hide and cower. A stronger you is going to attack every new season with determination. Even though you don’t know what to do next, you’d be like, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t know. I know that I can depend on me.”

Like I like to say, “If you tell me that it’s up to me…” You ever heard someone say, “Well, it’s up to you”? If you’re telling me it’s up to me, well, then you’re giving me good news. For a lot of people, they can’t depend on themselves, so you tell them it’s up to you and it scares the hell out of them. If you telling me it’s up to me, you’re giving me good news.

Let’s build you up. Let’s make you personally stronger, which is why we always have the motivational mindset component to our courses, especially in the elite group. In fact, when Leah first brought me into SMA a couple of years ago, that’s what she had me doing. She says, “CJ, I just want you to talk about mindset. You’re a motivational guy. I want you to talk to my students about mindset because that’s half the battle.” How much of this we talked about today in the seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online music business has to do with the psychology, your psychology. You’ve got to fix yourself. You’ve got to build yourself up. You’ve got to get stronger. Does that make sense?

Well, that’s the seven reasons why musicians fail in building their online music business. They’re not following the course, right? They’re not going over it again.

Number two: They’re standing in their own way with self-defeat, fatalistic thinking, thinking they don’t deserve success.

Number three: They’re getting stuck over questions about technology, marketing, all the gory details they’re artists, right, so they don’t want to deal with all the mucky-muck of technology, not understanding that the key to keeping themselves motivated every day is to know how to solve their most pressing problems. If you can get those questions answered, yes, you the artist will sail through all of these long seasons of learning, marketing, and technology.

Number four: They’re not resolved and they’re not resolved because they don’t know who they are. They’re not fully committed to just being themselves.

Number five: They’re not being consistent, they’re not showing up every day, doing a little bit every day.

Number six: They’re not understanding that social media is the real game-changer. Master the front end of your online marketing business. Master the front end and the front end is social media because now you can go direct to your ideal market and not wait for people to stumble upon you.

Lastly, number seven: Don’t be afraid of the future. The key and the secret to not being afraid of the future is to build a stronger version of yourself.

Man, I sure do hope this was helpful for you. I mentioned earlier that we have the Inner Circle program revamped, so check that out today. Go to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. If you feel like you’ve done things well and you just have plateaued, maybe you’ve done The Online Musician, TOM 2.0 or something like that before, and you feel like you need more questions answered. You need to go to your next level, well, then you might be ready for our elite program and you can learn more about that at callsma.com, callsma.com. Finally, we’ve just recently released TOM 3.0, so I want you to go to theonlinemusician.com and learn more about that.

But again, leave us a review. We’d love to hear from you today. Thank you for always supporting this show. We believe in you and we’re committed to your success. This is CJ, the mindset, marketing, and branding coach at the Savvy Musician Academy. I will be with you again soon.

Episode #101: Life Update From Leah

Leah’s been devoted to so many things it’s wonderful to have her back on this week’s podcast and to hear what she’s been up to and her plans for the Summer.

As we all know, you can work yourself so hard you just burn out. Leah explains how to recognize signs of this happening and how to go about taking a break and staying healthy. Check in with Leah this week to hear more and also her plans for this summer!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Leah’s quick overview of the last years
  • The origin of Mythologie Candles
  • Preventing a burn out
  • Acute vs. chronic pain
  • It’s okay to take a break
  • Leah’s book suggestions


“This idea popped in my head about releasing candles to go with the music, because I wanted to create a multisensory experience and I just thought, wouldn’t that be cool?” – @LEAHthemusic [0:06:01]

“When you become obsessed with your fans and your followers and your customers, that’s where it becomes lucrative.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:13:23]

“And let me tell you, burnout, it doesn’t always look the way you think it looks and this is something I’m dealing with constantly.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:14:26]

“Chronic stress leads to lowering your quality of life and you can’t be in an inspired state when you’re also in a chronic state of stress and burnout.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:23:44]

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

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

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 delighted once again to host this podcast. If you are getting something out of this weekly podcast, let me encourage you to do something for me today. Please go to your respective podcast player, whether iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and leave us stars and leave us a great review because it helps other people to discover this empowering show. Also, we read your comments. We read your good reports. We want to hear from you. So do me a favor and do that today.

This is a special episode today because I asked Leah to sit down and record a special message for you guys. As you know, so many things have changed in 2020 and maybe a great deal has changed in your own life in 2020. The same goes for Leah, her family, and what’s happening at the Savvy Musician Academy.

So just to give everybody an update so you know where Leah is at, what her plans are, I asked her again to sit down and she left a heartfelt, informative message that I believe is not just going to give you an update about where things are. It’s instructive as she practices what she preaches as she walks her own talk. The Savvy Musician Academy is about principles, not personalities, right? It’s not about CJ or Leah or a particular student. It’s about empowering you with the proven principles of direct marketing applied online to help you create your successful online music business.

But we also know you want to hear from Leah. We also know her example has been so inspiring to you. So again, I just said, Leah, would you mind sitting down and sharing your heart with our listeners, which she gladly did. I’m so excited to share this with you today. So without further ado, here’s Leah.

02:14 Leah: Hey, savvy musicians. It’s Leah here and I’m just happy to be here giving you a life update and just let you know what I’ve been up to, where my head is at, and things that are happening. So, I hope you are doing well, first of all. The world has been such a crazy, crazy place, and we’ve all had to try and adapt. And one thing that I’m thankful for is that so many of us now know how to be an online musician. We know how to market ourselves. We know how to create anything we want and market it to a very specific group of people who appreciate it and want to support us in an ongoing and sustainable way. And it’s been a pride and joy of mine to be able to help cultivate that, help disciple people up in that school of thought.

And I always like to say there’s many people out there that are doing a great job also and I feel like we’re all in this together helping people do this. And I think it’s interesting too because I never meant to get into this line of work, so to say. I never expected to a Savvy Musician Academy. That was me being creative, thinking outside of the box during a time where I was creating multiple sources of income for myself as an online musician, and sharing my knowledge and experience was one of the ways, out of five different ways, that we teach. And so that was me just walking the talk. It was just me sharing what I had learned and the successes I had had that helped change my family’s life and put it into a consumable piece of information.

And it started out as an ebook and then it grew into the Academy very quickly. And before we knew it, we had thousands of students and it was really quite an overwhelming thing to happen and it’s been amazing and I wouldn’t change anything about it. It just taught me so much about humans, behavior, psychology, sales, marketing, running a business, personal development, time management. It’s taught me so much and that’s been an amazing thing to be able to learn so much in a very short amount of time and having a success like that throws you into it, whether you’re ready for it or not. Leadership, I would say also and then there’s just been so many different even administrative type of things that I learned as well. Just project management and hiring, firing. All the different processes that take place in a business on a whole new level that weren’t happening in my music business. Let’s just say that.

And still to this day, my music business is mostly just me. It’s mostly just me and I have a very small team. I do a lot of outsourcing as you know, and I plan to always keep it small. I don’t plan on turning my music business into some corporation or anything. It’s always going to be a personal brand, as it should be. I’m an artist. As an artist, you don’t need a corporation, you don’t need an office, a head office in some building or something. Your home, wherever you dwell, wherever you create, that’s your office.

And so, anyway, I’m just reflecting on a lot that has happened in the last five years now. It’s just been wild. So, I am in an interesting season of life at the moment. And it’s interesting because it all started with this thing, my crowdfunding campaign last year in 2019 when I was coming up with some creative ways to sell some bundles and merchandise. And this idea popped in my head about releasing candles to go with the music, because I wanted to create a multisensory experience and I just thought, wouldn’t that be cool? I’ve never seen that done before. I don’t even know where I got the idea. I think I saw, I don’t know, a picture a candle or something.

I was like, “Oh dude.” I don’t know how to make a candle before. I’ve never made one, but it can’t be rocket science because they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. So I’m pretty sure I could figure that out. It’s super artsy fartsy. I’m totally down to try this. And that’s when my love for just being crafty or making candles, it just grew into something more than that.

I was like, “Man, I really enjoyed this process.” Coming up with specific scents to match the theme or mood of music and making it go together. This is really not only just therapeutic, but it’s creative in a whole new way that I’ve never experienced before. So anyway, that was a lot of fun putting that whole thing together. And the more I thought about it, the more I was like, “I know exactly what to do with this. And if I ever want to make a sister brand to go with me, separate from my music, but related obviously very similar influences and what I’m making, it’s all to do with the culture of my music. Same thing. If I ever want to do something with that, dang it, I know exactly what to do.

I’ve been studying all this eCommerce. I know how to build a team. I know online marketing. I know advertising. I understand the customer journey. I understand all the different things. Plus I would get to be creative in a different way. I think I got to just go for it and do that. So, I started making all these candles over the Christmas season and everything and it was like a switch that turned on in me. And you’ve heard about this probably if you listen to the other updated podcast episodes in the past, when I gave an update on how we were doing with my new brand called Mythologie Candles, and I made a decision, and it’s very similar to the decision I made when I decided to become an online musician when I decided I’m going to make six figures in my music business and nothing will stop me, no one and nothing will stop me.

I don’t care what I have to learn. I will learn it. I don’t care if it’s a steep learning curve. I don’t care if it’s painful, I will do whatever it takes because I’m going to save my family and I’m going to help us out of this financial situation and all I have is my music and the internet and that’s all I got and I don’t care what I have to do. I will do it. Well, that kind of determination sets things on fire in a good way. And something got set on fire about Mythologie Candles for me, something about it. A switch flipped on in me and I was like, “I have to do this.”

It’s really crazy time because we were just about ready to move. We weren’t even sure exactly when we were going to move because we were moving back to Canada and we weren’t exactly sure about the timing of that and I had just launched this new company and was taking preorders and thousands of orders were rolling in. I was like, “Oh my gosh.”

So, it was a really crazy beginning of the year between January and April. It was nuts for my family because not only were we trying to fulfill hundreds and hundreds of orders out of our kitchen and get them shipped and learning new processes, new software, new apps for processing physical goods that we were producing ourselves and making all these candles and pots out of our kitchen.

09:36 Leah: But then we found out we did need to move and it was just a timing thing and so we were also trying to move at the same time. No joke, it looked like a warehouse in my kitchen and my whole living room. There was boxes everywhere.

There was candles everywhere. It was insanity. And I don’t know. I was trying to go on a diet at the time too and that failed because I think my body just rejected the diet and assumed that a tiger was chasing me. So, it decided to gain weight instead of lose weight, even though I was in a deficit. So. The body does crazy things, it really does, when you’re under a lot of pressure. And I’m going to circle back to that whole concept of pressure and expectations of yourself because there’s a lot that I’m learning about myself.

And I think sometimes I’m not understanding or learning the lesson, but we’ll circle back there. So anyway, we ended up driving all the way up from Arizona. We’re back up in Canada, in Southern BC and the candle business is starting. We opened up the second preorder and it’s starting to boom. And that’s when the whole pandemic thing hit and everything shut down. It was right in the middle of that is when we really launched Mythologie Candles, that’s what I consider.

The whole … Up until now it was all just basically a test. And I want to say right up until this moment, it’s a test. Now we have only been taking orders for these candles for a total of 10 weeks now. We’re in about 10 weeks where we’ve been open for biz, taking orders. The rest of the time, it was shut down in between. We were sold out. We were not taking orders. You couldn’t give us money if you wanted. And in that nine, 10 week period now, we have crossed the six figure mark.

So we’re heading into our second set of six figures. So, that’s … Wow. We had a big celebration and it’s really strange to me because on the one hand it’s just a number and when you’re in the numbers every day and you’re doing what you know to do, it’s really no surprise at all. And I struggled with this in my crowdfunding campaigns because when you know marketing and when you know what you’re doing and you understand that these things are predictable when you have systems and processes to follow and you understand how to communicate and messaging and pricing psychology and you know all these things, it’s really not a surprise. And on the other hand, I’m going, what just happened? Somebody pinch me. What just happened? How did we already generate over $100,000 selling handmade candles originally coming out of my kitchen? How did that just happen?

So, I fluctuate between being completely amazed and also like, “Well, yes, of course.” Because that’s the nature of knowing what you’re doing, but also trying to enjoy the journey and go, “Wow. Wow. This is, this is insane.” So yeah, on that note, I have decided that I really want to take this thing to seven figures. I’ve talked about it in the past and I didn’t mean to be boastful or anything like that. It’s just, I’ve made this decision too, similarly the way I made it with my music business, I was like, “I’m going to do this no matter what and I don’t care what I have to learn. I’m going to do it.”

I’ve made the same decision with Mythologie. I said, I’m going to, I really want to take this thing to seven figures and beyond because it’s just in me to do it. I see the potential. Not just the potential of the candles, but the customers. I’m obsessed with our customers. And that is a beautiful thing. When you become obsessed with your fans and your followers and your customers, that’s where it becomes lucrative. And I’m not doing it because it’s lucrative. I’m just obsessed with them because they are so great. They are so positive. They are so receptive. They’re absolutely loving the candles we’re doing because we’re putting our heart and soul into it. There’s a lot of love going into it. I’m thinking through the details of their unboxing experience and just all this stuff, and it’s a blast and they’re appreciating it.

So because of that, I’m decided that I’m really going to go all in on that. And I’m really going to focus on that throughout the summer and that means that I can’t be focused on other things all at the same time. And here’s where I’m going to circle back now to things I had mentioned about working in seasons, because some of you have heard me speak about working in seasons. And when people ask me, “Leah, how do you do it all?” I say, “I don’t.” I don’t do it all. If I try, I burn out.

And let me tell you, burnout, it doesn’t always look the way you think it looks and this is something I’m dealing with constantly. It’s why my body rebels when I try to get it to cooperate and do things, it rebels because I’ve actually put too much on myself. There’s too much on my plate. And so my body perceives that, even though my brain feels like it can handle it, my body says no. No, Leah, you have limitations. You can’t do it all.”

And so I am learning to work in seasons even more so than I have before. And there’s a season at a time for everything. And there’s real wisdom in that. So I was just saying to my husband, Steve, that when our kids were little, life was very simple. Little kids under the age of seven, baby to seven, life is very simple with them. And it’s not that they’re not all demanding and it’s not all encompassing, but it’s very simple.

Your whole day revolves around mealtimes and nap time and bedtime. The whole day revolves around that. And it’s like, “Okay, what can I put in between those things?” So, after that point though, now that my kids are getting older, I’ve got a teenager and a couple of preteens and my youngest is five and a half. They are all very gifted in different ways and I am, as a mom, trying to facilitate all these different things and their gifts and interests and I’m trying to help facilitate and help them develop those things and so I feel like I’m going in multiple directions and I’m not even at the point where I’m driving them around all day kind of a thing because they’re not doing that right at this point.

But they are interested in very different things and because we homeschool already and we follow more of an interest led based type education, because I believe that by following your interests, you’re going to be passionate about it, you will immerse yourself in it and you’ll become an expert in that thing. Just read up on Elon Musk and why he doesn’t require anybody to have a college degree when he hires people, when he’s looking for that. Some interesting stuff.

So, because I believe that, that means I’m facilitating all their different needs. So all that to say is that it’s a very different season of life for me as a mom right now too than it was when I started my music career. And it means that for me to be all in on motherhood, that I need to be more available to them, which means I can’t be so divided all the time. And so it just comes down to seasons. It doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on things, it doesn’t mean that you have failed in things.

I went into 2020 knowing it’s going to be a rest year for me for music. I already knew that. I had a very strong sense about that going into the year that 2020 is the year I’m not making music and I’m perfectly okay with it. I worked my butt off the last two years I released two albums in two years. That’s a lot. It was a lot of promotion, a lot of crowdfunding, a lot of campaigning. It was just brutal. And now I can rest and I can be okay and be at peace with it and not feel like I’m a failure as a songwriter or something.

17:42 Leah: So, I accept that already. Now I’m realizing Mythologie Candles is where my heart is at right now and I need to follow that. I need to follow my heart there. So that means putting my energy there and going all-in on that. Now I’ll say, I have the most supportive husband in the world. He’s totally in and helping me with that and we’re at the point where the business is doing well enough that we have a commercial warehouse now. We just hired our third person to help actually manufacture the candle.

So, guess what? In the last two weeks I have not stepped foot in the warehouse physically and I have not made a candle myself. So we now have three people helping and they got their system down and it’s a beautiful thing. And so I’m learning how to build a physical team. In the past with building Savvy Musician Academy, all of our team is virtual and they’re all over the world and that’s a beautiful thing as well. But this is a different kind of business where we’re physically manufacturing things, we’re building a physical team.

So, I am able to delegate that process to these people who are just thrilled to have a job right now, and boy does that warm my heart to be able to give people jobs right now where people need them the most in a small community. And I will say, this candle business is actually, believe it or not, we’re operating out of Northern Washington. So we actually cross the border to go to work and it’s okay because some of you might not know, but I’m actually a dual citizen. I’m Canadian and American. So, it’s no problem for me to get passed through the border at the moment.

So having said that, working in seasons, that means, listen, you can’t do everything all at once. And I love the idea about how rockets work. In order to get a rocket off the ground, it’s going to take the most rocket fuel at that point to get it off the ground. And the same thing is going to go with your music or anything you’re pursuing creatively. And it’s also why I tell people, just choose one niche. You can’t, you can’t do everything. You can’t get two or three bands off the ground at the same time. You’ve got one rocket and you have one chance to get that thing off the ground.

So, you need to consolidate your efforts, consolidate your energy, and it needs to go into one thing. So, that’s where you’re going to see me this summer. So you might feel like, “Where’s Leah? I haven’t heard from her in SMA.” But really I’m around, but I’m just walking the talk. I live what I preach.

And so you’ll see me in Mythologie Candles. That’s where I’m going to be. You’ll see me doing a lot there. Not so much my face necessarily, but you can just be sure that everything going on, Leah’s doing that stuff. I might not be pressing every single button myself, but I’m certainly orchestrating a lot going on behind the scenes.

And that brings me also to talking to you about just burnout and yourself, because burnout doesn’t always look the way you think it’s going to look. And this is something that I have had to recognize and the reason why it’s brought me to really consider am I really working in seasons the way I need to or do I say that I’m working in seasons and really I’m piling stuff on myself? So burnout can look like not sleeping as well, it can look like anxiety, it can look like depression, it can like stress habits, little things that you’re doing out of stress, and it can look like a weight gain for no reason.

Your body is an incredible machine that’s trying to keep you alive and it will slow your metabolism down just so that you can survive another day because it senses danger and so there’s a difference between chronic stress and acute stress. And I was just talking about this to my husband, Steve. And I said, I sometimes think I don’t know the difference between chronic and acute. Acute is like, if you step on a nail, that pain is acute pain. It’s radiating. It can’t get more intense than it is at that moment.

But chronic pain, something you’re living with that’s a lower grade pain that’s day in and day out. Sometimes you almost forget you even have it because you’re so used to living with it every day. That’s actually happened to me with … I have a jaw pain and I don’t know where it came … I woke up one day and my jaw didn’t feel right and then I had a dentist visit and I think something got messed up at the dentist.

You have your jaw pried open for a long period of time. And I feel like I got some kind of a micro injury and that made it worse. And now I just am living with a lot of strange jaw pain and lack of mobility. Well, that pain has become chronic and low grade. So, it’s interesting the way the body works.

And so burnout can happen when you’ve had long amounts of chronic stress and you don’t even recognize it anymore. And I’ve said, I think my meter is broken. I think my stress meter is broken. I don’t even feel stressed out at all. At least I don’t perceive it anymore. And so I’m sharing with you my reality because I feel like these are things we don’t talk about enough as musicians and people, you’re taking on a lot.

If you’re becoming an online musician, you’re taking on a whole lot. You’re learning a lot, you’ve committed to a steep learning curve. You’re learning to be a marketer. You’re learning to be an entrepreneur. You’re still an artist. You’re managing and balancing your family and your personal time and your health and exercise and shopping and family drama and there’s a number of things. And sometimes it can really pile on you. And so I just want to bring attention to the fact that I go through this too, and I have to reevaluate things regularly, and I have to determine what’s the priority right now so that I can stay healthy and grow as a person.

Because chronic stress leads to disease. Chronic stress leads to lowering your quality of life and you can’t be in an inspired state when you’re also in a chronic state of stress and burnout. So, in order to get back to that state of inspiration, you’ve got to clear your plate. Take stuff off your plate. Remove the pressure. And so that’s what I’m doing. And in fact, I’m going to go so far in my music business to completely remove that pressure entirely, where I’m actually going to close my shop for the summer. I’m going to have a summer break, a summer vacation from the Leah shop. And that means I’m going to reduce my bills.

So, I’m going to pause my shop and I’m going to pause other things I’ve been doing so I can focus on one thing and completely remove the pressure. And it’s okay to do that. I think the important thing is if you are intentional about it. Always be purposeful and intentional. If you can be purposeful and intentional with it, then you’re good. You’re good. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that.

24:49 Leah: So, if you end up browsing on my stuff at some point in this and you’re like, “What happened to Leah’s shop?” That’s what happened is I’m just taking a summer break from it so I can focus on the thing where my heart is at right now and that’s Mythologie Candles and it’s already being successful, it’s become successful and I’m going to take it to a whole other level. And boy oh boy, will I be having a lot to share about that as time goes on.

Because just keep in mind, I’m branching off of the culture that I’ve already created from my music. It’s a sister brand. Now you could do this with so many things. You could do this with jewelry. Daniel Coates, one of our wonderful students, he’s done tremendous things with his jewelry line that compliments his band. And sometimes they sell more of the jewelry than their CDs at shows.

So, gosh, there’s so much you can do. And so I hope to just keep inspiring you just by being transparent and yeah, you’ve got to follow your bliss as CJ and I like to talk about. Follow your bliss. Now I will leave you with a couple of current books that I’m reading right now. I just thought you might enjoy to hear what I’m reading at the moment. And by the way, even though I won’t be … I’ll probably also take a social media break from my music too. It’s okay to take a break.

I’m all like, “Yeah, come on. You guys got to be posting more often.” But if you’re intentional and you communicate that to your fans, “Hey, taking a social media break. Here’s why, here’s what I’m doing, I’ll be back.” They totally get it. They totally understand. And sometimes you have to go into your shell and become a hermit for a little while so you can emerge with a new project, a new music, or whatever you’re doing. And that’s totally fine.

So in the meantime, I won’t be updating my music social media as much during the summer for the same reason, but I do have a new Instagram account where I’m talking more about just business in general only, which you can follow. It’s @realleahmchenry. So, we’ll put that in the show notes. Real Leah McHenry. And I’m just sharing about just business epiphanies I’m having on a regular basis. So, it’s not to do with music necessarily. It’s just building a business. So, I have to scratch a niche, right?

So anyways, let me leave you with the couple of books I’m reading at the moment that are fascinating, I’m about halfway through both of them. One is called the Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. And it’s all about the secrets of highly successful groups. Again, this may or may not be as useful to you in music marketing, but I learn from so many different sources. And in fact, the more stuff you read that may not even be relevant to music per se, the better copywriter you’re going to become, the more persuasive messenger, messaging that you will have because good copywriters draw from many different sources and use them as examples.

So, anyway, that’s just a little side note. But the Culture Code is really interesting. It’s about just what makes any group of people succeed? So, if you’re building a business and you have a team, why do certain large corporations, why is it so compelling? The Zappos where they’re billion dollar businesses. Why do people move for that job? Why do they uproot their lives to come and work there? What is it about it?

And yeah, some cool psychology stuff that I really enjoyed learning about how people influence groups too. So if you have a bad apple, for example, that’s in the first chapter, if you have a bad apple who comes in, most of the time they will spoil the bunch. The bad apple spoils the bunch, and just how their attitude will affect other people.

So they gave some examples of this experiment where there was one guy, it was a corporation where they had different groups and they were all sitting at tables, brainstorming marketing ideas or something like that. And they would have one guy come in specifically to be the bad apple and try to influence the groups. And so he would do three different things.

Either he was lazy, he was the jerk, or he was the downer. And in all three instances every time. It was like the productivity in the group decreased by at least 30%. except for this one group. In the one group it didn’t work because there was one guy in the group who basically deflected it and was able to kind of offset that bad apple vibe that he was giving the rest of the group. It was just really fascinating hearing about that and you can better believe that I had a lesson for my kids about that. We talked about not being the bad apple and being a good influence and all that.

So, I always draw interesting things out of there that are relevant to my children. And the other book that I … This one will actually be amazing for you to read if you can understand that this is not about music, but it will help you in your head space, is called Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million In No Time Flat, is a subtitle, by Michael Masterson, very famous author. Business. This is a business book. But I love this book. I think I’ll have to do another little segment just on the things I’ve learned in this book. Holy cow. I like to read with a highlighter in my hands. It helps me pay attention. Social media has trained me to be a little bit more ADD than I like.

And so I’ll sometimes read an entire page and didn’t compute anything I just read. So I find that if I read with a highlighter that actually stops that from happening and so this book is filled with my orange highlighter all over it. It’s so good. Basically one of the big takeaways I’ve gotten from this is sell. Just freaking sell and then dial it in after the fact. Hence the title. Ready, Fire, Aim. So fire, aim afterwards. Dial it in after. So that is one amazing principle. But like I said, I’ve gotten so much out of this book. I’ll come back and do an entire episode or segment just on the lessons I’ve learned. It’s so good. So, go get that one. Ready, Fire, Aim. And we’ll have show notes for you and everything.

Thank you so much for listening today. If you enjoyed this little life update and me just laying all my cards on the table, would you leave me a review or just let me know if you enjoyed this because we’re doing some different things right now and … So hey, if you don’t happen to hear from me for a little while. Just know, Leah’s up to good things and she’s learning a lot and I get to benefit from that later.

So that’s what you can know, and I’m going to do my artsy fartsy thing. I’m going to go make a lot of candles and do a lot of fun things, maybe write some songs in my downtime. And I really am going to try and take a season of simplicity and a season of just taking things off my plate, letting my body relax, letting my adrenals restore themselves and just not have so much pressure on myself. So, that’s where I’m at. Hope you have a great rest of your day and enjoy your summer as well.

Episode #100: Interview with Anna Brzozowska (Elite Student)

This week C.J. interviews another successful SMA student, Anna Brzozowska, an ethereal pop artist originally from Poland but is currently living in Spain. Anna shares her story of how she almost gave up on her music after the expenses of touring, but after finding SMA, she’s back to building a lifetime music career.

If you’re wondering about your artist identity, how to write your own copy, what is the basis of marketing and building your online business, then this is the episode for you!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Developing your micro-niche as you go along
  • To be yourself or a character?
  • Why you shouldn’t just get someone else to do it for you
  • Being yourself in your copy
  • The principles of marketing are still the same
  • The expenses of being a live musician
  • Anna’s experience with Savvy
  • The two mental blocks that every musician must get past
  • The significance of having the right mindset and a strong heart 


“I want to encourage anyone who’s starting out; who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along.” – @aniabmusic [0:02:53]

“I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.” – @aniabmusic [0:09:41]

“You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads.” – @metalmotivation [0:11:59]

“I don’’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.” – @aniabmusic [0:14:28]

“The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life is when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:17]

“The education is important, but without heart; without the right mindset; without overcoming yourself, it doesn’t matter how much information you have.” – @metalmotivation [0:42:45]

“I will recommend Leah to the death to a musician, but it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change.” – @aniabmusic [0:43:50]

“You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind.” – @aniabmusic [0:44:11]

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

Anna’s Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/AniaBmusic/

Anna’s Website — http://aniabmusic.com/

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, blessed once again to do another one of my most favorite things to do on the podcast here, which is student interviews. And this is someone that I’ve actually worked with personally in the past. We did some branding work together last year, and what a positive spirit, such a hard worker. And I’m so delighted to have my dear friend, Anna, who I’m going to have her say her last name for you because even though she’s living in Spain, she hails from Poland. My dear friend, Anna, why don’t you tell everybody your last name?

01:00 Anna: Brzozowska. Good luck.

01:02 CJ: She was trying to coach me through that before the podcast and I said, “There’s no way, honey. You’re just going to have to do that.”

01:11 Anna: The Polish people like to make it hard, throwing a bunch of consonants all together.

01:19 CJ: And I should be used to it. One of my closest friends, I think I told you about him.

01:23 Anna: Yeah. You’ve mentioned him.

01:24 CJ: Mike Chliasiak. That’s not how you say it, you may know how to say it.

01:30 Anna: How do you write it?

01:31 CJ: It’s C-H-L-I-A, Chliasiak, something like that. I don’t know. The key would be to have those first few letters.

01:47 Anna: Yeah, it might take a while to decipher that.

01:49 CJ: Right. Thankfully, we just call him Metal Mike, and so that makes it really easy. And your artist name is Ania.

01:57 Anna: Ania.

01:57 CJ: Ania.

02:01 Anna: Yeah, because Anna and Ania is the same name in Polish. Anna would be the more formal version in all the formal papers. But friends usually call me Ania, which that’s why I chose that, the more personal form.

02:14 CJ: Okay. Well, I’m just going to call you Anna today. But everybody will have contact information in the show notes. And of course, we’ll have you mention those in a little bit here, so that everybody can find you and enjoy you. But let’s go back in a little bit of history, Anna, and tell me first of all, when … No, first of all, tell me the kind of music that you play. And I want to talk a little bit about how you discovered Leah for the first time.

02:42 Anna: Well, my micro-niche, ethereal, pop, folk blend. That’s what I have called it. And it took me a really long time to figure that out. So I would want to encourage anyone who’s starting out, who doesn’t really know what their micro-niche are, to not fixate so much on it, and just move on because your fans are going to help you discover that as you go along, so don’t fixate on it. It’s totally possible to write ad copy and to communicate with your fans and to portray the kind of emotion that you think your music has without knowing your micro-niche. So if you have trouble with that from the beginning, let it go and move on. You’re going to get there.

03:24 CJ: Right. Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that in the elite coaching group with other students because, and even some of the TOM students, because as you know, they do get fixated on-

03:36 Anna: And that was probably one of them, which is why I’m kind of mentioning it right from the get-go because I know it’s kind of one of the big hurdles, and it doesn’t really need to be, so that was my point.

03:50 CJ: Well, do you find, Anna, and this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but do you find that the micro-niche was really helpful for you to target in your audience more so than something to describe yourself?

04:06 Anna: I would have to say I don’t think it was the most important part of … I believe, I think actually, I came to the realization that it was more ethereal pop after I started talking to you. Was it last year when we had our call? And I’ve been doing ads and getting people on my email list a long time before that, and I think I did a good job nailing it. I haven’t actually changed the ad copy for my opt-in since then. Yeah. Because it’s working, it’s really working well. So I have used this description on a lot of other places, like on my website, because I think this is exactly what it is, so it helps me communicate it better to my fans. But I don’t think it’s imperative. It hasn’t been imperative for me to get the targeting right.

05:01 CJ: Yeah. Well, as I mentioned offline for those, again, who listen, I consider you one of the more exemplary students from the elite program. And I’ve enjoyed not just working with you, but also to watch what you do because your genre, your brand, everything is so reminiscent to me of Leah, not in the sense that it’s the same. But I mean, it has a similar sort of vibe and intrigue and a fantasy element and all of these type of things. And it’s just so, you can just look at your stuff and just see, oh, wow, it seems like she has everything just targeted in. And it looks beautiful, all well done, the photography, the artwork and all that. But then you don’t appreciate all the effort that went into something like that, just like in Leah’s case. It didn’t just fall out of the sky. She had to put in so much time and effort. What was that process like for you?

05:57 Anna: Well, I think I struggled more with finding the description and finding out where to exactly place my music, like which box to put it in because we are, as you know, forced to put it in a box. If we release our music to iTunes, we have to put a genre and a sub-genre at least. And I think that was more of a struggle for me than the visual part because I just consider it to just kind of be me. And I like nature photography. I like beauty. I like that ethereal. I think kind of also the way I look and the way I behave, I think it kind of all goes into that just because it’s the way I am. It’s not a character that I’m playing because sometimes people have this character, and that’s totally okay. That’s their character. But for me, it’s just me. So it just came very naturally for me to find out the visual stuff. But to be able to describe it, that’s a whole nother story. I need help with that.

07:09 CJ: Yeah. And I’m laughing because it’s so true. I mean, I’ve seen the pain that others have gone through trying … It’s you. It’s what you’re doing. And yet, it’s so hard to put it into words sometimes.

07:20 Anna: I think that’s why it’s hard because you’re too close to it.

07:24 CJ: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s well said.

07:26 Anna: You have a different perspective. 

07:28 CJ: Yeah. Well, this really brings up a point. And I was going to ask you a little bit about the history, but now that we’re into this, I’m going to just keep going in this direction. But I think this is a really important point, Anna, because I’ve had this conversation a lot recently. And it’s been one of the most paramount and prevalent problems with a lot of the students that I have worked with. And that is feeling like it’s okay, not just okay, but coming to the conclusion that you can really be just you, not somebody else, not … Like I said, it’s okay if you’re going to be a shtick, or a front, or whatever, a character so to speak. But what I find with the elite students, most of them aren’t looking for, most of them want to be themselves.

They just don’t understand all of these terms like branding and micro niche and all these sorts of things, so they feel almost pressured to be something they are not. And then what that does is it holds them back because they can’t be resolved. You know what I mean? Because you’re always, every time they try to do something, create an ad, write copy, or do something, they’re neutralized because they’re afraid they’re going to send the wrong message, write in the wrong voice, that sort of thing, so they can never fully be committed because they’re always second guessing themselves.

08:49 Anna: I think maybe the hurdle here sort of is the term marketing. It’s kind of unromantic in terms of the artistic world. And I think it’s important to know that it’s not like you’re learning some kind of magic tricks. You’re learning principles, yes, but then you have to apply them to you and be genuine in what you’re doing because, I mean, it’s okay if you’re a character and that’s really you. That’s like a movie character or whatever. I don’t think that’s necessarily a wrong route. But you’re pretending to be something that you’re not, you’re going to get exhausted really soon. So I think you can only pretend for a short amount of time, and then you just get tired of it. So I think it’s important to be you, and I think that marketing, to me at least, is just learning how to get in front of the right ears.

09:47 CJ: Yes.

09:48 Anna: We have to narrow down our targeting because we don’t have the budget to just throw our ads out to the whole world like record labels or huge corporations do. So we have to be a little bit more savvy and know who we are looking for, who might be inclined to like our music. And then once they hear it, they can decide whether they like it or not. But first, they have to hear it. And this is about building lifelong relationships, so I think if you’re pretending to be something you’re not, it’s not going to work, at least not long-term, which is why I think coming to terms with the learning marketing, it’s not that you’re learning a bunch of tricks or a bunch of tools that you can use, it’s principles that work, yes, in psychology. But it’s about being genuine and about building the relationships, those are important factors here.

10:46 CJ: You said that very well, so well that people think, “Wow. That sounds really simple.” But like we just noted when you tried to describe yourself. Trying to describe yourself, it’s not an easy thing to do, and to give yourself permission to be you. And I had a coaching call recently with our friend Helen from the elite. And we were talking about this very thing, and she was just trying to get things dialed in on her branding. I may have her come on and we’ll talk about that more in detail. But again, it was that challenge of, she’s like, “You mean I can just be me?” I mean, but across the board.

In other words, the difference that social media has made, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this, and I want you to speak to it, but part of the difference the social media’s made is that you’re more than just the musician. You’re also the messenger. In other words, there’s a personal element here that’s inclusive that you couldn’t include in a YouTube video. You couldn’t have as the end result of a Google search, or somebody stumbling upon you on the internet. It’s you’re reaching out to people for the very first time. You’re the one who’s initiating the relationship through your ads and that sort of thing. But it’s more than just them hearing your music. You’re not just posting music. You’re posting you, your life, all of that. What has that been like for you?

12:12 Anna: You kind of, you introduce yourself from the very beginning with your emails because, yeah, they see your ad and they sign up for the … They see something that intrigues them, the description, whether it’s a photo or the description of the music. And they get curious, so they sign up and want to hear the songs. And yeah, then they hear the songs and like the music, or love the music even, and are very excited about it. But you also introduce yourself, even though you write out these email sequences beforehand and it’s automated, but you are the one personally writing it. You’re pouring your heart into it, and you’re really letting people into your life, sort of, and also through social media. For me, it’s just easier to be myself because then I don’t have to think about it. You know?

13:06 CJ: Touche. Yeah, that’s an important part because it’s like the old truth about telling lies. You have to remember all of the lies that you tell. So much easier to just be yourself. And that brings up a question that a lot of people will ask oftentimes on webinars and things, Anna. They’ll say, “Well, can’t I just have someone else do this for me? Or can I hire?”

13:36 Anna: Yeah. But is it a good idea? I don’t think so.

13:39 CJ: Yeah. Well, why don’t you think that’s a good idea?

13:42 Anna: Because I think you need to be personal, and there is nobody who knows exactly who you are like you know yourself. And you need to put yourself out there because you’re the artist. You’re the one connecting with your fans. You’re the one who is trying to build a lifelong relationship with those people. And I, in many cases, really consider them friends. You know? And even though we have different backgrounds, different ages, even different interests many times, there is this musical emotional language, sort of, that brings us all together because music is emotions, it’s expressing emotions. And that is what binds us together. And I don’t think anyone else can write your copy for you as well as you can. Even if you think you suck at the beginning, just be yourself.

In the beginning actually, I remember, I even told this to Leah. And I think one of the first courses that I did when we actually had calls with her, I told her, “I find it really difficult to write ad copy for the ads if I try to be short and concise.” But I had absolutely no problem just writing emails because I was considering these people, I was writing to a friend, being just honest, being who I am, and introducing myself. See, I’m a person who loves using emojis, so I use them very often in my emails and my copy because I just like it. It brings some color into my life. So just be yourself, nobody can be yourself like you can, obviously.

15:27 CJ: Well, yeah. I mean, the emoji thing actually fits your brand, much like it does with Leah. And there’s a few others who can. You get others who don’t. Like for me, if I used it in the stuff that I do in my own personal projects, it wouldn’t go over as well. But that just makes your point, which is, you’ve got to be you.

15:44 Anna: Yeah. Exactly.

15:45 CJ: And if that’s who you are, then that’s part of what makes, creates the flavor of your personal brand to these people. But what about also, Anna, not just being yourself, but in terms of handling all of your social media, not farming it out to someone else? But what about getting to know your audience, getting to know their likes and dislikes? If you’re farming that out to somebody else, then you’re still, two or three years down the road, you’re still just as ignorant of your audience as you were when you started.

16:17 Anna: Exactly. Then you’re just putting yourself in the place of being a product. You’re not really the artist and the person connecting with people. You’re just a product that someone is trying to sell, someone else is trying to sell.

16:30 CJ: Yeah.

16:31 Anna: And I just don’t feel like that’s right. And even if it would work, if you would have some sort of awesome copywriter or whatever, I think what would end up happening is that people wouldn’t really get to know you. They wouldn’t [inaudible 00:16:51] what they were writing. Might’ve been excellent copy, and engaging and all that, but it wouldn’t be you. And probably at some point, that would come out.

17:02 CJ: Yeah. It would come out. You would become disingenuous at that point. And people see through that. And it’s social media, and I was telling someone recently, and I’ve said this a lot. But if you have learned the principles of marketing, and that’s one thing that Leah’s good about is that-

17:20 Anna: I’m still learning.

17:21 CJ: Yeah. But these are tried and true principles that have been around before the internet. And so one of the things that I always appreciate about Leah, because I come from traditional marketing, but is the fact that nothing that she’s doing is some sort of tactic, or trick, or anything like that. It’s very much based on the proven principles of direct marketing. However, okay, and this is a big, however, social media has changed even that. And so the best way I can describe it is if we went back to when advertising and marketing began, let’s say over 100 years ago or so, when you started to see ads in papers and things like that, and written on the side of a building, and then eventually television and radio, all the principles that we know from marketing came from the history of marketing because you couldn’t talk to somebody one on one.

You were always putting something out in front of the public hoping the right person saw it. Right? So that means you have to, whether it’s a direct marketing letter that you get in the mail, or something, people have to create that know, like, and trust element within a few seconds. You know what I mean? So that created the kind of language, the words that they use, keywords for marketing and all of that, so imagine if marketing and advertising started at the very same time that social media began. Would the marketing rules be different? Absolutely, because now you’re no longer showing something on a billboard or in a magazine ad, not knowing who you’re talking to. You know exactly who you’re talking to. And oftentimes, it’s face to face.

So in that sense, the rules have changed. You’re still using the same thing with incentives and benefit driven and branding principles and all of that. But you have the social media element. So to me, that’s why with social media coming in, and SMA at the same time, is the best response to what happened with Napster at the end of the 20th century. In other words, what happened, what hurt the music industry because of technology is now being turned around because of what we can do with technology. And again, you’re a great example of that. So what has that learning process been like? How empowered do you feel now? I know you said you have much to learn. We all do. But now sitting behind the keyboard, knowing what you can do.

19:59 Anna: Yeah. I feel very empowered. And even though I might not be exactly where I want to be yet, but I have to say I feel empowered and I feel in control over my life and over my music. Contrary to what went on when I actually released my first album, which I’m a perfect cliché actually, of someone who did everything wrong. I was true to the music and I’m so proud of it. So I didn’t listen to all these voices, oh, I know what’s going to sell on the radio. I did my thing, and I’m proud of that to this day. And the process of creating that album took me two years, but I had absolutely no plan whatsoever after that. I did not know anything about marketing. I did not know anything about anything, to be honest. I just released it kind of hoping for the best. And we all know what kind of strategy that is. That’s not very good.

And kind of relying on other people to do certain things. And I think it’s cool to rely on people to do certain things after we actually learn what is involved in those things, so that you can actually control whether they are doing a good job or not, which at that point, I couldn’t. So the situation was, I released my first album. I won some internet contests. Yeah, my music received recognition from strangers. And I received offers to play in clubs across the country even, things like that. But for ticket sales, though I played with very good musicians, session musicians that, very talented musicians. They all have families to feed. I, of course, paid them. So if I had to travel across the country to play a concert, I would have to pay for transportation, pay my musicians, and then hopefully, maybe make something back from ticket sales without having a fan base first that I could even contact beforehand. Listen guys, I’m going to play here and here.

Or even better yet, do a presale of tickets, so that I could actually get a feel for the demand, and have a fan base and a foundation sort of, of people who I could contact and tell them about it. If the club puts up a poster that you’re going to play, that’s not promoting anything. And also, people come in there anyway, buy drinks, so they don’t really care that much. So it just turned out to be an expensive hobby. And I got really depressed and frustrated, and I actually left music for more than a year. I engaged in another project. I started blogging about an unrelated topic, also started doing some marketing courses and learning the online thing, just kind of touching basically a little bit. And then my then boyfriend gave me one of the best presents he ever gave me because he introduced me to a Leah webinar. And I’ve been listening to this podcast. I’ve heard people say that they have previously seen Leah ads. I have not seen not even one Leah ad before I saw her webinar.

And I saw the webinar because he brought me the computer and said, “Listen, this girl, I think she’s cool. Listen to this. I think it will be good for you.” And I listened to it and immediately I was sold. I was sold. I had not seen any ad, just by what she was saying, it gave me … It was like a light bulb, and I was listening to this girl talking about these marketing principles that I’ve already listened to other marketers talk about. And I was like, “Duh.” Why didn’t I think of it like I could apply it to actually music and not this blog that I was doing? You know?

24:13 CJ: Oh, yes.

24:14 Anna: She did an amazing job of translating all of these terms into the art world, the music world. And also, I think the fact that she had five kids, and I think at that point, she had released three albums and never did a tour, and everything was online. That also spoke to me. I was sold on it because as much as I love touring and I want to do that in the future, and I think that giving live shows is one of the most rewarding, but also stressful for me. So I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it to make a living, living on suitcases and having to tour all the time to be able to pay my bills. That’s not the kind of life I want for myself.

So this model that she was presenting was really, really speaking to me. And my gut told me that, yeah, this is my path. This is the road I’m going down. And it’s probably going to take me a long time, but this is the road I’m going. So since then, I’ve done several courses. And I consider Leah to be my mentor.

25:24 CJ: That’s great. That was my next thing, going to be my first question. Glad we’ve got to the history. But tell me then. What was the first course that you took? Do you remember?

25:34 Anna: I believe it was TOM 2.0. Yeah. I printed out a whole bunch of notes and I took them with me to Poland. And I was studying it over Christmas. And I was like, “Oh,” and soon after that, I left the whole blog project that I was doing because I knew I had to focus on my music. And I’m actually surprised that I think it’s because I’m a little bit nervous talking to you in the setting. But normally, when I tell this story, I get tears in my eyes because I believe that I am not sure I would be doing music if I hadn’t seen that webinar.

Maybe I would be, but eventually I would get to it, but it will take me a long time. And I was really, I wasn’t happy. It was like a year maybe, where I couldn’t even listen to music because then all these emotions kept bubbling up. I really think music, it’s one of the most emotional languages and kind of a catalyst, I think, emotional catalyst. It brought up emotions that I wasn’t ready to deal with, and I felt like a failure for leaving it and all of those things. So this kind of gave me new life. I get really sentimental when I think about it.

27:02 CJ: Well, I’m glad you didn’t tear up because there’s no crying on this podcast, at least not while I’m here.

27:07 Anna: I’m happy about that too.

27:11 CJ: That’s right. I was going to say, Leah’s the soft one. But no, she’s not very soft either. She can be pretty brutal too. No, I think that’s really important to say. And I think that really spoke to a lot of people who are listening to this podcast, Anna. Because isn’t it amazing how you can have a gift and a love for a talent and an artistic expression as much as you can have one, and yet be willing to shelve it, be willing to put it aside, simply because of a lack of information? It wasn’t because-

27:49 Anna: Yourself.

27:50 CJ: Yeah. The heavens weren’t against you. There was no … The force was not against you. It wasn’t written in stone. No, it was just simply without that information, without that confidence.

28:02 Anna: Yeah. You’re right. You’re absolutely right. Without that information, you have absolute … Without clarity of what the next steps can be, you’re just kind of frustrated. You don’t know what to do with your life. In summary, if you get the right information and you believe in your ability to figure things out, because that’s also very crucial, you’re not going to know everything from the start. And you’ve got to accept that fact that you’re going to have to take it step by step, but with the right information and kind of clarity of where it can take you, it’s really so, so much easier to just list the first …

Okay. What’s the first thing I need to do? What’s the second thing? What’s the third thing? What is going to bring me to the next level? Kind of figure that out. But you’re absolutely right. You need the right information.

28:55 CJ: I love the fact that you added that clarity aspect because confusion can stop you. It can neutralize you in your tracks because again, you don’t know. And I do a lot of motivational speaking. But I’ll often tell people, “You really don’t need a motivational speaker per se because it’s like throwing gas on top of a car instead of putting it inside the car.” The best motivation I’ve ever seen happen in anybody’s life, it’s happened in my life, is you’ll never be more motivated than when you understand how to solve your most pressing problems, whatever they may be, financial, or personal, health, or relationships, whatever. When you understand and you can see light at the end of the tunnel, and you can see, it may not be solved overnight, but you know what to do, you know where to go.

29:43 Anna: When you see small improvements in what you do, like you can see, okay, this is not exactly where I want to be, but look at where I was and where I am now. And you see that you’re going in the right direction. That can be very motivating as well, I think.

29:58 CJ: Well, you would be a good example of this because you’ve obviously made a lot of progress down the road. And so you took us back to that time where you gave it up for a year. You watched this webinar, you get in some of the courses, so obviously, things are changing. Now we fast forward to the present day. Do you see yourself quitting?

30:18 Anna: No. Don’t make me laugh.

30:22 CJ: “Don’t make me laugh,” she said. Right?

30:25 Anna: Of course not. No, I’m in it for the long haul. This is my life. And let’s just put it this way. I already tried quitting, and we saw how that turned out.

30:35 CJ: Right.

30:36 Anna: Being depressed and frustrated with my life and not being able to listen to music. How bad is that? You can’t do it.

30:43 CJ: Right. Yeah.

30:44 Anna: Not doing that again, no.

30:46 CJ: So then it’s reinforcing. It’s self-reinforcing with each new day, with each new victory, with each thing that you learn and apply, et cetera. These little victories every day, these little adjustments you make and the little hurdles and the little troubles you come across and the problems you have to solve. I bet you’ve grown tremendously in your ability to troubleshoot and solve problems because you went from artistic, and yeah, you were blogging so you’re doing technology things. But I bet this was a much different level with all of the email and different things, and shopping stores and e-Commerce. And that’s a lot of technology to learn.

31:27 Anna: It is. It is. But you take it one day at a time. And I actually like the part of doing a course and building things, and having kind of instructions. Okay, I’m following this. It can be really interesting and fun. It’s like putting together a puzzle piece.

31:45 CJ: You have to then appreciate the way Leah outlines and structures her courses because she knows what hurdles you’re going to come to. She knows what not to cover and what to cover and when to cover it because everybody wants … They want to jump to the hardcore stuff first, and they don’t do the foundation.

32:08 Anna: Yeah. Leah has an absolute awesome ability to … She tells you stuff in the right order. And she explains things very well. She translates it really well for us musicians. Like I said, when I listened to the webinar, I had to like, “Duh. Why didn’t I think I could apply this to music?” You know?

32:33 CJ: Right.

32:33 Anna: It was such an obvious thing when she was talking about it. But it’s not as obvious apparently for very many people. And she has a really brilliant, I think, ability to not only translate this into this language that we need as artists to understand this, how this business works because we have to treat it as a business. But also, she’s a very good teacher, which is why I’m in many of her courses, several of them. And one of my near, short-term plans for the near future is going back over TOM 3.0, which she just released. I’m going to. And since I was TOM 2.0, I got an upgrade. And I’m definitely going to take advantage of it, yep. I think it’s important to always think … Never think you learned everything there is to know. There’s no such thing.

33:35 CJ: Yeah, such a great example to go back and go over things again. And isn’t it amazing? Because I know you’ve probably done that with things in elite, et cetera, certain modules you may go over again. And it’s kind of funny how you can actually pick up more things that second time or third time in town. I mean, you mentioned to me offline that you’re a dedicated listener to this podcast. And so man, that’s such a great example again that you never stop learning. And that’s what I look for in people. Do you have that hunger? Don’t think you know it all. Right?

34:11 Anna: Oh, yes.

34:15 CJ: What do you think are your big victories in this journey that you’ve been on now as an online musician? What are your victories?

34:24 Anna: Well, first of all, overcoming some of my personal hurdles, like mindset things. One such thing is I think, and I don’t think I’m very original in this, I think this is the case with many musicians. We have a tendency to downgrade ourselves in the way of, we’re just doing music. We’re not really helping people with anything. It’s just music. Can I really charge for this? But actually, I was surprised at how much my music can help someone. I was so surprised at the amount of emails that I’ve been getting, really awesome emails from my fans, telling me how my music helped them through a difficult time in their lives or helped them get through chemotherapy, for example. And many emails like that, that brought me to tears, and it makes you kind of realize, yeah, music is an emotional language, I think, like I mentioned before.

And it touches my soul greatly, to the point that I couldn’t listen to it for a period of my life. So why would I assume that it’s nothing? And yeah, of course, not everybody is going to like it and relate to it. But there are those people that really appreciate it, that it actually changes their lives. And those are the people that you’re doing it for, so that is kind of one thing. And the second thing that I think, mindset thing, that I had to overcome is getting over the guilt of charging for your music.

36:04 CJ: Oh, wow. Yeah.

36:08 Anna: And I suddenly thought to me this way, because like I mentioned, I was blogging, hair stuff, like hairstyles. At one point, I did an eBook even. And I was thinking, “If I can do an eBook in a month, yeah, there is a lot of work involved. But there’s relatively low cost involved in creating an eBook.” And you can be done in a month, and you can very well charge $15 or more, much more even, for an eBook. And then you feel guilty for charging for a CD, where it took me two years to create the music, two years. The cost of productions, production, the studio, and not to mention the instruments, equipment, all of the years of education that you put into it, the hours you put into practicing. You’re not paid by the hour as a musician for practicing your craft, for sitting and writing.

And after all that, you’re guilty, you’re feeling guilty to charge $15 for a CD. Let’s add also the photography and all of the manufacturing of the CD itself. So it’s ridiculous to feel guilty about it. After that, I stopped feeling guilty. So I think these are the things we as musicians oftentimes have to get over. And the fact that I was able to build my store, that I now have fans that are buying my music, strangers that are signing up that are loving it, that are buying it. I don’t have to spam my family, “Like this.” I’m not doing that, “Oh, like my page,” no, no, no. None of that anymore.

38:01 CJ: You don’t care if you ever post anything about your music on your own personal Facebook profile, because you know how people can be so tempted. They’re so reluctant to devote themselves to their business page, their Facebook business page because they’re so used to getting love from family and friends on their personal page. And they just say, “Well, can’t I just do it there?”

38:22 Anna: In my case, I think it’s different. It’s completely turned around because I’m hardly active on my personal page. And because I’m hardly active, I don’t get a lot of engagement there. I think just start posting on your page, then you’re going to get more engagement when you’re actually posting, I think that’s the key.

38:40 CJ: No, you’re right. I’ve been teaching a lot lately, just in light of the virus and lock downs and things, we did a popup mastermind and whatnot, as you know. And so many of the concerns that people have is how much they have to post, or how much they have to show up on social media. It’s a shock to them. But understanding this new era of the music industry, as we said earlier, you’re not just the musician, you’re also the messenger, so there’s this element of your personal life that, yes, you’re sharing. It doesn’t mean you have to take your phone into the bathroom with you and broadcast every personal moment.

39:26 Anna: You don’t.

39:30 CJ: How have you found that balance there between the musician and the messenger?

39:35 Anna: Well, I think a big part of it is what I mentioned before, is just being myself. And then I don’t think about it as much. And of course, I don’t post everything from my personal life. You have to have some boundaries and you have to know what your own boundaries are that you’re comfortable with. And I mean, let’s face it, even on my personal pages, I wouldn’t post everything. So basically, I think I’m just used to whatever I post to my friends, I feel I can post to my fans because I’m not a person who likes to air dirty laundry. It’s not a huge struggle for me anymore because I have I guess figured out what it is that I like and what my fans appreciate, which is a lot of, like I mentioned, the ethereal is kind of in my music and in the nature, magical places. I follow, for example, Instagram accounts, and I see some photos that I absolutely love, and I just share it. It takes me a second. I see something I like, I share it, or I program to share it later.

And then you can also recycle some things because not everybody is going to see it the first time you post it. So you can just as well recycle things, and you have even tools to help you with that. So the longer you do it, the easier it gets, I believe.

41:04 CJ: Yeah. You’re right. And it’s such a simple concept, but people do struggle with that. But again, I think it’s a mindset thing. And I think it’s why I appreciate when I asked you about victories, you described mostly the things that were victories over yourself more so than learning about this particular software, or some special trick that Leah taught in her elite program. It was really more about you. And that’s what I tell people. Listen, you could do so much more with half the information that we talk about on Savvy Musician Academy. It’s really more about you. When I went to school for visual communications way back when, we’re not going to talk about how far back, Anna, thank you. But this was before the desktop revolution, so this was before everything really changed with computers, not just the internet.

I mean, this was way before the internet. This is 10 years or so before the internet. But if I go back to the course material, I mean, how much of that is even relevant to me today? Not much. But yet, I would not be here if it weren’t for that. And I’ve got a few friends, maybe five or six, who were in my graduating class, and it was a very big class, but just five or six. And only a few of those actually did something with it. So it just goes to show you it’s yes, the material is important. The education is important. But without heart, without the right mindset, without overcoming yourself, doesn’t matter how much information you have.

42:53 Anna: The course is not like you’re swallowing a magic pill, and you watch a few videos, and suddenly everything changes. No, you need to put a lot of hard work into it. And a lot of times, it will take different people take different amount of times. I consider myself one of the ones who take longer time, actually, to get certain things done. But that doesn’t matter. It’s my journey, nobody else’s. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It really is a question of mindset, and I think the key is to believe, believing in yourself that you will … Believe in your ability to figure things out. And sometimes to figure those things out, you have to seek good teachers that you connect with and who you kind of feel in your gut are giving you relevant information.

And I will recommend Leah to the death, to a musician. But it’s up to them, obviously. If they sign up for a course and watch videos, that’s not going to change much for them. They will need to change. They will need to change, I think that’s why I mentioned those mindset victories because I think that’s the most crucial thing. You’re not going to get anywhere until you conquer your mind because if you don’t do that, then you’re just going to stop yourself in the tracks.

44:22 CJ: Yeah. That’s what I mentioned earlier, the resolve thing. It’s hard to be resolved if you’re always questioning yourself. It’s hard to be fully committed if you’re questioning yourself. You never see when a lion attacks an antelope or something, it’s not like the lion’s going, “Should I? Is this the right time?” They don’t wonder about anything. They’re a lion. That’s what lions do. So if anything, we marvel at how ferocious it is. You know what I mean? And we need to be that way, ferocious in a good way, aggressive in a healthy way. And again, I appreciate what you just said. This is something that I share a lot of my motivational stuff, which is I just want people to have confidence in two areas.

Number one, confidence that there are principles that exist that’ll help you create the results that you want. And number two, confidence in yourself that you can discover and apply those principles. And that’s really all it is. You’ve got to know that Leah’s success, or Anna’s success, or anything else’s success, is not a mystery. It’s not chance. It’s not that being in the right place at the right time. No, very, very hard work based on proven principles, nothing more than that. Very unglamorous, but they’ve been consistent.

And so they were confident that there were principles that existed that can help you find your audience. I know there’s a lot of musicians out there, Anna, you see them in the groups, where they think their little micro niche or genre’s just the most unique thing in the world. But no, there’s people out there who will be your ideal super fan. Right? And if you apply these principles, I’m not guaranteeing or promising you, you’re going to reach what you’ve seen in others, but I guarantee you, you will have a much, much more enjoyable time playing music. And look at Anna. She said she’s not where she wants to be. She’s got so much more that she wants to do and express. But she’s not going back.

46:17 Anna: I’ve enjoyed the journey, and with competence comes confidence.

46:23 CJ: Yep.

46:24 Anna: So the more we learn, the more confidence we get. And it’s like a circle. So we need to keep learning. That’s what I believe firmly.

46:34 CJ: So Anna, what lies ahead for you?

46:39 Anna: Well, like I said, short-term, I’m going to go over TOM.

46:45 CJ: She’s going back to school, guys.

46:48 Anna: Going back to school. I’m just going to keep researching my data and tweaking things because I haven’t mentioned this yet, but during this lockdown, I might have suffered some financially in other areas. But I have to say my online store is doing better than ever.

47:06 CJ: Good.

47:06 Anna: It really is a great time to be an online musician, guys. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you do because it’s really no time like the present to get started. And I have to say that also gives me more confidence because I see where it is going. And it’s not only the fact that I’m making money from my music, but also the messages I get from my fans, the impact I see that it has, the emails I mentioned to you before. That is also, that is maybe even more valuable, not to downgrade the monetary part because obviously, it is important to keep making music.

And everybody has bills to pay. And we all want to live comfortable lives and we all deserve that. So that’s also a mindset thing that I think we should get over, or I don’t know how to phrase it better. But yeah, it’s not only the monetary part that gives you the reward. But then you see that you have a bigger and bigger and bigger audience. And those are people who are connecting with you. It really gives you the control. It puts control in your hands. You’re the only one who can mess it up. And you’re the only one who can make it into a success, so it’s up to you.

48:34 CJ: Wonderfully said. How can people learn more about you?

48:38 Anna: Well, they can visit my website. I’m not using my last name.

48:43 CJ: Thankfully. I can’t pronounce it, let alone spell it.

48:48 Anna: So it’s aniabmusic.com. Ania with an I, so it’s A-N-I-A, B, music.com.

48:58 CJ: Very good. And so from there, you can also get all of her social media channels. We will include this in the show notes, ladies and gentlemen, so you’ll be able to connect with her and follow her because, I mean, I recommend you follow the students because you’ll be able to see realtime the application of this stuff that’s taught in the course. You can learn a lot just by following some of our students. And of course, Anna is a great example, as I said previously. So thank you, everybody, for listening to us. Anna, thank you so much for joining me.

49:26 Anna: Thank you so much for the invite. It’s an honor, really.

49:30 CJ: You bet. So again, guys, if you’re interested in going further in what Savvy Musician Academy has to have, if you feel like that your music might be at the place, you’ve made some music, you’ve got some albums, you’ve got a social media following, you might consider our elite program, which Anna is in. And you can learn more there at callsma.com. We’re also changing and going to a new format for our inner circle, so if you’re just getting started, you’re not ready to drop a huge chunk of change right now, and you would just like to get your feet wet, because maybe all of the stuff that Anna and I talked about just sounds Greek to you. All these words and marketing terms you’re using, I don’t know anything about that. Well, we can get you up to speed in a very inexpensive way in our inner circle program.

You can learn more about that at savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. This is CJ, branding and mindset coach here at Savvy Musician Academy. So good to be with you. I will see you on the next episode.

Episode #099: Interview With Ty Richards (Elite Student)

In this weeks episode C.J. interviews Ty Richards, a self-described Nintendo Psych Rock artist from Austin, Texas. Ty shares how SMA jumpstarted his music career a few years back and all the valuable lessons he’s learned in the meantime. 

Going from no fans to being the number four college album in the country very quickly, Ty really gets into what works and what doesn’t. Get ready to take notes!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Ty’s backstory
  • The reality of gaining fans fast
  • Getting a PR agent
  • Building momentum before your album release
  • Handling success
  • Staying focused on building your online business
  • Solidarity of all your media
  • Passive income
  • Being stubborn in a good way
  • Self-resistance
  • Being a representative not a substitute 


“I had zero fans in my whole life of being in bands and stuff until that point, until I think two months of doing her course, I built up. I went from zero to 10,000 fans on Facebook. And I went from zero to about 2000 people on my email list.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:06:17]

“The function of PR is for top of mind awareness… It doesn’t really equate to fans or equate to super fans. It doesn’t equate to people buying stuff. It doesn’t equate to record sales at all.”   – @iamtyrichards [0:18:48]

“If I’m going to make music for a living, this is the only path for me to do that.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:33:53]

“I would challenge everyone to stop romanticizing this whole artistry thing, and the whole entrepreneurship thing, and just be stubborn.”  – @iamtyrichards [0:39:57]

“The reason why we entertain negativity, I tell people it’s because when it shows up at your door wanting entry, it looks like you.”  – @metalmotivation [0:44:46]

“If you want authority in your music business in this kind of marketplace, you have to represent what’s being taught and not substitute.”  – @metalmotivation [0:49:01]

“But I think people are expecting it to be like, ‘Oh, so I paid for this course. Why am I not successful now?’ It’s not a magic bullet. It depends on you, but just do the work… If you fail, it’s because you didn’t show up and do the work.”  – @iamtyrichards [01:00:07]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

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

Ty Richards — https://tyrichards.com/

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. Man, I’m excited to be hosting this podcast because I get to do so many cool things. And one of them is I get to talk to students. And what makes this particular episode doubly enjoyable for me is that this is a very good friend of mine. And I’m going to tell a very brief story about my good friend after I introduce him. But I think you’ll see why this is such a cool happenstance in the universe. And again, I’m delighted to have my dear friend, Ty Richards, on The Savvy Musician Show. Ty, good to see you, man.

01:03 Ty: Yo, what’s up, CJ?

01:05 CJ: And for those who have been in the elite coaching calls, they have already met Ty because I keep bringing Ty in every time he shows up on the coaching calls because of our friendship. Now I want you guys to listen very closely because this is kind of a cool, I’ll keep it very, very brief, but a very, very cool story. I met Ty, I want to say as far back as 2013. And so it’s been a long time. And Ty and I both worked for a mutual client, I guess you could say. Our arrangement was different.

He was a little bit more of a vendor. I was working more as a barter thing, so I was handling the entertainment and promotion marketing for a very successful music venue, restaurant/bar. They basically owned about a block of real estate, and it was in the Fort Worth area in Texas. And Ty was doing a lot of the corporate identity work, in other words logos and stuff like that. He was doing menus and handling the website. So as I was handling dates and stuff, Ty, I would give you information and we would kind of work behind the scenes on things.

02:16 Ty: Yeah. We were always working in tandem on that.

02:18 CJ: So of course, I had no idea Ty played music or anything about his personal life, so we would just end up at staff meetings together and team meetings together. Whatever the owner, should we say, Ty knows why I’m laughing. Ty was working in the chaos, just like I was. And we should both, bro, get a rubber cookie for our stint during that time.

02:48 Ty: That was crazy. I mean, that whole world is crazy, though. I mean, if you look at any venue, the amount of drama that happens around any venue is usually very high.

03:02 CJ: So yeah, this was a high on steroids.

03:04 Ty: Yeah.

03:06 CJ: So anyway, Ty and I met back then. And then, I don’t know, two or three years later or so, you’re still basically around when I’d hit you up for certain things. You moved, relocated to Austin. And next thing I know, this is probably, I don’t know, 2015 or 2016, I’m online. And of course, I know Leah. I’m not working with The Savvy Musician Academy, but I know Leah very well. And so I would see her ads and promotions on my social media news feeds. And the next thing I know, there’s Ty Richards. And I’m thinking, “What in the world is the graphics and web developer doing featured on The Savvy Musician Academy?” And so of course, I had to immediately stop and find out. And all of a sudden, I find out this huge secret life that Ty has, secret to me, but not secret to apparently a whole bunch of other people, that Ty is a student in The Online Musician at The Savvy Musician Academy. Now, Ty, how did that happen?

04:09 Ty: Yeah. It was definitely a-

04:11 CJ: Because I was booking music entertainment and you never said a word.

04:16 Ty: It was a collision of worlds. So I had been, I probably, I don’t know, three or four years before I met you, I was really, I was as into music as I am now. I wrote probably 200 songs in college.

04:30 CJ: Wow.

04:30 Ty: And playing nonstop, was getting my start at learning how to produce, learning how to record, all that stuff. Got married, had a baby, and I literally did nothing for five straight years. And that was in that time that I met you, so 2010 to 20, I don’t know, ’14 ish, did nothing. And it’s not like I was trying to do nothing. I was busy with babies. I was learning how to be a dad, learning how to be a husband, learning how to take care of finances, buy a house, all that. I was learning how to adult, basically. And honestly, that was one of the best times for me because it gave me the … I started a business in that time as well. That’s when I started my own design firm.

And it gave me what I needed going into Leah’s course. So by the time I met Leah, same way, I didn’t know Leah at all. But I did see her ads. I think she hit me with one of those. Now I know all the inner workings of ads and how they work, but she hit me with one of those probably friends of friends ads, where my friend, Suzanna Choffel, I saw that she had liked something. And if Suzanna liked this, Suzanna Choffel’s an awesome here in Austin. She was on The Voice and stuff too. We shared the same publicist for a while. And so if Suzanna liked this, I should check it out. And sure enough, I checked it out, and it struck a chord with me. It’s time to get serious about this stuff.

I was halfway done with an album, and I was just trudging through it. And Leah, that class is really kind of the fire under my butt that I needed to get the album done and get the album marketed. I had zero fans in my whole life of being in bands and stuff until that point, until I think two months of doing her course, I built up. I went from zero to 10,000 fans on Facebook. And I went from zero to about 2000 people on my email list.

06:36 CJ: Wow.

06:37 Ty: Yeah. That just, I don’t know, man.

06:40 CJ: That’s a weird feeling. Isn’t it?

06:42 Ty: Yeah. It’s weird, especially after you try really hard and nothing happens for 10 years. So before I got married, it was a solid all of high school and all of college of just busting my butt at gigs, promoting, web. That’s how I learned how to build websites in the first place, was I’d do it partially, mostly for a living for now. But that’s how I learned how to do that in high school and college was doing it for the band. Somebody’s got to design the T-shirts. Somebody’s got to design the album artwork. Somebody’s got to design the website. Somebody’s got to do everything, and that ended up being me for most of that.

07:23 CJ: Well, let me just ask you about what we’ve just talked about a little bit, as we’re both drinking. Are you slamming coffee out of a Yeti silver mug? Dude, is it literally the same one?

07:37 Ty: It’s not coffee. This is a knock off Yeti. It’s called a Kodi. Sponsored by.

07:42 CJ: Are you serious? Anyway, double the rabbit trail. But I wanted to go back to this thing about the fans thing. You said you went 10 years, nobody knows about you for that aspect of you music wise, outside of I’m sure friends and family. So does that shape your outlook on what’s possible? In other words, the idea of having 10,000 fans on social media, and then 1000 people on a mailing list. Was that in your mind like skipping the Grand Canyon? How do you jump from nobody knowing me to all of a sudden that many people connecting with you?

08:17 Ty: Yeah. I think the numbers were interesting, but more enough, it was just the actual interaction. I’d never had people. We played shows and we’d have the occasional people that are like, “Hey, man. We really like your band.” And you put the little email list paper out on the merch table, and you might have a few little names on it or whatever. But no one really cares. It’s seen as more of like a charity type thing. You go to your friends shows because that’s what you do, you be a good friend. It has nothing to do with this band is freaking awesome, and if I don’t see them, my life will end.

08:52 CJ: So I better give them my email address to keep in touch.

08:55 Ty: Yeah. And so this level, Leah had talked about in the course that you might run across people that they’re going to be really excited that they found you. And they’re going to be … And sure enough, there were people who were mad they hadn’t found me earlier.

09:13 CJ: Wow.

09:14 Ty: That’s how extreme it was. It was like, “Dude, how did I not know about you?” How do people not know about, that’s how excited they were.

09:22 CJ: Isn’t that a paradigm shift? Because that is something when Leah talks about super fans, that it’s hard for that coin to drop sometimes with people. It’s hard for them to imagine because like you said, with you, they’ve been slaving for years, whether in bars, or on their own, even try. They set up a Facebook page, posted some events. They don’t get any traction. They’ve had 200 followers for six years on Facebook. Nobody does anything great. It must be some kind of trick. That must’ve been a radical paradigm shift to say, “No, there are people out there who are wishing.” A guy said, “I wish I would’ve known you earlier.” So right now, they are wishing to know you, they just haven’t come across you yet. That’s got to be radical.

10:08 Ty: Yeah. Honestly, I don’t think I was ready for it. And then what came after it too, that was the first domino, getting those 10,000 people and the 1000, or the 2000 email list, and just people regularly reaching out to me. I wasn’t ready for that, and I definitely wasn’t ready. I’m glad you guys do the mindset coaching now because this is TOM 1.0 times. This is, I don’t know when. Am I doing 2015, 2016?

10:33 CJ: Yeah. That’s back when Leah just taught calculator and the stopwatch app.

10:47 Ty: It was good. I still use all of the techniques from that. My brain was not ready for it though. My brain was not ready for what … If I knew everything that was going to happen, I probably would’ve not done it, or I would’ve just freaked out because it dominoed for sure.

11:06 CJ: Well, and I was so again taken aback because I didn’t know that this was the other half of your life. Of course, I was delighted to know that. And then it was a joy, Ty, to get that front-row seat to just watch what you were doing because I was following to some degree because now you were on my feed, so I would see. Man, you were going out and getting on airplanes and stuff, interviewed on radio. Now you had to rethink some of that now. And like we said offline, so much of that has made you who you are now, which we’re going to get to. But you literally did push the envelope. You got public relations people involved and you started, again, interviews and live gigs across the country. It’s kind of amazing, man.

11:57 Ty: Thanks, man. Yeah, it accelerated really fast. And I took some things that Leah said and I … What do they say? I 10 X’ed it.

12:09 CJ: You 10 X’ed it.

12:09 Ty: I 10 X’ed it. I think I 10 X’ed the wrong things though. So she has this checklist of all these things you need to knock out for prelaunch, for those pre, pre-launch. There’s prelaunch, there’s launch. There’s post-launch and this whole process. And I talked about this to her a while back, but I took notes with a to-do list. I took notes with this app called Trello. And so instead of just taking notes, I’m putting down actionable stuff out of every lesson. And I made, I don’t know, I made a checklist on steroids.

But yeah, when it got to the PR item, man, she was like, “You need to reach out to a PR company,” blah, blah, blah. And I was like, “Okay.” And that was a minor step for her. For me, for whatever reason, I did the steps of I found 10 or 20 contacts and started reaching out to people. Literally no one got back to me out of the 20 that I contacted. And so there wasn’t some magical thing that I did to get an awesome publicist, other than I happened to be playing some gigs with these other musicians, and they had a PR contact, and you need to call this person. They’re the best person in Austin. And I was like, “All right. I’ve already tried 20. Let’s try 21. It won’t hurt.”

So I sent the same thing I sent the other ones, and I sent … But part of that was because of Leah’s course, I had my ducks in a row. I had the website. I had the bio. I had that social media built up. I had campaigns going. I had things, it was already put together and ready for a publicist to kind of run with it. The album is done. The album artwork is done. Everything’s ready to go. And sure enough, the publicist freaked out, was like, “Yeah, I’ve got to work with you now. Let’s do this.” And it was one of the biggest publicists in Austin.

Yeah, long story short, I could go into all these little parts if we want to later, but what it dominoed into was I had built up those 10,000 fans off of two songs. I didn’t even have an album out. I didn’t have one album out yet. So I built up all this momentum with just two songs. And then I had the album ready to go, and I’m handing it off to the publicist. And by the end of that album cycle, I was on, I don’t know, 90 college stations. I’m charting on every station.

14:40 CJ: Wow.

14:41 Ty: I’m in top 10, top 20, top 30, somewhere in those ranges. I’m in the top 20 of probably 25 different stations in California, which is that’s music mecca. People can say Nashville, or Austin, or whatever, but Los Angeles and that area is actual music mecca when it comes to music licensing. And that’s where all the music business is happening when it comes to entertainment and entertainment industry. Yeah, so long story short, I was number four, USA Today. So I was number four college album in the country. The day that I put out my record, the day that I put it out, I’m artist of the month.

15:24 CJ: Oh, my gosh.

15:25 Ty: No. That’s what it was. The day I put it out, I was given an NPR … The NPR station here in Austin had me do a studio session with them, where they did this whole taping and everything. That was the day that I put the record out. That’s what it was, a month after that was South by Southwest. And they dubbed me the artist of the month during South by Southwest. And for anyone in Austin, that’s the holy grail thing to get. You can’t get a bigger thing. That’s the goal. And there’s not really a goal in Austin that’s higher than that PR wise. You could whatever, play the Paramount, play The Continental Club. Those are live gig goals. But as far as PR goals, that was it.

And that was on pretty much day one of album number one. And yeah, so I ended up doing a West Coast tour later that year in the summer, and did a radio tour and hit all these radio stations in California, and kind of on and on and on. All these articles written about you. It was just weird because even successful albums that I had heard from other artists weren’t that successful. The momentum was still going four, five, six months after the album was dropped, which is weird. Usually, you get some excitement for a month max, maybe two months. And it was just cool, man. I’m seeing myself on the charts with some of my favorite bands. I’m seeing Ty Richards, Ryan Adams, The Shins.

Depending on when the records drop, it’d be funny because it would be like, “Oh, I’m beating Ryan Adams.” But Ryan Adams’ album had been out for six months or something. It was just kind of a fun game to play, but I think that was my takeaway from all of it though, was I did that with album number one. And I guess I’ll get to the takeaway in a second because I basically did it again with the second album. I did a second album one year afterwards, so I released an album called Zillion. That’s the first album. And then I released an album called Welcome to Flat Earth. And my goal was to kind of just repeat the process and keep going. But the whole time, I’m kind of ignoring things. There’s things I had gone through in Leah’s class that she talks about shiny object syndrome. Right?

And dude, I had it full on at this point because to me it’s like, PR, radio, PR, radio. Oh, yeah, I’ve got a store. You can buy my records. I’ve got social media. All that other stuff was on the back burner. And even after I had raised those, built up those 10,000 fans and the 2000 emails, I got so distracted by the famey-ness of all the other stuff, that I gave it zero time and zero effort for the rest of the actual business, the rest of the actual e-Commerce side. And yeah, man, it came to kind of show me I didn’t even understand the function of PR or the function or radio promotion.

And now this one record company guy that I was talking to, he used to work at A and R for Universal or something. I was talking to him and he was like, “Yeah, PR doesn’t give you record sales.” And it kind of hit me in the face of, no, it really doesn’t. The function of PR is for top of mind awareness. It’s for you’re not a thing, and then PR makes you a thing, and that’s it. It doesn’t really equate to fans or equate to super fans. It doesn’t equate to people buying stuff. It doesn’t equate to record sales at all.

19:06 CJ: And that’s where the leverage comes in of, especially the online presence. I mean, God forbid you had to try and do this back in the days before the internet or before social media. So not to say that PR is bad or any of that, but PR and live gigs and all that with a very strong type of social media and email marketing type thing as taught via The Savvy Musician Academy would’ve left you with so many of those fans on a dedicated mailing list buying God knows what from Ty.

19:40 Ty: Yeah. So I think really I was over-leveraged in that because, I don’t know, I mean, to be truthful, it’s like I was kind of getting a big head about it. I got so distracted and allured by the, I don’t know, fame.

19:56 CJ: Famey-ness was a great way to say it.

19:57 Ty: I don’t know how else to say it other than that. It’s like fame has never been a goal of mine, but it’s seductive when you get that amount of validation for music that you’ve made. It’s like I know my music’s good. Any musician who is good on some level knows that they’re good and knows that they’re making something good. But when you get that amount of validation to go with it, it’s almost like the scales tip because it’s … I don’t know. There’s always this dichotomy of … What do you call it? Egotistical-ness, egotistic versus extreme doubt, like I’m not good enough. It’s like I know I’m good enough and I know I’m awesome. And then everyone else is telling me I’m awesome.

20:44 CJ: That’s dangerous.

20:45 Ty: Dude, it is a dangerous place because I just … Yeah. I let it kind of lead me astray from what I initially set out to do because what I initially set out to do, album number one was to build up a business, build up a business, build up record sales that could sustain record, after record, after record. And I’m back on that path now. I’m excited about that. But I need to fight distractions at all costs.

21:14 CJ: Well, you know it’s funny you say that because we joked offline before we started this interview. I said, “Ty, I think I’m going to call this one The Prodigal Son Comes Home.” And in some weird way, it kind of does tell the story a bit, where it’s not coming home in the sense that he had forsaken anything that he was taught. No, it was the shiny object, which if you want to describe a shiny object, that’s textbook shiny object. That’s something that’s going to get everybody. There’s nobody that sits there, “Oh, I wouldn’t be moved by all that fame and attention and records appearing on the record charts.” Yes, you would. Any of you would.

But I love the fact that I love your sense of humility to say, “Okay, well, I’m still a realist. And I want to have a future, and my family’s getting larger and they’re depending upon me to be a breadwinner.” And so you start to move back. Now when did you? Because all of a sudden, you suddenly appeared one day on an elite coaching call. And I go, “That’s Ty.” When was that? That was several months ago.

22:21 Ty: February, yeah.

22:24 CJ: So anyway, so Ty shows up, and this was before COVID-19 and all of that. And so Ty is basically telling me a similar story. And I’m excited because, and this is something again we talked about offline, we don’t want to beat the bush too much, but Ty’s a very multifaceted individual, apparently, because I didn’t know he played music.

22:46 Ty: Very compartmentalized when I’m dealing with … So I run an agency as well. And it’s like when I’m doing business, and I’m very professional. I don’t bring up personal stuff. I don’t bring up other business stuff or other, so I’m very [crosstalk 00:23:05].

23:04 CJ: Multiple storefronts, right?

23:06 Ty: Yeah. There’s no way that you would know that I’m a musician.

23:11 CJ: Exactly. But one of the things that great is, Ty, like myself, you and I share this, is that our different storefronts serve one another. They help one another. And so for you, we both have the art background. We both have the design background. So it helps when you’re running your own show to be able to do these sorts of things, be able to take care of your own artwork and what have you. And so that’s how come you were ready on the spot when the PR agent was there. Everything was ready to go because you didn’t have to wait on anybody else. Right?

23:45 Ty: Yeah.

23:46 CJ: Able to get everything done yourself. And I do the very same thing.

23:51 Ty: That’s one of the reasons why I like making records the way I do too, because I just don’t have to run decisions by anyone. I can just do everything.

23:58 CJ: And let me just ask as an, again, going back to the story that you just told. Looking back on it now with the chart-topping type stuff, getting on the charts and having this type of airplay, what have you. What do you think it was? I mean, we know the music’s good. But is there anything you can point to? Is it the genre? Was it an album cover? Was it something you … I mean, something must’ve been picking up with all of this that-

24:30 Ty: This is what I think. So there’s all these elements that are going into it. Right? You’ve got the graphic design. You’ve got the music. You’ve got the sound. You’ve got the instrumentation of the music. You’ve got the way the music is mixed. You’ve got the way the PR campaign is being rolled out. You’ve got a way that the radio promo is rolling out, the social media, all that stuff. I think the more that stuff can be kind of unified, you talk about this all the time with branding, the more it can kind of all tell the same story and all really just be very clear, very to the point, we’ve talked about this. It’s like a good joke. If the joke is just landing immediately, then people just get it. You’re not making people figure out what the crap is going on, so I think that was a big part of it, was the album cover. When you look at Zillion, you can look at the album cover. You can look. It’s me in a spacesuit.

25:21 CJ: It’s so creative, man.

25:22 Ty: It’s just weird. You’re like, “What the hell?” This guy’s just in a spacesuit and he’s trying to drink coffee through his … And so, I don’t know, that and just kind of having a good team in place too. As much as we just talked about how I did everything myself. But at the same time, we all reach a point, and this is different for everybody. For some people, you hit the graphic design part and there’s no way you’re going to just be awesome overnight. You need to hire someone to be awesome at that. Mine, I’ve been doing graphic design for 20 years, so that’s not my point. My point was PR, and I think PR is probably a lot of people’s point too, where it’s like, “I’m not going to go make phone calls all day, every

Actually, it was one of those things, I was going to go do that. I actually did the research on: How do I do my own PR? And I looked at the workload that it was going to be and realized that it was not possible for my life. So having a good team in place is one of them too. Another thing was, this sounds kind of weird too, but having the money to do it. I had kind of way too … I’m not going to say it happened just because I had some money, but it freaking helped. I’m just going to say, I put, I was over leveraged in PR. But that is one of the reasons why it happened too. If my songs would’ve sucked, the money wouldn’t have mattered, but my songs were good and I had money. I did two record cycles. And the first record cycle, I actually had two publicists. I had a national publicist and I had the Austin kind of regional publicist.

And yeah, so it’s like you could count on a solid publicist, you could count on about $6000 to $10,000 for one record cycle. And I had the money. We had just sold a house, and honestly, I was an idiot with the money. I was like, “I’ve got some money laying around.” It’s amazing how fast what you think a pile of money can just disappear. And that’s another cautionary tale of that first album. I was so over leveraged with PR and radio that I hurt my family, man. I sold a house. I think we probably sold it and got whatever it was, like 40 grand out of that. That 40 grand disappeared super fast. And I’ve got kids to feed, it’s not … I laugh about it now because it’s far enough away. But it was hard times.

27:58 CJ: And so now four wives later, you finally learned. No, I’m kidding.

28:05 Ty: At the time, I had three children. At the time of releasing Zillion, I had three children. Now I have six children. We had twins. We had twins, and then we just had a boy about a month ago.

28:15 CJ: Wonderful. Congratulations.

28:17 Ty: I have six children. And to me, I see the Savvy Musician stuff and building my business as an e-Commerce business, it was a necessity before, but now it’s a definite necessity where it’s like I can’t play music for a living unless I do it this way. If I choose to play around like I did before, I can dump another 20 grand into stuff again and do it again. But guess what, I’m just going to be hurting my family some more. And I’m not going to be able to live. I’m not going to be able to financially survive. And so if I have a store that’s generating 100 bucks a day, 50 to 100 bucks a day, or if I can build it up over the course of a few years to be bringing in 200, 300 bucks a day, dude, my life is totally changed.

29:14 CJ: And you’re with someone like Leah, who is such an inspiration because for her, it’s like, if she heard you say that, oh, we’ll double that.

29:27 Ty: Yeah. That’s like 100 bucks a day. When you’re going from zero, 100 sounds like a lot because it is. And it’s game-changing. It’s like whatever that is, I think it’s $36,000 or whatever. But the way I see it is that’s a profitable business. It’s not a $200,000 or a million dollar a year business, but it’s a profitable business that is you can count on 100 bucks a day. I see it as it’s basically passive income. Once you set up the infrastructure, once you set up your website, once you set up your store, once you set up a nurture campaign with your emails and all that stuff, it’s a ton of work and a ton of time that you’re not getting paid upfront. But then it’s built. Yeah, you’ve got to keep it up. You’ve got to create some new sequences. You’ve got to keep the social media going. You’ve got to do that. But when you’re rolling in whatever, $100 a day, even just 30 grand a year, $36,000 a year, whatever it is, that’s money that you’re making while you’re doing other stuff that makes money.

30:33 CJ: Right.

30:34 Ty: I see that, I see passive money as totally different. Making a dollar of passive money is better to me than making $10 of other money. I can go build a website for somebody for 10 grand, but I would rather make that 100 bucks a day. Honestly, I’d rather do both. I’d rather make that 100 bucks a day while I …

31:02 CJ: Sure.

31:02 Ty: That’s kind of the magic of-

31:05 CJ: Yeah. I think it’s sometimes hard for people to get their head around certain people’s results, Leah’s especially. But when you’re talking about that in this way, so say 36 grand a year. We’re calling it passive income because again, as Ty noted, most of the effort in something that’s e-Commerce is in the front end. Once you get the systems down, your funnels down, all that kind of stuff, it’s much, much easier to grow. But then you have the scale thing, which is going to be the first thing that Leah’s going to jump on. She’s going to say, “Okay. If that $36,000 was earned by what you did, then let’s throw that $36,000 at that system and scale it 36,000 times.”

31:46 Ty: Yeah. If it’s working really well and making $36,000, your ad budget is X, then make your ad budget XX.

31:54 CJ: 10X.

31:54 Ty: 10X it.

31:59 CJ: And that’s the beautiful part of this. And Ty, one of the things that I think people are now really beginning to understand is everything that The Savvy Musician, Leah, even myself over the past couple years have been saying, is now so much more readily understood and appreciated in light of the lockdowns and all of this sort of stuff, where suddenly, I don’t care if you’re the biggest artist in the world, or you’re playing acoustic at a corner bar, nobody is playing music right now.

32:33 Ty: Not in a venue.

32:35 CJ: No, bands are playing in their bedroom and recording separate parts. And everybody’s being entertained with this for now. But nobody, it doesn’t matter, I don’t care who you are. You could be-

32:48 Ty: It’s funny to me how new it seems to everybody. Like, “Wow, somebody’s playing in their bedroom and everybody can watch.” Dude, I was on Twitch three years ago. This has been going on for a long time.

32:59 CJ: Oh, yeah.

33:00 Ty: People live-streaming music. This is not a new thing at all.

33:03 CJ: Yeah. So again, you’ve got people like us who are in online marketing, we’ve been doing live type stuff. We’ve been hammering it out because we were building an online business. Now suddenly, everybody has an online business, so to speak. Even if they’re just doing these live, they’re just trying to stay relevant, just trying to stay current. Want to keep everybody, have them top of mind so that when the economy does start to come back, which we don’t know when that’s going to be. But the thing is, now you had better learn the lesson. You have to have an online component to your business. I forget how you said it, but it was such a quotable line a little while ago, Ty, that if you’re going to have a music business, it’s going to have to be online.

33:52 Ty: Yeah. I mean, if I’m going to make music for a living, this is the only path for me to do that, where it’s hard to say if it’s surefire, it’s going to be hard work. It’s not a silver bullet. I can’t just choose this path and then magically, my dreams come true. It’s going to be hard work. But I don’t know, it is the path of this current era, I would say, just having an online business, running my artistry like an e-Commerce business.

34:26 CJ: There’s another thing that you, myself and Leah, we all share in common, and a lot of the other students that I’ve encountered say we’re doing well, they all have the same thing. I often talk about them because I’ll say, “These particular students, if you gave them half the information that they’re taught in the Savvy Musician Academy, they would still succeed.” Just like you said, you were TOM 1.0.

34:49 Ty: That’s kind of what I did. I took half of one point, I did everything 100% until a certain point. Then I was like, “I love PR and I love radio,” and I got distracted. But yeah, I literally did take half of what she taught.

35:06 CJ: And that’s because it’s what a coach looks for, heart. Right? It’s not the biggest guy, necessarily. It’s not the fastest guy or the strongest guy. It’s the guy with heart. I’ve got a friend of mine who I do a podcast with, and he was 13 years in the Army’s Elite Delta Force and all this kind of stuff. What a grueling selection process these guys have got to go through in order to get in these tier one special forces units.

35:29 Ty: My brother’s in the middle of that right now. He was training to be a PJ, and he just jacked up his knee. And then he has two herniated disks, and he’s out.

35:41 CJ: Oh, man. So he was going through a selection?

35:45 Ty: Yep.

35:45 CJ: Yeah. I think my buddy missed his first one because of an ankle injury, I think the very first day. They let him come back and he got it. But anyway, whenever he gets asked, “What are they looking for?” All the guys, it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been in it, they’ll tell you. We still don’t know what they’re looking for, but it’s not what you think.

36:08 Ty: Yeah.

36:09 CJ: They’re always looking for the right guy. But I did tell him this. I said, “Well, I guarantee you this, though, Mack,” his name is Mack. I said, “The one thing they all share in common, heart.”

36:21 Ty: Oh, yeah.

36:22 CJ: You know what I mean? Because there might be another guy who has a skill set that you need, but if he’s completely self-defeated and doesn’t follow through and won’t push past, he’s not in, period. It doesn’t matter what the sport, or field, or career is, there has to be that heart. So we were talking offline beforehand, and you had asked me, you said if I had read The War of Art, which is a Steven Pressfield book, which believe it or not, I haven’t. And everybody and their grandmother has told me I needed to read it.

36:50 Ty: It’s so good.

36:51 CJ: I’ve got a feeling I’ll be down with everything that he’s saying. My son has read it. One of my sons has. But we were talking about something about how you defined that basic perspective because I think it is so, the idea itself is so incarnated in you. Won’t you describe that?

37:08 Ty: I think in this world, especially in the age of social media, it’s easy to compare ourselves to other people. Someone just joining TOM, just found out about The Online Musician, is looking at Leah and instantly comparing them to the teacher of the course and thinking, “Okay. I’m never going to get there,” or even just finding people who’ve been working the course for whatever. I’ve been working the principles for more than, I don’t know, almost four or five years, whatever. And they kind of compare and see I’m not there. It’s like a 15 year old looking at 30 year old and being like, “I’m not where that person is, so I could never be there.”

No, you’re going to have some more birthdays. You’re going to learn some things. And so what I’ve found is a lot of people will be like, “Well, Ty, I get that you had some success in this. You had some PR success. You had some business success in this. But not everyone can be their own designer. Not everyone can afford to hire a designer. Not everyone can afford this or that. Not everyone’s as talented or whatever.” And I’m not trying to be a jerk, but sometimes I have to say to those people, “I put 10,000 hours into design. That’s why I’m good at it. I’m not good at it because I’m talented at it per se, I’m good at it because I’m a … ” I don’t want to cuss, but it’s because I’m a stubborn SOB.

I think that’s what I love. Go read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It’s not The Art of War. That’s a very famous book. He kind of intended to play on the words. It’s The War of Art. The whole thing is kind of a knife, almost a knife jab at creative people, where it’s like do what you’re supposed to do or you’re an idiot. I think he cusses in his book too. He’s the guy who wrote Legend of Bagger Vance. He wrote a lot of really popular screenplays. But that whole book, stop romanticizing entrepreneurship, and romanticizing talent and being an artist and all these things. Don’t romanticize it. Just be stubborn. Say, “I’m going to get this done.”

I’m going to make an album. That was for me, my first album was the thing. Leah helped push me to finish my first album. I had four other albums that were incomplete before that, four whole albums of stuff. I have a whole folk album. I have a whole … It’s one of the reasons why my first album is so good, it’s because I already wrote four albums before that. But I was an idiot and didn’t put them out. And I wasn’t stubborn enough. I had all the talent in the world. I’ve always been good at music. I had talent. I had the design skills before that. I had all these skills, but I wasn’t stubborn enough. And so I would challenge everyone to stop romanticizing this whole artistry thing and the whole entrepreneurship thing, and just be stubborn.

You’ve never built a website, but you’re going to build a website. And just be determined to build a website no matter what. If it takes you a week, if it takes you six months, be a stubborn SOB and make a freaking website, or whatever your hurdle is. Finish the album. For me, mine was finish an album and release it. That’s it. But there are obviously 60 or 100 to dos in between those points that I’ve got to knock out, but write them down. You know what you’ve got to do, just get a piece of paper out. Make a giant freaking to do list. Okay, that looks crazy. Put it in order now. Put them in priority order, whatever. Do the work. Stop being a wimp. I guess it’s getting into CJ’s around here, metal up.

40:58 CJ: I was going to say, dude, that is so metal motivation. Holy crap. Again, this is why I love Ty. And I saw this because when I look back on the relationship we had, even back in 2013, I could see the streak in him. There was a determination there. He was stubborn because I dealt with it on the other side with the owner. Do you know what I mean? Because the owner wanted more done without putting up any money, whereas Ty was like, “No, no, no, no, no. We’re not doing that.” And so Ty would be very, very insistent on the money. But that’s that stubbornness.

41:39 Ty: Yeah. It’s the whole everybody wants… When it comes to websites, and anyone who’s gone through the TOM course, it’s a big part of it is building your own website, building your own store, building your website and your store. You’re building two websites. That’s a lot for someone who hasn’t touched a website. But so for me, I’ve built websites for people my whole life. And it’s like everyone wants a BMW, everyone wants the best website in the world, but they want to spend zero dollars. It’s always like, “Okay. If you want to spend 500 bucks, you’re going to get a Volkswagen. All right? I’m going to build you the best Volkswagen you’ve ever had, but it’s still going to be a Volkswagen.”

42:17 CJ: Yeah. And this is again, and I love that fact that you touched on these things because it is truly a war of art because the creative personality is a sensitive one at times, fears judgment, doesn’t want to put itself out there. Can I have somebody else do my social media for me? I don’t want to necessarily be seen. They should just buy the music. It shouldn’t have to involve all of this.

42:44 Ty: Artists are affected by this more than anyone. And I mean, not to get spiritual on you. What do they say? They say, “Lucifer was king of all the angels,” not to get…

42:57 CJ: He was an art guy.

42:59 Ty: Yeah. He was the rock star dude, let’s just face it. Yeah. I think artists are particularly affected by this struggle. In Steven Pressfield’s book, he calls it resistance. Dude, go read this book, man. It’s just the resistance, he compares it almost to the alien in Aliens, where it doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t care if you live or die. It’s like this alien creeping around and it just wants to get you. It sounds very bogey mannish, but it’s like resistance is like that, where it’s like if I sit down in my studio right here, and if I just show up and start doing the work, it gets done. But I get these thoughts in my head where it’s like, “You should whatever. You should just go play video games, or go watch all five seasons of Breaking Bad, or whatever.” And it just will do anything to get you to not just sit and just show up. For me, 90% of it is just showing up. And so the resistance is-

44:16 CJ: I think that’s why I think everybody keeps forwarding the book recommendation to me. In fact, one of my quotes I posted yesterday on all my social channels said, “Be ruthless with your own negativity, it’s out to destroy you.” So it’s the same kind of concept, is you’re being way too friendly with this resistance, way too friendly. And I think there’s a genius there, and of course, him being a creative person himself, to personify this resistance because you think it’s you. The reason why we entertain negativity, I tell people it’s because when it shows up at your door wanting entry, it looks like you.

44:53 Ty: Yeah.

44:53 CJ: You know what I mean? So I think, “Well, I am that person, so I am lazy. I want to watch the Breaking Bad. See, I suck. I’m not this. I’m not.” No, but the whole time, you have every single bit of capacity in you to stay in that studio, stay in front of that Mac, get that website knocked out, get that last song finalized. You have all the wherewithal in the world. It is the battle that you obviously have to win. Survivor song, right? Every day it’s ultimately, it’s you against you.

45:22 Ty: Yeah.

45:23 CJ: And who’s going to win that battle? And I just love, again, the simplicity of the stubbornness. And I think-

45:31 Ty: Be stubborn. Another thing he talks about in his book too, I’ve always … I’ve felt like I’ve felt this way always. He put it into really good words. But he just says, “Be stupid.” This is a good one for us too. What does he say? He doesn’t say be … He says, “Stay stupid,” where don’t try to think that you’re the smartest dude in the world. This is exactly what I did with The Online Musician course. I took Leah’s checklist and I’m like, “This is great.” I’m going to do a few little online ads, build up an email list, build the website, do this. And I’m supposed to just get a basic PR thing. And she didn’t even talk about radio.

But you know what, I’m a lot smarter, I’m going to get the best PR person ever. I’m going to pay a crazy amount of money. I kind of was smarty pants about it, where I just decided to be a smart boy. No regrets, I learned so much. I got my total education on the old school music model and how it works and how it’s still kind of operating, but it’s not working. I got my PhD in that after two albums of that. But he just says, “Stay stupid.” And so if I would’ve just stayed stupid and just done exactly what Leah said, my store, the stuff I’m doing this year on my store, I would’ve done three years ago.

47:07 CJ: Yeah, think of how far you’d be.

47:09 Ty: I’d be three years into building my business instead of really just kind of starting over.

47:15 CJ: That’s such a great point. There’s something that I teach on my motivational side, and I’ll mention it sometimes to the elite students. And that is the concept of representation versus substitution. Everybody remembers maybe being in school when you were a kid, and you had the substitute teacher come in when your regular teacher was off sick or whatever. Well, whenever we saw the substitute teacher as kids, we thought, “Goof off day.” We’re going to watch something and we’re going to do a handout or some other, not even do the handout. And the teacher’s not going to do anything. Who the heck is she or he? And so if your regular teacher is Mrs. Jones, then yeah, if Miss Smith comes in, and Mrs. Jones is not there, Miss Smith is the substitute, substitute can’t do anything. Why? Because the substitute has no authority. Why? Because the substitute doesn’t know anything about what we’re doing. She’s not a representative. She’s a substitute.

But if you get a representative, so let’s say for example, you’ve never seen Miss Smith, the substitute. Mrs. Jones has been there every day, but it just so happens that Miss Smith is Mrs. Jones’ roommate and protégé. And so she has been daily sharing everything that she does, and so Miss Smith knows everything that you’ve been taught. So here Miss Smith comes in, you realize Mrs. Jones isn’t there. Miss Smith writes her name on the board and you think, “Substitute, awesome,” until Miss Smith says, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen Mrs. Jones because I’ve been eating and drinking what she’s been teaching you for years now. We’re roommates, so we will continue with the curriculum as if Mrs. Jones herself was here.” Suddenly, it’s not goof off day because this is not a substitute anymore. This is a representative.

And the question is always if you want authority in your music business in this kind of marketplace, you have to represent what’s being taught and not substitute, period. It’s as simple as that. So for me, Ty, it’s such a, just from personal, I think everybody’s going to get that once they hear this interview. I know you talked to Leah on the podcast a long time ago. This one’s going to be so much better because it is Ty a few years later, a few kids later, and so much more awakened and illuminated and working things out.

49:35 Ty: Twice the kids.

49:37 CJ: So we’re going to be, I think everybody’s going to be really super excited to watch your continued journey because we’re still early on in this process, but I’m going to be honest with you, man. I have complete confidence in you. I don’t say that much, dude. I know you. I’ve watched you. I know your heart. But again, I think what it is, it’s that stubbornness. I know that’s your testimony, man. That’s who you are.

50:02 Ty: I’m going to get this done if it’s the last thing I do. It’s going good too, man. I’m in the process now, so I’ve totally rebuilt my website. For the first time, I actually just built my store in January. And I tore it down and rebuilt it from the ground up in Shopify just in the past couple months. And now I’m just smack dab in the middle of just writing a ton of emails for a nurture campaign. I’m doing a four-month nurture campaign, the biggest one I’ve ever done. But and honestly, man, I’ve hit a slow down, really half for good reasons, half for me just struggling. But half of it’s we just had our first baby boy. I’ve got five girls and one boy. And just enjoying family. But yeah, I’m slowly just kind of speeding the train back up to finish these emails, man. These emails are kicking my butt.

51:05 CJ: Well, why don’t you, first of all, because we never really discussed it, and I think it’s good that we didn’t so the people didn’t get too fixated on a genre, but tell everybody about your musical genre, and then how they can-

51:17 Ty: My music is all under my own name, so it’s just Ty Richards. I don’t have a fancy band name or anything like that. It’s just me, my name. And I call it, depends on the album, but the last album was psychedelic Nintendo rock. It’s almost punkish. Depending on the song, when I’m marketing a certain song, sometimes I’ll call it psychedelic Nintendo punk. The first album is always more poppy. I called it psychedelic dance-rock. It was a lot more poppy. It was the hit, it was definitely the hit record out of the two records. The second album is like my all straight to tape. It’s all directly to tape. It’s low fi on purpose and it’s kind of intended to kind of stir the pot a little bit. And I did. The other one was intended to be popular. I wanted it to be popular. This one, I kind of wanted it to be infamous. And it actually, that’s a whole other podcast, but it did become infamous.

52:15 CJ: Yes, it is.

52:16 Ty: It was an inverse of the other album. As popular as the first album was, the other one was very popular, and then kind of flipped around and became … It actually got me, I’m the only artist that I know that’s completely banned from Austin.

52:33 CJ: Now every artist is banned, but temporarily.

52:38 Ty: Yeah. Now we’re all banned. But yeah, before COVID-19, I was completely banned from every single [inaudible 00:52:45] in Austin. I thought I wasn’t for real either, and I actually tested it, and I’m verified banned. That’s a whole other story. We can talk about that later. That’s like an entire podcast on how to deal with … We can do a podcast on how to deal with being validated. And there’s another one. It’s how to deal with-

53:11 CJ: Negative press.

53:13 Ty: Mega insulted, mega, or whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I’m completely banned from Austin after this one song that I wrote. But I had a blast though. Honestly, I had a blast the whole time. I did what I set out to do with that album, which was stir the pot, and that’s exactly what happened.

53:32 CJ: If you call an album Welcome to Flat Earth, obviously you’re going to stir the pot.

53:36 Ty: And it worked.

53:39 CJ: Yeah. You’re highlighting the trends. You’re highlighting the things that are going on in social media. It’s the weird world in which we live. You’re at the apex of technology and innovation, yet at the same time, people have never been more into everything from ancient paganism and esoteric stuff to God knows what. It’s not homogenous anymore. It’s diverse and you’ve got weird political things and strange ideas. And it’s all being vomited on the internet and we’re making a parody of it all.

54:11 Ty: Yeah. I have a very satirical approach to my music. And so even with both albums, you can hear it. So first one’s poppy. The second one’s more punky. But at the same time, it’s all critiquing American culture and satirizing American culture. And some people don’t like that, I guess.

54:32 CJ: It’ll get you in hot water either way. So is it tyrichards.com? Is that?

54:38 Ty: Yeah, tyrichards.com.

54:40 CJ: And that’s Ty, T-Y, everybody. Ty Richards, not Richard. Ty, T-Y, Richards. It’ll be in the show notes, of course, because I think a lot of people are going to want to immediately jump off this podcast and say, “Okay. I’ve got to hear what this music is all about.”

54:56 Ty: Yeah. I’m a huge … I throw in the psychedelic because I’m just a huge fan of anything fuzz guitars. I just love fuzz guitars and I love old synthesizer. I’ve got this old synthesizer over here from the ’70s. And I love, I brought in kind of more Nintendo sounds too. I’m a huge fan of the nostalgic Nintendo vibes of the ’80s.

55:19 CJ: Well, as I noted too, one student, one elite student, who does kind of something a little bit similar, but his is more based on violin, but it’s all about the Nintendo. So he gets dressed up as characters and whatnot. I said, “Nostalgia’s not a bad thing to push.” You look at even the most popular shows on the streaming platforms, it’s still Friends, The Office, Seinfeld.

55:42 Ty: Stranger Things.

55:44 CJ: Yeah, it tends to be things that have a bit more…

55:47 Ty: Even new shows seem old. Do you know what I mean?

55:49 CJ: Yeah.

55:49 Ty: Stranger Things is a newer show, but it feels like the ’80s.

55:54 CJ: Yeah. It feels like a glorified ET meets something. You know what I mean? What is it? Was it Lean On Me? What was the one where the boys take the long bicycle trip? Stand By Me.

56:10 Ty: Yeah, Stand By Me. Yeah. My wife watches that all the time. You could go watch Stranger … I’ve watched Stranger Things 50 gazillion times because my wife is super obsessed with it. I like it too, but when she was pregnant, she would just watch it on repeat. And dude, I’ve listened to the music so much and seen the scenes so much that I see exactly what movies they took it from. You can see parts that are taken from Terminator, parts that are taken from ET, parts that are taken from Alien. There’s just different sounds. They took the production verbatim from a lot of these movies. So I’m doing that with my new record, where I’m taking actual Game Boy sounds, I’m taking a straight-up sample of the Game Boy sounds and putting them as the main tracks on a lot of the songs.

56:58 CJ: Wow.

56:59 Ty: But yeah, I think what you said, nostalgia’s good too. But I think the goal is to make something new with it too. I’d rather do that than just kind of rehash, or rehash an old thing.

57:10 CJ: Yeah. So tyrichards.com. And I knew this was going to be an interesting discussion, so I think it’s going to get a lot of value out of this, my friend. And again, I’m appreciative to have a front-row seat to what’s going on in all things Ty Richards. Go check out his website also because … And go to his store just because, again, I brag on this a lot with him, is he is a phenomenal graphic designer. And so all the stuff that you’re going to see when you get to his store and stuff, his posters and all the album work and the T-shirt designs, that’s all done by him, a lot of them by hand. So you’ll see that he is a phenomenal artist in a lot of ways. Again, puts him in a very advantageous position. But hey, Leah couldn’t design her way out of a box. So obviously, you don’t have to be a designer as well as a musician in order to-

58:04 Ty: Get a good team. Yeah, I would say there might be some musicians out there, some of you guys who are good at design, or web development, or whatever, but if you know you’re not going to be awesome at that, find a good team.

58:17 CJ: Right. Well, Ty, I know I speak for Leah when I say, I remember messaging her when you first came, showed up on the radar. The first thing I did was message her. I said, all I said was, “Ty’s back.” She’s like, “I know,” exclamation point.

58:32 Ty: Back on the wagon.

58:34 CJ: That’s right. But again, I know I speak for her when I say it’s so awesome to have you in elite now, where it gets even more intense.

58:46 Ty: It’s intense, man. It’s kicking my butt right now. I’m at that 80% mark where I’m just like, “Ahh.”

58:53 CJ: It’s like the last 80 miles from a two day road trip. Right?

58:58 Ty: Yep.

58:58 CJ: Oh, my goodness. All right. Well, listen man, we’ll have to definitely do this again. And I know people want to hear from you again. But again, man, thanks so much for taking the time, and again, appreciate the friendship.

59:09 Ty: Thanks for being a part of this, man. I think Leah was onto something four years ago. She’s onto it now. And I think it’s more relevant now than ever. I think it’s time for musicians to up their game, be more stubborn, do more epic stuff. Get it done.

59:29 CJ: Yeah. I told her. I said, “Girl, I’m not joking. And I’m not exaggerating.” I said, “What you’ve done with SMA in your own personal music business, and what you’ve done with the SMA, is the single most important thing to happen in the music industry since the blow delivered by Napster.”

59:47 Ty: Dude, man, I have to agree. And you and I have been around long enough to see both sides. We’ve seen the people that criticize Leah. And we’ve seen the people that really vouch for her. But the thing is, Leah is amazing in and of herself, just her and her music without SMA at all. And then you bring in SMA, and it’s this whole other amazing thing. But I think people are expecting it to be like, “Oh, so I paid for this course. Why am I not successful now?” It’s not a magic bullet. It depends on you, but just do the work. She’s outlined all the work that you’ve got to do. Now just do it. If you fail, it’s because you didn’t show up and do the work.

01:00:29 CJ: Exactly.

01:00:29 Ty: And I think people, I don’t know, and the people that have been around in the scene for a while with The Online Musician, just look at Leah all by herself with just her … She’s dropped how many? Four albums now.

01:00:43 CJ: Mm-hmm.

01:00:44 Ty: She’s four albums in. Her albums look amazing together. They sound amazing together. She’s got this whole business built around that, that even if she didn’t have the SMA business, it’s completely beyond sustaining itself and doing amazing. She’s just showing you how she did what she’s doing over here.

01:01:07 CJ: Now she’s doing it with Mythologie Candles.

01:01:09 Ty: Yeah, the candle thing, that’s a whole-

01:01:11 CJ: Blowing up.

01:01:13 Ty: That’s next level with just these two businesses that-

01:01:17 CJ: In fact, she’s so busy, I’m left to hosting this podcast. But that’s the thing, is that she does-

01:01:27 Ty: That’s a good problem to have.

01:01:27 CJ: That’s a good problem to have, right. Yeah. But that’s the thing. Dude, I would not spend my time with somebody who wasn’t legit. I would not spend my time with somebody who was full of crap. I would not spend my time. The only reason I’m working with Leah is, of course, we’re friends from a long time ago, but because I was there was she was facing bankruptcy. I knew her when she didn’t know anything about marketing. And I watched this happen, and she applies the principles. This is not gimmicks. This is not hacks. This is not secret software. This is not any of that. This is pure, this is the marketing that has been governing marketing long before the internet. It’s the same thing, same branding, same force of copywriting, same way you build any kind of business, which is why she has the confidence to move from her own music business to a music academy to candles, and God knows whatever else she’s going to get her little paws into next. You know what I mean?

01:02:20 Ty: Leah’s stubborn.

01:02:21 CJ: And that’s the thing, there you go. Very stubborn.

01:02:25 Ty: She set her mind to it, I’m going to get this done, and she gets it done.

01:02:27 CJ: Yep. That’s all there is to it, man. So anyway, again, I think we could probably have three or four episodes here. But again, awesome. So guys, listen. If you are a fan of this podcast, do me a favor and be sure and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. If they say, “Press stars,” give us five, four, I don’t care how many, whatever the max is. Just give it the like-age because this is a great way for people to discover the podcast themselves, share it on social media. We would appreciate that. If you have any questions or comments, you’re welcome to leave them in any said Facebook group that you might be a part of, whether the free mastermind, or The Online Musician, or even just go to our own Facebook page for the Savvy Musician Academy.

Keep in tune for what’s coming right now, which is TOM 3.0. Ty was on TOM 1.0. TOM 3.0, which is about to release, go to explodeyourfanbase.com. Listen for the outro here, and we’ll have more to say about that. Again, Ty, thanks again. Guys, we will see all of you soon. Take care.

Episode #098: The Key to Success is Mastering Fundamentals

If you were to ask someone for $20, who would be more likely to give it to you, a good friend or a complete stranger? Obviously a good friend.

Have you ever met someone and had so much in common that you immediately became good friends? More than likely.

If you can understand this, you know the foundation of building an online music business. That’s all it is, getting more and more people to know, like, and trust you, just like that good friend who’s willing to give you that $20. What do you and this good friend have in common? Your music and the culture that surrounds it. How do you find these good friends and build these relationships? Social media. In this episode C.J. discusses this fundamental aspect of the business in greater detail and is so important you do not want to miss out!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Are you self-defeated?
  • The unstoppable mindset
  • The essential fundamental to successful online marketing
  • How to build your relationships
  • Funnels
  • Why Facebook and Instagram?
  • Studying your audience
  • Getting comfortable with sharing yourself on the internet


“Getting you in connection with your ideal super fan is the core. It’s the recipe for success in the online music business.” – @metalmotivation [0:02:19]

“You can’t be successful when you’re self-defeated before you even start… You have to get out of your own way.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:26]

“If you believe that there are principles the cause the kind of results that you want, and you believe that you have the ability to apply those principles, isn’t that all you need?” – @metalmotivation [0:07:17]

“Here’s the essential, basic, fundamental truth about online marketing in 2020. Getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:06]

“Funnel is the process of taking somebody who doesn’t know you to see the first promotion that you ever offer them, bringing them along in a relationship with you until you finally create a sale.” – @metalmotivation [0:29:00]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

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

Click For Full Transcript

00:02 CJ: Welcome to the Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz, I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. I hope you’re staying safe during this time, but I also hope you are working diligently on your music business. Adding the online component to your music business is so critical right now and I hope that this podcast is helping you to that end. If it is, please do us a favor and leave a review and some stars on whatever podcast player you listen to. This helps other people to discover the podcast and we read every review that you leave in our team meeting. So we love to hear from you. So please do that for us today. Before we get into this, let me share again, a student spotlight. This is from one of our TOM students, TOM means, The Online Musician. This is Firas Al Bakri and he writes, #win, it’s been a week since I started my Facebook cold conversion opt in ads, and here are the results. 100 complete registrations, spent about $60 and that means the cost per result is about 69 cents per conversion.

He goes on to say, I’m going to be testing out how I can double my completed registration numbers in a short time, search, a key word there is testing. And if he continues to test, he’s going to amp up those results considerably. You might be thinking a hundred registrations in a week. Is that a lot? Is that not a lot? Let me tell you something. The issue is never the quantity, the issue is a quality. He has a hundred people that are probably going to be the most ideal super fans for his music business. And that’s, what’s important. I’ve seen people with very small email lists make a good deal of money because the leads or the people that they have on their lists are so ideal to what they’re doing. That’s the key. That’s what we teach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Getting you in connection with your ideal super fan is the core. It’s the recipe for success in the online music business.

Now in light of this, we recently just completed the three week pop-up mastermind. I don’t know if you had the opportunity to join us in there. It is something that Leah and I began, and then I continued it on to complete the three week workshop and it was awesome. Hundreds of people from all over the world joined us. Why did we do that pop up mastermind? Because everybody has suddenly been isolated to the home, the live music industry was completely shut down for everybody. Mega stars to somebody playing in a corner bar. The whole live music scene was completely shut down and we were hoping that people would now start to listen to what we’ve been banging the drum on here on the Savvy Musician Show for so long. You must start an online music business. You must add the online component to your music business. And well, now it’s just not an option, now it is a must. It is a have to, it is something you simply have to begin to do today.

But here’s the problem, man. Here’s the problem and it came about when someone wrote in to me, they were asking about marketing help and whatnot. And I said, listen, you should join and sign up for this popup mastermind. It’s only $47, three weeks private Facebook group. So he looks at it, he eventually writes me back and this was a talented player, a talented musician. He writes back to me and he says, ‘Is this legit? Sounds impossible.” Now, granted, I’m teaching this thing. So not only is that an insult, but I thought, wow, this is so emblematic of what I see all the time. So what did I write back to him? A long defense? Did I try to sell him on it? Absolutely not. I simply wrote back and said, “Then don’t sign up for it.” And you know what he said? He said, okay. And it just confirmed, he is his own biggest obstacle. Doesn’t make him a bad person, doesn’t make him less talented. None of that, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with you standing in your own way.

If you begin with the premise that it’s impossible, if you begin with a premise that it’s too good to be true, if you begin with the premise that I don’t know if I can and all of the self-defeating doubt, then guess what? It doesn’t matter how good the information is. You’re not going to apply it consistently. Why? Because with every little piece of resistance that you experience, as you start to implement these things, if it gets too difficult, you’re going to throw in the towel and say, it’s not meant to be. You’re going to throw in the towel and say, this is too difficult, you’re going to throw in the towel and say, it’s too much. It would never work for me anyway. You can’t be successful when you’re self defeated before you even start, I could take somebody who has heart and desire and passion and the willing to push through.

And I could make them successful with half of the information we taught in the three week popup mastermind. With half of the information, because if there was any gaps in the information, they would figure it out. They would look it up, they would find out, they would push it, they would discover. As I even said in that three week mastermind, I said, you know what? I would rather have the person who’s doing so much that they’re doing too much, that I have to reel them back in and say, “Hey, don’t post so much.” Than the person that I have to continually light a fire underneath them to get them going or the person who’s constantly neutralized by their self doubt. I’m talking to you today about the key to success is mastering fundamentals and that is the premiere fundamental. It doesn’t matter what the information is guys, if you are stopping yourself before you even start, you have to get out of your own way.

You have to stop saying everything is so hard, everything is so difficult, because the more you say that something is so difficult and the more you say how long something is going to take, then guess what? The more difficult it’s going to be. And the longer it’s going to take, you have to begin with belief. Number one, a belief that principles when applied will create results. And number two, that you have the ability to apply those principles to whatever it is that you’re facing. If you believe that there are principles that cause the kind of results that you want, and you believe that you have the ability to apply those principles, isn’t that all you need? But what happens is, is because we don’t understand the way things are achieved, we think it’s magic or a secret or a hack or a special piece of software that someone else has achieved success. So again, he asked is this legit? Sounds impossible. It’s absolutely legit and it is anything but impossible.

So many people have done it, so many people will continue to do it. So if you fail it’s because you fail in the fundamentals. Think about a winning team, does a football team go to the Superbowl because they did it through winning every game by trick plays? No, the reason why they go to the Superbowl or the reason why they have a losing season depends on their mastering of the fundamentals. The fundamentals of football are a strong passing game, a strong running game, controlling the line of scrimmage, good defense, but especially not turning the ball over, right? Fumbles and interceptions or too many fouls, right? It’s all fundamentals, it’s not trick plays. And so if you lose or you succeed, it all comes down to the same thing. Are you mastering the fundamentals or are you constantly failing in those fundamentals?

You can have all the right software and still sell little to nothing. You can have loads of Facebook followers, but still sell very little. You can have great music and yet still not make a dent. You can know the latest technological hacks and still produce no results. More than half of marketing is mastering of the fundamentals. So don’t fall into the trap of the little details, the hacks, the tricks, the methods. For example, in this mastermind, when I was talking about e-commerce, selling things like merchandise, t-shirts and whatnot, people got a little too preoccupied with what specific software there was. When I wanted them to think about, well, what was possible in relation to the products that they could create. But even more than that, what were they doing right now to create the know, like, and trust element that creates sales. So what is the essential basic? What is the essential fundamental to successful online marketing? You want to know what the secret is? Here’s the essential, basic, fundamental truth about online marketing in 2020.

Getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. I’ll say that again, getting more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. And you know what? That’s the way it is in any business. Anyone who wants to start an online business, I don’t care whether you’re an author, a blogger, a coach. It doesn’t matter what it is. You’ve got to get more and more people to know you, more and more people to like you, more and more people to trust you as an artist. You might be saying to yourself, CJ, we’ve heard you guys say this before. Yeah, but are you living it? Are you practicing it? Are you getting sales and results? If you’re not, then it’s because of two reasons. Number one, you’ve forgot the fundamental or number two, you’re not applying them consistently.

Because if you were applying them consistently, you would further refine, you would know better your audience, know better what they want, know better what they respond to and then increase your results. Because you would be testing like our friend at the outset and our student spotlight said, he’s going to test in order to get more results. He’s going to test in order to get more results. You see the simplest funnel that you can create. Now, funnel is the process taking somebody who doesn’t know you to see the first promotion that you ever offer them, bringing them along in a relationship with you until you finally create a sale. That process, that journey, that path, marketers call a funnel. So they get really complex with these things, but the simplest funnel that you can possibly do is to gain new followers on Facebook and Instagram, get them engaged with you daily, with relevant content and then marketing to them, right? That’s the simplest funnel.

Get new followers on Facebook and Instagram, let’s get them engaged with you daily and relevant content and then let’s market to them. If you can master these, then everything else that you do just scales it. So everybody gets so preoccupied with the software, they get so preoccupied with the tricks, they get so preoccupied with the actual, I need to have that click funnel software, and then it’ll work. If I just get, if I could just see Leah’s email campaign and just copy it, then I know that will work. No, it won’t work. Her email campaign is based on her knowledge of her customers. She knows what they want to hear, she knows what they respond to because she’s tested it and done it over and over again and refined her funnels and customer journey down and down until she has it completely dialed in. If you can master these fundamental things then everything else that you do just scales it.

So when we get into then what’s the best print on demand platform to use? What’s the best e-commerce, Shopify or Square or this or that? What’s the best website host to use? And what’s the best email service provider to use? Et cetera. All of those questions, all of those little details, all they do is scale, which you can do fundamentally without any of those things. So in other words, if you can continue to add new people to your social media pages, Facebook and Instagram, primarily, if you can get them engaged regularly, I would prefer weekly myself with relevant content. In other words, content that they respond to and then you market to them, you will create sales. If you can master this, everything else is just going to help you scale it. But if you can’t do it here at the organic level, then you can’t do it no matter how many tricks and tools and pieces of software that you add to it, it’s not going to work. So master the fundamentals, everything else that you do just scales the process, elevates what you do.

So you might be thinking, okay, wait a minute, CJ, add new followers to Facebook and Instagram, really? Just that, that right there. Well, yeah. How else are you going to get to know people? YouTube? Ain’t going to happen. YouTube is a video based platform, it’s a video based search engine. Facebook and Instagram are share engines. You don’t go searching for things necessarily on Facebook or Instagram, right? You do that more so on YouTube, which is owned by Google. The biggest search engine, Facebook and Instagram are share engines. It’s where people share content. That’s where we get the term social media from. Well, look at the word media, the word media means to broadcast right? Mainstream media, alternative media, these are ways of broadcasting. So now instead of receiving the broadcasting from these mainstream outlets, you’re getting broadcasting from person to person, friends, and family and followers. That’s social media or social broadcasting and that’s why social media is the game changer as I said not too long ago. Talking about social media as being the key to changing the music industry.

15:38 CJ: Facebook and Instagram are ways to target people directly and that’s what you want to do. That’s why Facebook and Instagram are important. That’s where you want to build your brand awareness. That’s where you want to reach new people, right? Getting out there and connecting with them on Facebook and Instagram. And if you show up regularly with content that is relevant to your music and the culture or lifestyle that surrounds that music, then they’re going to follow you and they’re going to interact with you. And like I said earlier, what’s the fundamental, what’s the fundamental thing? Get more and more people to know you, like you, and trust you as an artist. It is literally that simple, so simple that marketing gurus have to help you misunderstand it, right? It’s so simple that marketing gurus have to help you to misunderstand it, to get you to think you need their special hack, their special trick, their special method, their special funnel software and then you’ll get the results you’ve always wanted.

No, get more and more people to know you, more and more people to like you, more and more people to trust you. And when you do that, you can sell them just about anything. And where are you going to meet those new people? Facebook and Instagram, you’re not going to meet them on YouTube. You’re going to meet them on Facebook and Instagram because that’s the social environment where you can do the promotion. And as you bring them on, get them engaged with relevant content means again, that which surrounds the culture and lifestyle that surrounds your kind of music. And they’re out there. You might think you’re special. You might think your music is unique and maybe it is, but guess what? There’s a lot of people into the same kind of stuff all over the world, just waiting for you to reach them. So that’s a very simple funnel that you can follow. Is it not? That’s a very simple process that you can follow. Is it not?

Just getting people to know you, just getting people to like you, just getting people to trust you, right? That is the fundamental, there’s no trick play here, there’s no secret here. It’s getting to know them. So how much do you know your clientele or potential clientele? How much time have you spent getting to know your ideal super fan? One of the keys to effective marketing is basically knowing the buying and or interest habits of your potential audience better than they do. Isn’t that the experience that we all have online every day when we go on social media and we see ads that just seem to be targeted towards us? How does someone know you like to eat that kind of food or drink that kind of energy drink or buy that kind of handbag or play that kind of instruments? How do these retailers know to target you? Because they are putting that information into Facebook and Facebook keeps a track of the fact that you like all of these things, you like this cookie manufacturer, you like this handbag manufacturer, you like this music company, you like this artist, you follow that TV show.

And because you do, Facebook keeps track of all of that information. So someone wants to target you precisely, they can do it. Well, guess what? So can you. You can do the very same thing. And by getting your music or your promotion in front of new people, who’ve never heard of you before, but they’re targeted. In other words, I’m not trying to push hairspray out to bald people, right? That doesn’t make any sense. But if you play a particular kind of music, whether it’s country or hip hop or heavy metal or pop music, if you can put in comparable artists and things into Facebook and maybe some other items that help them to identify the people you’re looking for by their interest, then yeah, your promotions can begin to appear in front of those very people. And all we get them to do is press play to watch your music video or follow your page or buy your CD or what have you.

But what you want to do is get those people to follow you, get them to like your page, follow you on Instagram, follow you on Facebook. But then once they do that, you can not show up, you got to show up and meet them there because that’s where they’re going to see you, right? That’s where they’re going to see you. So you want to have cultural content. Content that makes sense for them. So for example, I have a project that I do called, metal motivation, which is basically motivation, self-improvement content, directed towards people who love heavy metal. And that’s what it’s for. It’s motivation for people who love heavy metal. Now those people who love heavy metal, they also might consult self-improvement resources from people that aren’t heavy metal artists themselves or metal heads themselves, right? They probably do, but they enjoy the fact that it comes through me, someone like them.

But then when I show up every day posting on my Facebook page, I can’t be posting things from Justin Bieber or Eminem or something like that, Adele. Why? Because that has nothing to do with the culture, it has nothing to do with the mutual interest or lifestyle that we share. I have to share something like maybe a little clip from Judas Priest or something from Iron Maiden or something from Metallica or a more contemporary, heavy metal band or my own content, which is motivational content that has that edge, right? An edge that relates to that audience, relates to that culture, relates to that lifestyle. This is a fundamental, you have to understand your audience. The more that you do, the easier it is for you to reach them and the cheaper it is to reach them. Again, going back to our student spotlight, if he keeps researching as he said, researching and testing, he’s going to better understand how to dial in more effectively the culture, the lifestyle, and the interest to bring his cost per conversion down even lower. And that’s what you want to do.

So you have to study your audience, you have to do whatever you have to do to learn the psychology of your potential fan, how they think, what makes them take action, what are their pains? What are the things they’re frustrated by? What are the things that bring them pleasure? What do they like to do? What are they interested in? What do they read? What do they watch? What do they like to eat? There’s any number of things. And you can begin by asking yourself that question, because obviously you would be like your fans to some degree. What are the things that you’re interested in, right? These are all the elements that you’re going to use to target your ideal audience, to target your ideal fan. But this is fundamental. So it’s fundamental to know your potential audience and again, the essential basic, let’s get more and more people to know you, right? So let them see your promotion for the very first time or someone share them, share your content with them. They get to know you.

And then as you get that content to them every day, relevant, engaging content, they learn to like you. And as they learn to like you, then they eventually learn to trust you. And at that point, they’ll pretty much buy whatever you sell. It won’t matter to them anymore. So you’ve got to show up, don’t stand in your own way, don’t be blocked or hindered by doubt, unbelief, self-defeat. Don’t think you can’t do it. I know this may not be germane to your personality profile, you might be someone who is shy or introverted. A lot of creative people are. And so they’re afraid to put themselves out there. Don’t let fear stop you. If you’re going to succeed in this new era of the music industry, you have to do it this way. You have to put yourself out there.

24:21 CJ: So many people have asked the question, can I hire somebody to do this for me? No, you can’t. You have to do it, you have to know them, you have to get to understand your followers and your potential fans. Nobody can do that for you. Nobody can be you. This is social media, you’ve got to show up. So well, I’m just not comfortable with that, well, okay, that’s fine but it’s going to be very difficult for you to have an online music business. Well, they should just buy the music. I’m sorry, it’s not the world we live in anymore. Way too much competition. Way too much. You have to make yourself stand out and to do that you have to show up. Nobody else can be you, right? No, snowflake is the same so let’s use that so that we can differentiate yourself in this crowded online space where there’s other artists competing for the attention of listeners. No, you can’t just put your music out there, you got to put yourself out there, you got to put your personality out there. A little bit of your life out there, not everything.

You don’t have to take your phone to the bathroom and broadcast from there, you don’t have to share everything, but you have to share something so that they can get to know you, they can get to like you and they can get to trust you. Don’t fail in the fundamental. Success really comes down to these. If you spent the rest of this year, mastering fundamentals, I guarantee you, you would have a longterm successful online music career. Can you dig that? Ma’am I hope you can. Now speaking of this, and I know there’s a lot more information that you do need in order to succeed in this business, even though it’s all based on the fundamentals, if you’re ready to go to the next level, then what we’ve got coming up very soon here, depending upon when you hear this podcast, is the new release of the upgraded version of the online musician. 3.0. Leah has been slaving over this for months and months and months, getting everything up to speed as you know, information and technology changes all the time.

And so she’s updated it to TOM 3.0, The Online Musician, and you’re going to want to be a part of this. We got a lot of extra added bonuses, it’s an irresistible offer I promise you. What I want you to do right now is go to explodeyourfanbase.com and check that out. Also, we are upgrading our inner circle and you’ve heard us talk about the inner circle before, it’s going to be changing in a way that you are absolutely going to love. So you want to get in now because the price will go up. Again, I don’t know when you’re hearing this particular episode of the podcast so if I were you, I would get signed up as soon as possible. Just go to savvymusician.com/innercircle. So thank you so much for joining us today on the Savvy Musician Show. So much more to come, interviews and yes, Leah will be back, you will hear from her again, this is a new season for us at the Savvy Musician Academy.

Leah has got so much on her plate right now, I’m more than happy to help carry the load for the podcasts. We will see you guys next week.

Episode #097: Find Your Niche – The Difference Between Failure & Success

Before we go any further, do you know what your micro-niche is? It cannot be overstated how important it is to be rock solid in defining, understanding, and utilizing your micro-niche, because it is the foundation of building your fanbase and music business.

Whether you’re just learning this word for the first time, or well acquainted with it, Leah lays out some incredible insights into the micro-niche approach in this week’s episode of the Savvy Musician Show. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What is your micro-niche?
  • Standing out in the crowd
  • Being important to the people that matter
  • Being easy to find
  • The difference between SEO and your niche
  • Finding your twist
  • Going smaller
  • Your niche title accurately describing your sound
  • Targeting your sub-genre fans first strategy


“You only need to be famous in your micro-niche.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:03:07]

“My fans in my genre know exactly who I am, and that’s all that matters.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:03:34]

“The nice thing about going smaller and becoming the big fish in the small pond is that it makes it so much easier for people to find you.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:05:24]

“If you think you can put up a Facebook page and you can put out music and that people will magically find you, you’re delusional.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:05:45]

“There’s a big difference between search engine optimization and keyword titles, say in a YouTube video and a niche.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:06:30]

“People should be able to imagine and know what your music sounds like based on what the niche title is.” – @LEAHthemusic [0:08:15]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

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

Click For Full Transcript

00:16 Leah: Hey, how’s it going? It’s Leah here and today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about niches and why it’s so important that you find your niche in music if you want to be successful today online with the internet and with just thousands and thousands and thousands of musicians all around the world, all competing for the same eyeballs and the same ears that you are.

Let’s talk about it. Do any of you guys know… I want to know this question of the day. Do you know your niche right now? Mine? I’ll tell you. My big genre is in the metal category. That’s when I’m doing heavy stuff. My sub-genre is symphonic metal and my niche is female-fronted symphonic metal and my micro-niche is Celtic fantasy metal. Sometimes that last one will change a little bit from project to project depending on what I’m doing and depending on the album and all of that, but generally speaking, what I’m doing consistently is the same for the top three.

Here’s the premise with niches, is that with Facebook and the internet and really anything in general, it’s an incredibly crowded market. Facebook just hit 2 billion people. 2 billion users on the platform which is incredible. What that says is that our audience is here. This is where they are. People who are worried that, “Oh, young people aren’t on this platform anymore.” That’s totally not the case. They’re coming back. Like I said, we’re facing such a crowded marketplace that the only way you can stand out…

There’s only two ways you can stand out. Either you’re with a label that has millions of dollars that can put your music through money, through volume, and can put it in front of enough ears and eyes. Sometimes that music isn’t even that great, but people… It’s like they can put it in front of them enough that they get a familiarity and they’re like, “Okay, well, maybe I like that song.”

It’s like it grows on them even though it’s not all that good. We all know some mainstream artists were like, “How did you get a record deal?” Well, that’s how. Because they have so many millions of dollars supporting them to get them in front of all those people. We don’t have that, right? What we have to do is we have to be a little smarter and a little more strategic. Okay?

The way to build an audience is not from trying to get famous worldwide. This is the biggest takeaway I want you to take from today. You only need to be famous in your micro-niche. You only need to be famous in a small crack. And that’s why I always laugh when people say to me, “Well, Leah, I’ve never heard of you.” Well, duh. Unless you listen to Celtic fantasy metal, why would you have heard of me?

My fans in my genre know exactly who I am, and that’s all that matters. The point is that you can’t… Let me give a different analogy. And when I heard this, I’m not really into war, military strategy stuff, but this just made so much sense to me. Okay? And it uses the strategy of thinking of World War II. You can’t put all your resources and energy and then spread yourself thin. You’ll never win that way. Instead they put all their resources, all their money, all their energy and effort into winning one tiny little beachhead. When they took over that little tiny beach, they then could move further inland, and they took over each little piece of land a small piece at a time, and before you knew it, they had won the war.

The point is that it’s not about becoming worldwide famous. You’re going to have to shift your headspace in that way and stop thinking about the old-school label model where it’s a label supporting you, putting millions behind you and you’re trying to get out to as many people as possible.

Now, exposure can be quite large on Facebook if you know what to do and that’s fine, but just because people hear you doesn’t mean they’re going to become fans. It’s a lot better to try to find a smaller amount of quality fans who really, really, really love your music and they’ll buy anything you put out. They just truly appreciate your art.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t eventually get famous or that you couldn’t ever become a household name. You can, but it’s more important that you become a household name in your tiny little genre. You need a little beachhead.

The nice thing about going smaller and becoming the big fish in the small pond is that it makes it so much easier for people to find you. People who are already looking for that kind of music, they’re searching for it really, and you just made it so much easier for them to find you. It’ll happen so much faster.

If you think you can put up a Facebook page and you can put out music and that people will magically find you, you’re delusional. That just won’t happen. It’ll be a complete fluke if that happens. I’m here to just let you know that that is the answer is go smaller. Go smaller.

The niche is typically something that already exists. In 98% of circumstances, if something that is already there that has been created, and it might be kind of new, but what it is not is a string of adjectives. Okay? It’s not what you wish it to be. It’s not, “Oh, my music is feel-good. This kind of… That like…” I don’t know, a bunch of adjectives that you just made up because is anybody searching for that in YouTube? Is anybody searching for that in Google?

What they might search for is, if they’re in a specific mood, that is the case, but now we’re dealing with more of SEO. It’s not a niche. Okay? And there’s a big difference between search engine optimization and keyword titles, say in a YouTube video and a niche. They definitely go hand-in-hand, and when you go to label things in YouTube and all of that, you’re going to use certain keyword phrases, and it should coincide with your niche, but you’ve got to just separate that. Don’t get lost in the woods on SEO.

Right now, the first thing you need to do is define that niche. How else can people find you? And if you’re not sure what your niche is… It’s always going to come back to the question of what is your twist, right? Because if you sound exactly like five other bands… Certainly you have your own twist, there’s something a little bit different about you, so you’re going to have to ask yourself that.

Yeah, the most important thing, guys, is that once you have a good grasp on your umbrella genre, you can then move to the sub-genre. It’s interesting even when you go to upload your music to iTunes, even they want a sub-genre. Having an umbrella genre isn’t good enough. They need one more qualifier to narrow it down.

The same goes for if you submit your music to Amazon or Google Play. They sometimes have three levels of genres, like, “Okay, you’re this, you’re this, and you’re this, that your music could fall under these categories.” Because even they need you to narrow it down or else their users, their consumers, won’t be able to find you. There’s just too many musicians out there. Right?

The smaller you go… It’s so counterintuitive to go smaller, you think, “Well, aren’t I cutting out my market? Aren’t I cutting out my market if I go too small?” You’re not. In fact, you need to look at it as a starting place. Okay? Your niche should describe what it is. People should be able to imagine and know what your music sounds like based on what the niche title is.

08:49 Leah: It shouldn’t be a poll on guessing like, “What is that?” They might be curious to hear it, like, “Oh, I wonder what that sounds like?” But they shouldn’t be wondering what does that mean? If it invokes the response, “What does that mean?”, then it’s not clear enough and you’re being too artsy-fartsy with your title.

I’m the same way. We can get really creative, but this is an instance where the idea here is to not be cute or witty or clever. We’re not trying to be clever with our micro-niche. We’re trying to be accurate.

When you get into the more advanced stages, when you are doing Facebook ads and stuff, now you have something to work with. If you didn’t know what differentiated you from everyone else, and you didn’t know your twist, and you have no idea what your targeted fan base is like, and you don’t know what makes them tick, what are the books they’re going to read, what are the blogs they read, where do they hang out online or the websites they’re hanging out? If you don’t know all of that stuff, your ads will bomb, and you’ll say, “Facebook ads don’t work,” and you’ll waste your money. That’s why I never encourage people to start spending money on Facebook ads until they get their free traffic down.

That’s why I have Facebook for musicians. I have The Busy Musician Bootcamp. I have a new product coming out actually this week. It’s a little small one on how to get 10,000 fans in seven days. But all of this is centered around having a micro-niche and knowing that you’ve got to get narrow, because if you don’t get narrow, you’re going to get lost. The idea here is to stand out and get smaller so that you eventually can become more well-known. You start small and then you can progress from there.

Facebook now has over 2 billion people here, and there’s a lot of people competing for the same fans that you are and the same eyeballs, the same ears, and how are we going to make it stand out? The way to do that is to get into a very specific niche that actually makes your market a lot smaller. It’s easier to be a large fish in a small pond, than to try and be another fish in an ocean of other fish. That’s so much harder, so much harder, way more effort.

What’s cool is that sometimes you really have combined some new things that really do sound fresh. I believe there’s really nothing new under the sun, but there’s definitely some new combinations of things that haven’t really been done before or just sounds fresh. Right? It has a new spin on it. I don’t believe there’s really anything completely, totally stays original.

No, we all got it from somewhere. We all have influences. Somebody at some point started something maybe in the beginning of time, but there’s really nothing you can honestly call original now and that’s totally fine. That’s actually how some of the best creative people work is by using inspiration from other people and making it their own and giving it their own twist.

As a qualifier for if you have found your niche, is when you describe it to someone or when you say the title, do they know what it is? Is it descriptive enough? Is it accurate or are you being really artsy-fartsy and creative and trying to be witty or cute with it. That’s not the goal. We want to just be descriptive so that, hey, when people type this into YouTube, your music comes up.

There is a little bit of crossover between your micro-niche, and you’ll know it’s a thing if people actually search for that thing. If it’s not that thing, you may have for that… There’s that 2% of people who genuinely have created something new that hasn’t really been done before, and for that you have a little bit of a greater challenge because now you’re going to have to… You’ve started a thing.

Now people are going to have to get used to the name. They’re going to have to also identify with that name and say, “Oh, I like that kind of music.” They’re going to have to somehow find you. Your challenge is a little greater if you have truly stumbled across something very unique. And I have several students who really have, and I was like, “Yeah, you really do have something that hasn’t been done before, or you have a twist that is very unique and not many people are doing.” So for that you’re really going to need to follow the steps that I teach as much as you can so that you can really stand out and attract people to you.

What you might do is end up using more of the layer above that micro-niche. You might want to stick more with the sub-genre to first attract people and then start educating them in a way as “You found us because you love this sub-genre. This is actually what we really are.” As we get to know you and love you and trust you, and when you develop relationships with your fans, it’ll become more apparent that, “Oh, it’s actually a layer deeper,” right?

You find that all the time. If you listen to Spotify playlist, and people get very generalized, and sometimes you’ll hear songs on a playlist, you’re like, “How did that make it onto this playlist? That doesn’t even make sense.” So people get generalized a lot in things and it drives us nuts as musicians, but for the consumer, that’s how they’re discovering music is through some of those generalizations. So I think the key is become a household name in your little niche, your little genre, and then you can expand from there and become more well-known, get more exposure, but it all starts with that tiny little beachhead that we talked about and then expanding from there.

So this was really fun and thanks for hanging out. I hope you have a wonderful week and we’ll talk to you soon.

Episode #096: How Social Media Is Changing The Music Industry

This may be the most concise, yet comprehensive, description of where we are in the music industry and what may be the greatest opportunity for artists in the last 25 years.

At the end of the 90s, Napster changed the old music industry with illegal downloading of digitized music, and a few years later, iTunes capitalized on that by now selling downloadable mp3s. And just a few years ago, another shift happened when apps like Pandora and Spotify eliminated the mp3 with music streaming.

All of this represented just more taking advantage of the artist as new companies made bundles while artists got pennies. They’re all just another version of the record labels.

But, the problem the internet created by Napster, iTunes, and Spotify has also now provided artists with a way to finally control their own careers and make the money they always wanted without a record label!

In this special episode, C.J. breaks this down in such as way that you’ll be fired up and ready to go to work on marketing your music. Buckle your seatbelts because you’re in for a ride!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The impact of the internet and Napster
  • Sad tales from the road
  • Social media is the new music industry
  • Why being discovered doesn’t matter anymore
  • Dialing in your Facebook ads
  • Getting more gigs because of your strong social media presence
  • The superfan system
  • Creating merchandise to sell while having no inventory


“Social media is the single biggest game-changer for the music industry since it began.”  – @metalmotivation [0:05:01]

“It’s not about potential fans discovering you, it’s about you discovering fans.”  – @metalmotivation [0:10:37]

“If you have a musical brand that you can now push out to an audience and you know how to target those people, then you can build an online music business.”  – @metalmotivation [0:16:45]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Join the TOM 3.0 Waitlist — explodeyourfanbase.com

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

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: This is CJ. I am the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. No doubt everybody has learned now that you simply cannot go on as you were before. This current crisis that we’re undergoing has really revamped the way everybody is looking at life, the way everybody’s looking at career, the way everybody is looking at possibility and opportunity. Think about that. So many dear, dear friends of mine play music for a living in that they play live events. They play live gigs at venues, in bars and the like. Well, that has all been shut down. All of it has been shut down. And so, now they’re scrambling to try and find other things to do to try and earn a living. As we always know, it’s artists, it’s creative people who always seem to get screwed. Screwed by record labels, screwed by media players, screwed by Spotify, iTunes and what have you.

Now even been screwed by the economy. So what do you do when something like this is happening? What do you do? What’s the challenge here for us? Well, you’ve got to build an online music business, and that’s the primary thing that has changed since the music industry experienced its last and almost detrimental revolution at the end of the 20th century. And that was essentially that you, your music, the music that you wrote could suddenly be distributed worldwide without your permission because of Napster. Napster changed the way the music industry was being handled. It essentially shut things down. Everything got shut down. Bands were up in arms over this, music was being distributed for free. And we understand that and we went through that.

The next change was when iTunes came out, and now they started to sort of capitalize on what was happening with downloadable MP3s and the iPod and all of these things begin to change that. So people were now buying and downloading music, but still the artist was getting pennies for what the tech companies were getting. Now the last one is streaming music. Now streaming is taking from the artist. Now, it’s great to get exposure and people are getting exposure on YouTube and the like. But now the music industry is what? What value is there right now for a record label? What can a record label do for you right now? Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot.

I know touring musicians, in fact, I did an interview with Lindsay Matheson who played in an international touring band. She said, in the discussions that she had with other professional touring musicians, that they were shocked to find out that the bus driver was making more money than they were. The bus driver was making more money than they were, and so oftentimes they have to go back. I know members of that band, when they get off the road, they have to go back and work in the bars or do some construction or whatever it is they have to do. There’s just not the type of profit or revenue that there used to be. Now what? Well, this is where the internet has begun to revolutionize things, even though it is the internet that caused the problem to begin with, in the sense that Napster began this MP3 download, file sharing thing, the internet is also the solution. It’s not just what created the problem, it’s also what is creating the solution.

However, something specific had to happen in the internet in order for us to be able to take advantage now of the power of the internet. You see, prior to social media, people were marketing things on the internet already. For example, Amazon started in the ’90s. So people were already using the internet for e-commerce prior to the advent of social media. In other words, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like. So internet marketing had been around since the internet was born. However, we did not have the opportunities that we have now because of social media. That’s what’s important to understand. Social media is the single biggest game changer for the music industry since it began, and that’s a big thing for me to say, but I assure you that is the case and I’ll explain why that is.

Now, I have been in marketing for 30 years. 30 years I have been in design, advertising and marketing. My degrees are in this. This is what I’ve done all my life and now I help out with the Savvy Musician Academy as both a branding and a mindset coach. I work with our elite students on a one-on-one basis, helping them with their branding, their marketing, et cetera. I’ve done this. I’ve got my own pages that I do. So believe me, I have done this for a long time. Here’s the thing you have to understand, is that the internet prior to social media, do you remember the things you used to say when you first discovered the internet? Do you remember what you thought? You were like, “I wonder if so-and-so company has a website yet. I wonder if this band has a website yet.” What did you used to say about someone who was goofing off on the internet, wasting time on the internet? What did we used to say? How did we describe it? We said they were surfing the web. Surfing the web. Well, do we even say that anymore?

Does anybody say surfing on the web anymore? Absolutely not. Nobody says that, because the web, internet, is just a part of our lives now. So what do we say now when somebody is wasting time online? Well, they’re checking their social media, they’re checking their Facebook. So we went from surfing the web to checking Facebook. So everything now is down to the little screen. That’s why you see advertising and whatnot being spent there. It’s because all of the focus now is on the little screen. But think about how revolutionary this is because, prior to social media, you had no hope of someone discovering you online. How would they find you if you’re a band? It doesn’t matter how good you are. How would someone find you? How would they know where you were? How would they know that you even existed? Well, prior to social media, information on the internet is searched for. You search for information on the internet. That’s how you do it. So it had to be a key word search, but nobody is necessarily going to be putting into the internet your name because they don’t know who you are.

You see, prior to social media, information on the internet was searched for. Now I want you to really listen to what I’m about to say. Prior to social media, information on the internet is searched for. After social media, information is shared. I want you to contemplate that for just a second. After social media, information is not searched for, information is shared. For example, we’re got this virus going on, and I’ve used this example for years. It’s going to mean a whole lot more now because we’re dealing with this COVID-19, coronavirus thing. But if I had a flu virus, how many people could I effectively infect if I stood in the middle of Times Square as people are moving by quickly? Not very many people.

08:38 CJ: I can’t affect very many people if I’m standing out in the street, but what happens if I get on a boarded airplane that’s full? Every seat is full on a commercial airline flight and had that same flu, that same virus. How many people could I infect? A lot. You’re seeing this with the cruise ships. Quarantining the cruise ships because it’s a captive audience. It is a isolated audience, an encapsulated audience. That, my friend, is what social media is. Social media is the internet contained, because people have to have an account in order to be on it. You can’t be on Facebook without a Facebook account. Therefore, you are able to spread things virally on social media like you could not do prior to social media.

You look at something like YouTube. A lot of musicians focused their attention on YouTube thinking, really thinking the old way, just like the record industry was. The old way, the record industry was, “I hope I get discovered by a record label.” Now they’re on YouTube thinking, “I hope I get discovered on YouTube. I hope my video goes viral.” Not likely. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. Think about that difference. So the power of social media and why it has changed the music industry now is because it’s not about people discovering you, it’s about you discovering people. It’s not about potential fans discovering you, it’s about you discovering fans. Because what Facebook does is track all the movements that we make, all the things that we click on and engage with and have interest and passions about. Facebook keeps a record of that. Therefore, when you use the powerful Facebook ad manager, you can target the exact people who would love your music.

Man, you better be clapping your hands and tearing up your ceiling right now because that is the best news anybody could have given you since Napster did what it did. This is the single most important thing to happen since the end of the 20th century. The problem that Napster and the internet created at the end of the 20th century now has the potential to be solved because of what we have now through the power of social media. I want you to think about that, because now you can go direct to market. Now you can target people who like this band, that band, this person, eats that food, watches this, does that, and you can put your music video right in front of the most ideal person who want to hear it. Man, that’s powerful. That is absolutely powerful.

Now, I do a project myself. The other half of my life is motivational speaking. I want you to listen to this example really, really closely. I’m serious, man. I’m about to put horseshoes in your boxing gloves. I’m about to help you cheat the system if you’ll listen really, really closely right now. I have a side project that I’ve done. I launched it in Halloween of 2009. It’s called Metal Motivation: Daily Screams for Living Aggressively. Metal Motivation. Now, the other half of my life is being a personal development person, self-improvement, motivational speaking, that sort of thing. I target, however, people who like heavy metal, hard rock. So I’m targeting those people. So my short hand description would be, I’m like Tony Robbins meets Metallica. Simple. Tony Robbins meets Metallica. It’s called Metal Motivation. Now, I set that up again in 2009. Well, here was the challenge. How do I target people for that page? Well, because of what the Facebook ad manager can do, I can target them.

But try and target that sort of thing before social media, because nobody prior to Facebook would ever sit down at the Google search engine and say, “I wonder if there’s a heavy metal version of motivation. I wonder if there’s a heavy metal motivational speaker. I wonder if there’s a heavy metal self-improvement program.” They would never say that. What would they do? They would sit down at the search engine and they would say, “How to be more motivated.” And they might be a lover of heavy metal, but they’re not looking for a metal motivation. They’re looking for how to be more motivated, and so they’ll take the information from whoever it is, whether it’s a metal motivator or not. But how much more ideal would it be if they had a metal motivator? But they’re just not going to discover me on a Google search. With Facebook, I can discover them.

So what I do, because of the Facebook ad manager, it has different layering. So I can say, “Find me, Facebook, people who like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest. But they must also like, they must also like Tony Robbins. They must also have read the book Think and Grow Rich. They must also have listened to this motivational speaker or follow this motivational page.” So now I can run ads directly to people who love heavy metal and love motivational content. Think about that. I’m targeting people who love heavy metal and love motivational content. So now when I put my ads in front of those people, they click like. I spend, and this is something Leah teaches in her courses. Both The Online Musician, what we call The Tom Program, as well as the Super Fan System Elite Program. She teaches this very thing, where she spends $10 a day on bringing new people to her page. I do the same thing. I spend $10 a day, 24/7. It’s $300 a month. I don’t even think about it. It’s money I spend on my business. That’s my business.

I’m in business here. So I spend $10 a day on that advertising, and it brings me in about 150 on average new likes per day to my page. My page is over 130,000, so it brings in 150 or more new likes every day like clockwork. It’s anywhere between five to 7 cents per like. Very, very cheap and inexpensive. Why? Because I have my audience targeted in. I couldn’t do that with a Google search engine. I couldn’t do that with trying to get a viral video on YouTube. I’m not waiting for people to discover me, I’m discovering them. I’m targeting them. That’s why social media is changing the way the music industry is being done. Now, what this means for you is that if you understand who you are as an artist, if you have a brand, a musical brand that you can now push out to an audience and you know how to target those people, then you can build an online music business. You can build an online music business.

So instead of putting just your video on YouTube and hoping somebody comes across it, or bothering all your friends on Facebook and say, “Hey man, share my video,” no, you can go directly to the people who want to hear the kind of music that you make. If you play ambient music, just instrumental. We’ve got in our Super Fan System Elite Program, we’ve got instrumentalists, ambient players. We’ve got, I mean, weird stuff. We’ve got pop music, we’ve got rock music, we’ve got all kinds of players. And they all have an audience that they can reach. We’ve got people that are very mission-driven in their music, very mission-driven. I’ve got one guy in our Elite Program, he’s just a solo music player, but he’s very passionate about the environment and social causes. He’s the real deal, man. He puts his money where his mouth is, and so he has a message to go along with it. Well, he’s able to now find an audience specifically for him.

17:51 CJ: Even if, maybe you want to do a combination. Maybe you want to do both online and build up your local gigs whenever you’re allowed to start playing again, and it will come back. Local music is going to come back again. But you maybe want to do both, sell some of your merchandise, sell your CDs and vinyl records online, as well as maybe sell some of your shows locally, you can use the same show social media marketing tactics there as well. Imagine this. Now, let me tell you something. For five years I ran a music venue, a very big music venue in Texas. It had two stages, indoors and outdoors. I would run a dance band on the indoor stage. I’d run a rock band on the outdoor stage and switch them up, every Friday and Saturday night. So believe me, I know what it means to host local bands. I know what booking is. I know what bar owners and venues are looking for.

One of the number one things when new artists would come to me and say, “Hey, can you book me?” One of the first things I would want to see is their social media presence. What kind of following do they have? They were trying to rely on the bar’s following. If you really want to attract a venue, you really want to get booked locally, then you want a venue owner, a bar owner, to see that you bring people out. And you can tell them, “Listen, I’ve got a huge Facebook following and people will show up when I play. I have an engaged following and they will show up when I play.” Well, guess what? You are going to get booked. That’s why it’s in your interest to build your social media audience, create brand awareness. See, what most people do. They say, “Oh, I’m already on Facebook. Oh, I know social media.” No they don’t. They’ve got a Facebook page and all they got on there is their events.

There’s no engagement. There’s nobody commenting. There’s no life going on. They’re not posting anything. They’re not doing anything. They just set up a Facebook page because that’s what people do. That’s a recipe for failure, I promise you that. You can’t do it that way. There’s a way to market your music via social media. Any music, maybe you give lessons now in light of the fact that there’s a downturn in these things. And you need to make some extra money. You can use the powerful tools of social media marketing to build your personal brand and target people just in your zip code. Isn’t that amazing? Let me tell you how powerful this is. When you’re going for the little screen, targeting the little screen … I get direct mail, as you probably do too. I get direct mail to my mailbox, my physical mailbox, every day. Now, I’m serious about my nutrition. I do the ketogenic diet to be specific, but I’m very serious about my nutrition. But I’ll get direct mail postcards and mailers from fast food restaurants or pizza delivery or takeout places.

Would they bother to send me that mail? Because it costs them money to have it produced. It costs them money to design it, it costs them money to buy a mailing list, it costs them money to mail it to me. Would they bother? Wouldn’t they love to know that I don’t eat that food? But you see, what does it tell me that I keep getting these mailers in my mailbox? It tells me that their targeting options are very, very limited. In Facebook, you don’t do that. In social media, you don’t do that. Nobody receives my advertising or my post that is not specifically and specially targeted for exactly what I’m going to put in front of them. Well, yeah. If I’m targeting people who love heavy metal and love motivational content, if I put in front of them an ad that says, “Hey, I’m the Metal Motivator. Get daily inspiration for motivated people who love heavy metal,” guess what they do? They click like, because I’m not putting it in front of people who don’t like those things.

Again, this is so much better than the internet has ever been. This is why you can have an online music business. Because, again, think about this. It’s what we teach in the Savvy Musician Academy, the Super Fan. What’s a super fan? A super fan is somebody who’s just crazy about your music, so crazy about it that they’ll buy stuff from you. That’s a super fan. If you had 1,000 super fans, 1,000 people who really like you and really like your music and those people, those 1,000 people, spent $100 in a year with you, t-shirts, hoodies, CDs, vinyl, whatever. If that 1,000 super fans just spent $100 in a single year with you, that would be a six-figure income. If they spent just $100 a year, that would be a six-figure income. Again, I have built my Facebook page up to 130,000-plus. Leah, three or four times as that. All you need is 1,000 people who will spend $100 a year with you and you have a six-figure income with your music business.

Hey, let’s make it easier. 50 people. I mean, excuse me, 200 people spending $50. The same thing. But you can build it up so much more than that. You can go well beyond 1,000 super fans. You can do so much more. You couldn’t do that with just the internet, you needed social media. That’s why social media has changed the nature of the music industry itself. This is powerful. Absolutely powerful. Absolutely game-changing. I know we’re living in trying times. I understand that this virus thing hit us all unexpectedly. We did not see it coming. But here’s the big lesson learned, you need alternative means of income. You can’t just go by by that day job anymore. I think everybody’s awake to that fact now. Now is the time for you to launch and build your online music business.

Again, you can use this to help build your live music playing. You can use this to bring people out to your shows. You can do all of it if you can build your audience, create this brand awareness, get that audience engaged and maybe get some of them then I’m on to a dedicated email list and you stay in communication with these people, going live like I am now. Creating this relationship where people know you, where they like you, where they trust you, where they enjoy hearing from you, where they love your music. Those people will buy your shirts, they’ll buy whatever you want to put in front of them. And you say, “Well, CJ. Listen, man, I don’t have the money to get a bunch of inventory. How am I going to get a bunch of shirts made? How am I going to get a bunch of hoodies and hats and mugs and all these things made?”

You don’t have to. For example, we use print-on-demand services. I have a store which has well over 100 products. I’ve got smartphone covers. I’ve got hats. I’ve got shirts. I’ve got necklaces, ladies’ stuff, men’s stuff. I’ve got coffee mugs. I’ve got all kinds of stuff and I don’t have a single piece of inventory. Not one. I do it through a Shopify e-commerce store and that’s all hooked up to these print-on-demand vendors. If someone places an order, they make the shirt to order. They don’t keep an inventory either. They make a single shirt, a single hat, a single hoodie per order, and they ship it to them. I don’t ever touch the product. All I have to do is build an audience, get them to know me, like me, trust me, engage with me on social media. Then if I build them up and I give them value, if I add value to their life for free, they’re more than happy to get a shirt. They’re more than happy to get a hat. They’re more than happy to get a mug, to support what I’m doing. I call it wearing their attitude.

It’s awesome, man. It’s awesome. This is the power of social media. This is why social media has changed the face of the music industry. This is why you can create an online music business. Man, I hope the coin is dropping for you. I hope you understand what I’m talking about. Like I said, I’ve done this for 30 years. I know I don’t look that old. I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I’ve watched the internet. I started long before the internet, so I’ve seen it grow. Marketing, design and advertising and promotion, I’ve seen it grow. I was in the early stages of promoting on social media. I was doing it beforehand. So again, again, this is so important for you to grasp and understand. You have options. You don’t have to stay where you are. If you know where you are as an artist if you know who you are as an artist, if you know who your target audience is, and it may take some thought. But these are things we teach all at the Savvy Musician Academy.

One of the things that we’ve got coming up here very soon is something that Leah produces. She’s about to release the most upgraded version, which is The Online Musician 3.0. Or as we call it, TOM 3.0. It will launch here in May very, very soon. So if you want information about that and you want to get on the list, then I want you to go to that URL right there, explodeyourfanbase.com. If you are somebody who’s down the road. In other words, you got a pretty good following. You’ve got a website. You’ve maybe sold some music online and you’ve kind of plateaued and you need to go to your next level, then I want you to check us out at getsuperfans.com. Go to getsuperfans.com, because then we can talk to you about our Elite Program.

You need to be an elite. Keep believing. Don’t give up right now. This is not the time to be discouraged. This is not the time to be fearful. This is not the time to be anxious. This is the time to advance. You need to go on the offensive. I know it seems scary out there. I know it does, but you can dissuade. You can assuage your worries, your fears and anxiety by taking action. Stay strong. We will see you guys soon.