231 – How to Get Millions of Streams on Spotify – with Isabella Bedoya of Fame Hackers

by | Apr 8, 2021 | Podcast

Would you like to get your music streamed millions of times on Spotify? What if there was a proven step-by-step process you could follow to achieve that goal?

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:25 – Owner of Fame Hackers Isabella Bedoya
  • 01:34 – Approach to digital marketing and e-commerce
  • 03:06 – Why Spotify?
  • 04:50 – The importance of being fan-centric
  • 08:16 – How do we go about finding our ideal fans?
  • 11:30 – Why is it so important that artists optimize their brand to attract their ideal listeners?
  • 13:50 – Getting the right kind of PR and playlisting
  • 18:16 – Is maximizing your revenue as simple as growing your fan base?
  • 20:35 – Sales funnels for musicians
  • 22:09 – Who not how
  • 24:02 – Can artists get millions of streams?
  • 26:32 – What’s the last YouTube video Isabella watched?
  • 27:02 – What’s Isabella’s daily routine like?
  • 28:47 – What is the greatest challenge Isabella has overcome?
  • 30:12 – What is the greatest victory Isabella has experienced?
  • 31:00 – Are there any books that helped Isabella on her journey?
  • 32:29 – The Renegade Musician


David Andrew Wiebe: Today I’m chatting with the founder of Fame Hackers, Isabella Bedoya. How are you today, Isabella?

Isabella Bedoya: Hey, David. Thanks for having me here today.

David: Yeah, thanks so much for joining me. So today, you run Fame Hackers but when you used to work as an A&R for a label under Sony Music, what led to you doing what you do today and what has your trajectory been like?

Isabella: Such a great question. Back in the day when I used to be an A&R, I quickly realized that the very first thing that people are like, or like at least labels are looking for are artists that have a social media following that’s real, high quality, authentic, essentially demonstrate that they have a fan base, and that they also can monetize that. Right? So basically, I understood that as long as you have digital marketing and ecommerce principles as part of your music career, then you can make it successfully as an independent artist. So yeah, once I figured that out, then I was like, “Okay, cool. So, if you can just teach an artist how to do this, there wouldn’t be so many starving artists in coats, right?” That’s how I got to where I am today, just that desire to help.

David: That’s awesome. And yeah, you’re totally spot on. It is so challenging, I think, to convince musicians that they have to learn digital marketing or eCommerce principles. So, I know you have your own approach to that. What is your answer to that?

Isabella: I mean, honestly, it is one of the most challenging things to teach artists and musicians because also… And I don’t think it’s their fault exactly but I also think it’s because of the way that society thinks that independent artists are like starving artists and it’s a hobby, and it’s a pipe dream, you’re never going to make it. So immediately, you have these very talented, gifted individuals that are not able to actually live up to their full potential just from the way that they were raised. And it’s not even on the parents. It’s just society in general. That’s how the majority treats musicians. So, when you first get them to actually step out of that and actually realize that they’re super valuable, and worthy, and talented, and then you just teach them how to market themselves in a way where you’re not also being kind of like slimy and icky because I know that’s something that comes up a lot where people don’t want to be like sellouts. But yeah, it’s just teaching the people the right approach of how to show yourself in a way that is going to be beneficial for everyone.

David: Yeah, I like what you said a lot about being valuable and worthy. That’s kind of the theme of the eBook I just came out with today – not an April Fool’s joke. It’s The Renegade Musician and it’s at gum.co/RenegadeMusician. I might send you a free copy there Isabella in case you want to check it out but it’s definitely about artist empowerment. I feel like it’s a timely important message for musicians.

Now, I know one of today’s theme is going to be Spotify. I’ve been chomping at the bit to do an episode about this because I know it’s been trending for a long time. And it’s very much alive and well. I think I really just needed the right guest to talk about it but I’m going to be the devil’s advocate right away and say, “Why Spotify? Isn’t it’s super crowded? Doesn’t it pay less than a cent per stream?”

Isabella: Absolutely. First of all, David, I would absolutely love a copy of the book. That is so amazing that you wrote that. And, you know, Spotify is one of those things where it’s like a really useful tool but it gives you a false hope or a false perception of success. Right? I’m kind of diving a little bit deeper on that. What I mean by false perception of success is so many people place so much importance on getting streams and getting this number of streams up. Although that’s a good metric, at the end of the day, those are kind of like your passive listeners, not necessarily your active audience or your active fans. So, a lot of the services out there, they’re like super shady playlist stirs or playlist pluggers, or the services that artists are spending their hard-earned money on things that aren’t really going to move the needle forward. And a lot of them are fake playlists, which can then harm your whole entire song on Spotify. So, it’s just one of those things where you just have to be really, really careful but also understanding, you know, at the end of the day it’s the fans that help you make it.

David: Yeah. And you mentioned a lot of things there that we’re going to dive deeper into, including the bit about passive and active listeners. I think I found that compelling, and it’s a really important thing to dive into. I think, first, you’re a big advocate of building that strong fan base. You talk about the importance of being fan centric as an artist. I definitely agree but why is that so significant?

Isabella: Well, that’s a great question because especially in today’s world, where everybody is an influencer, everybody’s a founder, everybody’s a podcaster, right, everybody has merch, we’re at war for attention. It’s very simple. We’re at war for attention. And then the people that are successful, gaining over the attention, those are the people that are actually being successful and making a living off of it, whether they’re influencers or brands, or whatever it is. So, when you become fan centric, you’re literally placing your fan as your number one consumer. That’s the most important part of your movement. They’re going to support you. They’re going to love you. But in return, you have to show that same level of respect for them. So, if you really think about it, it’s kind of like having stellar customer service for the fans. And when you can become that person, right, where you can actually make the fan the centre of your universe, you always make them happy, you provide for them, they’re going to do that plus more tenfold. So that’s one of the reasons why I think independent artists should start being more fan centric.

David: From your perspective, is that different from the traditional model somehow, where artist getting away with not interacting with their fans? Or are we just in an age now where we have to be even more diligent about engaging our fans?

Isabella: I think it’s, of course, on a case-by-case basis, but there’s a lot of… in terms of people that aren’t really being engaged with their fans. I think now more than ever, we’re in the age of accessibility. So, we have to be accessible. And there’s a lot of artists out there that they’ve read blogs or books or whatever, they just have this idea or notion that just because they’re artists, that they have to have a barrier between them and their fans, or that they’re, you know, a little bit more of a higher pedestal maybe because they get a little bit more clout and exposure. But at the end of the day, if you really want to be successful, and we see the big artists do it, right, like Taylor Swift has a whole department dedicated for her fans because she gets it. So, I think if you really like… and this is what we’re saying too. If you really want to be successful with your music on social media and have that digital presence, you have to place your fans first and open up the level of accessibility with them.

David: Right. So, you could have a mysterious personality. You probably just couldn’t be like Prince and be a recluse in practice all the time and get away with it.

Isabella: I mean, even then, right? You can still be super mysterious but just saying hello, or commenting back, or DMing them, just engaging with them in your own mysterious ways too, right, if that’s your brand you’re going for. But it’s just that level of interaction that it’s really interesting because it’s on a psychological level. If you get a notification on your phone from Instagram, it releases dopamine, right? So, it makes you feel good. So, if you’re getting that dopamine, and then it just happened to be by one of your favorite artists or like someone that you’re going to like, that’s going to increase that level of loyalty. Like, “Oh my gosh, I feel so special.” Such and such just like my comment.

David: That’s a big thing that I was learning from my coach recently. He has a course called Conversational Conversions. People can find it if they want for just $9 over at SuperfastResults.com. It’s ridiculous. The number one thing that I learned was, anytime anyone follows you, just say hi and thank the person for following them. If you want to go a step further, you could send them a video too thanking them. That can be unscalable but at least initially that can create a stronger engagement.

Isabella: Absolutely.

David: Awesome. So, how do we go about finding our ideal fans? There’s obviously a difference between engaged loyal fans versus people who just come to listen to your music, as you alluded to earlier. Is it all about following people on social media or is there something more to this?

Isabella: Finding your ideal fan – this is one of the hardest questions you can ask an artist. There are a few exercises, but I think the easiest one is, if you were to walk into a party and just kind of like this is where you kind of have to let your creativity run wild a little bit. So, if you’re walking to a party and you don’t know anyone but you start imagining, “Okay. Well, who’s the circle of people I would surround myself with?” And then you imagine that person you’re having a conversation. What are you guys talking about? What are some topics? What are they wearing? What is maybe favourite interest, favourite music that’s playing on the party and stuff like that. So, when you start thinking about that angle, you kind of start getting a little bit more of a visual.

Now, this is also a part where a lot of artists go wrong. They’ll say two things. When you ask them who their ideal fan is they’ll dive into their insights and analytics and they’ll tell you who they think they are based on the analytics of the traffic that they’re currently receiving but that’s not necessarily intentionally finding your ideal fans. That’s just whatever. It just happens you’re getting that traffic. It’s not necessarily going to mean that these are the people that are going to love and support your culture. So, you have to be really intentional with that.

Now, the second part is that when artists also get a point of like, “Well, I kind of have an idea who they are. I have a visual and they get stuck there.” But if you really want to know who your ideal fans, you have to get down all the way to psychologically the pain and the pleasure points. Because if you understand the pain points, and if you understand the pleasure points, and if you understand, you know, the current challenges that they’re going through on a day-to-day basis, conversations that are keeping them up at night, you can insert that in your messaging, you can insert that in your music, you can insert that in your captions, and that’s going to resonate so much more. It’s going to actually attract just because it’s going to resonate. So, it’s going to attract the right people versus you messaging every single person and like spamming and like, “Check out my music. Here’s my link.” stuff like that.

David: Absolutely. And so, to some extent, it really is doing social media listening and paying attention to current topics and being mindful and aware of what people might be experiencing or feeling right now. I know that’s been challenging for me and other music educators simply because we do most things from home and just continue to do most things for home. So, we’re not in touch with the reality of what people are experiencing and feeling. Also, because we tend to watch less TV and news.

Isabella: Yeah.

David: Generally, I think that’s a good thing. So that’s really good.

Isabella: Yeah. And you can also go on Facebook groups or Reddit groups and learn the language. Right? As long as you can get really good at the language of how they’re speaking and you can communicate in their own language, it’s going to be super easy to attract those people.

David: That’s huge. Yeah. Watching the language patterns, you can almost just use what they say in your copy if you know what you’re doing. That’s magic right there. I love that you talk about brand as well. I’m working on a book that focuses intensely on branding, and that’s coming, but from your perspective, why is it so important that artists optimize their brand to attract their ideal listeners?

Isabella: That’s a really great question. If you really think about it, if you break down an artist to the very core, there’s always all this mysticism around how music actually works and how people actually become successful. But if you really take down to its core, an artist operates as a brand, right. And every brand has products. So, if you take a look at Apple, for example, Apple’s the brand and then they have their IMAX or iPhones or Mac books, whatever. So similar with artists, they understand that they operate as a brand and they are the brand. Their music is the product. Their merch is a product. Everything else that they do is a product. So, if they understand that principle, then they have to learn to understand, okay, well, how do we actually get brand retention or like customer retention? And that’s where brand loyalty comes in. If you can get really good at identifying your brand and who you are as a brand, and your storytelling behind the brand, because that will actually connect a lot more, and you create those offers to monetize your brand, then all you really have to worry about is making sure that you’re delivering a really nice experience for the fans so you can increase your brand loyalty.

David: Is a brand logos, colors, websites, business card, stuff like that or does it actually go deeper?

Isabella: Yeah. I mean, that’s just kind of like the physical aspects of it, right. But the brand can even go as deep as the story, the “why” behind it. I don’t know if you know Simon Sinek, the three golden circles, where it’s like, you know, people don’t really care about what you do or how you do it but they care about why you do it. So, when you get really hone in on your why, hone in on your story, the story behind your brand, hone in on the culture that you want to create, it kind of becomes a movement. So yeah, the colors, the logos, all of that is nice for the aesthetics of it but it doesn’t just stop there. It’s a lot more to that.

David: Yeah, this is something I learned from Greg Wilnau from Musician Monster in a big way. He says that your brand is basically your impact, the purpose, the difference you want to make in the world. So, knowing that is going to make you so much more magnetically attracted to the right people than just thinking about costumes and stuff like that.

Isabella: Yeah, I love that you said that. “Magnetically attracted to people.” That’s so powerful.

David: Yeah, yeah. I think that’s what a good brand creates is magnetic attraction, you know.

Isabella: Absolutely.

David: One of the main ways artists get their name out there is by getting the right kind of PR and leveraging it. And leveraging it being the key here because I feel that something a lot artists just don’t do very well so they really miss out on a lot of opportunity when they work so hard for it and don’t utilise it in their marketing. And obviously, the main way artists get more attention for their music on streaming sites especially is by getting on playlists. You mentioned that you have a way of helping artists achieve those things without using Submit Hub or Payola. What does that look like?

Isabella: Yeah. I guess to break it down from the PR, right, so leveraging your PR. Basically what that means is essentially you’re getting PR placements, you’re getting exposure, you’re gaining that credibility and that authority. A lot of artists will either go to routes. They will either do earn media, which means that media that you earn, just because you’re timely with your topics, your pitches, and stuff like that. Or there’s paid media where it was the ones that you’re usually buying your articles and stuff like that. A lot of artists will go and buy the articles but it doesn’t really do much other than just boosts maybe your credibility a little bit within your circle. The best way to leverage those when you are getting PR placements is to, first of all, actually develop meaningful relationships with the journalists or reporters, even the podcasters, whoever you’re speaking with. Develop those relationships because at the end the day they’re actually going to talk to… Like, that’s the world that they live in. So, all their friends and all their buddies are going to be, you know, other people in PR. So, if you can build those relationships, it kind of opens up the doors for more opportunities.

The other thing is also to make sure that when you are getting featured, always thank whoever it is that’s, you know. Repost it, thank them. Thanks for the time. Tell them how amazing experience it was and amplify that. It helps you amplify that whole entire experience because not only are you now going from a one-time interview or whatever it is, but now you’re showing it on your social media. You tag them. It’s going off to their social medias. They’re probably reposting you as well. It just kind of starts propagating like that.

So, you have to be really strategic when you’re landing PR because it’s not just the placements. And when it comes to playlist thing, the thing is that a lot of times what happens is artists submit to like Submit Hub, Payola, and all these different sites and they do out in hopes that they’re actually going to be able to get more streams, and that’s going to gain them the exposure. It’s really funny.

I learned this from speaking to so many artists, but everybody will say that they want exposure but when you really get them on a call, when you really talk to them, what they’re really saying in their own language is they want fans. So again, it just goes back to understanding the languaging, right.

Because if you really want to get on a bunch of playlists, legit, then you have to get a lot of pre saves, right. And this is not something that you can necessarily do by submitting on Submit Hub and stuff like that. What happens when you submit to those websites, you’re now falling prey to these playlist curators now telling you negative feedback or criticism.

A lot of the times artists aren’t necessarily ready to receive that criticism so it can impact them for a few years. Their mental health goes down. Now, they’re actually being hard on themselves or thinking their failures and stuff like that. At the end of the day, music is subjective. So, when they’re going after those routes, it’s just more damaging. You’re wasting a lot of money, you’re wasting a lot of resources, you’re wasting time only to hear back and maybe you’ll get playlisted in a couple of playlists that don’t really make a difference or just to get a lot of no, which hurts the ego.

So, the best way is just to focus on the fans. Make sure that they’re pre saving. If you want to do paid marketing and paid ads, you can also do paid ads to drive to your pre saves. But yeah, there’s so many other methods that you can do without necessarily relying on these gatekeepers, as people like to call.

David: First thing, yeah, I would really like to create a culture where artists leverage their PR well and thank the person who helped them out with it. And that’s part of what The Renegade Musician is all about. And second of all, yeah, if you want to encourage pre saves, maybe even show your fans how to do it literally on your computer or send them a video showing them how they can do that. And then that’s going to ensure that they actually take that action for you. And if you’ve built the relationship up to that point, then they’re going to be far more willing to help.

Isabella: Absolutely.

David: So obviously, once you started to build your fan base, there are going to be more opportunities right at your fingertips. Is monetization something that happens by default? Isn’t maximising revenue as simple as growing your fan base and letting them do the rest?

Isabella: Yes and no because again, we’re fighting for attention. The thing is that the way that digital marketing works nowadays are like the way that the internet is kind of like heading is that you have to make it super easy and super simple for people to actually click and purchase. If you go on a website, and we see this all the time, there’s so many websites out there but are the websites actually converting into sales. And when you start giving people a lot of choices, they don’t buy. So, one of the things that I love to do, and I’ve used this not only in the music industry but before Coronavirus, I also had a drop shipping store and I would sell like dog beds. I only do them one option. The only bed you can get is this bed and that’s it. If you want to get something else, it’s not going to show until you hit the next pages, right, because you want to make sure that they’re buying the first thing first.

When you’re building your fans, you’re taking them similar through that buyer’s journey as well, where you’re going from this really cold audience that they probably don’t know you, they don’t like you, they probably just don’t trust you yet. All you have to do is you have to nurture them into becoming these hot customers. This is literally a typical sales funnel or buyer’s journey. So, what happens is you’re taking this audience that you’re getting, you’re growing this fan base, you’re getting all this traffic, and now you just take them through a funnel. I personally like Click Funnels. You can do this on Shopify. You can do this anywhere else. There’s also a bunch of Click Funnels spinoffs. I personally like Click Funnels and the whole process is very simple. You take them to one page. They can’t get to the next page unless they take action on this one page. It can be a free incentive for an email. It can be a free shipping offer, something that’s really, really cheap. It could be something… I would recommend starting at the lower tier because again, you’re just trying to build that trust. And once you have them through the first door, now you can offer them a monthly recurring revenue membership or you can offer them a VIP merch bundle, or whatever it is, but you can’t really expect to get the most out of people if you haven’t really taken them through that journey of like nurturing them and getting them to know, and like you, and trust you.

David: It was a leading question, obviously, because I knew there was more to it than that. Absolutely, sales funnels are big in the music industry right now. Do you have a service that helps people build funnels? Because I’m thinking it’s tough for some musicians. Even though there’s a lot of people teaching musicians to do it without guidance, it’s a pretty technical process. I’ve messed around with Click Funnels. I like it. I mostly use 10x Pro. For some products, I would be inclined to use Click Funnels. Having said that it’s tactical, and not everyone is as technical as you and me so what are your thoughts?

Isabella: I agree with you 100%. And this is the part where artists kind of start to fall off because they’re like, “I don’t really want to learn that. I don’t have time. I want to focus on the music and stuff like that.” There’s a bunch of places that you can hire people to build your funnels. Actually, before I switched into the Fame Hackers model, I used to offer digital marketing services and I would do that. Now we do it like every so often on a one-off basis or just depending if they need it. We also have a swipe funnel so that just means that it’s already built out and all we do is duplicate it and then send it to whoever needs it. And then all they have to do is just brand it and make sure they create their own account and stuff like that.

David: Which is pretty important because otherwise the musician is kind of stuck learning. How do I make a lead magnet? How do I copyright? How do I send ads to my funnel and all that? How do I build traffic? Which is still I think valuable for musicians to learn. It’s just not going to be everybody’s vote so I like that. You talk about focusing on the who and not the how. I’ve certainly heard this before and I agree but in context of what you’re talking about here, I’m sure there’s a little more to it. So, how can we properly focus on the who and not the how as artists?

Isabella: The thing is, again, it’s just a thing of how people get stuck in the misconceptions or the mistakes. Right? What that basically means is, let’s say you want to get more streams or you want to get more exposure, so then the internet will tell you, “This is how you do it.” And then, what the internet is not telling you is that these are all bunch of misconceptions, mistakes, or things that don’t really work. The “who”, those are the people that are actually on the ground level. They’re hands on. They know what’s working. One day on social media can be equivalent to a whole week. Right? Everything is constantly changing, especially with TikTok and Reels now being at the forefront of everything. Everything changes so fast. So, if you’re focusing on these old traditional methods or just methods that appear on books or things that don’t really change as often, then you fall in that cycle of you’re doing things that you think you should be doing but it’s not necessarily what you need to be doing. The “who” being the professionals, right, the people that are actually helping you with these. And also, being careful with who you work with because there’s also a lot of people that they will scam you in this industry. There are way too many people that act as consultants and all these different things they don’t have a track record. So, it’s really, really important that whoever you decide to work with is someone that actually has either a track record or has experience or they are doing what you want to do or have done what you’re trying to do.

David: That’s really huge. Yeah. Part of my personal development training was, “Who do you listen to?” And you want to listen to people who have the results that you want, at least on the way to achieving them. So, you expressed it very well. Part of your email there was a little bit of copywriting magic. You mentioned millions of streams. So, if we follow the processes that we’ve talked about so far, is that how artists get millions of streams? Or is there a little more to it?

Isabella: Yeah. It’s kind of like this, right? So, if you think about everything we just talked about, we talked about two different types of marketing principles. We talked about organic marketing and paid marketing. The best way to illustrate it is if you think about, and this is also another misconception, artists jump straight into paid marketing.

So, if you think about organic marketing as the engine to a car, and then paid ads as the gas that you pump into a car, right, the fuel, what happens is when you don’t have organic marketing figured out, you’re pumping gas into a car with no engine.

But when you have your organic marketing figured out and you pump gas into it, then you’re actually getting the best results. Before focusing on how to get to a million streams, you have to figure out, how can I get my organic marketing super, super solid, that no matter if I have ads running or not, traffic’s coming.

And then once you have your organic marketing figured out, you want to make sure that in this strategy you have your monetization strategy figured out so you have revenue coming in. And then that means that you take that revenue, or at least a portion of it, you invest it into ads, the ads will then help you scale.

And then you never fall into this thing of like, “I have no money but I have a…” Whatever, you know. Like, you never fall in this trap of not being able to run ads because you don’t have money so therefore you don’t have a music career. You have a music career. Let’s do it the right way. It might take a little bit longer, but in the long run, it will get you there a lot faster.

David: I love that you said that. Reinvesting. It’s really a theme in the Renegade Musician, my new eBook as well. I really like to hammer that home for musicians that if you learn to reinvest well, instead of just going to Denny’s after gigs, you’ll probably be able to grow and advance. If you want to hang out with your buddies and play music, that’s okay. And it’s okay to spend a little bit on yourself and to have something left over but if you want to grow, for sure, that’s the way is to take that revenue and reinvest.

Isabella: Yeah, I mean at the end of the day you have to celebrate yourself but not recklessly.

David: Exactly.

Isabella: People have to reinvest. The more you reinvest, the faster you grow.

David: That’s awesome. Well, a few quick closing questions to build out your character. The first one is, what’s the last YouTube video you watched?

Isabella: Whoo, the last YouTube video. You got me there. I actually… Terry Chidester. Have you heard of him?

David: I think so.

Isabella: Yeah. It’s Terry Chidester. He’s really big in digital marketing. I’m actually in his mastermind and I watched one of his videos earlier today, where he was breaking down a whole ad set up for someone. And yeah, it was digital marketing related.

David: I love it. You’re investing in yourself. And then, what is your daily routine like?

Isabella: My daily routine. I just changed that recently a little bit. It’s a little bit more fun now.

But normally, what I do is I wake up, I have a morning routine. If I don’t have a morning routine, I feel like my whole day is so lost.

So, in my morning routine I’ll just do things to actually make sure that I’m actually able to show up in the world at the best way, right. So, I’ll do my journaling, my gratitude, my breathing and all these different things.

And then from there, I have… Kind of like the mornings I block it off just for me, just for in case anything happens or whatever. Mornings are usually for me. And then, I’ll jump on calls and work maybe like around 11am to noon. And then, I’ll just work straight through the day. I’ll help artists.

And work for me is just helping artists. Whether it’s a group coaching or one on one calls or stuff like this, right, podcast, interviews.

The one thing that I implemented recently was I started… In the middle of day, I started blocking off two hours. And in those two hours, I book calls that are only on phone calls, so not Zooms. I strategically move things around. I’m like, “These are going to be phone call calls.” And what I started doing is I started going to the pool, where I can take those phone calls. Like, those actual phone calls and get a little bit more of that flexibility and time freedom in a sense. But yeah, that’s one of the new things I started doing. I feel like it’s definitely added a refreshing vibe to my day.

David: That’s key. Yeah. After about three or four hours of pretty in-depth focused work, I have a tendency to take a couple hours off. As much as possible I’d like to spend that time outside. And then you come back to your home and it feels like a different place because you’ve been outside absorbing a different kind of structure.

Isabella: Yeah, it’s amazing.

David: It is. It is. What would you say is the greatest challenge you’ve overcome?

Isabella:  Greatest challenge. I feel like I’ve overcome so many. Yeah, I’m a huge believer of fail fast, fail forward. Biggest challenge, I would say, when I graduated college, I couldn’t find a job anywhere, so I moved back home. My mom was living with my brother in a two-bedroom apartment, so I was crushing on their couch for a bit. I couldn’t find a job anywhere. No one wanted to hire me. For some reason, I was either too qualified or not qualified enough. And so, I decided, “Okay. I’m just going to become a private chef.”

And that’s kind of how my whole culinary career started, where in the back of my head the whole time I kept thinking this is my fast track to the entertainment industry. I have literally created my own backdoor into the music industry. So, what I did was I worked super hard. I was a private chef in South Florida for about six months, maybe even less than that. And one thing led to another. I got hired to be a live-in private chef for a family in Beverly Hills. So, it was like this dream come true. I have two weeks to pack up. I’m moving to LA. And then, once I was in LA, that’s how I then then found my way into the music industry.

David: What’s the greatest victory you feel like you experienced?

Isabella: I think that. That right there. That already just because it goes from like, literally crushing my mom’s couch. I think I had like negative $300 in the bank at that time. It was just a miserable time. And then from there, being able to actually do exactly what I wanted to without even having the full financial thing figured out because yeah, I was a private chef, but I was still, you know. You’re starting out. You’re just fresh out of college. It’s a whole thing. So, it was just one of those things that’s just trusting the vision, trusting the process without necessarily focusing too much on the hows.

David: Yeah. My 2011 was a little bit like that. Fire and ice. The first half sucked. The second half was great. I think I’ve told that story multiple times on the show already, but yeah, quite a year.

Isabella: Awesome.

David: Are there any books that have helped you on your journey?

Isabella: I read a bunch of books. My favorite ones are, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson.

David: So good.

Isabella: Yeah. You’ve read it?

David: Yeah.

Isabella: It’s amazing. What else? I have a bunch behind me actually. I have How to Make It in The New Music Business by Ari Herstand.

David: Good book.

Isabella: Think and Grow Rich, Start with Why, All You Need to Know About the New Music Business by Donald Passman.

David: I’ve got that too.

Isabella: I read so much. Oh, another really good one was Unlock It by Dan Lock. It’s more of a sales book but that one’s pretty good. And then I also have audible. I have a bunch on Audible too.

David: Nice.

Isabella: Psycho Cybernetics is another good one.

David Yeah. Psycho Cybernetics. Absolutely. If you want to read one with a different flavor, the new Psycho Cybernetics with an Intro by Dan Kennedy.

Isabella: Oh, I got to check that out.

David: Yeah, it’s kind of neat. I have a lot of those books too. I’d say Think and Grow Rich is kind of like my life philosophy if I had to roll it all into one, so it’s great. Okay. Well, thanks so much for your time and generosity Isabella. Is there anything else I should have asked?

Isabella: I think we covered a lot.

David: We did. We did.

Isabella: Thank you for having me. This has been super fun. I hope this was helpful and useful to the listeners as well.

David: Agreed.

Closing Segment

So, if you’re ready to be inspired and empowered, you’ll want to pick up a copy of my latest eBook, The Renegade Musician at Gum.co/RenegadeMusician. Usually, I charge $30 for this eBook. For the next 10 orders, you can get it for $10. So, head on over to Gum.co/RenegadeMusician to get your copy.

This has been episode 231 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.