TPM 103 | TikTok

 

It is mind-boggling how artists can significantly improve their craft and expand their influence just by keeping a strong social media presence. In Audrey Callahan’s case, the platform that transformed her music career is TikTok. She joins Bree Noble once more to share updates on what happened to her career during and after the pandemic. Audrey opens up on how TikTok helped her become more confident with her songwriting skills, establish a solid brand, and enjoy numerous viral moments. She also talks about a bit about her songwriting and online content monetization processes, as well as why she sees TikTok as a more positive and welcoming space than YouTube.

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Growing Her Music Career Through TikTok With Audrey Callahan

I am truly thrilled. I always say I’m excited every single time. I’m changing this because I really am over the moon excited to be talking with my friend, Audrey Callahan, because this is a follow-up episode. I had her on the show. Look it up. It was 2016, which is the second year of the show Episode 52 if you want to go back and check that out. My life and her life all looked very different in 2016, but that’s what makes this so interesting, to have this follow-up. I also had her at my summit in 2018, so I’m just really excited to be doing this interview and catching up with all that has changed and blossomed, especially in her career.

Since then, I know that she’s going to be able to give you guys a lot of really good pointers for artists on making income and things that she decided to put aside and move on to different things because she had different opportunities. It will be really great to go through her whole story. Before we get into that, just in case they haven’t read Episode 52, Audrey, I’d love to have you give a background on how you got into music, what you have done, what your music journey has been up to when we did our last episode together, and then we can explore from there.

We were talking a little before about how being on that episode was such a moment for me because I felt like your podcast was this next step and I had become this grownup singer-songwriter that had earned the right to be on this. You were telling me that it was only in 2016, but you’ve had your stuff together for years before that. It all felt very awesome to be on your show way back then. As far as my start, I’ve been singing my whole life ever since I was young. If my mom or dad ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always emphatically say a rock star. I even dressed up as a rock star with hair and everything for Halloween. She would do little interviews with us asking us questions like that. I have always loved singing.

My dad is a phenomenal musician. He’s a scientist by day and a musician by night. He’s always been in bands and he’s always had a dedicated music room in all of the houses we’ve had growing up. He would always bring me into the music room and I would sing a lot of the songs that he personally couldn’t sing, like the Journey and Queen and all these big Led Zeppelin notes, so I took over that role for him. I started expanding my range and music knowledge from a young age. I discovered the Whitneys and the Mariahs. My mom is Hispanic, so I have Hispanic influence in music.

I always knew I wanted to be a pop star when I grew up, but somewhere along the way, things happen and you get scared off your path and settle into a plan B career. I went that route two and had a totally different career as a web developer, but I never lost sight of the music. I was able to come full circle eventually. That was my story.

I had forgotten about that, the whole design career. You were still doing that when I had you on the show. You and your husband ran a design company.

Yes, that was my full-time job for nine years. I worked very diligently from 9:00 to 5:00. I only did my music after it was done. I did that for that entire time trying to make it take off. Half of that, I gave up on music altogether and did it for fun. The latter half is when I really started working in the music business and it eventually took over. I loved web development. It was great, but it was always nagging at me at the back of my head, “If I could make a successful web business, why couldn’t I do that with my main skill, which is music?” My teachers told me in school that I shouldn’t start a business. It’s too hard in the web development industry, there are all these DIY websites, and all this stuff. We decided not to listen and, in that business, we hit six figures.

By year two, we had office space employees and all this stuff. I was sitting there looking at everything I had built and kicking myself thinking, “I need to do this for music.” That’s when I made the switch. I had to go through that to learn business systems, operations, sales, and marketing. I learned so much in that business that carried over to music.

I love that perspective because it’s true. If you can practice it in another business and then move it over to music, you’re going to be much more successful much quicker because you don’t have to learn all those lessons.

I was able to apply it in a business that didn’t feel so personal. I feel like, with music, it’s very personal. If you get rejected, it’s like a personal rejection as opposed to just a business deal. Those things I’m still dealing with now.

Being rejected in the music industry is so much more personal than being rejected in business deals. Share on X

That’s true. You get that whole experience of lots of people saying no to you and trying to tweak your marketing to figure out why people aren’t paying attention and all those things that you can get out of the way before you start working on music. Back then, we had talked on the show. The first big thing that you got into with music was doing session work. You were doing a lot of it online as well. You were also performing. Are you still in the San Diego area by the way?

I am. We finally moved back, we stopped RVing, we settled down, and we bought a place out here.

You were in San Diego the last time I talked to you. You were performing and doing a lot of online session work. I’m guessing that it’s changed a lot since then especially because of the pandemic. I got to say you are the one that got me onto AirGigs way back then. Now I’ve developed a relationship with them. I’ve had them on the show, and I recommend all the people I’ve written for their blogs. During the pandemic, they were doing a lot of blog stuff to help musicians and I wrote stuff for their blog. That’s fun. How do you feel the session world has changed since then?

Big time. Back then, I remember being so floored and just yelling from the rooftops about how cool it was and how easy it was. A lot of platforms have popped up since then. Probably a lot of people have heard me yelling from the rooftops and so a lot of people signed up. I’m always from the mentality that I love to share everything I know. I don’t believe in a scarcity mindset and everything will happen in its own time, and there’s enough for everybody to go around. Having said that, it hasn’t been as active as back then. I feel like it’s very saturated now. Now I find myself that if I am low on session work, needing to boost my post or do an ad or something like that, or before I could just sit around and get them, now I need to look for them a little bit more.

I have found an interesting niche in cheerleading music. There are cheerleading competitions that they do at the college level, toddler, high school, and all throughout. It’s a big deal. There are Netflix documentaries. Some of the teams I work with do the music for the teams that are on the Netflix documentaries. I’ve been flown around the country to do this type of work. It’s random.

The cheer industry found me through one avenue, just googling a session vocalist and found my website, and then separately a different cheer company found me on Spotify. One of my songs had gone viral and then it got on his Spotify Discover. He called me right then and was like, “Is this you on the radio on Spotify?” I was, “Yes, that’s me.” He is like, “I do cheerleading music. Have you heard of that?” I’m like, “I just found out about it.” I’m the voice of cheer now, and that’s what has kept me afloat when AirGigs started to get less.

That’s cool. I don’t do a lot of session work. I do them when they come along, but I find that once someone finds you, they tend to come back to you again and again because they know you’re reliable. They like your voice, they know your voice, and how it sounds with the writing that they do. A lot of times, mostly, any things that I do throughout the year are for two people.

I do get the idea that they may want to switch it up and not have the same singer on all five of their albums and try different stuff, but it is nice to get that repeat business.

Another thing I remembered from the episode that we did was that you had something go viral on YouTube because you met some influencers on a cruise.

The world of virality has changed so much. Back then, that was my first viral moment. I’ve had many since, which has been pretty cool. Thanks to TikTok. I found that girl again on TikTok. I was thinking of doing a follow-up years later of dueting her in something. Thanks for the reminder. That song is still one of my most played. It’s the one that the YouTubers found on the cruise and vlogged about. Thanks to TikTok, a few others have had their moment in the spotlight. Going viral is helpful.

I want to get into TikTok big time, but let’s catch everybody up on what you did in your music career between 2016 and 2022 or until TikTok started going crazy for you.

I feel like I floundered quite a bit. I was hiding in my studio. I was doing session work. I was happy about that. I was making money, but I still longed for my own music to get out there. I’ve been on YouTube since 2009 when I uploaded my first video. The only thing that happened between then and 2022 was maybe those girls who found me on the cruise, but that was it. I felt like I was spinning my wheels, and it was hard to get my own music out there. I had a sour taste in my mouth about performing live because I only could get hired for covers. I didn’t want to get back into the cover world. I disappeared in the studio, which I guess was needed looking back, and started writing a lot.

Before TikTok took off, that’s where I started writing. I would look around on TikTok and I would find people who were like, “Look at this beat.” There’d be producers posting their beats on there. I’m like, “Let me do some exercises and develop my writing skills.” I started posting original stuff on there. I started out with covers, and it was taking me nowhere, the same as YouTube taking me nowhere. I was like, “Forget this.” My ultimate passion is to get my own message out there, so no more covers. I stuck to doing originals when I first got on TikTok in 2020. I morphed into the originals and then that’s when things started taking off more when people got to know me and what I had to say in my particular message.

Now my song catalog was growing because I hadn’t released a lot of music up until then. I always considered myself someone who could write songs, but I don’t know donning the term songwriter and feeling confident even selling my writing skills. On AirGgigs, people would want to hire me for songwriting and I’d feel nervous about it. Fast forward now, where I start doing it so much because of the help of TikTok, now it’s a service that I do offer, have a lot of confidence in, and get pretty much no revisions and people love it. It was stepping into it and owning it and doing it a lot that helped me come out of my shell.

TPM 103 | TikTok

TikTok: Releasing your work on TikTok could give you a lot of confidence depending on the feedback you get. Always own your work and use it as a stepping stone to come out of your shell.

 

That was a lot of discovery for me from when we last talked to now. There’s more to get into, but I’m showing off original music that I’m putting together, which is in the past, I’ve been like, “No one would hire me for originals.” I’ve just grown a lot and things are happening because I decided they could happen. I started doing them regardless of the numbers or the money was not showing up yet.

It seems like what TikTok did for you, in the beginning, is it gave you the confidence to be you. That is a great thing, like all the things that people say about TikTok. That is something that I have seen happen with many artists of people saying, “There is a niche for me. There are people that like my music. They like me for me. They want to know what’s going on in my life.” That’s what’s great about TikTok. Do you think that the pandemic played a role? Do you think that because you couldn’t go out and perform or just had you focused more on writing, and then getting into TikTok?

I’ve been a homebody for a while. I live out on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think I was performing out much at that time, but it did give me a sense of real connection. I feel like when I was posting on YouTube, I was just blasting it into an empty void. I never really heard from people. It wasn’t a quick act. I may get a comment on something I posted months ago, but it’s one comment. I don’t know. It wasn’t as fulfilling and connection-building for me. I saw the quick format stuff that I was posting on TikTok that it was instantly 10s of 20s of 30s of people would start and it’s actual conversations and even just watching people how authentic they are.

On YouTube, it was more polished. I was having green screen background. It was taking me forever doing these full covers and edit my butt off and like, “To what end?” With this, you can put up your phone and sing. I feel like that pandemic was a big push in that direction because nobody could see each other, but now we have this peek into their homes and people in their closets or best bedrooms trying to connect with someone.

One thing that TikTok brought out that got people moving and doing stuff that they wouldn’t have done maybe is the ability to duet. I’ve seen you do quite a bit of dueting. Is that where you got started or were you posting your own stuff first or your combo of both of those things?

I started off dueting. I started off by finding the people who posted beats and I would duet their beats and write something to them. I started dueting other underground artists and I liked their songs. It is not these big people that we all know. One thing about TikTok is they love the underground. They almost don’t want celebrities on there because they’re like, “You have your fame. Leave this to the indie artists.” They’re so welcoming to indie artists. They love discovering. I can tell when a song’s going to pop off. If I duet someone and they’re at not that many views, then their video pops off and now I come up with them too. I don’t do it based on trends. The other thing is I make sure it’s related to my brand and my content what I like to talk about.

One of my favorite things is to duet people either with harmonies or now you’ll see a trend where they do challenges. I’ll take a song where it relates to my brand and I’ll duet them. Another thing that has taken off more than anything for me is my rewrites. I’ll take a song and I’ll rewrite it with positive lyrics. It will be a song talking about materialism, sex, and things like that. I’ll turn it into crystals and sage and meditating, and people seem to like that. I discovered a new skill. I can rap. I have a song out where it’s all rapping. I don’t even sing the song at all. I’m like, “What is life that I’m now a rapper?” People love it. They’re like, “What is this like? She’s got flows. She’s White, and she’s talking about some positives. I can get behind this.” It’s doing something new and fresh, putting a spin on things, and being entertaining.

I’ve heard you mention a couple of times, “It has to fit with my brand.” Did you sit down beforehand and like, “This is what I want to be as a brand online. This is who I am and this is what I want. This is what I feel comfortable with.” Did it just evolve, or was it a little more calculated than that?

It evolved. When I started writing to the beats, I always talked about positive things. I coined myself now as a high-vibe artist, which I never did before. Before, when I was posting YouTube covers, I would sit stuff I would do with my dad sometimes like rock and Led Zeppelin. If it had high notes, I was trying it and singing it, but now it’s not based on that at all. It’s based on the content. That started because when I was writing, I realized what was coming out of me naturally. Because I was doing that, I saw the comments. People would then be like, “I’m going through a breakup. Can you help me?” I would duet that and write something healing for that person. All of a sudden, I became a healing positive songwriter.

I honed in on that because it’s what I like to do. It then became weird if someone requested me, “Can you do this one song?” It had maybe some cussing in it or just wasn’t in alignment. I instantly felt a disconnect. Whereas before, I may have done something like that because I was just so open. Because I was niche for so long in my own world with no one watching, when they did start to watch, I’d already been in that niche for so long that it just made sense to stay there. I felt the disconnect if I tried to do anything else.

That’s good because I’m sure your audience would also feel the disconnect if you did that. You said you’ve had several viral moments on TikTok. Why don’t you outline a few of those? What were they and how did they happen?

I’ll start with the highest one. The highest one is a little over three million views, and that one was a rewrite. There are all these tips and tricks out there on what you can do to have viral videos on TikTok. One of them is Polarity. The song came out, and it was about bashing her ex, it’s the ABCDEFU. I never want to place any judgment or say anything bad about the songs I rewrite. Human beings are full spectrum. You got to have the light and the dark. It’s important to go through all the emotions.

Sometimes you may be bitter, but maybe you move further along the lines of healing and you get to my song where it’s like, “I know you did me wrong, but I don’t want to wish you pure hell. It isn’t good for my mental health.” It was like healing. If the singer had reached healing, this is what the song would be about. People liked that because they were hurting, they were going through divorces, all these things. They loved being able to sing a healing version of it to help him get through it. That one went bonkers, and it still is. It keeps getting picked up here and there. I was able to clear the license for it through an easy cover song. Now it’s on Spotify and iTunes.

The next one that went viral I was proud of because it was one of my own was one of the little practices that I did where I saw these guys playing saxophone. I always duet with producers who were doing beats, but these guys made a saxophone beat. It was the coolest thing ever. Someone had commented, “Imagine someone singing to this.” I was like, “Let’s see.” I did it and I hit record. I’m big into affirmations and I was like, “What if I just sing my affirmations to this beat? What would that sound like?” I went for it and sang all these affirmations. People loved it and that song went bonkers. I ended up reaching out to these guys who are big in their own right. They’re touring all over the place and they’re like, “Let’s release the song together.”

It’s at almost a million streams on Spotify. It’s millions of views on TikTok, and thousands of duets like 10,000 plus, which duets are just people either lip-syncing it or dancing along to it. That one was huge. I ended up doing more songs with them, and the next song I did with them ended up winning a San Diego Music Award. It’s this domino effect of these strangers I’ve never known who live all the way in Massachusetts and me over here in California coming together for the good of all the people who are into the songs.

That’s so cool. How do you find these opportunities or duets? Are you spending hours and hours scrolling TikTok every day?

Curating your feed is the best bet. It is the opposite. If you spend hours on TikTok looking at cat videos, that’s all you’re going to see on your feed and it’s going to take you a long time to see what you need. If you want to see cat videos, start a different account and look at cat videos over there. On my music account, I’m always looking at producers posting beats, open-verse challenges, and things like that. It knows what I’m looking for and looking at, so it just shows me things. I’m like, “I like that.” I have a board that’s also on my phone. When I see something, then I grab the link and I throw it in my board.

If you spend hours on TikTok looking at cat videos, that’s all you’re going to see in your feed. If you want to see other things, skip past them and start looking at new content. Share on X

My board is this long. When it comes time for me to come do a TikTok, I sit down and look at my board, “What am I going to do?” At first, I got panicked wanting to do things on the spot. That certainly does help if you’re able to do it right away. If not, my most viral one, the ABC, I released six months after that song came out. It was so long that I put it in a folder that I was never going to go back to it. I was like, “Let me just do this even though it’s six months past its release date.” Everybody’s tired of the song and then there you go. I’d say don’t panic too much. Do what you can. I keep a running board so that I can stay on track.

That’s funny that you are almost not going to do it and then it turns out everything is fine.

I took a screenshot of it because I never changed the file link. I just kept working out of it in the shelved folder. I was like, “This thing was never going to come out.” Look at the folder, it’s in.

How long would you say it takes you to do a TikTok like that? Is it do one take and you’re done?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist so it may take me up to 3 hours, maybe 4 if I’m not showered. I’m not ready for the day, I got done working out and then I sit down, “Now I need to write a new song to this thing.” I write the song. I record the vocals and I lip sync when I post it because I feel like it would take me even longer to keep screwing up the words.

Your vocal vocals sound amazing. You’re recording them in high quality.

Exactly. I know a lot of people are on their phones, and that’s fine too. That stuff goes viral. My phone has never sounded that good. I record the vocals here and then I write it, get ready, do the lighting, hit play, and then match up. I sing for real. It always looks real, but then I used good audio. You’re done, you put it over here, line it all up, got to put the lyrics on it, take it over to the platform, and upload it. By the time it’s all said and done from when I’m like, “Let me sit down to,” it’s all done. It’s probably four hours for TikTok.

Do you use those in other places? Are you also posting them on Instagram and shorts and things like that?

I am. I post them everywhere. I did have one pop-off on YouTube Shorts. It got a few. One got over six million views on shorts. This was before they were paying for shorts. Another got three million, another got a million. Those are my voiceover stuff. As a joke, I did a voiceover challenge, which maybe you should never do jokes because then things that go viral aren’t aligned. I would love to be a Disney character one day where I speak and sing. The voiceover is part of it, but that’s the one that popped off on YouTube. Nothing singing has popped off on YouTube, just my voiceover stuff. The audience on my YouTube now is so different. I get a lot of trolls over there. I never get negative comments on TikTok ever.

TPM 103 | TikTok

TikTok: Never do jokes as a content creator. Otherwise, those things will go viral instead of your actual work.

 

I don’t know why YouTube and Twitter are the places to get mean.

Why is it up with that? It makes you not want to go there or hang out. Why don’t they show it to people they know will like it? They’re showing it to people who obviously won’t.

It makes me a little sad because maybe it’s our generation because the people on TikTok are generally skew younger. My kids are on TikTok. They go on YouTube but they never comment. They certainly would never go on Twitter. I’m just like, “It’s probably all these Gen Xers being so mean.” It sounds like this is now your full-time job. Are you getting paid enough through TikTok, YouTube, and streaming to say that it’s paying for itself, or is it a means to another end where you’re getting paid?

I’d say it’s a means to another end. There are ways where you could. I’ve had a few brand deals come through that are nice, and they paid pretty decent. I got $600 once to put a logo in one of my videos and then another brand sent me an iPad, which I use every time I do live performances. There are perks, but I haven’t yet found a way or maybe I’ve not wanted to make it my full-time job. I haven’t really tried. I do it as an outlet and for fun. My goal is to eventually funnel it into Patreon, which I haven’t been good at doing.

I have a new block schedule up here. It has me going live on TikTok in the mornings and starting to consciously funnel that stuff. My main income now is still session vocals. I’m starting to do live performances again with my original music. I’m targeting the corporate thing, like personal development like Tony Robbins and Gary Vee opening up for personal development seminars.

I know that you took my friend’s class and you’ve been working on that, which is going to be so good.

It was a good course, a wealth of knowledge. Although I do want to work speaking into my show, it’s going to be a little different. It’s a bit more theatrical, more as if it was like a keynote musical or something.

People love that. I’ve seen at least 1 or 2 people finding you on TikTok and inviting you to do performances and stuff.

For that, it is good. I got found on there through the ABC song that went viral. A CEO of a large company found me because his daughter is into all the types of music that I do. He loved that I was making things more positive because he hates hearing her sing certain lyrics. He was having a personal party, a backyard party for all of his friends and family. He flew me and my husband out, put us up in a hotel, paid me very well, and I just had the time of my life performing for him. I rewrote a few songs for his daughter, and it was cool. That and being flown to Dallas for some vocal work, I’ve landed session vocals off of TikTok.

I have a donation link in my bio, and donations do come in through that, which is nice. One thing is people are more inclined to do a Cash App or a Venmo and then to sign up for a whole Patreon is what I’m getting the sense of now. I could tweak things to make it more incentivized. Donation links help and a few brand deals here and there. That’s the goal too. It is to showcase my show a bit more too or maybe even start a new TikTok with it and try and get the word out that way about things.

TPM 103 | TikTok

TikTok: When monetizing online content, be sure to tweak things a bit and showcase new works regularly.

 

When people find you on TikTok and they want to get in touch with you like that, are you sending them to your website? Are you sending them to your email list? How is that connection happening?

If someone comes and wants to hire me through TikTok, they’ve always come through my email and told me that they found me there because I think the DM culture on there is just crazy.

I don’t pay attention to my DMs.

Nobody does. They know not to go there, so it usually comes in through my email. In my bio link, I have all the things in there, the different levels like, “Hire me for a live gig, join my Patreon,” and things like that. They usually come through there.

Don’t you find it weird? I feel like the DM culture on Instagram is so much more normal. Most of the DMs I get are people that I would want to DM with, whereas TikTok is all creepy people.

Yes. I don’t know what’s up with that because the comments are great. I get very aligned comments, but the DMs are strange.

I guess every platform has its weird quirks. For me, Facebook ads are where I get the mean comment but not on Instagram. DMs on Instagram are mostly normal people and then TikTok is weird people. I don’t get mean comments on YouTube, just some weird people. Every platform is so different and you wonder why it has that culture.

Facebook for me is dead. It’s coming around now with the reels. I had a few reels go viral because of other people. Mine haven’t, but they’ve used my sound and they’ve tagged me and people have come over from that. I feel like that could be an opportunity. I am posting diligently to the reels from my TikTok, and nothing’s happened yet.

That’s an interesting comment about people using your sound. Do you get anything from that when someone uses your sound? Does that monetize for you at all?

No, only if they were to use my original upload. In this case, the ones that went viral didn’t know I was on there or something so they uploaded it on their own accord. I don’t know that they can monetize it because it’s not theirs, but it certainly doesn’t send anything to me. When that one went viral, and it was for the ABC song again, I saw a huge spike in streaming, downloads, and all that stuff. It makes its way back around and my numbers go up everywhere. It’s all right, I guess.

It does. People do get curious enough that they start googling and looking for you. You are monetizing TikTok and YouTube to the point that you can monetize them?

I am. TikTok doesn’t pay very much at all. Youtube pays pretty decently, but I barely see anything from viral videos on TikTok, their creator platform. The playlist is a thing on YouTube. I had a song go viral because it got put on a Christian playlist. All of a sudden, I saw checks for $150 or $200. I was like, “What’s going on here?” I went and looked and was like, “Oh.” That could even be a marketing method looking up popular playlists on YouTube and getting your songs on there.

That’s so interesting because I’ve never looked for someone else’s playlist on YouTube.

Me either. I guess make yours public because, I don’t know if they are, but people can get into your YouTube playlists if it’s searchable. I finally just started making some searchable ones like high-vibe workout music because, for me, I like to listen to it when I’m working out. People find it and then you put your own song in that mix of stuff.

Have you gotten on any Spotify playlists that have given you a big boost?

Not Spotify like the company itself but on individual curators. I went on TikTok and typed in a high-vibe Spotify playlist or something along those lines. I checked out a bunch of different people and found one that had a huge playlist. She’s also very active on Instagram and I loved her content. I was like, “My song would be perfect.” I sent her a voice note on Instagram just letting her know that I loved everything she was doing. She thought my song was a great fit. She put it on there and that thing skyrocketed. It just went nuts and pays me monthly to this day. Organically reaching out to people has been helpful. I’ve never done the SubmitHub, I’ve heard horror stories about it. I’m so niche in the high vibe like Crystals and Sage World that I don’t know if I could even fit into what they’re doing over there.

We use SubmitHub some to get people for women of substance if I need to fill a few spots. There are so many good artists on there. It’s amazing. The question is how good the curators are. We, as women of substance, we’re putting you on a show and we’re introducing you. Other people may just be playlists. I do know SubmitHub is pretty good at making sure that people are legit. They vet people big time when they have all these ratings where artists can rate you based on what they received. I do think that SubmitHub is a good place to go, but you do need to check out each one of them for yourself and not just assume that what they say is true about their thing.

I got bitter about paid advertising after Facebook shut down my ads account right before I launched my Christmas marketing campaign that I spent so much time on like AB testing. I did a whole course that I paid for entrepreneurs. It was all set up and ready to go, and then I hit the go button and it just shut it down for some unknown reason. I was never able to get it back. Screw that. Forget Facebook and its ads. Luckily, TikTok was coming out and it seemed to work well for me over there. I might consider more paid things. I know you have to do marketing.

You haven’t dabbled in TikTok ads?

I have not. I did boost something once, but I did not like the results because you can’t pick anything.

That’s a problem. I tried it for a little bit and found that it just doesn’t pick the people that are niche enough for you in general. For you, High Vibe Music seems like it’s a little more universal. Whereas for me, I needed to distinguish whether people are musicians because, if they’re not, they’re not going to care about my content.

It’s interesting that they’re very restricted over there. Even so, I tried boosting things before and I just didn’t like the result. I did get a few negative comments through that process, the only time I ever did so.

That’s what will happen with ads. You’ll always get negative comments because it’s putting in front of people that they didn’t ask for it.

I’m on the organic train now, maybe one day.

It seems to be working for you, so that’s good. I know you mentioned Patreon a few times. You had a Patreon going. Do you still have a Patreon going? How do you feel that has gone or what might want to do to change it a little bit?

My Patreon has been at the same number for a couple of years. People leave and come. I have someone there that has been on there the entire time I’ve had it. I’ve never wanted to get rid of it though. I’ll always sing its praises because even though I only have about 23 people on there, that’s a nice little monthly check that I get because I have it based on creation, not per month because then it incentivizes me to create more. If I post four creations, I’ll make more than if I only post one. I put my TikToks on there. That’s one way that I’m able to help myself keep putting those out there.

I wouldn’t say that’s double dipping, but that’s a good double dipping. It’s incentivizing to you.

They want to see it, that’s what they want to see. That’s what they’re paying for essentially. The behind-the-scenes content will be stuff like filming my rehearsals with my dancers or taking them on trips with me and behind-the-scenes stuff that they won’t see anywhere else. I do love Patreon. It has been stagnant but that’s my own fault. I need to get better at mentioning it. Previously, my Patreon link was at the bottom of my bio link. I’ve moved it up, and I’ve started prioritizing it. I want to revamp it because when I was traveling in the RV, it was set up in a different way that I thought worked for that audience.

I need to find what’s going to work for this new High Vibe audience, whether it be I put some meditations in there or something that they can get right when they land in there. In my Facebook group, I have weekly mental health challenges or something that won’t take too much time that I’m doing already. I do my affirmations in the morning. Maybe I go to the group and I do it with them. I just need to get it together. I love Patreon. I think everybody should join, not mine in general.

I love Patreon too. Since you’re doing it per creation, I wonder if even not calling it Patreon because people think Patreon is a monthly thing because most people use it that way. I wonder if it would be more than just some other name. It’s still Patreon but naming it something that would be more on-brand and then it would get them behind like, “We are helping you create these videos.”

I love that. I saw one other High Vibe creator and she was calling it the Cosmic Lounge. Even I was like, “What’s that?” We clicked on it, and I’m like, “It’s Patreon.” I’m glad you brought that up. I will do that. Next time we talk in another couple of years, you’ll see it’s done.

I know that one thing we talked about last time we were together that you’re very passionate about is that it’s never too late age-wise. I was mid-40s when we talked last time, and now I’m older so I’m still doing it. I didn’t start my music career for reels until I was 33. There is no reason that anyone reading cannot start a music career, especially you females who often feel like, “I have too many wrinkles to be on video.” Audrey is a great example here. She blew up. Would you say right around when you turned 40?

Thirty-nine was the best year of my music career. It’s only going up from there. I just connected with someone who’s later stages as well and she is killing it. She is such an inspiration to me. She’s on huge stages doing big things. It’s never too late. I made it onto Timberland, the producer. He does a live stream where he brings artists on and listens to their music and gives them feedback. I made it onto his live stream and he pretty much told me that I was too old to be pursuing music.

Timberland, I used to like you.

I was like, “No.” I was laughing and the whole audience in the feed was pretty much in agreement with him because it’s his little minions. I did get a rush of females that came over to my page afterward and were like, “No, screw him,” and followed me just despite him. There is a big group of people out there, the majority I would say, that do not care. As you age too, you start listening to old artists as well. Is a 50-year-old woman going to want to listen to the latest 14-year-old release talking about heartbreak, or are they going to want to listen to Adele or someone who has a bit more experience behind them?

It’s so important to release that at all stages of life. It was 2022 when a 91-year-old won their first Grammy for their first album. They had been writing music their whole lives but didn’t even put it all together until that year. They campaigned for a Grammy and they won at 91 years old. That is a huge story ever. Keep it up.

Even older people on TikTok are a thing. There are not as many my age people on TikTok as spectators and stuff, but there are some creators that are super blowing up that are older.

There’s a High Vibe creator. I love watching. He’s got to be 65, maybe 70. He’s got white crazy hair and people eat it up. I love it. They have grandpas on there reading stories that people will go on or are sharing from their photo album and telling a story of the past and people are like, “Thank you so much for showing up and doing this.” It’s like the new history channel that they don’t have to go to cable TV. It’s a real person.

I’ve seen grandmas on there giving no-nonsense advice and stuff like that.

More than ever now, people can believe in the fact that it’s never too late to show up for your calling.

On that note, is there anything else that we haven’t talked about that you want to say to our audience to encourage them to keep going in their music career and you never know where the twists and turns are going to take you?

I would say to just not be so serious throughout your career. When I started out, everything was life or death. I was grasping, had to make it. Even now, sometimes I’ll get down if I’m having a slump, but that very next day, something incredible can happen. It happens all the time with me where I may disappear off TikTok and people have forgotten about me and nobody’s going to care about this or that. You get on and you have a viral hit.

It’s not even about the virality. More than anything, it’s about yourself expressing. If it’s within you, you should let it out, write, sing, and do your thing. We all want to monetize it and you can get to that. No matter what, release what’s within you and one foot in front of the other. Make it happen the best you can. Whatever is meant to happen will happen.

No matter what, release what’s within you and make it happen the best you can. Whatever is meant to happen will happen. Share on X

That is a great inspiration from the High Vibe woman. Let them know where they can find you on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and all the places.

AudreyMusic.com is the hub for everything. All my links are on there. In general, you can find me online. My handle on TikTok is @AudreyCallahanMusic. AudreyMusic.com I’d say would be the best.

Thank you so much. I loved getting this update. I keep seeing you online. I keep meaning to connect with her. We’re in our community, so I was keeping in touch with you there and then I was following your TikTok. I had a tangential idea of what was going on, but it’s so great to get an update and to use that as inspiration for everybody that’s reading.

Keep at it, everybody. You got it. Thank you, Bree.

 

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About Audrey Callahan

TPM 103 | TikTokAudrey Callahan is a High Vibe Soul Pop Artist out of Southern California who creates meaningful music to inspire, make deep connections, and empower others to achieve their own level of greatness.

An accomplished recording artist, songwriter and live performer, she has garnered a large following on social media and TikTok for her inspirational & motivational lyrics.

More than ever throughout the course of her career, Audrey has realized that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.