Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Reach them like you would want to be reached

Reach people like you would want to be reached.

Would you rather have someone call you up in a dry business monotone, and start speaking a script like a telemarketer?

Or would you rather have someone be a cool person, a real person?

When you contact people, no matter how it's done (phone, email, mail, face-to-face) - show a little spunk. Stand apart from the crowd.

If it sounds like they have a moment and aren't in a major rush, entertain them a bit. Ask about their day and expect a real answer. Talk about something non-business for a minute or two.

Or - if they sound hectic, skip the “how are you”, skip the long introduction, ask your damn question and move out of the way.

This means you must know your exact question before you contact them, just in case that ultra-quick situation is needed.

Reach them like you would want to be reached. Imagine what kind of phone call or email YOU would like to get.

If you're contacting fans, imagine what kind of flyer they would like to get in their mailbox. Something dull and “just the facts” - or something a little twisted, creative, funny, entertaining and unique? Something corporate, or something artistic?

This is a creative decision on your part. Every contact with the people around your music (fans and industry) is an extension of your art. If you make depressing, morose, acoustic music, maybe you should send your fans a dark brown-and-black little understated flyer that's depressing just to look at. Set the tone. Pull in those people who love that kind of thing. Proudly alienate those that don't.

If you're an in-your-face, tattooed, country-metal-speedpunk band, have the guts to call a potential booking agent and scream, “Listen you crazy dirtbag! I'm going to explode! Ah! Aaaaaaah!!!” If they like that introduction, you've found a good match.

Be different. (Even if it's just in your remarkable efficiency.)

Everyone wants a little change in their day.

Reach them like you would want to be reached