I knew a music publicist in New York City when she was at the peak of her success. A few of her clients had hits, so everyone wanted to work with her. She was flooded with new music.
Here’s how she dealt with the flood:
Whenever someone would send their music, it would go into an inbox. That inbox was completely ignored.
Whenever someone would contact her to follow-up the first time, to ask if she’d received it, she would take their music out of that first inbox, and put it in a second inbox. That second inbox was also ignored.
Then if they followed-up with her a second time, asking again if she’d had the chance to listen, she would take their music out of the second inbox, and put it in a third inbox. That third inbox would get a listen if she had some spare time.
Finally, if they followed-up a third time, she would take their music out of the third inbox, and make it a priority to give it a real listen.
She saw the shocked look on my face, as she described this system. So she explained:
I can’t listen to everyone, so I can’t know who’s got the best music. But the ones who follow-up prove they’ve got the tenacity and drive to succeed. It’s a good indicator of how hard they’ll be willing to work.
It wasn’t ego. It was just a practical way to deal with a flood, and a pretty good filter for choosing new clients.
Maybe nobody else has an official system like this. But un-officially, they do. Overwhelmed people don’t have time for all the random first-contacts. Patience and persistence separates you from the rest, and shows how much you care.