Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Put your fans to work

You know those loyal few people who are in the front row every time you perform?

You know those people that sat down to write you an email to say how much they love your music?

You know that guy that said, “Hey if you ever need anything - just ask!”?

Put them to work!

People who reach out like that are looking for a higher cause, a connection to your world. They want to feel they have some other purpose than their stupid job.

You may be the best thing in their life.

You can rescue someone from their drab life as an assistant sales rep for a manufacturing company. You might be the coolest thing that ever happened to a teenager going through an unpopular phase. You can give them a mission!

If they’re a fan of your music, invite them over for pizza to spend an evening helping. Go hit the town together, putting concert flyers on telephone poles. Have them drive a van full of friends to your gig an hour away. Ask if they could go through a list of media outlets and contact people a week.

Soon you can send them out on their own, to spread the gospel message of your amazing music, one promo project at a time. Eventually, as you grow, these people can be the head of “street teams” of 20 people in a city that go promote you like mad each time you have a concert there.

Those of us busy busy people may think, “How could anyone do this boring work?” But there are plenty of people out there with time on their hands that want to spend it on something besides TV.

Don’t forget that to most people, the music business is pure magic. It’s glitter and fame and fantastically romantic. Working with you might be the closest they get to that magical world of music. Give someone the chance to be on the inside circle. Put them to work.