Derek Sivers

Put your fans to work

2000-08-04

You know that guy who comes to all your shows?

You know that woman who tells you how much she loves your music?

You know that fan who said, “If you ever need anything, just ask!”?

Put them to work!

People who reach out like that are looking for a better mission — a connection to your world. You might be the coolest thing that ever happened to a teenager going through an unpopular phase. You might help someone start a new life after a break-up. You can provide some exciting variety to their boring routines.

Write out a list of what needs to be done. Invite them over for pizza to spend an evening helping. Hit the town together, posting concert flyers. Ask them to go through a list of media outlets and contact five people per week.

You might think, “How could anyone want to do this boring work for free?” But many people have too much time on their hands, and want to spend it on something besides TV.

To most people, the music business is pure magic. It’s rebellion and passion and fantastically romantic. They can live vicariously through someone following their passionate dreams against all odds.

Working with you might be the closest they get to that magical world. Give someone the chance to be on the inside circle. Put them to work.