Derek Sivers

Don’t try to sound big


When communicating with your fans and contacts, don’t try to sound bigger than you are.

Don’t use the corporate “we”. Say “I”. Fans want to connect with you as a person, not as a brand.

Don’t appear flawless. Show a charming flaw. Confidence attracts, but vulnerability endears.

Definitely don’t use corporate-speak to try to sound like you’re a big business. It comes across as fake, insecure, or spam.

Your fans are your friends. Speak to them like real people. Be weird. Prove you’re a real person. Write every post or email as if it was from you to your best friend.

People have grown deaf to the bland language of big business. It all sounds like contrived posturing. It has no personality — no voice.

This is one reason why it’s so much cooler to be small and independent instead of big and corporate.

Being able to say “I” in your communication with fans is a great competitive advantage.