Derek Sivers

Are fans telling friends? If not, don’t promote.


Should you be spending more time promoting right now?

Or should you be spending more time creating and improving?

It’s a tough question. Lucky for you, I’ve got the answer.

It comes down to one observation: Are your fans telling their friends?

If not, then don’t waste time promoting it yet. Keep working, improving, and creating, until your fans are telling their friends about you.

To be clear, I don’t mean fans are telling friends because you ask them to! They can’t be doing it just to help you, like a favor. They have to be doing it just because they love your music so much that they’re doing their friends a favor by turning them on to you.

Your music needs to be remarkable — so surprisingly good that others are remarking about it, like this.

Until that point, you’re better off just improving and creating as much as you can.

Seth Godin wrote the best book about this, called “Purple Cow”, so read that for more thoughts on this.

Purple Cow