Derek Sivers

When communicating, be your quirky self

When you contact people, stand apart from the crowd.

If it sounds like they have a moment and aren’t in a major rush, entertain them a bit. Ask about their day and expect a real answer. Talk about something non-business for a minute or two.

Or if they sound hectic, skip the “how are you”, skip the long introduction, ask your damn question and move out of the way. This means you must know your exact question before you contact them, just in case that ultra-quick situation is needed.

Reach people like you would want to be reached. If you’re contacting fans, imagine what kind of communication you’d like to get. Something blunt and “just the facts”, or something a little twisted, creative, funny, entertaining and unique?

This is a creative decision on your part. Every contact with the people around your music (both fans and industry) is an extension of your art. If you make depressing music, maybe you should send your fans a dark brown-and-black announcement that’s depressing just to look at. Set the tone. Pull in those people who love that kind of thing. Proudly alienate those that don’t.

If you’re an in-your-face country-metal-speedpunk band, have the guts to call a potential booking agent and scream, “Listen you crazy dirtbag! I’m going to explode! Ah! Aaaaaaah!!!” If they like that introduction, you’ve found a good match.

Be different. (Even if it’s just in your remarkable efficiency.)

Everyone wants a little change in their day.