Your Music and People: creative and considerate fame - Deepstash
Your Music and People: creative and considerate fame

18 IDEAS

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Your Music and People: creative and considerate fame

by Derek Sivers

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Art doesn’t end at the edge of the canvas

  • The way you present your art, and what people know about it, completely changes how they perceive it.
  • Your creative decisions continue all the way to the end. Every step so far has been a creative expansion of your original idea.
  • The way you communicate with the world, how you make your music available, the stories you tell about your music and yourself - These are all the continuation of your creation.
  • Marketing is the final extension of your art.
  • A creative description also suggests that your work will be creative, too.

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  • Turning off your creativity — trying to play it safe — is the worst thing you could do. Get confident, creative, playful, and experimental. Break the rules. Try some things that nobody else has done.
  • Think of how comfortable you are with your instrument — improvising, experimenting, and having fun with it. Now be that comfortable when marketing. Improvise. Experiment. And have fun with it.
  • Norms are for businesses without personality. Pour your personality and philosophy into the way you do business. People actually appreciate it when you do things in a surprising way. 

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This is a test. This is only a test

Everything usually feels so serious — like if you make one mistake, it’ll all end in disaster. But really everything you do is just a test: an experiment to see what happens.

It’s actually impossible to fail if your only mission was to see what happens!

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Don’t be so plain or obvious that there’s nothing left to wonder. But don’t be so cryptic that they give up.

  • Give just enough to make people curious. Let them search for explanations, clues, or context.
  • Once something is explained, it stops captivating your curiosity.
  • Once people start wondering, they can’t stand not knowing.
  • Make up a curious answer to common questions. Make people curious.

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Marketing your work

  •  Put as much creativity into your marketing as you do your work. Marketing is just an extension of your work.
  • Start trying things just to see what happens.
  • Add creative restrictions when you're stuck.
  • Have a unique voice and persona. Stick to it.

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  • Marketing means being considerate. Marketing means making it easy for people to notice you, relate to you, remember you, and tell their friends about you.
  • The best marketers are the best listeners. Marketing means listening to what people need and creating something surprisingly tailored for them.
  • Marketing means getting to know people, making a deeper connection, and keeping in touch. Ask what people want, listen closely, and give it to them.

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The way you communicate with people is part of your art

  • Set the tone. Pull in those people who love that kind of thing. Proudly alienate those that don’t.
  • Be different. Show who you are. It gives people’s lives more variety, too.

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

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

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Considerate communication

  • Prepare the most succinct version of your reason for contacting someone. Make it so short that if the person only has 30 seconds to talk, you could communicate your point, ask your question, and get the answer.
  • With real-time communication, like text or phone, just start by asking if they have time. If they do, then take the time to get personal, be a friend, and have a good conversation. But if they don’t, then just use the short version.
  • With non-real-time communication, like email, assume you’ve only got ten seconds. Edit your emails down to a few sentences

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  • People send business to people they like. It’s all more personal than I had expected.
  • Don’t always be selling yourself. That keeps people at a distance from you because it shows you’re not friends.
  • The initial contact usually happens for professional reasons. Even if it starts professional, get personal as soon as possible. Be a friend. That’s how things are done.

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Don’t be afraid to ask for favors

  • People like doing favors. They’ll gladly show off their knowledge.
  • Contact everyone you know and ask. Friends of friends will know how to get everything you want in life.
  • By making them feel important, connected, and needed, you’ll be doing them a favor, too.

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As you climb the ladder of success, giving a gift may go a long way and be remembered for years.

  • Get presents for the people you’ve met that are probably under-appreciated.
  • Be generous. You’re going to see the same faces for years to come.

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Someone doesn’t reply, so you assume they must be swamped in work. You wait a week, and contact them again. If still no reply, you feel sympathy that they must be really overwhelmed. You wait a week, and try again. If still no reply, you try to reach them a different way.

Overwhelmed people don’t have time for all the random first contacts. Patience and persistence separate you from the rest, and show how much you care.

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Overcome the fear of rejection by constantly exposing yourself to it

Start with rejection therapy, but once you get into any of these places, your credibility sets you apart from the rest and opens more doors.

You can even re-approach the places that rejected you before.

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  • Extreme talent requires extreme practice. Extreme success requires extreme focus — saying no to distractions and leisure.
  • Extreme fame requires extreme ambition — taking the spotlight and its pressure.
  • When you are not practicing, someone somewhere is practicing. And when you meet him, he will win.

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Proudly exclude most people

  • We’re drawn to the confidence of someone who is not trying to please anyone. We admire a strong, defiant stand. You can use this to attract your future fans.
  • You can say, “Don’t listen to this if you’re happy with your life.” Then people who hate all that happy crap will be intrigued.
  • Loudly reject 99%. It signals who you are. When someone in your target 1% hears you proudly excluding the rest, they’ll be drawn to you.
  • Make sure they can find you. You want the passionate fans of your niche, not the casual fans of the mainstream.

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Every person you’ve ever met has the potential to help you.

  • If you keep in touch and stay on their mind, there’s a good chance an opportunity will come your way.
  • When you contact each person, just find out how they’re doing. See if you can help them in any way.
  • This regular contact should be unselfish, and sincerely caring about how they are. Don’t ask a favor unless you’ve been in touch recently.
  • Most people are so bad at keeping in touch that they will really appreciate you doing it.
  • It takes effort to meet people. So once you’ve met someone, get the most out of the relationship for both of you.

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Include everyone in your success

As you get more successful, share that success with those who helped you years ago.

When you are famous, return the favors. Reach out to contact them, and invite them into your new world. (Don’t wait for them to ask.)

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