Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Staying in Touch & Feedback

The first tidbit this week comes from Derek Sivers at CD Baby, the most awesome online distributor ever. He talks about the need to keep in touch with folks. The second deals with something all us artists faces at one point or another - feedback. Whether it is a review, audience member, colleague, or coach, everyone has an opinion about your art.

Derek Sivers
Sometimes the difference between success and failure is just a matter
of keeping in touch!

There are some AMAZING musicians who have sent a CD to CD Baby, and
when I heard it, I flipped. In a few cases, I've stopped what I was
doing at that moment, picked up the phone and called them wherever
they were to tell them I thought they were a total genius. (Believe
me - this is rare. Maybe 1 in 500 CDs that I hear.)

Often I get an answering machine, and guess what... they don't call
back!! What masochistic anti-social success-sabotaging kind of thing
is that to do?

Then 2 weeks later I've forgotten about their CD as new ones came in.

The lesson: If they would have just called back, and kept in touch,
they may have a fan like no other at the head of one of the largest
distributors of independent music on the web. A fan that would go out
on a limb to help their career in ways others just dream of. But they
never kept in touch and now I can't remember their names.

Some others whose CDs didn't really catch my attention the first time
around, just keep in touch so well that I often find myself helping
them more as a friend than a fan.

Keep in touch, keep in touch, keep in touch!

People forget you very fast.

In the nine years QUADRE has been around, we've gotten a lot of feedback and critique from a lot of people. We've heard everything from "you're the greatest" to "you might consider taking up a different career." Everyone has a viewpoint. After working in the business for a while, I have come up with a list of things to keep in mind.

1. Stay true to your art. People like what they like and hate what they hate. You might be doing something that is totally cool for someone and a complete dud for another. No matter what, don't try to start pleasing everyone. You'd start spinning like a top in attempt to make everyone happy.

2. Be objective when someone takes the time to give you their opinion. The fact that this other person is taking the time to tell you what they think is already very cool. Listen to what they have to say. Take away what you want and move on.

3. Put yourself in their shoes. What was their first impression of you? How did you describe yourself? Answering these questions might give you some insight into why they said what they said.

4. Always thank them. As I just said, they took the time to say something, thank them for doing that and stay in touch. You might create a lasting friendship and lifelong fan or give a sceptic the chance to reconsider what you do.

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