Owning and operating a website that gets a fair amount of traffic is a very interesting experience. We often get inquiries from truly bright and talented people and create wonderful business relationships. On the other hand, cold contact from some people can really drain your faith in musicians, our education system and humanity in general. On yet another hand… some are just scary.
That sounds harsh. Sorry — this post has been bottled up inside of me for a decade just waiting to get out. Not to worry, if you read this far, it’s probably not you I’m talking about. In the emails and voicemail transcript that follow, you will see some examples of who I’m speaking of. (They aren’t likely to be attentive readers.)
For starters, let’s review the following pie chart. You might find it amusing … but I have found it to be 100% true. We are most often contacted for the following reasons:
We recently posted an article called “Your email is an unwelcome kiss from an ugly stranger” that described best practices for contacting people in the industry that you don’t yet know. Apparently some people missed the message. I’ll summarize the questions you should ask yourself no matter how stupid they sound. 1) “Why am I contacting this person in particular?” 2) “What is the ideal outcome from this outreach?” 3) “What would you think if you got this same email?” 4) “Is spellcheck on?” 5) “Do I sound like an absolutely desperate lunatic?”
Anyway — without further ado, here are some examples of what NOT to do.
Specifics are very helpful. Links to your music are also helpful
This one I really like. (It should have wound up on the pie chart, actually.) My visualization for this is that 14 people who look like Taylor Swift all marched up to her at the same time, pointed at her and demanded she get into the music business. Apparently that’s now my puzzle to figure out. Incidentally, there were no links to music and no attachments.
Me too, D. Me too.
The last one here was a voicemail transcription. In a subsequent voicemail he offered to use his mind to send me his music. Maybe one day we’ll have the technology. Watch out Spotify.
No witty comment. Just fear. So much fear.
If you got this far. Thank you. You might want to read this now:
Be careful out there.