Make it personal

Make it personal. This concept of making things personal seems so simple that it's easy to overlook or dismiss. Today's world has become impersonal in so many different ways. Customer service has been automated at every turn. Getting phone numbers, pumping gas, checking in at the airport, to checking out at the grocery store, it's like we've forgotten that the world is inhabited by people, not robots. But most folks I find still appreciate a personal touch.

People want to know that you've taken note of their good efforts. People remember who did the minimum and who went beyond the minimum commitment. It makes folks believe you care. Customer service is all about making people feel good about what you do. And if people feel good about something, they'll want to do more of it. If you're going to build a successful business, any business, the key is repeat customers. So I suppose if you're only going to see somebody one time, you don't need to worry about what they think.

But, if you want to see people more than once, it's important to make a great impression. So my advice is this, act like you're coming back, put a personal touch on everything you do. There is no shortage of competition out there in the music business. There are a lot more qualified candidates for record deals, for playlist adds, for tour slots, for jobs in the mail room at the big agencies, or in the A&R department of record companies. When it's a tossup, people will do business with people they like, that have shown the proper instincts.

Making things personal. Showing a depth personal touch helps distinguish you from the crowd. Trust me when I tell you that adding a personal touch to your business gives you a competitive advantage. Audiences today want to feel a closer connection to their favorite artists. You need to have great songs and great performances for sure, but, they want to know that you care, that you give a shit. Giving your audiences the feeling that they're along for the ride makes them feel vested in your music. Building a personal connection can keep your audience energized, engaged, and interested over many years.

For artists, if you're lucky enough to have a long career in the music business, it's entirely likely that you're going to put out an album that may not connect as strongly as some of your other albums. Building a personal connection with your fans makes it easier to forgive, and more likely that they'll be along for the next album. And it's not just your fans who appreciate that personal touch, the people you do business with will appreciate a personal touch as well. If you're going to be successful, you're going to need help from those music professionals who work in the music industry.

And you'll meet plenty of those business folks along the way, whose help and support can have a huge impact on your success or failure. And while it's true that most of them are getting paid to do that, it's been my experience that they're more likely to work even harder for you if they believe that you appreciate the work that they're doing. The best way to show respect to your audience and partners is to make it personal. A simple note to folks, thanking them for their support may not seem like a big thing, but I know from my own experience that the two minutes it takes to write that note can make all the difference in the world when push comes to shove.

So the next time you play that gig, or you record in a studio, or some kid helps you make a video, take the time to thank them and show them that you care. And the next time you need that opening slot on a big show, or you need some time in a studio when you're low on dough, somebody might go the extra mile for you because you went that extra mile for them. When I started in this business, your tool set to make it personal was writing a letter, not an email. It was a phone call, not a Skype call.

In addition to all that old school stuff, you've got some great new tools to work with today. Social media invites your fans into a conversation about your music and your lifestyle. You've got Twitter to chat, Instagram or Pinterest to share your interests. Facebook to spread the word. Today, you have no excuses not to make it personal. But, you'll need to commit to the work. In today's music business, you're going to need every advantage that you can get.

Make sure when push comes to shove, you get that last shot. Because you made it personal.