Who’s your audience?

How it usually works in classical music: You (a soloist or member of an ensemble) don’t have direct contact with the people who come to hear you. The groups that present you find your audience.

Your happy audienceHow it should be: You find — and build — your audience yourself. Or play a big part in doing that. Then you’ll have an audience that’s really your audience — fans who’ll reliably come to your concerts, donate money, and buy your recordings. Msybe they’ll even finance your recordings before you go into the studio.

And once you have fans like that, they’ll help you enlarge your audience, by getting their friends involved.

This is the second post about this month’s theme — classical musicians going out into the marketplace, and building their own audience.

So how do you do these things?

You start with what you already have. Friends, family, colleagues, your online networks. These people — no matter how few there might be — are the start of your fan base. You’ll need to keep in touch with them, contact them often (weekly?) with news, music to listen to, tidbits, photos, stories about yourself (including personal stories), and links to your blog posts. And more. Anything that comes from the core of who you are, and keeps your people interested.

Don’t just be serious. Have fun keeping in touch!

Give your people ways to participate, too. Let them remix your music, comment on it, send photos of themselves (you could feature a fan of the week), send graphics and text to use on your website, on CD covers, in your press releases, whatever. And that’s just a start. How you do all this is a long story, something to continue in future posts, and also — for anyone who’d like to work with me directly — by phone, Skype, or email.

Let me know how you’ve done this, and I’ll put it in the blog. .

And of course you don’t ignore the audience that your presenters get. But you’ll need to know who they are. Get their names and email addresses, however you can, from the presenter, and from the audience itself, right at your concerts. Talk to the people who come to hear you. Ask them to sing up for your newsletter, to friend you on Facebook, to follow you on Twitter. And then stay in touch.

This is a lot of work. I won’t deny that. But it pays off. You’ll have your fans, and — if they’re really your fans —  they’ll follow you anywhere. And tell their own friends, family, colleagues, and online networks about you.

Something to think about. Classical musicians, ensembles, composers, orchestras, opera companies — we have audiences. A nice, anonymous word. But out in the pop world, bands have fans. Who take a much more active interest in the music they love than our audiences do.

We should be like the bands.

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Comments

  1. Eric Sandmeyer says

    But I’m unlikeable. How can I create an audience if I can’t get anyone to show up to a birthday dinner?

  2. says

    Again, the rub–and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For every band out there that is sucesful I would warrant there are hundreds that aren’t. Nothing wrong with that. And really, if we’re claiming there are so many out of work classically trained musicians because there are far too many being pumped out of the conservatories or for whatever other reason, then I wouldn’t be too surprised if the numbers between both groups are relatively comparable.

    The structure for both populations isn’t all that different. You have your superstars like Yo-Yo Ma or Dudamel in the one group and Lady Gaga and Elton John in the other. You have the majority of working stiffs who are able to make a living doing their trade like many orchestras, chamber musicians, and mid-level soloists in the one group and the tribute, cover bands and party bands in the other (freelancers can fall into this group). Then you have the masses of underemployed for whatever reason. Newly graduated classical musicians, or those who just haven’t managed to win an audition or form an ensemble that sticks in the one group or the who knows how many hundreds of thousands of band musicians in original bands that never make it past year one or who occasionally play in pick-up bands for fun.

    Sure, I know hundreds of folks in the latter group who have die-hard fans that usually consist of significant others, friends, and the occasional family member, but they aren’t really better off than the mass of classical musicians that hasn’t bothered to create a ‘fanbase.’ Having fans doesn’t ensure your success anymore than having the potential to draw a minimal regular audience. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    And I think the superstars in either group can and do have die-hard fans, and lots of them–it’s what makes them superstars afterall!

    • says

      Hi, Jon. Good points, and I think we’ve gone round this block before. I’m certainly not claiming that bands automatically do better than classical musicians. But only that they’re less helpless. Classical musicians need to change their ways in part because the old ways of getting an audience are drying up. So they have to take cues from people who’ve always done it differently.

      I also think that many or even most classical musicians could have larger audiences than they do. Quite apart from any comparison with pop! I think that any music student who gets her family and four friends to come to her concerts could get her family and seven friends to come. And I’m certain that a mindstopping talent like Maya Beiser could sell 10,000 or even 50,000 copies of CDs she records, rather than the much lower sales I understand she currently gets.

      • says

        “Classical musicians need to change their ways in part because the old ways of getting an audience are drying up.”

        That I can agree with, though I think the burden should also go to presenters and the marketing teams associated with (at least) the more formal and larger classical organizations. They are, after all, the so-called professionals set up to do that task. Obviously the musicians can’t control that as much as their own individual marketing (especially for the musicians not associated with an organization with a marketing team). But why not also talk about what musicians can do to pressure the presenters and marketing teams to change the way these groups are getting audiences? I think that is as valid an approach to helping build audiences as the musicians going out to do it themselves. We’re all (musicians, management, presenters) in this together, right?

        “I also think that many or even most classical musicians could have larger audiences than they do.”

        Yes, of course–as could pop musicians. Audience decline for ‘benchmark events’ (e.g. concerts) has declined for even pop music so whatever advantage the pop music artists may have is only mitigated by the initially larger audiences they have as even their audiences are drying up (the same can be said for sports). So advocating a marketing strategy that isn’t necessarily working for pops and sports is only giving classically trained musicians a tool which will allow them to delay for a bit longer their audience decline. All live entertainment is feeling the pressure of alternatives that audiences have to some extent. It’s like having a holding or delaying pattern while waiting for more ‘reinforcements’ (i.e. renewed sustainable audience base) when a that isn’t necessarily going to happen (for whatever reason).

        I think that in some ways, the focus you sometimes imply regarding a fraction of those successful pop artists is over-riding the much larger group of pop artists who fail. Sure, there might be something to building a ‘fanbase’ rather than just an ‘audience’ but in so many ways the non-naysayers regarding the health of the classical music industry (especially orchestras) are cherry picking the success stories (e.g. Orchestras that are doing well) to use as examples of how the industry as a whole isn’t failing. Two sides of the same coin here in my view.

        Something is obviously working for a select few classical musicians and organizations as well as pop superstars and full time working bands and I suspect the differences for those are minimal. Something is obviously not working for the vast majority of both classical musicians and pop musicians and I suspect those differences are minimal as well.

        Regarding a strong fanbase, I tend to see something of a critical mass (over which artists in any genre have little control) that somehow begins to congeal and build its own momentum. Once that critical mass has happened, the artist can, as they sometimes say, do anything and still have a loyal fanbase. I think this is where we get dissenters about an artist’s “sell-out” status (e.g. Metallica) or criticisms of their “cross-over” activities (Yo-Yo Ma) and they no longer appeal to the smaller ‘elite’ fanbase that initially supported them. I’m sure you’ve seen this phenomenon alot with those cool underground bands that eventually break-out much to the chagrin of the original fans that supported them and used their fan status as a coolness factor (“look at what cool unknown underground band I’ve been listening to for all these years before they sold-out and got popular”). Not a whole lot different than how many, say, cellists bemoan Yo-Yo Ma’s popularity since much more rarely performs the standard repertoire (and seems to get so many more negative reviews when he does do that now).

        I guess ultimately, my point is, there’s only so much individual musicians can do for their careers as musicians–so much more is left up to the structure of various industries that will determine whether or not they become successful (and economically sustainable) star performers.

        The other way to look at this is usually what I emphasize when I do talks about making a living doing music. Something a bit more informed by a freelance ethic and general out of the box thinking about the role of performers.

        Sure, you’ve mentioned some of the data regarding freelance work (in NYC) drying up for classical musicians, at the same time I’ve found that in my tiny midwestern niche of the world has given me tons more opportunities for work that has next to nothing about the actual number of opportunities out there as it does with, say, my ability to insert myself into them. I’ve found this to be the case with a number of the musicians in the networks I tend to work and I know there are those kinds of musicians all over the states. And in many ways, it’s a more natural approach for musicians as it involves building on a skill-set that musicians already have in abundance–namely learning and performing music–while laterally shifting it in the service of learning and adapting to different styles (or even different instruments).

        In some ways this seems to be even more difficult for many musicians to do since they’ve invested so much time learning a particular instrument and their identities seem to be so bound to that instrument and genre/style within which the instrument is a norm–but I think that is much easier than trying to just build on a skill-set with which a musician has practically no experience (i.e. marketing oneself). Not that musicians shouldn’t learn that too–and it’s admirable that there are now so many more programs in Universities that focus on that. But the latter can only work so much (for the individual musicians, as well as for the presenters and marketing teams for larger organizations). No amount of marketing is going to get me to see the latest pop group or a football game, for example (a nod to Eric Edberg who made this comment in a discussion he had with someone about marketing).

        I’m sorry to hear Maya doesn’t sell more CDs than she does–I’ve always loved her work ever since her stint in Band on a Can. You could say that I’m a fan of hers–but almost none of that had to do with her aggressive marketing of herself so much as it had to do with the nature of her activities and the folks she collaborates with (as well as her excellent playing).

  3. says

    In my experience most people in the arts are not good at marketing, but these skills can be learned. Whether or not there are tens of thousands of musicians struggling, or even with no work, that is statistics which is a branch of mathematics – marketing is something else. No one I know in marketing or business is saying learn marketing and there will be work for 25,000 musicians. What the marketing people I know are saying is that this is how you market your own work and make connections with people who are interested in what you do.
    As there is difference between an exceptional musician and a very good musician which is subtle, the same with marketing. I wrote a letter to try to get my CD reviewed by a magazine that is very difficult to get reviewed by. I showed my original letter to some marketing people who said it was good – but just good. Then someone with 22 years experience as a journalist, who now does PR, looked through it and gave me advice. The suggestions she made were superficially minor, but once she explained her reasoning her entire approach was almost unrelated to my original approach. Her approach worked and my CD got reviewed. The difference between exceptional publicity, programme notes, concert information, publicity information etc. and just good writing is almost invisible to the untrained eye. But to the trained eye the difference is huge.
    Marketing will not necessarily get you a good review, or a committed following. What it should get you is an open minded reviewer or audience, who hear your music in the best light. If they then decide your music is not for them, that is also fine. There is a lot of music that is of no interest to me.
    It would also be wrong to confuse marketing, which connects you with people who may be interested in your work, with silly advertising along the lines of ‘drive this designer car and you will have so many twenty-something females in body-con dresses, you’ll think you’re in paradise’.
    Maybe there is a goth metal singer-songwriter out there who records feminist separatist songs in a language only spoken by 70,000 people. But the few hundred people interested in her work would be thrilled to read that she had a new CD out, or will be performing at their local venue!

    • says

      Here’s a question, Ian. What did the review of your CD get you? Besides, of course, quotes you can use to promote yourself. (If the review, as i hope, was favorable.)

      But did people buy the CD because of the review?

      I have a composer friend who wanted his CD reviewed in the New York Times. Which in fact happened. Good for him! He and I talked, though, about how many copies he’d sell because of that review. We decided, quite seriously, that he might sell 20 copies. That’s based on a key number, for people who care about marketing classical music Hilary Hahn — one of the most famous and most appealing of all classical artists — went on Letterman when she had a new album out. And sold 900 copiers that week, a huge number for classical music (most recordings even at the top of the classical charts sell far fewer copies than that), but not much by wider standards.

      So if Hilary could sell 900 copies, my friend and I thought he might sell 20. He’s not the best=known name among classical composers.

      I suggested that he might do better promoting the album to his networks, in the way I described in this post. I’f; bet he’d sell 40 copies. .And then, for later albums, he could build on that, and sell more. When you promote to your networks, you’re going directly to people who care about you. And if you rely on a review, even the people who love you may not see it.

      • says

        Another thought, Ian. Of course you’re right when you say that not every musician is good at marketing and publicity. But that’s yet another reason to focus on promoting yourself to your networks, and then expanding the networks. You needed professional advice, before you could get your CD reviewed by a publication. Which is a lot of work and, possibly, money (to pay a professional, and to produce a press kit), for something that, as I said in my.other comment, might not get you very much.

        But you can promote to your networks all by yourself, and very likely get better results. The downside is that it’s labor-intensive. But it works.

        A critic I know had a friendly dispute with a high-level publicist, who wanted her client’s CD reviewed. The critic suggested that spending much energy on that quest was very likely a waste of time. The publicist disagreed. The critic finally won the argument by emailing a photo of her desk, overflowing with CDs she plainly wouldn’t have time — couldn’t possibly have time — even to listen to, let alone review.

        So that’s another downside of going the traditional route, trying to get your CD reviewed by important publications. It’s a crap shoot. Even with the best advice and the best materials, there’s only a small chance that you’ll succeed.

        • says

          There are several issues here, and it would take a full chapter to go deeper into it. Bottom line about cds: if you are a megastar, you might make money with a new release–fans will buy it, reviews matter less, and if it has staying power, you will see income. If you are an artist of respectful reputation and record a respectful cd, best bet is to consider a mark of your work for posterity. You might scoop up a review here and there, which may validate a current opinion. This might also sell a few copies, but, in the end, having it to send to presenters as a ‘ticket’ toward an engagement is your best bet. It is something tangible, and that is worth more than a review. Another issues is the repertoire: unless you have something unique and different in your approach and belief about a standard work, you’d be better off recording music which is not the norm that appeals to you and has commercial viability. Being commercially viable is a necessary component to a label, so think about this in addition to your passion for a particular composer’s music.
          Just some rough draft thoughts from someone who has ‘been there, done that’. Bottom line: how do you want people to remember you and refer to your place on earth in 50-100 years?

          • says

            Good points Jeffrey, I am going to look at your website in detail later. The other thing is that my CD is not a self-release, it’s on a small chamber music label based in London. This label promotes two lunchtime concerts a week so the connections are exactly the sort of connections you and Greg are talking about. In fact last week the had a recital by Timothy Schwarz, the amazing violinist from Pennsylvania.

            Here is the label’s website address if you are interested in seeing the sort of concerts they put on:

            http://www.music-chamber.com

  4. says

    Dear Greg,
    I am so happy to see this topic–I have waited more than 20 years for someone to address this. Since the late 1980s, I have been actively doing what you share. While maintaining an active list of standard repertoire, always exploring neglected works and finally, commissioning new works for piano and orchestra since 1998. With the progress of technology, my job has become more adaptable, somewhat easier–no less time consuming–in reaching more and more people in the business of music, fan bases, and composers. You Tube is only one small part of the process. It is the daily interaction with many people, mostly via social networking, which brings one closer to our audiences and presenters. I have reached thousands of people this way, and the commissioning projects I have created have seen a boom in interest mostly through our technological resources. Having said that, it is still extremely important to be on telephones and personal emails to keep it personal, rather than blanketing on You Tube to the masses. People still like the personal interaction, and I was never one to just let the powers that be take care of it for me. Many years ago, it was 1988, in a visit to Lucille Ball’s home in Beverly Hills just five months before she passed, she was intrigued about the idea of how a classical pianist gets close to his/her audience. She asked, “Don’t you talk to your audience, or just step out on stage and play?” I replied that we normally play and don’t talk. Well, she flapped her hands and said, ‘well, I can’t believe that. Isn’t there a way you can talk to them first, so you can get closer to them?’ I said I do that in programs with works that require some comments beforehand. She said, ‘You should do it more often then’, which I have. There is no easy way to get close to audiences, fans etc. It requires work time and personality. believe more and more performers will take to this method of reaching out to audiences as time marches forward.

  5. says

    Greg, this is a brilliant post – and one that’s so relevant to the times we live in. As artists, we have to be both the product and the promoter, n’est-ce pas? I’m an opera singer who’s preparing a three-month audition tour of Germany this spring, and I’m one week away from a fundraising recital which is the launch of this journey. I’ve been learning through this process that you have to reach out, personally, and develop real relationships with your audience members. And you also have to have something to give back to them – an exchange. As performers, are exchange is experiential. My current strategy has been to create little one-minute videos to introduce myself to new audiences, tell them a little bit about this German adventure, and then welcome them onto the ride with me. I’m going to be taking my supporters with me to Germany through videos, photos, and blog posts. Here’s an example of one of the videos, where I take people inside the rehearsal process.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vok4aG7ADXE

    The learning curve for online marketing has been steep, but rewarding. Most rewarding of all has been picking up the phone or sending a personal email, and then sitting down with a new music-lover for a good conversation.

    • says

      Hi, Katherine,

      Well, now we’ve met both on Twitter and on my blog! Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve done. Fabulous case study in how to do what I’m talking about! I’m running around New York today, so can’t say much now, but I’ll respond in more detail when I get home. In fact, I’ll post your comment on the blog itself. Very important, for people to know what you’ve done. What a great idea, to get supporters to finance your audition tour, and then to keep in touch with them. As your career develops, they’ll be with you, every step of the way. And maybe the next thing they’ll finance is a CD you’ll make!

      • says

        Greg, what an honor to be featured! I’m just catching up on where this conversation started, in your “assignment” post, but personal branding has been very much on my radar lately. At first I dismissed it, saying I didn’t want to join twitter and read useless tweets about what someone ate for lunch. But after deciding what messages I wanted to send out, seeing the response to these videos, and then USING THAT RESPONSE TO DECIDE HOW TO CRAFT MY NEXT VIDEO, I now see the power of this digital dialogue. But then I have to stress again, for me that must be followed up with real conversations and real interest in other people’s stories, otherwise it can feel disingenuous.

        • says

          Katherine, I think we’re going to like each other. Real conversations! Yes, and that’s the center of what we have to do. We can’t just bombard people with propaganda, corporate-style. We have to build relationships, and that has to be a two-way street. Even big corporations are starting to learn this.

          And the rewards are gigantic. Not just fame, for whatever that’s worth, and all the tangible support that can help in building a career. Ultimately it’s the human rewards that matter most, the connections to people, the personal exchanges. These can be wonderfully enriching. They give us a better life, make us better people. I flatter myself that some of this happens on my blog. I’ve made some wonderful friends from people who’ve been attracted to what I do online, and the interest I’ve taken in them — no matter how much time it takes — has brought me such personal rewards.

  6. says

    Good points as usual Greg but there are a few things that are not entirely clear in my original post.

    Firstly this was a CD sent to a specialist magazine, for a particular instrument, so selling CDs was not the only purpose. A good review can attract performances and even commissions so it is part of an overall approach.

    Secondly marketing is a skill that has to be learned and we all learn by doing it. That letter was just part of the writing I do, that includes programme notes, letters to radio stations and speaking before a work of mine is performed.

    Thirdly it is not either or, all avenues are worth following, whether it is a personal email to someone who wrote to you to say they enjoyed your last concert or a high profile magazine. Building a network is essential as you say and skilled writing will help to build that network.

    Finally and importantly, it does not take long to write a letter so it was very little effort really. Also I target who I send a CD to carefully, the scattershot approach is a waste of time.

    As for the expert advice, I belong to a closed internet marketing forum of people who have attended seminars with a particular marketing guru, so we all give each other advice free of charge. I helped a writer get over her writer’s block, the journalist I mentioned gave me advice on PR. If you like I considered her advice as a module on a PR course and my letter to the magazine as my assignment.
    However such advice is useful even when making telephone calls. It is sometimes said that 1 out of 10 is a good response. For me the ten things may include talking to a promoter, a radio station, writing to a magazine, responding to a musician who has expressed interest in my work etc. It is rarely possible to know which will lead to anything but all, I believe, are worth doing.

    • says

      Thanks, Ian! I gave you generalities, however possibly useful, and you respond with concrete details. Showing a wealth of ideas and possibilities that might be new to many people. And showing that every situation is different, a crucial lesson for all of us (including me) to learn.

      • says

        OK–Ian–why not do the legwork yourself–contact radio stations in the region, perhaps country-wide–see if you can send it to the stations–also, if you are on any social networking, search for groups which have the composer(s) names and share the link to your cd since it might interest people in the group who might not be aware of your cd. Try creating a group if it does not exist for your ensemble, or for the composer(s) featured on your cd. There are more technology thoughts on this, but I think this should keep you busy. I never learned these things in a class–it’s called being street smart, which I wasn’t as a young dude on the block. Good luck!!

  7. says

    All good ideas Jeffrey some of which I do, although there are only two radio stations that play classical music in London. The CD is entirely my compositions for classical saxophone, violin and piano, although I do not play on the CD. It is slightly difficult to place because it is classical chamber music with influences from Celtic, psych folk and New Age music.
    Regarding social networking, that has not really taken off in England among classical musicians. The younger generation of classical musicians although they look like any others of their generation, and listen to all types of music, their main way of communicating is not really through social networks.

    You are exactly right in saying that although it is a lot of work it really does pay off. I would go even further and say that we are at the beginning of a new period of classical music marketing which we all have to learn for ourselves. As yet there are few models to follow.

    • says

      Ian,

      I think there might be more models than we know of. The conversation in these comments is bringing some of them into the light. In your case, I’d think that the difficulty in naming the genre of your music ought to be a big plus. At least in the US, it’s common for pop bands to cross genres, and I think fans like that. So maybe you should be looking for an audience outside classical music, and in fact outside any of the groups whose taste can easily be classified. Maybe a good mantra for you might be: “Everything that I think makes my music hard to sell is actually a selling point.”

  8. ken nielsen says

    Greg – I’ve used Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans idea to develop this approach.
    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php
    It is of course a way of looking at the problem, not a formula.

    Musicians don’t need to know a lot about marketing. Much of what people think of as “professional marketing” is BS anyway. The aim is to engage with people so once they have come to a concert, bought a recording or had any other enjoyable contact with you, keep them. Don’t let them wander off. Let them know how they can keep engaged. Make it easy for them. Make sure they never say “I wonder what happened to that great mouth harp player (or whatever) we heard playing the Bach Cello suites…”
    If you like, I can put together a shopping list of ways to engage. I think I have said before that I don’t believe we are on a search for solutions but rather an armoury of techniques and ideas worth trying.
    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php

    • says

      Hi, Ken. I think it would be wonderful if you put together your shopping list. And I think it would help a lot of people. So whenever you’re moved to do it, I’ll post it in the blog. You could sent it to me in an email, if you like.

      I’ve heard of Kelly’s 1000 True Fans, but never read the original. It sounds, maybe, like Seth Godin’s notion (in his book Tribes) that it’s better to have a tight tribe than a large one. In Godin’s usage, “tribe” means a group of people, organized or not, who like what you do. And a tight tribe is one made up of people who’ll actively tell their networks about you.

      Tribes, by the way — the book, I mean — is terrific reading for anyone interested in the ideas we’re sharing here. At the center of the book is Godin’s idea that anyone can have a tribe, anyone can become someone that others want to follow. And that, in fact, people are looking for people to inspire and interest them. And any of us could be one of those people.

  9. says

    Ian, you might explore the many groups which apply to your style on any social networking you possess. There may not be a group as such, so you can start one or more, if you wish to develop a following. If you write on paper the styles which you relate to most, then jot down some of the avenues you can take your ideas to online. Are there any festivals worldwide you can pitch your work for saxophone, violin and piano? Perhaps the programmers at the radio stations can have your performers in the studio in a ‘live’ setting to promote your music? You might also explore the festivals, radio stations etc throughout the UK, and also propose the music to a saxophonist living in Europe who might take to your music and then take it their cities. That can open many new windows,. and perhaps, future compositions. There is no formula for this–it is simply thoughts to seek out others in the world who might take interest in what you do.

  10. Kaitlyn Horn says

    This is the most modern, relevant advice I’ve ever seen on how people gain an audience. I mean, in this day and age when the internet is plugged into everything, artists/musicians/writer/actors/etc. must “plug” themselves into it as well so to speak. On a comment above, I noticed someone said something about not being likeable. I also worry about that sometimes. I’m not a musician, but I’m trying to get recognition as a writer/actress, and I always think about, okay, even if I start a blog, get a website, tell friends and family, will that do anything? I mean, they might be nice and obliging, but they have busy lives. Would they really go out of their way to support me? I know it is a little pessimistic of me, but I do worry about it sometimes. I guess in some ways, when it comes to trying to get connected with the arts world, it does feel a bit like shooting at a target while wearing a blind fold. It’s scary. However, I will try to put your wonderful advice to use and stay positive. That’s the best thing to do. :)

    • says

      Kaitlyn, thanks so much for what you’ve said here. I’m thrilled that I can be helpful — and not only to people in classical music.

      There’s no single answer to how to get better known. As one quick thought, I’d suggest that you start with the people who like and support you now, even if that’s just a handful of people. If some people like you, others will, too. The question of couse then is how you reach those others, and three quick answers there are (a) enlist the help of the people who like you now; see if they’ll get their friends involved in your stuff (b) keep active in as many ways as possible (c) give your supporters a steady stream of things coming from you, that they’ll enjoy, be amused by, by inspired by, and participate in.

      And one more suggestion. Get Seth Godin’s book Tribes, a short, inspiring book built on the premise that everyone is waiting for something get excited about, and that there’s never been a better time for any of us to become that exciting thing. Read this book! At the very least, it’ll help you stay positive.

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