018: On Style: Make Their Job Easier
A Comment by Jason McBride
☕️ Small talk
Yesterday, I introduced “small talk”, and wrote about being more social. So I was delighted to get this comment from Jason (a reader), that really should be a post, so I made it one. What I like about this comment is how it seems to perpetuate the conversation we’re having about style and connection.
#style #industry #community
A style that fits and making someone else job easier.
A comment by Jason McBride
Looking at style as an exercise in problem-solving makes a lot of sense to me. Seeing what publishers want turns it into a B2B (business-to-business) proposition. It makes it easier to find the path to making work that is publishable.
This reminds me of Cathy Heller. She has a podcast and book called "Don't Keep Your Day Job". In her book, she talks about how she found success as a songwriter. She moved to LA, fought hard to get a record deal, and got one, but was dropped by her label before her record came out.
But she did not pitch herself. She kept the focus of the meeting on them.
She knew she wanted to write songs. So she emailed every music director in LA she could find at every network, studio, ad agency, etc. Instead of pitching herself, she offered to bring the music director their favorite Starbucks order in exchange for an informational interview about their job.
She got a lot of rejections, but several people accepted her offer. She brought the coffee and asked the music directors about how they went about their job and asked what kind of music they needed for upcoming projects. But she did not pitch herself. She kept the focus of the meeting on them.
Later, she wrote songs that fit what the music directors said they needed. She then could warm email people she had already met and pitch them stuff that had already told her they needed. She ended up selling a lot of songs and started making $300,000+ a year this way.
You can make a lot of money if you can make someone else's job easier
Substack is for now like a kind of social media, I love the community aspects of different people doing their own thing, and peeking in on what each other is doing
Nice work showcasing another Substack creator AND a case study, Adam! Jason’s comments are always on point and thoughtful.