Today I was thinking what to write about when I received a message via Messenger from an unfamiliar flutist asking for an possibility to play with me in my town.
Usually I just ignore such messages but today I thought it would be a great material for a post.
So this flutist (for privacy reasons I won't give you his name or his country of origin here) wrote in which countries he has played and after asking for recital opportunity to play with me in Vilnius wrote that he is hoping for a favorable reply and left his CV and audio sample with his playing attached and mentioned that money isn't important for him.
All of this is very nice, of course, and he could be a great flutist but I'm not going to reply. Why?
Simple. Because I'm not looking for concert opportunities to play with a flutist.
I could write to him asking what performance of mine with a flutist did he enjoy recently? Send me an answer to this question and I will try to arrange a concert for you.
But of course, there isn't such a performance of mine at least recently because I'm not in the business of playing with unfamiliar flutists.
It's all about trust. If there is some degree of trust we tend to communicate with people more deeply.
What he should have done instead is to do a little research and offer me something that I'm actually interested in. Otherwise his message feels like spam to me.
Not personal. Not anticipated. Not delivered to the person who wants to get it.
Does it mean it's wrong to ask for recital opportunities from people who don't know you? Well, not necessarily. At least not in the case when you know that this person who might be a concert organizer is actively looking for performers.
I write such messages myself occasionally. But only to the venues that I know hold regular organ recitals. And I don't just offer to them my services as an organist. No, I'm writing a message with an offer which is so unique to me that if my name might be omitted they could still identify me from this offer through my reputation.
And obviously people who reply value my reputation otherwise they wouldn't even bother.
The first step in this strategy is asking yourself a question, "What unique skills do I have that position me beyond my competition?"
In other words, why should they choose me instead of somebody else? Certainly not because I'm cheaper than anybody else...
If somebody can't answer this question, then their task is obvious - go get some unique skills.
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