Law 4: Always Say Less than Necessary
“When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.”
Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
It’s a long-joke in the EDM community that DJ’s make announcements to announce real announcements. It’s true. “I’ve got a big announcement coming up for you!!!!”, said every DJ with 200 likes on their Facebook page.
While it’s great to be excited and to be making moves, very often employing silence is more effective than overhyping yourself.
Head Down, Ambitions Up
When I worked as a line cook, I received a very practical bit of wisdom from the sous-chef of the kitchen.
He asked me, “Which is more dangerous, still or bubbling oil?”
“Bubbling,” I replied without haste. The spitting and spatting had already burned my arms several times over.
“No,” he said. “It’s the still oil. You cannot tell if still oil is hot or cold.”
He proceeded to show me how to add water to a pan of oil to make it bubble, and how to tell when it was ready.
Similarly, the most dangerous people in terms of creative force are those who stay quiet for long periods of time. Certain projects require a long period of radio silence in order to complete. Also, by not announcing your intentions, you are able to surprise your competition.
When looking for those who are truly making moves, don’t be caught up in who posts the most. Often, the quiet kid at the table has more in his sleeve than all of those who are boasting openly.
Don’t Wear Out the Audience
Some people will buy into you 100% of the time. Most people will grow tired of you quickly.
By constantly saying you have something, “big” in the works, you devalue the perceived importance of what you’re doing. If everything is hype, nothing is hype. Your audience will start to ignore you if you oversell yourself.
Don’t Buy into the Bullshit
Overhyping can create an addiction to positive feedback that is dangerous to your self-esteem and artistic career.
Imagine that you’re a DJ. You have a big gig coming up, and you announce it on Facebook. You get a solid amount of good feedback, likes, comments, and encouragement on the announcement.
Now 2 weeks later, you announce another, larger gig–a more prestigious venue, with a better lineup or headlining talent. This time, you don’t receive the same confirmation. Only a few likes and comments.
How would this make you feel? Obviously, the second gig was better than the first, but it wasn’t welcomed as well. If you tie in your value as an artist with your popularity on social media, you may feel that your second gig was a flop, or that you’re losing support.
In reality, every song you put out won’t be your biggest yet. Every show you play won’t be the biggest yet. Don’t play that.
Let the Project Speak for Itself
Good work needs very little push. Truly.
While we talk a lot about marketing here on the Pariah Reign blog, we understand too that the best form of marketing is a good product.
Instead of announcing every micro-step, allow the world to be stunned when you come out of nowhere. Slave away in secret for months, then unleash it on the world. If the work is good, you will create a bigger impact by delivering the full force than by piecing it out step by step.
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