This morning, I received an email from an editor with whom I work frequently. She was asking if I could recommend some colleagues whose area of expertise involved both travel and music, as she has a short front-of-book assignment available.
Two people came to mind immediately, Paul and Michelle, and then a third, Alex. All three are qualified to write the piece, so I passed their names and contact information along to the editor. One of them will be given the assignment, earning a new publication credit and a few hundred dollars. It’s not unlikely that they’ll be offered a future assignment with the same publication, which has been pretty loyal in my experience.
Why did Paul, Michelle, and Alex all come to mind? I know what they’re doing. I know their interests and their niches, where they’ve been published, and what they have to offer.
Paul, Michelle, and Alex all do something I hope you’re doing–and if you’re not, I hope you’ll start today: They let people know what they’re doing and they do so in different but totally authentic and unobnoxious ways. Here’s how.
PAUL: Paul seems to live what he loves and vice versa without any artifice whatsoever. Check out his Facebook status and he’s riffing about how sweet life is as he’s eating a piece of cake, typing an assignment in his pajamas, and listening to music. Only he doesn’t say “I’m listening to music.” He says, “I’m listening to legendary jazz drummer and sound explorer Steve Reid, a quintessential NY musician with an incredible CV and one of the best laughs and positive life attitudes I’ve ever encountered.” Pretty specific, pretty compelling, and pretty convincing. His most recent Facebook update? “Just taught my two year old to say ‘Vinyl.’ It’s important to get the essentials of any language down right from the start.” Do you get it? The guy lives music.
Paul uses Twitter and his blog to emphasize his cred without being self-pimping. I like that and I’m always going to keep my eyes open for something that might be useful to Paul.
MICHELLE: Michelle’s Matador author bio tells you exactly what her interests are:
Michelle is a musician, writer, and teacher just trying to see the world while doing what she loves for a living. After a fantastic year in Salvador, Brazil, she is now teaching ESL in South Korea with her husband and chocolate lab. In addition to traveling and writing, Michelle plays the steel drum in several bands and is an aspiring novelist. She’s addicted to coffee and loves trying new food, the spicier the better.
and her published articles back all that up, as does her blog. When I forwarded her name to the editor, I included links to three relevant articles she’d written about travel and music for Matador, including: