Make Me Feel Special

This is Day 4 in my 30-day blogging journey. If you want to know the background on this experiment, check out my post from Day 1.

When COVID hit in 2020, one of the most shocking and fascinating things for me to watch was the music industry.

Those who know me know how much I love music and how very opinionated I can be about it. 

So, to watch so many bands and artists that I have an affinity for try and adapt to the fact that they couldn’t tour as a way to earn their income, it became a battle of who could think out of the box to generate revenue. 

One band (or in this case, artist) stood out to me: Matt Friction of The Pink Spiders. 

The Pink Spiders hail from Nashville, Tennessee, my home state and a city I’ve lived in twice and still have a lot of love for.

When they first made a name for themselves around 2003, I was aware of the band but I didn’t totally catch on to them with their first album, Teenage Graffiti (produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars).

It was their second album, Sweat It Out, that made me pay attention.

They got started when pop-punk as a genre was still very popular thanks to bands like Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy.

Like so many bands who got caught up in the all the hoopla, they split up shortly after the release of Sweat It Out.

They’ve since reformed and released new material as well as embarked on more tours since that split.

However, in 2020, they did something unlike many of the other bands I follow.

Matt sent out an email to his mailing list asking fans to submit requests for a project he was working on.

He offered up his entire list of songs from The Pink Spiders with the opportunity (paraphrased):

“Pick any song in the line up and I’ll record a personal acoustic version on a one-of-a-kind 7″ lathe cut.”

I think the service was going to cost about $30.

Of course, this hit all of my buttons.

-Scarcity (Check)

-Affordable (Check)

-Personalized (Check)

-Fan Selected (Check)

Sure enough, several weeks later, I received the 7″ single with my song of choice “Busy Signals

I threw it on my turntable and heard Matt’s opening words: Hey Jason, here’s “Busy Signals” for you.

At which point, the acoustic guitar starts and my personal selection begins.

Three years later, I still remember this.

Now, I know it’s not like asking Dylan or Jagger to sing you a personalized song, but damn if it didn’t make me feel special for a few minutes.

And that’s what comes to the heart of today’s post: How do we make our customers or our fans feel special?

Matt did it by mentioning a name, kicking into my personally selected track and making a version of it that no one else would have.

But as businesses, how can it be replicated?

They say that the sweetest sound to a person’s ears is their name.

I’d say a close second in making someone feel heard and appreciated is your ability to make eye contact and to try your best to filter out distractions when engaging with people.

This can be difficult when our smartphones are another appendage (guilty as charged).

But I believe every business, every business owner, and, in many cases, every staff member has the opportunity to make someone feel special.

Sometimes, that might be more attention and sometimes, it’s recognizing when someone needs space.

It can be an unsolicited expression of gratitude, a more personalized experience, or a “Just Because” gift.

As we’re known to hear: Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about, so be kind.

And to Matt Friction, I know it was a service you offered to everyone on your mailing list but for those few minutes, I felt special.