6 Ideas On How To Get Endorsements As A Musician
I am fortunate to have endorsements with a handful of wonderful companies who I’ve been working with for many years. In that time, I have reviewed and road-tested products as well as demo-ed them at various conventions all over the world.
People often ask me how to go about getting an endorsement. While there is no magic formula, I can offer some useful advice that will certainly point you in the right direction.
RULE #1 – IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
The first rule that many people fail to realize is that an endorsement is very much a symbiotic relationship. The company is willing to promote you and add you to their list of artists, as well as offer you products either for free or at a heavily discounted rate, and in return they will expect you to promote their products. Each company has their own set of criteria, which does vary from one organization to another. For example, one of my agreements is that I must do at least one social media post per month promoting a specific product. Another simply requires me to use their gear in photo shoots and videos wherever possible.
Before contacting a particular company, instead of thinking solely about how this will benefit you, ask yourself; what can I offer this organization that will make them want to work with me?
It is imperative that when contacting an artist rep, you stress how much you enjoy using their products and how you would be willing to help promote them.
The second thing you should know is that the reps from all the music companies know each other and hang out together at music shows and conventions. I once overhead a conversation where a group of reps were comparing notes on a guy who had adopted a scatter-gun approach and emailed as many companies as possible asking for an endorsement. While this type of strategy may seem productive, it has quite the opposite effect that can be very damaging in the long-term.
Choose who you wish to contact carefully and only approach companies that make products you actually use and believe in. If you contact multiple reps about gear you never use, the chances are they will see right through it.
Personally, I want to be known as someone who is honest and authentic in my relationships, and I only ever use products I love. I do know of musicians and artists who accepted deals and literally never used the equipment or accessories that were sent to them. Most of these relationships didn’t last and they parted ways after a short period of time. Try to think of this in the long-term. Be selective about who you contact and work hard at nurturing that connection.
SWEETEN THE DEAL
There are certain situations that will most definitely work in your favor, some of those include:
• Social Media Presence – Ideally aim for around 5k+ followers on any platform. Actively engaging with followers is also a big plus, so if anyone asks about the products that you’re using be sure to answer and tag the relevant brands.
• Teaching / Music School – Having a large group of students that you regularly teach will be very appealing to certain companies. It means you have access to multiple people who will not only be interested in buying products but will come to you for advice as to what they should get.
• Touring / Playing Shows – If you regularly gig this is also a big plus as audience members will get to not only see but hear the equipment you’re using. I often have people come up to me after a show specifically to ask about a bit of gear I’m using, and I too have bought products after seeing someone else using them. It’s a great promo opportunity.
If any of the above apply to you, you should absolutely mention this in your introduction message.
ACT LIKE YOU ARE ALREADY ENDORSED
The best way to get an endorsement from a company is to act as if you already have a deal in place. Each time you play a show, use their products. When posting photos or videos to the socials always tag the company. Whenever I have professional photos done or if I am part of a video shoot, I request that the brand / logo is visible in at least one shot.
Keep up with new products that are being released and create video reviews. Companies LOVE product videos and you’d be surprised to know they often prefer it if they don’t appear to have been professionally produced. There have been many times when I’ve seen a video review posted onto a company’s website that was clearly inexpensive to make but conveyed all the information extremely well and most importantly, comes across as authentic.
Creating these types of videos shows that you are knowledgeable and good at sharing information about a particular product. If you secure an endorsement, you may be asked to do demos at trade shows or talks at exhibitions which are really fun.
GO TO MUSIC SHOWS / EXHIBITIONS
Speaking of trade shows, I highly recommend you attending at least one of these. The Frankfurt Musikmesse and NAAM are the main ones people flock to, but there are others. There is no substitute for meeting someone face to face and having that personal connection and these trade shows are extremely useful for meeting and connecting with the right people. They can be expensive to attend, especially if flights and accommodation are also needed, but I can honestly tell you it’s worth the effort.
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP
Once you successfully acquire an endorsement make sure you nurture that relationship and keep in touch with the artist reps. If anything important is coming up (such as a tour or video release) let them know. If you recently had new photos done, share them. New material for social media is always welcome by these companies which in turn helps you if they post about it to their followers.