At every point in a drummers career, you are more than likely going to think “Damn I want a drum endorsement, I would love loads of free cymbals etc etc”. It is true. Endorsements do happen although getting one can seem like a distant dream if you don’t know the correct steps to achieve this. There are many things to consider before embarking on this goal as well as a few stepping-stones you may face along the way.
What is a drum endorsement?
At its simplest form, an endorsement is you promoting a product in return for either free or discounted gear or even money. This could be anything from drum kit; cymbals, heads, sticks or electronics the list is endless. The majority of brands out there do offer endorsement so if there is a bit of gear you like, there is a chance you can get an endorsement.
A general rule is the more expensive the product, the harder the endorsement will be to achieve.
So what do I need to get endorsed?
To get drum endorsements there are a few things that you need to have. You don’t need to have all these points; you could be really strong in a couple of the areas or have a nice rounded profile. So here’s what you need:
- A social following. In the age of social media, it is extremely important to have a following across at least a couple of channels. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and more recently, Tiktok are key areas to look at. Remember you need to be showing these products looking and sounding at their best to the largest audience possible. If you have a couple of hundred followers you need to start investing some time into raising your profile into at least the ten’s of thousands to be in with a good shot.
- A high profile gig. If you are touring with a huge artist it is likely companies will want to get you on board. If you are performing larger shows and TV slots this gives the products you use a big audience to be promoted to. This is extremely desirable for companies.
- A busy touring schedule (100-200 shows per year). Okay, so you aren’t performing with the biggest act but you are getting a lot of time on the road playing in front of a lot of people.
- Being talented. You are probably wondering to yourself why isn’t this number 1? It makes sense right? The better you are the more you deserve? Unfortunately being the best drummer in the world and no one knowing who you do help brands sell products.
- Being an ambassador. If you are one of these you will already know. As defined by Wikipedia an ambassador is a “willing figureheads to attract media attention”. Put simply, you will already be a known figure in the drum world due to your positive influence and association with drums.
I know what I need so how do I make it happen?
- If you have a strong combination of the above it is more than likely that companies will approach you. They will see your hard efforts and want to work closely with you to promote their products.
- If you are actively touring and part of the drumming scene it is likely you will know other drummers who may already have an endorsement. If you could get them to introduce you to an artist rep that would be a good way to get started and make a positive first impression.
- If neither of the about hasn’t happened already you may want to consider working on your profile a little longer or the other option is to contact companies directly. Most companies will have a section on their websites about applying to be endorsed.
The best scenario is for you to be approached by the company, not you asking them for free stuff. Remember, first impressions are extremely important. They will want to see willing on your part before giving you products.
Important things to consider when looking for drum endorsements
- Be passionate. The main thing is that you truly have to be passionate about the products you are using. Often companies will like to know that you have been a long time advocate of the product before you get an endorsement. For example, if you have been using Zildjian cymbals for 10 years and then ask Meinl for an endorsement they will likely question your sudden change of mind. How can you truly promote a product you have never used?
- Do you like the product? Do you actually like the product that has been offered to you? You may be offered an endorsement by a company you have never used, this may be the case when a newer, small company is trying to raise brand awareness. Make sure you take the time to at least try the product before potentially tying yourself into a contract.
- Endorsements might not be for you. The other thing is that an endorsement might not be for you. Maybe don’t want to be tied to one particular brand for all of your cymbals or heads. You might not want the restrictions working with a singular brand can bring.
After reading this article I hope you have a clearer picture of what a drum endorsement is, what you need to have one and how you can achieve getting one. Out of all the points explained if I could only tell you one it would be that you truly have to be passionate about the product. You should want to use that product even if the company has shown no interest in endorsing you.
Frequently asked questions
To get a drum endorsement of any type you need to have a following or influence within the drumming community. This could be a large following on social media or a renown session performer.
An endorsement is a two way relationship. If exchange for you promoting a product to your audience to increase sales of that product, you will be provided with discounted or free products.
The cheaper the item the easier the endorsement will be to get. For example, giving away free drumsticks is less of a risk than giving you a full set of cymbals.