At every point in a drummers career you are more than likely going to think “Damn I want an 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 and you don’t know the correct steps to achieve this. There are many things to consider before embarking on this one 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. This could be anything from drums; cymbals, heads, sticks or electronics the list is endless. If you want to be endorsed for something it is more than likely achievable. 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 become endorsed by any company 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 current age of social media it is extremely important to have a following across at least a couple of channels. YouTube, Instagram and Facebook 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. You performing larger shows and TV slots give the products you use a big audience to promote to and 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 are does help brands sell products. A simple and effective way to help you improve is by taking some online drum lessons.
- 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”. So in other words 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 closer 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 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 year 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 on what an 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.
At Drum Faster we can help you with many of the points explained under “What do I need to get endorsed?” As well as great drum lessons to help improve your playing we are expanding into raising your profile as a drummer with details tutorials on the different tools available to you. If this sounds like something you are interested in you can trial your first month of membership with 50% here.
We also hope this blog post has been useful on your quest to a drum endorsement. If it has please share it and feel free to leave comments below.