Wouldn’t it be great if after one of your shows, a person came up to you and offered you an endorsement deal? You could get a lifetime of free drums and accessories, exposure, and world-class service simply because someone witnessed your amazing drumming skills.
Except, it doesn’t really work like that.
No matter how long a drummer has been swinging sticks or hitting the skins, eventually the question of how to get endorsed as a drummer arises. The answer is fairly simple and to the point, even if the process is not as cut and dry as some percussionists wish it to be. There are various levels of endorsement and rarely will a drummer find free drums and accessories to be part of the deal. In fact, the drummer is endorsing the company, not the other way around, and there needs to be an understanding that an endorsement is a relationship that will benefit both parties.
While it’s not impossible that a company will approach you, the drummer, for an endorsement, it is more likely that you will make the first move. It’s critical to focus upon playing and getting your name out there. Play as many drumming gigs as possible and make your drumming as public as you can. Set up a YouTube channel or something similar to demonstrate certain techniques or simply showcase your drumming. Become a drum teacher and cultivate a good reputation. The more exposure you have, the easier it will be for a company to see how you could be of benefit. When you ruminate about how to get endorsed as a drummer, keep in mind that companies ultimately wish to sell more product. How can you help with that?
It’s best to endorse products you like and already use. Have you loved and drummed with the same company’s equipment for seven years? That company is a good candidate for you. Make sure you ask to endorse companies and products you would use regardless of endorsement. People can tell when we are doing things for the money and when we’re doing them out of love. Be mindful that love not only moves mountains; it moves djembes, congas, cymbals and drum sets, too.
And, please, don’t think that just because you love something, the company will want you endorsing it. When dreaming of how to get endorsed as a drummer, think like a business person. Drummers with a consistent touring history and professional album releases are a bigger customer draw than garage bands with a hundred ‘likes’ on their Facebook page. Get your press kit together and send it to the Artist Relations (AR) representative at the company you look forward to endorsing. Give the rep at least a month to go through your kit and explore your references before checking in.
While it would probably be wonderful to endorse your favorite drum company, remember that your love for drumming is more of a priority. Keep that alive and watch what happens.