No aspect of being an independent artist is particularly easy, but getting endorsements and sponsorships is perhaps one of the hardest and most confusing of all. In this article we look at four techniques for successfully securing an endorsement as a do-it-yourself musician.
Guest post by Alper Tuzcu of the Symphonic Blog
One of the biggest mysteries of being an independent artist today is getting endorsements or sponsorships.
In the past, endorsements would exclusively be reserved for stars with lucrative record label deals. Today, with the rise of social media and consumer power, brands like to associate themselves with artists with solid social media presence and an engaged fan-base. As a result, endorsements are increasingly available for independent artists. Not only are they an extra source of revenue for artists, but they might also come in the form of equipment support, exposure to a larger fan base and future gigs.
Here are 4 Ways to Get Endorsements as an Independent Artist:
1. Release your music and videos
Getting your music and your videos out there will be your ‘business card’ when it comes to endorsements. Brands will be looking at your content, and will check out your plays/views, your level of musicianship and the production quality. For these reasons, having your music and videos available on digital platforms is key.
To get the most out of your releases, check out Best Practices for Maximum Release Potential as a Symphonic Client.
2. Build your social media numbers + have an active following
One of the biggest reasons a company will want to endorse you is because you either have large social media following or your music is being listened to/watched by a lot of people. You want them to support you, and in exchange they want your fan-base to engage with their products. For this reason, the more people actively follow you and your content, the better chance you have for getting endorsed.
‘Engaged followers’ means people who comment on your posts on social media, like your posts, post your songs on their stories, and people who actually care about your music. For this reason, I would not recommend buying followers, because most of this ‘bought following’ do not engage with your content. Getting active, engaged following on social media comes down to creating great content, posting regularly, and engaging back with your followers (liking/commenting on their content as well).
3. Do your research about which businesses to reach out to
The next step is to find the companies that could be potentially interested in endorsing you. They don’t have to be all major music instrument brands. They can also be accessory companies that make guitar capos, strings, picks, pickups, drum sticks, guitar stands, microphones, headphones…
Be creative with your options, you’ll never know how far they’ll get you.
4. Prepare your portfolio
A great portfolio includes a one sheet, videos, music, pictures, links to social media accounts, biography and a cover letter indicating your proposal. Once you put all this together, you should be almost ready.
Once you’ve prepared everything, send it to the marketing department of the company. Larger companies have a specific section for endorsements, which you can find on their websites. It might also be helpful to see if you know anyone that works in these companies, as having an insider could help you with pitching your proposal directly to the company. After sending your package, it is highly likely that you won’t hear back for a few days. This is because companies receive dozens of proposals everyday and they simply do not have the time to respond to everyone. At this point, you can send a follow up email, maybe twice at most.
If they want to endorse you, they’ll know where to find you.
Utilize these 4 tips, and you’ll have some endorsements in no time. Don’t forget to be creative, as new, innovative ideas can help attract the companies’ attention. Be persistent, calm and most importantly, have fun!