Need a new guitar, drum kit or amp? Your axe is trashed and want a new Les Paul? Got an amp on the fritz and want a new one from one of those fat cat music companies? You deserve to get free gear?… WRONG!!! Read on and I will inform you how to get endorsed but you may be in for a rude awakening. I’m a music industry veteran of over 30 years and if I had a nickel for every musician that requested an endorsement deal, I would be living on my own private island… well maybe a bit of a stretch however the clueless musicians I’ve listened to attempting to get free music gear has been amazing… and consistently wrong in most cases. What You Never Want To Do: *Tell prospective music company that you need new gear *Convey that you are a great player without any further plan *Complain about your current gear and that you need something new *Randomly call companies without intimate knowledge of their products *Talk about how you are endorsed by everyone else These aforementioned no no’s are deal killers from the start. Who do people want to talk about?… Themselves! Quit taling about you and change your focus on what you can do for the prospective sponsor! This paradigm shift is number one and we’ll go into details from here… We’ve had the pleasure of associating with some of the great artists over the years like Chad Smith of the Chile Peppers, Carmine and Vinnie Appice, Dick Dale and many others and the great artist endorsees like these have one thing in common and they know that endorsements require commitment and a desire to make music companies money. Artists that do not get this concept either do not get endorsed or burn their bridges so get this rule in your head as number one… what are you going to do for the sponsor? If you are a gigging musician with tour dates, record label and a following, you are in the majority of players that companies generally are looking for. The reason is for prospective buyers to see their gear on stage so people will want to buy it! Make no mistake, it is all about driving sales of their products and they want to know how you are going to make a difference. Have a plan… Things to Do: *Get initmate with the company you are seeking an endorsement from *Own or be very knowledgable about their products *Seek out the artist relations person in charge of making decisions *Put a media kit together *Focus on the company and how you will make them money! The details before you make your pitch… Get your bio, pics, tour dates, etc. together and include website, social media links, blogs and anything that creates traffic and prospects in numbers. Research the company you desire to affiliate with and find out any details you can about their decision maker. Know the product details and show your interest and knowledge of their offerings. Make your presentation specifically geared toward the company you want the sponsorship from. Create photoshopped representations of how your website, facebook, blogs, swag, etc. will appear with the company logo. Create an articl about your playing or band that incorporates how great xyz company comes into play on your success. Be prepared to wow the artist relations manager and stand out from the rest! Get Ready and Make Contact: You’ve done your homework and created the visual so now you email a brief overview on yourself, band and credentials along with the announcement that you have a PLAN to make this company sales! Yes, I know you aren’t a salesman but if you want to attain the goal of being endorsed, do it! I’m telling you that you will stand out like a sore thumb when the company rep reads that you have a plan to drive sales of their product! Remember, it’s all about the product and making sales! When you receive a reply, you have your foot in the door….they can’t resist your teaser and now you need to convey your plan… You show the mock ups of your website, Facebook, etc. with company logos. You have an article that incorporates the company and how great your affiliation is with them and why. You offer to do clinics if applicable for dealers. You offer to write articles like the sample you have given… Do you see what you are accomplishing? Do you see how putting the company first and painting the picture, you are closing the deal? When asked about your gear and needs, you let them know specifics about their products and the benefits. You let them know that if they are making a push on a certain model that you would be interested in helping them promote this. Do not get started on your needs, this will follow! If you are light on credentials, you still have a chance to land the deal by placing them first and showing them how you will drive sales! Promoting through your lesson program, day gig, or schools…if you have internet tech savvy, tell them how you will create sales through your email marketing campaigns or affiliate programs… it’s all about what you can do for the company and the free music gear will follow! Once you have them salivating on how you are going to be literally driving sales of their products, you can easily get the gear you need. IMPORTANT: Getting an endorsement is about loyalty and eithics and you must love the product and USE IT! There’s nothing worse for the company or your reputation thatn to bag on the product or not use it after agreeing to the deal. Be prfessional and you will last a long time in the industry and gain respect and further endorsements by word of mouth down the road. Remember, it’s all about the company, not you and if you apply these tenets, you will assuredly have success in the endorsement deal game. Be prepared, have your plan, be positive and enjoy your free gear! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me, thanks. About the Author: Dave Moody http://hbdrums.com CEO SurfCity Music – HB Drums NAMM member since 1978 Original article on freemusicarticles.com February 23rd, 2011. Music Marketing.