Guest post by Monique Hernandez-Fuentes of GuitarTricks.com
Recently one of our partners asked for the best way to get endorsed as a musician. We have come a long way in the last nearly forty years from when endorsements were easy to come by for musicians everywhere who simply had an awesome look and a cool sound.
Nowadays, the industry has changed dramatically, so I thought I would offer some pointers for the best way to get an endorsement from the company you love.
1. Build a Strong Social Media Presence
It’s hard to get an endorsement of the company you love if they don’t know who you are. Building a strong social media presence around your music, the gear that drives your inspiration, and don’t forget to share occasional facets of your personality that truly make you who you are.
Companies are looking for people that will accurately represent their products that will stand out above the rest. And while talent is a large component, never underestimate the power of your presence on social media!
2. Be Open to a Variety of Possibilities
Maybe you’re a lifelong fan of Fender but there are so many musicians that play a Stratocaster, it can be hard to get noticed. There is an amazing amount of boutique companies today that are easy to connect with via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.
So even though you might play a Strat until the day you die, be open to a variety of other companies. You never know who you will connect with that might want to partner with you as an artist. Also, be open to product endorsement from smaller products like pedal manufacturers, straps, or even capo companies!
3. Always Carry a Business Card & Make Yourself Available
I can’t count how many times I’ve been to shows around the Bay Area and made connections with other professionals in the industry. There is something to be said for arriving early, talking to merch folks, being courteous to roadies, and sticking around to talk to bands about their own experiences.
Live gigs should be looked at as another opportunity to network and make new friends and you never know who you might end up befriending in the long run. In fact, I keep three separate business cards in my wallet: one for my personal music, one for online guitar lessons for aspiring students, and one for the best local repair shop in town, in case touring bands or venue personnel need to know where they can get gear fixed on the quick and easy.
4. Attend the NAMM Show with the Intention to Make New Friends/Connections
The most important point I can recommend to you in your music career is get to the NAMM show. While the NAMM show is filled with awesome clinics and famous musicians everywhere, it’s also an opportunity to connect with the companies you adore and find out what they are planning on releasing for the upcoming year.
Importantly, you need to make sure you approach companies with the intention to make friends & connections, as you can probably imagine that they are inundated with requests for free gear. So stop by, introduce yourself and tell them what you’re about!
5. An Endorsement Doesn’t Mean Free Gear
The music scene of the 80s & 90s was rife with the idea that an endorsement automatically meant free gear. However, with most companies these days operating on budgets and looking for the very best talent available, most actual endorsements just mean that they can offer you special artist pricing.
While free gear isn’t uncommon, it’s better to approach a company without the idea of “getting free gear” in mind. Because ultimately, the goal is to support a company you love and have them support you in your musical journey!
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