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Written by: Matt Lillywhite
The phrase “brand deal” is thrown around a lot these days with little meaning or understanding. It exemplifies the cohesion between the music industry and other parts of the private sector. Essentially, it’s the terminology used when a company pays you (the artist) to advertise their product. In this article, we’re going to break down the steps of getting a brand deal for your music brand, and also examples of how to pitch yourself.
Identify the content of the deal that you want
Firstly, you have to identify the content of the deal that you’re interested in. This could be things like money, national/international exposure, free stuff, or even equity in a company. Once this decision is made, it instantly becomes a lot easier to proceed with this exciting venture. The next item on the agenda to fulfil is a simple list of brands to work with. For example, you could look at companies already working with influencers in your niche, businesses related to your niche, etc. Using this method, it is recommended to create a list of 40-50 companies that you’d like to worth with. What you have to bare in mind is that not every business will reply – and so by increasing the number of companies you’re reaching out to, the higher the chance of success you will have.
Create a list of brands you’d like to work with
When creating this list, try and use companies that integrate well into your music brand. After all, they would be paying to advertise their product to your audience. Some good examples would include Pioneer, Sennheiser, and other audio related companies. Using Beats By Dre as a quick case study, they are constantly using influencers within the music industry such as DJ Khaled to wear their products, and therefore increase revenue.
Find a way of giving the company “value”
A rising trend within brand partnerships is focusing on companies in territories where your fans are present, e.g. if you have a lot of fans in South America, you could potentially collaborate with companies that the Brazilian & Argentinean markets are paying constant attention to. After all, if you’re able to tap into their personal lives based on brands they regularly interact with, you can deepen the relationship between artist & listener. Simple.
As well as using Google searches to find prospective brands to work with, Kickstarter.com is a great place to find companies that you can work with. As the businesses tend to be of a smaller size in comparison to the likes of Pepsi or Sony, they are getting fewer requests for brand deals – making them more inclined to work with you if they like your content. Even if a company doesn’t have funds to initially give you at the start of a brand deal, equity is always a great option as the financial outcome is based solely upon the success of the venture.
Here’s an example of a pitch that you could send to brands in order to work with them:
Hey (insert brand name),
How are you? I’m (insert producer name) – a figure within the music industry with over (X) views. Here’s an example of one of my most successful tracks:
(Insert public streaming link).
I’d love to help you guys out and provide some value towards (insert brand name). Therefore, I was wondering if you’d be interested in collaborating on some promotional opportunities for (insert brand name)? I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
So as you can see, it’s a pretty simple & basic pitch. However, it performs the exact function that it was designed to. And so with that in mind, let’s go through why it was a good introductory message to send to a company:
Social proof. The deal needs to benefit both parties. Obviously, you’d get money, or whatever you ask for later in the negotiations. However, by showing you have several million views (or however many you have), it exemplifies the fact that a large number of people love your music. Including a YouTube link is also a good idea, simply because the brand will be able to see the likes/dislike ratio.
You’re making the deal about them. “I’d love to provide you with some value” makes the person reading your email believe that you want to help them. Don’t make it about yourself.
“Promotional opportunities” suggests that the deal could be beneficial for marketing/growing the brand.
There was no price or request. This gives you a lot more room in negotiations when discussing compensation for your work. It also leaves the opportunity open for the company to offer you more than you were considering.
The process of getting a brand deal isn’t as complicated as most people tend to think. Good luck!