Folks at Zildjian,
My name is Tim Baltes and I’m writing in regards to the open Assistant Artist Relations Manager position. My background and skill set have me tailor-made for this job. I have
Over a decade in drums, both supporting local drummers while working in music retail operations and as an artist recording for Disney, 21st Century Fox and FarmVille-creators Zynga.
Five years in a corporate marketing environment, writing copy, managing projects and supporting my team with both organizational activity prep and additional administrative duties.
Three plus years managing drum-centric social media channels, producing video content with pro-level audio from the ground up. I’ve even made videos for Zildjian.
These experiences have taught me a lot about what I want in a career, and one of those things is to help musicians excel in finding their own voice. This is a huge joy that I found during my tenure with Music Go Round in Kenosha, and it’s something I continue to do via one-on-one consulting with drummers who reach out to me on Instagram.
Through platforms like Instagram, I’ve developed a strong network of drumming colleagues. If I can build this strong a network on my own, I know I can continue to build this web at Zildjian and use it to further the team’s mission and fuel the company’s success.
Thank you for considering my application for the Assistant Artist Relations Manager position at Zildjian. I would love the opportunity to put my skills and my passions to work with your team. Though I know you’re seeking a local candidate, please know that I am willing to fly myself to Boston to speak with you further about this opportunity; and if a job offer were made, I would cover all relocation expenses. Please see my resume and work samples below; and if you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out via phone at (262) 909-6585 or via email at email@example.com.
I appreciate your time and consideration,
To view my formal resume, please click here.
video and audio production
I was a goofy kid growing up and I continue to bring smiles and laughter into my professional work. I've used my sense of humor to entertain thousands of people, while harnessing attention on social media platforms. This has yielded a great amount of visibility for my unique drumming and audio production skill set. My visibility on Instagram helped connect me with Moonwalk Audio, a music and sound design production team in Los Angeles. Through this organization, I've played drums on music for Disney, Fox and Zynga.
My social media efforts have also connected me with leading percussion companies, like Pearl Drums and even you folks. I’ve had plenty of videos reposted by Vic Firth, and the example below is a video I produced for Zildjian's Instagram page:
In 2017, Zildjian launched a new Instagram-based campaign for the hashtag #NewBeatTuesday. The concept is to post three videos every Tuesday that are focused on a single theme. As detailed in the original post, the theme for my video was combining drums and comedy. Emily Smith at Zildjian challenged me to make this video, giving me only the theme to work with and a week to provide the final product.
A successful Instagram video needs to hook the viewer immediately, so I decided to film a segment that started off with fairly complicated, flashy drumming. I kept the viewers hooked with continued flashy fills throughout the segment. Following the drum segment, I use silly music to cue the comic relief, which is me ultimately getting soaked at the end of the video.
Emily at Zildjian enjoyed the final product, as it’s very humorous, but remains in good taste for all audiences. This is of the utmost importance, as Zildjian has over 500,000 followers that span all ages, backgrounds and locales.
The original Instagram video reached over 30,000 views in 24 hours. In addition, this visibility added nearly 150 followers to my account during this time. Overall, the post was a success for both parties!
networking and drum nerdery
I’m a huge vintage drum gear nerd. Through platforms like Instagram and Facebook groups, I’ve been able to build a powerful network of drummer and percussionist colleagues. I’ve got great relationships with drummers at every level and in every corner of the musical world, including Zildjian artist Bob Hall (of Catfish and the Bottlemen).
ln 2016, I connected with Bob’s drum tech, Joe Cox, on Instagram. Shortly thereafter, Joe contacted me and wanted to get together in Chicago. Bob, Joe and I hopped in my car and drove around to the regular Chicago stops, including the Chicago Music Exchange and Rock N Roll Vintage. Shortly after, we came up to my house and filmed this quick conversation.
Now, every time Bob and Joe are in town, I come out and we get together to catch up, talk gear and swap tips and tricks.
The beautiful thing about drummers is that our community seems to have raised the bar on camaraderie over other groups of musicians. This has created so many relationships that I’m grateful for. Bob and Joe are now two very dear friends. I’ve also become a regular in the Chicago vintage drum scene, which has its perks – Bun E. Carlos helped me park my car at a private pre-party for the Chicago Drum Show this year. And in years past, him and I have discussed our love for the elusive 22x12” Ludwig New Yorker kick drum. Joey Castillo (formerly of Queens of the Stone Age) texted me a few months ago to ask about the value of some old drums he had; and then he proceeded to shower praise on my silly karaoke videos that his wife loves so very much.
I love the drum community. I love the gear. And I love the craft.
I’ve been able to put these passions to work previously in drum retail and more recently as a friend and colleague, but I would love to get back into the professional realm to continue to build and put my network to use to further Zildjian and Vic Firth’s brand awareness.
the copywriting connection
I was a copywriter for three and a half years at Uline, and that work has a few similarities with artist relations. Zildjian’s job ad states that artist relations team members must have the “ability to put aside personal musical assumptions and focus on assisting artists in finding their musical voice via (Zildjian’s) sound related instruments and their desired feel in our implement products.” As a copywriter, I use a similar skill set to set aside my personal voice, understand the client’s point of view and craft a powerful message that purveys everything the client intended and nothing they didn’t.
Just like professionals in artist relations, I leave my own biases behind and get into the mindset of the clients I’m serving. And within that mindset, both the copywriter and the artist relations professional use any data at our fingertips to help better the experience of the client, and ultimately help better the experience of every consumer. By crafting a good piece of a copy or by having a productive interaction with an artist, both these professionals can create profound, positive change for their clients and their industries at large.
Please view the writing example here and read the following explanation. This reviews the process behind an article authored by me for Uline President Liz Uihlein.
In the back of every Uline catalog, Liz Uihlein places a Liz Letter, a succinct article aiming to give Liz's political views a voice. Each of Uline's several copywriters craft up to five letters on different topics, of which Liz chooses her favorite for publication. The writer must get into the mindset of an extremely successful 72-year old business executive and craft a compelling message that engages all customers.
When deciding on the article topic, highly debated subjects to consider were the U.S. president's current activity and gun ownership laws. Choosing to write on these topics could be detrimental to Uline, so I chose to write on something else entirely – China's economy. Why?
By choosing a topic that Liz would view as less controversial, but still highly relevant, I could craft an article that felt compelling to Liz, while having zero detriment to sales.
After the letter was presented to Liz, she immediately picked it for publication in 90 million catalogs. Following her approval, I was called into her conference room, where she offered her sincere gratitude for my work. She even pointed out how my writing was incredibly close to her own voice. My department VP and leading directors also expressed their appreciation.
Thank you again for viewing all of this content. I truly appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to speaking with you soon. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (262) 909-6585. Be well!