If you’re a musical artist who wants to have a successful career in the music industry, it’s integral that you create an eye-catching electronic press kit for your music.
An electronic press kit or EPK, is a one page document that quickly sums up an artist and their music. It’s given to all types of industry professionals such as booking agents, venues, press outlets and radio stations.
Just made an EPK. WOO we look good with a little a e s t h e t i c pic.twitter.com/d9jDMBbwWC
— Acres Even (@AcresEven) September 4, 2019
It’s an important tool when you’re reaching out to someone who hasn’t heard of you before. A well composed EPK has the power to make or break an introduction, so you want to get it right.
The tips below sum up everything that you need to consider when piecing together a powerful EPK.
1. Choose an Appropriate Format
There are some industry professionals who prefer to have artists send them a press kit as an email attachment. However, there are others who don’t want to deal with downloading anything and would rather be sent a web page link.
You never want to send someone something they didn’t ask for so it’s a good idea to have an EPK prepared for both situations.
When creating a press kit to attach to emails, use a .PDF format. This is because you want to be able to embed things like photos and hyperlinks into it.
Another reason a PDF works better than something like a word document is that you don’t want the person you send it to to be able to edit or change its content.
A private page on your website is great for those who require you to send them an EPK link. The great thing about a web page is that you have even more flexibility to embedded content such as videos and music players.
Just remember that this page is for industry professionals only. So, you don’t want it to be reachable from the main area of your website.
It should be a private unlisted link and don’t forget to unindexed it from search engines. Some artists even choose to password protect their online press kits and include the password when sending its link.
2. Include Great Visuals
If you want your electronic press kit to stand out from other artists, visuals are the key to success.
First, go out and hire a professional photographer to take high quality photos of you and your band. If all you have in your EPK are low resolution cell phone pictures, you won’t be taken very seriously.
Take photos that capture your bands essence and personality. Stay away from the classic cliche band poses (eg. in an alley or standing against a wall). These can come across as cheesy and won’t make you stand out from other artist press kits.
Beyond photos, make sure your EPK is visually appealing in general. Use graphics and colours that are cohesive. Also, create a layout that’s easy to read and digest.
It seems simple enough but a lot of artists forget this step when creating a press kit. If you do, chances are people won’t want to spend more than a few seconds looking at yours.
3. Great Music is a Must (Obviously)
It should go without saying that a good EPK requires great music. Obviously, when you’re starting out you may have nothing, so some GarageBand demos could suffice.
However, going this route won’t get you many opportunities when pitted against acts with high quality studio recordings. So, it’s a good idea to invest the time early on into high end, professional recordings that highlight your talents.
Many artists find the task of going into a recording studio daunting or worry that it will cost too much money. However, there are plenty of affordable and effective options out there, starting with Sundown Sessions Studio.
Our online recording studio pairs artists with world class musicians and engineers. Going this route leaves you with professional recordings that can cross the gap from indie to professional, giving your press kit a major edge against other artists.
4. Write a Powerful Artist Bio
Just as important as professional photos are for catching someone’s eye, a well crafted biography is integral in keeping them invested.
The first paragraph should quickly sum up your band while also injecting a bit of the personality that makes you unique. After that you can delve a little deeper into your band’s history and some noteworthy accomplishments.
Finish is off by telling the reader what you have coming up and why they should keep an eye on you. Stay away from cliche phrases and don’t stuff your artist bio with unnecessary information.
If you haven’t been making music for awhile and don’t have a lot to say about your band that’s okay. It’s better to write a short and to the point bio than a lengthy boring piece without any real content.
This is another area that will benefit from hiring a professional. Someone who understands this style of writing will be able to compose an artist bio that puts you in your best light.
5. Music Videos and Live Performances Pull Attention
There’s no doubt that we live in a visual age. Because of this, people will often prefer to watch something while they listen to your music.
A professionally produced music video can really make a difference. However, even more powerful in the case of concert bookings is high quality live video.
These give booking agents an idea of what your music actually sounds like live. Beware though, as a live performance can be revealing. So, if your video doesn’t show you at your best, it may have the opposite effect.
That said an electronic press kit with strong performance videos can have a hugely positive impact in showcasing what makes you better than other artists out there.
6. Hot Off The Presses
Having a section of notable press quotes and testimonials will give you a lot of credibility. Anytime you receive any sort of coverage, whether it be an album review or band feature, save it on file.
The same goes with quotes from industry professionals. If someone notable compliments your work, ask if you can get a quote from them to use in your press kit.
No need to go overboard in this area. Two to three noteworthy quotes is all it takes to be taken seriously.
7. Notable Shows Give Credibility
If you’re just starting out and haven’t played more than your local bars or coffee shops, this area is best left empty. However, once you’ve been playing for awhile you can start to compile a list of notable performances.
These can be anything from major venues, festivals or performances where you opened for a bigger act.
Don’t be afraid to really sell yourself in this area. If you played a 1pm set at a festival and a well known band played the same stage at 11pm that night, you still technically “opened for” or “shared the stage” with that act.
Anything you put here will give you further credibility when approaching bigger venues.
8. Share Your Web Presence
In today’s day and age so much of a band’s identity comes down to who you are online. Therefore it’s important that you link to and maintain a strong online presence, even if it’s only on one or two platforms.
If you’re embarrassed by the social media accounts for your music, change them, don’t hide them. If you don’t include links to social media in a press kit, industry professionals will either seek them our or assume you have no following and move onto the next artist.
On top of social media accounts, make sure you link to all major streaming platforms you’re music is available on. These include websites such as Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify.
9. Don’t Forget Your Contact Info
This seems simple enough but you definitely don’t want to forget about it! Make sure you have relevant contact information for anyone on your team who handles bookings, management or other relations.
In the case of emails make sure they’re professional looking and specialized for band communication only. If you have a website, provide and email like [email protected].
This is the most ideal and will make you look like you’re serious about your music. If you don’t have a website yet, you should set one up as soon as possible.
In the meantime however, go with a professional Gmail address and choose a prefix that makes sense like Your[email protected]. It may seem like overkill but something with a random internet provider just doesn’t give you the same credibility.
It’s also a great idea to include phone numbers as some people prefer to communicate this way or may want to get in touch quickly. Since your press kit is a private page, only seen by people you want to contact you, including a personal phone number shouldn’t be an issue.
Conclusion: How Do You Make Your Electronic Press Kit Stand Out From Other Artists?
A well formulated electronic press kit is an invaluable tool for up and coming indie artists. Many industry professionals have hundreds submitted to them every day and it can be tough to stand out in a crowd.
Taking the time to create an EPK as both a PDF and a web page gives you the necessary flexibility for any submission situation. Make sure that it’s visually appealing, with a well written bio, as well as high quality photos and videos.
Featuring testimonials, notable shows and professional contact information will give you credibility. Also, don’t forget to give links to your online presence for those who want to learn more about you.
Of course none of this is worth anything without good music. Topping everything off with well written songs, recorded in a professional studio will give an edge over the competition and open plenty of opportunities to grow your audience and expand your music’s reach.