How to Improve Your EPK Immediately
Here’s the hard truth about submitting anything via Sonicbids, your press kit to a record label, or trying to book a big show: You have less than one minute to get the person’s attention. In many of my other articles, I stress the importance of catering whatever you are trying to do based on the other person’s point of view. If you had to review 100+ EPK’s a week, what would you want to see/hear? Most of the people you are trying to reach: A&R staff, talent buyers, managers, booking agents, etc. have other jobs to do besides looking at EPK’s. Their time is limited, they have other things they want to get to. If you aren’t doing something that stands out from the rest, you’ll be quickly forgotten.
Here are some real life examples of mistakes I’ve seen this past week from press kits sent to me:
– Missing information, such as the biography field left completely blank.
– Poor Quality of Materials; audio samples were only poor quality live recordings, press photos were blurry, or overall presentation lacked any professionalism.
– Too much information but none of it interesting – Keep your biography as short as needed. People generally don’t need to read about every lineup change you’ve had or what shapes you see when looking at clouds. Really, keep the most pertinent information and drop the fluff.
– Major mistakes – Check your spelling and grammar before sending it out
– Poor Responses – When people you are submitting information to ask you about things, keep it thoughtful and concise…take the time to make sure it sounds like you care.
Would you want your manager, publicist or booking agent doing any or all of the above? Of course not! So why do so many artists present themselves this way?
In addition to avoiding the above mistakes, here are some tips you can implement instantly to give your press kit a much-needed makeover:
- Use line breaks: Break apart long paragraphs into shorter blocks of more dramatic information. Make it easy to read or keep it in story format to pull the reader in.
- Start out strong: Keep some of your biggest accomplishments or best reviews at the very top, don’t wait until the end of your press kit (many people might not make it all the way through). By kicking off things off strong, it will compel the reader to examine the rest of your materials more carefully.
- Display your contact information/websites clearly: List your social media websites in addition to your main website. It might not have as it used to, but people still check things like how many fans you have on Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook. More importantly, they see how active you and your fans are – the more interaction, the better.
- Treat your Sonicbids front page like a one-sheet: Try and keep everything to one screen without the need to scroll down. Be creative. Use bullet-points to highlight the most impressive information.
- Keep Your Calenders Full: It’s extra work, but make sure that your shows are announced on all of your websites: official site, Myspace, Reverb Nation, Sonicbids….everywhere. The busier you look, the better.
- Drop the Pronouns: Stay away from writing the band’s biography in a first-person point of view. You want a professional biography, not a personal blog entry.
Remember, pretend you’re on the other side of things. If a promoter is calling for a submission, look at the language they are using – what are they looking for? It’s like creating a resume for a job opening. The more relevant, professional, concise, and done with strategic impact, the better. And if you really need some help, consider hiring a pro to help you out.