How to Create an EPK for Musicians
What is an Electronic Press Kit?
An Electronic Press Kit (more commonly referred to as an EPK) is an important document that should showcase what your music is all about. It should have clear links to your music, website and social media accounts, acting as a central point for you to introduce your band and what you’re all about.
The most important thing to think about when creating an EPK is how it is going to be viewed from the other side of the fence. Put yourself in other people's positions. What information would you want to see if you were a gig promoter or artist manager?
Info needs to be clear and to the point, providing all relevant info from the get-go.
What to include in your EPK
1. Links to your music
Whether you've released music on Spotify or just uploaded it to Soundcloud or YouTube, make sure it is listed clearly in your EPK. Before anything else, music promoters and bookers are going to want to hear what you sound like.
If you’re an original act, you should prioritise promoting your latest single or next upcoming show, making sure to include clear links on YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud or anywhere else.
It’s also worth remembering that some acts actually offer a free download as part of their press kit. Maybe this could work for you too?
2. High-res photography
Professional pictures of your band are essential for any EPK. Promoters will use the images for posters and on any entertainment agent’s roster.
When coming up with a concept for a photo-shoot, try and think of something distinctive. While there are certain “classic” themes that will always work (shots of rock bands looking moody up against a graffiti wall is a good example), it's far better to try and come up with an original concept.
Hiring a professional photographer will really help with this. It's also a good idea to include a PNG image of your band logo that promoters and venues can use on promotional materials for an event. If they have this handy, they're more likely to use it.
Learn more about how to take a press shot that's worthy of your EPK.
3. Your website and social media
As with any cold emails or advertisements you're sending out, your website should offer additional, in-depth information that clients or potential managers can read, so make sure it is listed in your EPK.
Any and all social media links should also be included and remember to keep them updated regularly. Promoters and agents love to use social media to keep a track of how hard-working, busy and popular bands are so keep on top of your music marketing.
While having a lot of Facebook likes or Insta followers may look impressive, the most important thing to have on social media is an audience that engages with what you post and is likely to turn up to your shows. For this reason, resist the temptation to buy “fake” likes. No promoter is going to be happy if they book a band with 122,000 Instagram followers when they can’t even get 10 people to their hometown show on a Saturday night.
Building up and effectively managing a good social media following - as well as regular fanbase engagement - can really boost your chances of landing more bookings.
4. Artist Biography
Next up is your artist biography. This should act as the main text block for your EPK and is where you should list all your band’s achievements and recent shows at notable venues. Talk about bands you’ve supported and any endorsements you have, while giving some general background on the band and it’s members.
It’s always a good idea to start a biography with a recent press quote, if you have one. General advice always says that you should have both a large and short biography prepared – your EPK should contain your long version.
This is a very important bit of reading for anyone who wants to know about your band, so make sure to check spelling and grammar and get it proof-read to make sure it looks and sounds professional. If this isn't your strongpoint, ask your manager for some help with this.
5. Press quotes and testimonials
If you have any favourable reviews to hand, make sure to include a select quote from each one, linking out to the source. Any testimonials from other figures in the industry are also a good thing to include.
"Putting on a raucous show from start to finish, this band are definitely ones to watch for 2023” - The Local Gazette
If you are a function band, it is also really important to have some quotes from previous clients. Anything along the lines of the example quote below.
"I really want to thank the band for putting on an amazing show at our wedding, people have been talking to us about them ever since!” - Proper Cool Critic, 2023
Note: Positive press quotes can definitely help catch the eye of a promoter, but make sure to always back them up with links to the review.
A great way for original acts and function bands to get more shows is to have some high-quality video footage.
For function bands, this consists of a promotional video. Some shots of you performing live, with some overlaid information about your band is typically the traditional way to go, but the more original, the better. Any potential entertainment agent will want to see an eye-catching promo video.
For original acts, while storyboarded music videos can look fantastic, when it comes to your EPK, a live video of you performing will be of much more use to any promoter or potential manager.
Links to YouTube videos are absolutely fine and can also be housed alongside your EPK info on your website, helping boost your SEO and Google ranking.
7. Your contact details
While it is important to include up-to-date contact details for all band members, agents & managers, make sure to specify at least two which are to be treated as the preferred point of contact. This'll help reduce any confusion and miscommunication during important periods, as well as make you look that little bit more professional too.
If in doubt, put your manager's details down.
Once you’ve completed these steps and built out your EPK, you have to make it available. One trick a lot of artists use is to create a Dropbox link that you can easily send and share across your socials and via email.
You should also consider making your EPK downloadable from your website or bio.
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