Creating a well-constructed electronic press kit (EPK) is essential for performers and songwriters to showcase their skill sets to industry tastemakers and fans. EPKs are your multimedia resume, a chance to make a good first impression and the best way to share your brand with your target audience. They display your personality, uniqueness and most importantly, your music. Today’s EPK has expanded beyond just a single video to a web page where a single link can act as a gateway to a variety of multi-media information. When desirable that link can even be customized and personalized for individual recipients. There are a number of online sites (Google search: EPK) that will help you build EPK sites such as www.reverbnation.com, www.sonicbids.com and others.
Digital profiles haven’t completely replaced the traditional printed press kits for industry use, but fewer artists are pitching their wares these days on paper. EPKs can also be multi-purposed. Digital destinations are a great way to pitch yourself to music professionals, but they also provide an avenue for fans to get to know you better. These efforts should take on different tones so is may be advisable to create separate links and target your EPK in one of the following three ways.
-INDUSTRY. Keep it simple, to the point and compiled with quality fact based information. Bring your “A game” mentality to this as it’s your shot at making an impactful first impression.
-BOOKING/VENUE/PROMOTER. Include everything in the industry EPK, but add extra focus on live performance videos from venue shows with live audio. Expect these clips to be evaluated for musical credibility, stage presence, audience draw, fan reaction and overall professional presentation.
-FAN. More lifestyle based and personal in nature this should serve to keep a focus on building a relationship between you and the listener. Including things like sales information and fan demographics, etc. is not appropriate for this use.
Below is a checklist of basic elements to pack into the kits described above.
-Professionally Shot Hi-Res Photos. Two or three different looks are ideal.
-One Sheet. This is a concise, easy to read and highly targeted summary of your brand highlights. Include a brief edited version of your bio. Post your full bio on your website. If you are a band, note each person’s role and hometown.
-Music. Include streaming options and fully downloadable versions of your strongest 2 or 3 tracks that showcase your style.
-Embedded Videos. Remember your audience when creating this highly viewed tool. Promoters will want to see live performance videos. Labels will want to see promo videos that basically summarize all of the EPK elements into a 3-5 minute visual presentation. Fans will want to feel a connection with your music and lifestyle but should not see demographics and statics.
-Cut by Cuts. This is for songwriter/artists specifically. Create a section of the EPK where you briefly explain the inspiration behind the songs. This can be written or on video. If there is an interesting, emotional or funny back-story behind the cut, then write a paragraph about it. If not, skip it. If you are performing other people’s songs, leave out this step unless there is a really good narrative on why you cut the song.
-Press Reviews and Quotes From Credible Professionals. Props from reliable sources touting your musical brilliance will serve to validate you if they are from respected publications or professionals. Edit down their key statements and include the resource information at the bottom of the quote.
-Page Design and Logos. Be sure the look of your EPK page and band logo are consistent and correspond to your overall branding efforts.
-Touring Information. Include a concise summary of the markets you have played and a link to your upcoming show dates. Include stage plots for promoters if you are a touring act.
-Social Statistics and Fan Demographics. This is for the more established artist to showcase the fan base they are building geographically and demographically. Not meant for Fan EPK sites.
-Contact Information. Just because this is listed last should not underscore its major importance. If they can’t reach you, all of your efforts are for not. Include a contact name, e-mail address, phone number, website and social site links. If you have a support team include their information as well.
Fans and industry are inundated daily with new band information. If you keep the tools above professional looking and succinct you will keep your intended audience’s interest and hopefully gain new fans.