There’s only one industry-wide, sure-fire way to get promoters, press and venues aware of your existence: a press kit.
So What’s a Press Kit?
A press kit is a collection of all your:
Positive reviews/press quotes
Stats (how many people you can draw, how many venues you’ve played, etc.)
Who Needs My Press Kit?
A & R people
Used to be, all these items were either designed and printed (bios sheets, etc.) or downloaded onto a CD (music) or DVD (video) and then shoved into a folder and mailed. Now they are packaged and sent digitally. The industry calls it an electronic press kit, or EPK.
Now that you see how useful—well, vital—a press kit is to your success, let’s take a look at how you can best go about creating an EPK that shows the world how awesome you truly are.
How Much Can I Afford to Spend on an EPK?
This is a two-fold question: It’s dime vs. time. If you don’t want to spend a dime on your press kit, you’re going to need to do it yourself. And this takes time.
So ask yourself:
How tech savvy am I?
You will have to embed music and video players into your EPK to allow users to hear your songs and view your videos. You’ll also have to upload photos and create tables for your stats and gig dates. And all this will have to 1. Look great and; 2. Be easy to navigate.
And trust me, you’ll want to track your results. Knowing who has clicked on your EPK and what they’ve looked at will help you know who will be most receptive when you come knocking on a door looking for a booking. Do yourself a favor and add tracking software to your EPK.
How well can I write copy?
I can’t tell you the number of musicians I’ve run across who are exceptional poets but lousy copywriters. Writing copy, i.e. words for websites, press releases, advertising, etc.) is different from songwriting. It’s boring and requires top-notch grammar and spelling.
Do I know what industry professionals and journalists are looking for?
Knowing what’s on the hearts and minds of professionals related to the industry requires not only a crystal ball, but tons of research about what they’ve signed/covered in the past and what’s trending now.
Do I have time to research the things I don’t know?
Comes down to this: Would you rather be promoting existing music or creating new music?
But How Much Does an EPK Service Cost?
It depends on the service you choose and what you want to use them for. Some, like ReverbNation, are all-inclusive, and cost about $60 a year. But others, like MachusMedia, allow you to choose from a list of services, like a Chinese take-out menu. You pay only for the services you know you’ll use.
The bottom line is, to be taken seriously in the music industry you MUST HAVE a kick-ass EPK. It must be easy to navigate, look awesome and allow users to listen to your music and see your videos. And it’ll make your promotional life a whole lot easier if you can track visits to your EPK (separately from your website) to see who is seriously interested before you go knocking on venue doors.Publisher: james ussery