The New Face Of Press Kits
One of our top priorities, as artists, is to have our music reach as many people as possible. An effective and powerful press kit is essential in the quest to book gigs, shop for deals and promote through media. A press kit is a promotion package representing not only you and your music, but also past accomplishments and your future goals. When assembling a press kit it is important to spend some time establishing a clear vision of yourself as a musician and a professional. This will also help to develop a consistent tone and focus in your message and image. Utilizing the right marketing tools, such as a well-constructed press kit, will boost the intensity of your career at any level. Utilizing the right marketing tools, such as a well-constructed press kit, will boost the intensity of your career at any level.
Press Kit Essentials
First lets sketch the outline of a winning press kit. The essentials must include:
- Cover Letter and StatementYour Bio – You must be concise and to the point while leaving a lasting impression of your character and music. If you wrote your own bio, you could have others read it for feedback. Another tip is to read the bios of your top 10 favorite artists to get ideas about composing your own.
- Photos (this is no place to cut costs!)
- Sound and Video Samples, Press Releases, and Media Coverage – include articles, reviews, awards, etc.
- Contact Information – Clear and visible
Putting together a pres kit doesn’t have to break the bank, but keep in mind that it is a representation of you as an artist and first impressions are crucial. Keep all of your materials organized in a binder or folder. Remember, this binder reflects your image.
When putting your press kit together it is important to stick with a color scheme. This will tie your business cards, bio, pictures, and folder together giving your press kit a professional touch and help to maintain a consistent tone that is yours. Most importantly, don’t forget the music. A 3-song demo will do well for your press kit. People don’t have time to listen to your whole CD. A short demo will not only save you money, but it will leave them wanting more. A short demo will not only save you money, but it will leave them wanting more.
Electronic Press Kits (EPKs):
Most of us strive to be cost efficent because pictures, materials, and CD reproduction can add up quickly. In my opinion, the best marketing tool to use is an electronic press kit (EPK). EPK’s are user-friendly web based portfolios that contain your music, photos, bios, video clips, and upcoming gigs. Some sites allow you to post your information for free while others charge a low monthly fee. Overall, you get much more than just general convenience of electronic media. The set-up of EPK host sites position you for targeted visibility and dynamic promotion while seamlessly combining business and the artist. Below is my brief review of two popular sites:
One of the more popular EPK sites available is Sonicbids. Its main geographical focus is North America, but is quickly expanding internationally. As a member of Sonicbids, you are assigned a personal URL that will be accessible to others by visiting “www.sonicbids.com/YOURNAME.” Another significant advantage of using Sonicbids is the ability to email your press kit to an unlimited number of people. Doing this electronically cuts out the labor, bulk, and cost of mailing a physical press kit. The email is sent as a graphic HTML, which eliminates the inconvenience of licks and attachments.
Sonicbids also sets up “Drop Boxes,” for you to place your EPK in. These boxes are assigned to exclusive partners of Sonicbids, such as promoters, managers, publicists, and festival directors. As part of your membership Sonicbids also sends out daily emails informing you of auditions, gigs, and conferences you can submit your music to.
Seriously, if you don’t know what Myspace is I don’t know what you’re gonna do with yourself… This is a free service supported solely by advertising and can be found at www.myspace.com. You can use this to post general information about your band, as well as your EPK, (which might even be hosted by Sonicbids). You can post 4 songs, your bio, upload photos, and promote upcoming shows. The network is worldwide and currently has millions of users. However, myspace is not set up in the same way Sonicbids is to pitch your band for networking, promotion, and development.
Myspace is targeted towards the age group of 16-30 to keep in touch with friends, find new music, and have a space on the web without the cost of hosting a site. I would recommend using this site as a means of getting your music out there, to reach the college population and for your friends and fans to find support.
If you chose to sign up for Myspace, be sure to do it as an ‘artist’ rather than a ‘friend.’ Click on the music link located at the top right side of the home page to explore your benefits as an artist member. More listeners are turning to the web to find new music and upcoming bands so here is one way to ensure you are in the right place at the right time.
Well-constructed press kits are a must for all musicians looking to advance their career. Take the time to develop your plan of action and how you want to represent yourself to record executives, promoters, and managers. Remember A&R reps receive thousands of press kits so make yours easy to access and organize. The right presentation will catch their attention and get you the recognition you deserve. Below, I have listed some helpful resources to guide you when preparing or updating your pres kit.
Again, check out these sites:
www.sonicbids.com – You can send unlimited press kits for only $10 a month. You have a personal web link where you can post all your musical information.
www.myspace.com – A free service geared towards the younger crowd. Used as a tool to find listeners and promote live shows.
Press Kit Secrets [Article] – Jeffrey Fisher
The Self Promoting Musician – Peter Spellman