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[Ed. note — this guest article was penned by our friends at Bandzoogle]
So, you’re making your first musician website. Or you’re trying to, and you’ve stumbled on the words EPK along the way. You might be wondering what those three capital letters mean.
An EPK is an electronic press kit – it acts as a collection of your promotional materials. Think of it like an online resume, or a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to take a look at your band. That’s also the reason why every musician should make a music website that includes an EPK.▼ Article continues below ▼
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help you figure it out.
Now that you know what an EPK is and why you need it, you might be wondering how one makes an EPK specifically for musicians. Well, there’s a few key elements you’re going to need to get started:
Firstly, a bio is how you’re going to sell yourself to anyone who stumbles across your page. An artist bio is a basic summary of what you’ve done professionally and any relevant personal information. Bios can range from long descriptive posts that fill an entire page, or they can be short and sweet, depending on what you’re trying to share with whoever’s going to see it.
Our advice to you is to keep it short and to the point. People are way more likely to skip over lengthy paragraphs, and you don’t want somebody to miss anything important! Let yourself shine with the basics. If they like what they see, they’ll ask you to tell them more.
Images are an important element to your EPK because they help show potential colleagues, both industry and creative, what your brand is like. However, as you go through and find your photos to add to your EPK, they shouldn’t be selected at random.
When picking out images, you want to make sure you include high-quality options with varying subject matter. You’ll want a few examples of live photos, ‘personality’ photos for your fans, press photos, and any other kinds of photos you might find relevant to your band. Make sure you have hi-res versions available for print purposes (yes, if you’re holding this in your hands, you know print is still a thing)
This is key because it’ll make your EPK a valuable place to find images for Instagram shots, social media content, press content, and give any industry professionals a chance to see how your personality is carried through these images as you’re doing what you do best.
Perhaps the most obvious inclusion in your EPK should be examples of your music. Put your most successful songs and anything you’d be proud to share under your name. This isn’t a place to put those unfinished masterpieces. Why?
Well, as much as we love to see new growth, your EPK is a place to sell yourself fully. You want to make sure your best foot is put forward at all times. So, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking into your next label meeting and playing the song, you probably don’t want it on your EPK. You may even want to include a Linktree here with links to your work on popular streaming services as well as Bandcamp.
Video material is crucial for live performance and branding. This is going to be where you really get a chance to show off what you do best.
Of course, we all know that live performance are a huge part of the music industry, so make sure you have a high-quality video on your EPK. Additionally, make sure your music videos represent your music now, not your act in 2012.
All of your materials should be up-to-date and show a projection of where you’re going with your career. After all, like it or not visuals are where many people start.
In any industry, reviews and interviews are something to show off, especially when they’re raving. Make sure you include a section in your EPK to highlight these articles and mentions. Something that’s worked really well for a lot of musicians is highlighting your favorite quotes from the articles on the headline of the page and including the full articles in either a hyperlink format or a section labeled for more press.
Of course, make sure you include the biggest publication reviews you can find. At the end of the day, those big names will give you more clout, and their interview or reviews will carry more weight – and likely be the first thing your viewers click on.
Another necessity for your EPK (if you’re seeking live gigs and festival slots) is to add a stage plot. It’ll make your life, and the life of everyone working stage and soundcheck so much easier, because they’ll have access to your set up, requirements and necessities right at their fingertips.
Social media is the modern-day business card. So, it only makes sense that you’re going to want to include your links in your EPK. Social media numbers and streaming numbers give an idea of how well you’re doing on your own, and how potential clients and colleagues can help you get to the next level. Don’t forget to include any playlists you’ve been added to on Spotify.
Last, but certainly not least, you’re going to want to create a contact section so that people will be able to reach you or your reps. This is where labels, press, agents, potential collaborators or bandmates, and anyone else interested in working with you is going to be able to reach out and maybe even hire you.
An EPK is an important way for musicians to get their music and work out there. As in any industry, a strong portfolio can open doors for you that you didn’t even know were closed. So, keep that in mind while you’re brainstorming what to add to your EPK.
Sammy Hakim is an up-and-coming young songwriter based in Los Angeles. In May 2018 she graduated from Berklee College of Music with a major in songwriting and a focus in music business. These days she spends most of her time in songwriting sessions with artists all over the world. Follow on Instagram @sammyhakim