In today’s article, I want to optimize your EPK to assist you to get more bookings, sales, press and all the other useful coverage – in the right places.
Your EPK is your resume/CV. It is what you use when you interact with industry people and organisations. If you have been in contact with a record label, the chances are high that they have asked for your EPK. Similarly, if you have tried to get press outlets to write about you & your music, journalists and news outlets will always ask for your EPK.
It is a single page that describes you as a musician and the work you’ve done throughout your musical career.
It should not contain the same information as your website. An EPK needs to be used for industry purposes, while your website is for your fans and the general public.
Once you have your EPK completed and ready to go you can start using it for much more than just sending it to journalists and labels.
For example, if you are doing sales with companies or trying to collaborate with someone in the industry you should send them a personal email that is then linking to your EPK.
When the world is back to normal and musicians are performing live again and you start booking gigs, you need to also send the promoters your EPK, which also includes a venue setup and equipment requirements for your live gigs.
As you see an EPK can have several purposes, and sometimes you may even want to create a separate EPK for press, bookings, and sales.
You may even want to create an EPK for yourself as an artist, but also a specific EPK that focuses on one song/single, but let’s not complicate it too much and start by creating a general EPK for you as an artist that can be used for all purposes.
It’s actually pretty simple if you know how to optimise it properly. This is why I’ve listed six easy steps to get your EPK to a premium standard.
Have A Landing Page/Website
An EPK is used when you are doing outreach. Most likely you are sending your EPK privately to someone with a personal note.
Far too many times I see musicians that have folders full of documents when it comes to their EPK.
They don’t have just a single page they can send out, only folders and documents they send over through a shared google drive or dropbox link.
Let me break something down for you: when you are sending out your EPK you are basically selling yourself to prospective journalists, bookers, artists, collaborators, etc.
Why should this news outlet write about you? What reason should this venue book you? Why should someone work with you?
If you send someone to a Google Drive folder full of documents and subfolders I guarantee that, unless you have already built a rapport and have interest from the other recipient, there is a high chance that they will not bother looking through the folders.
You actually have to really invest time and effort into organising your content, music in one folder, press photos in another, and bios in a 3rd.
The breakdown of folders and subfolders I receive from musicians is usually well thought out, however, we are getting more and more used to receiving the info we want without spending too much time finding it.
If a news outlet wants to write about you and they need to go through 10 different folders in order to find the relevant information, you have most likely lost them in folder 3.
This is not to say that you do not need a folder structure where you can put your digital assets like music, press photos, bios, music videos, performance videos, etc. However, you need a single-paged document online where you can present all of this work in one place.
They need to be able to play your music directly from a player and watch your music videos and have your bio and all of the information you need to sell yourself in one place.
Many musicians are alternatively using one page .pdf files with hyperlinks, but once again you can’t really embed videos and music into a .pdf file and you have to either link out to web players or into a folder full of music for them to get a preview of your music.
It’s best to have your musical resume all on one page.
If you have a website already, I recommend creating a “not-linked” page. This basically means you do not want to link this page to the rest of your site.
These pages are typically called landing pages, the pages that live by themselves and have one purpose. I also recommend removing the menu from this page just so that the focus can be on the EPK with no distractions or links to anything else.
You can then link to your website from your EPK to make it a part of your EPK.
You can easily then create a page on your own URL that you have already which will be your EPK.
Most website builders have integrations so you can embed a Soundcloud player or use an internal player from the web builder. They also always have a way to embed videos and make your EPK very visually appealing.
The most important thing to show on your EPK is of course your music, so do this by either using an internal media player or a Soundcloud widget. These are the best bet as you can then upload unreleased songs.
If you embed a Spotify widget the songs have already been released. A lot of times you will pitch to playlist editors, press, radio channels before your song is out.
You should also link to your folder from your EPK landing page. Let’s say they want more press photos or videos, or access your longer bio, or a different press release, create some hyperlinks on the landing page to take them directly to each folder.
By having an EPK landing page you will increase your conversion on your outreach as you make it easier for the person you are pitching your brand/music, to access what they need from you in order to make a decision.
If you have a website already you are paying for hosting and domain already so you can easily get a page up.
However, if you do not have a website you can use tools like BandZoogle or SonicBids to create an EPK landing page. These builders already have EPK templates that you can replace with your own content.
You can get your EPK online within minutes if you have the content ready.
However, you have to pay for these services as it is essentially a website builder that will host and give you a domain (or you can connect your own domain).
So if you already know you are building a website and you will be using SquareSpace, or something similar, then just create your EPK with your website builder. No need to use a separate EPK builder.
Struggling with your EPK and need some help? If you want me to help you personally, join me inside the SMART Launch Club. If you want someone else to create one for you, then check out my agency where we can create a high converting EPK for you, ready to start using right away.
Optimise Your Bio
Your bio in your EPK is extremely important. Not only is it your pitch, but you are also actually creating your narrative here.
When a news outlet is going to write about you, how will they describe you as an artist and how will they describe your music?
By writing your bio you can take control of this narrative. The bio on your EPK is your industry bio and if you are using a landing page you can only fit a short version of your bio.
So you should have a longer bio they can access in a folder, but the short one needs to be to the point and WELL thought through.
If you are struggling with your bio I recommended getting some help here as they are very important when pitching you as an artist.
Your artist bio should include: what kind of musician you are, what genre you play, career highlights, influences, etc.
The description of yourself as an artist and your music will most likely be used in your press so take control over the narrative here in your bio.
Also, give some hooks so they can “place you” right away. This can be with, for example, what genres you play and what influences you have. This makes it easier for the person that is reading to “place you”.
The bio should also give the journalist something to write about and it should give the venue a reason to book you. It’s your elevator pitch in just a few sentences.
This is not the same bio that you would have on your website as that is for your fans. You would make your fan bio way more personal than an industry bio.
You want a fan to connect with you personally, while you want a “sale” to happen with an industry bio. Understand the difference?
You should at least have 2 different bios in your EPK. one short and one long. If they want to write about you then give them access to more info about you so you can control more of the narrative.
Have Professional Press Photos
Far too often I see musicians are using iPhone photos in their EPK. If there is something you need to do at the beginning of your career, and also every once in a while during your career, is to invest in a proper photographer to do a proper photo shoot so you can get some professional-looking photos.
You should also get a professional photographer to take some photos of you when you perform as this can show right away how you look on a stage and how you interact with your audience while playing your music.
During live shows, you are in your element and it’s usually good to include some of these in your EPK as well. Especially if you use your EPK to get bookings.
You don’t have to show more than 3-4 photos on your EPK landing page, but you need to link to a folder with more photos.
In this folder, you need a variety of both horizontal and vertical images as print magazines can only use vertical images with lots of space around the edges for their covers, while horizontal images work better for their half-page image headers.
You should also have High-resolution versions of each image (saved in a folder) for print: 300DPI and around 3200 pixels across the longest edge.
You also need low-resolution versions of each image (put on EPK/Landing Page)
for web: 72DPI and around 800 pixels across the longest edge.
Pick the best three photos for your landing page. Two press photos and one performance perhaps?
Your press photos should also bring out your brand and what you are all about. Think outfits, colors, effects that you can include here that will help present your brand.
Share Your Audience/Social Stats
Numbers speak louder than words. If you have an understanding of your audience and have stats about this you need to share them.
It can be as simple as a breakdown of how big your audience is on each channel. You can also perhaps add a visual map over where in the world you are bigger than others.
Let’s say you have a big following in Brazil, and you are located in Europe. You should then pitch to news outlets in Brazil showing them that you are hot in this area and that they should write about you.
Alongside this you should also share some demographics that you know about your audience, age, gender, etc, and also perhaps some interest areas if you have some statistics on this.
Also use SoundCharts or ChartMetric to get some nice visuals that you can insert into your EPK. By showing your audience and social stats you are making it easier for press/playlist curators and radio to place you.
You can also include some deeper stats like follower growth and engagement rate on different channels. Follower growth is how much your fanbase is growing week by week, and the engagement rate is how engaged your followers are in the content you share on the platform.
If you are showing a high follower growth and engagement rate you are showing growth in your digital channels and that your fanbase is strong.
Share Your Achievements & Career Highlights
This is why it’s called your musical resume. You need to briefly list your achievements and career highlights.
Do you have any award nominations, notable performances, sold-out shows, appearances, famous venues you have played at, large bands you’ve supported, or if you have had notable collaborations or worked with some notable people?
Each one of these highlights is basically a news story in themselves.
Share Other Press Clippings
If other people have written about you, you need to show this. This can easily be done by just selecting a quote from the article and then showing the quote on the EPK Landing page with a link to the news article.
You can do this with several news articles and press clippings that you have received.
If you have had appearances on TV or radio you should include this as well. Hey, even if somebody influential has said something about your music, list that sucker too.
If you can show that other people have written about you and that you are newsworthy it will be easier to convince them to write about you as well.
So there are six hacks to create a high converting EPK. One that will give you more sales, and nail those venue bookings and give you the press you need.
The main thing to remember is that this is your opportunity to sell yourself, keep it succinct but add links so if someone wants to dig a little further they can without any hassle.
Make sure everything in your folders is well organised and easy to navigate, press photos, released music, unreleased music, music videos, live videos, etc.
They all need to have their own space so people don’t have to wade through lots of files to find what they are looking for.
The easier it is for a potential collaborator, label, or journalist to find what they are looking for, the more likely they are going to want to work with or write about you.
Remember if you want any specific help with your EPK from me personally then join me in the SMART Launch Club and we can get started.