As a struggling independent musician in a highly competitive over-crowded market it should be left unsaid that you need to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to do this. There is music publicity, radio promotion, extensive tour presence, and the almighty music marketing and music promotion. You need to get your message out there –period.
Getting your music marketing message out there is one thing but getting the right message out there is another. Your professional image as an independent Guitar backing tracks artist is of the utmost importance in order to rise above the sea of competition. Most independent bands and independent artists have some sort of a music press kit or music promotion kit that they use for promotional purposes. Generally, musicians will use either a traditional print music media kit, a digital press kit (DPK), or an online EPK (Electronic Press Kit). But just how professional and convincing are they?
A frequently asked question that I get all the time from my independent artists and musicians is which type of press kit should we put together? Which kind of music press kit works best and is most impressive and effective? The answer to that question depends on a few things.
What I mean by this is that I recommend creating and maintaining two types of press kits — either a print or digital music press kit, and an electronic press kit. The reason for this is simple. Certain media outlets, labels, venues, music management companies, etc. prefer a print press kit or digital press kit with your full blown CD so it can be listened too on high efficiency stereo equipment to get the full effect of your music and its production qualities. Others prefer not to have their office congested with piles of press kits, and their preferred method is just reviewing your music online.
For the reasons just noted, we recommend you do a print or digital press kit and have one online as well. There’s really nothing to creating an online EPK so why not have it available. There are a few very good EPK services out there and they cost just a few dollars per month. But I am putting an emphasis on the fact that an EPK (Electronic press kit online) is not enough. You still must have the traditional print or digital press kit in your music promotion arsenal.
It is notable to mention that your Music press kit is probably your most valuable promotional tool and it needs to be taken very seriously. Other than your CD and live performance it is usually the first impression of you as an artist that labels, venues, and other music media outlets will receive. There are many graphic art firms that specialize in the preparation of media promotion kits that you may want to consider if your budget permits. If not, for a few dollars, a little creativity, and time and effort, you can do it yourself. Here are the basic elements of a print press kit and Electronic press kit, and the professional means by which to go about it.
In your traditional print music press kit version the elements to include are a professionally designed cover with your logo or photo, a cover letter of introduction, Band or Artist biography, a professional 8- x 10- black and white glossy promotional photo, media feature articles and press releases, album reviews and quote sheet, your full length – extended play, or professionally recorded demo CD, an industry CD-one sheet, a business card and professionally labeled envelope. The supplies needed are heavy stock paper, portfolio cover, large envelope, address labels, business cards, and your 8- x 10- glossy photo. Now here’s how to go about putting the print press kit together.
COVER AND LETTER OF INTRODUCTION:
Your professional music press kit should have an impressive cover. This should include a photo of the artist, artist’s name, and artist’s contact information. Sort of like the cover of a book. You should also include a cover letter of introduction. This should introduce you as the artist stating briefly a little about yourself. Don’t get too specific in this letter you can leave that for the bio and other media which you will include.
Make sure you address the letter to one specific person – – being personal is important. It gives the appearance of a non-cookie cutter look and that you feel this media outlet, label, venue, or music agent has significance. Make sure that either at the top or the bottom of this letter you have included your full contact information or your artist’s representative’s contact information. The cover letter should be inserted just inside the kit’s cover prior to any other information. The contact information should also be included at the bottom right on every page in the music promo kit.
Artist or Band Biography:
The next page or what would actually be the first informational page of the music media kit would be your artist biography page. Here you should include a brief history of the artist or band, a little about each member if it’s a full band. This should be no longer than one page and should not be a long drawn out history of the band but just a brief synopsis of what you have accomplished and where you plan to go. More importantly, you should include things like significant shows or tours, contests won, radio play, or any achievements that you feel are noteworthy and may raise you above others in terms of popularity and development. Keep it simple, concise, and meaningful. If there are no writers among you or your friends than we highly recommend having your band bio written for you by a professional music copywriter. It’s so important and it must be professional.
Media and Press Section:
The following pages in your music promotion kit should be media and press. These are basically significant clips of any feature articles you may have received in music industry magazines, or newspapers. Don’t go overboard. Include only media clips that really highlight you as an artist. Pick the best five clips you have and make sure they are professionally reproduced. Noting irritates a person receiving these kits more that sloppy crooked copies of media. Take pride in the quality of the kit. Plastic see-through partitions should be used for each individual item.