Author: Jeremy Elkins
It is very important as a musician to heave a well put together press kit that will help steam roll your path to success in the music industry. Press kits are also commonly called "media kits" and "artist bio" but they all used for the same thing which is to help with Music Promotion, Music Publicity, Booking Agents and Band Promotion. There are a lot of bands out there all gunning for the same venues, radio play and magazine interviews which is why you are more likely to successfully snag all of these opportunities with the Press kit I'm going to help you build. Lets get started with the basics and go from there.
COVER- A first impression is a lasting impression so make sure this aspect of your press kit really shines, let this be the part that introduces you to the venues, radio stations and magazines. Include what genre of music you play, your band logo (eye catching) and your contact information for the band (Myspace, Website, Phone numbers and email).
ARTIST INTRO PAGE (Bio) - Start off by introducing your group followed by the band members (if any), follow that with the style of music you play and list any genres you may have. Go into naming some quality venues, clubs etc. you have played at in the past and which cities or regions they were in. Also list important equipment you may have such as amps, PA, Microphones, lights, etc. and any personal you may have that runs the production for your shows. Talk about your fan base, include the size of it and how you communicate with them. List any street team supporters you may have and where they are located. Make sure to differentiate between original music or cover music depending on which one relates to your style and also if you're an acoustic or electric act. List any promoting techniques you may use to help bring people to your shows seeing how this is the only way to make any money at live venues it is a very important part to getting venues to book your show. List any websites, social networking sites and or flyers you use for promoting shows and music presence. One way to get started is to attend open mic. nights and leave your press kits with venue managers after the show in hopes of getting a gig in the future.
ARTIST PHOTOS - Lets take a look at why it is so very important to have good photos before we talk about how to acquire them. Take a look around at today's communication behaviors and you will quickly notice that visual imagery is king in the world's communication. You see it no matter where you are and it would seem that almost everyday new technology comes out that even furthers how we view this media on a day to day basis. This should be setting off a little red alarm in you head telling you that if this is true then it must be vital the way people are viewing you which brings us back to your photos. First impressions are lasting impressions so if you really want to have those in the industry and amongst the music community to take you seriously you will want to get some Professional 8x10's taken of your music group or single act. Be resourceful in about getting your photos, be sure to shop around and maybe ask friends and family if they know of anyone that can help you out. There isn't really any need to spend a fortune here if you take your time and do some research first. Have fun with this as well, use your imagination and come up with some fun ways to accurately portray your music.
Booking Information - This is the section of your press kit that contains all of your Booking Information such as the best way to contact you, preferences in types of shows and areas you can travel to perform. It is important to have your contact info in multiple places through out your Press Kit so go ahead and add your phone number and address again in this section as well.
Demo CD - You are rarely going to run across a club or venue that will agree to have you come play before they have heard your music and the best way to have them take is a listen is to create a Demo CD. The Demo CD should consist of 2-4 songs each being the best of your material, this is the time to really show them your good stuff. Once again add your contact info to the label that will be placed on this Demo CD which should also include your band name and the list of songs on it. All of this is to help ensure that even if the person or venue you gave the press kit to looses the kit, there might be a good chance that your CD could still be floating around along with how to contact you for gigs. Spend some time into a nice looking CD Cover and label so that who ever sees it will know that you are serious about your music.
SONGS LINEUP- Put together a list of your songs that your band might play on a average basis including the best of any cover songs you might add in with your original work. If you might be wanting to do anything else such as a light show or some sort of skit on stage this would be the place to add that in as well.
SHOWS SHEET- Your bands shows sheet should include any past gigs you have played and any future ones that you have already lined up to perform at.
BAND / MUSIC REVIEWS - To show credibility of your bands music it is very important to include any Music Reviews or news paper clippings on your band into your press kit. If you do not have any of those items then you might want to start getting your music out to resources that can do a review for you such as local newspapers and organizations like www.LocalProMoConnect.com
BUSINESS CARDS - Were not saying that you have to present your self as some corporation only aimed at making money but we are saying that you need to treat your music as a base line business which means you will need a card to pass around at every show you go to. You can include your Independent acts business card in the mix of your press kit as well as always keeping a few on you at all times in case you run into the right person that will be able to help you out. You can make your own business cards at almost any copy store for a relatively good deal seeing how they are only made up of paper and ink. And almost every word program comes with a few templates you can use at home and have printed on card stock paper or even just very thick regular paper. Make sure to include your bands Name, Phone, Contact Name, Websites, Email, and any logos you might have to represent your act. You might want to make up a small batch of high quality cards to pass around to industry reps and a bigger batch of average business cards to pass around to the common person but it is up to you and your budget to determine how and when this is all possible.
ENVELOPE - Depending on who your planning to receive your press kit you might want to come up with two very different designs for the envelope it will be going into. Your going to want to stand out in a pile of many envelopes so be sure to use a load color and unique design that captures the attention of the beholder to ensure your press kit wont be overlooked on the desk or in the file cabinet of a venue owner or booking agent. On the other hand you will want to be a bit more settle when it comes to sending your press kit out to record labels or industry reps so try to think of a design that is appealing to the eye but not to distracting. Just be sure to have both styles ready to go on a moments notice in case you have to send them out or hand them off to any and everyone that might be able to help further your musical career. Thanks you for following along with us on successfully building your press kit and we hope all the best to your near future and utilizing these tools.
Jeremy Elkins is the founder and chief of the LPM Voice Magazine which is a music based e-zine that focuses on the independent and non partisan rock scene of the world. To find out more about the LPM Voice please visit http://www.lpmvoice.com
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