Some of the most important things you need to grow your career as an artist, new gigs and press coverage, will require an EPK.
For those who don’t know, an Electronic Press Kit – or EPK – is a professional document that contains relevant information and assets about you as an artist. In a way, it’s like a music resume.
As the name implies, an EPK is generally intended for press, journalists, media or bloggers, but it can also be used for other types of industry people, like talent buyers and promoters.
EPKs serve 2 general purposes – selling yourself and making it easier for the other party to do what you want them to do.
Just like with a job resume, your EPK should be structured around educating the reader on your previous accomplishments. So, if you want publicity or press, your EPK should provide all the information that someone would need to write about you.
You might think that most of what people need is on your website already or scattered around the internet. The advantage of using an EPK is that you’re providing all relevant info for press, bloggers, promoters, buyers, etc in one convenient place, so they don’t have to Google and research you, especially since they’re doing something that is going to benefit you.
For many artists, having one general EPK can work, but sometimes you may need to have multiple versions depending on who it is for and the goal you want to accomplish.
Where do I put my EPK?
The best place to publish your EPK is online, so that it can be easily accessible. Your website is probably the most logical place. After looking around for EPKs for other artists, I noticed there were usually available on the artist’s or label’s website.
If you plan to post your EPK on your website, uploading it on its own page is a standard practice. Putting your EPK on its own page, and not promoting it in you navigation menu, also keeps it private. Generally, your website caters for your fans, but the EPK is for the press, talent buyers and other industry people.
Another option, if you don’t have your own website, is to use a third party site. These businesses will host your EPK for you – for a price of course. However, I would highly suggest paying to get a website done and hosting it there.
What do I Include in my EPK
Although what exactly will be in your EPK will depend on who is going to see it and what you’re seeking to get, here are common elements that you will find in an EPK.
The main text element of your EPK is your bio. Your bio should describe who you are as an artist and list career highlights or achievements. Include what you are currently working on, such as shows or new music projects. It is also a good idea to provide a short and long version of your bio, and even a tweet-sized one. Different lengths are important, because media outlets may have space and word count limitations. Providing your bio in different lengths makes it adaptable, without leaving it up to the publisher to decide which information to keep and what to cut.
If you have good quotes from other journalists or notable artists, add them to this section of the EPK as well, preferably at the top, so it gets noticed first.
Based on the examples I researched, having your bio written in the third person makes it sound professional. Regardless of which perspective (first or third) your bio is written in, make sure there aren’t any typos or grammatical mistakes.
High Resolution Photos
Another essential component of an EPK are hi-res photos. Yes, this means professional shots from a photographer, and not cell phone selfies. You want the resolution to be at least 1920 x 1080, but in the 4,000 pixels is ideal. This allows the person to crop it to their needs.
You don’t need too many photos, but some variety is nice. Be sure to have landscape and portrait orientation photos in color and black and white. Throw in some live show shots if you have good ones.
Don’t forget cover art for your music releases as well, especially if that’s what you’re trying to get press to cover.
Make sure photos can be easily downloaded. Dropping photos into a ZIP file is a good practice. Another options is to put the photos in a Dropbox or Google Drive folder and include a download link in your EPK. Besides photos, any branding elements, such as logos, should be in your EPK downloads.
Lastly, when offering publishers and the press a lot of downloadable options, make sure you organize all the files and use names that explain what the person is downloading.
You’re a music artist so obviously, people will need to hear your music. Embedding a music player in your EPK is a convenient way for people to listen to your strongest work. The three best options are Soundcloud, Spotify and Bandcamp. Spotify is the most popular streaming service out right now, but whoever is listening needs a Spotify account.
When including songs in your EPK, don’t just include any random songs or albums. Create a playlist with all your top or newest songs related to the project you are trying to promote.
Social Media Links
Most people’s tendency is to check out social media links. Not only do people want to look at how many followers you have, but how often do you post, what type of content you post and how engaged is your audience. Keep that in mind if you’re pitching your EPK.
Add links to your social media accounts where it is visible. Typically, you’ll include:
You don’t need to list every single social network, so just focus on where you are active and have the largest following. Yes, that means leave the ReverbNation and Linkedin links out.
Depending on your objective, you’ll want to include the right type of video in your EPK. Some examples could be:
- Music videos
- Showreels or live show footage
- Clips of upcoming Projects
Upload them on YouTube or Vimeo and embed them in your EPK.
Depending on who the EPK is for, choose your best stuff that helps your cause. If you have hundreds of videos, obviously don’t list every single one. If your goal is to get press or publicity for an upcoming project or album, embed relevant videos that are related.
Upcoming Shows or Tour Dates
If you have upcoming shows, you will want to make sure the dates and locations are in your EPK. Listing show information makes it easy for press and bloggers to come out to a show. For talent buyers and promoters, they want to see that there’s demand to book you.
If you use Bandsintown, you can use their widget to display all your coming shows. If you have a graphic that list multiple tour dates, be sure to insert that as well.
Make sure contact information (email) is listed for the appropriate person who handles your inquiries for things like press, management and booking.
Press and Reviews (Quotes)
List recent links to press you’ve received and articles you’ve been mentioned in. Article links could be from local media, bloggers, journalists, promoters or notable artists.
Current and Upcoming Projects
Depending on what you want your EPK to accomplish, you can include details and assets related to your current or upcoming projects. If you’re reaching out to a blogger to get coverage of a new EP, it would be helpful to include all the relevant assets about it.
– Keep it updated. This includes the photos, press links, videos, shows, etc.
– Include a button in the EPK that allows readers to easily download what they need, like bios, photos, cover art and press. For press, video or music links, you can include them in PDF sheet that links to those things.
– Remember, it’s a professional document, so ensure it is professional quality. This goes for your bio, photos and videos too. You may need to hire professionals to create these items for you.
– The layout and design are also important elements of your EPK., Keep it clean and simple. Typically 1 or 2 columns are used. Label sections with the appropriate titles, so that everything can be easily found and not cluttered and confusing.