How To Make an EPK for a Band: Musicians must know how to create an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) to effectively market themselves and their music. Having an up-to-date, comprehensive, and professional EPK ready to promote your next release or tour could make all the difference.
A musician’s EPK contains information providing more profound insight into who you are as an artist. It's a vital resource you'll share with the media, venues, events organizers, labels, agents, curators, and more. So, your EPK must showcase your talent, style, and achievements. And key EPK elements include a short bio, your music, professional promo photos, and music videos.
Here’s a quick summary of our EPK checklist:
- Ensure Your Music Is Front and Center
- Include Professional Images
- Add a Short Artist Bio
- List Recent Achievements, Reviews, and Mentions
- Include a Press Release
- Showcase Music Videos and Other Footage
- Link to Your Online Assets
- Include Upcoming Gig Dates and Details
- Add Your Tech Rider
- Include Your Contact Information
Learning how to create an EPK can seem overwhelming at the start. This is why we've put together this step-by-step guide to compiling the perfect EPK. Perhaps you're about to take to the stage for a huge gig or release a new single. No matter the occasion, following our guide will ensure that you build a great EPK that you can update as needed.
But before we dive into putting your EPK together, let's ensure that we understand precisely what an EPK is and why it's essential.
If you’re releasing your first single or album and aren’t sure where to start, a professional distributor can help. Sugo Music Group has 35 years of experience in the industry. And their expert team is ready to answer any distribution, licensing, and publishing questions you may have.
What is an EPK?
One could view an EPK almost as a musician’s resume or portfolio. It’s a digital display of who you are as an artist and what you represent. It must clearly communicate the essence and style of your music. And it should tell your or your band’s story.
In days gone by, an EPK was in PDF format and emailed along with links to music and videos. But today, EPKs are far more sophisticated and accessible. In fact, most musicians either dedicate a section of their website to the EPK or create a separate website for it.
Either way, housing your EPK online provides a medium that’s easy to share and update. It’s also super accessible and interactive for those viewing it. This format also allows you to customize the design of your EPK to ensure it aligns with your brand.
EPK services are available to musicians, which will help make the process that much easier. Sonicbids and Bandzoogle offer artists templates, tools, and resources to create a professional-looking EPK.
Why is it Important for a Musician to Have an EPK?
The reason you’d create an EPK in the first place is to share information about you or your band for promotional purposes. Essentially, you’d be inviting journalists and industry role players to view your EPK when you release new music or make an announcement.
The idea is to spark enough interest and obtain media coverage. This could be a feature or review on a music blog site or an invitation to interview on a music podcast. You could also share the EPK with a playlist curator, hoping they’ll add your release to their playlist. Or perhaps you’d like to secure a gig and want to share the EPK with a well-known venue.
Irrespective, it’s paramount that your EPK highlights the best of you as an artist. And that it provides all the information a journalist, label, agent, or venue might require. You want to make it easy for whoever views the EPK to find the information they need. This will increase your chances of getting that coveted feature article, interview, or gig.
That said, let’s take a closer look at all the elements required to create an EPK that’s thorough and impactful.
Tips on How to Create an EPK
There are specific essential components that every good EPK should include. Making sure you've provided all the information required is vital. And when you present an EPK that ticks all the boxes, the industry is inclined to take you seriously.
1. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Ensure Your Music is Front and Center!
A musician’s EPK is most often shared when they release new music. And it’s the most critical element in any artist’s EPK. But you must ensure that you include music relevant to your release before sharing the EPK for promotion.
You may also be interested in reading our blog post detailing how to release your music successfully.
For instance, if you've released a single, make sure that single is the first song on your EPK's playlist. If it's a full album, you can include all the tracks from that album in your EPK.
However, it’s best to lead with your most popular, stand-out songs. This is because journalists and promoters seldom listen to more than the first few songs listed. So, you’ll want to ensure that you make a good impression from the get-go.
Make sure that the sound quality of the music you share in your EPK is top shelf. And ensure that your embedded player is above the fold and prominent. This way, promoters and journalists won't have to scroll to find it.
Some musicians prefer not to make full-length songs available in the electronic press kit. And, if so, they often include a player with 30-second audio snippets of the songs. In this case, when you create an EPK, you may want to include links to your music on a streaming site.
However, if you can share full-length songs, it's best to do so. That way, you save the viewer from navigating to another site or app to listen to your music.
2. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Include Professional Images!
Adding promotional photographs to your EPK is an absolute must. And it helps to get creative with these to illustrate the essence of what your music is about. But be careful not to oversaturate the webpage with images.
Pick a handful of your best photographs to showcase. You can always change them up in the future. In fact, it’s a great idea to update your photos with each new release. This includes adding the artwork you’ve created for your album or single.
That said, don’t cut corners when it comes to the images in your electronic press kit. It’s better to fork out the cash and have a professional photographer take a stellar set of promo shots. Remember, you want them to be good enough to be used in the media.
If at all possible, you should employ the services of a professional live performance photographer. Photos of you or your band performing live can convey a sense of energy and personality. And these are likely to grab the attention of your target audience.
Another tip is to provide journalists and bloggers with horizontally and vertically oriented photos. This gives them some options when incorporating images into their preferred layout.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to provide high-resolution photos for publications to use. However, uploading large images to your webpage could slow it down and frustrate potential viewers.
The solution is to upload the high-resolution images to a cloud-based folder which you can link to from your EPK. Those who view your EPK can then download the images they need from the folder. Don’t forget to include your artist or band logo, as some may want to include it in promo material.
3. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Add a Short Artist Bio!
Next, you’ll want to include a short biography of a few paragraphs. This should be a concise overview answering the “who, where, what, why, and how” about you and your music. Think of the bio as a sales pitch. It’s your chance to tell the world about your music in your own words.
Remember that you'll be updating your bio with each new release, gig, or announcement. So, make sure it communicates a message relevant to what you're trying to promote at the time. But ensure that the basics are always present to paint a complete picture.
You should include a brief description of your journey as a musician. You could also dedicate a few sentences to talking about your vision for the future of your music. And if you’re promoting a release, it may be a good idea to discuss the concept behind it.
It may be beneficial to have a more comprehensive bio available for those who require more information. However, it’s best to provide this separately, perhaps as a PDF download which you can link to from your EPK.
Think about yourself or your band as a brand. Try to identify your brand's personality or what you'd like it to be. And view everything you say and do as an extension of this brand persona. Therefore, write your bio in a style that ties in with your brand's personality.
4. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: List Recent Achievements, Reviews, and Mentions!
Bear in mind that you’ll possibly be sharing your EPK with individuals who may not have heard of you. As such, you’ll need to let them know that you’re a serious musician with a fanbase.
One of the elements you should include is statistics related to streams and downloads of your music. This would include the number of streams or downloads on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. And you could include any radio play you may have had.
If you're unsure how to obtain relevant statistics from streaming and download platforms, speak to your distributor. And if you're looking for an experienced distributor to assist you with your release, contact the experts at Sugo Music Group. Their skilled team will get your music to all the prominent platforms and show you how to track your stats after that.
Of course, if you've been featured in a publication or interviewed on a radio station or podcast, you must include this information. If you're able to provide access to a recording of the interview or a copy of the published feature, even better.
Perhaps you’ve received some positive reviews through a music blog or publication. If so, these should be included. And it's a good idea to link to the original review as a means of verification.
As you receive more reviews and achieve milestones, you should update this section of your EPK accordingly.
5. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Include a Press Release!
This is something that some artists exclude, but we feel it’s an indispensable aspect of a professional EPK. A press release is essentially a written piece of newsworthy content relating to your release or announcement. In other words, it’s an article meant for publication.
Your press release must contain information that the press or media consider news. Therefore, a general article about your band will not do. However, an article announcing the release of your debut album, including some background information, would be perfect.
The press release should be written as a journalist would write it and must be error-free. In fact, it may be worth your while employing a professional writer or journalist to write a press release for you.
Essentially, your press release must communicate something new and exciting. And it must be ready to publish. This will make things easy for members of the press and would increase your chances of having your announcement publicized.
6. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Showcase Music Videos and Other Footage!
Videos offer the viewer a convenient way to engage with your content and learn more about you. A great piece of video content can speak volumes. And it’s a form of media that can easily be shared with others.
For instance, you could include a music video for your new release or one of your best songs. This way, journalists and industry role players get a feel for what you're about within a few minutes. And, if they've enjoyed the video, they can share a link to it with their colleagues and friends.
Including professional video footage of your live performances will also bode well for you when trying to land your next gig. The footage will give promoters, venues, and event organizers a feel for your ability and energy when performing live.
As with the photos in your EPK, ensure that your videos are shot well and professional-looking. But be selective and choose only a few of your best videos to upload. It’s also vital that the videos you showcase are embedded on your webpage. You don’t want viewers clicking on a link and leaving your EPK.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a professional music video yet. If you have some decent footage or stills to share, you can always create a montage to go with the audio. You could also opt to make a lyric video with a single image in the background. Or you could have a simple animated video made if budget allows.
Either way, get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you put it together. You don’t want your electronic press kit to look like a kid’s craft project. Have a look at Fiverr to find top-rated freelancers who can assist you at a low cost.
7. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Link to Your Online Assets!
When you create an EPK, you should include a section with a few icons that link back to your online assets. This provides whoever is viewing your EPK with easy access to gauge your online presence.
Therefore, if you haven't created your EPK on your website, you should link to your website here. You should also include links to all your primary social media pages. And, if possible, you can provide links to your Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer artist pages, and more.
If you have a merchandise store or any other relevant pages to share, you should include them here. For instance, some artists have membership-based fan clubs or communities. While others have crowdfunding campaigns and NFT projects they want to promote. You could even add links to your sponsors if you choose.
Use small icons in an orderly fashion to link to these places online. Who knows, a blog or online publication could include these links in their feature or review.
8. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Include Upcoming Gig Dates and Details!
Providing a detailed calendar of your upcoming shows is essential when you create an EPK. This lets promoters and venues know when you're available should you be requesting a gig. And it lets everyone know that you're gigging and in demand.
When sharing your calendar, you should include the show dates, city, and venue. This will give promoters and venue managers an idea of the size of the audience you’re playing for.
9. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Add Your Tech Rider!
You should add your tech rider when sharing your EPK with a venue manager, promoter, or event organizer to land a gig. This lets them know your or your band's technical needs to deliver the live performance.
Check out our blog post on how to get gigs for musicians and bands to help you secure your next live show.
Your average tech rider comprises a layout of the stage showing where each musician will be positioned. And it details vital requirements such as plug points, mics, monitors, and more.
We don't advise making your complete tech rider visible in your EPK. It's best to link to a downloadable PDF of the tech rider, which you could save in your shared cloud-based folder.
10. How To Make an EPK for a Band and Solo Artist: Include Your Contact Information!
Last but certainly not least, every EPK should clearly show your contact details. Without these, journalists, promoters, venues, and other industry role players cannot get hold of you.
Make sure to include all the ways people can get hold of you. And ensure that the information is easily accessible. If you have an agent or representative, you should provide their contact information here.
As you can see, there are many elements involved when you create an EPK. But if you use the above steps as a checklist, you’ll be well on your way.
Several of the elements we’ve mentioned require some kind of budget. But if you shop around and get creative, it's possible to put together a fantastic EPK on a shoestring budget.
Give Sugo Music Group a call if you need help distributing your music to all the essential streaming and download platforms. They have the means to deliver your release to over 200 major platforms, stations, and channels. These include Apple Music, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, Deezer, etc.
Remember to update your EPK regularly to ensure the information you share is relevant and up to date. When you create an EPK that's comprehensive and professional, music industry role players are inclined to sit up and take notice.