Struggling to get your foot in the door? Recording and releasing music will only get you so far. In this incredibly competitive industry, a recording alone isn’t enough to showcase your musical identity. That’s where an Electronic Press Kit, or EPK, comes in.
An EPK acts as a calling card for musicians. They're typically used by independent talent looking to reach out to managers, booking agents, promoters, and live venues. Others use an EPK for artist management.
With an online press kit at your disposal, you're ready to get noticed by all the right people. Even if you're already using social media for self-promotion, you'll still need an EPK to showcase yourself in the best possible light.
A music EPK should be updated regularly. Alongside your music itself, you should include an artist bio, high-resolution photos, as well as additional video content. You can also think about adding career highlights, along with analytics that offer demonstrable proof that you're already making waves.
An EPK is an invaluable tool for musicians looking to make the right first impression and build their brand. Below, we'll break down everything you need to know about crafting a killer EPK that's bound to get you noticed.
Why Independent Musicians and Artists Need an EPK
Putting out great music is all well and good, but you'll need a first-rate EPK to promote yourself to a wider audience. Do you have a new single coming out? Have you spent months laboring away on a career-launching album? An up-to-date electronic media kit is going to set you apart from the crowd.
What is an EPK good for if you're already using social media? Many independent artists assume a website and social platforms are enough to get them in the spotlight. While these are indeed useful tools for promotion, they cater to a different audience.
Think of an EPK as your digital resume. For independent musicians, an EPK can be used to book gigs or as a digital press kit to engage with journalists and reviewers. You can use it to climb the ladder, helping you find a manager to partner with and attract the attention of label executives. While an EPK is useful for increasing exposure and making a name for yourself, the best press kits will boost your credibility.
How To Create an EPK
You can get creative when it comes to putting together an EPK. However, you want to avoid falling into the style over substance trap.
Music should be at the heart of your musician press kit, but you need to be meticulous when it comes to selecting tracks. If you're angling for live bookings, choose popular tracks you know are guaranteed to get a crowd going. If you're promoting a new release, you'll naturally want to include your most recent recordings. Your content needs to be instantly accessible, so choose a reliable music player or streaming service. Finally, make sure track titles are clearly visible.
Creating an Artist Bio
Next, work on your artist bio. Unless you're creating a press kit for a very specific audience, it's best to include both a short and long bio. This section needs to be compelling. Remember, this is your chance to take charge of your narrative. Include things like recent press quotes to bolster credibility or include recent performances to make it as current as possible.
Invest in Imagery
An EPK should also be visually engaging. If you haven't done so already, now's the time to invest in some high-resolution photos. Choose them carefully depending on what your goal is. Are you looking to secure live performance bookings? Include photos from recent events. If you're promoting a new single or EP, add high-quality promo shots or single artwork.
You can bolster your brand by adding videos to your EPK. Again, consider your audience. If you're trying to book live shows, include videos of recent performances. If you're pushing a new single, include a video along with it. You don't have to spend a fortune on high production values. A simple recording of a live performance can be used in a pinch.
Additional Album Information
If you're shining a spotlight on a new album, make life easier for our audience by providing all the information they'll need. This can be as simple as album credits and song lyrics. This section should be accessible, with users able to lift the text and use it elsewhere. You may need to update this section frequently, especially if your tracks are getting more airtime and you're attracting more press attention.
Once your music starts getting noticed, you'll have a wealth of press material to include in your EPK. Include things like reviews from music journalists or press quotes from industry insiders. Again, you'll need to keep this section regularly updated if you want your EPK to be current. It's fine to keep a glowing review of a debut single in your EPK, but you'll want to prioritize more recent press mentions showing that your career is on the up. For readability, avoid adding entire reviews. Single out the best line and link out to the full text.
Links to Other Platforms
Your social media channels and streaming links can be used to complement your EPK. When promoting yourself, you'll need to utilize these to help press and industry experts by building a clearer picture of who you are as an artist. However, there's no point in including links to your social media channels if you're not actively using them. If you're looking to get booked at venues, an agent will want to see that you're active on social media and can drum up interest.
It's easy to go overboard when creating an EPK. If you're itching to include an extended bio, extra images, or additional tracks, think about offering these as optional downloads. You can even create a downloadable EPK with all these extras included.
Updated Contact Information
There's no point in creating a first-class EPK if it doesn't include contact information. Your contact credentials need to be up-to-date so you can pick up inquiries. An email address is the bare minimum here. More established artists may also want to include contacts for publicists and managers.
Showcasing Past Successes
Your EPK should tell a story. Even if you've retooled it to promote new material, it needs to provide context and position you within the industry. Don't be afraid to showcase your successes here. It doesn't matter whether this is your first EPK or you've been performing for years, there's always something you can call on to show off.
If you're an independent musician, mention your performance history. Include a list of festivals you may have played at and any musicians you might have supported. If you have high-resolution photos to back up your claims, include them. You can also discuss the success you've had on streaming platforms. Has a video attracted a significant number of views on YouTube? This can be presented as a career milestone.
Get creative when presenting your achievements. A career highlights timeline graphic can be an effective way of summarizing your successes.
Keeping the EPK Up-to-Date
As with any type of portfolio, a music EPK should be regularly updated and populated with fresh content. As an artist, you want to show that you're relevant and responding to industry trends. However, an up-to-date EPOK also demonstrates that you're committed to the grind and willing to put in the work.
Look to update your press kit every time you put in a live performance or release new content. It's also worth carrying out regular audits for press mentions so you can edit your EPK accordingly. Aside from highlighting recent achievements and integrating new content, make sure the little things are updated. This includes everything from embedded links to social channels and streaming platforms to contact information.
An EPK should be a constantly evolving asset. However, if you've let things get on top of you, make sure you're at least reviewing it for improvement every time you plan on sending it out.
Tools and Resources for Creating an EPK
If you're not technically inclined, creating an EPK from scratch can seem daunting. The good news is that there are plenty of EPK tools out there you can put to good use.
Firstly, you'll need to get your assets in one place. Use Google Drive or DropBox to bring all of this together. As well as using these platforms as personal cloud storage, you can link directly from your EPK.
You'll also want to think about imagery. A good EPK should include a variety of image sizes that can be used for various purposes. If you don't want to spend a premium on software licenses, use free services like FastStone. You can also use Adobe Express for image resizing tasks, as well as graphic creation. Still need help? IndieFlow's EPK Builder takes all the hard work out of putting together a captivating digital press kit.
Boost Your Music Career with an EPK
An EPK is a key promotional tool that every independent musician should have in their repertoire. It's a showcase of your talent and an introduction to your persona. The best EPKs make it easy to access music industry professionals, even when you're competing in a saturated market.
Creating a standout EPK isn't always straightforward. Aside from the music, you'll need a rich slate of complementary content including video and high-res imagery. What's more, you need to work on your hook. If you can't write a compelling artist bio, you'll struggle to make the right first impression.
EPK management is important. You'll need to regularly update your EPK to include press mentions, new career milestones, and further proof that you're a talent worth investing in. Looking to streamline the creation process? IndieFlow's EPK Builder makes quick work of creating an electronic press kit you can be proud of.