Polishing Your Image – Tips for a Perfect EPK
Truth: If you are pursuing a professional career in the arts or music you really should (actually insert “must”) have an electronic press kit (epk) to display your work. If a picture is worth more than a thousand words, video footage beats a riveting novel-esque resume (unless perhaps you are a novel writer), and a well-organized, thoughtfully branded press kit with up-to-date information is priceless. There are countless articles that will spell out for you what you need to have in your epk. I will whittle all of this down to one golden rule: Think like a talent booker (insert any other title for someone looking to hire you). The goal is to neatly, even beautifully, package all the information and content they would need to know and to make it easy for them to reach you. Warning: this process will require you to evaluate your ultimate goals and define your band and brand.
Band and Brand – this is not a typo. You must think about your music, but you must also think about how you and your music are packaged and perceived. The closer you get to nailing this, the easier it is for a talent scout to envision you in the right revenue generating opportunities. Sometimes it’s best to reverse engineer your press kit by asking yourself, “What opportunities am I looking for? Who will be searching for me to fill these opportunities? What will they be looking for in me?”
I discussed this topic with my friend and colleague Brian Curr, who works in the Office of Experiential Learning at Berklee College of Music, and I’ll share below some of our final comments and thoughts on electronic press kits. It’s a subject we can talk about for hours.
Keep your press kit clean, simple, and brand conscious. Seriously consider investing in an image consultant and graphic designer. DIY is great, but hiring an expert can really give you the extra professional polish.
Have professional video footage of your performance. This doesn’t have to be a complex production, but it must look and sound amazing! If you were a painter and wanted to showcase your “Mona Lisa” you wouldn’t upload a low-resolution image of it, right?
Include at least one good review from a reputable source. All the self-proclaimed accolades are just claims unless someone else says it.
Be a loser at the game of Hide-and-Seek. Talent bookers do not have the time to hunt for your content or information so make it easy for them to find what they need.
Be creative and show your personality. Play to your strengths! If you are a likable person, include a video introduction of yourself and show your warmth and character in a more compelling way.
Include up-to-date stats and figures: tickets sold, number of shows played, YouTube views, followers, etc. The beauty of numbers and hard accomplishments is that they are not boastful, they’re just hard facts. Talent bookers make business decisions when they hire, so give them information that makes sense to that end.
We— singers, musicians, artists, and creativescreatives — don’t generally stumble into our profession. It is something we are passionate about and love, but we must also think about it from a business perspective if we are to make it our livelihood. A well- thought- out and executed electronic press kit can serve as the bridge between our art and the business world.