We all know how tough it is to make a name for yourself in the music industry. The competition is always abundant and continues to grow every day. The best way to make any sort of name for yourself in today’s musical landscape is to stand out as an individual. A great way to showcase your unique talents is with an EPK, short for Electronic Press Kit.
It’s an acronym that I’m sure you’ve seen thrown around before. It’s an age-old promotional tool that’s been used by countless big-name artists. Any big band or musician you can think of has an EPK or at least had one at some point.
Chances are that even though you’ve heard of an EPK, you don’t know the first thing about how to make one or what the point of one is. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going over today in this guide.
What Is An Electronic Press Kit?
In layman’s terms, an EPK is a fancy resumé. It’s made with more eye appeal and generally features more technical abilities than a job resumé such as links and statistics.
The truth is that Electronic Press Kits are widely used in other industries as well, not just the music industry. Folks in the film, software, and even restaurant industries use them to showcase their talents. That’s exactly what musicians use EPK’s for in the music industry. All of this in an effort to promote yourself and showcase your individual talents.
This is not just for musicians either. Sound engineers can use an Electronic Press Kit just as much as an actual music-maker can. It’s all within the same lane.
Now, there are various ways to make an EPK that’s both effective and attractive, but we’ll get into that later. First, you might be wondering why you would even need to make an EPK. Well, that’s all based on where you are in your career.
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Why Do You Need An EPK?
The name of the game here is promotion. I could say it a few more times, but that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo musician with one album, or an artist that plays arenas, the music industry nowadays revolves around great promotional techniques that target specific audiences.
If you want to create connections with anyone, a good step is to get out there and promote your sounds. If you want to clearly convey who you are as a musician, an Electronic Press Kit is an important tool. It will make you look more professional and it will help people understand you better in a number of ways.
With that in mind, what exactly is the end goal here? What are you looking to achieve with an EPK?
What’s The Goal?
You must decide on the end goal of your Electronic Press Kit, but it all centers around making yourself look like an artist that people and media outlets should take seriously. Maybe you want to make an EPK to promote an album like a press release, or maybe you just want to have it around as a summary of who you are as a creative person.
The main goal is to make a good first impression to whomever you come in contact with.
It’s a great way to land gigs because venues can see if you fit in with their audience. They can be great to gain press coverage from music journalists looking for the next musician to write about. They’re a great outline for talent buyers as well. The list goes on.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, it’s time to learn how to make a high-quality EPK.
How To Make An EPK For Your Music
There are a number of different ways to make an EPK.
Things To Keep In Mind
No matter how you choose to create your Electronic Press Kit, there are a few “best practices” that should be used in the process:
- Keep your branding in mind – if you’re far enough along in your branding, you should have a logo and a color scheme. Don’t stray away from that.
- Target the right audience – I’m talking about genre specific stuff here. Each genre of music nowadays has become its own niche, and it’s advantageous to focus on that.
- Keep things clear and simple – an EPK isn’t supposed to be an autobiography. Just like a job resumé, things should be concise and easy to follow.
- Include your best material – when showcasing your sounds, it’s important to only put your best stuff on there. Share the songs that you think other people will gravitate to the most. Also, choose the songs that properly outline your musical abilities.
- Make sure your EPK is always up-to-date – some of the information included on an EPK needs to be updated like tour dates, testimonials, etc. Keep up with your EPK so it always stays relevant.
- Make sure the file-size is small – your Electronic Press Kit needs to be easily accessible and easy to share around via email. Don’t get ahead of yourself and create an EPK that is too large to attach, the last thing you want is to send out compressed .zip files.
- Always have physical copies – I will say this a couple of times in this article, but don’t forget to have physical printouts of your EPK. This is great for when you go out to other shows and public events. You never know when opportunities will arise.
These aren’t necessarily rules to follow, but just some good things to keep in mind as you build your EPK.
What Should You Include In Your EPK?
Now we get into the nitty-gritty. It’s time to go over everything that should be included in an effective EPK. Keep in mind that your version doesn’t have to follow this outline perfectly, but it’s a good reference point nonetheless. Let’s begin.
1. Music Links
Obviously, the number one essential thing to include in your Electronic Press Kit is some links to your music. Note how I said links, not direct music files. In today’s climate, the best thing to do is to direct people and media to your streaming service profiles instead of single files.
The reason being is that this will give people the chance to check out everything you have to offer with the starting point being a song you recommend first. On top of that, it’s just a lot more convenient being that everyone and their dog uses a streaming platform.
So, include song links to Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and whatever else you’re on. That way, people will be able to click to the platform they use the most.
2. Your Artist Biography
Your EPK wouldn’t be much of a showcase of you and your music without a short biography. This is where you tell the story of your music career. Start out with a brief story of how you became a musician, then move to your biggest accomplishments.
You can also talk about some details on collaborations you’ve had in the past, and summary of notable venues you’ve played at, and whatever else you think of.
The important thing here is to keep it brief. I’d suggest sitting down and coming up with the most efficient way to tell your story without taking up a whole lot of space on your Electronic Press Kit.
3. Links To Social Media
This kind of goes without saying, but you should most definitely include links to all of your socials. This makes it easy for people to connect with you on numerous levels. They can see a little more about your personality and see how active you are with your audience.
On top of that, this will help people who want to reach out to you on their preferred platform. It would also be a good idea to create an account on any social media platform that you don’t already have. For example, if you don’t have a Twitter, then make one. You want to engage with as many people as possible.
4. A Link To Your Website
If you don’t already have a dedicated site for your music, then I’d highly recommend you make one. It doesn’t have to be the most advanced site in the world, but it should be some sort of a hub for your artist profile.
You can basically treat your website like a more in-depth Electronic Press Kit where you can showcase yourself in longer form. Again this is supposed to be a brief summary of your music, whereas a whole site can go over absolutely everything.
Once you have a site, or if you already do, then throw a link to it on your EPK. Also, plug your EPK in an easy to see location on your website. Have each one work together.
People love numbers and visuals. If it’s realistic for you, then definitely include some details about your music career. Even if it’s just laying out how many followers you have or how many downloads you’ve accumulated, it will undoubtedly resonate with people.
A good idea is to include a “growth over time” metric. You can do this in the form of a graph or even an infographic. Simply start out with how many followers you had early on, and show your progress since then. Super simple, but extremely effective.
6. High-Quality Pictures
If you have any professional photos in your arsenal, this is the place to use them. If not, then definitely book an appointment with a professional photographer for a photoshoot, or just ask a photographer friend of yours.
Having high-quality visuals is essential in an EPK. Moreover, great photos of you are even more important. Again, it’s all about catching the attention of others in an effective way.
One more thing, make sure the photos you include are downloadable in multiple forms. So, hi-res and lo-res versions that are no wider than 600 pixels (appropriate for mobile devices). Be sure to have both portrait and landscape photos as well. Keep bigger files of photos only on cloud-sharing platforms of course.
7. Branding & Logos
We talked about this earlier for a brief moment, but here’s where you add even more of your unique flair to your EPK. If you haven’t already, create a logo and come up with a color scheme for yourself as a musician.
From there, make those design elements the core of your EPK. Again, whether you’re building yours from the ground up, or using a template, this is a must.
A great way to stand out as an individual is to make your Press Kit a visual depiction of the vibe of your music and who you are as a musician. This is the one thing outside of your music that will make the biggest impact on people.
8. Music Videos
If you’ve made any music videos in the past, then this is as good a place as any to share them. To keep the file size small, you can simply embed the YouTube or TikTok version of the music video.
Also, I know it’s not realistic to do this on the physical copy of your Press Kit. The one thing you can do is just include your username to YouTube and TikTok in the social media section of the printout.
9. Press & Testimonials
If you’ve ever done an interview with a music journalist, then throw in a quote and a link to the article. Even if you have some great comments on your socials about your music, then ask permission from the OP to include the quote.
Any sort of external recognition or media press coverage you’ve gotten can be a great thing to add in your EPK. This helps with credibility and let’s people know that they’re time will be well spent checking out your sounds.
10. Upcoming events
Once you’ve got people hooked, they’re going to want to know where your next show is. Not only that, but talent scouts may want to know where to see you perform live as well.
This is where you list all of the details on your upcoming events, tour dates, gigs, etc. Also, this is a section you need to update regularly as your schedule changes.
11. Technical Rider
This is essentially a list of the gear you use on stage, what gear you need from a venue, and all around how you like things to be set up for live performances.
This is the technical information you should have to provide to a venue, stage manager or sound engineer in advance of playing a gig, so it’s vastly important to make a tech rider.
Now, it’s a good idea to include a tech rider on your Electronic Press Kit, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you have the room, then plug it in. Otherwise, at the very least you should add a link to a tech rider or make a separate downloadable version.
12. Contact Information
Last, but not least is a nice outline of all the ways people can get in touch with you. This includes your email address, contact phone number, the contact form on your musician website, etc. Do whatever you can to make it easy for people to reach you.
Contact information is about as important as including your name, so don’t skip this one.
How To Use Your Electronic Press Kit
So, now that you’ve made an EPK, what the heck are you supposed to do with it? Well, the first thing to do is to share it around. Again, keep in mind that it should be used as a means to an end to give a more professional touch to your artist image.
Here are some ways to share your EPK and use it to your advantage:
- Post it on your website where it’s clearly visible.
- Upload it on Dropbox, Mega, and Google Drive for easy sharing.
- Post it on online platforms that have promotional services like ReverbNation, Sonicbids, Fiverr, Music Gateway, etc.
- Share it all over social media platforms, but be careful not to over promote.
- Once more, make some physical copies for when you’re out and about.
These are just a few of the ways to use your Electronic Press Kit and spread the word about your music. In reality, the possibilities are endless and it’s simply a good thing to have in your back pocket.
Electronic Press Kit Examples
Here are a few examples of EPK’s. Click the links to see more:
There you have it guys! The ins and outs of Electronic Press Kits for use in the music industry. Throughout the article I showed a couple of real-world examples of indie musicians Press Kits. I’d recommend checking out as many examples as possible, just to give you an even better idea of what a good one looks like.
The key is to make an Electronic Press Kit that’s easy to decipher. Clear contact information, an easy to follow design, everything needs to be digestible. Once you do that, you’re ready to show the world what you’re made of!
I hope this article has helped you along in this process and has provided you with some useful information. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.