In order to get noticed in today’s crowded music market, effective marketing and promotion is key. The most challenging part of being a self-promoting artist goes beyond writing and recording quality music. And as the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” the same holds true in the world of music. Therefore, it’s important for every artist, musician, band or group to have a press kit which will properly represent their brand in a way that will effectively showcase their strengths and marketability. In this article, Ariel Hyatt of Music Think Tank talks about some of the appropriate ways to package and post a press kit to your website that perfectly represents you.
I’m often amazed when I go to an artist’s website, and I look around, and I’m trying to find basic press information and I can’t.
It seems that in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Fan pages, and constantly focusing on your two-way conversations, we’ve forgotten the important basics.
This is a revised excerpt from my book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, (which, btw 65 artists are blogging their way through I’m proud to say) and it talks about an asset that no matter what we all face with new digital solutions, new platforms and apps that we’re going to be forced to learn, we should always remember: Your press kit.
It’s up to you to post your press information clearly and succinctly, so that you’re easy to find and write about. Posting an accessible press kit to share with journalists and new media makers( bloggers, podcasters, etc.) is good common sense.
Editors need access to your information quickly, because they are constantly under deadline. If you do not make it easy for them to get your information from your site, they may move onto another one of the 50 artists that are playing in their town that same week.
1. YOUR MUSIC – ALBUM OR LIVE TRACKS
Make sure you have some music available at your website or a very obvious link to your MySpace page where people can hear the music instantly. Many newspapers are now including online listings where they include MP3s of artists coming to town, so make it easy for them to grab the tracks to add to their own sites – this is additional excellent exposure for you.
2. YOUR BIOGRAPHY – MUST INCLUDE YOUR PITCH
Make sure you have a short, succinct bio that can be easily located on your site, in addition to the long form one, the blogs and all of the opinions from each band member – which are fun for your fans but not for music writers who will be looking to get quick information. Make sure this bio can be easily cut-and-pasted so writers can drop it into a preview or a column.
CREATE A SHORT VERSION FOR THE CALENDAR EDITOR
Make sure you add your PITCH /USP (Unique Selling Point) as a stand-alone portion to your bio that sums up your sound for calendar editors. It should be no more than 10 words.
TIP: Post 3 versions of your bios
1. Long Form
2. In 50 Words
3. In 1 sentence (10 words or less)
TIP: MAKE SURE THE BIO CAN BE EASILY CUT-AND-PASTED!
Do NOT have your bio in Flash format; make sure that editors can easily cut and paste it right off of your site.
3. YOUR PHOTOS – MAKE THEM EASY TO FIND AND DOWNLOAD
Thumbnails are great for quick and easy loading but are detrimental for use in newspapers. You should always have a few downloadable photos on your site in at least 300 dpi / jpg format.
TIP: Create an easy-to-see link that says “click here for a hi res/low res jpg.” That way photo editors can get to them easily. When the photos are downloaded; make sure they are properly named with your name or your band’s name, so that photo editors can find them in folders and on messy desktops!
TIP: Remember to change your photos a few times a year – so if you play the same markets over and over, you can give the media multiple options for covering you.
TIP: Put the band members’ names from left to right (l-r) under the band photo to give journalists a point of reference. (Many publications publish photos with all band members’ names from left to right to save the writers the trouble of having to ask for the names.)
4. INCLUDE YOUR ALBUM COVER & ADDITIONAL ARTWORK
You also want to make sure you include your cover art in both hi res and lo res (jpg format). This way if your CD is being reviewed, the reviewer can download the artwork to add to the review. If you have additional assets like band logos or graphics add them here as well.
5. INCLUDE PRESS CLIPS OR FAN TESTIMONIALS IF YOU HAVE THEM
What you say about you is one thing…. However: What others say about you is trusted in a different way. So, if you have articles that were written about you or great quotes to add from fans – do it! (if you don’t just ask your fans to contribute to your site – they will be happy to do so)
FINAL TIP: Sonicbids is a fabulous place to build and maintain a perfect press kit and you won’t need a web designer to help you – so build your perfect press kit there, link to it and VOILA!