So, you have a band. You have some songs. And now you need gigs.
Problem is, no one knows who you are. Right?
Or worse yet, you have played a few gigs, but to less than optimal crowds. Did I hear crickets? Chirp chirp.
Let’s show them what you are all about! Let’s get your electronic press kit (EPK) together and get it out there.
Don’t get confused. Your EPK is not your website. The EPK is how you promote your band to venues. This is a digital file that you push out to get your band booked. Typically the EPK is in a PDF or Word file format. Venues can request it from your website or you can link to a downloadable file. You could save it to a CD and either mail it out or have at the ready for when you aren’t able to get on the internet. Some bands create a page on their website that contains all the relevant information of the EPK and direct booking inquiries to that page. From there, you capture contact information and get the booking process started.
There are 6 key elements to a rockin’ good electronic press kit (EPK). Venues like to see an EPK that is short, to the point and showcases your band. They want to know that you can work with them for a great night, festival, wedding, etc. So when you put together your EPK, keep that in mind.
This is where you get to pump your band. Tell a little about how you came together, what your roots are, and any short inspirational stories. Be sure to include band members, instruments and music genre. Some say to keep this super short, and for the most part that’s a good strategy. Still, RCP’s booking experience has been that venue owners want to know a little history. Pictures of the members and the band hangin’ out together are great, so put a few pics on this page.
This really is a no brainer. Of course you want pictures. The best “Gig-Getting” pictures show off your stage presence and also a crowd. A few of these pictures should be professionally taken and in a high resolution format. High resolution does better when the owner of the venue wants to make posters for advertising. Get someone with a good camera to come to your next gig, offer them up a dinner on the band for some cool pictures that you can use. GET CROWD SHOTS! If you are trying to get booked at local clubs, the owners are going to want to see that you can keep a crowd. Smart phone pics are good too, but be sure to get high quality shots as well.
And…DON’T FORGET THE LOGO!
Once again…no brainer. You must let the potential venue hear your music. YES…YOUR music. Do not put up songs you cover by the original artist. Get some good recordings either in a studio or at a live event and add them to your EPK.
Whether you want to embed the songs in your EPK or provide links to the song on your web page is up to you. You could link to other formats and pages like Facebook, Reverb Nation, SoundCloud, etc. But beware, you may potentially relinquish control over your content to those formats. And what happens if they change the rules on you? The other format is in control. RCP recommends that you link to a song stream that is on your own website. When a fan or buyer goes to your website, you have the opportunity to interact with him, capture contact information, get him to sign up for newsletters and announcements, and heck, even sell some merchandise. Choose whether you want full songs of snippets of songs. RCP does not suggest making the songs downloadable, especially if these are original tunes. You lose the ability to sell the songs for $1 when you make them free. If you give a free song away to get them to buy an album, well then that’s another thing. Marketing. We cover marketing your band in another blog.
Like music and pictures, this is pretty straight forward. However, this one is tougher to get. Good video doesn’t come from a smart phone. Sorry, but it’s true. If you really want to show off how well you interact with a crowd, showcase your lead guitarist shredding, highlight the keyboardist, feature a “kick a$$” drum solo, or share a ballad, you need video. And you need a crowd. Check with a local club owner and offer a free concert to get a crowd, then find or hire a professional videographer who has high quality video capability. You will also need high quality sound to match up with the video. Most video cameras do not have the greatest sound recording capabilities. Get the video produced professionally. Just our humble opinion.
Organize your calendar. Make sure to include location name, address, time of show, ticket information, and whether it is age restricted or not. Keep the calendar updated and simple. Provide links to the venues on the calendar as well so that your fans can map it out and find you. If you can spice up the calendar with some reviews from fans and other venues, all the better. These reviews act as references. If a venue gives you a great review, other venues are more likely to accept your gig.
Have one person in the band designated as the point person. All contact from potential gigs will come to one person to minimize confusion and the disastrous “double booking”. This person negotiates, follows up on contracts, and works with the venue to discuss set up time and perks like food and drinks.
Be sure to give out your point person’s name, phone numbers, email, website, general geographic performance area, and any of the band’s social media links. Even though we recommend not using social media for your EPK music stream, nor as the basis of your EPK, social media is still important as you have interaction with fans that venues will want to see.
On your contact form you will need to collect venue name, location, point of contact for the booking (and for the night of the gig if different), phone number, email address, and best time to call to discuss the gig. Once you have all that, it’s time to call them up and negotiate for your performance fee.
And “viola”, your EPK has worked for you!!!
Have a great gig!