If you want to give yourself the best chance of media outlets randomly covering you, you need an electronic press kit, or a EPK for short. Today I'll look at what a EPK is, how you make one, what you should put in it, and where to put it. At the end I'll also give you a big additional tip which will help you get more exposure from your electronic press kit, so be sure to read to the end for all the information. For now though, let's look at what a EPK is.
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Electronic Press Kit Example And Template
You can see an example of the kind of good quality press kit you can make here. Simply click one of the below social sharing buttons and unlock the sample instantly:
Electronic Press Kit Example <‘right click' then ‘save as'.
The above is an example of a EPK as you can make using the below guide. Please note that this is not Willie Nelson's official press kit, it's simply an example. Please also bare in mind that I made this in 5 minutes, and if you put more effort into designing and filling it out, yours will look a lot better. So make it happen. 🙂
What Is An Electronic Press Kit, And Why Is It Needed
An electronic press kit is a digital file which people in the press can use to find out information about you as a musician. It's a place to keep all the note worth facts and figures, all in one convenient place.
The easier you make it for people to cover you and your music, the more likely it is you'll get media exposure. If they have to go tracking through all your social media sites and a poorly laid out website to find the basics, chances are some people simply won't bother.
Considering how easy EPKs are to make (I'll show you how below), if it gets you even a few more people covering your music it's worth doing. With that in mind, let's look at how to make a electronic press kit.
What Software Do You Need To Make Your Band EPK?
Many bands and musicians worry about actually putting a press kit together. It all seems like it's going to be complex when you haven't made one before, and that fear alone means it's often something which is put off by many. Fear not though, as today I'll show you how to how to get a good looking one up for free!
If you didn't know, Open Office (OO) is a free alternative to Microsoft Word, and it essentially does pretty much the same things. Therefore, if you have Word or other writing software which creates PDFs, you can use that instead. But for me, I use OO (also available for Mac).
How To Make An Electronic Press Kit For Musicians
So now you've downloaded the needed software, how do you make a EPK? Simple: In the same way you would do any other word / text document! You start out by adding the text you want, adding the images, and generally styling it to make it look nice. You can keep all the text in word format, but if you want to get advanced with the styling, you could always make the headers image files. That, or download new fonts to your computer which match your brand as a musician.
To add images in, simply click ‘Insert' in the menu, ‘Picture', then ‘From File…'. Select where on your computer the image is, click on it, then click ‘open'. Your picture will now be added to your document, where you can edit the size and position as needed.
Once you have the press kit laid out how you want it, the next step it to turn it into a PDF. To do that, simply click ‘file' in the Open Office menu, then ‘Export as PDF…'. A new screen will pop up, to which you simply click ‘export'. You don't want to add any security as you want people in the press to be able to copy and use everything in your press kit.
And that's it, super easy right? As long as you know how to edit word documents, you can easily make a professional looking electronic press kit.
So now you know how to make one, let's look at what to put in your EPK.
What To Put In Your Electronic Press Kit
So what should you put in your EPK? Anything you want the press to know about! Remember, not all people who might cover you will want to know the same things, so be sure of two things:
- Your press kit is easy to navigate and scannable. You want people reading it to be able to find what they're looking for quickly, and without having to weed through anything which isn't what they're after.
- You want to it have almost all the information they'll need. Of course you'll never be able to include everything the press may want to know, as some will want to ask you for exclusives or random things you would never think to put in a EPK. That said, although you want to make your content scannable, you want to make sure the information is substantial. Remember, people could be writing articles around this press kit, or using it when covering you in some way. So be sure it includes some news worthy information, as well as all the basics.
With that in mind, let's look more specifically at the kind of things you should include. Remember, the below isn't set in stone, so feel free to change it up as you see fit.
Your Name And Other Basics
Some of the obvious things you're going to want to include are your name and date of birth. While most likely the press will know your stage name, they may not know your DOB. Both of these things are important in stories, and you'll find that the press look for these right near the beginning. So make things easy for them and have it displayed near the top.
A quick note; it's important you don't put your age, as you'll need to continually update your file to keep it relevant. Give your birth date, and let them work it out themselves.
It's also a good idea to add your real name, as well as your stage name. This will allow your fans to feel like they know you that bit more. And if they can relate, they'll become more of a loyal fan.
A ‘About Me' Section
Another section you'll want to add is your about me section. Here you'll mention a few things. First of all, you'll say who you are and where you're from. You'll then mention what kind of music you play, how long you've been doing it, and what your style is. These things could instead be added in a separate section under their own respective headers, but you choose how to best lay it out for your press kit.
You'll additionally want to give some of your history, for example how you've got started and how you've reached where you are now. Any things you feel define you as a musician, person or band should also be included here.
A Link To Your Music (Audio And Videos)
You'll want to make it easy for people in the press to hear your music. That said, you can't generally add music into a PDF press kit. It may be possible, but I haven't looked into how to do it, simply because it makes more sense to keep your file small and link to music on your website instead. That way, you can update the songs on the site even after people have already got your press kit. At that stage, it'd be impossible to update the music on a press kit when someone else has got it. So having it on your website is better.
You should link to a page on your site where your songs and videos are, and keep that page up to date. If you haven’t yet got a website, check my guide on how to build a music site here.
Pictures Of Yourself
Something else you'll want to include in your press kit are images of yourself. The thing though, is the images you add to your EPK are going to only be suitable for computer viewing, and won't be of a high enough quality to be used in print media. It's because of this that you'll want to also link back to high quality images of yourself on your website.
So add digital quality images in your electronic press kit, but under each one, also show them where they can get a high quality version for printing.
So that's the basic stuff that every musician includes when learning how to make a EPK, now let's look at the additional things you should add which will help your electronic press kit stand out from the crowd! Full details below.
A List Of Your Achievements
If you've achieved anything noteworthy, then be sure to include them here. Not only will this increase the chances that you do actually get covered, but it is something that story writers often lead with to capture their audience's attention. And if they manage to do that, you'll have more people looking into you and hopefully becoming fans.
So for example, if you've won some kind of award, even if it's not a hugely known one, mention it here. Or if you've been featured in an advert for a certain brand, add that here too. Anything that can help you stand out from the crowd is a good thing, so be sure you promote those facts.
Where People Can Buy Your Music
While the people looking through your press kit won't generally buy your music (they're more there doing a job rather than looking for songs to buy), it's still good to list this. Not only will it show them you're a more serious musician who has their music in multiple places, but it's also something that some will mention when they cover you on their platform. So indirectly, it could make you more sales.
While this won't be how you get most of your sales, if it can get your even a few more, it's worth it. Want to learn how to sell more music and make money money from your music career? Then check out this guide.
A Look At The Future
A lot of musicians leave this out, and they're missing out on a big opportunity. You'll want to mention what your aims are for the future as a musician. So for example, who you want to collaborate with, where you hope to be in a couple of years and the like.
Not only will this give the media something cool to write about, but it'll also mean that the people and companies you mention collaborating with just might notice you. And if you're a brand that they feel they can associate with and benefit from, they might get in contact and make that collaboration happen!
This is something you should definitely include in your EPK, just make it sound genuine and don't throw 100 names out there in the hope that one will stick. Be selective, and use it to get on people's radar.
Facts And Trivia
To avoid having your press kit only include the basics like many musicians do, you'll want to include a section with fun facts about yourself. This could include funny stories, interesting ‘little known' facts that will help your target audience relate to you, and the like.
Include a few of these (at least 10), as the different media outlets will pick up on different things. This will mean not everyone will cover the same story, which is a good thing, as it'll keep fans looking out for your coverage.
You should update this section every few months to keep things interesting, or more frequently if you get a lot of press.
Anything Else Note Worthy
Is there anything else which you feel the press should know about that hasn't been covered by any of the above? Then make a section for it and include it! The more information the better, as long as it still remains easy to scan.
If you feel there's something I've missed above that should be included, let me (and your fellow readers) know in the comments section below. I'm sure they'll appreciate your help. 🙂
Where To Put Your Press Kit
So now you have your electronic press kit made, where should you put it? Well, the main place is on your website! This is where people expect to find it, so don't make them search.
You'll want to include a clear ‘Press Kit' tab in your navigation bar, so anyone looking for it knows where to find it.
Other than that, have one to hand, so anyone requesting one on email or phone can be sent one via email.
If you haven't yet got a website to put yours on, I've a guide where I teach you how to make one here. So check that out and get yours up and running literally today.
Reusing Your EPK For Additional Exposure
While the above is the best way to make a free EPK, there is another step you should take:
Add a text / image / audio version of your press kit on your website! Not as a PDF, but in the form or pages on your website.
You'll want to do this so you have a version that is readable by search engines. While PDFs are great for people to read, they're not as good for getting indexed by search engines. While they can be indexed, it's a better option to have a website version as well. This makes it so your website has more content on it, and search engines hopefully send more traffic your way.
If you want to learn more about how to get traffic to your website via search engines, check my guide of SEO For Musicians.
And that's it, how to make an electronic press kit for musicians. Once you know how, it's not difficult at all. It's free, and as long as you put the work in, you can make it look great!
If you make one using the above method, be sure to let me know and feel free to link to it in the comments. I'll love to see how you get along. 🙂