Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Social media offers multiple touch points across platforms specific audiences use. But posts are not always seen due to timing, algorithms, and/or limited funds to promote. Developing a website with an EPK and artist resources integrated allows for some control in online presence by putting what the artist thinks is important for others to see in a place whoever wants it can get it. Basically the EPK (electronic press kit) is a musician's version of a curriculum vitae. Uses of different versions with and without visual design can be created depending on who is getting the EPK.
The outline of an EPK also provides content for a website and vise versa. This involves a short and long bio, experience, links, etc. Short bios are concise summaries of what to expect from an artist. To add on to it for the longer version (which should be on site/artist platforms used to pull from in the body of EPK) most musicians talk about things such as where they are from, musical influences, and goals or vision statements. But anything the artist wants to include to help people understand their music would be ideal here.
In discussing industry accomplishments adding dates for the events (at least the year or years if multiple performances) shows a timeline of what the artist has been doing, and can give a sense of the artist building a career as they add to that section. As for the headline, include hooks which could be used/mixed and matched in creating different types of press releases for specific people besides the key EPK which should be available for all purposes (for promoters/venue owners to book shows, for record labels to shop music, for publishers to shop music, for merchandise when eventually creating a merchandising plan, for press to write up about the artist, and for anyone who needs to market the artist).
List any prominent singles, EPs, or albums in the body and place an additional call to action in the conclusion about availability for bookings. Discussing music release dates also shows how the artist is developing in their performances over time and which directions they are looking to go when talking about the songs too. Any info about what an artist has put out can lead to potential physical sales from press releases.
The meat of what is done in an EPK should also be broken down into the site and then the EPK should be accessible from the site as well. Collaborate on a visual design plan for the home page (and rest of site, but home page particularly) after going over what branding elements are available/can be created. If email marketing will be used for artist then definitely include an email sign up. Putting social media links somewhere that shows up on all pages such as in footer makes it easier for people to follow across platforms. The menu should at least link to some type of about page and music. There are various methods of adding an artist calendar and point of purchase for tickets to shows. Schedule and cover info gives the audience a one stop shop for actually going out. Adding a contact/booking section can implement whatever system is useful to the artist for getting offers.
Keep in mind GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Include terms of agreement online along with full information collection disclosure and opt out options. Add a store to the site as the artist creates more content to be sold (add applicable refund policies in terms). Integrate some type of gallery or media page with relevant visuals for aesthetic representation. Not only should photos and videos be used to tell the art’s history, but also to somehow measure or provide some type of understanding about what the experience might be like in its next run. Provide a way for writers and promoters to download or request appropriate graphics/photos to promote artist as well as a way for promoters/venues to get tech specs and rider (also called an advance, not to be confused with finances) so that everyone knows what needs to happen for the show to go on in advance.
These are the core concepts that should be available for aspiring musicians to monetize their online presence, but the site definitely needs to include just about anything and everything the artist wants to influence customer based brand equity. Below is a template for the EPK. It can be however long it needs to be. If it is only one page, make sure it is strong as fuck. If it is really long, it better not be boring as hell.
Bio Every artist needs a short and long bio available online. Short bio should be used primarily in EPK bio section as no one in the industry ever wants to spend time to read that much so the shorter the better. Also the longer bio should be available to pull from in press release body.
Notable Industry Accomplishments Only include prominent festivals, noteworthy venues/tours, or shared bills with major acts. Quote any visibility in publications worth sharing. List at least three big events to put in this section. If only one or two things then describe the experience in a couple of sentences. If none at all then leave this out entirely.
Links Website first, followed by music and video links to be pushed (listed in order of most plays if possible), then social media in order of most to least updated/biggest to smallest followings, and key write ups.
For Immediate Release Press releases usually begin with for immediate release and end with ### as writers can get a lot of information sent to them and these markers let them know where what they have permission to publish word for word begins and ends. The rest of the EPK gives information about the artist for whoever needs it to explore more. A press release is the exact wording that may be published.
Headline Hook with announcement, call to action, competitive advantage, or unique selling proposition.
Press Contact Provide info for media to get in touch with artist offerings or promotions.
City, State, Location Be specific about where artist is currently and/or looking to doing business. May be appropriate to lead with past locations, for example If artist has played in really cool places and wants to go somewhere like that again.
Body Copy Intro paragraph should introduce what press release is about. Second paragraph should go into more detail and provide any relevant quotes from team members or relevant sites. Cover anything else in an optional third paragraph if needed.
Boilerplate/Conclusion Add summary bullet points if relevant and include how to follow through on purpose of press release. For example, if selling tickets include prices, dates, and points of purchase.
Photo by Marissa Altazan 12/1/18 JGBCB in the Howlin Wolf Den