How to make an EPK (and why you need one)
If you're an artist trying to book venues, get featured in blogs or simply trying to get your music heard by industry professionals you need to get your EPK (Electronic Press Kit) ready!
There's nothing worse than finally daring to send that email or DM pitching yourself to then be asked to provide high resolution photos, biography, links to your social media... just to realize you have to make all of that on the spot. Or even, having to manically search through the folders of your laptop to find those things! An EPK is your savior in these situations. EPK's are a way for you to collect all the assets you need to pitch yourself and allow the other person to know more about you, think of it as your portfolio or resume. You wouldn't apply for a job without a CV, would you?
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Now that you know about EPKs, let's see how you can make yours!
What format should my EPK have?
There's really no right or wrong answer but keep in mind the easier it is to view and access it, the better.
You could go the "old fashioned" way and make a PDF with integrated links to things like your music, social media, press coverage..., make it into a google drive ( or dropbox) doc, or, make it into a website. If you choose the last option you can do two things: create a separate website simply dedicated to your EPK (and include everything we'll discuss shortly). However, you can also make an EPK tab to your already existing website and you can display some media & information and also have a downloadable version of it.
No matter what option you choose, the most important thing is to keep it up to date. For this reason, every time you achieve a new milestone, release a new single, etc. you need to update your press kit.
General tips for creating your EPK
Keep it simple. You want music promoters/ bloggers/ venues to be able to understand who you are and what you offer fast. Set everything up in a way that's scannable and easy to read.
Show your highlights. Include your best material, think of it as a date where you want to cause a great impression (important! do not lie or exaggerate anything).
Make it unique. Yes, I know, but don't roll your eyes... you want to differentiate from other artists. Best way to do this, is by having a good and consistent branding & visual identity.
Beware of the file size. Don't send audio files of your music or big files as an email attachment, most likely they will get flagged or go to spam folder. Also, do not send compressed files, people are less likely to check them out. Links are your best friend.
Make a digital card! Business cards are very handy for in-person events but we all know at the end of the day they get thrown, lost or forgotten. Services like HiHello allow you to make your own digital business card where you can include your EPK link, website & social media in case you ever run into an industry professional.
What should I include in my EPK?
It's important to remember that you do not need to have all of these all the time. Pick and choose what assets make sense for you to add to your EPK. For example, if you're promoting a new single but have no intention of touring there's no point in adding a touring calendar or tech rider. Don't let this list stress you. See what you have, what you need and slowly move from there. Best moment to create your EPK is when you think you don't need one! Be kind to your future self and start preparing everything now.
In no specific order, your EPK should have:
1. Artist Biography
This should be all about your music career. Include brief details of your releases (new or old), any significant achievement (have you sold your music NFTs for a significant amount of money? have you achieved a follower/streaming milestone?), collaborations, recent shows at well-known venues, endorsements from music professionals...
You should keep your biography up to date. A lot of publications will use strictly what's in there for their articles, so make sure it's still relevant. Extra tip: prepare different length versions of your bio! Different mediums require different character count, make a short and an extended version of it.
2. Professional photos & artwork from your latest release
This is a must! Select (recent) photos that represent the vibe & mood you want to convey. Types of photos you could add are: live performance, staged photoshoots, music studio recording, fashion (if it's relevant to you), candid daily photos... Whatever you choose to add, it's important you include horizontal and vertical shots. Horizontal ones work best for press release, articles, certain social media... whereas vertical works best for IG stories, side banner, etc. If you're promoting a new release remember to include its' artwork. And, if you're currently not promoting a release you can choose to include your latest release artwork (especially if you mention that release in your bio and/or press release). Extra tip: include downloadable high resolution (300 DPI) photos for print, and screen resolution (72 DPI) for online promotion.
3. Press release
You don't "have to" include one, but it will make everyone's life easier (if you're looking to promote your release). Aim to keep the press release 1 page long. Include a short bio as your first paragraph, followed by anything you'd like to talk about for your release: inspiration, any relevant samples, message of the song, any cool promotion activity you're preparing for it... and remember to include your social media! The idea is to pre-write an article for yourself, so music bloggers can have additional information and use it to fill in their own material. It also helps you to "control" the narrative of the way press will talk about your release. Because you'll be directing them to the most relevant/interesting information. It's not a guarantee they will include all the elements you include in your press release, but it helps to bring your point across the way you intend to.
4. Links to your music Music is the most crucial part of your career as an artist. Make sure to include your best songs and their links to streaming sites. How can you determine what's "your best music"? It's obviously subjective but you can consider factors like: your favorite songs, best performing songs, fan favorites, songs that have been praised by industry professionals, collaborations with prominent industry figures... Extra tip: create a playlist (with your best songs as the top 3) and embed it on your website. Being able to directly stream it from there will up the chances of people listening to it (don't make them download the music!). 5. High quality music videos
Include videos that show off your personality, artistic vision and/or stage presence. Do not overlook this part, since it's important for articles and booking venues/ securing a spot at a festival. Music journalists/ bloggers like to add media to their articles to create a better reading flow in them (and give more context to the reader). Moreover, if you have an impressive or highly creative music video that can help you secure a spot in a media outlet. On the other hand, promoters have a higher chance of booking you if they can see your stage presence on a live performance video. If you haven't had live experience, consider doing an Instagram/ TikTok/ Youtube live. Artists like Iniko are great at presenting themselves in an authentic, creative, aesthetically pleasing way through video content.
6. Logo & brand assets
Think of adding your logo and other branding guidelines (utilization of logo, colors, typography...). If you have a brand book you can also include it here.
7. Links to your social media
Remember to include links to your social media. You can do so by adding social media icons of your most used social media. We suggest: Spotify, Instagram/Twitter/TikTok, Youtube and your artist website, if it's different from your EPK.
8. Press presence
As we said before, your EPK is all about showing off you as an artist. By adding media coverage it helps with your credibility as an artist. Include quotes, links to articles or podcasts/ video interviews you've had!
Important: do not post every single media appearance you've had. Select the most relevant ones (most up to date, notable media outlets or ones where people can get you as an artist...)
9. Tour dates
Add a list with any concerts/ events you're performing at! Nowadays, online performances are equally valuable as in-person ones.
Provide a list of all the performances you're doing with: the date (and hour if you know) and where you're performing (venue or link).
Not only this allows publications, radio shows, podcasters to promote your next shows but also helps booking agents working around your existing schedule!
10. Tech rider
This is very beneficial for booking agents and venues to know. If you list exactly what technical requirements you need they can make sure to accommodate you. Things you want to include are: how many plugs/microphones/ speakers you need, your stage plot, etc. Extra tip: make sure to make this list downloadable so venues can have it on hand when they need it.
11. Contact details
Do not forget to let people know where they can contact you! This is a more direct channel than your social media links. So think of including your work email, phone number (if you want). And, if you work with management, give away their contact info (name, email and/or phone number) as well.
In today's age, it's nice to approach your music career in a more informal way utilizing the power of social media. However, it never hurts to get a bit organized, create an EPK, and have it on hand just in case someone asks for it. Your EPK is your presentation card, sending a link to it can avoid a lot of simple back and forth! We see it as a way to optimize your career, it helps you to network in a more professional/formal environment and (in the long run) it saves you a lot of time. We hope this is helpful and inspires you to make your EPK (or update it). We'd love to see your EPKs so please share it with us on Twitter and we can give you tips on how to optimize it, if you want!