How to make an EPK – and why you need one
If you’re a musician, an EPK (electronic press kit) is a must-have. We show you how to make an EPK *for FREE* and why you really need one.
Plus, we dive deep into what to include in an EPK. And how to create a press kit that gets you noticed by music journos, booking agents and promoters, whether you’re a solo artist, band, music producer or songwriter.
What is an EPK (electronic press kit)?
An EPK (electronic press kit) is like your music industry resume. Showcasing everything you’ve achieved so far – your look, your sound, your biggest and best tracks and upcoming gigs or collabs – an EPK is your ticket to getting booked for gigs and getting publicity.
How are EPKs used?
EPKs are used to announce a new release, tour dates or latest news about your band or brand. Rather than old-school printed press kits which are costly and quickly get out of date, an EPK can be updated instantly, is cost-effective and easy to share. Keep scrolling for our tips on how to create a killer EPK for free, and how to distribute your EPK to get noticed.
Do I really need a music press kit?
Hell yeah. The music industry is fiercely competitive and your electronic press kit is your opportunity to stand out, especially if you’re starting out or on the way up. Used by DJs, artists, music producers and musicians, an EPK is your online showcase. Think of it as your brand portfolio – even if you’re a solo artist and your ‘brand’ is your personal name.
Spending time creating a kick-ass EPK is seriously worth the investment. It’s your opportunity to make a cracking first impression for music media, promoters, music management, agents and venues. The best EPKs create a digital snapshot of you as an artist – who you are, your vibe, your look and why they should book you.
What should I include in my EPK?
Every EPK should include these basic elements:
- Professional photos – artist headshots and gig photos.
- Album artwork – high res, print ready files and lower-res versions for screen.
- Artist bio – your biography details who you are, what you’ve achieved, your music style and upcoming gigs / tour dates / collaborations. Keep it short and sweet, and sell yourself.
- Links to your music – duh. Obviously you want to include links to your latest (and best) tracks. Don’t provide music files that the user has to download, just link so they can stream.
- Quality videos – live performances and promo videos provide more content for music press to write about. Include links to your best music videos, including coverage of live gigs, music videos and trailers or hype reels.
- Contact details – don’t forget to include details of how media and music industry reps can get in touch with you. Include your web, social media and music streaming profiles and links, plus email and phone number. If you’re already under management, include their details too.
Tip 1: Not everyone will play every track you include. So put your absolute bangers at the top of the list.
Tip 2: Consider including an extended and short version of your artist bio. Some media outlets will want the 30-second pitch, others will appreciate more info.
How to make an EPK that gets you noticed
You stand out by making your EPK as professional and punchy as possible. Don’t half-ass it with iPhone photos taken by your buddies and the bio from your Insta profile. Think of your EPK as your ticket to making money (i.e. bookings and exposure), and take the time to make it epic.
Here’s our 5 top tips to making an EPK that gets you noticed:
- Make it user friendly – high res images have large file sizes make load times slow. Upload to Dropbox or Google Drive to prevent lag times and sluggish downloads.
- Project your unique brand – think about the image you want to convey. Then make sure every single element of your EPK is on point – from the way you word your bio, to your image selection, to the tracks you choose to include, to the design of your contact info. You want one seamless brand personality, so your viewer can instantly identify with you as an artist.
- Think about the end usage of your press kit – what’s the point of your EPK? To get you bookings, get press coverage and get signed. So deliver what your users need – awesome shots for press articles, clear contact details, branding assets for promo posters etc.
- Provide image options for media – Provide a range of photos in your EPK – headshots, lifestyle images, fashion pics if that’s your vibe, studio sessions, gig photos etc. Make sure they are clear, well-lit, high res and work well in print and on screen. Bonus points for providing options for media layouts – horizontal, square, portrait.
- Add testimonials and reviews – third party endorsement is GOLD. If you’ve been featured in the press or have a kickass review, include snippets, screenshots or links to coverage.
How to make an EPK for free
You don’t need to spend a bomb making your EPK. We recommend these FREE tools to get you up and running:
- Dropbox – for high res images, video and assets with large file sizes. (You could host your entire EPK in a shareable Dropbox folder, or include a link to your Dropbox image folder within your press kit.) A free account will be enough to get you started.
- Google Drive – super easy to share and save files, from Docs to PDFs to MP4. (Just make sure you make your link access open to ‘anyone with the link’, in case you’re sending your EPK to someone without a Google account.)
- Canva – create album artwork, edit photos, design social media assets and style your contact info to match your brand with custom colours, fonts and graphic elements. Even the free version includes templates for everything from press kit docs to album covers to Spotify playlist covers.
- Your website – create a dedicated landing page to host all your EPK elements.
And having saved your cash, here’s where you *should* invest in making your EPK look as note-worthy as possible:
- Professional photos – you don’t need to spend a fortune, but professional press photos pay dividends. Plus a professional photographer will get results faster than you and your mates mucking around trying to replicate the looks of your favourite artists. Not to mention the post-shoot image editing and retouching. Trust us, engage a pro while you get back to making music.
- Recording quality – if you’ve been laying down tracks in your bedroom or home set-up, consider recording in a pro studio. (Our studio has everything you need from just $160 for a 2hr session.) Audio quality counts from the very first beat when someone is listening to your track for the first time.
- Tip: We do headshots and studio shots! Ask about our music industry packages – whether you need a portfolio of headshots or lifestyle images to convey your style, we’ve got you. Book our inhouse photographer or bring your own – our photo studio is tailor-made for capturing kick ass pics.
What to avoid in your EPK
Before you hit Publish, double check your EPK for these classic mistakes:
- Zip or compressed files – they won’t get opened and look like viruses, so ditch ‘em. Include clearly named links instead. Which leads us to our next point . . .
- ‘Click here’ or ‘download’ – don’t be shady. Tell the viewer exactly what they are clicking on by clearly stating in the hyperlink. Use recognisable names like ‘Facebook’, ‘Spotify’ or ‘YouTube’ (if that’s where you’re linking to), or commonsense file names like ‘Headshot’ or ‘Bio_Extended’.
- Huge files – just don’t. Include links instead of large downloadable files.
- Missing contact info – you’ve spent all your time selecting the best photos, organising your biggest tracks and linking to your hype reel and forgotten to include your contact details? Rookie error. Make sure your name, website, email, phone and socials are front and centre.
- Outdated links – recheck your entire EPK every time you send it to make sure links are up to date, no links have broken, and your accomplishments and tour dates are current.
How to share your EPK
Now you’ve made your electronic press kit, how do you get it out into the music industry? Include a link on your website (a landing page is a great idea so you can share that URL and take press or industry reps straight to the right page), and include a link in all your social bios.
Also, if you’re pitching a venue or promoter, include a link to your EPK.
Need help creating your EPK?
We’ve got everything you need to capture killer press shots, record and master your tracks and film your music videos.
Shoot in one of the Gold Coast’s biggest commercial photo studios – where you can bring your own crew or book our resident photographer.
Record your songs in our purpose-built studio and capture promotional video at the same time with our Live room.
Not sure what to shoot or how to stage your lifestyle pics? We offer creative consults too, so you can get exactly the look you’re after. Just ask.
76 Township Drive, Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast.
Give us a buzz:
0401 725 323
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