Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Get More Gigs: Your EPK - Electronic Press Kit

Do you want to play more? As we talked about in an earlier post, everybody wants more gigs. Well, here's another idea that might help you to land more jobs.

The idea of a "press kit" has been around a long time, but has been updated with the widespread availability of technology in the modern world.
Just last week I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on the music industry that included one of the top booking agents in my area. She talked about the need for musicians/bands to have a good EPK, or electronic press kit. At one point, she said, "Don't call me, don't email me, don't visit my office until you have a great EPK put together."

So, what should your EPK include? Here's the list from the panel discussion.
  1. Photos. To paraphrase our panelists, this means you need to spend some money. If your "promo" shot was taken in your back yard by your little sister, it probably won't cut it. Click here for some great promo shot examples.
  2. Audio tracks. Again, this should be the absolute best quality you can afford, and should represent your best playing. 
  3. Video. We've all seen a million videos on YouTube that were shot with a smart phone. In the professional world, this is the mark of someone who may not be serious about their craft. As with audio, your video needs to be the best quality you can afford, well edited, and represent the best aspects of your skill set.
  4. Resume. You could also call this your, "greatest hits," list. Include all your significant performances, venues, partner acts, accomplishments and awards relative to you music career.
  5. Website. And, no, I'm not talking about a Facebook page. Back in the day you would have delivered all of this material by hand, in its physical form. Today, you email the link to your site, which will provide everything included in this list. 
  6. Easy contact info. E-mail and phone numbers are a given, but you might also include your Twitter handle, Facebook page address or any other ways that somebody can contact you. 
Obviously, this list is geared toward the performing act - bands, solo acts, shows, etc. But I think it is very applicable to the freelance musician trying to land work. Whether it be a potential gig, studio session, or appearance, you want to put your best foot forward when people are looking to hire you.

One more thing for drummers. It may not be a bad idea to include the gear that you have, even pictures if it can be done in a non-obtrusive way. Potential clients need to know that you don't only have the ultra-mega-double-kick-metal-mayhem kit, or that you can only bring a four-piece. Your gear, especially as a drummer, can be the key to your fitting into any musical environment.

And, last (for now), make sure that your imaging is consistent. Even if you're pursuing opportunities across many different genres, settings, etc., all of your photo/video, recordings and online imaging need to accurately and professionally present who you really are to anybody who views them.

For some more EPK tips, click here

The bottom line is that you control how people see you. So start taking it seriously, and get more/better gigs.

Happy drumming!

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