Making An EPK Stand Out

soundcloud-icon
Soundcloud’s smartphone app also integrates the platform into personal listening devices like smartphones and tablets.

Services like Sonicbids, ReverbNation, ArtistECard and others offer digital spaces where all the needed aspects of an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) come together in a central place. At a minimum, this would include a handful songs, artist photographs, a biography, and contact information. If you are a more established musician, your EPK would likely also include music videos and press clippings. 

The first question to ask when developing an EPK is this: which particular third-party platform works for my music? There are a number of all-in-one platforms that make it very easy to have an EPK that is clean, easy-to-use and industry-standard.

If you prefer to go the DIY route instead, you have a creative, and potentially fun, challenge. How can you create a tight-knit, clean, and organized Internet presence to share with professionals and fans? The answer: by finding several platforms that work together to showcase all you or your band have to offer. Here are some of the Internet platforms that you can use to build coherent and unique online presence.

For your music

Soundcloud

Chance The Rapper released his first mix-tapes exclusively on Soundcloud, and three years later he is one of the most famous and successful musicians around. A clean and utility-driven platform, Soundcloud offers the option to make a playlist public or private, giving you tremendous control over who sees what. If you want to share one set of songs with a booker, a separate set with a musician or producer, and an entirely different set with a record label, Soundcloud might be your best bet. Soundcloud’s smartphone app also integrates the platform into personal listening devices like smartphones and tablets.

Bandcamp

Bandcamp is home to loads of good music and success stories. The interface gives the artist a lot of control over their site’s appearance. A Bandcamp page emphasizes your catalog of work, which can be a plus, and also includes a direct link to your page that you can share with anyone. Bandcamp is especially useful if you have prior EPs or LPs that would make sense to share in your EPK.

Dropbox

Dropbox may be a simple interface, but it’s still one of the simplest ways to send large files quickly and easily. People can play songs within the interface, or choose to download them. Their listening experience is going to be devoid of any other information about you or your music, however, so do keep that in mind. It is you and only you in your Dropbox.

For your photos

When sending your EPK by e-mail, putting one well-sized (high-resolution, but not so large it can’t fit into a normal e-mail) and professional photo at the top of the e-mail body, and another at the bottom, might be enough to get your face across. Another option is to include a link to the photo page of your Web site, or to place a link to a Tumblr page dedicated to your band’s photos.

For your bio

It is unlikely a band or artist would need more space than the body of the email to tell their story. If there is more to say, attaching a longer form Word document or linking to a relevant Web site page (your Bio page), a personal blog, or even your Facebook page, would work.

Contact information

If you put the contact information for your team in the body of your e-mail, and elsewhere, recipients will likely see it. If they don’t, they will spend a minute finding it if they want to respond to you, though they might not go to the trouble of finding your mom on Facebook and sending her a private message to locate your whereabouts. If that’s the trouble they would need to go to, you are either a music legend or are content to play for the backyard, either of which mean you’ve already made it.

Bringing it all together

Place links in an html e-mail

Professional promoters use an html e-mail service to send artist information and press releases. If you know how to code html you can design and do this yourself through an e-mail host like Gmail or Yahoo, using a service such as Dreamweaver or TextWrangler. If not, creating an account with MailChimp is probably the simplest way to go. This will allow you to create a very clean and easy-to-build email that can contain some basic information, links to your music, and, if you choose, videos, photos, and a bio.

Send as a single attachment

Instead of putting the links in an e-mail, you can bundle all of the materials together into a downloadable .zip folder using a service like MediaFire or Google Drive. This might make sense to include if you are communicating with potential producers or collaborators who will want to have downloadable versions of the files.

Video Premiere: Mat Kerekes, “The Clubs / The People’s Attention”

Marit Larsen