How To Make An EPK And Get Booked!

Here is the low down on a 2014 press kit.  Today, more than ever, it is easier to create and promote your press kit.  Unfortunately, people are using techniques from the 1920’s to promote their music and write a press kit.  Here I have created a press kit that will work for you, not against you.  I’m excited because below is how to make a press kit that works for you!

 

What is an electronic press kit?

Simply explained, an electronic press kit is a resume.  It is the thing that will help you get shows, coverage in the media, and grow your band.

What a press kit is not?

It’s not a CD,  list of experience,  boring biography, or a drab one sheet that tells people all about “you”!

Are you confused yet?  Good.

Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever applied for a job and gotten an interview?

What did you do differently than the other 98% of applicant’s?  What made you stand out above the crowd?  These are the same questions that I’ll help you answer.  Let’s lay out the overall goal, then I will show you the fundamentals of a great press kit.

 

EPK ImageThe Goal Of An EPK

Your press kit is about what you can do for them (vendor, journalist, audience).

In today’s ultra-competitive world, you have about two seconds to communicate your message.  People are increasingly getting faster at processing information and that number will probably speed up in the next few years.  So, how do you get someone’s attention long enough to prove you are worth their time.  Well, it’s a word called “sales”.  Yep… You want to create a sales letter that is in the shape and form of an EPK.  It might look like a press kit but every element is there to sell.

 

 

How do you make an EPK that sells?

Here are the four elements of a great sales letter:

  1. Attention
  2. Understand A Readers Problem
  3. Trust
  4. Solve Problem

Now, let’s look at the traditional elements of an EPK:

  1. Photo
  2. Music/Music Video
  3. Press Coverage
  4. One Sheet Summary
  5. Song Summary
  6. Biography

 

How do you get these elements combined to create the ultimate EPK?

1.  Photo

First, you want to have an amazing photo.  What this does is prove you are real, describe who you are, and what you stand for.   If you can afford it find a professional photographer to take photos of you.  Express to the photographer that you want to convey a message in the photo and they should help you with this.  Don’t have a friend take a photo with a smartphone.  You want to have a professional quality photograph.

2.  Header With A Tagline.

Create a header that is the band name and then a one sentence (shorter the better) tagline.  You want the tagline to describe you and get people’s attention to read further.

3.  Press.

Most people put press on the bottom, but you want to show people you matter.  Put your press quotes, sources, and links high on the page.  What this does is give social proof that you matter.  It also doesn’t matter how big or small.  Just make sure you have a link to the article to make it as easy as possible to view where you are mentioned.  Including a promoter review is a huge plus too (as long as it is positive).

4.  About.

This is a bio that is more of a quick sales summary.  You want to describe the type of person you are.  Give a quick history and talk about how you are a benefit to the venue.  You want to provide every reason why someone should hire you.

Quick tip: Call up a vendor and find out how they hire acts. Find out the issues they face when hiring a band.

Now, when you are writing your summary, briefly describe the style of music.  Also, describe the type of customer you will bring in.  Write about how you solve problems [one], [two], and [three] for the vendor.

5.  Music Video – Put a music video up that represents you. If you don’t have one, create one. Here’s how.  Contact a local video production company and find out what it would take for them to film a music video. If you have the money, do it professionally. If you don’t have a ton of money, the best thing to do is to contact a local college with a video department. See if you can find a talented student to do the work at a discount rate. Students will want to have a portfolio piece and they have top equipment that will make your video look very professional.

6.  Mp3 – You can post a live feed from soundcloud on your website. This will allow someone to play your music. You should post the top 3 or 4 songs, no more. You want to give someone viewing your EPK an idea of your music, but you don’t need to overwhelm them with too much music.

7.  Bio – This doesn’t necessarily need to be there.  But if you must keep it short.  Usually this is covered in the summary, and if you write your summary right you shouldn’t need a bio.  If you really want a bio put it on a downloadable link when someone downloads your mp3 or record history.

 

Tips:

  1. Put several buttons on the EPK page that say “book this band”. It will allow someone to book you through a contact form.
  2. You want to sell yourself through your EPK, but you do not want to sound like a super sales letter. Be authentic.
  3. You may want to create a different EPK for each outlet. (media, venue, other opportunities).

This is the ultimate EPK and if you create anything like it you will be ahead of the fold.  Now that you have an stellar EPK it’s time to reach out and book a show.  Continue to the next chapter to learn how to book gigs and get paid!  Keep on rockin.

 

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Email Marking, direct marketing music promotion

If You Don’t Start Email Marketing, Then You’ll Hate Yourself Later!

Become A Marketer

Many people put up a website and wonder why they only got 3 album sales that year.  Below is the secret to separating yourself from the other 95% of musicians who don’t get it.  Seriously, this is how to utilize one of the oldest and best forms of marketing.

 

What is email marketing?

I will first describe what it is not.  First, it is not a bunch of coupons that get sent out to emails that never get opened.  It is also not a way to make people buy your stuff.  What it is however is the one place online that you are guaranteed for someone to see your message.

So… how do you make this silver bullet work for you?

Below is one of many strategies and I will go over all the philosophy followed by an exact blueprint of how to make this work.

Email is the best place to create an authentic message and conversation with your fans.  You want to write emails that tell stories and somehow help people to see that you care about them.  You build a relationship by creating a conversation with them.  You engage with them by replying personally to their emails.  Once you have a relationship you ask for people to purchase tickets,  albums, and merchandise.  Finally, you over deliver.  You give them more than what they asked for and keep building the relationship.  This is what it is all about.  It is the way to foster a community of raving fans.

Email Marketing

Let’s go over the exact blueprint of email marketing.

 

Collect An Email Address

The first thing is that you want to collect an email address.

An “opt-in” form.  When you have people land on your homepage, you want to offer them a free three song download.  All they do is submit their email address.  You can also offer them this with a pop up opt-in form.  I know pop ups are really annoying but, it really does work.  You just need to make the offer sound too good to pass on.  You should also put a smaller version of the opt-in form in the middle and bottom of you blog posts that you are driving traffic too.  Making the offer relevant to the blog post is a must for having this be the most successful.

 

opt in formTips:

  • Telling them you won’t spam them.
  • Saying you will keep them up to date on your shows and even presale discounts.
  • Good post for super detailed opt-in pages.

http://www.copyblogger.com/email-landing-page/

Yay… You got an email!  So now what?

So, let’s say you make an offer for a free music download for an email address.  There is software that will automatically email them the music download once someone submits their email address.  There are also a bunch of really cool features like auto sending emails at predetermined intervals to help you build a relationship on autopilot.

So, what kind of emails should I write write?

You will write emails to build a relationship.  The first email will have your music download confirmation.  The person will need to confirm that they signed up with you before they get the music download.  This is standard to make sure that future emails don’t end up in the spam folder.  Once they click confirm your auto responder (this is the thing that sends the automatic email) will send the music download.  Since this is a download explain what the item is and how to download it.  Thank them for being interested and make them feel included in your fan group. Here’s an example below.

 

 

Email Marketing

Example #1:

Hey [They’re Name],

You did it!  You’re an exclusive member and here is your personal copy of our songs.  Just click the zip and download it.  Open the folder in your computer and extract the files.  Then listen till your heart’s content.

The first is [name] did the percussion and it is up tempo and awesome! The second is [blank] was made when I was feeling down, so it really is my soul on a plate. The third is [blank] is about how excited the band was after touring for a month and excited to get home.

We sometimes send out email updates on tours, other music, and sometimes crazy things.  So, keep posted on other emails.

Glad you are now in the club; thanks.

[Your Name]

 

P.S.  This might seem weird, but could you do me a huge favor…?  Email me back and let me know what you think.  You Rock!

Some notes:

Remember to just be yourself.  Let them know you appreciate them.  Get them excited and don’t forget to ask them to respond.  This opens the conversation.  Whether they email you back with good or bad comments, thank them for letting you know and respond to their email.  It will also make them feel special that you personally sent them a message.

Send an email two days later.  In the email send them to a blog post.  This will help you to build a relationship with your audience even further.

Email Marketing

Example #2:

Hey [Their Name],

I hope you have been enjoying the music you got.  Remember when I said I would email you crazy things sometimes.  Well this is one of those times.  As I sit here in my purple chair watching “Sanford and Sons” reruns I couldn’t help but think it hasn’t been all cupcakes and cheetos!  Check out this post I wrote and think you would really enjoy [link].  

Stay Well,

[Your Name]

P.S.  Some big things are in the works so stay tuned, our fanbase has grown and we’ve noticed!

Some notes:

This email starts by reminding them of your relationship by recalling something you said in the first email.  Second it gets specific about what I am doing.  The little details make you seem more real.  Then it sends them to a link.  The article should be about a struggle you have had in your life.  This makes someone feel connected to you by reading an emotional story that they can connect to.  The connection, everyone has struggled at one time or another.  Next in the blog describe how you overcame those obstacles. Then summarize the article with how important your fans are to you.  Describe how when you struggle even now, your fans help you through these struggles.

The Next Email

Now send a third email three days from the one you just sent.  This email should direct someone to another blog post that either you, another band member or even a fan wrote.  The blog post should be about community.  How your fan community stands by each other and how exciting that is.  The idea is to get someone involved in the excitement of being involved in something bigger than they are.

Email Marketing

Example #3:

Hey [Their Name],

OMG, have you met Janice?  Seriously though if there was ever there was a more heart warming event read [link].  She’s one of our supporters and was hiking down a road in the middle of December, in the Cold!!!!  I can’t even finish cause I’m too excited.  But honestly go check out the article its that good.

I almost forgot, your are special.  No, I mean Really Special:-)  Thats just my opinion.

Keep On Rocking,

[Your Name]

P.S.  Good things still percolating, stay tuned!

Some notes:

You can probably imagine the blog post that this email sends you to.  The point is to confirm there is a community of people that follow your band and stick up for eachother.  You might have to search for some of these stories but by asking around you should find some good ones.  Also this email is very persuasive in getting someone excited about the blog post.  It also cheers them up by letting them know what you think.  It might seem cheesy but you have to be super obvious when you write otherwise readers can jump to their own conclusions.  Sometimes these conclusions are good but other times they can damage your relationship.

Wow! Lots of work and still not a single dime… right?

Wrong… You are getting paid in social currency.  Honestly better than real dollars. Most people want the check and then move on to the next adventure.  But, the really successful individuals build social currency into reoccurring revenue.  While others want the paycheck and then wonder why nobody knows who they are two years later.  You are building a group that will keep giving you money every show, album, and merchandising event. Woohoo!

Earn Money1

So how do you ask for the money?

After you have sent four or five emails (including the one that has the download).  It is time to send a sales email.

l’ll lay out an email that gets high responses every time.

Email Marketing

Sales Email Example:

Subject:   You Rock, Seriously… Okay Check This Out

Hey [Their Name],

Since we have gotten to know each other I feel like we are family.  That’s why I felt compelled to give you this; our newest record at 25% off (use code club25 at checkout).  This will only be until (specific date five days from now), so… “get it while its hot”, as they say.  Plus, a free download of any other album.  Thats a huge discount!  Keep on rockin’.

Yours truly;

[Your Name]

P.S. This offer is only valid for people that I deem worthy and yes, you are worthy.

Some notes:

A killer subject line that will get opened.  I don’t know about you but if the one above is in my inbox, I’ve got to check it out.  Second keep is short and sweet.  Get to the point and don’t over do it.  Give a specific time that the deal ends.  Lastly give an offer they cannot refuse, you don’t need to give away all your music, but showing you appreciate them and giving a great deal usual compels even the people who are on the fence.

That’s it, you’ve done it – Great job. “So, what did you just do”, you might be wondering. Well, let’s break it down. The first email is giving something away to a prospect for their email. The key is to remember some people will stay on your mailing list while others will unsubscribe right away.  Don’t let this shake you it’s perfectly normal.  Then you got a prospective fans email and you started to quickly build a relationship.  As the relationship was built, they felt more connected to you, the musician.  Finally, you asked for the sale.  This can be a tough thing to do, especially if you have never been in sales, but here are some tips that will help you.

  1. Always be yourself.  Follow the formula as it is laid down but don’t sound fake. Be authentic.
  2. This style of selling is called direct sales based off earlier forms of mail order sales.  There is a right and a cheesy way.  Above, I have laid out the right way.
  3. This formula can be used for selling shows, selling merchandise, or selling other things.  For example, I had a client take customers through the process above, but then ask for reviews in iTunes.  This worked and helped them rank well in the iTunes store.
  4. Be creative.  Above is a guide for starting out, but the more creative you can be the better for you and your audience.

 

Now you’re equipped to go out and make some sales.  You can start to get profits and repeat as often as necessary.  Next we are going to move into a profitable EPK or electronic press kit.  I’ll lay down what works, what doesn’t, and how to succeed best.  Go check out the next chapter!

 

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Social Media Strategy

Paid Search Marketing: The Social Media Strategy

Building Traffic Channels – the spokes of your hub.

 

Learn to get online traffic to your website.  This section will guide you through proven techniques for getting subscribers to your sight.

Online Traffic

Getting traffic is easy.  Most people struggle with this because they get too much of the wrong kind of visitors.  For example: Let’s say you have a company that sells lamps.  You can purchase a bunch of google advertising that will direct traffic to your site for the word lamps when someone types the word “lamps” in Google.  You can spend all the money in the world. Unfortunately, you won’t sell too many lamps.  Why?  It is because the customer might be searching for “freestanding lamps” or “street lamps”.  These are two totally different products and you might only sell Table Lamps. Long story short, if you are not targeting the correct types of terms or people, then you will waste a ton of money.

So, with this new knowledge lets go over how the process works.  The goal is to build an email list.  Wait… What…?  I thought you said we will be advertising on other networks?  Okay you got me.  So, let me break it down for you.  What you will be building is what is known as a sales funnel.

What is a sales funnel?

Sales Funnel

Simply put… a sales funnel is the system by which you put prospects in the top of your funnel. Then, they move through a sales process. Finally, you have customers come out of the bottom… Yes, paying customers. Here, I will show you a “paid sales funnel” and then provide you with different places you can pay for these campaigns.

How does this work?

  1.  Well, first off the quickest way to get traffic is “Pay-Per-Click” advertising.  Pay-Per-Click is just what it sounds like.  It is where you pay when somebody clicks on your advertisement.  The advertisement should be a promoted post in whatever platform you are using (check below for platforms).  Create some content that is either music they can listen to, a post that is relative to your target audience, or a video interview of another band.
  2. Once they are on your website you can focus on relationship.  The best method is to get someone to subscribe to your email list.  This is covered extensively in the next chapter to stay tuned.  Giving someone content that is relative to them will help you to build a relationship.
  3. How do we know if the relationship is going well?  It is called trust.  This is when a person has moved through the first two stages and are opening your emails and commenting on your music.  It is where they like what you do and believe in your cause.
  4. Finally after someone trusts you it’s time to make an offer they cannot refuse.  What this does is make a raving fan out of that person.  They trust you so much and like your special discount on your brand new album that they have no problem giving you money.

 

Different Places You Can Get Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Facebook Icon

Facebook – This is the largest social network out there and can be very successful.  Most people throw money away and have no idea how to spend on this platform.  The key is to start small.  Then review your results tweak your messaging then see the results.  It can take a while but all good things do.  Here is a great post on how to start on Facebook.

http://okdork.com/2014/03/04/how-to-start-advertising-on-facebook/

Twitter IconTwitter – Twitter ads are taking off right now and it’s good to get on the gravy train before everyone figures this out.  Twitter has a variety of options for advertising.  The best one for your music marketing efforts is using their Promoted Tweets.

  1. Sign up for an account. If you already have twitter, then you are good to go.
  2. Once signed up, go to the twitter search section. Look for other bands in your genre. Follow these bands.
  3. Then go over to digg.com and look at what is popular and the most re-tweeted stories.
  4. Now you know what your audience will like.
  5. Create a similar tweet and link it to your similar article.
  6. Now in twitter, choose your target audience or interests in timeline.
  7. Target your tweet. Using Keywords In Timeline Setting.
  8. Look for .50 to .75 cent cost per click (cost per engagement is what Twitter calls it).

There are services out there that will help with this such as:

http://justretweet.com/

http://tweetpeddler.com/

http://retweets.pro/buy-twitter-tweets

http://retweet.it/

Stumbleupon Icon

Stumble UponA great site that you can use for free, but here is how to use the paid traffic.

  1. Create a blog post.  Here’s a few tips of the type of post below.
  • Make a highly visual blog post with lots of eye catching photo’s.
  • Make a list style post that has songs of musicians that you like along with one of your songs.
  • You could also promote.  Ten “must see” concerts by local bands or five musicians you didn’t know played live music in your area.
  1. Using paid discovery on stumble upon.
    1. Sign up for a stumble upon account.
    2. Select the URL of the article that you want to promote.
    3. Once you are in stumbleupon ads, you will have some criteria that you will need to fill out.
    4. Select your target market. You already did this in the first chapter.
    5. There are two options; .10+ per click and .12+ per click.
    6. With the more expensive of the two, you will be able to be more specific with your criteria, interests, age, and location.
    7. Using “interests” helps and location will work wonders.
  1. Get visitors.
    1. Once you have the account set up, you will want to run the ad.
    2. Make sure you start slow and small until you get the hang of it.
    3. This is a great form of promoting concerts that are coming up.  Make sure you use an eye catching picture at the top of the post.  Create an awesome header that makes you want to read the article.
    4. Make sure your page loads fast, fast, fast.

Take a look at http://searchengineland.com/5-seo-tips-boost-page-speed-187931

These are my favorites for getting paid traffic.  The trouble is that you can easily spend a lot of money and not have it work.  Trust me, 98% of marketers spend money that doesn’t make sense for their business and then say how horrible the service is.  The thing is companies want people to spend money so they make it really easy to.  So don’t think it will work amazingly the first time.  Instead, spend small until you get the hang of it.  If something seems to work then spend a little more to make sure.  Once you figure out what is working for you spend more until you reach your goals.  Right now you have mastered getting people in the top of your sales funnel.  You now have traffic!  Follow along in the next section to really see how to get bags of cash out of your sales funnel.

 

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Find Followers

Find Followers: Using Bicycle Wheel Marketing

Building an audience is one of the hardest things to do as a musician.  This technique is a tried and true way to profit and promote yourself as a musician, or band.

Bicycle Wheel Marketing

What is this Bicycle Wheel Business?

Let’s start with the basics first.  You are a musician how do you sell your tickets, music, or even merchandise?  Well, if you are in the 21st century the best way is through your website.  Your website is the best way to succeed in the music business today.  I am not going to cover how to make a website because there are enough tutorials online just search in Google [How to make a website].  What I will tell you is how to promote your website and use it to gain followers, sell out shows fast, make sales on your albums the day they release, and profit from merchandise.

Overview

Imagine a bicycle wheel.  There is a hub, which is the center.  Then you have spokes that extend out to the rim. Your website is the hub.  The rest of the internet is the rim and the spokes are the connections of your website to the rest of the internet.  Your goal is to have connections (spokes) that bring people to your website (the hub).  Your website should be a destination and not just another place for people to find out about you.

This will make more sense as you read further, I will teach you about how to get people to your site.  In the next chapter, I will go over more detail of each traffic channel.

Let’s start with the website first:

Your website is a communication tool.  You will want to have a store so you can sell tickets, music, and merchandise.  The second goal of your website is communication with current fans and prospective fans.  You want to make your website a hub for your music and information that is relevant to your target audience.  (Remember the list you created in chapter 1)

How does this work?

We’ll, besides from having your music you might want to have live recordings of shows.  This will help you start to form the foundation of trust with your potential fans.  By giving away free information people will start to trust you and give your band authority.  Taking the hub even further you could post music and interviews that you have done with other bands in your genre.  This way you will be getting in front of fans from another band helping to rapidly build your audience even bigger!!

So, what kind of stuff do you want to post on your website?

Many marketers have preached that “content is king”.  This sounds good, but what does it mean?  Content is information that you create to connect with an audience.  The most important piece of content that you can create is one that speaks to your target audience.  So, how do you do this?  Well first off most people coming to your website are looking for information about your band such as post music, music videos, and articles about your band.  Create story’s that are about how your fans help you. Tell your fans how important they are to you.  Use your media to connect with your fans.  Here are some ideas below of how to progress:

 

 

 Join Gigmor

Youtube IconVideo – This is a great way to show your band in action.  A music video helps people feel like they are there watching you.  Create an interview that shows the “behind the scenes”; what it’s like to get ready for a show.  Connect with fans.   Be creative but the best thing you can do is show yourself as you really are.   An interview will help fans connect with you on a deeper personal level.

 

Sound Cloud ImageAudio – This not only includes your music this can be a podcast of your favorite songs.  It can also be an interview with your band members.  The point of this media is to make people feel connected to you.

 

 

 

Written IconWritten – Use a blog to post articles about your band.  Tell a story speaking to your fans telling them how much they mean to you.  You can get really creative, telling fans to send in articles of how the show went for them.  You can post the best article on your site. Get creative and tell a story about your band and the fans.

 

 

Infographic iconInfographic – An infographic is a style of media that uses clipart and pictures with information to communicate an idea.  This type of content is very effective in communicating an idea.  The trick is to be selective in what you want to communicate.

 

 

Comment IconComments – This highly overlooked activity is one of the most important techniques.  Whenever your fans comment on a blog, respond to each comment.  This takes time but it shows you care about your followers.

 

 

Use your content to tell your unique story. Don’t just post and pray. Calculate and think about what you are posting and what effect it will have on your communication with your following. In today’s competitive music industry, you will want to get people to follow your band. This means telling a story that shows your authenticity and connects to the emotions of your audience in order to create raving fans. Now, you should have a good foundation of your marketing foundation.  The website is your hub.  Continue to the next chapter to learn about getting people to your site.

 

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