On Friday, we talked about doing the advance work for your live performances and I mentioned that we’d talk about the epk or hard copy press kit.
Here is the main thing to remember. Keep it simple, impactful and succinct. I use to create kits with ten reviews, articles, photos, several different cd’s, lists of people that I’d played with, etc and it would cost me a bundle to send it out and a bundle to create it to begin with.
The EPK can save you a lot of time and trouble there. The downside is that you need to actually get the person who receives it to take a look at it; go to the site, if that’s the way you set it up, or at least open what you posted.
It is extremely easy to send emails and I must admit, I only open the ones that look like work, or are from people I know. I get so many hundreds a day, I can’t look at them all or I’d get nothing else done.
Imagine how many emails a booker gets in a day? Who knows what they open or when?
So I prefer sending the booker a package. Because people are people, they tend to open mail that physically arrives and is addressed personally to them. They can’t help it. Even if they get a ton of packages, if you’ve called first and connected with them, they will open your package.
And what I try to do with that package is hit them with it really fast. No thumbing through pages and pages of stuff. They’re not going to do that because they just aren’t that interested.
They never heard of you and they don’t care if they ever do. So make it easy for them. The current CD, one photo (optional at this stage of the exchange), a page of review quotes from live dates and recordings, a two paragraph bio page and all the contact info.
And in your bio, let them know what kind of music you do. If you sound like Eddie Vedder, then say so. Give them a launching pad, a place to put you, a category. I know we all hate categories, but the fact of the matter is, people frequently liken me to James Taylor and to Phil Collins, so I call myself the bastard son of those two.
If they don’t like these two artists, then I’m probably screwed, BUT I don’t send my stuff to people that I don’t think are going to like it. I don’t try to book myself at the Whiskey on a Saturday night. They will never go for that, unless, of course, I’m famous and then they would do it whenever I wanted. But I digress…
Now back to our printed page.
You can even put the reviews on one side of a page and the bio/contact stuff on the other side (tho I’d put the contact info on both sides, if I were me), so what they receive is a one page bio info sheet and a cd. AND no matter which side they look at, there is the contact info.
Now don’t make the copy on the page so dense it looks like it came out of a Victorian encyclopedia. You want to have concise talking points that are easy to read at a glace. And on the other side, the quotes page, just three or four quotes, big enough so that the four of them essentially fill the page except for the contact info.
And use quotes that would make someone who read them WANT to hear you; come see you; or book you.
You see what I’m getting at here? No effort for the recipient. He can tell in a heartbeat if you are the kind of act he wants. Simple. And easy to peruse and to digest.
And it’s your job to follow up, not theirs. Call them and ascertain they received the package. Call them a week later to see if they have had time to review it. Be gracious when they say they haven’t and let them off the hook, but also say you’ll call them back in a week. And do it. Follow up; follow up; follow up.