Gigs For You

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Press Kits

A press kit should be designed to be an extension of your website, or vise versa. Therefore keep them consistent. There are two elements to the press kit that seem to give artists the most problems; the bio and the intro. The following is a little bit of advice on each.

Writing a Bio

Entertainers often find writing their bio to be a difficult task. For this reason, we often recommend having someone else write it for them. For those of you determined to do it themselves, the following are a few tips that we hope will help you. As you work with these suggestions, compare your writing with examples that we have provided for you on this site.

  1. Write down the 10 most significant accomplishments and/or jobs you have had that relate to your entertainment interests. List them chronologically in the order in which you accomplished them.

  2. Then think of five more accomplishments and list them. When done, review your entire list and decide if any of the 15 accomplishments are related. If any are, then group them together. If not, keep the order the same. (I had you list a separate five for a reason. It is likely that although you might think these latter five important, the fact that they were not on your top 10 list should make you think twice about how significant they are.)

  3. Try to transform your bulleted ideas into sentences. As you do this, remember that biographies are written in the third person. You don’t say, “I performed with the symphony for seven years.” Instead, everything must be written like, “Josey performed with the symphony from 1991 through 1998. In the Fall of that year she was offered the position of principal Violin with the…” See the difference. You want to create a factual, but interesting story of your successes. 

It is often a good idea to explain a bit about how you got started as a performer and why you decided to make a career of it. If you have an interesting story, write it, and be sure to put your personality into what you say.
Keep four points in mind as you think this out.

  1. This needs to be “you,” but it also needs to be to the point.

  2. Write too much, and the reader will likely get board (and might not read the rest).

  3. This needs to come from you, but it must also be written in third person.

  4. This part of your bio goes at the beginning of your bio sheet. It must be written in an interesting way to keep the reader’s attention.

Don’t write a fact sheet out of your bullets. Write a story. Your entire bio must flow, from the introduction and how you started, to your first accomplishments in the working world. Your goal is to enable people to understand who you are, what you have accomplished and why you have such a passion for performing. At the end, they should say, “Wow! This person has been around, cares about what they do, understands the business, is a great performer and is someone I want to hire for my next event.”

As you write your bio, you may be inclined to intertwine your “accomplishments” with “your mission” or “your interests.” Don’t do that. Instead, take those thoughts and write them down. They will likely become part of your “About Me” page.


Writing your Intro (About Me Section)

This is the first page viewers will see as they enter your site. It’s like the cover page. You want this to be an introduction to “who you are.” And that’s exactly what you want to write about…YOU. Don’t talk about what you’re doing now or what you’ve already done. (It is a common mistake for entertainers to confuse the “bio” and the “About Me” sections. Remember, we are discussing you now, not your past experience. Don’t confuse the two pages. If you do, it will only make your site less effective.) 

You want to write, briefly, in no more than one or two paragraphs, why entertaining is your passion, the type of entertainment you do and the type of gigs you do (and maybe the type of gigs you are looking for). You might even want to give the reader a flavor for your style as an entertainer. If you work with other entertainers, you might want to explain who and in what capacity. Whatever you do, put your personality into it…and make sure you keep it interesting! Remember to be as brief as possible.

If you have a website, or are in the process of building one, the following is a tip about sound bytes. Remember. Your music is the bottom line. It will either sell you…or not.

About Sound Clips

Sound bytes allow musicians to demo their music online and through their press kits and thus help sell their recordings and book work. I want to clarify one misconception about sound bytes. Most entertainers believe that it is more effective to post a complete song than just a song fragment. This is not true. So, the following is my advice as you prepare sound bytes for your website and press kit demo:

  1. Find the most interesting part of the song you want to post and choose between 30 seconds…but no more than 90 seconds of that song as a clip for your Website. In doing this you give the customer just enough music to catch their attention, while stopping the clip, leaving them wanting more. You always want to leave the customer wanting more!

  2. You can send up to six clips. Choose as diverse a variety of your best music as possible. Posting 5 or 6 sound bytes provides a good sample without overloading the listener with too much material.

  3. Clips must be wave audio (wav) CD music (cda) format.

Remember, Gigs For You is available to help you with any questions you might have. We usually charge for the phone time associated with answering your questions. However, if you have a quick question or need an explanation, we often waive this fee. Call us and we can talk about it. We want you to have the best, most effective Web presence you can have, and that is why we have created this service.