One of the fundamental modern band promotion tools, part of the Press Kit or Electronic Press Kit (EPK) and essential band web site components is the Band Bio / Biography. Important or not, many bands do not know how to write an effective band bio.
If you pay attention to these guidelines the quality of your bio will stand out for the right reasons.
Remember that your bio is not meant to be extensive. One or more versions of your band bio is included in your press kits (or Electronic Press Kit - EPK), one part of a web site etc. So be selective about what you include. Don't feel you have to include everything.
1. Who Are You?
Being snappy or cool is not the most important factor. The most important elements to include are the essential items of information that anyone using the bio to get information will rely on.
You should include:
- Band name
- Band contact information
- Music description
The importance of first impressions really, really cannot be stressed enough. The first impression that people get of your band, particularly members of the press, is often your Band Bio. The first paragraph of your bio is very, very important, so take your time and get it right.
Your first paragraph has to:
- Grab attention
- Hold attention
To do that it has to be interesting, informative and engaging.
Avoid making any unfounded claims about how amazing and fantastic you are. That sort of bio text does not give a good impression. Fantastical claims actually work against you as people often read it as "unrealistic". You've probably reacted with a "yeah, right!" or two when reading yourself. The following reaction not only involves dismissing the text but usually the subject the text is about, be that a movie, a politician or a band. It is a far better idea to tell them the facts in an interesting way and let them be impressed by that.
2. What is your Band Doing Currently?
You should also include some news and information about what your band is currently doing. For example, have you planned a tour or are you touring just now? Are you releasing a new album? Maybe you are busy recording songs towards a new album? Are you writing new material?
If you include any other background information, make sure that it relates directly to the band.
One of the most common mistakes is to include information in the form of a list. For example “Steve has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old. At 8 he began learning the bass guitar and performed his first gig at only 10 years old. At 11..."
Industry pros will just toss your bio. As soon as they stop yawning.
You can include directly related musical history but be brief, keep it interesting and don't present it as a list!
4. Highlights and Achievements
One thing you should include is your successes. Has your music been played on the radio? Have you collaborated with a musician or music producer? Maybe your band won a battle of the bands or similar competition? Make sure you include such successes.
Whatever other highlights you choose, make sure that the most attention-grabbing, flattering story about your band is a prominent feature of your bio!
5. The Press and Media
You should try and include at least one short press clip in your bio. Press clippings help to describe your band sound or convey the power of your performances. In the context of your bio, they help to support what you yourself say about your band and it's sound and in a much more convincing way than unsupported claims when talking yourself up.
6. No Typos or Spelling Errors
If you think that a typo or two would not count against you, think again. Make it a simple rule: NO TYPOS
Your bio is supposed to be a polished piece of work, intended to show off the band at it's best. Spelling errors and typos don't demonstrate an attention to detail, or pride in the quality of product. So: NO TYPOS
Purely to make it more memorable: NO TYPOS
7. Be Honest
Never, ever, make up things to enhance your bio. Lies will be found out, and when they are the consequences are a loss of trust, professionals who will no longer work with you, and the destruction of your personal and professional reputation.
Saying that again to underline it, be honest, don't make anything up!
8. Multiple Versions of Your Band Bio
Create several versions of your bio so that it is suitable for multiple purposes. Create the following versions:
- Elevator Pitch - The ability to describe your music in 30 seconds. This is typically only a couple of sentences.
- Short Bio - 1 paragraph
- Medium Bio- 3 paragraphs
- Long Bio - 1 full page
Media outlets, festivals and conferences all have different requirements. If you are prepared with multiple versions means that you can react quickly to any opportunities without getting too stressed. Writing on spec when you are presented with an opportunity will lead to sub-standard pitches, which will do you absolutely no favors.
Any images you include as part of your band bio should fit well with your band image and be of a good quality. Images help to break up the text but don't over do it. One, possibly two, is ideal for your bio. Remember you will have some form of folio in your press kit or website. Images can also make your bio quite distinctive, so make sure it stands out for all the right reasons!
10. Keep It Up To Date
There really isn't much to this. It's simple. Keep Your Band Bio Up-to-date!
When you achieve something more, get featured, play a huge gig etc make sure that you add it to your band bio.
It really doesn't take much effort to put together a good Band Bio and it is well worth the time to make it as good a quality as you can.
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Songstuff Site Crew