Useful advice for writing a press kit for your band

It seems every dog and his cat wants to make it as a career musician. Welcome to the pack!

Admitting you’re a member is the valuable second step on your journey.

The first is mastering your craft.

If you’re hell-bent on DIY music marketing, here are a few tricks from an old dog for writing a press kit that serves its purpose by putting your music in the vicinity of more ears.

The hardest part about writing your press kit is recognizing that it’s not about you. It’s about the person who will be reading it.

Press kits for musicians are arguably one of the most difficult pieces of marketing content to do well, because you’ll never completely match the complexities and emotion of actually listening to the music.

Ultimately, the goal of your press kit should be to get the receiver to listen to your music, which (all going well) will lead to booking more gigs, getting more press coverage, and ultimately more true fans.

When it comes to band press kits, your reader could quite likely be a little jaded.

They’ve probably read hundred of ’em before and will not hesitate to mock you in the office for comparing yourself to the Beatles, Bowie, or The Band. Steer clear.

The readers motivation will vary somewhat, but it could be things like wanting to make money, sell more beers, be the first to discover a new artist, get revenge on their ex, have a good laugh, go viral, get a pay rise, and so on.

Rather than describing how much you shred, create some mystery — be fascinating!

Fill in the blanks:

When was the last time you saw a ___ on stage?

What’s this [Genre] band doing with a ____?

Is this ______’s next ____?

What do ___ and ___ have in common?

This __ band sold out X gigs in 4 days

Have you heard [Celebrity]’s new favorite band?

Failing All that — pay a professional

Maybe I’m biased, but you’re generally better off getting a professional copywriter to write your press kit for you.

Self-made press kits often emit a unique scent of hope, dreams, and self-consciousness. And while it might be great for therapy, it’s not that interesting for press people, radio dudes, tour managers, and booking agents.

A pro will turn that baby around in days (rather than months), keep spreading the word even after you’ve paid your bills, use magic marketing tactics, and change the way you think about your music career (for the better).

Some of the best things you can do for your music career are quite likely:

  1. Get better at making music
  2. Be reliably good (fun) to work with
  3. Create a community of friends/colleagues/supporters who love you and/or your work

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Kerryn Lyes

Kerryn Lyes

Life is my coach. I’m just taking notes. Described by some as a ‘quiet rebel’, Kerryn Lyes is a marketer, writer, imaginer, and PhD student in Christchurch, NZ.