Tech Tip:Tips for Writing Effective Band Bios
By Bobby Borg
Promotional materials, such as demo tapes, photographs, biographies, and press clippings, help people to get to know you. When these materials are assembled in one package or folder, they are most commonly known as a press kit. An important part of the press kit is the biography (bio), yet it is surprising just how many bands don't understand its purpose when making submissions. A bio should be written clearly and concisely without a lot of big words and flowery adjectives. It should be as informational as possible containing facts about your band such as group and members' name(s), date your band formed, and most importantly, accomplishments and goals. Here are a few more tips you should consider when writing your next biography:
Band Name / Logo Design / Contact Info: Centered Across Page: List band name, address, phone number, fax, e-mail, and Web site URL. This could be your contact or band representative.
Date and City Band Was Founded: First paragraph: List the city and state or country in which the band formed. If the group has relocated to a new territory, briefly state where and when as well.
Full Name of Band: First paragraph continued: List the band's full name. If you failed to choose a band name that everyone can read and pronounce correctly, than include the phonetic spelling as well.
Style & Comparable ("Like") Bands: First paragraph continued: Every band fits into a format of music. If you don't know what categories you fall under, examine the formats radio stations use: Modern Rock, Alternative, Adult Contemporary (AC), Rhythmic Crossover, Jazz, etc. Also, though every band likes to think they are unique, there is at least a few comparable or "like" bands that you could open up for on tour. List these bands to give your reader an idea of your target audience.
Members': Names / Instruments / Age Range: First paragraph continued: Be sure to list your members' names (nick names) as you would like to see them in print along with the instrument they play. Additionally, list the age range from the youngest to the oldest musician in order to give your reader some idea of your target audience and your long-term career potential as a musical act.
Brief History (Interesting Story of Band): Second paragraph: Noting interesting pieces of information about how your band came together gives press people something to talk about and helps the reader draw a picture about your personalities. Think of interesting hooks such as: members knew each other since kindergarten, members have famous parents, members were part of other famous groups, members have success in other fields such as acting, and members formed as a result of some tragedy (911, etc.). Just be creative, but be truthful. You get the idea.
Accomplishments & Quotes to Back Them Up: Third paragraph: Listing your accomplishments says a lot about a band's work ethic, which is one of the top credentials record and publishing companies, personal managers, and attorneys look for in new artists these days. People are attracted to those who help themselves. List recent successes such as: record sales, the number of people in your fan club or who visit your Web site, the average number of people who attend your shows, the amount of college radio play you get and whether or not you charted on CMJ, any placements of your music in film and TV, successful bands that you toured or opened for, song writer's competitions you won, the producer or co-writer who teamed-up with you to make your record, type of merchandising you sell and designed, reviews in well-respected magazines, and battle of the bands awards. Additionally, if these successes can be supported by one or two quotes of someone note-worthy, than all the better. Be sure to include the person's proper spelling, company name and the source if the quote was published.
Where You're Going From Here (Do-It-Yourself Goals): Fourth Paragraph: Rather than sound like you are need of someone else to take you where you want to go, show your reader that you're unstoppable and that you already have a plan of attack to move ahead to the next level of your career. Make people think that you're going all the way whether or not they help you. You'd be surprised at how infectious pro-activity and confidence can be. Attract the attention of those who can help you by first helping yourself.
Re-state Contact Information: Last line or paragraph: It is always helpful to include your contact information as many times as possible-and leaving it at the end is the proper writing format for business anyway. Being that it is the last thing that your reader will view, it is also going to be one of the last things on his/her mind. Who knows, they just might be inspired to contact you.
Bobby Borg is the author of "The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide To Understanding The Music Business," which is available now at bobbyborg.com or in a store near you. Contact bobbyborg.com.