Hey everyone! It’s definitely been a while since I’ve written a blog post – this semester has been a tough one, and I’ve been trying to buckle down academically. Between juggling schoolwork, projects, music, and my job, to say I’ve been busy is definitely an understatement! But, I’ve definitely made time to create some content for you all. Be on the lookout for mashups and blog posts in the coming weeks! You can always sign up for my mailing list here to stay in the loop.
Lately, I’ve been trying to take myself a lot more seriously; one big part of this is seeing myself as a brand. Nowadays, your image as a DJ matters just as much as your skills behind the booth. From social media presence, to press photos, to your following, promoters and venues want to know that they are getting their money’s worth when booking you. It’s one thing to be able to rock a party, but unfortunately, if you can’t bring the party with you, potential clients are more likely to look the other way. (However, don’t use this as a reason to sell tickets in exchange for a slot. You should never have to pay to play. Check out this article that I contributed on with DJ Tech Tools to see what I mean.)
So, while I’ve been bombarded with homework, projects, and tests, I’ve made it a priority to sit down and make my EPK.
An EPK, or “Electronic Press Kit” is exactly what it sounds like – an electronic resume file with links to your mixes, original tracks, rider, and other “stuff.” EPKs are distributed to venues and promoters to generate interest in your brand and display your credentials. Simply having an EPK puts you a leg up against other DJs who are bidding for the same gig, especially in saturated markets or big cities like New York. It’s an opportunity to showcase your professional side, and demonstrate that you take your brand seriously. (SonicBids has a great definition and list of basic EPK components here.)
I’ve spent the better part of the past few months making and tailoring my EPK, and in doing so, I have these five takeaways to share with you:
It’s a Resume
First and foremost, be professional. This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest, and get a leg up on everyone else. You want to show that you take yourself seriously. When you’re writing your bio, skip over your “humble beginings” and keep the focus on your career and experience. Don’t claim to have played at venues you haven’t. It’ll catch up to you.
It’s Also Not a Resume
While it’s important to be professional, remember that it’s not a suit-and-tie affair. This is a chance to show people what your brand is about! Make sure your logo is on point, and you use a cohesive, consistent color palette. Choose some unique fonts but make sure they can still be easily read. Remember, Comic Sans is NEVER an option.
Make Your EPK Easily Accessible
I’ve added a link to my EPK in the main menu of my website, and I highly recommend it. Promoters and booking agents aren’t going to waste time digging around for your press kit; if they can’t find it, they’re moving on. For those of you who don’t have your own website, make sure your EPK can be easily found via your Facebook page. Pin Tweets and posts that link to it via Dropbox or Google Drive. ALWAYS save it as a PDF – since it’s a nearly-universal file format, you can guarantee that your EPK is readable on any device or computer!
Make It Interactive
Nowadays, PDF’s are so much more than scanned pages from your old textbooks. They’ve become a truly interactive file format – think about how you easily can fill and print out forms online! One awesome skill that I learned at my summer internship was maximizing what you can do with electronic documents. Using software like Adobe or BlueBeam, you can add hyperlinks to your EPK to social media pages, YouTube videos, SoundCloud tracks, you name it! That way, the person reading it becomes engaged and gets a fuller sense of who you are.
It goes without saying that headshots, press photos, and action shots are necessary for every DJ, but let’s go one step further here. When I helped DJ Davvid out with his EPK, I was hit with a really cool idea. After he sent me his pictures, I threw together a collage in Photoshop and then hyperlinked it to a Google Drive folder with high-quality versions of all the photos. Then, we password-protected the folder, so that way only the people he wanted to could access them! No more promoters hounding him for logos and headshots!
I’ve included a handy checklist-type graphic below. Feel free to print it or add it to your Pinterest boards!
What unique things do you add to your EPK? Let me know in the comments!
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