The one-sheet, a simple single page overview of you and your music, is a tool used by the many music industry gatekeepers (think radio stations and booking agents) to determine how sellable you are as a band or artist. Here we look at a checklist designed to help you write the most effective one-sheet possible.
Do you want to be taken more seriously by the music industry? I’m guessing the answer is yes if you’re reading this article. One of the simplest ways to convey a professional band/artist image is through the use of a one-sheet.
So what is a one-sheet? It’s a one page overview and representation of your band and/or music. It’s used by media, radio stations, record stores, booking agents, distributors and other industry professionals to determine how sellable your band is to their customer or audience. Most often a one-sheet is created for an album or EP release.
When creating the one-sheet you want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and gives an accurate impression of your band’s sound. To facilitate a professional image, I recommend either hiring a graphic designer or using a free template on Canva.com to get you started. Below is a checklist with five basic components you’d include in your one-sheet.
1. SHORT BIO
You should include a short bio that differentiates you from the other bands/artists out there and give people a reason why they should pay attention to you. This doesn’t mean making statements like, “Our band doesn’t sound like anyone else…” or, “Our band has a unique sound…”. These are subjective statements and one almost every artist believes.
It’s also something industry people have read and heard a million times before, too – they’ll tune you out before they’ve even had a chance to listen. Think about the stories of your music/background that truly couldn’t be told by anyone else, and use descriptive terms to describe your sound.
2. PUBLICITY PHOTO
Include a professionally-shot publicity photo. This will create the first impression of you or your band, so you don’t want to simply add a live photo taken by your friend, or a rehearsal shot photo.
Think about the story you want your photo to tell about your music. If you’re not sure what that is, take a look at other bands you admire who are similar to you in sound/genre and see how they convey themselves.
3. SELLING POINTS
You need to give people who are viewing your one-sheet a reason to pay attention to you and this is one of the places to do it. One of the best ways to do this is to show how fans or industry people are taking you seriously.
Have you played any festival shows?
Played with established bands?
Recorded with an established producer?
Have strong social media stats and engagement?
Do you have strong press quotes that could influence the recipient of your one-sheet?
You should include any and all of these things to establish your credibility.
4. ALBUM, EP OR SINGLE RELEASE
Include a mention of your upcoming release with the following information: release title, UPC, release date, cover art.
If you don’t have an upcoming release, include one you released within the past year. If you have press on that album, be sure to include the top three press quotes as well.
Do you have a tour planned? Include all those dates to show you’re an active musician and give an idea of the level of venues you’re playing and the markets where you have a potential audience.
Don’t have tour dates? Don’t sweat it, but do make sure you’re emphasizing the other areas where you band is active.
If you don’t have a one-sheet, start compiling the information necessary and create one to help sell your band in a professional setting.
Janelle Rogers is the founder of Green Light Go Publicity, a music PR firm which helps up-and-coming musicians reach their audience.