A well written artist bio is the gateway to more attention from the media. But most artists spend less time on making theirs good than they do tuning up before practice. Here Ariel Hyatt and her team at Cyber PR offer tips and guideline to create a kick-ass artist bio.
By Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR
Your artist bio, which we call a signature story here at Cyber PR, is one of the most important aspects of your brand.
Today more than ever before having a compelling story may even be the thing that attracts a potential fan to you (before even hearing your music)
Your Artist Bio needs to have a place of honor on your website
It also needs to be thoughtfully shortened for each of your socials (and if it’s a part of your brand you should consider an emoji or two!) so that new fans can find out who you are.
You want to present yourself and your brand accurately, so you should be updating your artist bio a few times every year to reflect what is happing in your release cycle or career.
But, how exactly do you make effective improvements to your signature story, take a step back, and reassess?
We’ll help you.
Pull out your current biography – either a physical version or the one that’s already posted on your website.
Now ask yourself the following questions:
What Are You Are Trying to Achieve with Your Artist Bio?
A great bio / signature story needs to include an interesting and captivating moment that is easy for people to recount.
This should not be an epic saga, but rather a memorable nugget.
You want to share something painful, revealing, funny, or interesting. What you share may not be music related, but it needs to tie into why you make music.
Here Are Your 5 Steps to A Kick-Ass Artist Bio….
Step 1 – The Intro: Where Does Your Bio First Take Your Reader?
Does the introduction (the first few lines) bring a potential fan in? Is it interesting? Try not to use typical intros like “the (name of band) started playing music together in 2014”, or “John Smith always knew he wanted to make music”, or “at the young age of 5, Sally started playing the piano”… While true, these statements are not exactly gripping. Also, make sure your pitch is located somewhere within the first few lines so people can get an immediate idea of what you are all about, who you sound like and what genres you play.
Step 2 – Circle All The Clichés Or Words That Could Be More Descriptive Or Powerful
Are there cliché words you could avoid? For instance, classic artist bio mistake words such as “unique,” “melodic,” “soaring harmonies”, “bombastic beats,” “lyrical flow,” etc.? Everyone thinks their music is unique and melodic. Spend some time really thinking about what makes your music special. There are over a million words in the English language – choose the ones that describe your music wisely.
Step 3 – Is It A Resume?
We are raised to believe that listing all of our accomplishments like a résumé is the way to show success. This is true when you’re updating your LinkedIn, applying to college, or interviewing at a hedge fund. But in an artist bio, it’s just annoying. You want to be relatable, and nobody likes a braggart. So unless that music award in high school, master’s degree in physics, or battle of the bands victory is a critical part of your signature story, keep it on the down low. There are plenty of other places to showcase these accolades as you build your story – don’t worry!
Step 4 – Have You Answered Vital Questions So, Your Fans Focus On A Memorable “Nugget” ?
Taking the reader on a journey that answers vital questions like why do you really make music and what is in it for them as fans to connect to is key. I have prepared 12 questions to get you thinking about these very things and more! Download them and have your bandmates answer them as well. See if a compelling thread comes through (I guarantee it will) and these are designed so that your bio is pro and egotistical sounding!
Step 5 – Is It Short Enough?
One page printed out is the longest your bio should be – if it’s longer, cut it down.
TIP: 3 Classic Mistakes to Remove / Avoid
1. Song Track Listings – I know each song is like a baby, and you want to tell the story of every one in immense detail. However your bio is not the place for this – make separate pages on your website for details about songs and albums.
2. Individual Band Member Resumes – If there are many of you, it’s sometimes tempting to list the accolades of each and every band member. Again – add this to your website, but leave it out of the bio unless it’s critical to the story.
3. Mentioning the Accolades of the Mastering Engineer – Yes, it’s important to you that your record was engineered at Sterling Sound but I promise – average fans don’t understand what in the heck that is.
Also, listing all the other famous artists that have worked with that guy at Sterling Sound is not impressive (again, unless it is an integral part of your story!)