How to write an excellent musician bio and why it’s so important
A great artist biography is essential for building an authentic and successful music career and making the most of every media opportunity. Here’s how to get started…
All too often I come across artist bio’s on Spotify that are one sentence, a couple emojis, or even just an instagram handle with a smiley face. Not only that, when I look around the web (or even on your official website), there’s nothing more to be found either. This not only makes it difficult for interested fans to learn about your history, but it also makes it very hard for someone like me to include you in a feature on our blog if I have no additional information to say about you. So in this post, I’m going to help you write a badass one… and guilt trip you into accepting that it is, in fact, very important.
“It can’t be THAT important…”
As a musician, your bio serves as a powerful tool to captivate and engage your audience. It provides an opportunity to share your story, express your unique voice and create an emotional bond. Not only that, a well-crafted bio showcases your professionalism to integral music biz people like talent scouts, journalists, press/media, and event organizers.
It helps these people gauge your level of experience, achievements and musical style in order to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to do things like book you for shows or collaborate. In other words… your bio, or lack thereof, could very well be the make or break factor for whether or not you get offered major career opportunities.
Keep in mind:
Your bio should be adaptable. What I mean by that is you should be able to adjust it for various forms of media. Whether that be for your website, social media profiles, DSP’s (like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.), press releases and more, make sure to adjust the length and tone of your initial bio to suit each platform.
Typically, you should have three versions of your bio: A short, medium, and long version.
- For example, your official website can boast your full-length, in-depth bio and showcase its full, beautiful glory. On the other hand, your Spotify profile doesn’t need something that long. On a platform like Spotify, your bio needs to grab the users’ attention as quickly as possible and convince them to make the next step someone would typically take after finding a great artist on Spotify… like buy a ticket to your show or follow your linked socials. — How, you may ask? By keeping it short, sweet and focused on the fan experience.
By tailoring your bio to fit the goal of the platform it’s on, you maximize your chances of connecting with the target audience.
“So… how do I make it great?”
Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. Be sure to highlight your genre, musical style, influences, and all the unique qualities that set you apart from pack. Open up, and share the experiences that have shaped your musical journey. Craft your bio in a way that showcases your musical strengths and what makes your fans love you so much.
Next, include your most notable achievements, awards and collaborations. The key is to use a professional tone, but avoid super exaggerated, excessive self-promotion. (That means don’t say you’re the best rapper the world has ever seen… be real.) (and I say that with love, you sweet baby angel.)
A clear and concise description will enable potential fans and industry professionals to understand and remember your musical identity, making it easier for them to connect and engage with your work.
“But what if I want to be mysterious like Frank Ocean…”
First off, even Frank Ocean has a professional bio on Spotify. (Check it out here for inspo if you’d like) If you aren’t a conventional artist and don’t like to follow the mainstream, that doesn’t mean you get a pass to not have a bio. I understand many artists like to be mysterious and aloof online as a part of their persona. Trust me, I get it… I know you’re cool, ok!
But I still want to know more about you. As a music biz person in this industry myself, I need legit information about you to feature you in our content. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve wanted to feature an artist in a post but wasn’t able to find anything about them online, or get a response from their team in time. And you know what I had to do? I had to choose someone else to feature. Someone with a bio, press photos, and everything else that comes with marketing yourself properly online.
To wrap it all up…
You could have the most amazing stage presence and insanely good music that undoubtedly deserves recognition from the masses, but if you make it difficult for people to learn more about you online, you are shielding yourself from your well-deserved time in the sun. Whether you write it yourself or hire someone to do it, a great artist bio will help you connect with your audience and foster new opportunities! What’s not to love?