Creating a story that resonates with fans is one of the most important foundations of your brand and a strong pitch needs to be included in your artist bio. Your Pitch. Your pitch is the written entree for fans to get to know you.
Two scenarios inspired this post:
I was out at the Mercury Lounge seeing music and between bands I was standing at the bar talking to some friends and someone handed me a show flyer. I was taken with him immediately, I always appreciate anyone who is self –promoting because its not easy to do and it’s especially not easy to do at a crowded bar on a Wednesday night in downtown Manhattan. So, I looked down at the flyer and my heart sank. It said the following:
- Name of artist (name is not mentioned to protect the innocent)
- Venue (which was the Mercury, where I was)
- Date & showtime
There I was, a perfectly primed potential fan, a customer, standing at a bar, out at a live music show, and he lost me forever. Why?
Because not one sentence was included about what genre of music this artist played much less what his music sounded like, who he was compared to (sound alike). In other words what I could expect by coming out to his show. In short, I had no idea what this artist sounded like.
That was a lost opportunity. Unbeknown to him he also handed his flyer to one of the most successful entertainment attorneys I know, an A&R rep, and one of the best booking agents in the business.
We all looked down at the flyers in our hands, shrugged and carried on with the conversation we were having. He had totally blown it.
The second thing that happened was an artist called my PR firm to talk about hiring us for a Cyber PR Campaign, and two minutes into the conversation started, my blood was beginning to boil. It went something like this:
Me: What do you sound like?
Artist: I sound like absolutely nothing you’ve ever heard before.
Me: (annoyed and now understanding why he’s not where he wants to be as an artist) Really? So you have invented a new genre of music, and you don’t sound like anyone else in the history of music?
Me: Can you at least tell me what type of music you play?
Artist: It’s old school Hip-Hop
OK finally we were getting somewhere and, I totally understood his point, but here’s the problem with having an approach like his:
People are constantly looking for a context to put things into. And if you don’t provide them with one, they will move on to the next thing that their little pea brains actually can grasp.
The critical that was missing in both scenarios was: The Pitch
To get a deeper sense of what a pitch is and how to add them to your artist bio watch these 2 videos:
Derek Sivers & Ariel Hyatt #TBT Movie Time!
Exercise: How To Create Your Pitch for your Artist Bio
First, take a deep breath, clear your head, and tell yourself that what you are about to do is exactly like creating a song.
You don’t record the first thing that comes out (or at least I hope you don’t. But that’s a different conversation). It takes some honing, some tweaking and possibly some collaboration.
The process of creating your perfect pitch is similar.
Step 1: Get the details for your Artist Bio Pitch
- Genres you play: roots, rock, reggae, folk, punk, jazz, alt-country, chillout, funk, etc.
(No more than two or three will actually be selected in the end.)
- All the artists that other people say you sound like.
- All artists (or authors, or famous people, or places, or things) that have influenced you.
- All the feelings and vibes you want to create or convey with your music.
- The niche or niches you just identified
Step 2: Choose your favorites
Now look back at your notes and use these elements as a guideline to help you come up with a few words or sentences that sum you up.
Circle the ones that resonate the most with you.
Step 2: Write your Artist Bio pitch
Now, read it out loud standing in front of the mirror
Do you love it?
If you don’t, then don’t use it.
Step 4: Read your Artist Bio out loud
Now stand in front of the mirror and practice saying it out loud.
Does it feel comfortable to say it?
If you feel like you’re speaking your truth, you will absolutely know. And then, it is the perfect pitch for you.
Get out your iphone or camera and tape yourself saying your pitch and WATCH IT! How does it look and feel?
Still not sure? Read it to a bunch of friends and fans and ask them to work on it with you. Don’t over-think it. Keep it as simple and as concise as you can.
Step 5: Place your artist bio pitch
Now that you have it, you’re going to place it in the following places.
What you are doing now is branding yourself.
Place your pitch …
- On your website’s homepage, and on as many pages as you can
- Facebook Page – in the “about” section
- Twitter – in the area that says “bio” (don’t forget the link to your site).
- Instagram – hashtag some of your descriptions for highlighted effect
- On all your other socials (Spotify, SoundCloud, BandsinTown,etc.)
If you have a non-digital presence place your pitch on…
- Show flyers
- Business cards
- Anything else you have in print.
So now that you have your pitch, it’s time to take the next step and develop a strong signature story that builds from it. \