One of the first things bands have to do when they create their website is to add a bio. It can be challenging, and many get stuck on what exactly they should write. Here are some key elements that you should have in your bio to help get you started:
5 Key Elements to a Solid Band Bio
1. Who you are
Some questions you should answer right away in your bio:
- What’s your band name?
- Where are you from?
- What do you sound like?
- What are your influences?
Remember that your bio will be the first impression that most people have of your band, so this first paragraph is really important. Make it interesting, engaging and as unique as possible.
2. What’s going on with your career right now?
Have you just released a new album? Are you in studio? Are you currently on a songwriting retreat in Nashville? Make sure to include some information about what you’re currently up to in your bio.
3. Background info
Feel free to include some pertinent background info, but within reason. Nothing will make a media or industry person’s eyes gloss over more quickly than reading something like “Dave started taking pianos lessons when he was 5 years old. At age 6 he...”, etc. Find an interesting way to explain your musical history without necessarily spelling out each step from childhood until now.
4. Career highlights
Take the time to write down all of the successes you’ve had in your career, big and small. Did you collaborate with a well-known musician? Did your band win any awards/contests? Have you charted on radio? Once you’ve done that, choose the most unique/eye catching stories and include at least one of them in your bio.
5. Media quotes
If you have any quotes from media or industry people, definitely include one or two in your bio. Maybe have one in the opening paragraph to help describe your sound, and maybe a quote to end your bio talking about your potential as a band. And although tempting, please don’t include quotes from your Mom. If you don’t have any industry or media quotes, that’s fine, better not to have any than to make something up.
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind for your band’s bio:
Have several versions ready
It’s a good idea to have several versions of your bio ready: Long (1 page), Medium (2 or 3 paragraphs), short (1 paragraph) and an ‘elevator pitch’. An elevator pitch is a way to quickly describe your music in 30 seconds, so it should only be a few sentences.
For some great tips on how to create your pitch, check out Ariel Hyatt’s guest blog right here on Bandzoogle: Creating a Perfect Pitch - Laser Focus Your Message
Music conferences, festivals and media outlets have different needs and criteria, so having different versions ready beforehand will save you time and potential panic in having to edit your bio in situations where you need to submit it right away.
Be honest (no making stuff up)
It might be tempting to say that you showcased at SXSW, or to add a quote from a major news outlet talking about your music, but if it isn’t legit, don’t write it. People will eventually find out, and it’s not worth the backlash or the risk of being blacklisted by media.
Seriously, no typos.
Keep it current
And last but not least, always keep your bio current. The moment something significant happens in your career, you should update your bio with this new information. If you’ve gone from being in the studio to releasing your album, update your bio. If you’ve release the album and are now going on a National tour, add that to your bio, etc. Your bio should be continually updated as your career moves forward.