Let’s be honest, writing bios is probably one of the least fun and most stressful parts of putting together your EPK (Electronic Press Kit). Most of us are pretty uncomfortable writing about ourselves, and since we’re always downplaying our accomplishments anyway, it feels really unnatural to then gush about them for 500 words.
So if you’re a little uncomfortable writing about yourself, you’re not alone. It is seriously weird to boast about how awesome you are and then send that to people. But trust me, you can overcome this. It’s actually not as hard as it might sound, and once you get to work on your bio, you’ll see what I mean.
That said, if you’re really struggling, consider hiring a bio writer. PR companies usually offer this service, as do plenty of freelancers, so if you’re really feeling stuck, spend the money, save yourself the stress, and have a professional whip one up for you in a couple days.
If you’re up for the challenge of DIY-ing it, we’ve got you covered. These five tips will guide you smoothly and seamlessly through writing your next bio.
A compelling story
No one wants to read about how you met, or how you’ve been singing/playing guitar since 3 years old. I can’t tell you how many bios hold that nugget of information—it’s not unique. Now, if you met while on an Alaskan hiking trip and realized you were all from the same small town in Minnesota and all happened to have a burning desire to play pop-punk, that would be worth including. Otherwise, skip the baseline stuff and go straight to the heart of it—what makes you unique? What makes you who you are?
Now, I’m being a little bit unfair because this is where having a strong brand comes in. If you don’t know your brand, back up and get clear on that first. But assuming you do, you want to think about what that brand is, and what makes you and your music worth listening to. Then, inject that into your bio.
Next, make sure you have something besides the music to hang on to. Inject a little bit of your personality and your passion into what you do—it’ll help people connect on a more human level.
Be written in the third person
This one is pretty simple—writing (and reading) a bio in the first person is weird, and it really takes the reader out of the bio, so please make sure you’re writing it in the third person. This will also really help you to separate yourself if you’re writing it on your own, and feel a little less weird about the whole thing.
Share your greatest accomplishments
It’s ok (necessary even) to brag a little. While it might feel unnatural, no one is going to think you’re a narcissist if you talk about playing at a big festival or opening for an internationally-acclaimed band. Your bio is the time and place to share those accomplishments, along with any accolades like awards won, or notable mentions. This should be in the second or third paragraph—it shouldn’t take readers that long to get to it.
If you’re still a pretty new band without a ton of accomplishments, work with what you’ve got! These don’t have to be life-altering moments (but they can be). They just have to be something you’re proud of and gives you an extra boost of credibility.
Share a quote
One of the most humanizing things you can do in a bio is to include a short quote that talks about your process or the feelings around your music. Just don’t make it about the tech—fans don’t care about the recording process or how many times you had to re-do a part so much as they care about what you were going through when you wrote the song or entered the studio for the first time.
Each quote’s subject will differ depending on the artist and the bio, but don’t underestimate the power of a short one or two liner that speaks from the heart.
Leave ‘em wanting more
Your last paragraph should tease fans with what’s coming up. A new single, video, tour—whatever you have planned, even if it isn’t entirely concrete, should be shared right at the end so that readers know what they have to look forward to.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.