A musician portfolio, commonly known as a press kit, is created to demonstrate your musical background, work history, and potential. A press kit will contain images, genre, style, and achievements. It is important to remember that a press kit will always be a work in progress and will evolve with your career.
What to Include
When looking into creating a press kit there is much more to include than just your music.
In any musicians press kit it is key to include photographs that show who you are and represent the image you wish to convey. Talking with a photographer about types of photographs to include, and how to properly choose what types of images to include within your press kit is a great thing to do. Check out our article: Where to Find a Photographer: Musician Edition, for tips on how to choose a great photographer for your needs.
Cover Letter and Bio
A cover letter serves as an intro into you are your music, and should give whoever is viewing your press kit a good idea of who you are and what type of music you produce, including your genre and style. A bio will explain your background or bands background in regard to music. It should explain, when you started producing music, how you have grown as a musician or musical group, current and past tours, and how you hope to progress in the future.
Your demo is your ultimate selling piece, without a great demo you will have less of a chance for getting hired, getting a gig, or scoring a record deal. Your demo should only include songs that best represent your music, so make sure to include the best of what you have! Some companies will ask for only a few tracks, while others will ask for an entire album. However, if a number is not specified including 3 or 4 songs is the best way to go, because it can be a greta representation of your musical abilities without becoming too lengthy or overwhelming.
Press Clippings and Reviews
Including these forms of articles will give the employer, producer, etc. proof of how the public views you and your music. Statements such as these will give you credibility, and have the potential to make you more desirable. If people looking to hire you see that you are well liked they will want you around because you will draw in a crowd, sell more merchandise, which will make them money.
Put Contact Information on Everything
Having all of the above components included in your press kit is extremely important however without including contact information that is easily seen, it would be difficult for anyone to ever contact you about potential employment, gig or deal. This is why it is advised to put contact information on each and every component of the press kit. This will ensure that people know and understand that what they are looking at is yours. This will also serve as a constant reminder of your name and where you are located, meaning that if your work is good they will associate your name to it right from the start.
Pack Your Work Nicely
Clean, professional, packaging is important for anything that you are sending to be reviewed. If you are sending a digital press kit make sure that it is in proper formatting with the same attention to detail that you would have on a physical copy. It is important to include your name and logo on the front of the packaging so right from the start it is easy to see who’s press kit is being viewed. It is also extremely necessary to make sure that everything will stay inside whatever form of packaging you choose. If any component of your press kit falls out, your opportunity for employment, a record deal, or a gig could most likely go away because an essential component was missing.
Your portfolio is your first impression and speaks on your behalf to say who you are and what you are capable of. While remaining unique yet professional you will show employers, producers, and record labels, that you are serious as well as passionate about what you do.