Band biographies are frequently left out of press kits.
They are difficult to write, especially for a young band. More often than not, new bands biographies come off as silly and are detrimental to the bands ministry. But, well crafted band biographies can be used to demonstrate the professionalism of the band when handling business matters and, more importantly, show that you are serious about the quality of your ministry. Biographies can establish a connection between band members and potential promoters and fans before they meet personally. Excellent band biographies can be the first step in changing someone’s life as a result of hearing your testimony. So, I recommend all Christian Bands include a Band Biography in their press kit and on their web site. The trick is to do it REALLY well.
If your band was a secular band, interested in promoting its quality and style of music, you would highlight things such as music experience, gear used, and education in the band biographies. But, I’m assuming that since you are reading this blog, your band is a Christian music ministry; interested in ministry first, using music as a tool to do the ministry. So, you want to highlight the personal testimonies of what God has done or is doing in your lives in your Christian band biographies.
To put it simply…
tell the story of God in your life.
The easiest way to write your individual biographies is in a group of people who know you well. This could be band mates, friends, or family. Ask people to picture themselves as a person with a similar problem to one you have dealt with in your life. Here are some possible scenarios: “My parents are getting a divorce and it’s tearing me up… I’ve been good all my life and I still don’t feel good enough… My addictions have hurt everyone around me… I just don’t see why cutting is so bad even though everyone says it is”.
Now imagine that this person stumbled upon your band web site. If they read your biography, what would they want it to say? “My parents divorce almost tore me up too, but God…” “I was always the good kid and I got teased because of it, still I never felt good enough. When God showed me…” “ I lost everyone close to me because of my addictions. Then God…” “I used to cut but I stopped because God…”.You get the general idea. Everyone will have a different story and it will be told differently from everyone else’s story – that’s what makes your personal band biography so powerful! The group of people closest to you has a more objective viewpoint on your life than you do. Their insights and comments will help identify your strongest areas of ministry.
Once you have identified what you want to say, you must find the best way to say it – CONSISELY. Unless you are a solo artist, your biography should not be more than a paragraph long (less than ¼ of a page). Remember that you are telling a ministry story. So, we do not need to know things like where you were born, your favorite food, what gear you currently use, your musical influences etc. unless they are directly related to the story. Again, this would not be true if you were a secular band. You would try to connect to your fans in a completely different way. But as a music minister, you want to tell a compelling story of Gods work in your life. Your goal is to bring people closer to God through your personal testimony. Be aware that you will probably have to edit, edit, and edit some more. It’s OK, take your time and get it right. Ask a few people close to you to read your biography. Make sure it conveys what you are trying to say as clearly as possible.
When every band member has a completed biography, you are ready to set up a page. Web site pages can be arranged to match the layout of the rest of the website. For the EPK and physical press kit pages, the band logo goes across the top with booking contact information across the bottom, just in case this page gets separated from the rest of the press kit. Each band member should have an individual photo. The photos should either be live shots of band concerts or head shots of each member against similar backgrounds. Either way is OK, but mixing them up is not. Stick to either live shots or head shots for everyone. Try to keep all the photos roughly the same size. Text for each member’s biography goes around the photos. Ideally, this should fit on one page. If there are many band members or if biographies are long, you may have to use two sheets. You will probably have to do some copy editing and play with the layout to make the biographies fit since they will not all be the same length. The web page design can be very creative in the layout. The design for the EPK and physical press kits should be very simple. Press kits are viewed by business minded people, so they should be designed in a way that the people are used to receiving information. An easy way to think of this is fans like creativity, bankers like spread sheets. Make your website for fans. Gear your press kit toward banker type people. Copy should be black on white or very light colored paper. Photos and the logo can be color. Make sure the font is large enough to be easily read – at least 10pt. Do not use many fonts and make sure they match the fonts in the rest of the press kit.
Creating a band biography page will take some time. It is not an easy project. But after reading this post, I think you can see the ministry potential. It is well worth the time and effort you put into doing amazing job on it. A band biography is a great tool to minister to and connect with other people. It will also help you communicate your ministry to promoters so the band will get better gigs and more shows as your music ministry expands.
You are a minister of God. He works in your life and through you to help others. Keep doing your ministry with a spirit of excellence and a heart of love!
has a worksheet for writing biographies and a chapter called Booking Great Gigs.
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