Before I opened a Promoter’s account to accept Sonicbids submissions for Last Stop Booking (see link on left for our submissions that are open), I was using a standard artist account to submit to gigs. I often wondered if it was a waste of money…there were lucrative offers but the responses from promoters were always generic and made me questioned if they even looked over the EPK. If you are submitting to gigs, you probably wonder the same thing quite often. Love it or hate it, there are some opportunities that are only available through Sonicbids (such as SXSW and CMJ). Now that I am on the other end and see how it is set up for a promoter, I can give advice on how to make your submission stand out as well as go over common mistakes I see everyday that you can avoid.
Complete Your EPK/Profile BEFORE Submitting: I receive over 100 EPK’s through Sonicbids per week. At least one-third do not have a complete profile. Many of those have completely blank fields when it comes to biography, discography, an about section, the press tab, or links. Contrary to popular opinion, a promoter will see your EPK profile before they see your responses to their submission questions. Your photo, featured songs, and biography will be visible before anything else (a separate window pops up with any information you submitted). Don’t rely on your response to their questions, have a great EPK set up first!
Treat it Like a Job Application: In other words, be courteous and professional. Don’t use all-caps in anywhere in your profile or submission. Do try and “bullet-point” your most impressive stats right away. Have a clear objective and make sure it’s in line with what you are submitting for. Learn how to use proper grammar. Use complete sentences.
Start Your Biography Off With a Strong Statement: Rather kicking off your biography with a sentence about starting in the garage or some obscure history, begin with a bold statement or one of your greatest accomplishments first. This is the first thing that the promoter will see. Capture their attention first and show why they should take the time to read the remaining paragraphs about your history.
Don’t Submit to Gigs That Don’t Suit You: Do not just blanket all of the free listings. Rather than spending your time in a shotgun approach, get as much information as you can from the listing on what they are looking for, then carefully cater your thoughtful responses to their questions. Make sure your genre, tour schedule, etc. fits their needs, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Selection Status: Whenever a submission status changes (whether it is “not selected,” “interested” or “selected”), click on the message in your inbox. There is often a request for more information or reasons why the promoter made that decision. Dozens of artists miss opportunities because they don’t realize this!
Follow-Up: If the promoter responds with a message, provide a quick response (even if just to say thank you). It shows determination and initiative.
Be Tasteful in Your Review: When providing feedback for a listing, provide actual facts what it was like working with the promoter. Often times I see artists complaining that “they decided in half a day…waste of money!” Seriously, I’d be happy if everyone responded that quickly rather than sit and wait for months! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by providing a negative review…look at it from their prospective. Of it’s an opportunity that you’d really like, it would be more favorable to say “Unfortunately I was not selected but will continue to take the necessary steps to be a stronger candidate” than to say “I only got a generic response, this is such a rip off!”
What are some of the tips that you have? What are some of the questions you have about making submissions?