A bio, like it or not, is a vital part of an artist’s marketing efforts. It is usually required for any type of press kit you put together (electronic or not), and it’s going to be seen and used by event promoters, magazine editors, venue owners, and industry reps alike. A good bio can go a long way in getting an artist gigs and press clippings among other things.
In a way, your bio really isn’t for the fans. However, if it’s engaging and interesting enough, your fans will want to read it too! What does an ideal bio look like? Read on…
The Cut and Paste Bio
Frankly there is no better bio than a cut-and-paste bio. If someone can take exactly what you wrote and paste it directly into their article, website, blog post or otherwise, you’ve done your job. However, I have seen very few bios that don’t require some kind of tweaking, editing, and in some cases, “creative restructuring”.
A cut-and-paste bio requires the following components:
- Spell check and grammar check. You’re the one who looks stupid when your bio is poorly written.
- Flow. Your bio has to be readable and legible. A bio doesn’t flow well when people have to stop and look up every word. A bio doesn’t flow well when there a lot of words that most people can’t even pronounce. We all know a well-thought-out piece of writing when we see it. Imitate that! Two to three paragraphs are generally enough to convey what you are about and what you do.
- Your name, where you hail from, and the scene and location in which you currently reside and work in. These things may seem incidental, but remember in most cases nobody knows who you are or where you’re from when they first start reading your bio. Consider the natural flow of conversation, “what’s your name?”, “where are you from?” are questions that are likely to come up when you meet someone.
- An engaging story. Your bio cannot simply be a list of credentials. Your accomplishments do not represent who you are or what your music sounds like. They do not reflect the experience you’ve had or how that’s shaped your musical preferences and sound. Save your accomplishments for another part of your site or press kit. They are only relevant if they contribute to your overall story. You need to be talking about those crazy road trips you’ve been on, volunteering at the homeless shelter, traveling the world, or how going to a foreign country was an eye opening experience. Things like that.
Of course, having come this far I’m sure you’re interested in finding more great tips on how to write a bio, so here are some suggested resources:
- How to Write a Band Bio
- How to Write an Artist Biography: A Bio Made Simple
- 3 Must-Read Articles on Writing a Band Bio or Press Release
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.