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There are many things you should definitely not have in your band bio. But these three are things I see bands using all the time and they are huge errors. Don't think just because your friend's bad bio is online you should just copy and edit it for YOUR band. Be sure to make yours better by NOT including these three terrible, terrible things.
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My two part series on the Elements of a Great EPK (mentioned near the end of the video) can be found here:
I hope you have your band bio open in a Word or Google doc and you've been editing a way adding the items I recommended last week. While you're at it, now you need to take these three things OUT!
First, don't include a list of the names of everyone in your band.
No offense, future rock star, but noone cares who you are. Unless your names are cool as f#*k, I don't want to read one of them, let alone three to twelve. Every single word in your band bio is important and unnecessary words are just a waste of time. That includes your band names. Sure, if someone is going to write an article or review they will want to mention who's who, but the band bio is not the place to list those out. Focus every word of your bio on pulling the reader in and exciting them. The list of band member names is like reading a phone book. Boring. Don't do it. Take them out!
Second, don't include a comprehensive list of nothing much.
Again, every word is important so a list of uninteresting events is barely more interesting than a list of band member names. Make sure every event you include in your band bio is interesting and communicates success and excitement. Your band bio should not have unimportant lineup changes, unremarkable performances in other markets or media appearances, or a blow-by-blow pre-history that ends about the same place it begins.
Remember to make your story your priority and ignore any and all events that distract the reader from the story.
Third, don't include desperation.
If you can admit it to yourself, you can see it. Desperation is like blood in the water for industry, and potential fans can smell it too even if they don't know how to recognize it. Take out of your bio anything that sounds bitter or grudging, whether it be directed at industry, your scene, or former members. Your bio should convey confidence, EVEN IF YOUR BRAND IS THE OPPOSITE. This can be a delicate balance so a talented author may be necessary.
This last item is probably the most challenging for the self-written band bio. And it's difficult to "test" for. Your friends may not be able to tell you when they read it, either because they don't directly recognize it or they won't be bold enough to tell you it's there. Be as honest and hard on your own writing as you can be and if you suspect this could be an issue for you, ask a professional PR person or copywriter (preferably with band bio experience) to help. It could be a great, small investment.
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