Ultimate Guide to Media Kits for Songwriters
What is the best way to help people understand what it is you do, show them how amazing you are, and let them know if you are a good choice to book for a song, a sponsored post, or even get a job? A media kit.
A media kit is the music version of a resume and letter of recommendation all rolled into one snazzy package. It shows off the things you have accomplished, tells a little bit about your background, and tells people that they would be crazy to let such an amazing person like yourself walk away from this opportunity.
There are 6 essential parts to your media kit to help secure your next job. I’m also going to cover where to find good templates, how to build your own, where to host them, and what to say when sending them to music supervisors. Basically, this article has everything you need when putting together your media kit!
Plus, there is a special BONUS for all my blog readers that I’ve included at the end of this article so make sure you read the whole article!
Why do Songwriters need a Media Kit?
A media kit is the industry standard for beginning a conversation between you and potential jobs. Media kits provide details about who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you potential is for a company.
If you are just starting out and are worried that you don’t have enough street cred online to have a good media kit, don’t panic! Media kits are useful no matter the stage of your songwriting career.
Media kits outline what you can offer to musicians looking to hire a songwriter, companies looking to hire musicians, and venues looking to hire both! Media kits communicate the value that you offer them by hiring you. Not to mention, it makes you look like a professional! All of that means that you can charge a price for your songwriting based upon your worth.
Where to Find
The first thing you need to do is determine if you want to build your media kit from scratch, or download a template and fill in your details. The upside of building one from scratch is that you can customize everything, making sure that it fits your branding, and use the fonts and colors that you have associated with your brand.
If you are a wiz at Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator then you should use those to completely customize your kit and get exactly what you want. If you are still confident in your design skills but don’t have access to those programs, my absolute favorite site to use is Canva. This is a free tool online to help not only with media kits, but basically anything you need for graphics.
Most often these media kit templates are a one-size-fits-all template and you might spend more time than you think as you customize it to suit your needs as a songwriter. That is, unless you purchase a template from someone who already has a songwriter in mind when creating the template. These are a perfect in between so that you have the ability to customize to your needs, but don’t have to start out from scratch!
To have a look at the templates I’ve created, you can pop over to my shop and view my Media Kits for Songwriters and Musicians. Keep reading to find out about the bonus offer!
Finally, you always have the option of hiring someone to build one up for you from scratch. Just as building one yourself, this has the ability to be fully customized, but remember that you need to hire someone to do this.
Online vs PDF download
If you have a website (which as you grow your songwriting you should get one!) I can’t stress enough how easy-peasy it will be to have a media kit. The biggest perk of having a media kit online is that you can provide links to videos and songs right through the kit itself. This lets anyone easily listen to your work without having to do any work beyond “click” a button.
Pro Tip! What if you don’t want people stumbling across your songs by accident? Set your access listings for the song to private (or unlisted if using a site like YouTube) so that only people with a link can see/hear your work!
However, not everyone has a website, and not everyone needs to devote an entire website page to their media kit. It is a lot more accessible for songwriters just starting out to have a PDF of their media kit that can be sent via email to anyone they wish to contact.
Why a PDF and not just a word document? Because you don’t know what type of computer or phone someone has to open your media kit. Saving as a PDF means that no one can go in and fudge numbers or open it in an outdated version of Microsoft Word.
How to Make a Media Kit
Now let’s get into the actual details of what to include in your media kit! To be clear: Do you need all of these things in your media kit? No. You take and use what you need to best convey yourself as a songwriter. Don’t have a press quote? Don’t worry about it! Don’t have videos of people performing your songs? Don’t stress. This is your shining moment that you are creating to highlight the best aspects of YOU. This list gives you ideas of what to include to make you shine.
Name and Basics
Begin with your name. Make sure that it is easily read so people can correctly spell your name. If you are using a performing name, make sure that you include your non-stage name in smaller font in addition to your stage name.
If you wish to include your age, you can. This is useful if you are being interviewed by a journalist. If you include the actual number, make sure that you remember to update it with every birthday! You can also include something more general like “twenty-something” or any variant of the sort.
Finally, you want to include a simple location for your media kit. Think of the largest city near where you live and include this information. Something as simple as “Greater Nashville Area” will do perfect.
The bio for your media kit needs to be brief. Think about what you would say to someone at a cocktail event; a little elevator pitch for the highlight reel of what you do, plus a few interesting details. You can mention things like what style of music you write, how long you’ve been writing, or any major songwriters you happen to sound like. If you have won any awards, or have other interesting facts about yourself, make sure to include them here!
If you are building a media kit for your website, or will have the ability to attach links, this is where you want to start placing those links. It is so important that you link to a reputable site like SoundCloud or YouTube. You want to build trust in the person opening your file that you are not going to spam them!
People like to see who they are working with and hiring so make sure to include your best headshot or photo of you performing!
If you don’t have a great picture, go on Google and find a photographer in your area and book a photo session for yourself! There is nothing worse than having a grainy cell phone photo that your friend took of you 2 years ago. These photos will serve you for years to come and are an investment in yourself as a songwriter.
Videos can be inserted into an online media kit, or again, if you can place a link in your PDF. Remember to make sure that it is a high-quality video that has clear and clean audio.
Now for the numbers. A large part of why a company or musician will work with you is because you can offer proof to them that you are someone to work with! Social media stats, number of streams you receive on different streaming platforms, how many views a video has received, and how many people attend your live streaming events are all examples of things to include here.
What if you are just starting out and you don’t have 100,000 views on your YouTube video? Don’t worry! There is no shame in having a smaller view count or smaller number of followers online. In fact, you might have a better number than some of the large stars thanks to engagement.
Engagement is determined by the number of likes and comments that you receive on a post divided by the number of followers that you have, multiplied by 100. For example, if I am trying to determine the engagement rate for a recent post I’ve made, I would do the following:
Number of likes: 46
Number of comments: 5
Number of followers: 346
46+5 = 51
51 ÷ 346 = 0.1473
0.1473 x 100 = 14.73%
Why is this so important? The higher your number, the more your posts are seen by your followers. This is a huge number for companies you are looking to work with. Typically, the smaller your following, the higher your engagement number.
After creating this amazing media kit, don’t forget to tell people how to contact you!! Make sure to include your best email and links to your social media accounts that you are active on.
Time to go out and make that media kit! If you are looking for ideas, pop over to my shop where I have a special deal just for my blog readers. Any of my media kits are available for 15% off when you use promo code BLOG15
If you download and use these, make sure to tag me in your InstaStories so I can see how amazing you are!