That means you need a great bio.
There’s no doubt that writing about yourself isn’t easy. Being objective about your own music and career and avoiding hyperbole can be challenging, says Kornfeld. Still, he says there are ways to make it painless. “A lot of people view bios as resumes and seek to be overly comprehensive and include irrelevant information. Bios don’t have to be extensive and replete with detail.,” he explains. “Singer-songwriters should avoid that temptation, while sharing interesting and relevant tidbits about themselves, their inspirations or muses, their creative processes, and their music.”
The qualities of a really good bio
“I’m not sure there is a hard-and-fast definition of what constitutes a really good bio, although I know one when I see it. I suppose a bio that sings with the same voice as your music might stand out. A good bio conveys who you are and does so in a clear, concise, compelling, creative and interesting way. It is written in such a way that someone doesn’t have to delve too deeply into it to understand who you are and what you’re about.”
Don’t do this in your bio, please
- Don’t write in the first person. [Sharon’s note: I’m not sure I agree with this one. Sometimes I think first-person works. But for many situations, you might want more of an objective, third-person angle.]
- Don’t use boring language and cliches. Come on…don’t just write that you are “unique” — think about what distinguishes you from others. Allow yourself to be imaginative in your approach, without being overly clever or cute.
- Don’t include errors. Yes, folks. Punctuation is important, as is good grammar and spelling. Check it!
- Think objectively. Use meaningful subjective descriptions sparingly and only in the form of attributable quotes from others. Don’t just write that you are “unique;” convey what it is that distinguishes you from others.
- Brand yourself as an individual. Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Be clear. Oh, and while you’re at it, be concise, compelling and creative.
Top words to stay away from in your songwriter bio
How to use your bio for publicity and marketing
- On your website
- Those of venues and festivals where you perform
- In social media profiles
- In news releases prepared by you, your publicist or venues
- In applying for gigs, festivals or songwriting contests
- As part of one-sheets and electronic press kits (EPKs)
- In fliers or posters
Other bio-writing tips from Michael: