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How you tell your story is as important as what you tell

If you remember back to high school English you probably recall the idiom “show don’t tell” which is especially relevant for writing artist biographies. If you were a juror, would you rather read a bland, cliché-filled, unimaginative bio that reads like a college resume or an engaging, moving, interesting or funny story that comes alive on the page?

Language is a tool, like any other, and one that you can use to convince funders of your value. If you can tell your story in a way that engages and triggers the emotional centers of the brain, you are much more likely to get a “yes” when it comes to funding decisions.

Your style and tone should reflect your unique brand. Often jurors will be reading your bio while listening to your focus track, so you want to make sure the brand identity you are communicating in your bio matches the tone and feeling of your music. For example, writing in a soft, flowery voice to describe a death metal band, or using lots of urban jargon to describe a country artist would both be examples of bad tone-matching. Find an authentic but professional voice to tell your story.

Remember to stick to the “inverted pyramid” style which you probably also learned about in high school English or Journalism class. The most important information should be at the top of your pyramid, with less important or ancillary info as you move farther down.


Most Important
This would be your elevator pitch or “pull-out” section. This is the part that should hook people and get them to keep reading more, or go to your website, or preview your track, etc. It is also a handy piece of writing that funders or talent bookers can “pull out” of your bio and stick on their website, show program, or any other marketing materials that need an abbreviated bio. If this is the only part of your bio a person will read (and it often will be) what do you want them to take away?

Less Important
List your major news such as tour, new album, new management, etc. here. You can also include major accomplishments, awards and so on.

Least Important
Further background info, additional news items, a bit more about each of the players in your group and a reiteration of the main message or theme from your first paragraph to tie it all together.

Remember- always include a Call to Action!
If you are using the bio to solicit bookings – include a message asking them to contact you and your agent for booking inquiries. Same thing if you are writing to a funder – ask them to consider funding your application.

Always include your website and social media links, as well as direct contact info (or the contact of your management or booking agent) for potential inquiries.


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