Cory Wolff

PUTTING IN WORK: Preparing your elevator pitch and bio

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Just like with any other industry, musicians need to have their elevator pitch ready to go at a moment’s notice. An elevator pitch is a short (usually 30 seconds or less), straightforward description of who you are, what your music sounds like, and what project you’re currently working on.

One of the best ways that I’ve found to develop an elevator pitch is to boil down a bio into 30 seconds. Bios are important because they help you tell your story. They give your fans insight into who you are, and they give industry people like booking agents and journalists a great starting point to your music.

So how exactly do you create a bio? How long should it be? Where should you put it when it’s finished?

Whenever I have to write a new artist bio, I always ask them a few questions. I’ve seen the best results when the artist reads them over and takes a day to think about them. Only after giving them some thought should they be answered.

1. How did you start making music? What path brought you here?
2. Who have you worked with in the past, and what have you done for them?
3. What other artists do you think your ideal fan listens to?
4. What most excites you about your music and the contribution you can make?
5. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
6. Where can we find you when you’re not in the studio?
7. What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Friday night?
8. How long have you been making music?
9. Where did you grow up?
10. Did you earn any awards or medals or accomplishments? Personal accomplishments are OK, too.
11. What would be impossible for you to give up?
12. How do you want to be remembered?
13. Is there anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?

Using the answers to these questions, break the bio down into four parts:

1. Intro

Start with an opening paragraph with an interesting summary of who you are, where you’re from, and what you do. You can also add in something about a new single, album, or project here.

2. The past

What have you done leading up to this point? Have you played in any other bands or groups? Stay away from childhood information unless specifically asked.

3. The present

What are you currently working on? Any big achievements? Tours? Releases? What other interesting news do you have?

4. The future

What are you plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in three years?

A good rule of thumb is to keep your long version to one Microsoft Word page or less. Once you write your bio, you’ll have a better understanding of your goals and how to accomplish them. Keep in mind that the bio should be written with both fans and industry people in mind.

Once you finish your bio, it’s just a matter of shortening it to 30 seconds or less and you’re ready to go!

Putting in Work: The Beauty of Music & Business is a bi-weekly column filled with thoughts, inspirations, and experiences from a music marketer born and raised in Scranton. Let’s step our game up together.