What should I have in my band's promo package?
Good question. Your promo package is what is going to "sell" you to a club. It is the "first impression" you will give. And, you will only have about a minute to make your point. Club owners and managers are very busy people, and they won't or can't spend a long time looking at your bands promo. So how do you make that lasting impression? Hmm...
The first thing that they will see is the packaging you sent your promo in. If it has coffee stains or bacon grease on it you might as well go back to bed. It will end up in the garbage can.. What happens after you mail it is no reflection on you, but if it's nasty when you send it, you have made a fatal error. I buy large padded mailing envelopes at Office Depot. You can purchase a dozen for about $10.00. These are large enough and have suficient padding as not to damage you CD or band photo. I have often thought it would be a good idea to use a more colorful envelope, and they are available, but they don't offer as much padding, and they are more costly. The choice is yours.
I use report covers to hold all the information I have in Payday Daddy's promo. This is very clean and neat, and looks very professional. The first page is a cover page. It has our band logo, and also has the information that we were voted the #1 Band in West Puget Sound for 5 years. This is the first thing the owner will see - this is our first impression.
The second page is a letter of introduction and a band bio combined, because, as I said earlier, you don't have time to mess around. You may get a minute, so pack all you can into as little space as possible. Microsoft Works or Word have letterhead templates that you can use, or you may want to customize your own. Payday Daddy's letterhead has the name of the group, and contact information - my name, address, phone numbers, email, fax, website, mp3 site.
If you know the name of the contact, start your letter with their name and address, and then your letter of introduction, as shown below:
Picks or Fingers Club
100 Fender Way
This letter is to introduce you to our band, _________. We are a ___ piece group that play ______________. We pride ourselves on putting on a great show and we always make sure the audience has a memoriable time whenever they see us. We have an _____ (hopefully, you have a mailing list, this is good information that the club needs to see. If you don't, please see my article on "Getting the gig and keeping the job" and "How to advertise yourself". These go into more detail) and we do whatever we can to promote ourselves at any club we play. (See my other articles on info about posters, newspaper contacts, mailing lists).
The next section should be about the members of the group. For example: "Lesa McCabe on bass and lead vocals, Kent McCabe on rhythm guitar and harmonica, vocals, Richard Arriola on lead guitar and guitar synth, vocals, Mike Craig on drums, vocals. Be sure to add your business card to this page. Use a paper clip. Do NOT staple it on! No, no, no. Tacky.
If you have any "kudos" you can brag about, this is the place for them. "We opened 2 shows for Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1999, we won the 'Best Band in West Sound Award' for 5 years, we have 3 cd's, 2 are getting radio airplay." Anything like this looks wonderful. This gets the club thinking, "hey, these guys MUST be good, look at all this STUFF!"
Next in your promo should be any newspaper stories, or any print you may have received (if you don't have any, see my other articles for help on this) followed by a band photo. Black and white is standard, but I like to add a color one as well. Last but not least, you should include your band's promo CD. This "should" be a 4-6 song CD - the club will not listen to more than a few seconds of each song, so to throw in a 38 song collection would be a waste of your time and money. Pick 5 of your best tunes, and get a good recording. This is where a trip to a studio will pay off. If everyone shares in the price, it won't be so bad. Go in prepared, so you won't be spending hours going over that one drum part at a cost of $40 an hour. After you send your promo to that club you really want to play at, give it a few days and call your contact.