So you want to know how to write a band bio?
You might not think writing a bio is worth your time on. But as my friend Wade Sutton from rockettothestars.com says, “The people in the industry truly capable of helping a band advance its career will see a poorly written bio as a red flag because of that apparent lack of attention to detail.”
In other words, your band bio is critical.
It’s a way to elevate your status with both music fans and music industry people.
Now that that’s settled, how can you craft the perfect band bio that hooks people?
Follow these Ten Commandments and you’ll know exactly what to do to make your band bio rock.
1. How To Write A Band Bio Step 1: Identify The Purpose (Before you write it)
Your music bio is the place where you talk about the mission of your music.
- Are you making music to help people unwind?
- Or are you digging deep into the human story about emotional and psychological issues?
- The bio answers the quintessential question “What significance does this have?”
Think about what you want to accomplish and why should someone care.
Remember, there are deeper reasons behind your band’s music (whether you realize it—yet—or not). Find it out and then tell the world in your music bio.
2. Know Who You’re Writing For (psst…it’s not who you think)
For a musician or a band, your bio is critical. But not for the reason you’d expect. You see…not only does your bio impact how fans and professionals perceive you (for better or worse), it also impacts something more important: How you see yourself.
Think about that for a second. Too many times we’re told to do things based on what other people like or want. We’re told to create to please other people, instead of ourselves.
Has that worked for you?
That’s because writing for “other people” is bad advice.
As a music artist today, you are on your own. If you want to get heard, you need to know why people should listen to you. Most importantly, you also need to believe in that message.
Your confidence to put yourself out to the world is the most critical first step. Frame that perspective when writing your bio. Which means that the real person you’re writing your bio for is YOU.
3. Stay On Topic (Get to the point)
We don’t need to know all the details of how your band got together. Or what your aunt Trudy thought when she heard your first song and knew you were going to be a rock star. Let that go.
Focus on the impact you want to make. And your story. If you’ve experienced something in life that changed you and you’re using music to tell a bigger story, paint that picture.
But make the focus on mission and impact. That’s the main topic. And the main point.
4. Tell A Story-In the 3rd Person (Avoid “I” or “we”)
When you make it easy for people to talk about you, they will.
And when you tell your story, you paint a picture. When writing your bio, you’re talking about things that have already happened. When you write in 3rd person, you solidify history and frame it as fact.
The reader steps into your shoes, which makes them relate to you on an emotional level (just like when they listen to your music). That forms a connection and leads to listen, follow, engage and take action.
Chris Greenwood (aka Manafest). He tells his story as an underdog who rose above getting cut by his label. Which led to Billboard-charting results (hear his interview with me on Musician Monster Podcast here).
In other words, everyone can relate to the underdog story. We see ourselves as people who have had to rise above our challenges. Using this story-telling device helps readers to build the bridge between their interest/attention and your music.
As a final tip, according to BandZoogle, using the third person also makes it super-easy for bloggers, interviewers, venues and other places to just take the copy directly and use it how they see fit.
Remember, your story is how people will relate to and remember you. That’s why writing and the 3rd person in your bio is so important.
5. Talk About Your Music…But At The End
After you hook them with the story and mission, you can take a sentence or two to describe your music.
- Don’t hype it.
- Don’t “sell” it.
- Just use this opportunity to tie your music into the mission and story you’ve just illustrated.
When you paint a powerful picture with your story you capture the focus of the reader, that makes an emotional connection.
Music fans who are looking for exactly what it is that you’re all about will dig in deeper after they see your bio. They’ll make the connection on their own, and be intrigued to read about your music after you hook them.
That’s why talking about your music at the end is so important.
6. Wrap It Up With A Call To Action (CTA)
Your bio is many things.
It’s a captivating story about who you are and what you’re doing. It’s also a fantastic way to create opportunities for music fans to take action and join you.
You’ve captivated them with your story, introduced your music, now it’s time to get them to join your fanbase.
- Use this opportunity to get them to sign up for your email list.
- Show them how to follow you on social media by providing links.
- Invite them to listen to your music where it can be streamed (such as Spotify or Amazon Music).
Remember, your music bio is not just an informative piece about you. It’s an opportunity for the music fan to learn your mission why your band is great and to invite them to join you.
Don’t leave them out!
7. Make It Timeless
It’s annoying when your computer wants to run an update, isn’t it?
Or when your website is outdated because you made a bunch of posts about a tour you did last year. And now you have to dig in there and change the copy around so that it’s “fresh.”
Who has time (or patience) to update that stuff?
That’s why your bio should be timeless. Meaning, you say who you are and don’t worry about everything being fresh.
Instead, let it be foundational.
For example, my short bio on my social profiles (and everywhere that isn’t my website) is this:
“I play drums. I travel the world. I like the internet.”
That’s about as simple as you can get. And it’s been my bio for the last 6 years. I’ve updated it only once in that time.
Let your release page and show feed page on your website keep people current. Your bio should be timeless—if you have to constantly update it, it’s not a good bio.
Get it right, be authentic, set it and forget it.
Unless you can do that, it’s not a good bio.
8. Put It In The Right Locations (There Are Two)
You’re going to put it in multiple places so keep that in mind. It’s important for music fans to be able to get a closer look at your story in a variety of places where they might find you.
You want to meet music fans where they are. That’s the best way to be seen, heard, and to connect with the right people to build your fan base.
Be sure to put the full version of your band bio on your website’s About Page. This is prime real estate because fans go to your website to get more information about you. It can be long because you have their full attention.
On the other hand, with social media, the opposite is true.
That’s why you should put the short version in your social media profile descriptions. Most of these have a character limit so your ability to write a condensed version of your bio anyway.
See how having a full version and a short version of your bio is important? You have more attention when folks are on your website. And, social profiles typically leave less space and less attention.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
9. Better ‘Done’ Than Perfect
Perfectionism is a bitch.
It leaves you spinning your wheels trying to make everything “just right.”
Don’t let it stop you. Your band bio is not going to be perfect in the beginning. And that’s okay.
Dude, just write your bio and tell your story. You don’t have to try and be a best-selling writer.
And, if you need help, you can ask Wade Sutton.
It doesn’t have to be flawless. And it won’t be.
You define yourself through your bio.
That’s a process. And it’s worth investing your time and energy into it.
10. If You Have Trouble, Use A Template
That previous commandment takes the pressure off. But if you still have trouble, and can’t afford an expert, you can always use a template.
Your best template choice will depend on your situation. For example, if you’re having trouble writing or aren’t sure what your story is yet, then the “Question and Answer” Musician Bio template is a smart choice.
Pulling It All Together
No matter what, enjoy this experience. It’s fun getting to paint your picture, direct your own biopic, and craft your music bio in a way that is captivating and grabs people’s attention.
Now you have everything you need to write your band bio, captivate your audience, and attract new fans. All you need to do is put everything you’ve gained here to work. Get after it! And if you like this article, share it.