LIZPR - Image Consulting & Photo Styling by Liz Parker

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does “branding” mean?
A: Branding is how you position yourself in term of your image. Whenever you perform, you are branding yourself both by your music and what you are wearing. Your website is an extension of this.
Q: What is an EPK?
A: EPK = Electronic Press Kit consisting of your bio, photos, articles, press quotes, etc. It can be sent via email or live on your website. EPKs are viewed by the public, presenters, artist managers, publicists, and marketers.
Q: Do I need a website?
A: Yes. If any fan or presenter wants to learn more about you, they should be able to Google you and have your website pop up at the top. I know someone who can help you with this.
Q: Why do I need you to write my bio?
A: You’ll feel weird “waxing poetic” about yourself. An objective eye can take out old info and focus on what’s current and interesting. It’s also important to have a long and a short bio – and whittling down your own info is tricky.
Q: Why do I need professional photos?

Heidi WallA: A bad bio can be re-written; bad photos are unsalvageable. A great photo just “works”. When it doesn’t, it’s weird – it’s a bad enough phenomenon that a whole website is devoted to it: awkwardclassicalmusicphotos.com. Your photos will be used for several years; it’s an important investment.

Photo at right: Liz adjusting a large statement necklace on Heidi in red outfit. Click for credits.

Q: A photo shoot? I don't know where to start. Help!
A: Photo shoots are more than booking a photographer and showing up. I learn about you and what image you want, as a person and artist. I'll choose clothes (your own or I may suggest a shopping trip) that photograph well, and reflect your personality. I work with amazing photographers, and I’ll suggest one that will work best with you.

Every aspect of the shoot is thought out. I'll book either in-studio or on-location depending on what we're after and what's feasible. I ensure the composition of the photograph is suitable for marketing and promotional purposes.

Q: Do I need a clothes shopping trip?
A: That depends. You may have clothes that work already. Clothing looks different on camera or onstage so I need to see what you have (thank you, Skype). This Toronto Star article about apparel chain Reitman's is quite informative. I will work within any budget.
Q: How much does all this cost?
A: It depends on what you need – we’ll talk about it and I’ll quote you.
Q: Why are the presenter’s deadlines sooooooo early? My gig’s not til next year!

A: Here’s an average marketing timeline for, say, a Canadian orchestra.
To prepare for the 2014-2015 Concert Season, working backwards:

February 2014: Season Announcement

  • The media, stakeholders, board members, top-tier donors, and staff attend.
  • The season (Sept /14 – June/15) is in place; the season brochure is completed, unveiled, and mailed to thousands of subscribers.
  • the publicist sends the Season Announcement media release to all music journalists, trade publications, other arts groups, etc.

January 2014: brochure deadline

  • Proofing, last-minute edits.
  • the publicist is working late nights writing the overall season announcement media release. She is updating as info comes in.

December 2013

  • the marketing department starts crafting info to promote the 14/15 season, and works through the holidays. The brochure nears completion. The overlook “look” and “message” of the orchestra’s brochure is finalized.

October/November 2013

  • Guest artists are confirmed. A marketing staffer emails artist manages around the world, requesting updated EPKs. (This is when managers start panicking about all the bio updates they have to do).

This is why presenters need your promo materials in October 2013, regardless of when your gig is during the 14/15 season, even if it’s June 2015.

Keep your website updated. Otherwise, an outdated bio may turn up in a concert programme.

Once you’re booked for a gig, find out the latest you can send your updated bio and photos to ensure your most recent materials are used.

House programme deadlines vary, depending on how often they’re printed. If just one programme covers the season, the deadline for all materials are due way before opening night. If they are printed throughout the concert season, then deadlines will vary.

Q: How about designing flyers, brochures, and my own website?
A: Right now, I’m specialising in writing about, and styling YOU – and I have a list of graphic and web designers for you to call on. If you need me to write your copy, I’m available for that.

 

Please contact me for a quote.  Happy to meet over a coffee!

 

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