Oh, the mistakes you'll make!
As part of my work, I come across a lot of aspiring artists' Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. profiles. After a while, patterns of mistakes begin to emerge and I though I would share some of them to save you from yourself!
You want your artistic side to come out in your bio, and that's great. But there a Goldilocks spot between a boring and ho-hum bio, and a memoir of delphic phantasmagoria hybridized with bombastic magnitude. (See what I did there?)
Example of a great bio and why it works: ZAUM
"ZAUM is a passage toward the dark realizations of ancient civilization; in the form of a monolithic doomy mantra based meditative experience forged by bass and drums interwoven by sitar and synth textures. Based in New Brunswick – their live presence is very true to its recorded form featuring McDonald's both melodic and dark vocal styles met with elements of sectional Mongolian throat singing."
It's creative but still descriptive. It's not original for originality's sake, but it actually reflects the music and the genre. The first sentence grabs you, and the second gives a bit more meat.
Bad, bad photo
Maybe you don't have access to/can't afford a professional photographer. Maybe you're shy about putting your face in prominence. But that's no reason to have a blurry, super dark or uninteresting photo.
Example of a great photo and why it works: CHIPS
Although I could have picked pretty much any photo from LP Chiasson, Mike Erb or any of the other great pro photographers in NB, I picked this one from Devon Mullins of the band CHIPS because it's simple, clever, and pertinent. It doesn't look like it cost too much to create (Apologies if it did!), but it's still done with purpose and though.
(source: CHIPS Facebook page. Photographer credit: Devon Mullins Media)
No contact info
You need an email address... No, scratch that. You need a professional looking email address and you need to check it regularly. Google is free and whatever your preferred method of communication is, I'm sure there's an app to forward your messages there. This email address needs to be easy to find. Look at your web presence with the eyes of an interested, but not too interested, booker. If you can't find your contact info with 15 seconds, they won't either.
Bonus: If you want to see someone foam at the mouth, talk to Chantal from the ECMA about contact forms. It's hilarious to watch! :-)
Drugs are cool, man!
I can't count how many bios or photos reference pot, weed, blunts, and various other synonyms for combustible herbage. As most of us in the industry are no longer 16, this comes of as tedious rather than funny and/or hip. (Is saying 'hip' still a thing?) Don't do it.