What does a manager do?
Music Industry Management: Music mangers can do an array of different jobs to help artists develop every aspect of their music careers, but what a manager does for you depends also on what you want from them. So having a clear plan and good communication between yourself and your manager is key.
WARNING: Artist management is a two way process, you may want to work with them but they might not necessarily want to work with you unless you are at the right stage of your music career.
For management to want to work with you they are most likely going to want to see income streams already coming in or a strong indication that they are likely to.
It’s vital to have a strong, loyal fan base already built otherwise management have to consider not only whether to take you on as an artist, but also the task of building a fan base from scratch which in the vast majority of cases they won’t be interested in.
Always remember (and the clue is in the title) management are there to aid you, and it’s certainly not the case that they are going to do everything for you.
MAIN JOBS FOR MUSIC MANAGERS FOR UNSIGNED ARTISTS
- One of the main jobs for a manager is being the spokesperson for the artist.
- They send out demos to labels, radio stations, local print media, and online publications.
- Book gigs and promote the events to the public and press.
- Help organise the production of music videos and photo shoots.
- Network and talk to people about the artist, handing out promotional material.
- Help book studio time and practice sessions.
- Find as many opportunities for the artist as possible.
HOW TO CHOOSE A MUSIC MANAGER
If you’re quite early on in your music career you may not have the funds to afford a music manager, and management may not be interested in working with you at this stage until you have developed further into your career.
So some artists choose to bring a friend on board to help with managing their affairs. The good thing about using a friend is that they will (hopefully) have your best interests in mind and will have the same passion for getting your music heard as you do.
However a friend may not have the music industry knowledge and contacts that you need to further your career and take you to the next level.
Furthermore if things develop the pressure of them devoting their free time may come under strain, but on the flip side the possibility of having a hard working passionate person on the team is always a welcome one!
The most import thing you need to consider when choosing a manager is your relationship with them. You need to be able to work with someone that you can talk to openly and honestly and have good communication with.
If the potential manager is a person you don’t know then do some research, find out the kind of acts they have previously worked with and see where they are, what they are currently doing and what they have achieved.
Don’t just jump into something with the first manager you find, have a meeting and see how you feel you could work with them. Especially if it’s your first taste of management ideally try and work with them for a month or two to see how the relationship develops; if you can’t communicate effectively together to start with it’s unlikely it will change down the line.
If you are going to do a trial period with a manager, be loyal and don’t cort with other interested parties.
Be honest and try and build a relationship rather than wonder why a manager has lost interest, it’s probably because they have worked out you’re not committed or loyal to them. So you need to play your part in developing trust and a working relationship.
DO I NEED A CONTRACT WITH A MANAGER?
YES! Even if you’re with a personal friend and there is no money involved for now, you need to write up a formal agreement.
It would be advisable to write a plan and an exit strategy should it not work out so that both parties know what’s expected and what will happen if it doesn’t really work out. So jot down what is expected of both manager and act, what the percentage of income for the manager will be if any money should come in, and what happens if you both decide to part ways.
Many artists don’t want to make their friends sign contracts, but when you’re entering into a business relationship with a friend, a contract keeps the friendship safe.