How To Get A Music Manager? Advice For Artists (2024)

How To Get A Music Manager? Advice For Artists (2024)
A music manager can help artists with their career in many different ways that allow you to focus more on your creative role, making music.

So you’ve got talent and wonder if it’s time to find a manager to help push your career to the next level? I’m going to cover everything from what a manager could do for you, and how to tell when it’s the right time to start looking for one.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A music manager plays a crucial role in an artist’s career.
  • The job involves strategic planning, contract negotiations, and tour management.
  • Successful music managers are great at building the right skills and connections in the industry.

A music manager plays a crucial role in an artist’s career, handling everything from strategic planning and contract negotiations to tour management and financial oversight. It’s a vital role that bridges the gap between the artist and the music industry, ensuring that artistic goals align with business success.

Before you decide to find a manager, I want to cover exactly what a successful music manager does. Let’s get to it!

Understanding the Role of a Music Manager

Artist Management and Development

Your music manager is often your closest ally and confidant. They take charge of developing your career by identifying opportunities that align with your artistic vision and goals. This can mean everything from finding collaboration opportunities to selecting suitable recording studios.

A good manager shields you from industry stressors, allowing you to concentrate on your creative output. They are vital in helping you navigate the complexities of the music industry, providing guidance and support every step of the way.

The Business Side of Things

The Business Side of Things. Artist having a meeting with his manager and their personal assistant.
Best managers are involved in their artist’s career and help find new avenues to market their music.

Handling the business affairs is another critical role your manager takes on. They negotiate contracts, manage finances, and safeguard your interests in legal matters. A strong business manager ensures you receive fair compensation and avoid exploitative deals.

They also oversee your public image, managing media interactions and social media presence. This ensures consistent and positive branding, crucial for your long-term success. Effective managers have a good grasp of the industry, leveraging their network to your advantage.

I can tell you that the right manager with the skills and connections can help get you deals that would be very hard to get otherwise. It’s not to say that you can’t get these deals without an artist manager, but new artists definitely could use the help of a manager to land some of the bigger contracts, like signing deals with major record labels.

But here’s an interesting fact – the business has changed a lot recently with social media and direct access to your fans. Are you sure you need a major record label? Maybe a booking agent would help your career more by getting you higher profile gigs? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself. A prospective manager who is up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry will be able to guide you with these decisions.

Live Show Coordination and Tour Management

Live performances are a key element of your career, and your tour manager coordinates these meticulously. Some music managers handle the tour management as well, but often they have a separate tour manager in their team.

Tour managers handle logistics, book venues and ensure everything runs smoothly on tour. They handle travel arrangements, scheduling, and accommodation.

Ensuring the success of your live shows involves coordinating with promoters, sound technicians, and other crew members. A professional manager’s attention to detail in this area is vital, allowing you to focus solely on delivering an outstanding performance. Ensuring each show goes seamlessly helps build your reputation and expands your fan base.

Building the Right Team

Building the right team is the key to your success in the music industry. No matter how much talent you have, you will need a team of professionals around you, and a good music manager might just be the most important person in that team.

Identifying Good Management Companies

Start by researching companies with a proven track record in the music industry. Look for managers who have professional experience with artists similar to you.

Attending industry events like the Music Managers Forum can provide you with valuable connections. Another approach is to look into potential managers who have established relationships with promoters, record labels, and other industry professionals.

The Manager-Artist Relationship

Once you’ve identified potential managers, evaluate your personal relationship with them. 

A great manager is not just about professional skills but also about being a good fit personally. Trust and communication are vital.

Your manager will play many roles, from being your advocate to handling your day-to-day tasks. They might even hire additional team members like PR agents or personal assistants to ensure all aspects of your career are covered.

Look for someone who understands your vision and aligns with your goals. Regular and open conversations can foster a strong, productive partnership, making your manager-artist relationship a cornerstone of your career success.

Advancing Your Music Career

Securing Deals and Opportunities

Securing opportunities, such as a record deal or distribution deal, is essential for your music career. Your manager should have a robust network within the industry, identifying potential partners and opportunities.

They negotiate terms that benefit your career, ensuring favorable contracts. Meeting with record labels, booking concerts, and establishing connections with radio stations can significantly boost your exposure.

Your manager’s strategic planning skills play a crucial role in setting achievable goals and executing plans to help you succeed. Regularly review and adjust these plans based on your progress and market trends.

Marketing and Promotion

Effective marketing strategies are vital in promoting your music and growing your fan base. 

A manager oversees various promotional activities, including social media campaigns, content creation, and engaging with fans online.

Utilizing radio play and music publishing can further enhance your visibility. A manager who understands the current trends in the music industry will help tailor your marketing efforts to reach a broader audience.

They also collaborate with specialized staff within music firms to focus on different aspects such as touring, social media, and copyright laws. 

Creating a cohesive image and brand for you as an artist can lead to a more successful and sustained musical career.

Independent Artist Strategies

​Probably the best way to determine whether you need a management deal is to think about how busy are you right now. 

If you’re able to handle your business yourself, then it’s probably not the right time for a manager.

A manager’s role is not to bring you all the gig and deal opportunities if you have none. Indie artists need to hustle and find their first opportunities themselves. A manager should come into the picture once you’re so busy that you can barely handle it all, your business is already taking off. This is when you’ll know it’s the right time to find a music manager.

Effective Self-Management

As an indie artist, handling multiple responsibilities on your own can be overwhelming. But it’s important you learn to handle all these responsibilities. 

Effective self-management is vital. Prioritize time management to balance creative tasks with administrative duties. Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and project management apps to stay organized.

Create A Business Plan

Create a Business Plan. Artist working on his business plan at his home office desk.
A great place to start on planning your career is by creating a business plan.

Creating a comprehensive business plan helps you to define your goals and the steps required to achieve them. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable activities and set deadlines to keep yourself on track.

​You might be thinking right now – hold up, business plan??! I’m an artist, not a business guy in a suit.

If you want to success in music business, then you need to understand how that business works, and, you need to be willing to do the work.

I can’t stress this enough. It’s extremely important that you first learn the business yourself. Only you are responsible for your career. You are the one with the vision, with the creative ideas, with the drive. Your first manager should come into the picture once you’ve already proven the business of you is a viable business. 

Brand Image of You

Maintaining a brand image is important to distinguish yourself from others. Develop a unique style and message that reflects your music and personality. Ensure consistency across your social media, website, and promotional materials to build a recognizable brand.

Networking and Industry Presence

Building a network is crucial for independent artists to gain exposure and opportunities. 

You should attend music industry events, workshops, and conferences to meet people and form connections. These interactions can open doors to collaborations, gigs, and promotional opportunities.

Participate in live performances, whether through gigs, open mics, or festivals. Performing live not only enhances your stage presence but also helps you to connect with fans and music industry professionals. Networking at these events can lead to more performance opportunities and industry contacts.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are invaluable tools for connecting with industry professionals and fans. Engage regularly with your audience and showcase your work to build a loyal following. Use these platforms to announce new releases, events, and updates to maintain visibility and interest.

Contract Negotiations and Legal Advice

Navigating the complexities of contract negotiations requires expert legal advice. Whether you have a music manager or not, you’ll need to consult an attorney that specializes in music industry. They can guide you through this process by ensuring your agreements align with industry standards.

By focusing on effective self-management and strategic networking, you can navigate the music industry successfully and start growing your career as an independent artist. 

Once you’re so busy you simply cannot handle it on your own anymore, you’ll know it might just be the right time to find a music manager.

Finding Success with the Right Management

So you’ve reached the level of success where you know you can’t build it any bigger without help from a manager. Now it’s time to partner with the right manager.

A great way to test compatibility is through a trial period.

Your manager should share your vision and enhance your career path by leveraging their network of contacts, including music agents. Strong good relationships are a sign of an effective manager.

Having an impressive roster of many successful artists is a good sing that they are experienced and can make things happen.

Ensure your goals align and regularly communicate your progress and challenges. The right manager will help you navigate opportunities and roadblocks, positioning you for long-term success and industry recognition.

Conclusion

Finding the right music manager is a critical step for any artist looking to elevate their career. 

The role of a manager is multifaceted, covering strategic planning, contract negotiations, and tour management, all of which are crucial for a sustainable career in music. 

A good manager, often a trusted friend or close ally, can have a significant impact by opening doors to opportunities that would be difficult to access otherwise. 

Whether through identifying sync opportunities or securing high-profile gigs, the right manager aligns with your artistic vision and helps you navigate the industry’s complexities. 

At the end of the day, having a manager who understands the evolving landscape of the music business and shares your goals can make all the difference, providing the support needed to focus on what matters most: your music.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a music manager impact an artist’s career?

A music manager can crucial in guiding an artist’s career. They handle everything from securing gigs to negotiating contracts. By leveraging their industry connections, they open doors that might otherwise remain closed. This support allows you to focus on your music while they handle the business side.

What are the typical duties and responsibilities of a music manager?

Typical duties of a music manager include managing day-to-day tasks, booking gigs, negotiating deals, and strategic planning. They often coordinate promotional activities and manage social media. A good manager also builds relationships with record labels, producers, and other key industry players to advance your career.

What’s the average salary for a music manager?

The salary of a music manager varies widely based on experience, reputation, and the success of their clients. Generally, they earn between 10-20% of their client’s earnings. Some managers might receive a base salary, especially if they work for a management company.

What steps should I take to find a suitable music manager for my band?

Start by identifying managers who have experience with artists in your genre. Seek recommendations from fellow musicians and industry professionals. Hold meetings to discuss your goals, and ensure their vision aligns with yours. Always check their track record and industry connections before making a decision. I great band manager is like an additional member of the band, helping the band reach its goals both creatively and in business.

How do I know if I really need a music manager?

You might need a music manager if managing your career is becoming overwhelming. If you’re spending more time on business tasks than on creating music, a manager can help balance the load. Assess whether their expertise and network could propel your career to the next level.

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