If you’re an upcoming artist struggling to know how to manage a band, perhaps you are at the point where you’ll consider management. However, a band manager’s specific responsibilities can be a grey area, so we’ve put together a list of benefits that artist management can have on your success.
What is the role of a music manager?
Simply put, artists hire managers to help them run their businesses. A management representative can use their insight into the industry to help you make creative decisions, strike up business deals, and be in charge of finances in return for a cut of your earnings. Although some roles differ, a manager will ultimately be looking out for your best interests as an artist and helping you succeed in your career.
Do I even need a manager?
Before you get ahead of yourself, ask why you think you need a manager. Do you think you’re at a point in your career where you’re ready to commit to the band fully? If you don’t have solid foundations just yet or the band isn’t running as a business, it would be difficult to get someone else to believe in you. If you have those things ticked, a new team member could bring you a lot of success.
What are the benefits of having a manager?
- Organization – A band manager will be a great multi-tasker and will be able to organize your (hopefully) busy schedule to keep things running smoothly. They can also be the go-between for many industry requests, such as talking to journalists to book you in for an interview, meaning you have more time to focus on your music. Some industry people prefer to communicate with a representative, as it can come across as more professional than talking with band members.
- Record Label Interest –It’s an industry norm to have your heart set on a record deal, and a band manager should be able to help you get noticed by labels. It’s challenging to get label interest as so many people are fighting to get signed, so management should put your music where it can be seen and heard by the right people.
- Negotiate a Publishing Deal (or any deal) – recording contract, lawyer – If one of your goals is to get a publishing deal, sync deal, or recording contract, an artist manager will help you negotiate terms for this. With the assistance of a lawyer, they will aid you through the process with your best interests in mind – although it’s worth being aware yourself of what you’re signing.
- Industry Networking – A music manager should have a fair few contacts in the industry, and they’ll be able to use these connections to get you places, whether it’s through endorsements, gig opportunities, or putting you in front of promoters.
- Increases Band Credibility – Just the title of having someone officially represent you will work wonders for your credibility and can add value and prestige to your name. Industry professionals will take you a whole bunch more seriously, too.
- Dissolving Disagreements – Someone with management expertise should dissolve any disputes between band members or, better still, help avoid them altogether. Having an outside opinion is invaluable to creative decisions, and a good band manager can hold people accountable if anyone behaves out of line.
- Career Shaping – Artist management should give you some decent career advice and help you form a set of goals to head towards. Their experience will help you be realistic in your targets, too.
- Boost Morale – When you think things are feeling a bit stale, a music manager can add a bit of enthusiasm and help ramp up band morale, or at least be able to suggest some things that might help.
What should I look for in a manager?
First off, finding management that is right for you as an artist is critical. Ensure that your representative has the same set of goals and a similar work ethic before agreeing to anything. You’ll also want to make sure you all get on on a personal level too – there’s nothing worse than having to work closely with someone day in day out and not liking them! And before agreeing to work with anyone, a future manager should 100% love the music you make.
Secondly, research a manager’s previous work and determine if they have the specific expertise you need. What experience do they have in how to manage a band? Have they worked with a band in your genre before? If you’re looking for them to hook you up with a publishing deal, have they negotiated one before? By looking at their roster, you’ll be able to judge if they’re a good fit to join your team.
How do I find a manager?
- Take a look at some similar bands in the genre and see who their managers are.
- Ask around to see if any other fellow bands or artists you’ve played a show with can recommend anyone (and recommend who to avoid, too!)
- Show up to some industry events where you can network with professionals.
- Keep playing live gigs – rather than looking for them; you never know when a talent scout or manager will stumble across your band at a show.
- If all else fails, do some internet research to find a few people who might be a good match for you.
- Once you’ve made a shortlist of contenders, contact them all and get a feel for who might fit well in your team. Meet with them in person and ask any questions you have – for example, how many other bands are they currently working with?
Having a manager isn’t right for everyone, but hopefully, our guide to artist management has helped any bands consider hiring one. Best of luck!