HOW TO BECOME A MUSIC MANAGER: THE COMPLETE GUIDE

How To Become A Music Manager

If you are trying to find out how to become a music manager, then look no further, you've arrived at the right destination. This article serves up some valuable information to help you along on your journey to become a band manager or an artist manager. First of all, you need to realize that you are indeed embarking on a journey of self-discovery with plenty of adventure, twists, turns and challenges. Like most things in life, your positive attitude, mindset and will power dictates your level of success. It's best to focus on the overall process that brings direction and strategy as opposed to specific outcomes.

HOW TO BECOME A MANAGER IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

When you decide to become an artist manager, it's your opportunity to be proactive and creative.  Depending on your specific background and skills, you need to be open-minded to continuously learn and absorb information about the ins and outs of the music business. If you have relevant experience in some kind of business capacity, then that certainly serves as a plus. For all those who have no kind of business or management experience, it behooves you to find a good mentor that can guide you along the way.

Rick Barker, Taylor Swift's Former Music Manager

Tayor Swift & Rick Barker, Her Former Manager

Even some of the most famous music managers started off as interns or participated in apprenticeships. In order to do the best job possible for the artists you will represent, it's important for you to get hands on experience in the music industry. You need to have some kind of track record or experience for you to build upon so you can seem attractive to artists.  As you've probably heard before, it's not just about your brains or skills, but also who you know and how influential you can be. The music industry is highly competitive and always evolving, you need to keep on your toes. Figure out how to network with those that are in a position to help you, then execute a well-thought plan with a chance to deliver some solid results.

This is the time for true self-reflection about your gifts and what you can bring to the table in order to effectively manage artists. Before you focus on how to become a music manager you need to ask yourself what ‘type’ of manager you want to be. There are several types of positions such as business manager, road manager, talent manager, etc. As soon as you've made up your mind on what type of manager, you’ll have to determine how you’re going to go about getting the knowledge (or ‘background’ education/information) necessary to enable you to do your job effectively. Unlike before when managers just had to shop for labels, record albums and manage artists on tour; today’s managers have so much more to handle including how to reach fans directly, song licensing, brand partnerships, sponsorships, social media strategies, creative financing, independent publicity and marketing, etc.

A QUICK REVIEW

In reviewing how to become a music manager, an important thing to consider about music management is that a music manager salary gets paid a commission (usually 15% - 20%) based on their artists’ earnings. If your artist earns $0, your commission is $0. Therefore, you will need to make sure you have the music management knowledge and information necessary for you to be able to generate substantial income for your artist – and therefore yourself – from multiple sources (including recordings, licensing, publishing, merchandising, touring, and brand partnerships. Nowadays, you can also incorporate crowd funding, endorsements, sponsorships, donations, and subscriptions too.  How to become a band manager requires research, planning and execution with a willingness to learn from your mistakes along the way.

music manager salary

Another thing to consider is what type of artists you want to ultimately work with. There are tons of talented artists out there who don't know a lick about marketing, and quite frankly, don't realize the utmost importance for them to learn it. That's where a manager kicks in. It's going to be YOUR job to attain as much marketing know-how as possible.

ARTIST'S MANAGING THEIR OWN MUSIC CAREER

If you’re an artist who's at a point where they're managing their own career you need to pay attention to what I'm about to say next as well. YOU NEED TO BE READING, WATCHING, AND LISTENING. Reading marketing books, watching training courses, and listening to advice. It took be almost a decade before I realized that, and I could've saved a bunch of time and energy if I just started sooner.

Becoming a manager in the music industry is a super tough gig. Like I said before, you're most likely paid off commission. The only time getting paid off commission is great is when you know what you're doing (and you know a whole lot more than your competitors). Most artists won't sign up a marketing course. Why? Because they don't get the concept of business investment.

They understand some of the music side. Investing in quality recording equipment to make the recordings sound good. But when it comes to investing the knowledge to actually get their music out there it's foreign to them.

DON'T BECOME ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE ARTISTS

The big difference on how to become a music manager agent, and how to fail in the industry will lie in the marketing knowledge of whoever is managing an artist's career. More often than not, that responsible is with the artist themselves, but if you're looking to become an artist manager, invest in getting the right training material.

Make Them Beg To Buy Your Music

Here are some resources you can take advantage of:

A big chunk of this process will be learning how to get the greatest Return on Investment for your artists. Let's look at an example.

Say you spend only $50 a week on music promotion for your business. What marketing strategies can you implement to make $75/week off that investment (a $25/week return).

Some possible channels for getting that money back include music distribution, ticket sales, music sales, merchandise, advertisements, publishing, and affiliate income to name a few. This is beyond the elementary level of posting an iTunes link and hoping and praying that people will buy the song just because they like it.

STRATEGIES ALL MUSIC MANAGERS SHOULD KNOW

Music Distribution:

This includes income from Spotify, SoundCloud, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube Content ID, etc. It's much easier getting people to listen than to buy, so a good portion of a musician's catalog should be available on streaming services.

SoundCloud monetization recently opened up to everyone and you can start by clicking here. Another reason I like SoundCloud over the others is because of the reposting function. It's much easier to amass plays when you know to network WITHIN a music site.

Trying to repost songs on Twitter isn't as effective as reposting them within SoundCloud. To see more of my strategies for building SoundCloud followers you can look here:

7 Tips On How To Build Your First 5,000 SoundCloud followers

Music Sales:

Getting people to buy your music is a science. I've heard far too many people think, "They'll buy it if they like the music." Why would someone buy something they can stream for free? Because it's either not available for streaming (yet), or they have genuine respect for the artist. The only way you can do that as an artist or manager is to establish a deeper connection with your fans.

This can be done through building an email list or running involved social media channels. Honestly, the email list in the best out of all those. The organic reach of Facebook posts depend on a variety of factors and tweets are too limited of characters to get a large message across. Focus on building your email subscribers. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Obviously, a little bit of gray area is allowed, but some rules are cut and dry.

I go over this more in-depth in my book, Make Them Beg To Buy Your Music. At the current moment though, there are over 32,000 email subscribers I can contact at any time in my list.

Those 32,000 are more valuable than my 16,500 SoundCloud followers or 132,000 Twitter followers combined! That's how powerful building a music email list is.

Click Here To Get All The Strategies In The Book

AFFILIATE INCOME

The last thing I'll go over in this post is affiliate income. If you're not sure what that is, it's simply advertising someone else's products and taking a percentage of the sales. When I first introduced this concept to my audience some of them didn't even believe this was a legitimate strategy.

I make around $1,000 in affiliate commission every month. I can assure you it's a viable strategy.

Say you don't have any new music coming out for a few months, but you've built a relationship with another band and their project is coming out soon. There are affiliate links for iTunes that will allow you to post their music and get a commission off it.

Check out iTunes music affiliate program here.

And, if you want to join other high converting music affiliate programs they're available through this site as well.

Click Here for Music Affiliate Programs

iTunes affiliate program

CONCLUSION

Being a music manager can be a heavy amount of work, but if you like music and marketing, it's the perfect job for you! The main takeaway is to NEVER stop learning. When there's someone out there having more success than you don't get sour or arrogant and think there's something wrong with rest of the world.

Absorb some knowledge from their strategies. Invest in marketing materials to further your career. You'll be able to live how others can't because you did what other wouldn't.

SHARING IS SEXY!

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