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Written by Omari
For a new artist or band, the choice of a music manager or management company is of crucial importance. You’ll want to be represented by someone with total belief in you and whom you can trust to deal with just about every aspect of your career outside actually writing the songs.
A friend or fan may have the enthusiasm, but you’ll need someone with industry contacts or at least the confidence to look and act the part. If a person or company has been recommended to you, obviously that’s a good start. Otherwise, try to talk to as many different managers as you can until you get a feel for the one who seems like the best fit.
It’s no longer possible to simply be a musician. You now have to be a proven artist before a record label will accept your demos and sign you.
So what is the solution for the modern day musician? Simple: learn how to handle the music business yourself. Did I say simple? Please, ignore that part…
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While it may not be ideal for everyone, if you want to get your music career moving as fast as possible, you will need to do more than just make music. Among other things, you will need to learn how to create products that people want to buy, how to promote your music to the right audience, how to book your own live gigs, how to make money from these gigs, how to get radio play, and how to collect royalties from any gigs and radio plays.
This may sound like a lot of work to you, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Learning all these things will mean you don’t have to rely on other people as much to get your music career moving.
Most of the musicians who do make it to the limelight succeed because they have a strong, savvy and dedicated team around them. Usually this surrounding team is led by a manager who calls all the shots, has the vision and looks out in every single situation for the artists they represent.
There’s a common saying in music that goes like this: “Team work makes the Dream Work.” In this article, we’ll let you in all about music management companies and how to choose best music manager.
Make a demo; send it to record labels; if you’re talented enough– get signed. Do you think this sounds like a good music business plan?
If you want some extra input or assistance you can seek out a talent or music manager.
A talent manager, also known as an artist manager, band manager or music manager, is an individual or company who guides the professional career of artists in the music industry. The responsibility of the talent manager is to oversee the day-to-day business affairs of an artist; advise and counsel talent concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect their career.
The roles and responsibilities of a talent manager vary slightly from industry to industry, as do the commissions to which the manager is entitled. For example, a music manager's duties differ from those managers who advise actors, writers, or directors.
A manager can also help artists find an agent, or help them decide when to leave their current agent and identify who to select as a new agent. Talent agents have the authority to make deals for their clients while managers usually can only informally establish connections with producers and studios but do not have the ability to negotiate contracts.
One of the simplest ways to find a manager is to look at the inside cover of your favorite artists’ CD or tape for their manager contact information. Also smart, is networking at music conferences like the Cutting edge BRE, SXSW, and CMJ. There are also local and national directories that list managers - the Source Book is one of the best.
Also, many artists on SoundCloud will have their managers contact information in their bio! Contact those people (being genre specific obviously).
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Always have a current press kit or promotional package ready to send and try the Internet - a great way to get the attention of a manager or record company. You can put your promo kit on the web site with sound bites of your music. Managers usually make from 10% to 25% of the artist/band gross compensation.
Most lawyers advise that your manager and record company not be one and the same. However, rules in the music industry are very elastic. For example, if you're 'bout it' you could be like rap star Master P who is artist, manager, president and owner of one of the most successful record labels in the world. It's what works for you.
Now that you’ve got a solid band and some songs to back you up, then it’s time to look for a manager. Of course, you could try managing your own band, but if you want to get places and make money, searching out a good music manager is essential (sometimes this is AFTER you have a fan base, sometimes before). It all depends on the situation.
The band manager’s responsibilities include financial planning, publicity, music marketing and acting as your personal advisor in all band-related business ventures. There are many qualities you can look for when looking for an excellent manager—someone who will stand by your band and help you find success.
When you’re first starting off you may come across or be approached by potential managers looking to get into the business. While it’s always great to help a friend out, you need someone with the experience and knowledge of how to make it in the music business.
Music management covers everything from booking your tours to making sound business decisions, choosing your label to helping you pick out the right songs to put on an album—and everything in between.
This can tie into experience. A music manager with good connections in the industry will not only get your career going faster but will also lend to better publicity and live performances.
They should be able to find you a studio, a booking agent, PR rep or a gig without any wasted time. Someone with good connections (and this means good connections and not just being able to rattle off a list of names) and will be able to find you opportunities you would not be able to find yourself.
These days, an artist with no live following looking for management is like a tree falling in the forest. With so much income reliant upon touring and merchandise sales in today’s market, most managers will want to know that you are capable of earning on the road and building a fan base every time you get out and perform.
This means that if you’re a band, you are tight and know how to sell it from the stage. If you are a solo artist, you should have a band together that showcases your talents and they are prepared to perform your material at any time.
Your music manager will take care of nearly everything for you, from transportation to bookings and beyond. Choose someone you feel good about and know that you can trust with your career. If you’re not 100 percent sure, keep looking. The trust factor has to be mutual for this relationship to work.
Some of this you can rely on gut instinct, and some of it you can attribute to the above category: experience. Ask yourself if this is the person you’d trust to run your life for you, transport you around the world, and book packed shows. Do they seem humble, but able to stand their ground against pushy salespeople and promoters? See how they conduct other business relationships.
Pick a manager who knows how to handle finances, above all else. Many, many bands have unfortunately lost a lot of money because of irresponsible financial management. This includes everything from signing with a label, to touring and recording expenses, to their own cut in your income.
A music manager makes their money from part of your income. If you don’t see any money, then they shouldn’t either. Do not get wheeled and dealed into some contract that offers them more than you receive.
Any manager worth his salt will want to see an organized online presence. That doesn’t mean a website with a few old songs and bad pictures! Managers, labels and executives alike will want to know that you are part of an active community that includes a destination website for your project or band, as well as Facebook, Twitter, a ReverbNation profile, or even a Tumblr.
The website should be updated, platforms linked, and the artist active. This is the bare minimum! In today’s market, artists are getting deals with labels and managers based upon the strength of their online presence alone. You could be one of them if you “work” your social media fanbase. Just ask Justin Beiber if YouTube helped him…
Experience will bring a manager knowledge of how to make sound and profitable business decisions. Personal traits, education and good business instincts may be the difference between your band making it or breaking up. Make sure your manager is not a push over, or has the overeager need to please—unless it’s you they’re dealing with. Choose a manager who knows how to get what they want, where they want and when they want it. Negotiation skills are key.
Above all, you want a manager who will work with you and has your best interests at heart. This can be a lifelong relationship, so think of your manager like family. How will they fit in and lead your group to success?
Despite the dominant presence of digital media in the music industry, there are many typical strategies that even the most modernized managers must adhere to in order to reach the managerial goals effectively.
Most of these trick-of-the-trade strategies are employed to establish and maintain connections with booking agents, promote the activities of the artist, and manage finances in order to optimize the artist's ability to book gigs, establish a fan base, and ultimately bring in revenue from their work, respectively.
Among the more traditional responsibilities of music managers are booking and promoting gigs for their artist(s). Managers often become known for establishing ongoing relationships with specific venues, booking one artist at the venue regularly, or several artists on their roster. A large number of 'how-to' books have been published on the topic.
As technology has advanced, the music industry has consequently undergone a drastic change in the way it operates. The internet has made it both easier and harder to attract the attention of fans and the press, as both outreach increase but industry saturation increases. The sale of pre-recorded music has diminished, but there’s so much more that’s going on. You can’t focus on what’s not working when there are so many other opportunities.”
Social media is a common form of online networking for managers, and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Beatport, Soundcloud, and YouTube have been noted in the press for their use in networking in the music industry. Other fields such as business may use more common websites such as LinkedIn or Google Plus while networking on behalf of a client.
There are always people and companies that have experience and expertise in areas to take you the extra mile when you’re at a cross-road. Don’t be afraid to let someone else take the reins for a while; after all, if you do your research beforehand and choose the right talent management, then they will have as much drive to make your career a success as you do yourself.
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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