Artist Manager have this cloud of mystery around them. You hear all those stories of how Colonel Tom Parker was dealing with Elvis Presley.
Or how Brian Epstein was the fifth Beatle. Equally amazing story, Sharon Ozzborn is the daughter of old Black Sabbath manager Don Arden.
She fell in love with Ozzy Ozzborn and started managing him when he was kicked out of the band.
However, this romanticised outlook on to the role of Artist Manager is not quite applicable in modern days anymore.
Most band run like business now. Hence, the Artist Manager has to have a strong background in business administration.
What is more, in order to break a band in these days, you need endless determination and perseverance.
What is the role of an Artist Manager?
En large, you can say that the Artist Manager help bands or musicians to take the next big step. That means, they acquire a young talent that has promising outlooks and boost their industry game.
Artist Managers do this by making sure that the right venues get played for example. Or they search for the perfect record label to make the new album.
They also often time deal with the very lucrative merchandise side of things. What is more, the Artist Manager can also help with sponsoring deals and advertisement placement of the music.
In short, the Artist Manager is providing pivotal connections and professional relationships into the music business for their clients.
How much will the Artist Manager make?
Traditionally, the Artist Manager is earning 10-20 % of the overall income of the band or musician. Important to realize, overall income means literally every penny a band earns.
That can be a lot of money, depending on the size of the band and the success. However, an Artist Manager has to invest a lot of time and resources upfront before a band breaks into the market.
Also important to stress out is the endless work hours and irregular schedule an Artist Manager has to deal with.
The relative huge income span is one of the reasons a band or musicians has to be very careful when choosing the right Artist Manager. Another important point is the work experience.
Has the Artist Manager worked with bands from your genre before? Does the person has valuable music industry experience from perhaps other sides too like a record label?
Does the Artist Manager has enough contacts into the music business and can they handle the boring business administration side too?
There are a lot of questions you have to ask yourself as a band before taking on an Artist Manager
One of the most important questions though is: do you get along well? I know, this sounds a bit phoney.
As if the music business is based on goodwill. Which is clearly not.
However, getting along well with your Manager can save you a lot of nerves. Remember, the Artist Manager will be likely to come on tour with you.
Will spend time with you in the recording studio. Also, he or she probably will be accompanying you to any photo shooting, press interview, fan meet and greet and to award shows.
If you don’t really like the Artist Manager in person than this can become a stress factor. One that you really don’t need.
Likewise, it is really important to have a super honest conversation upfront about your goals and your dreams. Where do you want to be in 2-5 years?
Make sure the Artist Manager is getting the gist and that you are working on your project as a team. Nothing is worst than having the feeling that the Artist Manager is not really doing the job but being not experienced enough to do the work yourself.
Also, you hand over the Artist Manager a lot of responsibility. Not just with your money but also with important career-defining choices.
At the end of the day, you really have to be able to trust your Manager with decision making.
You can do a lot of things on your own before you get a Manager
As described above, an Artist Manager can give your career this all important boost to take it to the next level. However, there are many things you can do on your own before taking on a Manager.
In fact, if you want to attract the best of the best, you have to show that you are capable. Nobody with a long-standing career and deep connections into the music business will risk their reputation for anyone less than brilliant.
That sounds like the pressure is one but in a way it is. Making yourself a name and creating a supportive fanbase does not come without dedication and hard work. Just the things good Managers look out for.
Make sure you have decent promo recordings of your best songs. Also, make sure you have enough repertoire to choose from.
You have to write a lot of bad songs before you get through to the good ones*source: BlackbirdPunk
Have at least 15-20 songs on your tracklist. This is a lot I know but without content, it will be hard to make things happen.
Make a point and create an ongoing songwriting process for you that enables you to stay creative.
Make sure to have your press material up to date at all times
Another important thing is to have your press pack updated at all times. The worst thing that can happen to you is that a Manager is actually contacting you, asking for the material.
If the only photos you can show are from 3 years ago, you’ll probably miss out on the call.
A no brainer but keep your social media game up and running. Take eLearning courses and learn how to analyse the data. That way you will be able to identify your fanbase much more concrete.
Have a micro homepage or a Bandcamp page at hand. It should include a download corner where your amazing press material is only waiting for the download.
Also, write a grabbing band bio and keep it updated. You can use a homepage as a band diary.
Make a point and write a tour or a songwriting blog. Use content marketing to your advantage!
Last but not least, get full monty on community management. Reply to all comments on social media as soon as possible.
Run a dedicated fan newsletter. Perhaps create a fandom page on your website where you can communicate directly with your fans.
There are many things to consider when choosing an Artist Manager
Artist Managers can help you a big deal. They can even be career defining like it was without a doubt with Brian Epstein and The Beatles.
I don’t think they’d have got anywhere without Brian.*source: Cynthia Lennon
However, it is a tricky decision to make. Take your time and do your research. Make sure you really understand the contract you are signing. And keep the good work up!