The Artist’s Guide to Music Managers

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The Artist’s Guide to Music Managers: Intro

We have many artists and band ask us to help them get a music manager, but most of these musicians aren’t ready for management. This guide will teach you what exactly music managers do, how much they get paid, how to know if you’re ready for one, and how to find an awesome music manager when you are ready. Let’s dive in!

What’s a Music Manager Do?

A music manager helps their artists or bands take their music careers to the next level. They can do this by helping you with the following:

  • Concerts. Book more shows at better venues.
  • Fans. Reach fans outside your current fanbase.
  • Online presence. Increase your social followers and email subscribers.
  • Press. Increase your press coverage and interviews.
  • Your image. Improve your press kit and image.
  • Collaborations and deals. Make deals with others in the music industry to benefit you (producers, artists, booking agents, licensing firms, publishing deals).
  • Sells. Increase your merch, music, and concert sells.
How much Are Music Managers Paid?
  • Percentage. Most music managers are paid 10-20% of an artist’s or bands’ income.
  • Salary. Some bigger artists have opted to pay their managers a salary instead of a percentage since they earn so much money.
  • Most cases. As an up and coming artist or band, most good managers are going to want a percentage of your earnings. This also encourages them to work harder and to be with you for the long haul.
Should I Get A Music Manager?
  • Are you ready for one? Before you get a manager, you need to be ready for a manager. A good manager will want to know that the money and time they put into you is worth it.
  • Are you making enough money? Based on the payment percentages above, this means you need to be making a decent living before you consider hiring a manager. Do you think a good manager is going to work for you when you’re making  $1000 a month? Probably not because they would only get $100-$200 a month. Of course, their job is to increase your income, but managers are best at making a good thing better, not at making something good when it’s had no previous success.
  • Are you committed? You don’t need a manager unless you’ve made the decision that this is your career, not a hobby.
  • Social media. You need to be killing it on social media before you get a music manager.
  • Website and photos. You need to have a website with professional photos, as well as a bio on it. The bio should be written in a way that makes it easy for the press to use.
  • Performing live. You need to be performing live, selling out shows and have footage of your performances online.
  • Music distributed. Your music should be available on TuneGO, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple. Your music should be available for purchase on your website, Apple, and Amazon.
  • Does your career need someone else to take it to the next level? You should want a manager when you’re ready to take your music career from great to amazing. Don’t look for a manager to get your music career started. Until you can say yes to the majority of the points above, you’re not ready for a music manager.

You may not be ready for a manager right now, but TuneGO can still help you take your music career to the next level.

On TuneGO you can unlock the opportunity for radio airplay, sync licensing, one on one feedback from producers and A&R executives, and music label intros. You can login to your FREE artist account at TuneGO.com and click “Dashboard” to check your progress towards each opportunity. You can also fast track these opportunities and gain feedback on your music from 200 fans by scoring a high Track Rating on a Diamond TuneGO Song Review. Learn more here.

How Do I Find a Music Manager?
  • They’ll find you. If you’re ready for a music manager, you’ve probably been approached by one. They may have found you via your social media or they attended your concert. This is the ideal situation since this manager will be passionate about you and your music.
  • Use someone you trust. Some artists opt to use someone close to them as a manager, either a friend or a relative. You can take this approach when someone believes in your music and wants to grow into the music industry with you. This person probably won’t have the success of an experienced music manager though, so you shouldn’t expect the same success that you’d find with someone that’s been doing this for a while.
  • Find a manager. You could approach music managers, but you should avoid it. It’s better to work with someone that’s already passionate about your music. So focus on reaching more people with your music vs. reaching out to managers.
What Should I Look For in a Music Manager?
  • Roster. Who has the manager worked with before? Were those artists more successful after working with this manager? Do those artists match your genre or brand? You want a manager that has created success for artists in the past. Ideally, these artists should be similar to you so you could expect similar results.
  • Reputation. What do people say about this manager? Is it someone you want to associate your name with and someone you can trust?
  • Expectations. Once you start talking to a manager, you need to make sure your expectations align. Write out everything in a contract so it’s very clear. Will they make 10%, 15%, or 20% of your earnings? What tasks will they be responsible for?  Are the results you expect, results they can provide? Do you have any specific goals you want the manager to help you achieve? At what point can either party decide to part ways? Make sure everything is hashed out before you commit to someone. It’s best to have a lawyer work with you on these contracts.
  • Other artists. Is your potential manager juggling several other artists? Most managers manage several artists at a time, but you want to know how many they are currently managing so you’re not just another number to them. If they’re managing 20 artists, they probably won’t have much time for you.
  • Connections. Can this person make things happen for you because of the connections they have?
  • Vibes. How do you feel about this manager? Do you believe in them and do they believe in you? How do you vibe together? And finally, can you see yourself spending a lot of time with this person for a long time?

Look at this list and decide what is the most important to you. A manager with a lot of connections and artists may be able to move your career forward but you would still need to take care of most of your “management” tasks because they wouldn’t have time for that. Or a manager that you vibe with and they’re willing to grow with you may be more your style. There are many different types of managers, so just know what you need help with most and what values matter to you the most before you say “yes” to a new manager.

Do You Have to Have a License to Be a Music Manager?
  • No. There are no licenses to become a music manager.
  • They are unregulated and do not need any experience to start calling themselves a “music manager”.
  • This is why you need to do your research before agreeing to hire someone as your manager.
Conclusion

You really shouldn’t stress about finding a music manager because if you’re ready for one, they’re probably already contacting you. But save this guide for when you are ready so you know what to look for!

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