This is a question that arises among many musicians when they start gaining popularity and contacted for more and more events. But before you step out there and hire a manager, let’s take a look and who and what a manager is, and the work behind it…..
A talent manager, or artist manager, band manager or music manager, is an individual or a company whose primary job is to guide the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. The importance of an artist manager deals with what they do, and how they impact the career of the artist and their brand. (The key word here is brand) A manager should be developing and unlocking value for their artist which comes from business development, leveraging the brand equity of the artist to create direct revenue streams, and developing strategic partnerships with others to create visibility (thus increasing brand equity) and revenue.
So…why do artists needs a manager? Well some of the work that they do include:
-Understanding details of planning an artist’s career
-Send out demos to labels, radio stations, local print media, and online publications
-Book gigs and invite labels and the media to the shows
-Network and talk to people about the band
-Help book studio time and practice sessions
-Explore funding opportunities for the band
-Negotiate financial deals with the label for expenses like touring and recording
-Oversee other people working for the band, like accountants, agents, and merchandisers.
The key to finding the right manager, knowing that person can handle what to do when things go wrong, has leadership dynamics and motivation for their artists and those around them, and understands that they work for you the artist and has your welfare in mind.
Do Managers Need a Contract?
YES! Even if you’re unsigned indie artist that is a friend to the potential manager and there is no money involved for now, you need to write up an agreement. Typically, managers are paid a percentage of an artist’s income: often 15% to 20%, and any deal between artists and managers should be negotiated up front, then revisited when significant events occur that could drastically increase or decrease the artist’s income. (Suggestion, review yearly, so both parties are on the same page) Please note: managers should not have to cover any expenses out of their own pocket.
So with this information, you the artist can now go back and review and answer that question: Do you need a manager?