Are you a musician who is trying to figure out the next step forward in your career? The purpose of this article is to give you some insight into what I think is extremely important in your success, and that is, finding a music manager.
A music manager is probably your most important step in forward-movement as an artist. Many people will think that a music label is the most important relationship you can have as an artist and they couldn’t be more wrong.
A manager is there with you on your journey for better or for worse until you decide you no longer want to work with them. Your manager is the person who is in the trenches when you need them and also the person who should be giving you guidance early on and helping you progress in your career. As a musician who has been on a major label and been through the ringer, I think that our relationship with our manager has hands down been the most vital and I will break down why below.
What Does A Music Manager Do?
Provide You With A Plan
Your music manager should provide you with a plan forward. This is not a job that your friend should be doing unless they have been in the industry and doing the proper things that they need to do. You should have an idea of what you are working towards and what you should be doing at all times. Your job as a band is just that, a band.
You need to work and treat this as your full-time job. Your manager should have a plan for you to move forward and get to the next level.
Note: To read about tour managers, click this post here.
Distribution Of Music
Your manager should provide you with a plan to distribute your songs and the best way to do so. This is a common thing managers know. Also, they should be getting your royalties handled for you. If you are releasing music that is getting spins, you should make sure you are getting royalties from it.
There are many distributors in music that will help you distribute to Spotify. You will be giving away a percentage of your royalties, but you need to do so. They should be able to let you know when it’s time to do a music video and they should have you do it in a way that doesn’t break your bank right away.
Establish A Brand
Managers who are good often times like to be in on this part of the job. They want to make sure that your business is your brand. I think this is good as it always helps to have another person who is a little more on the outside of things that can be objective.
Get You Gigs Or Help You Find A Booking Agent
Your management should be able to help you book your first year or so of gigs. Assuming that you’re not a big band right away. Booking shows is something bands can do on their own at first, I know. But having a manager do this alleviates stress and allows the band to focus on music production.
Get Your Music In Front Of Labels When Its Time
You will always think it’s time to move forward. Your manager will help you decide when you are ready to start pitching. It might not be right away and you should be okay with this. I know that you will think you are constantly ready, but having some perspective, it really helps to have a manager for this.
Know What Works For Bands In Your Genre
Find a manager who is into your music and into the style of music you’re doing. If you’re a rock band, having a pop manager isn’t always going to a smart play. Some managers don’t cover what’s in and what’s not when it comes to genre to genre as there is so much to cover. You want someone who knows what to do with you.
How Much Should A Manager Be Commissioning?
Managers typically commission 20% of everything the band makes. This is standard and it may seem like a lot, but it is the industry standard. For all the work they do to help you with your day to day, it is worth it. Also, when you start a band, you typically have zero clue on how the industry works and your manager will have a great idea or should.
You should be on a friendly basis with your manager as this is the person who’s going hopefully be with you for your whole journey. Treat them well as the last thing you want is a bad relationship with them. You don’t want your manager to have to work for you every day and not like you, it’s not a good fit.