9 MUST KNOW Realities of Being an Artist Manager

So you are keen to start your career as an artist manager? There are nine factors that I would like to share with you today to prepare you for your journey.

Being an artist manager is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. You live in the shoes of an artist without having to deliver the results. Your job is to build the stage and lay the proper foundation for your artists to perform and entertain the crowds.

Let’s start the journey!

Hold on, before we start. If you are keen to already begin your career as an artist manager, don’t miss the post I published about How to become a Music Manager right here.

Never Take Rejection Personally

Music is a massive business. You will apply for various interviews, gigs, and radio play and also to labels for record deals. Everyone is looking for the next best thing, to their version thereof.

You will get a “No” more often than a “Yes”. Or your emails will just be ignored.

When the above happens, please do not give up or lose hope. Draft an email that will suit various receivers so that you have more lines in the water. Having options is a dream, so let’s try our best to have a great chance to have that one shot at achieving our goal.

Once you receive a rejected outcome, try to understand and see the reason behind it. If it’s a matter of taste and not talent, you know that there is a “Yes” waiting for you around the corner.

The Gatekeepers Will Often Say No

Your gatekeepers are the ones that have control over the business. These include:

  • Radio personalities
  • Venue owners
  • Record labels
  • Promotion companies
  • Etc.

These companies also enjoy a full program with everybody wanting something from them.

There has been plenty of times when I had to wait for months to play at a specific venue just because it had such a big crowd of regulars. But in the end, it was worth the wait. Just don’t give up.

Try to Stay Relevant

You will need to shape your artist so that it fits into what will sell if your main goal is becoming famous and making money.

Each artist has a unique image. Uniqueness will always sell! Make sure that your artist has an interesting story and press kit to let him stand out and shine above the others.

If you are in the process of looking into shaping your image as an artist, don’t miss the blog post I wrote about it right here. It will guide you to new ideas and ways to see yourself through the eyes of your fans.

People Will Disappoint

You won’t always be able to put the fate of the arrangements in the hands of someone else. Your artist is not important to them and they have other things to take care of.

Make sure that you follow up regularly with agreements. Write agreements down and set reminders to follow up on the finer details.

This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 12.02.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.

A band performing at a venue

Keep Your Promises

Building trust in the industry also means that you need to keep your word. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

This goes especially to your band, the fans, venues and promotion companies. Building trust is the key to your success. Don’t damage the reputation of the band by being negligent or not living up to your promises.

We often talk about what to look out for instead of what would make a good manager. If this might interest you, don’t miss the post I wrote about What Makes a Good Artist Manager. Let’s talk about the positives as well! 🙂

Don’t Chase DeadEnds

As soon as you feel that you won’t win an interview, or you are not reaching an agreement with a venue, move on. It is not worth wasting your time when you could have used your energy reaching agreements with other possibilities.

As you grow and build experience, these venues will return to you, requesting a performance.

Often these gatekeepers change management or owners which opens up new opportunities for artists and people in general.

Develop a Good Business Reputation

Everyone loves to work with a positive and optimistic person. The first check is with yourself. Be mentally prepared when you head to meetings and be grateful for the offers that you receive.

If the offers from venues are not up to your standard or liking, try to negotiate and keep the door open to still have this performance.

Other important factors are:

  • Make your payments punctually
  • Arrive at your meetings punctually
  • Have some negotiation ideas going into meetings
  • Great communication skills

Treating the Music Industry as a Small Business

You will come across the same people quite often. You will often play with the same artists and share band rooms together. It’s important to keep good relationships with all the people and almost treat them like colleagues.

Never burn a bridge down if you didn’t get the outcome that you have hoped for. Sooner or later your artists’ reputation will skyrocket and you will be high in demand.

Keep it professional and clean. Grudges are for the rubbish bin.

Helpful tip: Congratulate other artists on the achievements and milestones they reach. They will appreciate it and do the same for you in the future. The only difference is that their following might be bigger and you would have a chance to offer your music to their fan base.

If you are keen to share a stage with a successful artist, but you are not quite sure how to go ahead with it, don’t miss the post I wrote about Landing an opening gig for a successful band to provide you with some insight.

A band performing live

Hard Work and Talent Equal Success

Your most important first step as a talent manager is to find the artist with potential. One that you can dedicate at least 2 years to building and managing them.

Things to look out for in young bands are:

  • Cooperativeness of the members.
  • Practice times and performance days that are available.
  • Capital that is available to get the business running.
  • Possible transportation that’s available for the members.
  • Their actual talent and music quality.
  • The history and reputation of the band.
  • Bad habits within the band.

There are plenty of elements to look at when you try to find your first band to manage. All stumbling stones can be rolled out of the way. It just depends on which types of stumbling stones you are keen to deal with.

As a band, you might be unsure when exactly the right time is to get a manager to help you. To be honest, I would have never been able to enjoy the success we had as a band if it wasn’t for our band managers. They were awesome and brought us to the next level with each gig and venue.

If you are unsure when the right time is, don’t miss the article I wrote about When the right time is to get an artist manager. It might provide you with the right type of insight you need to take your music career to the next level.

That’s it for now boys and girls!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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