What Makes a Good Artist Manager?

When we start our search for an artist manager, we need to make sure about what exactly we need our manager to do that will help us in performing our music better as an artist. All artists request different services from their managers so the details may vary between each job description.

A good artist manager is able to organise, negotiate, solve problems, manage challenging personalities, have skills in finance and bookkeeping, make thoughtful and responsible decisions, and set achievable goals to take the band forward.

These attributes are challenging to find in just one person. That does not mean that someone can’t learn to acquire more of these skills. Let’s look at some of the main tasks of an artist manager.

The Main Tasks of an Artist Manager

In all bands, the tasks may differ, depending on the needs of the band and the skill sets of the manager and band members.

As a band or artist starting to make a small income, you might need to find a manager to support you with various tasks on your journey. Some of these tasks may look like the following:

  1. Setting up or shaping your biography and press kit.
  2. Promoting your shows to venues and booking gigs.
  3. To stay in contact with the concert venues, networking with important or influential people and building contacts.
  4. Taking care of the band well being on performance days.
  5. Making sure that payments are collected and expenses paid.
  6. Operating the social media of the band. Making sure there’s constant engagement and questions get answered.
  7. Order the merchandise and set up the stand on performance days. They don’t need to run it themselves. Just make sure that it runs smoothly.
  8. Other tasks that the band might need or request.

Each band has different tasks they will need their managers to take care of. I find it important for a manager to also have a different useful skill to the band like being a graphic designer or sound engineer to bring the factor x into play.

If you feel the need to find such a person to take care of your band administration and are still unsure when the right time would be, don’t miss this article I wrote about it. It will also give you guidelines on how to find the person that would suit your band well.

This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 11.02.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.

A manager uses the time during band practice to make contact with venues and make sure that the arrangements for upcoming gigs are in place.

How Much Do Music Managers Ask?

This depends on the experience, contract agreement and status in the industry that the music manager had built for themselves.

Beginner Managers

If you are a close friend, family member or beginner, you should enjoy equal shares as the rest of the band.

You can also make an agreement by being rewarded with a percentage of the performance and merchandise fees.

It is most rewarding for a young beginner manager to grow with the band. You see how the artists grow and develop and the venues get filled more each time. You build up a big network of contacts and also get to interact with other musicians.

Bands may break up, but your experience and contacts are still intact. You can carry on and take on a new journey with new bands to manage and reach new highs.

If you are a beginner manager and would like to treat your band with some interesting out-of-the-box types of merchandise, don’t miss the article I wrote about the modern types of merchandise to maximise your performance income.

Experienced Managers

An experienced manager that knows the traits and can put you on the next level of your career, would take at least a 50% cut of your income. For a musician, this is often worth the money since the band will progress in double or triple the time.

Often these managers also have contacts with record labels and promotion agents which would definitely put you on the map.

Be warned that it’s important to have the experience and material ready for such a journey. The starting phase and the beginner journey as a musician are important to go through and collect the much-needed experience before you reach the next level of your career.

What Should I Pay My Music Manager?

The job description of an artist manager is a challenging one. Especially for someone who will only start to do it part-time or as a hobby. They are not on stage to share the credit for the hard work that took place behind the scenes.

I ensured our managers got the same cut as the rest of the band. The effort they make and the ungrateful or disrespectful personalities they need to get along with have earned my respect from the start.

Your manager should be paid between 20%-30% of the artist’s income. This motivates the manager to book high-paying gigs and guarantees that the artist has regular performing slots at certain venues.

A proper payment shows inclusion and the feeling of being accepted and respected for my work, time and effort. No matter if it’s a close friend, relative, or neutral person.

Do Music Managers Get Paid Upfront?

This could be part of the agreement you have with your manager. Depending on their experience levels and time they are able to invest in managing the band. For a beginner manager, I would suggest just starting with a part of the gig fees that they have to arrange and no need for an upfront payment.

Experienced artist managers could ask for an amount of up to 500$ upfront to have you on their books. The payment offers guarantees like regular gig time, quality stages and venues, and performances with successful artists.

If you are still in the beginner phase or would just like to up your game and get your band excited with quality gigs, don’t miss the article I wrote about landing a gig with a successful artist.

I hope that this article has guided you to what you were looking for. If you have any other questions or tips or experiences that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below.

Guts and glory 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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