When is it Time to Find a Manager for Your Band?

In many cases, a band manager feels like having the band completed. All bands have different kinds of relationships with their managers. Some are very personal and others keep it professional. But when exactly is the right time for my band to find a manager?

An artist manager should be appointed as soon as the band administration, bookings, control over finances and travel arrangements are too challenging to handle for the band members. Having a trusted person to take care of the band’s well-being enjoys equal responsibility as being one of the band members.

Let’s take a closer look at the topic of band manager.

What Exactly Does an Artist Manager Do?

The manager of an artist or band supports the band with all the off-stage tasks. This primarily includes performance bookings and venue arrangements, band finances, merchandise orders and sales.

As a secondary priority, they support the band with promotion and marketing since the workload becomes too much. Normally this job becomes the focus area of a booking and promotions agent when you decide to take the next step.

Once an agent is appointed, the manager hands over the responsibility of making bookings and promoting the band.

Appointing a band manager also means that the band places trust in the hands of an objective person that takes care of the core of their business. This helps solve many conflicts within the band where now, each member allows the manager to take care of their needs.

If you are currently experiencing conflict in your band, you will highly benefit from reading the article I published about the 9 steps to deal with conflict within your band.

Sometimes band members can act like kids and will need strong problem-solving skills to guide them to solutions.

When is a Band Manager Needed?

Band administration becomes a challenging task when the band becomes busy with performances, practices, travelling and handling money and merchandise.

In general, we way that an artist manager is needed when the band turns into a business. When there are income generated and expenses to be paid, we need a trusted and fair mediator to take over these tasks from the band members.

The person does not need to be experienced in the industry and can grow with the band in gaining experience to accomplish the common goal.

Talking about finances: don’t miss the article I wrote about Modern merchandise to monetise your music to maximise your income and target the right people and articles to sell.

Where Do I Find a Band Manager?

Finding a band manager could seem like a challenging task, but mostly the right person sits right under your nose. Here are a few ideas of whom to consider for the task:

  • A trusted relative of the band
  • A close friend of the band
  • A committed fan with contacts and applicable background
  • Announce the search for a manager on your social media and see what types of applications come in.
  • A colleague from work that all the members get well along with.
  • Contact local record labels or recording studios and ask whether they know of specialist artist managers.
  • Announce the position at a gig and ask interested people to meet after the show for a chat.
  • Hang up flyers at a targeted spot. Eg. Music stores, sound engineering campuses, and graphic design schools.

When my band got signed with a first 2 album record deal, we got a manager offered to us. It was the wife of our distribution company. It made sense to us having her since we had no experience in what we needed to do to please our label and sell our albums.

She helped us in the kindest manner and educated us on what is fair. This helped us to see the industry a little differently. We adored her and enjoyed the support off-stage as well.

When she got into her studies, we needed to find a new person to manage us.

I had a friend in mind that was also a big fan of the band. An influential guy, but still inexperienced in the industry. His most valued skills were commitment, loyalty, willingness to learn, belief in the band, and of course his management skills.

As a band, we had a quick raise of hands for all who is for appointing as our new manager, and we called him on the spot. He was so excited and grateful for the job and immediately started to do research and got in contact with venues that he felt were appropriate.

Is it Worth Getting a Music Manager?

An artist manager is absolutely worth having. Especially if that person brings in a unique set of skills that neither band member has, but is desperately needed.

As a band, having a sound engineer, graphic designer or website guru in your ranks places you a few steps ahead in the game, especially when there is not much income to profit from.

Make sure that you appoint the right skilful person that will bring a different uniqueness and advantage to the band so that they will enjoy the same credit and advantages as being the final member of the band.

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.

Life is good when all the band members agree on the decisions taken by the manager.

Can I Become a Band Manager?

If you can answer these questions with a yes, you can definitely become an artist manager:

  • Are you able to commit to a project for a long period of time? (At least 2 years and then reassess.)
  • Do you love music and live performances?
  • Are you open-minded towards people and can be a mediator in problem-solving?
  • Do you like arranging things like hotel rooms and concerts in places you have not been to yet?
  • Do you have the willingness to learn?
  • Can you motivate and convince people?
  • Are you a negotiator?

In the beginning, it might be stormy waters, but we all went through it to gain experience and make a name for ourselves.

Start off by doing it as a hobby. You will acquire new skills and make a name for yourself. After a few years, you could also add more bands or artists to your repertoire.

Who Should I Hire First, a Manager or an Agent?

This depends on how much admin you have in your artist camp.

If you are running a band in the beginner or intermediate phase with a busy schedule and a small income, you would definitely start off with a manager. A manager brings direction, fairness, and vision which is what a starting band needs.

If you are a solo artist or a duo, you could well be capable of arranging your own administration, and you might skip having a manager and go straight to requiring the services of a booking and promotions agent.

Once you have recorded and released material to promote, an agent would be your go-to person. An agent can’t promote an artist that has little to promote.

What Do I Need Before I Contact a Booking and Promotion Agent?

  1. A catchy biography which presents the character of the band well.
  2. A press kit which includes all the information that you would like the public to know about you.
  3. A history of gigs at various venues. This points to previous success and reference.
  4. At least 3 upcoming gigs to offer the chance to see you perform live.
  5. A decent following on social media. This does not mean thousands of fans, but just a few hundred would do. This guarantees you have done hard work and built up a fan base that will support you through thick and thin.

Do Artist Managers Go to Gigs or On Tour With the Band?

Yes, they should go to gigs and on tour with the band to make sure that arrangements and the events run smoothly.

If this is not possible in all cases, proper preparation should be set in place for the band to have a smooth and easy transition from venue to venue.

I’ve had many cases where we were alone, but the tour was well arranged and we managed to meet all the people we had to. It’s not ideal, but possible.

Organising the right shows for your band that will excite them takes time and practice. The one gig that guarantees them being head over heels is to open for a successful artist. Don’t miss the article I wrote about “Landing an opening gig for a successful artist” which guides you on how to organise such an event and take the first steps in your career as a manager.

I hope this article answers most of your questions. If you have any others, please add them in the comment box below.

Until next time!

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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