BY DT THE ARTIST
I am often approached by artists asking me, how do I get a manager? So, I intend to clarify that today. During my career as an artist I was mentored by Spice, the creator of the Entertainment Company “Platinum Dreams” She managed and developed artists and was great with the business end. After a few years learning under her tutelage and guidance, I later went to George Brown College where I Studied Artist Management and the Music Industry. I originally took the courses just so that I would know how to guide my own artistic career better. After taking the courses and meeting many artists I realized that many artists want a manager, without knowing why they needed management.
In order for an artist to have a manager you must first have something that needs to be managed. Having something to manage means that your career is starting to build up and you need someone with the skills and connections to start taking your career to the next level. The types of things a manager does vary, but include being your representative in business matters, ensuring that your brand is properly showcased, making sure that you get maximum exposure from each opportunity and ensuring you get paid. A manager is also responsible to give you guidance as to the next steps to your career.
What is a manager looking for in an artist: most managers are looking for artists that are self-starters and constantly looking for opportunities. They also look for artists that understand their target market and have built a fan base. Managers want artists that are going to work just as hard, if not harder for the advancement of the artists music career. Managers usually want an artist with a buzz, that is making noise around their base market. The reason for this is it makes it easier to build the artist and create opportunities using the leverage of the artists buzz.
What percentage does a manager take: A manager can take between 15% to 25% depending of the gross income of what their artists make. On top of that, they are also eligible to claim expenses such as travel, phone bills, food for meetings and any relevant expenses that pertain to the artist’s career. Managers get paid when the artist gets paid, so if the artist isn’t making any money, then the manager is not making any money. So, managers prefer to spend their time doing things that will make money.
Daily tasks: Managers spend a lot of time sending emails and making phone calls, representing their clients. You can also find them in and out of meetings, working to create opportunities to build on the artist’s brand, by partnering with other brands.
Booking shows: Managers are not required to book shows, once you have a booking agent. But if you have a manager and you don’t have a booking agent then your manager can fill in to book you shows and appearance opportunities.
Traveling/Touring: When you are starting as an artist and you have a manager you will be responsible for making the investment to have your manager on the road. Having your manager on the road with you, frees you up to do the more artistic and creative side, while the manager networks and handles more of the business. When you are first starting out and while you build your career, one of the best ways to get noticed is to create a budget and invest in going to other cities, festivals, performing and then having your manager meet with the promoter or venue to set up for you to go back on a paid return.
In conclusion, having a manager is great, but as an artist you need to be ready to have a manager. They will be giving you advice and making decisions on your career.