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managers, Music Business 101

Mar 2, 2016 09:00 AM

Hugh McIntyre

6 Things a Band Manager Does (Or Should Do) for You

Image via Shutterstock

Face it: once your career gets to a certain level, you're going to need a manager. That word scares some musicians, and while it's tough to find the perfect one, it’s going to be necessary. Many artists just starting out are aware that having a manager is important, but they don’t quite know what that role is responsible for. This is a person that you'll be working closely with and paying, so it should be clear to you exactly what they do. Here are a few things that your future manager will be in charge of concerning your music career – or if you already have one, make sure they're doing all of these things for you!

5 Types of Artists That Good Managers Will Never Work With


Don't let your personal baggage carry over into your music career. (Image via Shutterstock)

As a music business consultant, one of the most frequently asked questions I get from up-and-coming artists is, "Where do I find a manager?" And every single time, I tell them, "You don’t find a manager, a manager finds you." People tend to not like this answer, but it's the truth. Managers are talent scouts in their own right, and it's their job to seek new talent and find the right fit for their representation. Just because you think you're ready to have someone manage your career doesn’t necessarily mean that they will necessarily see the same value in you and your project as you see in yourself. Every manager looks for a different recipe in artists, of course, but these are five types of artists that any good manager will never work with.

Understanding Artist Management Agreements, Part 2: How Long Should the Contract Last?

Image via aimawards.org.uk

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Applicability of any legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. The sample contract is for illustrative purposes only, and has not been verified for compliance with the law of any particular state. If you have a specific legal problem or concern, you should consult an attorney.

In the first installment of our three-part series on the artist/manager relationship, we talked about managers' duties to their clients and what falls within that scope of responsibility (and what doesn't). Now that you have a basic understanding of that dynamic, let's take a look at how long a contract between the artist and manager should last.

Understanding Artist Management Agreements, Part 1: What Does (and Doesn't) a Manager Do?

Image via aldosianturi.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Applicability of any legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. The sample contract is for illustrative purposes only, and has not been verified for compliance with the law of any particular state. If you have a specific legal problem or concern, you should consult an attorney.

The artist management agreement is the deal that you, the artist, enter into with a personal manager or management company. Not only is it an important agreement, but because your manager is responsible for advancing and overseeing your career, your relationship with your manager will likely be the most important relationship in your professional career. Unfortunately, many new artists and managers do not realize the significance of the relationship.

5 Signs It's Time to Break Up With Your Manager

The Backstreet Boys with their former manager Lou Pearlman (far left). (Image via breatheheavy.com

A manager is the strongest, most important, and most necessary lifeline for a band. They're the connective tissue and the umbilical cord between the band and the rest of the music industry. Your manager will help you get a record deal, facilitate the placing of your songs in film and TV, book your flights (and re-book them when you miss 'em), manage your money, deal with all the people on your team as the central hub and nerve center, and basically be your "band parent." I cannot understate the value of a manager. They keep the whole operation running on time and on track.

Some bands will have the same manager their whole career. Others change things up. There are a variety of reasons to break up with your manager or go your separate ways at different points. Even Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson – all of whom are major stars – have split with their managers at times. There can be stagnancy, growth, or even familiarity issues that cause a split. It's almost never personal.

These are five reasons why breaking up with a manager might be the best option – even though it's hard to do.