Occasionally we will get asked by a musician or band if we are a management company or where they might be able to find one. We tend to answer their question with another question:
What makes you think you need a manager?
A good manager will open doors in terms of connections and opportunities that lead to more revenue for you from your musical craft. Doors that you would likely not be able to open as quickly or at all due to your being busy with other aspects of your music career and/or because you just don’t have the connections.
There are two main reasons why you would likely consider looking for a band manager. To gain:
(…and as a result, more money than you would earn on your own)
Here’s what you might be experiencing around Time and Connections that makes you think you need a manager…
“I’m too busy writing, recording, performing, and promoting my music that I am leaving money on the table when it comes to maximizing my revenue opportunities because I just can’t get to them. I need help off-loading business and non-music aspects of my career to a professional so I can have someone with appropriate skills excelling at those tasks while I create more music that can lead to more releases, royalties/licenses, and performances.”
“I just don’t have the connections necessary to open the door to specific performance opportunities or sync licensing opportunities that can increase my music revenue. I could build those relationships on my own, but that comes back to time, and I would be taking time away from writing, recording, performing, and promoting my music to build those relationships.”
Both of the scenarios above are reasons to consider hiring a manager. However, a manager may not consider working with you if it’s clear you haven’t tried to successfully cover all of the above on your own to some degree.
A band manager worth their salt wants to know that the artist they will work with/for has a good work ethic, is consistent, and has done as much as they can on their own before seeking help. That speaks volumes about an artist’s character and motivation.
A manager/artist relationship has to be mutually beneficial for it to work well, and for that to happen there needs to be mutual trust between the two parties.
Many emerging artists who want to ramp up their revenue (and often fame for ego purposes – not really the best reason IMHO) want a manager as quickly as possible. They mistakenly think a manager is their key to music career success. A good manager can certainly help, but there are many factors involved with achieving any level of music career success, however you define success – most of which has to do with you as the artist and CEO of your entrepreneurial music business.
That means when you hire a manager they work on your behalf, but you are still in charge of your career and need to have the vision of where you want it to go.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider your need for a manager:
- If you are just starting out, you probably aren’t ready for a manager just yet
- If you don’t know how to do something that’s important to your career, learn it first before you outsource or delegate. Be sure you understand what’s involved and why it might make sense for you to delegate it.
- It’s certainly easier to direct and even evaluate how well your manager is doing for you if you’ve had experience doing that managerial task yourself. If you understand it first-hand, and have even become proficient at it, you will see the benefits of a good manager taking that task over.
It’s just not a good idea to hire someone to help you if you don’t understand what he/she is doing. It’s also not a good idea to hire someone simply because you don’t want to do the work. We recommend that you do it yourself, at least at first, so that you understand it and know what to look for in someone that can help.
Today’s Recommended Action: Stop Looking for a Band Manager and Take Inventory of your Workload
First, take a break and stop looking for a band manager. It’s probably not the best use of your time… yet.
Take some time today to list the tasks you perform for your band or your solo operation.
- Which of these tasks do you feel comfortable having someone else do for you?
- How much time will you free up if you hire someone to do them for you?
- If you’re in a band or group, could you even just delegate tasks to others in the group vs. hiring someone?
Finally, keep an eye on the impact: How does any delegation to other members of a group or to a manager help you advance your music career?