How To Get a Manager: Music Business Management
Last Updated December 15th 2015
As the artist Manafest I’ve sold over 300,000 albums worldwide, over 1,000,000 singles and toured over 19 different countries.
I’ve worked & signed with many different managers in both the USA & Canada. I’ve also had the privilege to travel to music conferences like Midem, Music Matters, NXNE & SXSW to network with managers all around the world.
This course will show you exactly what you need to do to get a manager and what you should be focusing on to build your career.
I have put this course “How to get a manager” together for you – to which you have full lifetime access, including all the updates, for free.
I “take you step by step” showing you:
- Why ever artists should self manage first
- How much a manager should get paid
- What are the roles of a manager
- Negotiating a fair deal
- What to say to a manager
Music Management & Introduction To The Music Business
Course introduction and overview
A managers role encompasses so many areas including: Touring, radio, record label deals & negotiation, publicity, TV/Film Placements, social media, retail & online promotion.
We all want to someone to come and just fix our career & make us an overnight success. The truth is no one is coming to save you or me. We have to get out there and do it ourselves.
A Manager Only Makes Money When You Do. This is anywhere from 10-25% of an artists gross earnings.. Gross is before expenses.. So if you were booked for a show and got paid $1000 and the managers fee is %15 then they'd take $150 off the top. You'd also have to subtract your travel, food & band costs if you have to pay a band.
Reaching out to people in the industry is super important and getting a referral is normally the best way to approach it.
What a Manager Is Looking For In An Artist
Good songs & a good show
You meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way down.
At the end of the day the bills need to be paid and you can't expect anyone to work for free. If you aren't making money or don't have the potential to make money, a manager is probably not going to be interested in you.
After you sign with a manager there are some immediate actions that should follow such as:
1) Getting you on tour
2) Licensing Deals/Record Deal Shopping
3) Recording an album with a producer
4) Signed to a booking agent
Management Contract Details
I would rather have 85% of something then 100% of nothing. Don't be afraid to give up a percentage of what you earn if your manager is going to help you make more money
After a manager has been working for you for a certain period of time and the contractual agreement/relationship has come to an end there is a phasing out period called a sunset clause. This is where the manager continues to get paid a phased out commission rate for the next 1-3 years. Example: 1st year 15%, 2nd year 10% 3rd year 5% and then done.
This is rare but I've set it up where I've given a manager rights only to the USA and I handled all international deals.
A manager or management company is paid on commission usually around 15-20 % of your gross income. This percentage rate can vary, the manager will argue the risk of taking on a new band which may have a limited following and the extra investment required for launching the act to increase the percentage stake. These are valid considerations but artists should be very cautious of anything over 25%. -
Managers shouldn't be double dipping into publishing or booking unless they are actually doing the work to make these things happen.
What You Should Be Looking For In a Manager
Having an open end relationship with your manager where you can call and get them on the phone is important. They should be available for you to chat about business but also when you just need a shoulder to cry on.
Sitting down with your manager to write down the vision and set goals for the year is super important.
The most successful managers are the best at developing good relationships and knowing when to leverage those relationships to get things moving or open doors for the artist.
I've heard horror stories of managers stealing money and if you see that there not honest with dealing with other people what makes you think they'll be honest with you.
Managers can't do it alone: The successful ones have a team to help delegate and get even more accomplished on behalf of the artist.