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How Can I Find a Music Manager

So, you’ve got your demo recorded and it’s sounding great. You’ve amassed hundreds of fans on your social media sites. There are gigs in the diary.

The next step, for many artists is to seek some degree of management. Many artists prefer to represent themselves to avoid passing a small chunk of their royalties to a manager.

What Should I Expect Of A Manager?

Whilst I may be slightly biased, ultimately a Managers’ primary task is to sell & create a “buzz” around their artists, be it with Record Labels, Publishers or the Press. It is usually more comfortable to let someone else do this, than do it yourself. It also frees up your time to focus on the music.

I find each artist expects something different from their Manager. The actual day-to-day expectations are often drafted in an agreement. An international recording, touring artist for example may expect their Manager to ensure their personal bills are paid whilst they’re on the road. When you’re starting out, all you should aim for with your Manager is initially to allow them to build you as a “product,” and push you out to the relevant contacts they may have.

What Will A Manager Do For Me?

Most of my day consists of liaising with Artists, Labels, and Publishers & Press, setting up meetings, creating & implementing short and long term plans. Managers usually take care of the “business” end of making music. They negotiate deals for you, their experience and contacts could be the difference between a good deal on paper; that leaves the artist high and dry or a great deal that changes everything.

How Much Should I Pay My Manager?

Depending on how established as an artist you are you could usually expect a manager to take anything from 15-20% of your income in the Entertainment industry. Commission of up to 50% has been heard of but is rare and often in cases where the band/artist is “manufactured” and the Manager in question has invested a significant amount of money, time and can guarantee exposure (National TV for example). Make sure you talk openly with anyone you’re considering as a manager about his or her commission.

How Do I Find A Manager?

If you’re thinking getting a Manager is the route to go, speak to other musicians, ask around and find someone who you’d also get on with enough to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Make sure you approach them in the right way. I’ve lost count of the emails I’ve received with a 10mb attachment, a 3 page bio and 6 different fonts, presumably to “grab my attention.” Check out this post for top tips on how to contact people.

Most managers will prefer a link to your music, a short biography, any press clippings/links you may have and brief description of why you’re approaching them. The main rule to remember is be patient - Managers are often looking after multiple artists and often out of the office. Most will always get back to you with one response or another eventually!

Charlie Todd, ADR Management (A D Records)