Tuesday, November 9, 2010
One of the most misunderstood concepts in this business is music management. Most of us don't know what a manager does and when you need one. First of all it is key to remember that management only exists to serve the purpose of the artist. A good manager or management team is responsible for advancing your career. Now I like the concept of the management team because that's just what it is. The artist is the head of the team followed by the manager and any co-managers. The duty of a manager is to first understand and believe in his/her client. Your manager should be a living breathing extension of you. This person should always be serving and fighting for your best interest. A good manager knows that it is not enough to just handle what an artist has on hand but he/she must expand the artists career by seeking opportunities in various areas such as T.V., movies, commercials, modeling...etc. The manager only gets paid from a percentage of the money they make for the artist. The highest percentage in the business is 20%. Managers that get 20% are the supermen/women like Benny Medina because they have proven their worth and ability to produce for their clients. A good starting point for a manager is 10% with an agreement for a year. This gives you a chance to test the relationship and see if it is truly beneficial. Remember to only give managers a percentage of what they manage. For instance, I've seen management contracts that ask for 15 to 20% of everything the artist does such as live shows and all. I don't like this concept because the manager is not a booking agent so if your booking agent gets 20% and your manager wants 20% well you get the picture. This is just not fair in my opinion and beware because there are a lot of so called managers out there that prey on artists just to take advantage of them. All that being said, when do you need a manager? You need a manger when your career has become too much for you to handle yourself. It is impossible to be the artist, producer, publicist, booking agent, visionary and manager. You need the RIGHT help. My advice is to focus on building your career first all the while keeping your eyes open to managerial prospects. Most of the time the right manager will approach you. Let's face it, when you really have something that can make money, you will attract people who want in. You just have to be savvy enough to determine who is right for you. They MUST believe in you and your goals without reservation. I mean how can you sell something you don't believe in? This doesn't mean they have to be a yes man/woman but they must simply believe. Understand that the manager will only be a reflection of the client he/she represents. If the artist is driven and has an unrelenting work ethic then so will the manager be or if the artist is lazy and just wants to be told what to do then your manager will not respect you because instead of managing he/she becomes a babysitter. I've seen and had to babysit a lot of grown artists and musicians. This is not a pleasant job. So just continue to focus on your career by being the best self manager you can and remember what we've talked about and keep these things in mind when you interview or consider someone for a manager. Keep up the good work and I'll see you at the top!
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