Managers: What They Do, How They Get Paid, and How to Get One

Managers: What They Do, How They Get Paid, and How to Get One

A manager is the professional representative for the artist who helps develop their career and manage their various opportunities such as negotiating contracts and securing industry contacts. There are two types of managers in the music industry, business and personal managers. 

What is the Role of a Manager? (What do managers do?)

Personal managers are the ones who help the artists strategize the day-to-day and advise them on their careers. Business managers focus on the financials and the business aspects of the artist’s career. The manager is involved in every aspect of the artist’s career and works to make sure that they are making the right moves to grow their career. 

What Does a Manager Not Do?

Although managers may help you get some opportunities, it is not their job to procure employment. This instead would be a talent agent’s job. Although a manager is involved in all aspects of the artist’s career, they are not directly responsible for publicity, publishing, or negotiations. Instead, they are involved in finding the individuals who are going to help the artist do said things. 


How to Become a Manager?

There are a number of ways to get into the industry as a manager. One way would be to begin working in the business aspects of the music industry such as working under other prominent executives in the music industry, such as other music managers, executive producers, and even entertainment attorneys. This will not only help you learn about the industry but will also help you make contacts which be beneficial when managing your artist(s) in the future. Another way to become a manager would be to keep an eye out for undiscovered bands/artists and help develop them. 

How Do Managers Get Paid? 

Managers usually get a percentage of the Artist’s earnings, so when the artist does well so does the manager. This percentage is earned from the Artist’s entertainment activities. Likewise, including, but not limited to, royalties, merchandise sales, publishing and recording advances, sponsorships, or anything else agreed upon. Each management agreement is different and varies depending on the terms negotiated between the manager and the Artist. 

How Do Managers Manage Expenses?

It is important for the Artist and manager to come to an agreement on how business expenses should be managed. Will the manager be paying their own travel costs for concerts or business meetings for the benefit of the Artist? Will the Artist have to approve all expenses or just the ones over a certain amount? When will the manager be reimbursed for expenses? These are all questions that have to be ironed out in the management agreement. 


When is it Time to Hire a Manager?

It is time to hire a manager when you cannot manage your career on your own. As an artist starting out, you must manage your career yourself and get your name out there, but once you are already recognizable and the gigs are lining up it is time to hire some help so you can focus on the creative side of your career. 

Tips to Find, Pick, and Work with Managers

Your manager is the number one person you are going to interact with as an artist, and it is important that you find the right person for you or your band. While looking for a manager it is important to network, so you find the perfect candidate. A  manager is one of the most integral parts of your development, so they should be someone you trust and have a good dynamic with. 

 Depending on where you are in your career, you may want a manager who works only for you and is dedicated to your development, or you may want to work with a management company that may have more connections and can take you to the next level. Either way, it is important to make sure that you and your manager are on the same page.


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