(Music News) A lot of people have been asking me for advice with regards to Artist Management, some are aspiring managers and some musicians looking for managers.
So I then decided to share the little knowledge I know, through my experiences and what I’ve read written by experts…..
Well here’s my 2 cents worth advice to anyone interested:
*Managing an artist’s career requires interaction with people of all personality types under many pleasant and some unpleasant circumstances
* Among the most challenging can be those times when it is necessary to manage around the ego of another.
* Managing an artist requires patience and understanding of that person’s behavior and attitude.
* The music business is one where egos thrive, with many trying to be “somebody” or trying to assert that they already are somebody.
* The biggest problem in Managing an artist is when the manager him/herself is arrogant and ego-driven and that’s always the biggest problem in the South African music industry
Leadership is an important skill of a Manager at the beginning of an Artist’s career or at the beginning of the Artist-manager relationship.
* The influence of an Artist Manager on the early planning and development of an artist’s career is what helps the artist develop a focus and an organized purpose.
* It is important for the manager to keep good relations with Booking Agencies/Promoters and key Media people.
* The higher the demand for an Artist, the easier the job is for the manager.
* THE MOST DIFFICULT ARTIST TO MANAGE, IS ONE WITH NO HIT SINGLE OR BRAND VISIBILITY.
– A hit single that is on high rotation on radio and tv attracts the attention of promoters, meaning the manager no longer makes calls for bookings, they automatically come due to the artist’s popularity and relevance.
– In many occasions, I have been approached by artists with no hit singles or songs that have potential to be hit singles and honestly it has always been a challenge for me because my belief is that a Manager is mostly required when an artist can’t handle all the work on their own.
– I don’t believe in artists being “spoon-fed”!!!
* Networking is key in building an Artist’s career.
* If an Artist Manager, in the music business cannot get a call returned, they are ineffective, so building a network of contacts & relationships early in a career is extremely important.
* To build a network, a manager must be willing to become involved in both the business and social sides of the music industry.
* When an artist has become popular, there are demands on their time that the manager must try to meet because an artist’s career in the music business has a limited shelf life, and there is an urgency to draw as much from it as possible while demand is there
* As a manager, you must always be prepared for business regardless of the time of the day or day of the week; which means as a manager you do not have set office hours with weekends and holidays off or vacation.
* As an Artist Manager you are responsible for the success of every performance an artist makes.
* Being a manager comes with a lot of stress and pressure, with everyone shifting the blame on you when something goes wrong, it is important to keep a calm and be able to absorb all the pressure under any circumstance.
* Attending industry events, award shows, launches is key in order to meet key players who may be helpful in the careers of both the manager and artist.
– For Artist Managers, being social means having a congenial and approachable style that gives the appearance of being comfortable in many casual and business settings
– An allied social skill is to know the appropriate attire for different types of business meetings and events; not every artist manager enjoys social settings, but being part of them is a requirement of the job.
– Communication is key in an Artist Manager’s job, from communicating the artist and business associates.
-Persistence is highly important in being an Artist Manager, avoid being aggressive in getting your artist out there.
REQUIRED SKILLS TO BE A GOOD MANAGER:
* The best managers understand salesmanship and use those skills to create an interest by others in their clients. They use persuasion to influence and motivate industry gatekeepers on behalf of their artists.
* Artist Managers have a good sense of business, and are good at budgeting both time and money.
* An Artist Manager has the necessary technical skills to deal with everyone from the Promoter to the sound technician at an artist’s performance.
* Managers must keep their focus on the artist’s career, and also keep the artist from being distracted by the frustrations that go along with pursuing a competitive, high-rewards career. The artist too must maintain a focus on goals and it is the challenge of the manager to keep them motivated.
* Another important skill is to be able to solve problems,like defusing conflicts, resolving interpersonal issues, finding other ways to get results and being the “go to” person when major components of an event for the artist begin to fall apart.
HARSH REALITIES OF BEING A MANAGER:
* A lot of people will say no and a lot of gatekeepers will seem immovable. When they say “No”, it is not personal to the manager, it simply means you must find a way to get past the gatekeeper or pursue another that is more likely to give you an audience. Another way to get past them is to find someone in your network who can open that door for you.
* If your phone calls are not returned or your emails not acknowledged, it is not personal, it just means you haven’t developed the perception that you offer something that will improve the other person’s business.
* Keeping the spirits of your artists up during a continuing career roller coaster will be draining for you. Understand that the pursuit if opportunities for your artist will include many rejections due primarily to competition within the industry
* Many will tell you whatever is necessary to get you off the phone or their doorstep if they think you have nothing to contribute to their business. Things like “I’m in a meeting” “I’ll call you back” and they never do, but don’t take it personal
* People will disappoint you, especially those you dependent on
* The agendas of many people in the music business determine whether you matter to them. If you manage a significant artist, they will stumble over each other to get a conversation with you, if you are a former manager if a major artist or artist that’s not popular yet, you might get a lame hello or none at all from music industry people.
TIPS ON BECOMING A GOOD MANAGER:
* Give yourself a good self-assessment by looking at the strengths you have and how you will use those to the best advantage of yourself and your clients.
* Under every circumstance, act and be professional
* Build and maintain a network of contacts, that means calling on your contacts for assistance when you need it but it also means offering help when they don’t expect it.
* The smartest managers recognize that for a genuine growth, a career requires continuous education. Read books!!!!
* Know the business etiquette for the music industry.
* Be prepared for career setbacks and brace yourself for recovery
* Be better than your competing Artist Managers and become known as an expert
* Look successful even though your career is still a work in progress.
What I shared is what motivates me in doing what I do and hopefully it will be of good help to you.