I often hear that producers say that they need artist managers. I most certainly will guarantee that 95% of them don’t. It sounds sexy to have a manager, but most producers will not get to the point where it becomes a necessity.
Below is a list of common misconceptions about artist managers, plus a list of suggestions on when a manager is appropriate.
Artist managers close doors, not open them
Very seldom do managers hustle harder than the artists they represent. A manager, or talent agent, primarily turn down shitty offers and take good ones. When producers think that getting a manager will flood a series of bookings, press, and opportunities, they’re usually wrong. Managers
That said, there is a very small population of managers who do bust ass for their artists. These managers are pivotal, and if one of them believes in you, take the opportunity to work with them. The rest of the 95% of managers are not of this caliber, and should not be considered while you are building your career.
Artist managers do not make up for a lack of hustle
Managers do not make up for a lack of the artist’s hustle. Most of the young producers that I hear wanting managers are either too lazy or too inefficient with their time to accomplish what they would like to do. They want a manager to compensate for their lack of discipline and ambition. If you can’t get yourself to the point where you actually need a manager, you will never need one–ever.
It’s not worth it to sign early
I once had an interview with an upcoming Talent Agency. Little did I know, that talent agency was an uphill battle, convincing club bookers to take artists that were relatively unheard of. I politely declined the position. I knew that few talent buyers would purchase the artists. Those artists were good, but they signed too early to a talent agency without clout. Contrasting, I had a friend sign onto Circle Talent a few weeks ago, with only 4,000 fans on his Facebook page. If the artists with the young agency would have waited another 6 months, another 12 months, I’m sure they would be in a much better place.
Signing early on can also stifle your artist earnings. The worst time to split money with a manager is when you are only making pennies off of your music. Also, a manager might press a young artist to receiving a higher royalty cut of the artist’s income, ripping him off in the process.
So when do I need a manager?
With enough hustle and success, you will need a manager at some point! While there isn’t an exact formula for when you need, here’s some suggestions for when a manager may be appropriate.
- You literally have no time in the day to do music because of emailing blogs, labels, promoters. This does NOT include having no time because you want to play Xbox, or because you’re working.
- You receive 10+ out of state booking requests per year
- You are constantly written up in major music blogs.
- You are being regularly distributed via major record labels
- You reach any of these: 10,000 Facebook fans, 50,000 SoundCloud followers, 25,000 Instagram followers. All fans & followers must be real, not paid.
- You are able to work a day job part-time or less. Preferably, you are financially stable from your music.
- You win a big accolade like Insomniac’s Discovery Project.
Make sure you need a manager before you get one. If you feel you do not need a manager at this point, keep hustling until you do.
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