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When Do Music Artists Need A Manager?

Here's What You're Doing Wrong...

This blog targets developing, career minded music artists and actors that are currently unknown on the national level and who have requested artist manager on Facebook or social media. I joined a few new social media groups recently and the first thing I noticed in one of the artist management groups was that the members were saying stuff like, "Yo I need a manager right now!", "I need someone who can manage me", "If you're an artist seeking a manager hit me up". I'm a talent manager and I'm here to tell you to cut it out lol. That's not at all how it works. You won't get the attention of an experienced and well connected manager that way. Let me tell you why:

You're not posting enough detail. What kind of Artist Manager are you seeking? What genre of Artist are you? Actor? Singer? Model? I'm guessing you're either pursuing music or acting. What have you accomplished so far? Do you have a link to your work or to your EPK? At the very least include those details in your post so that you get the attention of the right manager. You don't want just any manager. You want the RIGHT one that best suits your purpose. Just to give you an idea of the different types of Managers there are, here's a list.

Personal Manager

Talent Development or Artist Manager

Business Manager

Production Manager

Tour Manager

Technical Manager

What About Agents?

As this pertains to Actors, if you're just starting out then I recommend a personal or talent Manager type. Usually a manager is there to guide you through the tough times in the earliest stages of your career. Your relationship with your manager should be tight like glue. A good one can help you polish up your act and get you some training and experience all in an effort to prepare you for an agent or talent agency. An agent has the connections you'll need to get those acting gigs and they'll book them for you and tell you how to prepare. Agents and Managers usually work on commission; so they get paid only when you get paid. They'll get a percentage of what you make. You'll need to decide if you can afford to keep both the manager and the agent. If it were me I'd drop the manager until you really start making some dough because the agent can also provide you with training and resources to further your career just as a manager can. Or you can just pay them both and earn next to nothing. That would still benefit you during the early stages of your career because you're unknown. Once things pick up then you can make adjustments. Be sure you read your contract tho to make sure you are legally allowed to make such changes.

If I Was Your Manager

They aim to get paid. Usually a commission of 15 to 30%. Unlike most Agents, there are managers that are qualified to work with unknown artists that are rough around the edges if they believe that your talent will eventually lead to financial success. They usually help to nurture and develop the talent of their artist. It could be months or years before a manager sees the money from their investment in your talent so a wise manager will want to make sure you are worth the wait before they sign you. Managers like this are rare these days tho as you'll see in item #2. The more you accomplish on your own before bringing in a manager, the better. Personally, if I decide to take on an artist that requires a significant amount of development, or if I must start at the bottom with such an artist, I'm going to require that they pay up front for all opportunities, materials or tasks that cost money for a specified period. I call such artists "high risk artists". Things like photo shoots, studio time, dance choreographer, etc, they'll have to pay for out of pocket. If I'm able to book them a paid gig, they can keep the full amount, unless and agent is involved and as long as the total pay out is under a certain amount. The reason for that is to build confidence in the artist. Getting them paid will help boost their confidence. The other benefit my artist would have is that their voice and performance coaching is free. Once the artist begins to show promise we can switch to the traditional form of artist management in regards to paid commission.

Do You Have It Together?

More than likely you WILL NOT find well established and well connected music managers in a Facebook group, and if you do, they won't even look twice at your post if you're not presenting yourself as a professional, career minded artist that's ready to go RIGHT NOW. They don't have time for all that. Managers on that higher level have already tasted success and once they've tasted that, they don't and WON'T go back to working with unprepared, under-developed artists who haven't already put in more than 90% of the work before they began their search to be represented by a manager. That's beneath them and a waste of their precious time. If you want to work with someone on that level you'll definitely need to upgrade and elevate yourself high enough so they can see you out there. That means don't even think about asking somebody on THAT level if you don't already have a fanbase, if your social media ain't poppin, you have no acting reels (for actors), no portfolio (for models), you don't already have a huge email list, if you're music ain't streaming, if you don't have a website or EPK and if you haven't already invested in your own "do it yourself" marketing campaign. That's the way it's done in 2019.

How To Know When It's Time For A Manager

You might not even need a manager yet. Many artists begin searching for managers prematurely. Sometimes they want to be able to tell people they have a manager because it makes them feel or appear more official. They get somebody like their best friend or cousin to call themselves their manager. Their so called "manager" knows nothing, has no connections and they're not getting paid because you are not getting paid so basically they're going around with this title, twiddling their thumbs; but nobody is getting paid. If you do get picked up for a major opportunity such as a record deal, your fake manager won't know how to properly represent you if they don't understand things like contract negotiation, copyright law or how to navigate social media to promote you.

Typically how this is suppose to work these days is you would bring in a manager to do the things you can no-longer do for yourself because your popularity has increased beyond local status and your business tasks (such as the things I just mentioned earlier) are now too much to handle. Having a manager enables you to focus on being an artist while your manager handles the business side of business. If you're not there yet and you need guidance getting there, consider selecting a talent development manager, mentor or coach to help you get there first. Some may do it for free if they really believe in you. Be willing to put in that time to improve your talent before you start putting out music because first impressions are the last. Read books and study the business side of business so you don't get ripped off.

Bottom line is if you don't have any real work for your manager to do, or the kind of talent that will get your manager paid in accordance with a contract...if you don't have a BUDGET to pay your manager then you are not ready for that yet. There's a chance you may just THINK you're talented. Maybe you're not?? Just saying. If you want me to check you out I can certainly provide feedback about your talent during a consultation in my office or online.

The Proper Way To Approach A Manager

In closing, I'll share an EXAMPLE of how to post your need for a Talent Development Mentor level Manager or even a more established Manager. Don't ever request a manager if you don't have at the very least a decent social media following and demonstrations of your talent (your music, your acting reel, etc) available on the date of your post. This is what I'd prefer to see and it's what would get MY attention in a FB group or elsewhere. It's just a demonstration:

"Hi. My professional name is LollyPack. I'm an urban pop style Music Artist, published composer and producer out of the DC area and I need a little help getting better established. I'd prefer to work with a Manager that has music and entertainment industry connections, plenty of knowledge about today's music industry, experience with contract negotiation on behalf of Artists, one that's familiar with copyright law and music publishing, as well as one that can present me with their prior artist roster or that can present proven success in getting artists established. If you're out there please view my EPK containing samples of my accomplishments at . I've already got potential hits ready to go! Thanks in advance for your consideration."

Well that's all for now. I sure hope this was helpful. If you're in need of a Voice Coach, A Talent Development Mentor or an EPK to present your work as a music artist, well here are links to look me up: or inbox me on IG @SingingFlat. I'm on Clubhouse @ClubSallyb.

Yours in music! - sb

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