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Old 22nd February 2018
Gear Maniac


I can't find a suitable sub-forum. What would be the best way of getting a good manager?
Old 23rd February 2018
Lives for gear
stevelindsay's Avatar

The good managers will find you. The best way of getting one is to have a strong ongoing list of well-attended gigs, strong growing fanbase, show that you're making money via good merchandising; that you're a good active self-promoter; anything that will show that you are a 'bankable' bet as a client. In other words, all the reasons why you probably don't need a good manager as you're already doing it all yourself, but you're happy to pay someone to take the load off your own shoulders. The good managers won't go with any unknown talents mostly, they don't have the time for artist development (like most labels nowadays). So assuming you are seeking someone to help grow your career, I would just focus on growing your own career as well and diligently as you possibly can. If you do it right, the good managers will coming knocking on your door for a piece of the action.

But to try and be a bit more helpful, if you contact your local performing rights association, they should be able to point you to some management in your local area that you could talk to.

I always found that the reputable managers are happy to talk, but usually its just to outline the same facts as mentioned in my post. Hope this is of some help.
Old 23rd February 2018
Lives for gear
3rd Degree's Avatar

First and foremost, you need to make money to have a manager because a good manager needs to get paid. In my genre, I am seeing more and more people manage several artists because one just doesn't pay the bills. A manager typically gets a percent, and not a large percent so 10% of not much is 10% of not much.

If you want an experienced manager, typically they are going to find you. I don't even have a manager, but the person who often stands in as my manager, but also does projects with me (he manages a much bigger artist) found me.

However, many people have managers who had no experience in the music industry. It could be as simple as a trusted friend. It takes a lot of passion and ambition to be a manager, it takes a lot of work, but it doesn't necessarily take much experience. It is very common for people to just pick a detail oriented friend who they know they can work with every day.

That said, I am of the opinion that you really don't need a manager until you simply don't have the time to deal with the day to day. That is why I never had formal management. I could set up everything I would have a manager to do myself. I researched what I should get compensated for. I am not shy so I reach out to the people who may have opportunities myself. If you are shy, I suggest you try reaching out because I was shy, and that isn't typically going to get you far, and a manager can't speak for you on everything. So, until you really need someone to take over because you simply can't do that much work, you probably don't need a manager.

Be wary of managers that solicit services but don't have a plan. A manager with experience will know what to do with you. They will hear what you are doing and know why they want to manage you and where to place you. There are manager services and just people who solicit services for a fee, but typically a manager gets a percent. It's on you and them to come up with the details, there are some standard roles a manager plays but you both need to iron out the details.

Lastly, a manager typically isn't a short term relationship. For many people, it's a career commitment. Even my stand in manager is someone I have now known for over a decade and I trust the guy with my life essentially. If I ever was in the position where I needed a manager, I would go to him and expect that relationship to maintain for the next decade or two, which it likely will regardless of what I do. It's a pretty serious relationship, you may know your manager and spend more time with them than your significant other.
Old 20th March 2018
Gear Head

Sorry, this might be a little off topic (didn't know exactly where to post) but what is the difference between an A&R manager and an Artist Manager? If you wanted to get your song to a particular artist then would it be better or easier to go through an A&R manager or an Artist Manger? Thanks.

Old 21st March 2018
Lives for gear
3rd Degree's Avatar

Originally Posted by Neal_Sabel View Post
Sorry, this might be a little off topic (didn't know exactly where to post) but what is the difference between an A&R manager and an Artist Manager? If you wanted to get your song to a particular artist then would it be better or easier to go through an A&R manager or an Artist Manger? Thanks.

I have not worked directly with an A&R outside of Hip Hop, and they can (and in my case did) have a different role than in other genres of music.

Essentially, an A&R would typically work for a label. They are essentially "talent scouts". Back in the day, they may attend concerts and what not to find bands to sign. Now, it's probably more finding people through YouTube or social media that may benefit a label, honestly not sure how it is done these days but I know it's not really done like it was. But many will work on projects too, finding a producer for a band. I am sure someone can elaborate more but typically they work for a record label, not for the artist.

A manager works for the artist. They are hired by the artist. In some cases, they may be paid through a label, and be part of a label (or own part of a label in some cases) but typically they are paid a percent of what an artist earns. That is negotiated between the artist and the manager. Sometimes people have more than one manager to split these tasks but the basics. Touring, a manager sets up concerts or tours, makes sure the money is correct, makes sure accommodations are taken care of, keeps things on schedule, etc. This type of manager typically spends time setting up opportunists for an artist to perform. Another job the same, or different manager does is to shop the band to labels, get the music in front of people who will pay for it (some albums are financed through 3rd parties when independent for example), and oversee a lot of day to day things.

When only one manager, they typically would spend a bunch of time with the artist, maybe not in every studio session but they typically are with the artist most of the time. In contrast, an A&R spends time finding talent for the label, putting time into the artist they are working with at a certain time, but are working for the label. A manager often is with an artist indefinitely, an A&R is with an artist as long as they need to be, but isn't directly hired or associated with the artist, just for a project, a record deal negotiation, whatever the role they are playing at the time.

This is a basic, off the top explanation. I am sure someone can do better. However, both jobs are more "variable" than they used to be. There are more roles they fill as technology, distribution, and consumption of music changes.
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