Posted: Aug 23, 2022
**Guest post written by Yona Marie, originally featured in her blog.
"Are you looking for management in your music career? Have you reached the point where you need someone else to manage many of your business aspects in order to you to be able to focus more on the creative side of things? Are you unsure of the process for getting a manager that fits your style, location, budget, and interests? You are not at all alone.
I know the hunger for music management for independent artists is pretty intense. I'm not a manager, but I get asked to manage someone every other day just because I know the music world! It flatters me, of course, but I want my readers to make sure they're looking in the right places and asking the right people. Not everyone that can manage should manage you. Also, more importantly, not everyone that is looking for management is ready for it.
Many people think managers should link them to their first few real money-making opportunities in the music world. In this day and age where people can get pretty far themselves, you need to have made money on your own. This can be shows, sales, contests, placements, or works for hire.
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Managers like to see artists and bands that know how to work with a crowd. You may be able to secure management before getting on stage, but it's recommended to do many performances on your own before you consider management. These performances don't need to have the best venues and biggest crowds, but you need to be able to say you've performed time after time in the past.
Before getting a manager, having several songs or albums under your belt is a good idea. Trying to get a manager while you only have one or a few songs that you can showcase will make it seem like you're a newbie who isn't ready to make money in this business.
When you are looking for a music manager, you should already have things like social media sites, an official website, a great bio, professional photos and video, a compelling backstory, a unique image, and similar necessary artist branding elements. If you are pitching managers without these, you will not attract that many quality manager opportunities.
You don't have to have thousands of fans, but those who are searching for a manager should have a solid base of at least 100 people who will genuinely make an effort to show up to their shows and support their music releases. If you don't have fans or rely only on your close friends and family for plays and views, you may want to do more work to establish yourself first.
The first thing you want to do when looking for a manager is to figure out what you already do well for yourself. If you're a singer who is good at networking locally and getting gigs, you may need to focus on someone who can manage your online presence. If you're in a band that's really well-versed in the legal side of the music business, you can focus on a manager that can promote and network for you.
One of the oldest and best ways to find a manager is to do small shows on your own and attend music conferences, festivals, and other similar events. Managers and promoters love to show up to events like these to find hidden gems. Get your name out there by showing your talent, talking to people, and giving out business cards.
A simple google search can take you way further than you think. Google is good for zooming in on certain locations and certain genres. Googling the phrase music manager with a location and/or style may show you a few people looking for music artists to represent that you can contact via email or phone.
Many managers and companies put out social media posts to announce they are looking for new acts to work with. You could also try to put out posts yourself, letting people in your network know that you are on the hunt for a manager. You'd be surprised who a status update could connect you to! Just be sure to look into background information and get referrals when considering opportunities you find.
Sites like Music Connection and The Unsigned Guide have directories where you can look through hundreds of active music management contacts in the industry. Be sure to approach people professionally and only reach out to people who work with your style and location to avoid wasting your time and theirs.
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Another great way to find a music manager is to ask your musician friends directly. You'd be surprised who may know someone who can help you get many career opportunities in the music business. Depending on your network, some friends may be able to link you to very professional contacts that aren't advertising their information online.
An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is an organized way to put together your artist information including contact info, recent shows, awards, placements, visual media, and recent audio releases. Sending pitches to music managers in the form of an EPK shows that you know your stuff and are ready to start a professional relationship that can benefit both sides.
Try not to send out emails with typos and brief statements that don't really grab anyone's attention. Avoid sending your music to managers that are obviously not working with your genre or in your area. Don't spam people's inboxes or voicemails just because you're that hungry for your next opportunity. Keep cool and stay professional about everything!
This one is obvious, but if you're extremely talented and you know how to rock a crowd, you will likely have one or more music managers reaching out to you whether you've followed the tips on this list or not. The important thing here is that you want to make sure you aren't falling for any cheap tricks and scams. Bad and good managers alike will show interest in a great artist or band.
A good manager will help you develop your brand image, your creativity, your business savviness, and much more, thanks to the experiences that they have been through and the connections they have. While it is good to have an idea of who you are as a music brand before a manager, there are still so many ways to improve your skills for your career.
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Managers may be able to connect you to great advertising and promotional outlets, including talent shows, Spotify playlists, podcast episodes, and much more. There are so many ways to promote music these days, and many managers know at least a few methods that work when they have a talented artist or band.
A manager may be able to get you a label deal, a licensing deal, or a publishing deal. These types of deals can get your music played on TV, Film, Radio, and so much more. Many great managers have friends in high places that can get your songs in front of a whole new audience and make you much more money as well.
A manager should be able to find venues for you to perform and get paid for your shows as well. Small-time managers may be limited to local shows, while more established managers can get you a slot at bigger festivals, competitions, official tours, and conferences.
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Music managers can help you with the finance and legal side of the music industry. This can include copyrighting fees, royalty payments, distribution deals, tour cash flow, and similar aspects that pertain to your earnings. Keep in mind that they will also be owed a cut of your income to take as their profit."
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