Music managers are often the unsung heroes of the music industry. They’re tasked with helping artists navigate the business side of music and can play an integral role in helping musicians stay focused on making music.
Without one, musicians might find themselves spending hours trying to figure out how to book shows or even get paid for their performances.
What does a music manager do?
A music manager is an industry professional who helps artists get shows, record deals, publishing deals, radio plays, TV appearances, web profiles, and exposure in the press and on podcasts.
Their primary role is to find paying work for their artist. They make 20% of your total earnings as payment for helping artists get those gigs.
If you are an artist think of a manager as an extension of your PR team. A good manager will be able to help you with all aspects of the business side of your career: negotiating contracts with venues and labels; ensuring that bills are paid on time; managing your social media presence; and improving your chances of getting a good deal with merchandisers and sponsors.
Why would you want a music agent?
The benefits of having a music agent can extend beyond booking gigs.
An independent artist needs a music agent to:
- Book shows at venues that the artist couldn’t get into on their own.
- Sort through the large amount of paperwork associated with playing a venue, including contracts and promotions.
- Sell the artist’s work to labels and/or publishers, or connect the artist with experts who can do so.
- Connect the artist with other people in the industry who can help them improve their craft, such as songwriters and producers.
A good agent might have access to top recording studios or opportunities to collaborate with other artists. If you’re looking to get your music distributed, a music agent may have contacts with record companies and distributors that will give you the best deals on getting your work out there.
List of Music Managers looking for talent
This is a music management company that is headed by Lee Anderson. This management is under the Paradigm agency. They are located in Beverly Hills California
C3Presents provides full service for artists across different music genres. C3 utilizes the knowledge of some of the most experienced artists who are professionals in the music industry to help upcoming artists break into the industry. They also manage established artists.
The company offers combined music management and artist development services that have benefitted a lot of independent artists in the past. The most outstanding about music gateway is that they charge by the package instead of taking a percentage of the income. This is most appealing for independent artists.
This is an international music management that offers management for artists around the world. The company has provided management to artists for over twenty-one years. The company is headed by Jenny Rose who has a good reputation for building amazing relationships with artists.
It is an independent management agency representing artists that produce classic music. It is managed by experienced individuals in the music industry. Alpha artists seek to present valuable artists to companies whose goals include long-term investments, growth, and stability
Is a company that offers management and booking agent services for independent artists. It mainly focuses on bands. This company accepts all genres and is suitable for a diverse independent artist
This company accepts unsolicited submissions from independent artists in need of management. It also caters to promotion and marketing assistance. Arrow Music agency accepts styles like pop, electronic, and rock.
7 Tips for finding a music Manager
Networking is by far the best way to find a music talent manager. Start by connecting with industry professionals that you know through online and offline communities. You might be surprised how willing they are to offer advice, especially when you begin to demonstrate your dedication, passion, and hard work.
1. Network and build relationships
The best way to find a music manager is through personal recommendations.
If you know any other musicians or music business professionals who are handled by someone they respect, ask them if they can put you in touch with them.
Alternatively, create a list of musicians who have recently been signed to a label, management, or agency as an alternative. In addition to learning about those artists’ careers, you’ll also discover which managers are currently active in the industry.
Start looking for opportunities to meet new people at open mics, local shows, conferences, and networking events. Make sure that when you meet someone new in the industry you collect their contact information for future reference and follow up later via email or social media.
2. Research music management companies
Managers typically work with several artists. So, it’s a good idea to find out which ones are working with the kinds of artists you want to be like.
See if they have a website or profile on social media and look at their client list. This will help you figure out who is right for you.
3. Search LinkedIn and social media
Find managers on LinkedIn and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. On LinkedIn, search for industry groups such as the Music Managers Forum (MMF) or Featured Artists Coalition (FAC).
These groups often have members who act as managers, as well as managers looking for new talent.
You can also search hashtags such as #Musicmanager, #Musicagent…
4. Play live shows
If you haven’t played many live shows yet, this may not be your best option. A good manager will most likely be looking for an artist that has some experience playing live so that they can see how well you perform on stage.
Most managers will want to see if their clients can command an audience before investing their time and money into them.
This doesn’t mean that all managers will want this, though. Some may just want to grow and build with you from the start!
5. Release quality music
An artist is required to release quality music that can be used to sell out their brand. Releasing quality music sends a message of perfection and dedication. Every music manager wishes to walk with such an artist who perfects their craft from time to time. By releasing quality music, you are increasing your chances in the industry.
6. Have a developed artist brand
If you are an independent artist, have an established brand. This means having things like professional photos and videos of yourself performing.
It means posting regularly on social media about what is happening in your career. Managers want to know that they will be able to sell you as an artist.
7. Build a fan base and have a following.
A manager wants to see that people are interested in what you’re doing. They want to see that you’ve put the work into establishing yourself as an artist and that people care about your music enough to keep coming back for more.
This can be hard when you’re just starting out, so experiment with different ways of getting people excited about your music and making sure they keep coming back for more. This could include having giveaway days, live music at local venues, or releasing new songs regularly—the possibilities are endless!
What cut do music managers take?
The commission taken by a music manager is typically between 15% and 20%.
In many cases, there is no industry standard regarding how much of a commission music managers take from their clients.
The amount can be dependent on the success level of the artist. Some agents will start out with a 10% commission until the artist accumulates more money, and then increase their percentage to 20%. Other agents will take 20% for a few years and then decrease as the client becomes more successful.
How do music managers find artists?
Managers and recruiters now use a range of new tactics to find and nurture talent. Many music managers begin with social media specifically, Instagram. Promoted posts are an effective way for managers and recruiters to see who is giving the artist or musician a follow or repost on their page. For artists, these types of interactions offer validation from a third party in their own industry. This can be especially useful when trying to build momentum around your talent and gain professional recognition.
What are music managers looking for?
Music managers are looking for a lot of things: talent, creativity, and potential. But most importantly, they’re looking for musicians who are business-savvy. They want to know that you’ll handle your own affairs so they can focus on getting you gigs, writing with other musicians, and making new connections that will help your career flourish.
If you want to impress a music manager, the first thing you’ll want to do is get your own marketing and management platform in place. You should be using social media to connect with fans and build an audience for yourself.
Whenever possible, you should be posting videos of yourself performing or recording music—and those videos shouldn’t just be on YouTube. You should also be posting them on Instagram Live and Facebook Live so that you can collect data about which kinds of content your fans like best.
That way, when a manager contacts you, it won’t just be “Hey I love your work!” It will also be “Hey I checked out your Instagram Live session yesterday where you performed [song] and my favorite part was when you did [action].”
How to prepare for meetings with music agents.
- Do your homework. Make sure you know what the agent represents and the kind of opportunities they can offer.
- Prepare your material. You want to come across as professional and experienced, so make sure to have a bio and any marketing materials ready for them (and practice your elevator pitch!).
- Be confident in yourself! Be ready to negotiate if need be, or walk away if things aren’t going how you’d like them to.
- Know your stuff and don’t get nervous—they’re on your side!