In this blog we will look at how to approach a music manager and things to consider when doing so. It is true that they can take your career to the next level but it’s also important to only contact them when you are ready.
We will give some real world examples of when that would (and wouldn’t) be the case. The music business is just that, a business and you’ll need to plan for management like you are looking to get hired – full of facts and figures about you.
When you contact a music manager (if you’re at that stage where you need one) you need an electronic press kit or EPK. You need to make sure that it’s formulated with:
- Biography and general information about yourself
- Links to your songs to promote your music
- Any video links of things that you’ve done
- Stats in relation to your fan base/your earnings/any gigs that you have booked and any gigs that you’ve done
This is particularly important if you’ve toured around or supported any known bands or musicians.
Make your electronic press kit buzzing – this is the music industry! If you want to know how to get a management deal – make the manager want to sign you! They want to see that you’re blowing up as an artist – and as a singer you have to make them want to get involved with you, hear your music and know it’s a match for them – so show yourself off in the best possible light!
“I’ve had a hundred thousand streams in this record” “I’ve been featured on BBC introducing” “I’ve been been on television” “I’ve been on a tour around the UK” etc.
One caveat to this is don’t ever lie or overcook information because you’ll get found out, and by lying or overstating something that you’ve done, it doesn’t help anybody in the long run.
Finding a manager is hard but like all work relationships, once you do find the perfect ‘manager for singer’ relationship, it is one that’s built on trust.
You have to trust your manager, just as much as they have to trust you.
So often, people will send emails asking for management when they do not need management.
People have an idea that you need a music manager in order to be signed by a record company and that is not correct. You need a manager when your music career is so involved that you can’t handle it yourself. That’s what a manager does. They handle your business.
Music managers will be doing things like working with tour managers, booking agents, other key music industry professionals. They’ll be finding you gigs. They’ll be helping you with your accounts, liaising with record labels, helping with promotions and finding sponsorship.
They’ll be doing all this sort of stuff around you as an artist, but if you’re a brand new artist who has 5,000 streams on Spotify and maybe two to three hundred fans – then you do not need a manager.
If you haven’t got any songs yet, you do not need a manager
If you are contacting music management companies because you think it’ll help you get signed or get live gigs – you do not need a manager
You DO reach out to music management contacts when you have a really decent fanbase, you’re earning money through your music and importantly when you have something to manage, because that’s when they also earn money – this is a business that works on commission from your earnings, so if you are earning nothing at all then guess how much your manager will be earning? And who in this world works for free?
There are certain management contracts where you can pay them per month to manage your business. But then you have to ask yourself, what am I paying for? Why am I paying somebody to manage my business if I don’t yet need my business managed?
If there’s no way you’d pay a music manager to work for you on a monthly retainer basis right now, then you know deep down that you’re not at the stage where you should be contacting them to make that great first impression.
Let’s say you’ve read the above and you’re ready to go out and find the perfect music manager for you.
How do we approach potential managers? How do we even find them? Well, you can find managers in a number of different ways:
- You could subscribe to magazines such as Music Week in the UK, where you will often see that managers are either interviewed or they post adverts for their artists saying congratulations on certain Awards.
- You could look at the unsigned guide and contact people there.
- You can look online, searching for managers of particular artists that you’re interested in or you could search for the actual artists themselves and then look at their Wikipedia or social media to find out who manages them.
- Once you have a name, then go on to their website and contact them.
It’s actually a lot easier than you might think contacting artist managers, because at the end of the day everyone needs each other. Music managers need great singers like you in order to be able to continue in their business and great artists like you need great managers in order to propel their careers even further forward.
Just remember that this is a business and everything has to be mutually beneficial in any business transaction.
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