The music industry is a complicated place, especially if you come in without any previous experience. Most artists know that they need a music manager, but many are not sure exactly what a manager does for them and their career. What does a music manager actually do?
Music Manager 101
A great manager will work on your behalf to take your career to the next level. That can include a wide range of things, including:
- Offering advice on your professional activities, brand and music
- Using their established relationships to create opportunities for you
- Negotiating deals with concert venues, record labels and any other entity
- Helping you find other trustworthy team members like lawyers, agents, publicists and accountants
- Being a sounding board for any questions that you have
- Coordinating and streamlining all of the collective efforts of those surrounding you
- Becoming a barrier between you and the outside world, so that you can focus on creating wonderful music and not the business side of things as much
- Believing in you and your career above all else
- Selling you and your brand every day in every way
At the end of the day, a manager will walk with you through the process of starting at the bottom and getting to the top. While music managers used to be notorious for simply shopping artists around to record labels, today the game has changed and management is much more far-reaching.
Before You Sign a Management Contract
Most music management contracts explain the duties of the manager and explain what the artist owes the manager in exchange. In most cases, managers will make commission off of the artist as payment. When looking over your management contract, you should pay the closest attention to:
- What commission is
- How long the agreement is valid for
- How long the manager will be entitled to collect a commission
- Who will collect the commission
In general, the manager’s commission can be anywhere from 10-20% and based on gross earnings, not net. If possible, you should negotiate this contract so that it leaves out career-essential artist expenses (vocal coaches, attorneys, accountants, etc.).
Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music
At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.