Being an independent artist does not mean you should handle every aspect of your musical career by yourself.
Even if you have been in the music industry for a while now and understand how to get around it, it is a fact that there are certain parts of your music career that needs a second eye to oversee it, and one such is a music manager.
So in this article, I am going to show you how to get a music manager as an independent artist.
After showing you how to get a music manager as an independent artist, I will also show you the types of music managers we have in the music industry as well as when you should hire a music manager and how much music managers are currently charging independent artists.
Now before you set out to find a music manager, you must ensure you’ve organized your musical career by recording high-quality tracks (even if it’s in your home-recording studio) optimizing your social media platforms and at least promoting your music to some level.
Am saying this because no music manager will ever settle for working with an artist who has nothing to show as a musician.
As a matter of fact, there is no music manager who will settle down to work with an artist who is not musically talented, and for that reason, you have to convince him through the record you’ve been able to make so far; even if it’s a single track.
Now when you are certain that your musical career is in shape, it’s time to go out in search of a music manager, and below is the perfect way you can do so.
How to get a music manager as an independent artist.
Basically, there are two ways of getting a music manager as an independent artist and they are:
- Offline or in person.
How to get a music manager online.
To get a music manager, you really have to go online and search for one, because gone are the days when connecting with people was hard as you will have to meet them in their respective locations, but in this digital era every kind of individual you want to connect to have their own space in the internet.
Now the best online platform I will recommend for getting a music manager is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest social platforms that helps people to find the right jobs or internships as well as connect and strengthen professional careers.
So all you have to do now is sign up for a LinkedIn account, set up your profile as a musician, and use its powerful search engine to search for music managers.
Your search is going to bring up lots of results and you can connect with at least 5 of them and start sending DM’s.
You should really ask a music manager to show you the profile of an artist he has worked with before. As a matter of fact, the artist does not necessarily have to be a big name, but an artist whose musical career is moving very smoothly.
You will know this through how many streams they have on the music they are currently promoting and also the number of followers they have on their social accounts.
Aside from LinkedIn, you can also look for music managers online via other social networks like Instagram, and Twitter as well as online forums for musicians.
2. How to get a music manager offline or in person.
The best place you can go searching for music managers offline is by attending music events and gigs.
As a matter of fact, this is where music managers often crowd to pitch for talented musicians they can work with.
As a rule of thumb, you don’t just have to attend the music event or gig as a spectator, rather try to enroll for one performance or another in order to make yourself a potential candidate for music managers who are scouting for artists they want to work with.
However, if any music manager does not approach you after the event, try and dig them out by asking people around.
While trying to find a music manager as an independent artist, it is also important for you to know the types of music managers we have in the music industry, and let’s check them out.
Types of music managers.
Most times, an artist will not necessarily need a music manager who will handle every affair of their musical career, thus the 5 types of music managers you can choose as an independent artist are:
- Financial music manager.
- Production and technical manager.
- Public relations and marketing manager.
- Music distribution and licensing manager.
- Bookings and tours manager.
1. Financial manager.
As an artist, you would always be faced with the problem of spending your money as you are making it.
Lots of musicians have really messed up in this aspect and the result is ending broke and stuck with nowhere to go.
Musicians are always known to live a lavish lifestyle: cars, women, clubbing, etc. And if you allow this to get to you as an artist you will soon be bankrupt and have no more finances to keep your music career going in the right direction.
And for that reason, you need to look for someone who will help you to manage your finances throughout your musical career.
It is your financial music manager who will advise and help you to invest your money wisely and make a profit in the long run.
Aside from investing, your financial music manager will also help you to spend wisely and always have enough left.
2. Production and technical manager.
Therefore, if you want to polish and perfect your sound to have the best recording that will match that of A-List artists in your genre, you need to look for a production and technical manager that will assist you in this regard.
This kind of manager could be part of a recording studio or even a sound engineer who has music experience and knows how to work with the DAWs and plugins that will give you the current sound used in your genre.
And the best part of it all is that you can contract him only when you are set to go into the studio for your recordings.
3. Public relations and marketing manager.
Getting music out to the right consumers has always been the greatest challenge faced by independent artists since the beginning of time.
And the advent of the internet has made it worse because music consumers are already home to billions of music made by popular artists they like so much, and you can then imagine new artists trying to compel them to download and listen to music they are not sure is good enough.
So this is the point where a public relations and marketing music manager must come in because they already have people who believe that wherever music they recommend will never disappoint.
And aside from recommending your music for people to listen to, public relations and music managers will also help you with the most important aspect of music marketing and promotions like:
- Creating an official artist website where people can get to learn more about you, get in touch and directly consume your music.
- Uploading your music to the right music blogs where people will download and listen to it.
- Creating, updating, and helping you to get engagements on various social media platforms that benefit musicians.
- Setting up interviews for you on Radio, Television, and News Media platforms.
- Getting you into pages of Newspapers, Magazines, and Online Media platforms.
4. Music distribution and licensing manager.
This digital age has really made it very necessary for independent artists to get a music distribution and licensing manager.
Every artist who comes out of the studio with their originally recorded track must ensure that no one will use it online for any beneficiary purpose that will not benefit the artist.
Therefore, having a copyright on all your releases will ensure you get the royalties wherever they are being used on the internet.
And this can only be achieved when you submit your music to digital streaming platforms.
Thus, as an independent artist who has no knowledge about music distribution and licensing, you need to hire someone who will stand in that aspect for you, hence the need for a music distribution and licensing manager.
5. Bookings and tours manager.
Gigs and tours are the two money-making machines for artists all over the world.
But knowing where the shows are happening and the right cities to go and perform is going to be a very difficult task for you as an independent artist.
That is why you need to hire someone who is already at the forefront of the music industry and has connections to manage your musical career in that aspect.
When an artist should hire a music manager.
An artist should hire a music manager at the very start of their musical career to avoid making one mistake after the other that will delay or even prevent them from becoming successful in their musical career.
However, lots of music advisers advise artists to hire a music manager when they have successfully promoted their music and greater opportunities are beginning to open up for them in the music industry.
They speculate that at this stage, an artist will realize that showing up here and there to discuss endorsements, book shows and tours, do a new musical collaboration, etc will become so hectic and as such will need someone to fill in for you.
They go on to conclude that artists in their start-up or creative phase should not look for a music manager, instead, they should put more effort into optimizing their music career to get to a point where they are near to success.
But I disagree with them based on the fact that an artist is so inexperienced and lacks connections at the start of their career and at such needs someone who will lead them in the right direction.
For example, I made the mistake of recording my first single in a studio that was unable to mix and master my music and as such my music career could not pick up.
But if I had a music manager, he would have secured the best studio for my recording and from there ensured that my career set sail on the road to success.
How much does a music manager charge an artist?
A music manager will charge an artist 15% to 20% of the income that comes in from the deals they negotiated.
So this goes to say that if the music manager is managing all the aspects of your musical career, he will take 15% to 20% of all the proceeds that are coming from your music. This might include record label advances (if you are signed to a record deal), money coming in from shows, endorsements, selling merchandise, etc.