This is the third article in the getting a music manager series. If you missed part one and part two you can check them out … or you can be bold, hit hyperspace (if you weren’t a child of the 80s, that’s a reference to a video game called “Defender”) and dive right in to part three below.
Some rehash of the past articles in this series:
Before approaching a would be manager make sure …
- You’ve got a “no apology” recorded product available for sale
- You’ve got a good, polished live show
- You’ve got a professional solo or group shot of your act (preferably not up against a brick wall – yes we’ve seen it before and you should just stop it already).
- You’ve managed to get together some decent looking video (more important that video quality is performance quality) of you performing live in front of actual people who appear like they care that you exist and aren’t in it for the free drinks.
- You’ve got a regularly updated and current website and a presence on social networks.
- You’ve got a handful of upcoming gigs even if they are open mics on Monday nights.
- You’ve got a bio that doesn’t have a second paragraph that begins with “and then when he was two” (or similar) and discusses real accomplishments – people you’ve played with, written with, opening gigs for bigger acts etc etc…
- You’ve spent quality time with other musicians and traded business ideas and information in ways that benefit everyone involved.
- You have managed your own project enough to know what you aren’t good at doing on your own.
A side note – never forget that you are never “done.” In reference to some of the marketing materials above, it’s amazing to me how people will complete a recording or make a live video and act as if it is the only moment of their careers that means anything. Media of this type is only a single still frame in the movie of your life. Every time you capture your art, it is just a means to moving yourself further along and getting better at what you do as well as generating products that (hopefully) someone will want to purchase or at least take the time to appreciate.
But I digress, as I am wont to do.
Most music managers I’ve met have fallen into a few basic categories:
1) Friends and acquaintances that artists know and trust– preferably ones that are responsible, personable, business minded and willing to part with their time because they believe in you. Do you know that guy who is just always around you at shows and in the studio that everyone knows and likes? That guy.
2) Professional music executives – people who do music management full time or do music business related work for a living and have connections, experience and leverage that make them able to help aspiring artists.
3) Momagers and Dadagers
4) Wealthy individuals who love music and want to be in the music business for any number of reasons. Maybe no one CC’d them on the memo that it isn’t as sexy as it seems. Let’s just call them “investors / managers.”
I’m a big fan of archetypes 1 & 2 and will get into that in the next installment. I promise I’ll stop with all of the set up and get to the point… It’s not really my fault though: My research says you all want shorter articles (shrug).
If you want to see what I mean about bands and their need to pose in front of brick walls check out this cruel but hysterical site