This is a re-post of an article originally written in June, 2013. Even years later, it still outlines what artists looking to succeed in the music business need to do to find capable management.
If you are interested in music marketing and management services please contact us to see if we are a good fit for you. If not- please read on.
“How do I find a music manager?” “How do I find a booking agent?” “I just need to find someone to get my music to the next level.” We often hear these questions and statements from musicians. Twenty or so years ago, I sounded exactly like this. As it turns out, I wound up on the industry side of the fence and traded in my bass (at least as an aspiring professional) for a record company desk job. Having seen both sides of the equation- I do have some answers for you.
Let’s start at the very beginning: Do you have anything to manage?
It sounds stupid, but is it? I’m not asking you if you have an enormous amount of work that you could use help with, nor am I making light of the pure volume of work that it takes to create music. As you know making music can leave very little time to handle your business. What I am asking you is, do you have something ready to bring to market that needs managing or are you still building out your product?
There is no shame in being in the developmental phases of your career. We live in an instant-gratification kind of world and I know statistically that a majority of people won’t have made it this far because they were looking for a “get famous now” button. Take your time and develop your product; this will help you rise above the MILLIONS of other people who went out to guitar center purchased their first instrument and recording gear and had the first song they ever wrote up on YouTube the next day, hoping for some kind of miracle that won’t ever come.
Back to management- Let’s talk about what you should have together before even considering approaching someone to invest in your career. Remember- it is an investment for an outsider to work with you because, whether or not they spend a dime on you, good management is an enormous expenditure of someone’s time.
Before approaching anyone to manage you, you should have these items together:
- No apology recordings of your music (No “it would be better but” statements)
- Professional looking photos of you or your group
- A basic website with social media links that is findable in search engines.
- A Mailing list and a place where people can sign up on said list
- A social network presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)
- Live performance footage (preferably in front of a crowd)
- A well-written bio highlighting your accomplishments
These are the building blocks and the marketing materials you will use over and over and over again. There is no that will get you taken more seriously than a list of your accomplishments and having the items above in place. If you have a viable product having these materials will get your more gigs, get you taken more seriously by your peers and potential fans and ultimately help you build your business.
I can point to statistics that aspiring musicians are looking at the wrong things to get ahead. Check out what people search for online for music related terms according to a Google AdWords query in April 2013.
Term: “Get My Music Heard Online” Global Monthly Searches: 58
Term: “Get more people to my shows” Global Monthly Searches: 28
Term: “Make a Living In Music” Global Monthly Searches: 800
Term: “Marketing My Music” Global Monthly Searches: 140
Term: “Get a Music Manager” Global Monthly Searches: 1,900
Term: “How to Get A Record Deal” Global Monthly Searches: 9,900
Draw your own conclusions, but It seems too many people are looking for a shortcut to fame that — barring an act of God or Justin Bieber — just doesn’t exist.
Continue to part 2 now.