WHEN DOES AN ARTIST OR BAND NEED A MANAGER?
So often bands or musicians seek out management thinking that they need management from the start or just too early in their careers. With all that needs to be done for an artist’s career, it can seem very daunting and overwhelming. Artists are often so confused by the amount of information available — and most of it not very good — that they are often more paralyzed due to the staggering amount of info and no clear direction.
The role of a good manager takes on so many forms: often a business consultant, negotiator, accountant, image consultant, promoter, etc. They require pay for their services and most bands can’t afford their own bills, let alone that of a manager. While a manager is often needed to achieve almost any measure of success in the music business, most bands and artists know that a manager can’t do it all and that success or failure is solely the responsibility of the artist or band. The artist or band have the final say and have to provide the show and content that makes them marketable. If they aren’t able to provide that or aren’t committed to their own success, then rarely is it the fault of a manager when goals aren’t achieved. The band and artist are the “Founder” of the company and the manager is the “CEO.” This is called the “music business” for a reason. Artists and bands have a ton of responsibility to achieve the success they are seeking. If the band or artist isn’t willing to work as hard as the manager, then it is very difficult to achieve anything and the manager is wasting his time at this point. A commitment on both parties is essential to make it work and the band or artist needs to trust the manager’s advice and handle their responsibilities whether the band or artist agree or not.
So that begs the question, when does an artist or band need a manager? The answer is simple. Not until there is something to manage. Most artists and bands don’t perform enough or have enough to work with for a manager to do anything with and be effective. The artist or band should be playing 80+ paying shows a year and have a very solid press kit before seeking out management. There should be a solid fan base at least regionally if not nationally. In the beginning stages of a band or artist’s career, it is wise to seek out a good manager who offers hourly consultation to be able to help set the artist or band in the right direction. The manager can then follow up at regular intervals if the goals are being met, before signing the band or artist full-time, when they are ready.