Most upcoming artists are eager to get management, because managers play a crucial role in opening some important career doors. So, the relationship that exists between an artist and their manager is a really important one. However, in order to ensure that you make the right choice when hiring an artist manager, make sure you're clear on these myths!
1. Having management means people will take you more seriously
The purpose of management is to handle the business side of your career (i.e. dealing with promoters, agents, PR companies and label executives etc.), whilst the you gets to focus on doing the thing you love- making music. However, there's no pressure to get a manager if you feel that you can manage things perfectly well on your own. Having management doesn't automatically mean that people will take you more seriously- people will take you as seriously as you take yourself. Crucially, having management won't benefit you if the person representing you is just a friend that doesn't actually do any managerial work for you.
2. Only well-connected managers can do a good job for you
The movies have painted the picture of the big industry manager, who goes to all the fancy dinners and parties and knows all the important people in the labels, as the most successful sort of manager. Well the truth is this, an enthusiastic but inexperienced manager can still do a really great job for you. The big-shot manager of today still had to start somewhere and ultimately others had to take chances on them too and they had to fight for the influence they have today. Established managers may bring those all-important connections, but they're difficult to attract early on as they prefer to work with established artists. So, if you really need managerial help, go for the enthusiastic manager who is eager to grow alongside you.
3. Managers are there to tell you what to do
Management is not a dictatorship, it's a partnership. That means that both you and the manager have to commit to work side by side together to execute the same vision. Managers who make decisions without including you or are attempting to mould you into something you're not, are terrible managers. Artists should bring their talent and dreams, whilst managers bring their valuable industry expertise. The right manager will help you make the most of your activities in order to increase your chances of success within the music industry. A manager should always be included in the your decision-making process and be kept in the loop. Occasionally, this may lead to differences of opinion, however, because you are a team, a good compromise should be reached.
4. Managers only care about making money
A manager that only cares about making money is a bad manager and also a rather daft one because at the beginning, there isn't usually very much money to be made. Rather, a manager should be your biggest fan because they believe you've got a sound that the rest of the world really needs to hear. Most importantly, the manager's main objective is to protect you from all forms of exploitation and serve in your best interest. A manager will fail to do this where money is their primary motivator, so remember to ask the right questions before hiring anyone as your manager.
5. Managers aren't people too
A manager's role often extends beyond handling the business affairs of their clients to
anything between mediating interpersonal conflicts and helping a client improve their mental and physical health. In essence, the manager is not only responsible for managing their own lives, but effectively also the lives of their artist. This can cause huge strain on a manager, so it's important that you remember that managers are indeed people too. Whilst they may have been hired to provide support to you, they will also-from time to time- require support too. So, it's important that artists work with their managers to relieve as much pressure as possible by communicating effectively and sticking to plans that have been set. Recognising that they're human, and that they will have off days, improves relations and encourages better teamwork.
The relationship between you and your manager can either be the recipe for success or the recipe for a disaster- so, make sure you get the right fit for you.
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