Getting the right person to manage your music career can be a blessing. They can help you better manage your time, get your more opportunities than you would have by yourself, and act as a buffer between you and non serious business opportunities. So does that mean you should rush out and get a music manager right now? Well, probably not.
The thing is, even when you’re ready to get a manager, you can’t just pick anyone. There are lots of people who would be willing to manage you as a musician, but not all mangers are made equally. Some will be more hassle than they’re worth, and you’ll have to manage them to make sure they’re working properly. Others you’ll simply find difficult to work with due to personality clashes.
While it’s possible to find a music manager who doesn’t have much experience but is willing to learn, if your potential manager has any of these following traits, then it’s probably best to avoid them.
Before I go into what these three traits are, if you want me to write a guide on the traits you should look for in a music manager (and how to find one), let me know in the comments. If I get enough requests I’ll get it done. 🙂
Here are three traits to avoid in a music manger – Tweet This
A Musician’s Manager Should Not Be Shy
It’s part of the music manager’s job role to regularly be in contact with other people in the music industry. They will have to contact people they’ve never spoken to before, and convince them to collaborate with you in a way that’s mutually beneficial for all parties. Furthermore, they’ll need to be open to people contacting them with job opportunities for you, as this will increasingly happen as you get more known.
If your manager is the shy type, they’re going to find this side of things difficult. They may have the best intentions and think you make the best music, but if they’re going to be too shy to ring around and face rejection on a daily basis, they aren’t going to push you as much as they should be. Because the fact is, not everyone they contact is going to be interested in what your manager is offering.
One way to test if a manager is going to be too shy, is to hire them for a trial period. Get them to contact a select few people of your choosing, and also ask them to find and contact some other potential opportunities for you as well. See if they actively seek out new collaborations and potential jobs, or if they stick largely to the list you give them. If they only do your list (some may be hesitant to do even that), then they’re probably not the right manager for you.
Managers Can’t Be Unorganized
As the name suggests, it’s a music manager’s job to manage you. In order to effectively manage something, you need to be an organized person.
During their job, there will be people they need to follow up with, paperwork that needs filling out, tasks that need to be done by certain dates… The list goes on.
The last thing you want to be doing is looking over your manager’s shoulder to make sure everything gets done. They’re meant to make your life easier by helping out with the things which you simply haven’t got the time to do. If they’re not organized enough to stay on top of the business side of things, then chances are they will actually start losing you job opportunities.
Now I know not every music manager has all the skills they need right away. Some learn on the job, and become very good at what they do. That said, even if their organization skills aren’t the best to begin with, they need to be able to recognize that, and be willing to change if someone else points it out to them.
If they’re willing to become more organized, fair enough. But if they’re insistent that this method has always worked for them and they won’t change, it could be time to part ways. As you grow, they’ll find it harder and harder to keep up. It’s possible to get away with chaos when you’re still relatively new to the industry, but as you get more well known, being unorganized can be the difference between becoming a big act, and being that person who didn’t quite make it. So avoid any manager who can’t organize properly and stay on top of tasks.
Never Get A Lazy Music Manager
One of the last things you want to avoid in a manager is laziness. In fact, this is probably the biggest thing your manager can’t be. They can be the smartest person you know with a fast tongue which can sell apples to a orange lover. But if they’re too lazy to pick up that phone and make the needed calls, it’s not going to count for much at all.
The thing is, you manager needs to be proactive! They need to be able to work off their own accord, and not only manage you, but manage themselves as well.
That said, not everyone is built like this. Some people need to have someone tell them what to do or they simply won’t do anything. I know ‘managers’ who are more than happy to sit around watching TV in their ‘spare time’, when if they were serious about their act, they would use at least a good percentage of that time finding opportunities for them. But without someone pushing them to do so, they simply don’t.
Again, this type of manager would be more hassle than they’re worth, so avoid.
Not all managers are made evenly. There are a lot of people who like the idea of managing a music act, but not all people have the skills or motivation to do so.
When you’re a new act, you may have to get a manger who is somewhat inexperienced, but is willing to learn on the job and is proactive. This is fine, as you’ll both be growing together and moving things forward. If however you can see your manger has any of the above traits and isn’t willing to do anything about them, this isn’t something you should put up with.
So, are there any other traits you feel a music manager definitely shouldn’t have? If so, let us know in the comments section.