How To Find A Music Manager, The Ultimate Guide!
A few weeks ago, I looked at what traits you should avoid in a music manager. While this guide went down very well and was useful for many, it soon became clear that there were many unanswered questions surrounding how to find a music manager.
Never one to leave subjects only half covered, today I thought I'd give you some tips on exactly this. So have a read below for where to find a manager along with additional relevant advice.
Important: If you have any additional questions about this subject and how you can personally find someone, please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I'll do my best to answer each question personally. Also if you have any personal experience to share with others on how to find a music manager, I'd love to hear you advice in the comments too. I look forward to talking to you more about it after.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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A Video Overview
Only got three minutes to take this guide in? Then have a watch of this video I made on the subject. While the below written version is a lot more detailed and has additional tips, if video learning is your thing, watch away!
You can also download a free PDF of this transcript below and learn to find a music manager real quick! Simply share to unlock. 😉
> Right click and save as to download the music managers video transcript <
The Two Types Of Music Manager You Can Get
Before we look at where to find a music manager, there is something you need to be aware of. There are generally two ways to go when it comes to finding someone to manage your music:
- You can either find someone who is already in the management game, or
- You can get someone who is passionate about your music and wants to take their relationship with you to the next level.
There are pros and cons to both of these, most of which we'll look at below.
Pros And Cons Of Getting An Established Music Manager
If you go for an established music manager, one of the main benefits is they'll probably have established links they can use to get you opportunities. They'll already know how the industry works, and can potentially save you a lot of time in terms of progressing you in your music career.
There are potential downsides to having an established music manager though. For example, if they're already managing a few other acts, the time they dedicate to you may not be as much as you desire. Furthermore, if one of their other acts start doing well and you're not currently getting as much attention, they may start investing more time into them and less into you.
One thing you'll want to remember when getting a music manager, is if they have other acts, there shouldn't be any too similar to you. If there is, chances are that when they have opportunities come up, they'll only be able to get the job for one of you. And if the other act is a bit more well known than you, this isn't a good position to be in.
While there are always exceptions to this rule, you'll generally want to stick to it.
Finding A Less Experienced But Highly Passionate Manager, Pros And Cons
If you want to get a music manager but can't initially get an established one, you may want to use someone who has a passion for your music, even if they don't have any management experience. Again, there are pros and cons with this. One pro is that they'll be passionate about your music, and hopefully that good energy will mean they'll push you as much as they can. When you succeed, they'll succeed. It'll also mean you'll have more time to focus on your music making and recording, while knowing you'll still be gaining opportunities.
Another pro is that they'll be 100% focused on you. No managing multiple acts, you'll be the musician they start with, and they'll be able to dedicate more time to you.
The downside however, is they'll have no experience in managing a musician. They'll need to learn how to do this effectively, as well as start from scratch in regards to building up links within the music industry.
If you're not quite where you want in terms of how talented you are yet, this isn't much of an issue. You won't really find established managers willing to work with you unless you're close to being a finished product, so if this is the case, a manager who learns along the way is quite a good idea.
Another potential downside is that they might not be motivated to put ongoing work in to manage you. They might feel it's a good idea initially, but after they get started and realize it can actually be quite a business heavy job, the fairytale idea they had might fade away. Your working relationship could fade along with this.
As you can see, both types of music manager have their pros and cons. It's essentially down to you which type you decide to go with, but will largely depend on where you currently are in your music career.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Music Manager?
Before I get into the ‘hows' of finding a manager for your music career, I want to make one thing clear: finding a suitable artist management company or individual music manager isn’t an overnight process!
Finding a good music manager takes time, so be patient – Tweet This
While there are a lot out there, many of whom you'll be able to find by using the below mentioned methods, finding a music manager and getting one that's right for you are two completely different things.
A lot of managers you'll find along the way won't be suitable for you. They may not be able to dedicate the amount of time you require from someone, they may not understand the type of music you make, they may require too much in terms of profit cuts / pay, or they might not have the experience that you personally require. Furthermore, it might simply be a case of you not getting along with them on a personal level. As you'll be working a lot with this manager, it's important you can work with and get on well with them.
Similarly, you won't be right for some managers. You may not yet be at a level where they feel they can get you enough work, or they may feel you're not the kind of act they're looking for.
Whatever the case may be, not everyone will be right for you. So keep looking at the available music managers and music management companies, and eventually you'll find one that's a good fit for you.
How To Find A Music Manager
Ok, so let's look at how to find a music manager. Baring the above in mind, here are some places you can find a manager for you and your music. While there are other ways you'll come across potential managers, these are a good place to get started with. I'll mention at the beginning of each section whether they're for finding established managers or newer managers.
Search Online For Established Artist Management Companies And Individuals
For finding established managers.
If you want to look for an established manager or management company, one of the quickest ways to get an idea of who's out there is to do an internet search. Yes, you can find some potential managers in the next few minutes!
Of course, most of the managers you find like this will only potentially work with you if you have some momentum behind you, although there are some searches you can do to find managers who will work with less established acts as well. For now though, let's look at a couple of searches you can do to find established music mangers:
- Music management companies ‘area'.
- Music artist management ‘area'.
- Music managers in ‘area'.
As you may have guessed, where it says ‘area', you’ll want to put the area you live in. So, ‘London', ‘New York' etc. You don't want a manager who lives half way across the world from you, you want to be able to contact them when needed and be able to sit down and talk to them in person. The relationship you build with this person will be all important, so don't settle for a ‘strictly Skype' manager.
You should also search variations of these terms as well for more results. Further more you shouldn't only look at the first page of results for these searches, you should also look at pages two and three onwards as they could be hiding some good results too.
If you're looking for a manger who will work with a newer musician (providing you still have enough talent to justify getting a manager), you'll want to modify the search terms a bit. One good idea is to look for musicians around your level (but who aren't too similar to you) and seeing who manages their music career. So for example, you could search:
- ‘Artist name' management.
- ‘Artist name' manager.
- Who manages ‘artist name'.
- ‘Artist name' management company.
The names of some managers will be easier to find than others, but it's worth having a look. If you can't find the name of one musician's manager, bare in mind they may not have one.
You can also search that musician's website. Or if it's not displayed on there, email the musician directly to ask them who their manager is. You don't have to say it's because you're looking for a manager yourself, it's often best to simply ask without giving a reason. Often they'll assume it's for a potential booking or business opportunity, so will give their details.
Ok, so let's look at some other ways to find a music manager.
Ask Around For Who Manages Other Acts
For finding established managers.
If you're already out gigging a lot or you know a good amount of people in the music industry, a good idea is to ask them if they know any music managers. Either they may have someone already managing them if they're a musician too, or they may generally know other managers who they've met along their travels.
Whatever the case may be, it won't hurt to ask. Either they know someone who could potentially be a good fit for you, or they don't.
You'll find that some musicians won't want to share their own manager's information with you, as they'd prefer that they focus more on them. This will especially be true if your relationship with this musician isn't a close one, or if you're too much of a similar act to them.
While this method of finding a manager can work, it's often very slow moving as you can't just go and meet other musicians and music business figures at will. Furthermore, you might not know many to start with. So use this as part of your bigger overall strategy, but don't rely on this alone to find a suitable manager to work with.
Look In Your Existing Network
For finding less established but passionate managers more willing to work with you.
One very real option for finding a manager is looking into your existing network of people. Is there anyone who really likes what you're doing as a musician and wants to get involved with you on a deeper level? Someone that wants to see you do well, and has the time and dedication to help you get there? If so, they could potentially be your next manager.
These people could be anyone. They could be friends of yours who wanted to be involved in the band, but aren't musically talented enough and aren't willing to learn that side of things. But if they're a good business person, they may be interested in managing you.
Or how about a fan of your music who lives in the same city as you and has taken it among themselves to promote you online and in other places. If you then turn around and tell them you'd be willing to give them a percentage of any money you make if they do this for you in a structured manner, there's a decent chance they'll be interested in this.
One thing I'd say is you shouldn't try and push someone into this if they're not instantly excited about the idea. You want those who are going to be as excited about moving your career forward as you are, otherwise there's not much point. If they aren't self motivated to manage you, you could end up managing them more than anything else, which is counter productive.
Another thing to bare in mind when letting a friend or family member of yours (or in fact anyone) manage you, is make sure you're both willing to treat things professionally. The last thing you'll want is the relationship to be too laid back, as it makes it too easy for one side to take advantage of the other. That, or arguments can arise when one of you feels this is happening, even if it wasn't the other person's intention.
You can avoid this happening in two ways. First of all, you should write up clearly defined job roles for the music manager with what they should be doing. Anything outside of these things are optional, unless you both agree it's something you can do. Anything laid out in writing should be done.
Secondly, you should draw up a trial contract. This will specify that if either of you aren't happy how things are going in the first three or so months, you can part ways and find other people to work with. If thing are going well for both of you, only then will you continue working together.
Leave Ads On Related Forums
For finding less established but passionate managers more willing to work with you.
A final suggestion for how to find a music manager is looking on online forums. This could be general music business forums, forums within your genre, or any others where those in the music business could hang out.
The reason for this is simple: they have people who are actively interested and involved in the music industry, so there are likely to be some who could be interested in working with you.
While you could always post a topic mentioning you're looking for a manager, it's a good idea to build up your name in the forums first. Get involved in other people' topics, leave a link to your music in your signature, and generally become someone who people notice and look into. That way when it comes to making a post seeing if anyone is potentiality interested in a management roll, you'll get more people looking and replying to the topic. That, or they'll at least be more likely to share it around.
You should also try and build some relationships with other interesting forum members who you could potentially worth with in some manner. While you're not guaranteed to stumble on a manager like this, it can happen. So keep your options open and give it a go.
So there you have it, the ultimate guide to finding a music manager! I can honestly say you won't find a better guide than this on the subject by browsing Google, believe me I've tried! So I hope it was helpful. If it was, please give it a ‘like' or a share on your website / social networking profile of choice. Or, if you want to go a step further, please share it on any forums you're part of. Let's get musicians get managered up!
If you want any additional help with this subject, please leave your questions in the comments section below. I'll do my best to help where I can. Alternatively, if you have some information on how you found a music manager, please let us know as well. We'd love to hear your story. 🙂
I'll write more manager related guides in future, so keep an eye out for them in the newsletter.
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!
Great guide. I like the fact that you leave no stone unturned.
Thanks Anthony, that was the aim. 🙂
What can you expect to pay a manager?
Hi Em. Usually you’d pay a manager a percentage of the money they make you before your expenses are deducted (the gross income). While the amount they require varies, their cut is usually around 15% of your gross income. This could go up or down though, depending on how experienced a music manager is, what they bring to the table, and how badly you want them etc. You should discuss your pay with each manager on a case by case basis.
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