How To Get A Good Music Business Manager

music business manager

Among all the creative people in the music industry Recording Artists find themselves most in need of a manager. Good music managers are hard to come by but that’s what’s needed for every successful artist to stay on top of the game.

After questions about protecting artistic right, copyright, making a hit record, getting paid and not being ripped off the next frequently asked question by artists is –

How do I get



To get the right answer to that question you will need to first answer two other important questions:

1. Why do I or we need a Manager?

2. How do I or we know if a candidate is suitable for the job?

To answer the first question;

Why do I/We need a Manager?

The idea is to qualify your need for a Manager: music business manager

This becomes obvious when your talent as an artist is recognised and sought after, doors are opening for you, you are getting exposure, getting very busy and need hands on board.

Music managers are responsible for handling, overseeing, guiding and protecting your music and artistic interest otherwise termed as arts management.

Your affairs can range from making a few routine phone calls, to making bookings, planning tours, negotiating deals, handling day to day affairs and so on



But the bottom line for every manager’s job is to be effective in the two main branches of the job, namely: –

1. Arts Management

2. Business & Legal Affairs

Which really means being part business person and part lawyer.

In broader details they breakdown as follows;

1. Arts Management Planning :  organising :  working the artist vision :  publicity :  liasion with all music media companies promoters and agents : marketing and promotions campaigns :  dealing with operations and logistics for band and technical personnel, for rehearsals, recordings and shows : stage productions, tours and personnel management.

2. Business & Legal Affairs

Administration :  communications :  contracts :  negotiations : deals :  sponsorships :  endorsements :  finance collections :  payments raising : recording :  reporting:  accounting :  investing and portfolio management..

As you can see each of these branches are specialist jobs in their own right.  This is why a good music manager is not a lone soldier but a captain of a ship of specialist personnel and services at his/her disposal.

Of course on a basic level  a person can get on with all that is required to get the job done; but the operative phrase is  ‘a basic level’. An artist that manages their own affairs can really only manage it at a basic level.

Every clued up artist respects the role of a manager when they see how much is involved in handling their affairs and what it takes in order to keep their focus on being an artist. The answer will always be –  get a manager but get a good one!


To answer the second question;

How do we know if a candidate is suitable for the job?

  • The first point of the job is to alleviate the burden and responsibility of you managing the business of your affairs. Although you know the affairs of your business you don’t do the business of your affairs. In an ideal world an artist should be as free as possioble to carry out their role as artists.
  • Secondly to give you peace of mind that your arts management affairs are being properly represented and taken care of you need someone who understands the role and responsibility to work efficiently, effectively and professionally and to be accountability to you on all points of your business.
  • Thirdly that you are confident of the integrity, ability and credibility of this individual to carry out your affairs in transparency.
  • As it isn’t easy to get all of those qualities off the shelf, upfront or in one go when choosing a manager you have to start with the fundamental hard facts of their CV: their ability and availability; their knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications for the job and most importantly their drive, passion and belief in you as an artist.

You must also be realistic of this fact – the best managers that get the best artist usually because they all started together, raw and rough around the edge but trusted each other as they learned on the job.

Ask Brian Epstien, Clive Davies or Steve Jobs (?).

  • Next you have to rely on them having the right aptitude, attitude, persona and character for the job.
  • Lastly, your understanding of the need for the job, being able to judge if the facts on the individual are sound and your gut instinct.

As to be expected you a’e going to ask them to present a proposal of what they are offering as a management service to you. (Prime the CV out of them by asking questions). This should include; definition of role, terms and conditions, duties, commission etc.

More on this subject coming soon ///…

By Linton Beckles

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