How to hire the right artist manager

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Perhaps the most important decision you will make as an artist is deciding who to hire as your manager. At some point, you will reach the stage of no longer being able to handle everything on your own, and will need to look into hiring a new manager, which may seem daunting at first. Your manager will play a huge role in your career and can make your life an awful lot easier if you choose the right person for the job. Managing an artist is a lot of responsibility, and is a responsibility that should only be undertaken by an individual who can handle the demands of the role. We’ve taken a look at exactly how you can make sure to hire a manager who will help rather than hinder your career.

Setting expectations

First of all, you should undertake thorough research. You need to make yourself aware of the kind of percentage you should be offering as payment, and what you should be able to expect from a manager. While a manager should be able to help you out in most aspects of your career, no manager has a magic wand, so it is important to set your expectations and make sure that you know exactly how much you should be able to ask of them. You and your potential manager both need to be aware of what you are going to expect from each other to avoid problems down the road.

Decide who you are looking for

It is important to take time to evaluate what qualities you are looking for in a potential manager. You need to decide exactly who you are looking for in order to avoid diving into a contract and realizing that you wanted someone with different characteristics or experience. The stage you are at in your career will often dictate the level of experience you can expect your manager to have. For example, if you are relatively unknown you are likely to need to take on a manager with less experience, but that does not mean you should expect any less of them than a more experienced manager.

Consulting with other artists

Asking fellow artists for advice is another great way to prepare yourself for hiring a manager. Artists who have already hired a manager will be able to let you know about any issues they came across, and through sharing their experience will be able to prepare you. They will be able to give you advice to stop you from making any of the same mistakes they did. Every artist will have stories to tell about poor management – it is a good idea to listen to these stories and learn from them. Other artists may also be able to recommend potential managers to you, which is a great way to pick someone up who has already established a good reputation in the industry.

Choose somebody you can get along with

One of the most important things to look for when hiring a manager is to make sure the potential manager is someone you can easily get along with. Over the course of your career, you will be spending a lot of time with your manager, so getting along and being on the same wavelength is key. It is vital that you ensure your manager is somebody you can build a positive relationship with, in order to avoid your relationship crumbling under stress.

Honesty is key

While you should be able to get along with your manager, you should avoid, at all costs, hiring somebody who will not provide you with honest feedback. Every artist needs a manager who will provide constructive criticism, and be honest if they do not feel that the decisions being made are correct. Part of your manager’s job is to guide you in moving your career forward, so you need somebody who will be honest about their opinion, rather than simply agreeing with your every decision to make things easier.

Passion is a must

Your manager should also be someone who is highly passionate about your music and brand. In order to truly help you climb to the top, they must truly believe in you as an artist, otherwise, they will lack vital motivation. Throughout the course of working for you, they will need to communicate with other industry professionals about you and your music, so it is important that their passion for your work really comes across. Their belief and passion will translate into hard work and will be infectious for those they associate with, building your reputation.

Trial period

It is vital to conduct a trial period with your potential manager to make absolutely sure that they are the right fit. Even when you think you have hired the perfect manager for the job, you could still realize that they are not suitable when they are actually in the role. Conducting a trial period ensures that you can both still get out if you’re not happy, rather than being trapped in an iron contract. A trial period will ensure that you are absolutely sure before entering a contract, which will make both parties feel more secure that you are making the right decision.

Making the right decision when hiring a manager is a vital yet long process and should not be undertaken lightly. Finding the right manager will hugely benefit your career, as well as providing you with some much-needed help in your day-to-day activities. Reaching the stage when you need to hire a manager is an exciting time in your career as an artist, and a good manager will ensure that your career continues on an upwards trajectory.