Do I Need A Manager?

Do I Need A Manager ContractDo I need a manager?  I’ve been getting hit up from various artist and producers asking me if a manager is needed. I usually respond with…it depends. Before I go on, let me quickly run down the definition of a music manager…and please note there are different kinds of managers.

Now a traditional music manager is a business professional who helps guide the career of a musician. They work on the best interest of the musician and are involved with ensuring that the musician is being paid, promoted properly, performing at venues, receiving endorsements, feature appearances, shopping music, etc. They usually do this for about 10% – 25% of the musicians ‘advance’ from deal. For example if your manager gets you a show, song deal, record deal or publishing deal they are entitled usually up to 25% of the ‘advance’ money received… not money generated after….unless you negotiated something special for them to continue going in your pockets.Exclusive Manger
An exclusive manager..well means exactly what  it says. Your exclusively signed to him or his management company.

Pros
– If your his only musician and your his only focus then he will go all out for you only.
– Someone fighting on your behalf.
– You can concentrate more on your craft and allow your manager to have all the negotiating headaches.
– Access to management facilities.

Cons
– If your not his only musician you may have to worry about your focus being split with other musicians.
– You may not have direct access to your manager if it’s a big firm and if there are other musicians being managed. (You may get the assistant to have him call you back which might be annoying for you, especially if you need answers now).
– Regardless if you brokered a deal yourself, your manager may still be entitled to his management percent.

Non Exclusive Manager
A manger that manages a musician but it’s not exclusive. Manager gets paid on what ever deals they bring in ‘ONLY’.

Pros
– No manager cut if they didn’t secure deal.. so more money for you.
– Not being locked down with one manager and having the freedom to move about to make deals on your own.
– The freedom to have more then one non exclusive manager working on separate deals and opportunities for you

Cons
– Being your an un exclusive client, he may not feel that compelled to secure you some work.
– You pretty much manage yourself

Co – Manger
Sometimes you hear co manage, that just means there is more then one person managing. Could be a management team where the staff would be co managers or in an un-exclusive management deal, you can manage yourself and the manager co – manages

Road Manager
Accompanies musician  to venues, makes sure musician is where they need to be, may collect show money, making sure everything runs smooth,etc. Road Managers are usually paid a salary by management company or musician, unless some other arrangement is worked out.

Personal Manager
Is almost like a personal assistant, they handle more personal things in your life and usually its a close friend or relative you came up with and can trust. Personal Managers usually receive a salary from musician.

Ok, now with all that finally out of the way…what kind of manager are you looking for again? If your a new a musician with no credits, no buzz and you think your new found  manager is magically going to get you all this work all of a sudden? You maybe reaching just a little bit. In this biz, there are no free rides…like homie said in training day “You gots to put ya own work in around here”. You see alot of folks say they need a manager thinking that once they get that, they are set. They feel they can relax and the manager will just start opening doors…and it doesn’t really work that way.You have to work, and work like you don’t have a manager. Get out there, network, show your face, etc. Nobody will fight for you like you..and if he has the same ambition as you…even better. So when picking a music manager….keep all this in mind.

Good Luck out there
Mike”Trauma”D
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