Throughout this site, you’ll find plenty of blog articles that discuss the reasons why you don’t need a band manager. While a manager can be helpful, they aren’t always necessary.
But, there are a few areas where having a manager can make the difference between getting a gig or a record contract and not signing.
Some venues and record executives will refuse to deal directly with the band. They want some form of representation to show that the musicians take their business seriously and are committed to delivering on any promises.
For this reason, some bands decide to hire a friend. They can fill the role of an outside source to help represent the band in meetings and negotiations.
Though, before you hire a friend to manage your band, there are a few issues to address. You’ll want to clarify these details before bringing in a friend to help with your career.
Make Sure Your Friend Understands His or Her Role
The first issue to deal with is job expectations. You need to make sure that your friend is fully aware of the role that they play.
For example, do you need your friend to handle bookings and event planning? Do they need to meet with people to help you get gigs or recording contracts?
If so, you need to decide how much you’ll pay your friend to handle these meetings.
Band managers typically earn between 10 and 20% of the earnings that come from any arrangements handled by the manager.
Go over all the details and expectations with your friend. Answer any questions that they have about their job and the tasks that they’ll need to perform.
You Need to Sign a Contract – No Matter What!
You always need a contract when money is involved. Even though you’ll be working with a friend, you don’t want any disagreements or disputes to destroy your friendship.
A contract helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The contract will include details that can’t be disputed after signing. This includes the percentage that you’ll pay to your friend, along with details related to reimbursement for travel and other expenses.
You can find contracts online. There are templates that you can use that include all the main criteria that should be addressed in the contract. You’ll just need to add your names and sign. Though, if you’re serious about your career, it’s always a good idea to consider getting a lawyer to go over the contract.
Remember, the contract is designed to protect all parties. It protects both you and your friend. Don’t skip this step. Here’s a few more tips regarding contracts:
Decide How Long You’ll Need a Manager
You should also discuss future plans. You and your friend need to understand each other’s goals.
While you may simply need a manager for the time-being, until you’ve found an experienced manager, your friend may be using this experience as a springboard to launch his or her own career.
This is another area where you and your friend need to in sync. Talk about your plans with your friend and listen to their plans. If you have different ideas of where this partnership could lead, then it’s best that you don’t partner with each other.
Your Friend Should Be Right for the Job
Your manager, even if your band manager/friend is temporary, needs to be the right person for the job. They will need to meet will people, arrange gigs, and handle the logistics of your appearances. This requires a few special skill sets, including:
- Social skills
- Organizational skills
Social skills are essential. You don’t want to work with a manager that has trouble holding a conversation with people. This reflects badly on your brand.
At the same time, someone that is too talkative or boisterous may not be the right fit either. You don’t want someone that is going to cause ruffles. They should be level-headed and professional.
As your friend is taking on a job that requires them to represent your band, you should ensure that they can handle this professionalism. They should also have good organizational skills.
Along with those skills, they should also be enthusiastic about helping you out. They should be excited about promoting your music and helping you advance your career. It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
It will also help if your friend is financially responsible and good with business. These aren’t necessarily requirements, but they can be helpful traits.
Since your friend will be responsible for talking to booking agents and venues, they need to understand average rates and typical fees. Money management can be one of their responsibilities.
Though, the bottom line is that your friend should be someone that you can trust to do a good job. They should be motivated to help you.
Final Thoughts on Hiring a Friend to Manage Your Band
It’s not uncommon for a band or artist to hire friends or family to manage their careers. But, you should never rush into any decisions.
Before you decide to work with a friend or a family member, you should make sure that this is a good decision for all parts involved. Everyone should benefit from a successful partnership.
You should make sure that your friend understands their role. You should discuss how long you’ll need their help. Decide whether this is a temporary measure or a long-term partnership.
Also, don’t forget to sign a contract. You need to have everything in writing, no matter who you are working with.
If your friend isn’t the best fit for the job, don’t be afraid to turn him or her down. You need to look out for everyone’s best interests.
In the end, if you want to work with a friend, go for it. You just need to be prepared. Keep these tips in mind and make sure that you and your friend are on the same page.
If you’d like even more tips on finding a manager or managing your own career, then check out our guide – Music Management for the Indie Artist.
For more expert tips and advice, check out our book Music Management For The Indie Artist – “Everything You Need To Know About Managing Your Music Career, Exploding Your Popularity & Getting Discovered By A Top Manager”.
This is a complete, step-by-step blueprint which contains a “treasure trove” of the best kept marketing & business secrets for indie musicians, artists and bands who want to start managing their music career like a pro, become a music phenomenon and attract a top music manager.