5 Potential Drawbacks of Working with a Music Manager

There are certain advantages to working with a music manager. They can help open doors that you might not have access to on your own. Their experience can be beneficial for a struggling musician.

At the same time, there are some potential disadvantages of working with a music manager. These are issues that you should keep an eye out for.

Now, these drawbacks aren’t always a problem. There are great managers out there. You can find the right person for the job when you reach the right point in your career. But, you should pay attention to these issues. You can think of them as signs that you’re getting involved with the wrong person.

Before you sign a contract, consider these 5 drawbacks. Make sure that you’re not hiring a manager that won’t look out for your best interests.

#1 – Managers Can Be Expensive

The first potential drawback is that hiring a manager can be expensive. When you’re used to managing your own career, suddenly paying 10 to 20% of your earnings to another person can seem like a huge pay cut. But, it’s a necessary expense if you believe that you require a manager.

The average cut for a band manager is between 10 and 20%. The actual amount will depend on several factors, including your experience and level of success and the manager’s experience and level of success.

With a relatively new band, you can expect the manager to require a larger cut. With a successful band, which may have a team of managers and agents, the cut will be less.

#2 – Managers Could Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Record Deal

You really should research potential managers before signing a contract. A manager that has burned bridges could hurt your chances of landing a record deal.

For example, say that your manager has a bad relationship with a particular label. The label may not want to work with your band due to their past experience with your manager.

It’s easy to perform background research on a potential manager. You can go online and learn more about their career. You should find out which artists he or she has worked with, along with which labels or studios the manager has a connection to.

Learn as much as you can about the manager and don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists. Talk to people that have actually worked with this manager so that you can get a better sense of what they’ll bring to the table.

#3 – Managers Can Limit Your Independence

Working with the wrong manager can limit your independence. They may offer their unwarranted advice and butt in when they don’t need to. This can get in the way of your plans or interfere with your creative process.

A manager isn’t meant to be a part of your creative process. In fact, you should separate the creative side from the business side.

In reality, a manager should be focused on the business side of the career, so that you have more time to devote to the creative side.

#4 – Some People Aren’t Cut Out to Be Managers

The other problem that you need to watch out for is the hiring of a bad manager. You don’t want to get involved with anyone that has a bad reputation or that won’t look out for your best interests.

A manager will be directly involved in your finances unless you have a separate financial manager. An unscrupulous manager could end up with a larger piece of your pie than you intended.

As you conduct background searches on managers, you should also look into their financial history. You can find details about failed businesses along with business complaints.

If you search online, enter the name of the manager into the search engine. Scroll through the results and click on any pages that are related to business or business details.

The other side of the problem is that the person may not have the skills needed to be a good manager. They need to be able to communicate with people, build strong relationships, and be good at socializing.

Even if their heart is in the right place, their skill level may not be up to snuff.

You also need to look over the contract. An inexperienced manager could leave certain details out of the contract, while an untrustworthy manager may try to hide details in the contract that only benefit the manager.

When you sign a contract, the contract should benefit you and the manager. Make sure that you have someone else look over the contract before you sign. If possible, hire a lawyer to look over the contract. A lawyer will typically charge an hour or two of their time to examine the contract.

#5 – You May Not Need a Manager Right Now

The final disadvantage is that you may not require a manager. If you end up hiring one right now, you may end up paying for a service that you don’t actually need.

Before you agree to work with a manager, you should make sure that you’re ready. You should ask yourself if you’re too busy to manage your own career.

When the demands of calling venues and scheduling appearances get in the way of making new music, then it could be the right time to find a manager.

The bottom line is that there are disadvantages and advantages to working with a music manager. They can help or hurt your career.

But, you can avoid most of the disadvantages by working with the right person. The following video showcases some of the traits that you should look for in a quality manager:


Don’t forget that a manager isn’t always the solution that you need. You should be able to take your career into your own hands. For additional advice on promoting your own music without the help of a music manager, make sure that you take a look at our eBook – Music Management for the Indie Artist!

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