Music managers do not always get the credit they deserve. They often work in the background in order to help promote their artists. A band manager can help you land gigs and may even get you a recording contract. At the same time, there are plenty of bad fish in the sea.
An experienced manager can help you get ahead, while a bad manager can put a halt to your musical ambitions. How do you know whether or not your music manager is doing everything in their power to help you succeed? Understanding some the common signs of bad artist management will help you know what to be on the lookout for.
Here are 6 signs that your music manager is not looking out for your interests.
#1 – You Have Trouble Contacting Your Manager
You should never have trouble getting a hold of your music manager. They should be available to answer your questions. They should listen to your concerns and address your problems.
When a manager stops calling you back, you can take this as a sign that they are losing interest in your career. At some point, it may be time to make a switch and find a different option.
#2 – Your Manager Requires a Steep Music Management Fee
Another sign of a bad manager is when they require a large cut of your earnings. The standard music management fee is between 15 and 20 percent. Though, this can vary based on their experience and your current level of success.
You should always earn a larger share of your earnings than your manager. Any manager that asks for 50 percent of the take is only looking out for themselves.
#3 – Your Manager Stops Landing Gigs and Booking Shows
If you have an empty schedule but are ready to play in front of an audience, then your manager might not be doing everything in their power to help you out. They should regularly pursue leads and opportunities.
When things get stale or you do not notice any progress being made, you can assume that your manager has stopped putting a lot of effort into your career. Long periods without playing a show can be a major setback for an up and coming artist.
#4 – You Start Dealing with the Music Industry on Your Own
A band manager often acts as an intermediary between the artist and the music industry. They work with record labels, radio stations, and various venues to promote your music. If you reach the point where you are fielding more calls from people in the music industry than your manager, it could be time to part ways.
#5 – You Have Major Disagreements About the Direction of Your Music
You should not have to compromise your artistic integrity in order to meet the recommendations of your manager. Instead, they should naturally be enthusiastic about your music. They should want to go the extra mile to get your demo into the hands of a record executive or popular DJ.
When you start having disagreements about the direction of your music, the manager/artist relationship begins to shift. Your manager works for you. You do not work for your manager. It is perfectly normal for a music manager to offer recommendations and advice, but when you have a fundamental disagreement about your music, it may be hard to continue working with the individual.
#6 – Your Manager is Not Financially Responsible
Whether they are just bad at finance or are engaging in dishonest business practices, a manager that is not financially responsible could derail your career. You need to have complete trust in the music manager that you work with.
Music management is a complicated business and managers require certain skills. One of these skills is handling money. If your manager keeps giving you excuses about why your most recent royalties have not yet arrived, they may not be offering the whole truth.
The Key to Finding the Right Music Manager
Finding the right manager is not always easy. When it comes to artist management, you may not always get the help that you need. Take your time when finding a music manager. This is not a decision that you should rush into. Interview potential managers and make sure they are the right fit for you and your band.
When you meet with a potential manager, make sure they understand your musical direction. They should have a good sense of the music world and different musical genres. Even if your style of music is not their favorite, they should get what you are putting out. If you want to get ahead, having the right manager can be an invaluable resource.