In this modern world, you don’t necessarily need a music manager. This is especially true for those of you that are just starting your career. Thanks to social media and music streaming sites, a lot of the work that a music manager would normally handle can be handled by yourself. So, with that wonderful concept in mind, here are a few tips to help you become your own music manager.
What’s the Role of a Music Manager?
It may help to understand the role of a modern music manager. In artist management, the music manager’s role can vary. It really depends on the success of the artist.
For example, early on, the music manager might book gigs, promote your music, book promotional events, and help promote your music. As your career advances, these tasks may become too much for the manager to handle on their own. At that point, they might work with booking agents, promoters, public relations specialists, and other industry insiders.
Some of the tasks describe above can be handled by yourself. Just as the music manager would begin working with additional people once your career takes off, you don’t need to enlist the help of a music manager until these tasks become too much for you to handle.
What Can You Do Advance Your Career?
There are quite a few steps that you can take to manage your own career. It all starts with booking gigs. You need to learn how to contact venues and arrange appearances. You also need to record your own music and release it online.
How to Book Gigs
Here’s a closer look at some of the steps that you’ll need to follow to book gigs. Playing live is one of the most important steps in advancing your career. This is how you will begin to build your following.
Playing gigs around your local area can help you gain fans, attract some media attention, and promote your latest music.
Booking a gig starts before you try to book the gig. There are a few things that need to be taken care of before you start contacting venues:
- Music that people can listen to
- An electronic press kit
- An availability for gigs
Music That People Can Listen To
So, you need music that people can listen to. This has two meanings. First, you need music that people will enjoy. If you expect to make in the music industry, you can’t show up for a gig and sing whatever comes into your head.
The second meaning is that you need music that people can find. This could include music that you’ve uploaded to music streaming sites, such as SoundCloud, or a demo CD that can be sent to venues. If you’ve never used SoundCloud before, take a moment to watch this short video explaining the basics of uploading to SoundCloud:
Recording music is important. Though, it’s also important to consider how you record this music. You don’t want people to listen to something that you recorded with your phone. If possible, work with a local producer. If this isn’t an option, you can record your own music. The equipment that you need may cost a few hundred bucks, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
An Electronic Press Kit
You also need an electronic press kit. Early in your career, this can be a basic press package. At its core, the EPK should include an artist biography, photographs, and music.
The artist biography should summarize your musical background, a few influences, and what you’re working on right now. The photographs may be needed for promotional purposes. The venue may want to put up an image on their website or on social media promoting the upcoming show. Music should include your latest songs. This can be linked to online songs or you can include MP3 files.
Compile all these components into a folder on your computer and burn them to a CD. Also, upload it to the cloud.
An Availability for Gigs
When you finally contact a venue, you want to have a window of dates available for the gig. You shouldn’t tell them that you are available whenever. You need specific dates. It’s unprofessional to say, “hey, I’m available whenever you need me.” Instead, give them a window of dates for your availability. For example, you could tell them that you’re available for during a specific week.
Once you have these things taken care of, you’re ready to start contacting venues. Make a list of local venues that you’d like to play and contact them. Ask if they’d like to receive your EPK. Most likely, if they’re looking for acts, they’ll agree to at least look over your EPK.
If they agree to book you, you’ll sign a contract or arrange an agreement. This includes details related to any expenses and how much you will get paid. Don’t be surprised if you end up making virtually no money during your early gigs.
When you don’t have a large following, the venue may lose some money during your performance. So, consider these early gigs as an opportunity to promote your music.
Additional Music Management Tips for Indie Artists
Of course, this is only a small portion of the advice that you should follow. There is so much more to managing your own career. This article only touches on a few topics. If you really want to delve into the details, you should look at our eBook – Music Management for Indie Artists.
In this eBook, you’ll find hundreds of tips designed for indie artists that want to advance their own career. You need to take matters into your own hands. This eBook can help.
So, in the end, it’s up to you to manage your own career. A music manager does not come into the picture until you’ve already built up a fan base and have learned more about the music industry. Good luck out there and remember to keep on trying. If you truly want to succeed, you can’t give up on your dreams.