Choosing the right music manager is a major decision. If you’ve checked out any of our other posts, then you know that you don’t necessarily find a manager – they find you. So, once you start having potential managers contacting you, it’s important to hold off on signing a contract until you’re sure that they’re the right fit. There are certain types of band managers that you want to avoid.
#1 – Managers That Are in it for the Party
Some managers are simply involved in the music industry in order to feed their desire to party. You don’t want to get involved with a band manager that can’t separate business from pleasure. While it’s not uncommon for a manager to enjoy a couple drinks with their contacts, they shouldn’t be slamming down shots backstage and getting into arguments with people. The manager that you work with should be professional and act responsibly. There should be a balance between fun and seriousness.
#2 – Managers That Love to Name Drop
Name-droppers are another type of music manager that you should be leery of. They tend to be more focused on hype than actually getting anything done. While schmoozing and letting people know who they’ve worked with is sometimes beneficial, they could be name dropping in order to hide the fact that they don’t really know what they’re doing or don’t really know the names that they’re dropping.
#3 – Managers That Are Too Busy to Call You Back
There is a good chance that your music manager will be working with other musicians. Though, they shouldn’t be too busy to call you back. It’s important for your manager to be busy. This means that they’re actually getting things done. But, if they ignore your calls and don’t get back to you in a reasonable amount of time, then you have something to worry about.
No matter how busy the manager is, they should still be able to find the time to get in touch with you. Time management and prioritizing their communications is a part of their job. You can take this as a sign that they’re in over their head.
#4 – Managers That Enjoy Creating Drama
Here’s another type of band manager to avoid – managers that enjoy creating drama. If your manager is constantly stirring the pot, then they could do more to hurt your career than help you succeed. You don’t have time for drama. Your music manager should be diplomatic in most situations. They are an intermediary between you and the people that will make or break your career.
#5 – Managers That Act Like Your Parent
You don’t need to be treated like a child by your manager. It’s always important to remember that they work for you. They are supposed to help your career. While they may provide advice and recommendations, they shouldn’t take over the direction of your music and career.
You and your manager need to be on the same page. They should be supportive and helpful, but it’s up to you what you want to do with your career.
These 5 types of managers tend to pop up in the music industry and they are often easy to spot. But, you may have trouble noticing these signs during your initial meeting. This is why you shouldn’t immediately sign a contract. You should get to know your potential manager a little bit better before signing any music management agreement.
What Should You Look for in a Quality Music Manager?
So, you know which types of managers to avoid, but what should you be looking for? A quality music manager will be excited to work with and help you with your career. They should actively pursue opportunities to help you succeed. The music manager that you hire should have experience, be trustworthy, and have enthusiasm for your career.
When discussing your music, they should have an understanding of what you want and the direction that you want to take your career. They should also be well-connected. They shouldn’t have trouble setting up meetings or helping you land gigs. This is one of the primary reasons that you want music management – because they’ll have established contacts that you don’t have.
You should also make sure that they’re financially responsible. They will be receiving a portion of your income.
When signing a contract, it’s important that you pay attention to the percentage that they’ll receive. If they are too eager to take a large chunk of your earnings you could take this as a sign that they’re not financially responsible or that they’re greedy.
Neither quality is good for a person that manages your career. Along with the qualities to look for in a music manager, there are certain qualities that a music manager will look for in aspiring musicians. Here are six characteristics of successful musicians:
If you need further advice on finding quality music management, then check out our complete guide – Music Management for Indie Artists. In this guide, you will find hundreds of beneficial tips for locating and signing a contract with the right music manager.