Building a Career in Artist Management
An artist manager grows in expertise in many of the ways managers in other industries do, and some approaches for growth are especially applicable to the work of someone in the music business. Here are a few such strategies that will help build a manager’s position within the profession:
● Give yourself a good self-assessment by looking at the strengths you have and how you will use those to your and your clients’ best advantage.
● In every circumstance, be professional. There is no better way to build and strengthen a reputation.
● If you work within an artist management firm, do all you can for the success of the company, not just for your clients.
● Build and maintain a network of contacts. That means calling on your contacts for assistance when you need it, but also offering help when they don’t expect it.
● Be sure the management firm you choose is a good match of styles, and be sure the artists you manage are a good fit with your personality and style.
● Look for a mentor who can guide your development and be a sounding board for issues you face in management. The best mentors keep you out of the quicksand.
● The smartest managers recognize that, for genuine growth, a career requires continuous education. Attend an occasional seminar or take an online course, read relevant blogs, and bookmark websites that can keep you current in the music business.
● Know the business etiquette for the music industry.
● Be prepared for career setbacks and brace yourself for recovery. Not every project you’re involved in is going to be successful—know when it’s time to cut your losses, and then move on.
● Keep an ongoing record of the things you achieve for yourself and for your clients, and document your public service work as a reminder to yourself where you contribute time.
● Be a mentor to your eventual replacement, even though you and others think you are irreplaceable.
● Be better than your competing artist managers, and become known as an expert.
● Look successful even when your career is still a work in progress.
Excerpt from Artist Management for the Music Business, 3rd Edition by Paul Allen © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Paul Allen is Associate Professor in the Department of Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University and co-author of Record Label Marketing, also published by Focal Press. He is also a frequent lecturer at other universities on artist management and other music business subjects. His career work has included radio, TV, political management, and the music business.