Finding a Manager
Isn't as Easy as You Think
by Christopher Knab - Fourfront
Media & Music - August 2011
Back to Music
Self management is the way to go in establishing your career as a musician.
can be learned by taking on the jobs of securing gigs, getting varied
licensing deals, getting some publicity, planning tours, dealing with
personal issues that arise within the band, and whatever else is needed
to stay on course.
These days doing your own management may be what you do for the rest of your career.
there MAY come a time, when the daily tasks of doing the business of
being a band takes up too much time, and it is then that the services of
a good manager can be very useful.
I have always felt that if
any musician or band has worked hard to establish their career and
achieved a modicum of success, they will have a better chance to
'attract' the services of a professional, well-connected and respected
Managers who do this job for a living can only take on clients that generate income.
money as a personal manager is no easy task, and many upcoming artists
forget that if any moneys are to be generated from their music, it can
takes years for the flow of that income to be reliably there. So, as a
band develops self-management, or gets help from intern/student
manager-wannabees, this can help pave the road for professional
Personal managers get paid a negotiated fee
(20%-25%) for their services (get it in writing) for any and all
business transactions they are responsible for over a particular
No musicians should ever pay an "up-front" fee
to a so-called 'manager' who will not do any work UNLESS they are paid
upfront. Flim-Flam men and women still abound in this business... be
One of the most important jobs of a manager is to
secure recording and publishing contracts for their clients, this is why
it is so essential to choose well connected and well respected
The music business is a 'relationship' business. Who
knows who, and who can get to know who, and who did what successfully for
who. This is what the management game is all about.
So, don't be in a hurry to 'get' management.
You could be better off just keeping your hands-on business the way it is.
Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He
is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Knab's new book, 'Music Is Your Business'
is available NOW from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.
Visit the FourFront Media and
Music website for more information on the business of music from