A&R and Manager Advice

Personal Managers in the Music Industry

Personal Managers in the Music Industry

Grasping the nuances of the music business can be puzzling, especially for emerging artists with limited industry access. Being an artist is one thing, but understanding the intricacies of contracts, agreements, negotiation, and promoting your music is another beast entirely. This is where personal managers step into the picture – to guide and protect artists' interests, which is the focus of our article today.

The Role of Personal Managers

Personal managers in the music industry are like the lighthouses guiding artists through murky career waters. They handle business matters, help artists set and achieve their goals, and advocate for them during agreements and contract negotiations.

Career Guidance:

  • Personal managers help artists establish a coherent vision for their career and help them achieve it. They provide guidance about the path to take, using feedback and industry insights to map out a strategic direction for the artist.
  • They offer honest feedback and advice to the artist, helping them learn and grow in their career.
  • Business Management:

  • Personal managers often negotiate deals and contracts on behalf of the artist. They have the expertise to ensure the terms of agreements are in the artist’s best interests.
  • They handle the "business side" of the artist's career, leaving the artist free to focus on creative development. This can include overseeing marketing, branding, and finance.

Why are Personal Managers Crucial?

A personal manager can provide an essential link between the artist and industry stakeholders. Their industry knowledge, networking skills, and savvy negotiation can open doors that might otherwise remain closed.

Opening Doors:

  • A well-connected manager can provide access to a network of key industry figures, including record label executives, booking agents, and promoters. Their relationships can help artists secure lucrative deals.
  • They can also create opportunities for exposure, including concert performances, interviews, and promotional opportunities.

Protecting Interests:

  • A personal manager is not just about making deals; they're about making good deals. They can identify and avoid unfavorable contract terms, protecting the artist from less-than-ideal arrangements.
  • They provide a buffer between artists and the outside world, managing relationships with the press, fans, and critics.

Personal Managers in the Music Industry Example:

Consider this scenario. A rising star in the country music scene, Amy, writes terrific songs and has a uniquely captivating voice. Despite her talent, Amy finds the business aspect of her career overwhelming. Enter, her new personal manager, Robert.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Robert, a veteran in the music industry, starts by getting a clear understanding of Amy's career vision and then devises an actionable plan. He uses his contacts to secure a deal with a reputable record label and negotiates favorable terms.

Moving forward, Robert continually identifies new opportunities, keeping Amy's career trajectory positive. He not only safeguards Amy's interests but also lets her focus solely on her music, which is where her real passion lies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a personal manager in the music industry?

A personal manager in the music industry is responsible for guiding the career of an artist. This includes various tasks such as helping with decision making, shaping the artist's public image, arranging meetings with labels, negotiating contracts, and generally being the go-to person for professional advice and strategy.

How does one become a personal manager in the music industry?

There is no set path to becoming a personal manager in the music industry, but it often involves networking, understanding the business, and gaining experience by working with established artists or management companies. Good communication and organization skills are essential, as is a passion for music and artist development.

When should an artist consider hiring a personal manager?

An artist should consider hiring a personal manager when they feel the need for professional guidance to progress their career, and when there is enough activity in their career to warrant management support. This typically is when an artist can no longer manage the day-to-day tasks alone and needs to focus more on creating music.

What is the difference between a personal manager and an agent?

A personal manager handles the overall career strategy and day-to-day management of an artist, while an agent primarily focuses on booking live events and tours. Agents typically work within booking agencies and are responsible for negotiating performance contracts.

Is it necessary for a personal manager to have a formal education?

While a formal education is not strictly necessary, having a background in business management or music business can be extremely beneficial. Understanding the legal and financial aspects of the industry, as well as having a strong foundation in communication and negotiation, can contribute to a personal manager's success.

How are personal managers compensated?

Personal managers are typically compensated by commission, where they receive a percentage of the artist's earnings, usually ranging from 15-20%. This percentage can vary depending on the level of the artist's career and the tasks the manager is required to perform.

What should an artist look for in a personal manager?

Artists should look for a personal manager with a strong network in the music industry, a deep understanding of the business, excellent communication skills, a solid track record, and a shared vision for the artist's career. Trust and mutual respect are key components in this relationship.

Can a personal manager help an artist get a record deal?

While there are no guarantees, a personal manager can significantly increase an artist's chances of securing a record deal by leveraging industry connections, creating a compelling artist package, and actively seeking out deal opportunities.

What are some common mistakes artists make when choosing a personal manager?

Common mistakes include choosing a manager based solely on their industry connections without considering interpersonal compatibility, not clearly defining roles and expectations, and failing to properly vet the manager's experience and track record.

Can an artist break into the industry without a personal manager?

Yes, some artists manage to break into the music industry without a personal manager, especially in the digital age where they can leverage social media and music platforms to build a fanbase. However, having a manager can facilitate this process and help navigate the complexities of the industry.

Should a personal manager be involved in the creative process?

While a personal manager's primary role is not in the creative process, their involvement can vary depending on the artist's needs and the nature of their partnership. Some managers might provide feedback or creative direction, but it's important to find a balance that respects the artist's creative autonomy.

How long does a typical artist-manager relationship last?

The length of an artist-manager relationship can vary widely. If both parties are meeting expectations and the partnership is mutually beneficial, it can last for many years. However, the relationship can be terminated by either party if it's no longer productive or if disagreements cannot be resolved.

What is a management contract and what should it include?

A management contract is a legal agreement between an artist and manager outlining the terms of their professional relationship. It should include details such as the duration of the contract, the manager's responsibilities, compensation, termination clauses, and any other specific agreements made between the parties.

How does a personal manager deal with an artist's legal matters?

While personal managers are not typically lawyers, they often work closely with legal professionals to ensure the artist's contracts and dealings are in order. They may coordinate with entertainment lawyers to negotiate contracts and protect the artist's legal interests.

Can a personal manager help an artist develop a brand?

Absolutely, personal managers play a crucial role in branding. They can assist in defining an artist's image and message, and in strategizing how to market and position the artist within the industry. Brand development is a key element in setting an artist apart in a competitive market.

How does a personal manager contribute to an artist's financial planning?

A personal manager can help with financial planning by advising on budgeting, looking for opportunities to maximize income, and sometimes coordinating with accountants or financial advisers to manage the artist's money and plan for taxes.

What kind of network should a personal manager have?

An effective personal manager should have a network that includes contacts at record labels, publishing companies, booking agencies, media outlets, and other industry professionals that can be valuable for an artist's growth and exposure.

How does a personal manager handle public relations and media for an artist?

A personal manager may coordinate with public relations professionals to craft press releases, secure interviews, and manage other media opportunities to ensure a positive and consistent public image for the artist. Some managers might handle these tasks directly, especially in the early stages of an artist's career.

What happens if an artist is unhappy with their personal manager?

If an artist is unhappy with their personal manager, they should communicate their concerns and try to resolve any issues. If this fails, the artist may consider terminating the management contract, ideally in accordance with any agreed termination clauses to avoid further conflict.

Is it better for an artist to have a manager who specializes in their genre?

While not strictly necessary, having a manager who specializes in the artist's genre can be beneficial as they are likely to have more relevant industry contacts, a better understanding of the market, and expertise in what works for that specific style of music.

How can an artist find a reputable personal manager?

Artists can find reputable personal managers through networking, conducting thorough research, getting recommendations from other industry professionals, and attending music industry events. It's important to take the time to find someone who is credible and aligns with the artist's career goals.

The days of artists managing their careers in isolation are diminishing quickly. In today's sprawling music industry, a competent personal manager can make all the difference. They can guide you, protect you, and help you reach your fullest potential. If you'd like to learn more about the music industry or hone your songwriting skills, explore more guides here at Lyric Assistant!

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

author-avatar

About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

Related Posts