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The Evolving Role of the artist manager

To those who call themselves a manager, it’s time to step up.

The role of the music manager, like the music industry itself, has evolved over the years. In the age of streaming, managers must commit to the artist like never before. As I wrote in another post, artists who are looking to get signed by a major label now must first establish themselves as a solid act. What that means for managers is that they must be willing to dedicate years to an artist without the financial backing of a label. With indie artists like Chance the Rapper seeing major success and tech companies like Apple providing new streams of revenue for artists, managers must prepare for new and increased responsibility in today’s music scene.

The Basics

There are four key responsibilities that managers have;

  • Advise artists on how to reach their career goals
  • Build relationships with industry professionals that will benefit their clients
  • Broker/negotiate deals
  • Assist the artist with building their team

These key roles are what every manager should be doing at the very least for their artist. If a manager is not doing these four tasks then they are not doing their job, period. With that said, how a manager approaches there job is largely dependent on the client. What genre of music they perform, what their goals are, and where they are in their careers all plays a large part in how a manager should handle the career of the artist.

People and Personalities

Managers should be well versed in the language of the industry and know how to deal with people. Managers will be dealing with a lot of personalities on a regular basis. Tempers will flare. The manager should be the one who never loses his cool and remains professional despite any tension. They must also be skilled tacticians. Finding funds, garnering attention, and building a brand is not something you can just wing. There are real consequences for missteps; a good manager will find ways to minimize errors and maximize opportunities. This is especially true for managers dealing with artists in the early stages of their careers when money has not yet started to flow.

Diverse skill set

Smart managers will look at the times and know to diversify their skill sets. People and negotiation skills are still number one; however, you must get the meeting before you can flex those muscles. The industry is stocked with talented potential stars, getting the right people to listen to you is hard if they are not already interested. Understanding social media marketing will help managers make their clients stand out from the crowd. Keeping an eye toward the tech industry will allow managers to keep their clients AHEAD of the curve as well; if you haven’t noticed it yet, tech controls music.

Evolution in the industry

The music industry has changed. Because of that change, the manager’s role in the artist’s career has increased substantially. Those looking to jump into music management must understand the industry and what their core duties are. In order to thrive, however, they must diversify their skills so that they can go above and beyond for their clients even in the early stages of their careers. Yes, a lot has changed but with that comes opportunity. With crowdfunding and the advancement of technology, there has never been a better time for managers to make a name for themselves and their clients. If you found this article helpful, please share it to your social media pages. If you have any questions or anything to add feel free to leave a comment at the bottom and I will respond at quickly as possible, thanks!

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