I get told almost every day by an artist, “ I need a manager to take my career to the next level”. Is that the 1st floor or the tenth floor? What exactly is the next level? And what do they mean by “manager”? Usually, what is really meant is they want someone to book performances for them. That is not the role of a manager. Let’s explore the difference between a Booking Agent and an Artist Manager..
A Booking Agent books performances only. Generally, agents are geographical and only cover a certain radius of territory. Which means, if an artist wants to tour, they will need several agents not just one.
But, here’s the dilemma, you’re trying to use touring to gain fans and elevate your career. So, what do you have that is going to get you booked outside of your home base? OK, you say, “but I am really good”. Is that what the agent uses to book venues? All the venues care about is how many people can you bring in – what will be your draw? If no one knows who you are then you won’t have a draw.
So, when do you need a “manager”? First, an artist must be ready to invest in their career and have something to manage.
A good manager will want the ammunition to make that venue or agent want you before going out to potential venues and agents. A good manager will already have you playing on the radio in the areas you want to tour. They will have numerous magazine reviews and great press to show the buyer.
A good manager will utilize the proper tools to develop followers on social media. A major label will not consider you for a deal unless you have millions of followers on social media and extensive airplay. Being “good” is just not enough.
In summary, a manager coordinates your career and plans strategic moves to “take you to the next level”.
Yes, you may find someone who wants to be your manager, booking agent, advisor, etc. But how effective will they be? There are many talented artists out there no one will ever hear. Why? Because the artist thought their talent should be enough.
Like any other business there are those professionals who are on the top of their game. Those are the ones who can make a few calls and make things happen. A manager at the top of their game will want you to have a budget for radio and PR. “Pay peanuts you get elephants”. You must be willing and able to give your manager the tools to work with because “just being good isn’t good enough”.
Is Your Career Ready For A Manager?
Contact Musik and Film to determine if your career is ready for the next “level”.
Guest Post by Stephen Wrench