What Do You Expect? What's An Artist Manager To You?


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Written by Kristen Davis


In today's world, almost everything is readily available to see and self-sufficient to do. With that being said we could imagine most artists can do a lot of things they would want out of an artist manager - so why have one? I suggest writing down all the things you'd want your manager to do then elaborating on the points so you have clear expectations to present to them. Maybe read the rest of this article first though.


All Hands on Deck

First things first - you can't completely Hannah Montana life and get the best of both worlds. You can't be two people at once so that will lead us to the first expectation; actually having another human involved. It's not only nice but rather necessary to have another party involved when you are ready. Having a second set of eyes or ears on a project that you have spent an insane amount of hours on and probably left a part of your soul in can make your brain swirl and that clear outside view can help you finalize and see things that might have gotten lost in the sauce. Your artist manager should literally ALWAYS be looking out for your best interest and also trying to view things from your fans' perspectives. It is my belief that an artist manager should listen to anything you are not sure about and help you figure out why things are unclear. Anything you are totally sure about they should hype up and work with you towards presenting it to the world as best you can.


This casually leads to my second point: expect honesty, trust, and respect. I don't care if your potential manager has some big connections in the game; if they are a good person and treat people around (you included) poorly then drop it like its hot. You do want someone with the experiences and some connections you desire, for sure, but you do NOT want someone who can't human properly and talks down to you to represent you. You should always know in your heart of hearts that they believe in you and want the best for you. As many a**holes as there are in this industry, I promise you the best people do not want to work with them and if word spreads that your manager, your camp, your team is hard to work with and respect isn't a factor - then people wanting to work with you will be few and far between.


Teamwork is Key

Expect a business partner. As I always like to tell artists, this is their business. You (the artist) are driving the car wherever you feel you want and need to while your manager sits in the passenger seat with the GPS. They need to point out traffic, road closures, inclement weather and things of that sort telling you the route to prioritize that will keep you on track and not hold you up or wreck your vehicle.


There are several misconceptions of artist managers such as, it is their job to make you go viral, they should be required to do basically everything for you, they should read your mind and make calls for you alone so you don't have to be bothered, you all should work on separate things, etc. WRONG! They can help you with social media plans and give you general pointers on consistency and keep in mind all the nitty gritty details of social media that could better optimize your content. No one could or should do basically everything for you except yourself, cause no one knows you like you do. They should live up to the agreement you come up with doing their 50% but not literally everything. If you are a big and busy enough "hot shot" to think that you probably need more than one human. Have a good manager build a good team WITH you so you have specialists in all the most fruitful places. This was its less likely to be spread thin and lose your mind. Obviously, I am being a smart ass about the mind reading but I swear people expect it. I personally do like to be close enough to my artists to know them pretty well so that I don't have to bug them about every little question but you must have a good sense of judgment to know the decisions that your artist needs to be in on right away.


The Bottom Line

If you are still with me just remember what I said at the top - make a list of all the things you'd want an artist manager to do before approaching one. This way they can read your expectations, you all can elaborate together, and see if your business partnership could be a good fit. Once that is established you can talk about everyone's favorite and least favorite subject: money and budget. The more you know about these things in the beginning the less time you waste of your own and others and the quicker you will find a solution that is best for you.

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