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When do you need a manager

And other questions about them.

Bandbeat blog post on when does your band need a manager

Whether you’re aiming for a career in music, or you’re just jamming for fun but life happens and you become the hottest band in town, a question always comes up at one point: should we get a manager? The answer -as you might imagine- is rarely a simple “yes” or “no”. There’s a right time and a right place for your band to be in, and that’s what we’re trying to find in this article.

But before we begin…

What does a manager exactly do?

Well, their responsibilities are kind of vague and depend on many factors, but their main job is to free up your time to make music. They will take care of smaller business details like taxes or scheduling conflicts, they will organise your financials, they will do much of the needed networking with the industry and the press, and of course, they will make suggestions and help you make decisions.

These things are surely helpful and time-saving, but it’s not absolutely essential to outsource them. Especially for a small, new band that’s just started to book gigs or record its first release, it’s not necessary at this time. Lots of bands have enough time to run things themselves, prefer a DIY approach, or simply don’t like the idea of having a manager -and they can still be successful and accomplish the goals they set. At the end of the day, hiring a manager is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken in the heat of the moment. You might be chained onto a contract, the percentage they’ll make might be unaffordable for the band, and you might not enjoy his output on your creative decisions.

A generally good advice is to wait. Many people in the music industry say that you don’t want to hire a manager, you want one to come to you. Even better if you have multiple offers, so you can compare, explore options and choose one that actually clicks with you. Also, this attention could be a sign that you’re at the level that could make good use of some help in administration. It’s not a bad idea to send your music to manager and attract their attention, however it’s not a good one to actively seek one.

If these criterias are met and you start to struggle with juggling the business and the art, then it’s probably the right time to get one. Not anyone though. If something doesn’t feel right, probably you should listen to your instinct when it comes to someone who can make or break your career. A good manager will help you in many ways, while a bad one can destroy you in many ways.

What are some good signs to look out for in a manager?

  • You trust them.
  • You get along with them.
  • They have a plan and the necessary experience to execute it.
  • They have a good reputation.
  • They’ll work with you for some time before signing a contract.

What should make you suspicious of a manager?

  • They promise too much.
  • They see you as a vehicle to their career.
  • There are many things that you don’t understand in their contract.
  • They suggest “sunset clauses“.
  • You haven’t heard anything about them or you’ve heard sketchy things.

In any case we hope you make the right decision when it’s time!

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