How To Manage An Artist (In The Music Business)

How To Manage An Artist (In The Music Business)

How To Manage An Artist (In The Music Business)

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How To Manage An Artist (In The Music Business)

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The Internet is asking “how to manage an artist” — and likely you’re also asking since you’re reading this — so I decided to answer it. The challenge is that it’s a little hard to answer, and can’t really be squished in to one video because there’s so much that goes into it. There are several ways that I could approach my response. I could talk about what managers do every day, or how to find an artist to manage in the first place, or the hundreds and thousands of ways to help advance an artist’s career. But we already have articles answering those questions.

But, when it comes down to it, if you want to know how to manage an artist…

You do everything you can to make their dreams come true.

Now, how do you do that?

Find out what their dreams are

Ask a ton of questions and find out exactly what their goals and ambitions are. But not only that, you can also help them realize what their goals are. Sometimes managers are the ones that come to the table and help the artist figure out what their goals are.

Get to work finding ways to help them reach their goals

And how do you do that? I’ve broken it down in to 7 important steps.

1. Get your head in the game

Build your confidence, know that you are the shit, and get ready for rejection. Plus, get ready to dust your shoulders off and move on to the next challenge, even when you’re rejected.

2. Establish extremely open communication with your artist

Because you are the middle man between the artist and literally everyone else, you have to communicate openly, honestly, and often. Things start to go really wrong when you don’t communicate well. Just like any relationship in life, people have expectations, and when you communicate better, you better manage people’s expectations better! You’ll always be in a better position if you exceed expectations, and proper communication helps with that.

You MUST always keep your artist up to date with what’s going on, you have to help them understand patience, and you have to learn how to have difficult conversations. You have to be the one that will tell them things no one else will. You have to be able to deliver difficult information in a way that won’t crush them, and in a way that they still trust you. And you have to be able to hear difficult things from them as well.

3. Educate yourself on the industry

The best education is experience, but sometimes we’re not experiencing fast enough. Get reading, watching, taking courses, making other manager friends, and asking for help so that you can learn way faster. It’s best to always be at least 1 step ahead of your artist.

4. Increase the artist revenue and opportunities

You won’t have an artist or a business for very long if you don’t bring in revenue. You’re working on commission, so the faster you bring in money for them, the faster you’ll make money for yourself, and as long as you’re bringing in revenue and opportunities that result in big wins for the artist, the longer you’ll be a manager.

5. Build the team

You can’t do it all yourself. Sure, you can for a little bit, and should for a little bit, but it’s exhausting and not sustainable. Do things yourself once or a few times, and then start bringing on industry team members that make sense for what you’re doing.

6. Plan your product releases and performance strategies

The artist is the one with the spider web of ideas. You have to be able to organize them neatly in to a plan. Sit down and figure out a timeline for at least the year ahead, if not several years ahead, and work your way backwards. BUT, don’t freak when plans change, because they will. Re-evaluate your goals, plans, and strategies on a regular basis.

7. Create routines and systems

A business isn’t a business without money, but it also isn’t a sustainable business without systems. Systems are repeatable processes, that ideally generate profit. Create routines, keep track of everything you do, record your processes (like literally screen record or film your processes so that you never forget and can hire assistance to then watch those videos and train themselves), and get your business running like a well-oiled machine.

(To clarify, I mean the management business. I don’t mean make your artist a well-oiled machine.)

Now we have an online course that walks you through each of these steps in depth. If you’re wanting to fast forward your learning, and have someone tell you exactly how to implement everything I just talked about, click here to learn more.


If you liked this training, please comment below with your thoughts and questions. Remember to check out your free downloads, subscribe on YouTube, share this with your music friends, and thank you for reading!

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Jamie New
jnewjohnson@gmail.com

I started my career planning educational workshops with some of North America's top artist managers, then moved on to manage commercial radio and internationally touring artists independently. I'm addicted to learning and love sharing what I learn with you here.

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