Take control by managing your music career.
This is not to say that artists should never have a manager or sign with a label. Both can be incredibly helpful, but in order to attract either one you first have to prove yourself and get results. And, most artists today have no choice, but to manage themselves.
How to manage your music career
The business side of things and the art of your craft are two sides of the same coin. Learn your style and apply the same creativity to managing your business as you do to your art. It can be exciting and productive to see your career take off when you have figured out how to do all of the hard work yourself. Once you begin to see progress, motivation kicks in and you will see yourself coming up with creative and personal ways to approach managing your music career that is unique to you.
Common mistakes from new musicians:
- • Knowing nothing about running your business.
- • Thinking that someone is going to discover you and make you a star is a common mistake.
- • Not asking for help when you need it can hurt your progress and momentum.
- • Not connecting with the right people when the time comes to hire someone.
Creating a plan for your music career
What they want to accomplish, what do you like to do and what does success mean to you? Success is … These answers will help you formulate a plan to reach your goals and become a musical entrepreneur.
Develop your brand and image, learn how to raise money and how to market your music and to gain exposure. You are ultimately responsible for your own success and no one else will ever care quite as much as you do until you are making enough money for others to want to be financially invested.
Hiring a music manager could be the best move to make, or it could be a setback if you get one too early. Make sure you make the best decision for your career!
When to hire a music manager
Doing everything on your own instead can be stressful. It’s almost like an imaginary plateau you want to reach. You have to struggle for awhile until it benefits you more than it hurts you to hire some help. DIY isn’t going to be realistic your entire career — there is too much to do and eventually you will need a team.
The idea is that once you reach the place in your career where you’ve gotten recognition within the music industry, you can trade off the managing to someone else in exchange for giving up a small part of your income. Then, like a breath of fresh air, you can use your newfound free time to put your all into your music and let your manager work for you.
When it is still too soon …
If you aren’t at a point yet where your music has become a business then this person will have nothing to manage, and therefore it is probably too soon.
More specifically, you should consider the movements that your music has created within the industry. If it really hasn’t reached that level yet, hiring a manager will not benefit you much.
If you aren’t yet at a place where it makes sense to hire a manager, you risk paying out commission on an already scarce income. It’s important to make sure that, financially, it won’t break you to hire them.
When the time is right …
Do you feel the business side has taken over the actual music? If you feel like you need help managing it all because the “creating” is being compromised, that’s a sign you should look into getting a manager.
Now that you have decided it is the right time to hire a music manager, you need to find someone who matches you and your place in the industry. Simply finding the biggest label you can hire isn’t necessarily the best choice. Think of a manager as the owner of your music business.
What your music manager can do for you
A music managers sole purpose should be to advance your career. The amount they can benefit you needs to be significant enough to be paying 15-20% out of your profits, or whatever deal is agreed upon. If you find someone who fits your talent, genre, and place in the industry well, it can turn into a lot of great opportunities. Ideally, they will be able to network and secure a lot of new connections with well-known people in your genre.
It’s important to also make sure that the person you work with genuinely likes and believes in your music. Later down the road, you can focus more on finding a big name label merely for the doors they could open for you.
Hiring a manager can be a huge benefit. If done at the right place in your career they could help you gain popularity, financial deals, and more time to focus on creativity rather than all the things they could be doing for you.
How to Manager your music career
In the end, it is possible to make a living as an artist. I would consider making a living is no less than $50,000 a year. Of course, this isn’t millions like a superstar, but it is possible to make a living with your music, as long as you work at it and keep moving ahead.