Article about Management

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If you intend to make it to the "top" of this business, you will have to have a manager. You personally cannot answer all the mail and phone calls, cut the paychecks, audit the promoters and publishers, cut the licensing deals, soothe the band's egos and perform the show as well. The person who does all these things and a good deal more (except perform the show) is your manager. There are a familiar three questions each artist should ask him or herself when looking at a manager:

1. Do I really need a manager?

2. If so, for how long and how much?

3. What can the manager do for me that I can't do for myself?

Look at the bottom line. A professional manager does his work for a living. He hopes to make a good living from the management of talent - namely, you. Let's put a "good living" on the back burner for a minute and look at, say, $7.50 an hour (about the equivilant of a burger joint manager). If your manager was going to spend the same time promoting your act per week as the burger guy, he would earn about $300 per week. Forget the fact that he's not getting any medical benefits, paid vacations, free burgers or any of the other cool burger guy things. If you're paying your manager the common amount of 20%, you will have to gross $1,500 per week every week just to pay him. That may not seem like a lot of money, but I know "working" bands who don't make that much in a month. You can see that the band will have to do much better than that if you or your manager have any BMW/hot tub aspirations. If you are a "working" band and you are not earning at least $10,000 per month, you don't need a manager except to try to impress someone who knows better. You may need an agent, or perhaps the services of an entertainment attorney, but not a manager.

The most common and worst mistake made is letting someone inexperienced from "in family" work as the band's manager. It is best to keep your personal and professional lives separate. For further reference, closely follow the guitarist's girlfriend in the movie Spinal Tap. Major entertainment buyers are really impressed that your girlfriend thinks you're great, that you have an awesome haircut and that you should get more money. It pulls a lot of weight.

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