From artists these days I hear a lot of, “do we really need a manager when we can do it ourselves?” and, “it’s hard making money let alone having to give a manager a cut.” Yes, while it is true and possible that we can manage ourselves as artists, thanks to an ever growing knowledge in industry roles and a changed industry of which we have to adapt to however there are still some very valid points as to why a manager can really up your chances of tackling your goals as an artist.
Again, it is possible to manage yourself, but that will only get you so far before you’re swamped down with business related industry work that inevitably becomes a chore and starts to distort your perception on the music industry, creating a more cynical view, making the craft feel more like a job than an art you enjoy, which is why, I’m sure, you started doing it in the first place.
While it is true that the Internet has brought us ever closer to key people in the industry, there’s still the factor of your credibility amongst them. What a manager will have is leverage to be able to grab the attention of these key people in a more credible, & trustworthy way. Your manager will have all the necessary contacts you need for your journey, some of which are, PR, Labels, Publishing, Music supervisors, Booking agents, Radio DJ’s, getting you remixes etc.
It’s important to make sure you’re putting all your hard work into the right place, only experience gives you the knowledge of what this truly means, unless you have a talent for the feel of the industry of course, which I won’t rule out. It’s not going to be a lot of good doing loads and loads of gigs back to back when it’s not in the right place, and that goes for any other form of exposure. Working out your strategy and game plan can be crucial, frequent meetings with your manager will help you devise the plan that is best for your career.
The manager is looked at as another member of the band/act, so it is wise to take time over choosing him/her, and build a decent trustworthy relationship, you could be spending a lot of time with them and you most definitely will have to put a lot of trust into them. They will be there for you most of the time giving advice on anything at all right down to the song, and remember there interest are more focused on you being successful as an act. Yes, they do take a negotiable cut, but they don’t get that cut unless you get yours.
So, managers are there to help you jump a lot of hurdles in the industry that you may face as an artist. Think of it as investing in a brain that holds the experience and the key to a much greater chance of success, meeting people on more credible terms, and learning more about the industry in general. Managers give you time to focus on your craft, and really nurture yourself to get the best out of you as a creator. Now doesn’t that cut seem a little more worth it?