How to Start a Music Manager Business

Music management has changed drastically in the 21st century. Advances in technology allow artists to personally handle many of the details of recording they previously relied on managers to complete. They can record without expensive studio fees, then distribute their music online and through social media with few manufacturing costs. To succeed in this do-it-yourself scene, managers need insider information and extensive resources to offer artists. Develop plans for your clients that let them focus on their music and connect with their fan base with little or no interference.

Build a Base

As a music manager, one of your main duties is to build the fan base of your clients. To build a business as a music manager, you first need to build your own base of contacts. The more extensive contact list you develop, the more you’ll have to offer artists. Start out by getting involved with the industry during college by working at the local campus station and meeting industry insiders such as record company officials, talent agents, music writers and concert promoters. Learn the business first-hand by working in any capacity with a travelling artist, even if you start out as an equipment handler.

Getting Started

A love and a passion for music go a long way in winning over musicians. You need to prove that you understand how a song will impact and resonate with people to win the musicians’ trust and respect. On the business side, you need to have a good idea on how much time and money you are going to devote to your new career. Start-up costs can range from $2,000 to $10,000. These funds you’ll mostly invest in travel, networking and marketing. It might take six to 12 months to see any return from the musicians. In the beginning, it might be wise to work from home and keep your day job.

The Music

One of the best ways to begin is by representing a band you already know and with whom you’ve built a relationship. You can also find talent at local colleges, nightclubs and music festivals. According to Terry McBride, CEO of Network Productions, to be successful you need to be able to recognize a hit and understand the impact it has on fans. Listen closely to the music that gets heavy rotation on certain radio formats and that gets downloaded a lot on music sites. By following your intuition about a new sound, you can discover new talent and successfully promote your clients.

The Work

Since today’s technology has changed the music business so completely, the savvy manager will want to be able to accumulate and analyze data on many different fronts. For example, you should know which products sell the best. Do research so you will know where your clients’ fan base is concentrated so you can book concerts with good crowds. Closely follow trends to find out what fans want more of and how you can get it to them. You can learn a lot by following social media sites and mining computer data to find out what music fans are buzzing about.