At the outset, you are going to do everything yourself whether you are in a band or alone as an artist, but when the non-music activities reach a level where the workload supersedes the time you spend on the music then it’s a good idea to get a manager. A manager is a person who oversees activities that are relevant to move your music further and expanding the business surrounding your band. Still, the manager usually is not involved in the creation of your music. If things really take off, and a whole business evolves around your music, you might even need a business manager who oversees all business-related issues while the manager focuses on you the artist and the elements of how to improve your career.
After all, it’s worth recognizing that being in a band or being an artist eventually will turn into a business if you want to move from just having fun playing music to taking your music career to a more serious and focused level. You might feel you want to control every little detail but if you are touring, writing new music, recording in the studio, and collaborating with other artists then your calendar will quickly fill up, and to keep your focus you will need someone from the outside who takes care of all the practical stuff regarding your music, your brand, and your career.
You will need to and want to work very closely with your manager. This implies the need for good personal chemistry between you and the manager. The manager is acting on behalf of you concerning the world around you, and therefore you want it to be someone you feel comfortable with handing over that responsibility to. For this reason, some bands choose the easy way forward and ask a friend or family member to become their manager. Still, while this might work well at the outset because of the already-established relationship, it might turn out to be the wrong choice further down the road when more complex issues or even conflicts or problems need to be handled. You don’t get a manager so you can fire him or her, but you will want it to be an external person so if things heat up you will be able to choose the best way going forward even if it means changing management.
Management comes in different forms. Some managers are independent sole contractors while at the other end, some music companies offer management services to artists. These companies might offer other music career-related services at the same time. This could be a record label or booking agency that provides management to the artists on their roster.
While having a manager is not a guarantee that you will succeed in your music career, there is a strong consensus that when your activities reach a level where you don’t have time to focus on creating music, then having a manager can step in and take that workload off your shoulders. In another article, we will focus more on the timing of when you should get a manager.
In conclusion, having a manager is crucial when you want to have a career in music and especially when your popularity requires someone to step in and handle the practicalities around you. It’s no secret either that having this extra buffer layer between you and the rest of the world can not only create a mystique and unreachableness but it can be beneficial at times when you need to focus, and the phone is not ringing off the hook but someone will handle this for you.