I’ve heard many hard-luck stories from artists who had bad experiences with managers. Yet many times the bad experiences were precipitated by a misunderstanding of “who does what” and why. That’s why the writer of the following submitted this to the blog of an industry website popular among “indie” artists and bands:
You first need to have a Band Business that is financially solvent and making money to attract a real manager who knows what they are doing. Treat your band like a business with a real business plan and a road map as to where and how you plan to get there against the thousands of others trying to do the same thing.
The longevity of most bands is about 6 months if they are lucky, and no business manager wants to waste their time dealing with a band that does not have its act together and is really ready to be marketed.
There are stories of bands being ripped off by unscrupulous managers. However, there are far more stories about it being the other way around, by bands that don’t have a clue what it takes to be a business. You are hiring that Manager or Agent. If they agree to take payment in the form of commissions then you must prove to them that you indeed make enough money to be able to afford to pay them. Then you are the boss and you can fire them if they do not perform adequately. However, you need to know what “adequate” is so you will know the difference.
How most bands think they get ripped off is by expecting the manager to front the money to pay all their bills, promotion and advertising costs, marketing costs, etc., and wait for a big fat record deal and a huge cash advance to come down the pipe. Well, those days are long gone, so you had better be prepared to self-finance your own business or it is destined to fail and you too will be screaming that you got ripped off.
Set your sights realistically and take it one day at a time and grow your business and if you do it correctly you will be noticed and seen and approached by a good honest business-minded manager. You may also be approached by a few sleazebags too, but YOU have to know the difference to avoid getting ripped off. Something from nothing still leaves nothing. Chances are you will rip off his/her time, which translates to their being ripped off for trying to help you.