Four ways to be a pro music manager

To be a pro music manager, you’ve got to follow a few key tips. Just as last week we offered ten ways to be a great band member, this week we’re doing the same thing with management. Whether you’re managing yourself, your own band, or someone who has hired you for the job, these four tips will help you know what you’re doing. Let’s get to it.

Keep your artists visible

Even if the band are handling their own social media accounts, you should have a separate one you’re operating at all the major sites. You should be updating these daily with news, photos, and comments about your artists.

You should consider flyers around their hometown, professional press releases, and interviews on blogs and college radio stations. Anything and everything to make a buzz around their name and their music.

This is connected to merch.

Handle their merch

Merch isn’t hard to create, but it is time-consuming. Your artists need that time for writing, practicing and performing.

Get some art together and show it to your artists. They select their favorites, you take these to the merch people and order however many shirts, stickers and such it makes sense to order.

Don’t waste your artists’ money. Buy what you know you can sell, then put those profits back into more merch.

Every sticker and shirt is free advertisement. That’s what merch is for.

Book the right shows

One of the primary jobs of the music manager is to call venues and book live shows for your artists. This can be accomplished online, but often means phone calls and actually visiting the venues in person.

You want your band to feel comfortable there, if possible, but most importantly, the people likely to show up should be the kinds of music fans who are likely to enjoy your artists.

Remember when the Blues Brothers played that country-western bar? Avoid that.

Keep your artist’s calendar full

Keep a calendar online accessible to your artists. Let them circle the dates they’re available to play.

Push them to perform at least one night a week, preferably on weekends when music fans come out, but it’s most important to have them onstage weekly.

Fill all those dates. This is probably the most important job a manager has.

If your artists play onstage every week, they’re going to get great at their music very quickly. After that, it’s a matter of time and persistence.


With these basic tenets, you’re good to go! Thanks very much for reading.

-S. McCauley



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