After you’re comfortable in the live circuit and have a decent following the next thing to do is find a manager. A manager can be invaluable in getting a record deal and will hopefully have experience in the wider industry. Here’s a few tips to find a manager.
- DIRECTORIES Directories, such as Music Week Directory, provide a list of managers and their acts. This is a good starting point as you can find managers who have experience in a field similar to yours. However, directories are not in depth enough and any information you find needs to be backed up by other sources.
- MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM (MMF) The MMF was founded in 1992 by music managers and membership costs £100 per year. It works in the interest of its members nationally and internationally and negotiates better deals. The MMF publishes a directory of its members and can put you in touch with any managers you are interested in. It is important to understand MMF membership doesn’t mean the manager is any good or relevant to your career.
- RECOMMENDATIONS It’s useful to get recommendations from those who have worked with the manager or know them by reputation. This can include bands who have worked with them, other managers, and other people in the music industry. It is important to take both positive and negative comments into account when deciding on the manager.
- LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS Lawyers and accountants have good knowledge of the reputation of managers and can put you in touch with them. They can also tell you how much work the manager has on and whether they’d actually have time for you. It’s also important to understand a lawyer may be biased towards or against certain managers.
- A&R CONTACTS This can be a great source of information on managers and, again, can put you in contact with them. Lots of A&R people won’t deal with an artist until they have a manager, especially one with a proven track record.
- MANAGERS Sometimes a manager will approach you directly. However, before signing a contract with them it is important to do some research into them.
- SOCIAL MEDIA It can be useful to analyse the manager’s reputation through social media. What contacts do they have in the industry?