How To Manage An Artist

Being an artist manager is no doubt an interesting job. It’s a comprehensive blend of many skillsets which are put to the test every single day. There’s no single way to prepare anyone for the job, as most skilled artist managers learned everything they know by doing the job. That being said, there are a few themes that will definitely present themselves when managing an artist, and understanding these themes can increase your chances of success at the job drastically.

On paper, the job seems pretty simple - handle social media, deal with some external parties, plan releases, and so forth. These are certainly the tasks that have to be taken care of regularly, but there’s a lot more to the job than daily/planned tasks. As part of an artist’s team, you’re on the clock 24/7, because work has to get done during the week and events happen on the weekend. It’s a commitment to being around all the time, and not just during standard working hours. The tasks that pop up at random hours are things you simply cannot plan for, which certainly makes the job a bit more challenging, but also rewarding.

Managing artist expectations is by far the most recurring challenge most artist managers face. Making sure that your artists have a realistic perception of their value as an artist is very important, otherwise they will be disappointed often. While it may feel good in the moment to talk about huge plans as if they will happen, the music industry is a place which has a habit of uprooting even the most simple of plans. If you and your artist can simply carry out plans and modify them as needed instead of getting emotionally attached to a desired result, you’ll be at a great advantage compared to most artists and their teams.

As an artist manager, it is your job to filter the external world - the good and the bad - to your artist and to help them make good decisions founded in reality. This becomes challenging when delivering unpleasant news or providing any criticism, which leads to unmet expectations from the artist. Nip this problem in the bud by approaching all problems head on and with zero sugarcoating. Honest and quick communication is the name of the game when it comes to artist management.

There’s no easy way to put it - being an artist manager is hard work. However, the work is certainly worth it when you see the results you worked for. It’s a unique job, and one which requires a lot of responsibility, but definitely one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in the music industry.

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