A band manager, also called a music or talent manager, oversees the careers of musicians. A consultant who may work on retainer or commission, she advises clients on all career related decisions, including contractual agreements, marketing and promotion, creative choices and occasionally personal matters.
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A band manager is responsible for developing and growing the career and reputation of his clients. He liaisons with his clients' agents, public relations representatives and, if applicable, record label to ensure that all parties are working toward a common goal. He advises his clients as to what type of gigs and performing venues to pursue. He seeks out other creative talent with whom they may collaborate. He also ensures that vendors deliver on negotiated goods and services. Personally, he may assist his clients in finding a home and domestic staff, he may seek out medical professionals for his clients and he may even go as far as managing his talents' staff.
Those seeking work as a band manager should start by obtaining an internship or apprenticeship with an established talent management firm. Additionally, smaller independent firms hire entry level management associates, offering them on the job training. Band management is all about relationship management. As a result, most roles are obtained through networking. Affiliation with an organisation just as the Talent Managers Association provides job seekers with exclusive networking events and industry contacts.
A successful band manager must first and foremost possess exceptional people management skills. She must be able to effectively deal with temperamental clients in a manner that is professional and courteous. She must also be confident and tenacious. Her job is to make things happen. She cannot be afraid to connect and communicate with people she does not know, nor should she be willing to take no for an answer. She must also be able to tactfully communicate negative information to her clients. In addition, a band manager is always on call. She must be comfortable with the possibility of working non-traditional hours such as nights, weekends and holidays.
Formal education is not required to become a band manager. Many employers, however, particularly large management firms such as William Morris or International Creative Management require all hires to possess four-year degrees within music business, business administration or a related field of study. In addition, many of the larger firms offer formal internship and apprenticeship programs, allowing those who seek to enter the field the ability to again on-the- job experience while obtaining classroom knowledge.
Band managers typically work on commission, from approximately 15 per cent to 30 per cent of his clients' annual income. For instance, if a musician engages a band manager at a commission of 20 per cent for one calendar year, and during that time the musician earns through record and merchandise sales, touring revue, and endorsement income a total of £325,000, the band manager will receive £65,000. While this seems like a substantial of money, all of the manager's overhead such as office space, telephone bills and travel must be deducted from his commission.
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