Every good band needs an even better manager. After all, musicians need to do what comes naturally: focus on the music. That means the role of the band manager is perhaps the key ingredient to a band's success. Think about it: How many amazing bands have you seen at local bars that just can't seem to break in. And how many awful bands seem to get all the high-profile gigs? The difference is in the management.
A band that doesn't have a consistent performance schedule is going to have a hard time attracting a great fan base. Even with all the internet options available for getting music out to the world, most successful bands rely on a dedicated following of people who love live music. For that reason, one of the key duties of the band manager is to network with local venues and get gigs for the band.
Minding the Books
Besides getting the gigs, another critical role of the band manager is to manage the finances. Bands without managers go for gigs that pay "free beer." A manager helps the band negotiate a portion of the cover charges, percentages of drink sales, and sets up additional appearances based on the band's showings. The manager should be in charge of allocating funds and earmarking money for promotions, merchandise and other essentials to continue to promote the band.
Marketing and Promotions
Once the money is coming in from the band's performances, the band manager can start to think about marketing and promotion. From CDs to concert T-shirts to bumper stickers and other small promo items, fans want something they can take home with them. Additionally, band managers work with local press and writers to get coverage of performances and reviews in the local media. Facebook page? Myspace album? Twitter feed? All are responsibilities of the band manager.
There is no greater key to success than being in the right place at the right time. A good band manager is always looking for opportunities to make connections to promote his band. For example, a band manager whose friend is in charge of a non-profit may set up a free gig for an event that promises a great draw. A band manager knows how to make the best use of their existing network.
Keeping the Peace
Even the best of friends in bands have spats. A band manager, when not working on setting up gigs, marketing, networking and managing finances, has one great overarching task that is critical to the future of the band: being the referee to all disputes large and small. Keeping the positive mojo in the group will ensure the band can continue to turn out the hits and will ensure job security at the same time.