In the music industry, having the right management can help your career stabilize and be on a path to success.
It’s common for musicians and artists to have managers, this is why most young producers often wonder whether music producers also need managers.
This is an interesting topic that I’ll break down so you can have a better understanding.
So, Do Producers Need Managers?
Music producers definitely need managers that can handle and basically manage all the producers affairs. A manager ensures that the producer focus on the creative part while they handle the business side of things. This essentially allows the producer to stay focused on the work that they are meant to be doing which is producing.
Keep reading this post as I walk you through what exactly Producer managers do.
Manage the brand
Managers for producers work closely with whomever their managing. Making sure that the moves being made are in line with the kind of brand that is looking to be built.
Branding is a huge part of being a creator because people perceive you as the brand that you choose to portray. This makes it very important to be and maintain a brand that people will want to work with.
For the producer this may mean always sticking to a schedule, having great skill and a good work ethic.
Artists will want to work with a producer that takes their job seriously and can respect the artist and develop a relationship with them over time.
Let’s face it, Networking is a huge part of the music business and is something that cannot be done without.
The role of a manager is to be able to network and meet various industry people that they can build relationships with that could benefit the music producer.
A good network is as good as money maybe even better. This has been my experience working with various people in the music industry.
Managers will always attend networking events, shows, studio sessions in order for them to meet new people with whom they can easily work with over time.
Set up meetings
As a music producer, keeping tabs of everything can be very exhausting and tasking on your schedule.
This is where the manager comes in.
A manager will be able to set up meetings on your behalf as a music producer and be able to attend them in your place.
This can help you free up time and work on your projects with a clear mind knowing that your work is being handled by somebody that is reliable and has your best interests at heart.
Some of these meetings could be with artists, lawyers, production companies, potential clients etc.
Look for opportunities
As a producer manager, one of the jobs that comes with this occupation is having your ears on the ground and by this I mean you have to be well connected and have to be privy to a lot of industry information that can help your producer client.
Therefore another role of a manager will be to scout and look for opportunities for the music producer that they’re managing.
This may involve connecting with artists that want to work with the producer. Setting up meeting times and further discussing what needs to be done.
Also, the manager could locate placement and service opportunities for the music producer outside of the music industry. e.g. Video Game Composing, AD scoring etc.
Another very key function that a manager will serve, will be to provide advice and be the confidant of the music producer.
This advice can include improvements, suggestions, better opportunities etc.
The very fact that you as a music producer decide to work with a manager means that you want to ensure that business is properly taken care of.
Therefore having a person to offer you free advice with the intent to drive your career forward is an added advantage and can help you in your career.
The manager on behalf of the music producer is also responsible for making sure that all negotiations are handled properly.
There’s a lot of negotiation that goes on in the career of a producer from studio time payments, royalty split agreements, work for hire agreements etc.
It can be very difficult for the producer to focus on handling all these things plus being creative and working on records.
This is where the manager comes in.
The manager can absorb this workload and be the person that handles negotiations knowing what the producer wants and the general direction that is looking to be followed.
This leads me to my next point…
Manage contracts and paperwork
Contracts and paperwork are big part of the music industry and come into play usually when theres business involved.
The manager has to be the person that stays on top of things making sure that all paperwork is in order. Granted, a lawyer may be also hired to ensure that all paperwork is in order but in situations where one can’t afford a lawyer or simply needs a second set of eyes to go through the contract, a manager will be the best person to handle that.
I’ve always been of belief that everyone should study contacts to which they are party to, whether or not they have a lawyer. The reason is simple;
Contractual agreements are legally binding and it is always better to go through them yourself to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
If you have a manager that is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart, then you can have them go over the contract on your behalf.
Characteristics of a good Producer Manager
If you’re looking to hire a manager as a music producer, its important that you have a checklist that can guide you while you look for possible candidates.
Below are what I’ve found to be the most important traits that an effective and good producer Manager should possess.
Knowledge of the Music industry
For somebody to be able to manage a person that is involved in the music industry, they must possess music industry knowledge.
That’s the only way they’ll be able to carry out their job effectively.
It will be your job as the producer to ask the possible manager, questions that will establish just how well they know their way around the music industry business.
You should be careful to pick somebody that can express themselves well and give you insight into the working of the industry.
The more they know, the better they’ll be able to serve you.
Let’s face it, a good personality is absolute necessity for anyone to thrive in the music business, especially somebody that is managing talent.
Your manager as a producer will be your representative and will be the one to speak and negotiate on your behalf which means they have to simply be a “people” person.
One of the reasons why a good personality is great is because, it can open doors for you and people find that much easier to work with somebody they can speak to easily.
When hiring a manager you’ll be able to get a sense of their personality through the interviewing process. It will be of much help to keep the conversation casual because this will make it easier for the possible manager’s personality to show.
A management background (optional)
Not all great managers have a background in management. Some are just naturally inclined to do their job quiet effectively.
This should not stop you from going for somebody that has a firm background in management, in any industry.
Management experience makes it easier for them to take care of your business and have a vision for what has to be accomplished, therefore it can help you to look for somebody with some management experience if you deem it absolutely necessary.
One of the roles of a manager is to network and build relationships with various industry people that help you as a music producer.
Therefore it is wise and actually a requirement to hire a manager that has connections in the music industry because it will be highly beneficial for you.
It also reflects their networking abilities, personality, goodwill and reach.
All these are characteristics that are needed in manager for them to properly take your brand to the next level.
Connections are everything in the music industry and they are the pillars on which most billion dollar brands are built.
A good track record
Reputation is everything. You should make sure to hire a manager that has a good track record which can stem from their experience as a manager.
It will be your job to look into what the possible manager has to show for their skill as a manager.
Shared Goals and Ambition
What matters more than anything in a producer-manager relationship is how well your goals align.
You have to hire somebody that you share a vision with, somebody that has the ambition to not want to settle for anything less than success
If you’re to propel and elevate your career to the next level, you’ll need to hire a manager that wants the same thing.
A Different Kind of Management for the Beat seller
Not all producers rely on, studio sessions and record placements. Some producers are primarily beat makers that sell beats and have this as the centre or core part of their business.
For that you need a manager that can be a beat broker and you also need a lawyer for your overall operations.
A beat broker is simply a person that promotes beats on behalf of a producer. This person can be a manager, a friend or a company.
Beat brokers are supposed to have a network of recording artists that need beats for their music. A manager has to be well connected enough to be able to easily push these beats so they can sell.
Usually, beat brokers are paid a percentage of the sale which is something like a commission which keeps them focused to bring in more customers.
If you’re in the business of selling beats, you need management that can help you push your product so it can sell.
Entertainment lawyers are always available to be your representative as a music producer.
They are very important in handling matters of the law and you should always arm yourself with them.
A manager is important but a lawyer is just as important therefore make sure to have your management of affairs in order and also have your legal representation in order so you can have your business taken care of.