How to Find an Artist Manager

The following post was originally featured on the FSO Blog for the Music Business degree program:

Recently an MBBS student approached me with the question, “What is the best method for finding a credible artist manager?” Many artists, even at the early stages of their career, aspire to find a manager who can help them navigate the business side of their art. Since artist managers generally work on a commission-only basis (generally 15 to 20% of the artist’s earnings), it often seems like a Catch-22: the artist needs a manager to help them make a living from their music, but cannot attract a legitimate manager until they are already bringing in steady revenue.

There are a few websites that seek to help artists in this situation find suitable managers, however there is no certification process, so it can be a challenge to verify the credentials and knowledge base of individuals claiming to be managers. I recommend using your personal network of professional contacts to find a businessperson who is in the early stages of his/her career, and is able to work for a small commission, but is knowledgeable enough to make a positive impact on the artist’s career. The following sites can help you find these types of people:

http://www.mmfus.com – The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is a professional organization for managers with chapters all over the world. Look for a chapter in your area or view the Contacts section.
http://www.musicolio.com – Musicolio is a site that launched in 2010 as a business networking site geared towards music professionals. Search for managers by location and genre specialization.
http://www.linkedin.com – LinkedIn is the go-to source for business networking. Recommendations and connections can be used to find artist managers who can be verified by individuals in your network. Also, a quick search for “artist managers” in the group directory brings up many results to help you begin conversations with prospective partners.

Lastly, I recommend surveying the management panels hosted by various music industry conferences, such as AmCon, CMJ, South by Southwest, and MIDEM – even if you’re not able to attend the conference, panel speakers are posted online and will give you a thorough list of respected managers. Happy hunting!

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11 Comments

Filed under Business, Education, Music

11 responses to “How to Find an Artist Manager

  1. Great post, Jackie! I was very excited to stumble across your blog. Great student advice. :-)

  2. Jackie Otero

    Thanks Heather! I look forward to checking out your blog too :)

  3. Future Trance

    hi . i’m trance music producer / dj / musician . i really need a manager . How can i find or what have i do ? for example have i to be signed artist on a record label ?

    • Jackie Otero

      Hi there, you certainly don’t need signed to a record label to secure management, however since managers work on a commission basis, it’s important to establish yourself as a revenue-generating business in order to attract a professional manager. If this isn’t the case, consider teaming with a young manager who is looking to build their business and take on the task of developing emerging talent. Many music business students and recent grads are willing to help out artists and grow their careers together.

  4. "Munchkin"

    Hey Jackie me & three other friends need a record producer.We sing & rap we have been planing this for a long time ! , & we make songs all ! We really need help ! & How can we find a producer ? Can you help please !

    • Jackie Otero

      Whether it’s production or management, it’s all about networking. Search online for artists with a similar sound as you, and find out who produced their records. If you’re relatively unknown, I’d suggest starting small and researching other local artists you respect – once you find some names, start looking for them on social or professional networking sites, and be ready to pitch yourself and why they should work with you.

    • Hi Munchkin,
      I know this is from last year, but I want to know if you already found yourself a producer. If not, and still looking please contact @SaveYourEarsKid on twitter.
      Present yourself as Munchkin so I know it’s you.
      Best Regards,
      Joan

  5. ChiQuita Gardner

    Hello Jackie
    I am an aspiring Artist manager taking courses right now in Business Management . I am actually looking for a mentor or someone professional to work alongside. I would like to start my own management company and I know I have to start small. I was just hoping you could give me advice on how to find someone to work alongside.

  6. am looking for seriouse sponcer to get me there,am xplicit,i sing,i rap,i dance and i play live,everytime i perform somewere i never leave with an empty pocket,everybody tells me that i will travell far with this gift,but what i realy need is a sponcer,,this music got me a job but i need to get me in front of a thousand people…….somebody please discover me,am growing up,am turning 23 know…

  7. Hi Jackie,

    My husband and I have managed our son for over 10 Years. His career has grown so that we are now looking a manager for him and we will remain his business manager. He is a contemporary Violinist. (www.DanielDMusic.com) and his music career takes him across this country. He has a high presence online in such that a lot of people do reach out to him. BET 106 and park reached out and he was a highlighted performer. He has won Apollo, He has performed before many dignitaries, etc. How do we position him for a manager that will take him to the next level?

  8. Hi am a reggae artist I want to release my second album I need a manager from the USA, UK, DENMARK OR CANADA

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