Systems Work For You

Author: Andre Mullen - 2 min Read

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“Art is messy, art is chaos – so you need a system.” – Andrew Stanton

I have been in the music business for 30 years.  Close to 20 of those years was spent in artist management.

I’ve made quite a few mistakes and I lost a lot of money. 

As an artist manager, I have seen how vital having systems and processes can be.

Clients work with managers because they themselves need to be more organized.

They are focused on being creative.

So if you are unorganized, you cannot organize your clients.

And your clients will blame you.

Unorganized artist managers and those that lack business acumen, are not taken seriously by artists.

 The job of artist managers is to move their client’s careers forward professionally.

This includes financial, visible, and creative. 

Ultimately, artist managers are the CEO of their client’s careers.

They build systems and processes for a portfolio of revenue streams knowing one will hit big. 

You are creating a diversified entrepreneur.

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”

Here are four things I would encourage you to focus on to start and even continue your journey as an artist manager. Without all of my mistakes, of course.

1. Focus on Systems:

Management without systems is a “crash and burn” situation.  You cannot manage your client if you don’t have systems in place.

What’s your file management system? What is your distribution system?

Systems make it easier for you to manage.

Systems make it easier for you to make your client (and you) money.

2. Learn, Apply, and Repeat:

Learning without application is entertainment.

Artist managers need to develop a system of processes that enable them to:

Learn – always be open and in a position to learn. Be intentional about increasing your knowledge base and business skills.

Apply – apply what you’ve learned by documenting everything. Put together your own case studies of how you’re working with your client

Repeat – after you’ve applied and seen results, tweak as necessary. Then repeat to see if what you are working on gives you the maximum result.

3. Be the Outlet, Not the Plug:

Unfortunately, the music industry is ripe with folks who claim that they are “the plug”.

If we look at the role of plugs, they all have one thing in common.

They don’t have any power of their own.

Outlets are connected and give power to plugs.

As an artist manager, you need to position yourself to be the outlet. 

Empower your client. 

Because when you empower your client, you empower yourself in the process.

4. Learn to Say “NO”:

The more you know, the more you grow as an artist manager.

You become like a tree bearing fruit.

And everyone wants you to grow one for them.

But you can’t help everyone. 

All money isn’t good money.

And that’s it.


See you next week.



4 Things to focus on for your artist manager journey:

  1. Focus on creating systems for your clients.
  2. Learn, apply (and tweak if necessary), then repeat
  3. Be the outlet, not the plug
  4. Learn to say “NO”

Whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:

  1. Let’s set up a Strategy Call, talk about your business, and see how I can help you.
  2. Work with me 1:1 to grow your brand or business

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