TPS #011: “The Cheat Code”: 4 Ways to Increase Your Value as an Artist Manager

Author: Andre Mullen - 3 min Read

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In today’s newsletter, I want to give you the “cheat code” – 4 systems you can use to increase your value as an artist manager.

Earlier in my career, I struggled with the thought of representing more than one client because I didn’t have a system in place.

Ironically, I still struggled with one client for the same reason.

So, after many “dumpster fire” moments, I realized that systems help me to accomplish 3 things for my client’s business:

  1. organization

  2. management

  3. scaling

I believe that these basic systems will help you to develop a framework that is uniquely yours and fitting for your workflow.

Most artist managers don’t have systems because they require effort and thought.

Time to change the narrative.

"Artist managers that lack systems lack professionalism."

These 4 fundamental systems will increase your value as an artist manager.

  • Moving Ideas to Execution

  • Frameworks

  • Authority Positioning

  • Management Administration


These systems allow you to address the main problem areas of your client’s business and find solutions to moving it forward.

Let’s take a look at each of these and see how they work.

System #1: Moving Ideas to Execution

Your speed in moving ideas to execution is a critical part of your job description and your client’s business.

Create a roadmap and give direction with an intentional result.

All great artist business development follows the same format:

  1. Idea

  2. Strategy

  3. Creation

  4. Execution

This is the fastest way to provide value to your client.

I worked with a hip-hop artist who was a graphic designer. For one of his releases, he wanted to give away 3 different one-of-a-kind versions of his album cover to 250 of his most devoted fans.

This was the breakdown:

  1. Idea: give 3 different versions of the album cover to 250 devoted fans

  2. Strategy:

    1. get fans to sign up and randomly choose the winners to receive the pieces

    2.  run the campaign for 2 weeks across socials, teasing pieces of the actual album cover

    3. winners are asked to create a video of their cover and share it on their socials.

  3. Creation: 

    1. create a landing page on Carrd with a graphic of the initial cover 

    2. create a Google Spreadsheet to capture email addresses of fans signing up

    3. create branded URL via GoDaddy

  4. Execution: run the campaign across socials with a link to the landing page in all social profiles for approximately two weeks before the album release.

This system is invaluable to any artist.

System #2: Creating Release Frameworks

One of the most challenging areas faced by independent artists is how and when to release music.

“Want to release X singles/albums? Follow 1-2-3.”

Every artist release or content creation schedule can be reduced down to this simple formula:

  1. How many singles/albums/pieces of content do you want to release

  2. Pinpoint dates

  3. Create actionable steps

  4. Schedule releases

When I first met the hip-hop artist I mentioned earlier, he had completed 35 songs. He wanted to get the music out but hadn’t had the plan to do so.

This was the breakdown:

35 songs (using 25)

Two (2) EPs with four (4) songs = 8

One (1) album = twelve (12) songs

Five (5) stand-alone singles

8 + 12 + 5 = 25 songs for the entire year

Dates: dropping releases every month on the third Friday

Actionable steps: should include content created (visuals), platforms used, etc.

Schedule releases: upload releases to respective digital aggregator/distributor on dates in plan.

There you have it. A system that gives any artist a framework to build an audience.

System #3: Authority Positioning

The music industry is constantly evolving.

So, as an artist manager, you should position yourself as an authority.

To do that, you need to speculate – form a theory – on things pertaining to the industry.

Questions like:

Where is the future of the industry headed?

Is your work with your client just as progressive?

What new ideas can you begin to add to your toolkit?

As I began to work with different artists and labels in the industry, I was exposed to different aspects of the music business.

This sparked a child-like curiosity about various parts that I then began to study. One of those areas was music publishing administration.

I studied. 

I learned. 

I applied. 

I made sure my clients’ publishing was taken care of with precision. 

I found publishing monies for my clients that they thought they had lost.

And now, most of my peers and artists view me as the go-to on all things publishing.

The authority position will help you to augment your client’s business as well as yours.

System #4: Manage Administration

Managers don’t neglect systems because they’re difficult.

They neglect systems because they don’t understand them.

As I mentioned previously, systems enable managers to:

  1. organize their client’s business

  2. manage their client’s business

  3. scale their client’s business

With systems, managers can:

  1. create workflows that maximize revenue

  2. optimize processes for best performances

  3. get rid of or tweak low-performing systems

Earlier in my artist management career, I had a sync placement opportunity for my client with a payout of $50,000. His song had 4 writers on it (music supervisors typically want 1-2 max).

But the music supervisor and his team loved the song and were willing to use it if I could get all the writer information as well as a letter of direction from each of the writers.

I had the writers’ information in different places – text messages, Facebook instant messenger, and email.

One of the writers sent me his information via text, which at the time I couldn’t find. I couldn’t text him because he was on tour.

Needless to say, we weren’t able to meet the deadline and lost the sync placement opportunity.

This is why systems are important and why managing administration is one of the important ones to have in place.


4 systems to increase your value as a manager:

  1. Moving ideas to execution

  2. Creating release frameworks

  3. Authority positioning

  4. Managing administration

Hope all this helps.

See you next week.

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

1. I’m offering a Growth Strategy Session. Let’s put together a growth strategy for your and/or your client’s business for FREE.

2. I’m also conducting a FREE Systems Audit to see what systems you are using and optimize them.

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