TPS #024: You Don’t Need a Manager

Author: Andre Mullen - 5 min Read

Read Time: 4 minutes

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In today’s newsletter, I want to give artists a 3 step framework to determine if and when they actually need an artist manager.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had some interesting conversations with independent, up-and-coming artists about needing a manager to move their careers forward.

The common thought is: Having an artist manager will take their career to “the next level”.

The artist has expectations built on “urban myth” and ignorance of the music industry. The artist manager, who in many cases lacks certain business awareness and skillsets, operates off of pre-generated information about the music industry.

These expectations and mindsets are a recipe for disaster.

Artists need to understand the critical skills involved in management to know the role and responsibility of artist managers.

Unfortunately, many artists feel these skills are beyond their reach and understanding.

Time to change the narrative.

"An artist needs a manager when they have so much momentum they can’t keep up with the pace.”

A huge myth that I hear artists and managers alike speak about is “building an artist from the ground up”.

Building an artist from the ground up is investing years of time and money in order to HOPEFULLY build a career.

Any successful artist manager would watch an artist’s path closely before investing in anything.

This is why you need to make sure you are ready to “level up” with an artist manager beforehand.

Here are 3 steps you need to complete as an artist to determine if and when you need an artist manager:

1. Create a business scope & task list
2. Identify 20% of tasks that causes 80% frustration
3. Identify 20% of tasks that determines 80% of your future success

If you complete these steps, you’ll know exactly when and why you need an artist manager vs. merely going off of what other artists may presume and assume.

Here’s how, step by step:

Step 1: Create a Business Scope & Task List

It is very important to know what are the parts and tasks that make up your artist business before bringing on an artist manager.

A great way of doing this is using the “Hub and Spoke Model” I shared in my previous newsletter where I made my client $56,875 in the first 4 hours of his digital store launch.

This will serve as your business scope – the parts that are relevant to your overall artist brand and business.

Within your business scope, create a list of all the tasks – besides music and playing shows – directly affecting your music career. An example of this could include the following:

1. Negotiating with show promoters
2. Creating marketing graphics
3. Writing invoices and organizing taxes
4. Organizing song metadata

Knowing what your artist business looks like and how you run it will help you understand what expectations you may have of an artist manager.

Step 2: “Identify 20% that causes 80% frustration”

Running a business is challenging and oftentimes, feels hard.

Running a creative business feels harder.

You want to maintain a high level of creativity. However, your music business is needed to enable you to maintain the high level of creativity you desire.

From creating a marketing release strategy for music to creating a merch drop, your business requires a real and honest look at how it can be optimized.

You need to identify 20% of the serious tasks that cause 80% of your frustration and then determine whether or not you can do 1 of 3 things:

1. Eliminate them (”Is it really that important?”)

2. Automate them (”Is there some cheap or free software that can take this off my shoulders?”)

3. Outsource them (”Is it something worth handing over to a specialist?”)

When you’re able to determine the critical tasks causing your frustration, you will know the process of how to fix them – something a manager would be responsible for.

Step 3: “Identify 20% that causes 80% future success”

This step is where most don’t get to because they have not determined what success looks like for themselves and their artist career.

This is important for you to fully understand and be able to articulate as you will have to do this many times in your own career.

The process and the road can change slightly on your journey to success, but your destination will remain the same. Knowing what success looks like for you will attract successful artist managers.

You need to identify 20% of the serious tasks that determine 80% of your future success and then determine whether you can do 1 of 2 things:

1. Outsource them to a specialist that helps you multiply your results (i.e. booking, PR, legal support)

2. Find out how you can give that 20 % a more prominent role in your workweek (“What can I sacrifice to make this a priority?”)

Success is inevitable if you can define what it is and those challenges affecting achieving your goals.

3 Steps for Artists to Determine If They Actually Need an Artist Manager:
1. Create a business scope and task list
2. Identify 20% of the critical tasks that cause 80% of your frustration
3. Identify 20% of the critical tasks that determine 80% of your future success

Hope this helps.

See you next week.

✋🏾When you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Schedule a 1:1 Growth Strategy Call with me on growth, strategy, content, and monetization.

2. Promote your business to 400+ artists, artist managers, and founders by sponsoring this newsletter.

3. My website offers resources that can help. Check out The Playbook for more information.

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