TPS #028: 4 Types of Artist Managers

Author: Andre Mullen - 3 min Read

Read Time: 3 minutes

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Listen to "4 Types of Artist Managers" on Audiomack:
💡 Big Ideas:

1. There are 4 types of artist manager essential to an artist’s career.

2. The Prospector, The Cheerleader, The Spokesperson and The CEO are all important types.

3. Each of the types of manager are interdependent of one another.

4. All managers need to grow in each of these types.

Let’s Talk Artist Manager Types…

In today’s newsletter, I want to talk to you about the 4 types of artist manager and how each are important in the career of an artist.

Whether you are an artist or a manager, this week’s newsletter is intended to shed some much-needed light on the role of the artist manager.

Artist managers hold a very multi-faceted position. They play a pivotal role in the careers of artists. Their function is oftentimes misunderstood and undervalued.

Artists believe managers “do everything and anything” for the sake of their career. Managers believe they need to be “all things to an artist” in order to make them successful. These mindsets has been widely adopted and is all too common.

Knowing the different types of artist managers can and will bring clarity to a position responsible for creating new business opportunities and possibilities.

Managers who do not embrace these types of roles will find themselves consistently fighting to understand exactly who they are and what they really do for their client.

"Artist manager types are essential to artist's career.”

Berklee Music Professor George Howard highlights the importance of the Hedgehog Concept, which emphasizes the crucial role that managers play in an artist’s career journey. The design of the Hedgehog showcases how an artist’s career is dependent on and pivots with the manager.

This concept shows that the artist-to-artist manager relationship is more than just being a close confidant of the artist.

There are 4 types of artist manager that are essential to an artist’s career:

1. The Prospector
2. The Cheerleader
3. The Spokesperson
4. The CEO

The above manager types are not independent of each other. Rather, they are interdependent since managers must have a varied, yet precise skillset. This skillset can make or break an artist’s career.

Throughout the years representing artists, I have had to grow in each of these types.

Let’s look at each of these, one by one:

Type #1: The Prospector

A prospector explores regions likely to contain valuable mineral deposits. They use maps, surveys, reports, and knowledge of geology and mineralogy to acquire those valuable minerals.

The artist manager is like a prospector, looking for opportunities for their artist client. The manager uses data sources ranging from email sign-up forms to streams to social media engagement and more.

As the music business changes, the primary role of the artist manager is to turn their client’s creative ideas into business models.

I have always had a great rapport with my artist clients because I focus on that singular thought. It is my superpower, and I have never tried to use it any other way.

Type #2: The Cheerleader

Cheerleaders have the honor and responsibility of creating a strong sense of school pride and elevating spirit within their school community, particularly at school sporting events.

At games, cheerleaders are obsessed about seeing their team win. Even when the team is losing, cheerleaders still maintain a level of excitement and enthusiasm.

The artist manager is responsible for being their client’s cheerleader. They create a strong, professional presentation of their client in the market. Whether it is via an EPK (electronic press kit), showcase, performance, interview, etc., the artist manager ensures that the public view of their client positively represents the artist’s brand.

The music industry is a tough industry. It takes its toll on many artists.

The artist manager maintains and boosts the morale of their client.

I have always wanted to see my clients – and artists, in general – succeed. It has always been very important to me to maintain an elevated level of excitement and enthusiasm no matter what the situation looks like.

Type #3: The Spokesperson

A spokesperson communicates information that the public wants or needs. In fact, the spokesperson is not only responsible for sharing the message but also for developing it.

Artist managers act as spokespersons for their artist clients. This is a delicate and important role because the manager is an extension of their client. This role can have a significant impact:

1. It can make or break relationships.

2. It can increase or decrease opportunities.

3. It can increase or decrease finances.

As a spokesperson for my artist client, I never tell them what they are going to do. Instead, I always ask.

By doing so, I gain the trust and permission of my client to the point where they ask me, “What should I do?”

Type #4: The CEO

CEOs are responsible for managing a company’s overall operations. This could include delegating and directing agendas, driving profitability, managing company organizational structure, strategy, and more.

Artist managers are the CEOs of their artist client’s business. It is the responsibility of a manager to organize, manage, and scale their client’s business.

Artist managers need to know the movements of the markets and trends. They need to understand the principles of both business economics and environment.

This is why systems are important.

As a manager, I have lost my clients money and increased their revenue because of systems.

Systems create sustainability and are essential to the the bottom line of an artist’s career.

Just like artist managers.

Hope this helps.

✋🏾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 500+ artists, artist managers, and founders by sponsoring this newsletter.

3. Here on my website, I have resources that can help. Check out The Playbook for more information.

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