TPS #040: The Art of Artist Management

Author: Andre Mullen - 2 min Read

Read Time: 2 minutes

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💡 Big Ideas:

1. The art of artist management is made up of 4 pillars – soft skills – managers should develop in – honesty, teamwork, loyalty, and courage.

2. Neglecting soft skills hinders what managers can do for their clients.

3. While the soft skills consistent with every manager, they are expressed differently.

4. No manager can truly build a successful artist career without implementing and developing soft skills

“Honesty is the best policy.”

When I first started in management, my biggest insecurity for the longest time was that I wasn’t trained in business…so how could I be a manager?

I had little experience in the music business, but what I knew I had was a sincere honesty artist need to be successful.

And that was my superpower I intended to use the help them win.

There is an art to artist management.

In today’s newsletter, I want to talk about the 4 pillars to the art of artist management.

These pillars are soft skills not learned between the pages of a book or from a professor, but rather from real world interaction.

Soft skills revolve around personal relationships, character, and attitude. As pillars to artist management, they represent the ingredients of a successful partnership between you and your client.

Neglecting the development of soft skills hinders what artist managers can accomplish for their client.

Time to change the narrative.

“Soft skills enable artist managers to nurture and build communications and relationships key to their client’s careers.”

Soft skills provide the basis for personal interaction and development. They act as your compass for determining the relationship with your client. Furthermore, your communication with your client can either be enhanced or diminished.

Recognizing soft skills as pillars to your management business is both crucial in managing smarter and mapping out the direction of your client’s career. No manager can truly build a successful artist career without implementing and developing soft skills as pillars in their personal and business life.

The 4 pillars to the art of artist management are made up of:

1. Honesty

2. Teamwork

3. Loyalty

4. Courage

The above soft skills serve as pillars for you to use your artistic insight to perform your managerial functions. These pillars are expressed differently with you and your client. It is what makes you different and unique in the artist management market.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Pillar #1: Honesty

Honesty is what it takes to begin the artistic journey with your client.

As a manager, your responsibility is ask the hard questions – especially the ones that an artist cannot – for the life of them – answer themselves.

Your client’s art is evolving and growing through them. As their manager, you have to be in tune with this. If not, it will be impossible to represent them.

Artists are releasing millions of songs, but many lack the depth, edge, and quality to monetize. This is where honesty becomes key: honesty in the recording studio, honesty during the contracts, and honesty when the art just isn’t good.

If you promote bad music from your client, you will quickly realize that there are no second chances and taking it too far means there is no coming back.

Pillar #2: Teamwork

You can be good at a few things, but specializing in one can lead you to greatness.

This requires finding other industry experts like yourself to help you expand and manage smarter. After all, your job as a manager is to scale your client’s business to build a team.

The business is a marathon. While your client’s music is good, it takes time to build an audience, cultivate a fanbase, and develop the right relationships to gain exposure and momentum.

The best managers recruit. Your personal skill – whether it be administrative, accounting or just having the “ear for music” – is less important to your ability to organize a team of experts.

As the CEO of your client’s image, you’re responsible for delivering every step of the way. From marketing to handling the emotional balance of your client’s creative space.

Pillar #3: Loyalty

Loyalty is rare in the music industry. If you find it, make sure you keep it.

Longevity in the relationship is what all managers strive for. Loyalty is the glue that keeps it together.

Your client’s ability to evolve and reinvent their vision is based on your ability to navigate their emotional space while steering them toward a well thought out end game.

If you let your client burn bridges, you won’t be able to salvage loyalty from the industry because you, as the manager, let that happen.

Pillar #4: Courage

Don’t be afraid to bet big when you bet the bag on yourself and your client.

Courage has everything to do with your ability to recognize talent, accept what they have, and use the resources around you.

Betting on your client is always the last step. You can have all the resources in the world, but if you’re not confident about your client, you’re wasting your time.

Don’t mistake courage with being reckless. While some chances do work out, being calculated and strategic are important. For example, you cannot just release a track for the sake of releasing a track. Quality matters above all.

These pillars – soft-skills – should be mastered by every artist manager to help them manage smarter and take their client’s career to the next level.

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 600+ 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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