How to become a music manager? Role, duties and average salary

Written By: CalypsoRoom Editorial Team - September 2023

Table of content

1. Introduction
3. What is a music manager?
4. What does a music manager do?
5. How to become a music manager
6. Skills needed to become a music manager
7. Music manager salary
8. Finding oppportunities and clients: a guide for music managers
9. Conclusion
10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to become a music manager? Role, duties and average salary - Introduction

A business professional who works in the music industry as an artist manager is known as a music manager.

Many people pursue professions as music managers to break into the music and entertainment industries while doing non-musical administrative tasks.

If you enjoy music and have strong negotiating and people skills, being a music manager may be the perfect profession for you.

In this article, we discuss what it could be like to be one of these managers, including their typical job responsibilities and compensation, and we look at a list of steps on how to become a music manager.

How to become a music manager? Role, duties and average salary

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  • Role of a Music Manager: A music manager is responsible for the commercial aspects of an artist's career. This includes tasks ranging from contract negotiations with music labels to coordinating promotional activities, all aimed at navigating the complex landscape of the music industry to achieve commercial success.

  • Common Responsibilities: Music managers wear multiple hats, including arranging concerts, coordinating studio sessions, and discussing goals with clients. Understanding the royalties flow and other financial aspects is crucial, as outlined on resources like CalypsoRoom.

  • Building Relationships: Networking is vital in this field. The broader your network, the higher the chance of discovering potential gigs or collaborative opportunities for the artists you manage. CalypsoRoom offers valuable tips on effective networking in the music industry.

  • Educational Pathway: While not mandatory, having a bachelor's degree can provide foundational knowledge of business procedures and the music industry. Degrees in commercial management or courses in music administration are commonly pursued.

  • Internship Opportunities: Internships at record labels or music management firms provide practical experience and a chance to witness industry experts at work. These experiences often help in establishing useful contacts that could lead to potential clients or projects.

  • Stay Updated with Industry Trends: Keeping an eye on the latest trends helps in identifying emerging artists or genres. Websites, blog posts, and platforms like CalypsoRoom are excellent resources for staying up-to-date.

What is a music manager?

A music manager is a business professional who oversees the commercial aspects of a musician's career.

This role involves a diverse range of responsibilities including negotiating contracts with music labels and venues, coordinating promotional activities such as public appearances and record signings, and planning tours.

Music managers work closely with their clients to define goals and strategies, and they often act as the liaison between the artist and various stakeholders in the music industry.

What is a music manager?

Whether working independently or as part of a larger management firm, a music manager's primary objective is to help artists navigate the complex landscape of the music business and ultimately, achieve commercial success.

What does a music manager do?

The following are some common responsibilities of a music manager:

  • Arranging concerts and travels.

  • Coordinating recording studio sessions.

  • Discussing goals with clients during meetings.

  • Contract negotiations with music labels and venues.

  • Understanding the royalties flow is critical when learning how to become a music manager.

  • Promoting the artists they represent by connecting to other industry peers.

  • Increasing an artist's fan base using social media and other advertising methods.

  • Completing artist documentation, including contracts, budgets for tours, and legal papers.

Understanding the dynamics between artists and labels is essential, especially when deciding between options like a traditional record deal or going independent.

For more on this, you can read about Choosing a Record Label Vs. Working as an Independent Artist.

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How to become a music manager

Be passionate about it

You need to be passionate about what you do to succeed in any creative job. Your chances of success in any venture will be greatly increased by having enthusiasm.

Without it, you'll frequently wonder why you're doing it, and your career in music management would end before it really gets started.

You may develop confidence in yourself and display that confidence to others by exhibiting passion for what you are doing and trusting the process.

Creative people are more willing to work with someone who genuinely enjoys what they do.

How to become a music manager

Build relationship

Connections are crucial in the music industry. Many effective artist managers got their start in the business by contacting people they already knew through personal relationships.

The greater your network, the more likely it is that you will discover a possible gig or joint venture for the artist you are managing.

Build relationship

Get involved in your local scene

Just being surrounded by your local music industry can help you overcome the entry barrier needed to become an artist manager.

The first step is to attend performances, interact with the performers, and become familiar with the venues in your city.

Find out what places promote the music you are interested in and go there as often as you can.

Get involved in your local scene

While you're getting involved in your local scene, consider taking it a step further by learning how to manage artists effectively.

You can deepen your understanding by reading about how to manage artists.

Earn a bachelor's degree

Many job candidates decide to obtain a college degree, even though some music managers may find employment without one.

This is to ensure that applicants may learn about business procedures, knowledge of the music industry, and negotiating strategies.

Commercial management is often the most popular major among these students since it may equip them to represent customers' business interests.

Additionally, certain colleges may offer courses in music administration, which can provide students with a more in-depth understanding of how to conduct business in the music industry.

Earn a bachelor's degree

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Find internship opportunities

Many aspiring music managers find internships with record labels or music management firms where they may learn about the business and witness seasoned experts at work.

Making relationships in the business can be quite beneficial for new professionals, and this is especially true for music managers.

This is so because talking to other industry experts to find out about new artists and trends helps many music managers land new clients and projects.

Update yourself with all the relevant music industry trends

Knowing the trends in the music business is a crucial component of becoming a music manager.

A music manager may use this to locate new clients and sign musicians they think have a chance of succeeding based on current trends.

The internet is one of the finest places to conduct research on the music industry since you can go through blog posts, articles, and other sources for the latest music news.

Update yourself with all the relevant music industry trends

Skills needed to become a music manager

Be eager to know

Continue your education in the music business. Recognize the function that agents, promoters, labels, and PR firms fill in the industry.

Keep yourself up to date if you really want to know how to become a music manager.

Even if you don't have to be an expert in music, managing musicians might be a good opportunity to continue your own personal development.

Be eager to know

Interpersonal and communication skills

You'll need to network, pitch, and make cold calls if you want to create possibilities for your artists.

The most important thing is to follow up with everyone you interact with politely and persistently.

If you struggle with interpersonal skills like networking and communication, you should either work on them or look for another employment because it’s just too important if you want to know how to become a music manager.

Interpersonal and communication skills

Be focused on the business side of the job

You'll be with your artists often, so you could be tempted to hang around and go out with them.

Don't go too far, though. Work comes first when there is work to be done. Put work first; don't put enjoyment first.

Multitasking skills

You will effectively be in charge of every element of your artists' careers until a team is in place.

Early on, you'll probably need to handle duties that would traditionally fall within the responsibility of PR firms, agencies, labels, and so forth. Be prepared to be exhausted.

Multitasking skills

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Music manager salary

Currently, the average yearly income for a music manager in the United States is $85,400. However, this sum may change based on a person's degree of education and experience.

According to Comparably, music managers may frequently make more money depending on where they work.

For instance, music managers in San Francisco can expect to make an average of $129,000 annually, while those in Salt Lake City can expect to make an average of $68,000 annually.

On the other side, in the UK, according to Indeed, the average salary for a music manager is £31,264 per year.

Music manager salary

Finding oppportunities and clients: a guide for music managers

The role of Fiverr, Upwork, and Groover

In today's digital age, platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Groover serve as invaluable resources for music managers to connect with up-and-coming artists.

These platforms have democratized the freelance industry, opening doors for managers and artists alike to find each other without the need for traditional networking methods.

For instance, a music manager can create a professional profile outlining their experience, skills, and services offered.

Finding oppportunities and clients: a guide for music managers

Showcasing expertise to attract clients

Your online profile is your digital business card. It’s vital to fill it with relevant experience, past achievements, and even testimonials from previous clients.

This not only boosts your credibility but also helps you stand out in a crowded market.

You could also offer starter packages or consultations at a discounted rate to get your foot in the door and start building a client base.

Networking and referrals

Whether you're a music manager or you're looking at how to make money as a music producer, the adage "It's not what you know; it's who you know" holds weight.

Networking is the cornerstone of the music industry.

Networking and referrals

Attend music events, industry conferences, and other gatherings where you can meet artists, producers, and other professionals in the field.

You might be introduced to an artist looking for a manager, or perhaps another professional who needs your production skills.

Either way, these gatherings are opportunities to make a lasting impression.

The power of referrals

Word of mouth and client referrals can be powerful ways to expand your client base. For every artist or producer you successfully assist, you create a potential advocate for your services.

Clients who are satisfied with your work are more likely to recommend you to their peers

Encourage clients to leave testimonials on your online profiles and to spread the word about their positive experiences.

These first-hand endorsements can serve as a seal of trust for future clients, making it easier for you to make money, whether you're a music manager or producer.

Once you've built a portfolio and started gathering testimonials, it's essential to present this information effectively. Knowing what is an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) can help you achieve this.

The power of referrals

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How to become a music manager - Conclusion

In summary, the road to becoming a successful music manager is a multifaceted journey that demands a robust skill set, unwavering passion, and the right connections.

Whether you're a manager figuring out how to navigate artist contracts or pondering how to make money as a music producer, CalypsoRoom offers you an experience unlike any other—a space to not just listen but deeply engage with music alongside others, connected via webcam.

Ready for an auditory adventure that also fuels your professional growth? Head over to our blog homepage for an even deeper dive into industry insights that could revolutionize your career.

Let the music play,
The CalypsoRoom Team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does a music manager do?

A music manager oversees the commercial aspects of an artist's career, including contract negotiations, promotional activities, and tour planning. They act as a liaison between the artist and various stakeholders in the music industry, helping the artist achieve commercial success.

How do I start a career as a music manager?

To start a career as a music manager, you can begin by networking within your local music scene and considering educational pathways, such as degrees or internships in music business or management. Establishing relationships with artists or working in entry-level roles in the industry can also serve as valuable stepping stones.

What skills are essential for a successful music manager?

Interpersonal skills and business acumen are essential for a successful music manager. The ability to multitask, understanding of royalties, and proficiency in contract negotiation are also critical for managing various elements of an artist's career effectively.

How can I find clients as a music manager?

Networking is a crucial strategy for finding clients, which can be done by attending industry events, joining online platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, and through client referrals. A strong digital presence showcasing your skills and past experiences can also help attract potential clients.

What are the challenges faced by music managers?

Music managers often face challenges like high levels of competition, rapidly changing industry trends, and the need to juggle various roles, including legal, financial, and promotional tasks. The role can also be time-consuming and emotionally demanding, given the close relationship with artists.

How much does a music manager earn on average?

In the United States, the average annual income for a music manager is around $85,400, but this can vary widely based on factors like experience, location, and the commercial success of the artists they manage. In other markets like the UK, the average salary is approximately £31,264 per year.

Do I need formal education to become a music manager?

Formal education is not a strict requirement to become a music manager, but earning a degree in music business, commercial management, or a related field can provide useful foundational knowledge. Internships and hands-on experience are often equally valuable for entering this career path.

How do music managers help artists with their careers?

Music managers help artists by steering their commercial endeavors, negotiating contracts, and making strategic decisions to enhance their visibility and revenue. They work closely with the artist to define goals and implement strategies, acting as both advisor and advocate for their career.

What is the role of networking in music management?

Networking is vital in music management as it opens doors to potential gigs, collaborations, and even new clients. Whether through industry events or online platforms, building a strong network can greatly influence the scale and success of a music manager's career.

How can I stay updated with the latest trends in the music industry?

Keeping yourself updated with industry trends involves regular research through blog posts, articles, and industry reports. Online platforms and resources like CalypsoRoom can also be beneficial for staying current with what's happening in the music business.

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Written by CalypsoRoom Editorial Team
The CalypsoRoom Editorial Team is a skilled and diverse group of writers, researchers, and industry specialists who have access to Calypso's data and information in order to give you broad knowledge about the music industry as well as helpful advice to help you manage your music and dancing career.

Updated September 2023

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