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I’m sure you’ve heard of bad music management draining the assets of desperate artists or bands. Let’s face it; scams are scary and very real. The good though: there are many reputable people and firms out there. If you want to protect your investment, then do your homework when seeking a music manager.
Make a copy of the following list and keep it in your wallets and or purses, on your desk, embed it in your brain, recite it in your DAW, dub it to CD and play it in your car or while you are cleaning the house… just take heed…
1. As the internet is the common way of doing business these days; if approached, listen carefully and precisely at every word you are being told. Just doing this alone will prompt you to ask the right questions and assist in determining your next move.
2. The initial conversation should be two-way. If they are just talking about what they can do for you, and not inviting you into conversation, you are already grabbing your purse right?… okay wallet?
3. Don’t be hasty! Time is always on your side when it comes to making the right choices. Use it if you have to.
4. No one gives you or your band a performance name except the people who will own it. Shouldn’t that be you or your band?
5. When seeking a manager; please know upfront why you need them and tell them that. If you appear not knowing, a scammer will shoot to impress, and most likely win you over.
6. Don’t be easily impressed…. you know grandma’s cliché… “Everything that glitters aint gold… “
7. You may be asked to pay upfront, however, traditionally, management gets paid on commission of your income they help you create.
8. No management contract between two parties is one-sided. (You know this right?) Contracts are negotiable! Reiteration: You don’t have to accept the terms as written initially.
9. It is okay to ask for work history and references. If they don’t have any, honest folks will tell you that. If they brush you off with other industry work they’ve done or who they know… then take heed.
10. Know that a good manager manages you, goes to bat for you and looks out for your best interests.
11. Artists management contracts vary depending on your status as an artist. Study the differences in understanding if your manager is the right fit for you.
12. Don’t sign anything without an ‘experienced and reputable’ entertainment attorney to assist you. Pay him a few dollars now to save you loads of money later.
13. If you don’t have a label, most scam artists are after you. Even though a label is a separate entity from artists’ management, they know your label will know when something’s fishy… and more likely you will too.
14. If this list is a day late and dollar short for you, know that there are tons of very good management out there. Just keep moving forward and remain focused. Keep this list in mind…
Do you have any to add? Do share.
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