For the past few years there has been a troubling trend in the entertainment industry, especially among musicians in Liberia. Artists will sign agreements with managers without fully understanding the role of an artist manager. Another mistake is that artists are signing up with managers who live abroad, which makes it difficult for the artist to get the results they expect in terms of endorsement deals and such, despite having recorded hit songs.
While it is easy to blame said managers for the poor celebrity status of many of these artists given the difficulty of managing an artist from a distance, we beg to differ a little bit. We would blame the artists for not being willing to ask for advice or do their own research on the role of an artist manager. Even if one tries to educate them verbally, they usually get defensive and burst into anger, telling the advisor that they know what is good for their careers.
However, we at LIB Life will continue offering the advice necessary to educate artists about the things they need to do in order to monetize their careers.
In the early stages of every artist’s career, one of his/her biggest needs is having a manger who can offer him/her a considerable amount of time to focus on the creative aspect of his/her career while said manager handles the business side.
Because it is difficult for any artist to get his/her career off the ground independently, that is all the more reason to seek advice when considering a manager.
Before entering into any agreement with any talent manager, one of the many qualities an artist should look for is that said manager must be skilled, organized, and has a good knowledge of the industry as it stands today.
The primary function of a manager is to handle the artist’s business related needs through negotiating endorsement deals, label or recording contracts that will be in the artist’s best interest, as well as making sure that the artist is getting booked for events.
Another key quality an artist should look for in a manager is how timely he/she is in making sure that the artist’s strategies for success are achieved. Both artist and manager each has a part to play. Still the pressure lies on the manager to remain focused on the big picture and end goal.
For example if an artist is still underground or holding a few hit singles and is approached by a manager, an artist should be able to find out which artists he/she has worked with before and how well, if at all, if said manager understands the music industry. That is because each genre of music has its own supporters and its own unique requirements for selling an artist’s vision.
Last but not the least of the many great benefits a manager can offer an artist (and this should be one of the key prerequisites to signing with a manager) is that he/she should be able to cope well under pressure.
Hiring a manger that can cope with pressure in the music business, which is very competitive, means that the person has the drive, passion and determination required for an artist’s music career to become successful.
However, if an artist cannot afford to hire a manager, he/she can still find someone who is willing to work on a pro bono basis (at least initially) if they really believe in said artist’s potential.
As a final word of caution, artists must read the fine print in any agreement and be careful to not sign a deal (whether pro bono or not) that gives away huge percentages of his/get potential future earnings.