Learning how to start a music management company is something that experienced industry veterans will admit is one of the toughest things to do. In fact, you might find yourself starting a few different music management companies over the course of your career, depending on the artists you manage and the partnerships you develop. Some of the most famous managers in the world have started new music management companies every time they shifted between the management business and other aspects of entertainment, like record labels or television networks.
The right attitude is important to understanding how to
start a music management company. If you expect your new
company to start funneling cash to your bank account
instantly, you’re in for a rude awakening. Just like
it takes patience and perseverance to launch a music
career, it takes drive, ambition, and stamina to start a
music management company.
The best way to start a music management company is to
begin by representing a client with whom you already have a
strong relationship. Most artists benefit more from having
a trusted friend or family member oversee their career in
the early years than from working with an experienced music
management company. The music management skills can be
learned faster than the trust can be earned, especially in
a business where hundreds of artists compete for the
attention of each working music manager.
Avoid relying on gimmicks or tricks when you start a music
management company. Shake loose that desire to discover
talent – experienced music managers can assure you
that the right talent finds its way to you. Focus on the
people you already know instead of trying to collect
clients at music conferences or after shows. Too many scam
artists have made it impossible for real client development
to happen at most public events.
Before you start a music management company, get clear
about the amount of time and money you can devote to your
venture. Like any small business, a music management
company requires startup capital to pay for phones,
letterhead, legal fees, and accountants. Since you will get
paid on commission, it may take six to twelve months for
you to see enough income from your clients to start paying
your own bills. Most importantly, remember that the client
is responsible for paying their own expenses –
it’s not up to you to cover the costs of recording an
album, paying for CD pressings, or renting tour buses.
You can learn how to start a music management company when
you read my book, Music Management for the
Rest of Us. I’ve even got some sample chapters you
can check out for free.
Joe Taylor Jr.
Principal, Taylor Creative Management