How much of your taxable income did you earn through music last year?
1. I wouldn’t classify myself as having earned enough self-employed income for it to be worth the extra paperwork yet.
2. A little, but I definitely can’t quit my day job tomorrow.
3. I am able to pay at least half my bills with my music (and the other half with a flexible shift job)
4. I am a full-time, professional artist.
Why does the little angel on your shoulder want a manager?
1. To help me build a career plan.
2. To hold me accountable to my creative vision and actionable goals.
3. To give me guidance and direction on my musical journey.
4. To help me feel less overwhelmed with all the tasks involved with running my music business.
Why does the little devil on your other shoulder want a manager?
1. To get me a record deal.
2. To be taken seriously in the industry when I mention that I have one.
3. To expand my network by getting in with their connections.
4. To do business paperwork I don’t want to do, letting me focus on music.
What do you think is the biggest roadblock to you having a long-lasting music career?
1. I don’t have a record deal.
2. I’m not earning enough money.
3. I don’t know the “right” people.
4. I don’t have enough time to get everything done I need to do, on top of staying creative and practicing my instrument.
What everyday tasks would your manager be doing?
1. Booking me shows, pitching my music to labels.
2. Acting as my accountability partner, making sure I’m being productive.
3. Helping me with strategic goal planning.
4. Taking care of some mundane business tasks that can be outsourced, so that I can keep my time and focus for the creative stuff.
This time next year, where do you hope to be in your music career?
1. Signed to a major label, announcing a big tour, winning a Grammy.
2. Playing lots more shows, having a clear brand and sense of artistry.
3. Making full-time music income, or close to it.
4. Taking the strong foundation I have right now, and building it upwards exponentially.
If you got mostly 1’s: You’re not experienced enough yet. Remember that a manager should be working with you, not carrying you on their back. Go seek out some more music business knowledge, and be your own manager.
If you got mostly 2’s: You’re not ready. At this point, you’re not making enough money for it to be worth it for them (as managers typically take a 15% commission of whatever their artist makes). It would be a money drain for you, and a time sink for them (unless you find a Unicorn Manager who believes in you so much they’re willing to work for almost free).
If you got mostly 3’s: Yes, but only for the perfect one. There needs to be a strong bond of trust, and an understanding of your goals and productivity style. Be picky. If done right, you two will grow together.
If you got mostly 4’s: You’re ready. You might have had music industry professionals already approach you. Don’t feel pressured to sign on to anyone who showers you with praise – run from anyone who doesn’t believe it’s okay to have a long courting period. Remember that you’re in control, and always have the final say.