Artists are often asking me, when should I get a manager and how do I get one but here are a few pointers to answer whether you need a manager or even if you are ready. Having over 10 years experience in the industry and seeing a variety of relationships including that between managers and artists here is a little insight into what that means for a healthy partnership.
1) Your manager is not a PA or social media manager
This is one thing that I feel a lot of artists get wrong and it needs to be corrected. Most managers are not there to be there because you want coffee. Managers are there to progress the business. Yes you heard that right the BUSINESS not you. However, you are and indirect benefactor. As you grow as an artist you should be separating between you as a brand and you as a person. The manager is there to help progress the brand with you and if you aren't looking for this then perhaps you do need a PA or social media manager.
2) 20% is more than enough as the industry standard
The industry standard for management is usually around 20% maybe even 15% of net earnings. Check all proposed contracts with a lawyer and if there seems to be something funny around this percentage you need to ask why. If they are taking 10% perhaps they are not taking as many responsibilities or if they are taking 40% why would they be doing this and is it really justified? These are all questions you need to check with a lawyer.
3) You only need a manager if you feel like you are growing not just because you would like to have one
The biggest question I get is 'do I need a manager?' and most of the time if you have to ask the question you probably don't. Yes, some managers or management might be able to get you through some doors but if you have no fanbase or you are not moving forward then what is the point in having a manager? You need to showcase traction before any manager is really going to be looking at you unless the love the music so much all their rational understanding of your brand goes out the window.
4) Management is a partnership
Just like point 2 this one is highlighting the expectations of your relationship with a manager. You should see each other as equals and make sure you have aligned goals, perhaps even a business plan to keep you on the same road. The most important thing is that there is a partnership relationship rather than one working for the other. Things work better when there is an equal standing. The other thing about any good partnership is the balance in skillsets so make sure you are able to find someone that can balance you out.
5) You will still have to work just as hard when you have management
Taylor Swifts manager famously said "If the artist isn't working harder than the manager then the relationship is wrong". Your hustling as an artists doesn't get less as you get bigger, it just gets habitual so it feels like it is easier. A manager will not change this but what it will do is put someone out there to add to the hustle. I hate to break it to you but as an artist you will always have to hustle your way and fight for your career so that's why you need to decide whether you are in it for the long-haul or not. If you are looking for a manager to 'relieve' some of the work this is the wrong reason, again maybe you need a PA or to get your 'systems' together, something HyperTribe can help with.