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For Managers: Choosing An Artist


By Professor Pooch
© 2016 David J. Spangenberg

As a Manager, you should be really “picky” when selecting Artists to manage. Why?

1. You will be spending a lot of time, which is equivalent to money, on the project.

2. Your reputation as well as the Artist’s is at stake.

3. Your office expenses are continuing no matter what, so why not expend them, and your time, on enough projects that make financial sense?

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To me, the only real reason to become involved with an Artist is that the Artist is so very creative and so very marketable, you would be really stupid if you didn’t sign them!

When considering representing a potential Artist, first ask yourself the five following very important questions:

1. Do they have Drive? Insatiable ambition to be at the top of their field! A real passion for their Music.

2. Do they gain positive response from the audience in performance? That is, do they have “Magic”? For want of a better term, are they able to “hold the audience in the palm of their hand?”

3. Is this Artist Unique (but Marketable!)? Does the Artist stand out in comparison to other Artists? No matter whether they are a Singer, Songwriter, or whether it’s a Group or Band, that ability to stand out from the crowd is required for big success, especially on the national/international level.

4. Are they Extremely Talented? Are they Outstanding Singers, Performers, and Songwriters?

5. Are they willing to reach out to their fans, and allow these fans to feel like they are part of the Artist’s experiences in Music? This involves the “Social Media” and other Internet Web Sites – as well as in person. This is a must nowadays…

An Artist that passes these five tests is a very special person and they are “musts” if you wish to manage a potential “Superstar”. Other important questions you should also consider are:

6. Can you honestly help them advance in their field?

7. Will representing them be profitable?

8. Are they stable, competent, and reasonable? No matter how talented they are, if they are “flakes”, egoistic “prima donnas” and/or “druggies”, they may most probably bring you nothing but trouble. Are they really worth it?

9. If it’s a Group, are there any apparent major personality clashes or other problems? Problem personalities are the major cause of Groups splitting up.

10. Are they professional in all respects? Professionalism means accepting responsibility and understanding that Music is a Business, with responsibilities to the public that pays them to be entertained.

11. Are they mature enough to handle stardom? Do you see any signs of a possible “fear of success?” Unless the Performer is capable of “going out and doing it” on stage, and enjoying it every time, there’s a distinct possibility of “freezing” under stressful conditions that others would accept and handle easily.

Obviously, it’s impossible to answer all these questions before you have become thoroughly familiar with the Performer(s) both on and offstage, so I advise you to never make an immediate decision either to accept or reject a possible Artist. Take the time to observe, consider, evaluate, and just plain feel your way along as you get to know them.

Answering “Yes” to the previous questions means that in your opinion it is worth your time, money and effort regarding becoming involved with them.

Do keep in mind that you rarely will find “the perfect Artist”. Some of the above qualities might not be completely visible at first, but if the qualities are there, and you are able to bring these qualities out of them, it’s an unforgettable experience!

Note: To me, “Drive” and “Magic” are non-negotiable! They must be there naturally, or I wouldn’t recommend that any of my clients become involved. These “musts” cannot be taught or developed, only “brought out” if they are already there.

Remember your time, money, and name, as well as your mental health is involved in every way. So, I repeat to you as Manager what I said to the Artist: don’t be paranoid! Just be careful!

Note: It is just as important, if not more so, for someone who is interested in becoming a Manager, to know everything about becoming a successful Artist. It is the Manager’s job to “Guide the Artist’s Career”. How can a Manager successfully guide someone’s career if they don’t know how to “play the game”?

Simply put, it is just as important for potential Managers to put themselves in the Artist’s position. They should read my entire book, The Music Biz as well as read my Artist Development & Management course and learn everything they can about what it takes to become a successful Artist!

Remember if you ever have any questions about the Creative, Business or Legal ends of the Music Business, or need my help in any way, please contact me at: pooch@professorpooch.com

Stay tuned every Tuesday & Saturday for new Blogs, and if you miss any, you’ll find the older links on the Blog page.

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"Our aim is to help guide you, protect you, and to answer any and all of your questions regarding the Creative, Business and Legal sides of the Music Business, in plain, easy-to-understand "People-Talk". No matter what style of Music, no matter what you do, no matter what stage of your career - we're here for you! Let us help you save wasted time and money..."

David J. Spangenberg
["Professor Pooch"]

Music Business Career Guidance,
Music Legal & Contract Specialist

E-mail David at: Pooch@professorpooch.com

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