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How to Find a Music Manager in 2023

A key member of a professional musician’s team is their music manager. But do independent artists need a manager and how exactly do you go about finding this person in 2023?

We're here to break down all things music management and provide expert insights from Ditto Management to help you take your career to the next level.

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Do I need a music manager?

This all depends on what stage of your career you’re at - and whether or not you’ve been blessed with great organisational skills!

As your music becomes more successful and opportunities are becoming more frequent, your schedule can quickly become overwhelming and you might need to consider adding a manager to your team. 

You may find that you’re struggling to keep on top of your social media marketing or you’re wanting to secure bigger venues for your gigs. A manager can help you with all of this. Ditto Artist Manager, Mike Murphy helps explain how bringing a manager into your team can help take your music to the next level:

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"A good manager will have contacts to help work towards getting a booking agent, a label or distribution deal, publishing & sync and looking into funding - as well as working out a long term strategy to help build revenue streams."

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The role of a manager during early stages should be to help move your music forward faster than you could by yourself. It’s a good idea to keep track of how much impact they are making on your career in order to determine if it's worth the financial investment.

Are they getting you more shows? Are they helping out with promotion? Are they chipping in financially? You need to consider all of these factors when deciding whether you need - or want - a manager.

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How to find a music manager

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Finding a music manager 

So you’ve decided that a manager is for you. One step down. Now comes the search for the right individual - or management company.

Is this something that you seek out yourself, or do they come and find you? If you have a good network yourself and some strong peer support, being introduced and validated by another artist or industry insider is always advantageous.

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"When looking for a manager, the first step is doing your research to see if there are any active managers who you feel can represent your brand.

Follow them on social media and if you can find their email address, firing over a quick intro and sharing some music with some of your highlights and bio, asking for feedback is a good way to get on their radar."

- Mike Murphy, Ditto Management

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You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so take your time when choosing a manager. Make sure that they’re the right fit for your team and that they’ll be able to help you achieve whatever goals you have set.

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How to Find a Music Manager

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When hiring a manager, you’ll want to make sure that they are fully behind your music. You don't want to end up with a manager that’s just doing it for the money.

If they aren't all in, they might start working with another act they do believe in and put all their focus on them. We wouldn't suggest hiring anyone that’s not a fan of your music. It'll just make things awkward for both parties.

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Online vs in-person

Back before Instagram DMs, most managers and bands would come across each other in-person at gigs and music events. Now everyone has online potfolios and contact networks, you now have the added option of finding a manager online.

If you're already promoting your music on Reddit or developing your fanbase on Discord, then you'll more than likely have come across useful forums to meet potential managers on.

One way you can go about finding a manager is by advertising yourself on music forums or in relevant magazines. Forums are often filled with music fanatics and people who already work within the industry. If you have the talent and can give people a reason to want to work with you, you are sure to get some interest.

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"Being introduced and validated by another artist or industry insider is always advantageous - whether that's via social media or at an event."

- Mike Murphy, Ditto Management

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Ask a friend

If you don’t want to work with someone completely new, why not get one of your friends to become your manager? You may already have friends that are interesed in working in the music industry. This may be how they build up their career.

Even if you choose not to employ a friend as your official manager, you can still involve your pals in other ways - such as having them act as your music's photographer or social media manager.

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Keep things professional

If you decide to hire a friend as your manager, you need to remember that this is now a professional relationship. There should be no more verbal contracts - everything should be put in writing. Make sure to keep hold of any paperwork, set deadlines and manage your targets. Just because they're your friend doesn't mean they shouldn't pull their weight.

You shouldn’t always have to tell your manager what you want to do -they should act with initiative and be proactive in their duties. At the end of the day, the more successful they can make you, the more money they make.

If you don’t see any real results or benefits after a few months of hiring them, you may want to consider getting a new manager. It might be worth setting a probation or trial period to test things out and leave no obligation for either party to carry things forward if things don't go to plan.

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What does a music manager do?

As with many jobs within the music industry, the day-to-day roles and responsibilities of a music manager vary greatly between clients and companies.

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"The main value a manager should bring is their network and a plan to help you meet those initial goals."

- Mike Murphy, Ditto Management

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Your agreement with your manager will be specific to your own goals so you'll want to have them focus on areas which you aren't as confident in.

Your manager should be adding value to your team, whether that be through your marketing and promotion, securing you more gigs, or running your merch and website. Whatever you need help with, they should be able to assist.

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How to become a music manager

Interested in what you've read? Why not get involved in music management? Management offers a great way into the industry and can provide you with an exciting music career pathway.

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There are plenty of universities that even offer artist management courses nowadays, perfect for setting you up with the right skills to help your clients get the most out of their music.

Have a chat with some of your musician friends and see if they need any help with anything. This could be a great opportunity for both parties!

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To make it big in the music industry in 2023, you need to have more than a good voice or a strong social media presence. 

You need to be business-savvy and you need to be proactive. Bringing a music manager on board can make things a lot easier and is a great option to those who can afford this privilege, so definitely consider this to help step your music up a level.

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