Top 5 tips from Music SA’s one and only Head of Training, Matthew Hayward…
1. ESTABLISH SOME GROUND RULES
Like any business arrangement, it’s important to establish some basic guidelines that need to be discussed with a band before working with them. Make sure that the act you wish to represent is aware of the time and effort that goes into seeking out opportunities for them eg. booking shows that you would like to be paid for! Make these easy to refer to (by outlining these responsibilities in an artist management contract) to save hassle later on.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Make sure you understand why the audience likes the act you represent – is it their songs or live performances? Perhaps it’s the crazy/sexy/cool bass player? Make sure to think about the image the band projects to an audience. A more professional and well thought out live performance will lead to strong word of mouth and more interest in the band’s music.
3. DO UNTO OTHERS…
Make sure that you make a point of being extra courteous and professional in all your business dealings when representing an artist – after all you are the first point of contact between potential booking agencies, labels and media. Being confident in your abilities without being too passive or aggressive is a really big help!
4. MAKE GOALS
Set detailed goals for the future in consultation your artist. I find it easier to plan backwards from big goals (5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months down the track) and set out small steps along the way of how you plan to achieve these. Scoring small to big support slots, tour management, recording and distribution all fall under goal setting!
5. BE PREPARED
Make sure you have contingency plans for everything – you never might know when the next phone call will be a big break or a big headache. I always keep press kits and photos on hand via USB for easy access, but the same goes for invoicing templates and worksheets. Remember to look after yourself as well!
For more information on Matt’s independent music management business Prayers on Fire here >