From Fan To Leader How To Become A Music Manager And Make It Big In The Industry

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Hello, music enthusiasts! Have you ever dreamed of becoming a music manager, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’re already involved in the music industry, but want to take your career to the next level. Whatever your situation, becoming a music manager is a challenging career path that requires hard work, dedication, and a deep understanding of the music industry. In this article, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to become a successful music manager.

If you’re passionate about music and have a desire to develop upcoming artists, becoming a music manager could be the ideal career choice for you. Not only will you have the opportunity to work with passionate musicians, but you’ll also have the chance to help them achieve their dreams. By reading this article, you’ll learn how to develop a solid foundation of knowledge in the music industry and build connections with key players in the field. You’ll also discover how to identify potential talent, develop and manage artists, and secure profitable deals.

Becoming a successful music manager may seem daunting, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Our step-by-step guide draws on advice from established music managers and industry professionals, ensuring that you’re learning from the best of the best. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to turn your music industry aspirations into a successful career. So let’s get started!

Steps to Becoming a Music Manager

If you have a passion for music and love to be in charge, becoming a music manager can be an exciting and rewarding career path. While there is no specific educational requirement to become a music manager, it requires both talent and hard work. In this article, we provide a practical guide on how to become a successful music manager.

1. Develop a Passion for Music

The first step to becoming a music manager is to develop a passion for music. As a music manager, you will be working with musicians, bands, and other industry professionals, which means that you will need to have a deep understanding and appreciation of music.

To develop a passion for music, here are some helpful tips:

  • Listen to a range of music genres to expand your musical knowledge.
  • By listening to different genres, you can learn about the different sounds, compositions, and styles that exist in music. It can also help you to understand the different audiences that exist and the type of music that appeals to them.

  • Attend live music performances to understand the experience of a live show.
  • Seeing a musician or band perform live can give you a different perspective of their music. It can help you to understand the energy and vibe that a live performance creates, and the reaction of the audience.

  • Network with industry professionals.
  • Attending music industry events, conferences, and meetups can help you to connect with professionals in the industry. By networking with professionals such as musicians, producers, and managers, you can learn more about the industry, the challenges that exist, and how to overcome them.

2. Gain Knowledge and Skills of Music Business

Once you have developed a passion for music, the next step is to gain knowledge and skills that will help you to understand the music business. This is an essential step because the music industry can be complex, and there are a lot of factors to consider when managing an artist’s career.

Some of the knowledge and skills you should pursue are:

  • Understand the different sectors of the music industry.
  • The music industry has many different sectors, including recording, publishing, distribution, and promotion. Understanding each sector can help you to identify the role that each sector plays in a musician’s career path.

  • Learn about contracts, royalties, and other legal aspects of the industry.
  • Contracts, royalties, and other legal aspects are an essential aspect of the music industry. As a music manager, it is crucial to understand these aspects to avoid any legal disputes or conflicts with artists.

  • Practice financial management strategies.
  • Financial management is an integral part of managing a musician’s career. It is important to learn about the revenue streams in the music industry, such as music sales, live performances, and merchandise sales. Understanding these revenue streams can help you to create and manage a realistic budget for your artists.

3. Create a Network

Having a network of contacts in the music industry is crucial to becoming a successful music manager. Building a network of industry professionals can help you find clients and create opportunities for your artists.

Here are some strategies to help you build a network of contacts:

  • Attend music events, conferences, and festivals.
  • Attending music events can provide opportunities to meet music industry professionals, including record label executives, music publicists, and producers.

  • Connect with industry professionals on social media platforms.
  • Using social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help you to connect with music industry professionals. You can create a profile that highlights your skills and interests, and also follow music industry professionals to stay up-to-date on industry trends.

4. Understand the Role of a Music Manager

To become a music manager, it is important to understand the role you will play in an artist’s career. As a music manager, you are responsible for:

  • Developing a career strategy for your artists.
  • Creating and managing a budget for your artists.
  • Negotiating contracts and deals on behalf of your artists.
  • Booking performances and tours for your artists.
  • Building relationships with industry professionals and media outlets.
  • Managing the artist’s daily affairs, including public relations, social media, and scheduling.
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Understanding the role of a music manager can help you to create a successful career path for yourself and your artists.

Pros Cons Comparisons
– Exciting and diverse work environment – High-pressure and high-stress environment – Requires hard work and dedication
– Opportunity to work with talented musicians and industry professionals – Financial risks – Competitive industry

In conclusion, becoming a music manager requires a combination of passion, knowledge, skills, and networking. By developing these characteristics, you can create a successful career in the music industry and help your artists achieve their goals.

Qualities of a Successful Music Manager

Being a music manager requires hard work, dedication, and a lot of time. To succeed in this field, one must possess certain qualities that set them apart from others. Here are some essential qualities that a successful music manager must possess:

1. Passion for Music

The music industry is a fast-paced and competitive environment. A music manager who has a deep passion for music can better relate to their artists and understand their needs to help them achieve their goals. It’s important for a music manager to have a good ear for music to seek out new and upcoming talents.

A good example of this is Scooter Braun, who managed Justin Bieber’s music career. Braun, who discovered Bieber through a video on YouTube, had an immediate passion for the young artist’s music and sensed his potential. He worked relentlessly to promote Bieber until he became a global superstar.

Passion for music drives a music manager’s dedication towards their work, their artists and it keeps the team on track for upcoming projects.

2. Effective Communication Skills

Communication is an essential skill for any music manager. They must be effective in communicating with their artists, industry professionals, and anyone else they collaborate with. In a fast-paced industry like music, details matter, so it’s critical for music managers to be clear and concise when exchanging information.

A good music manager is an excellent listener who can take in the needs and concerns of their artists to enhance the prospects of their careers. Further, these listening skills are vital in negotiating deals and contracts with labels, performers, producers, and many others.

On the other hand, music managers should convey their ideas to their artists clearly, regarding creating music videos, albums, performing on tours, and many others. Without clear communication, the project can be delayed, and revenue can be lost.

3. Determination and Dedication

The music industry is not for the faint-hearted, and a successful music manager must possess a strong determination to succeed in this field. From working long hours to dealing with rigorous schedules, there is a lot of pressure that comes with this job.

Music managers must be dedicated to their work and have the willingness to work hard and smart around the clock. For instance, managers have artistic meetings to conceptualize outfits and overall brand projection presentations at various events.

Additionally, determination is seen in the ability to handle difficult scenarios. A manager is a problem-solver with the ability to overcome any bottlenecked issue that arises.

4. Industry Knowledge

A successful music manager must have a thorough understanding of the industry landscape, including music streaming trends, social media, merchandising, bookings, and event promotions, to mention a few.

As an example, the increasing proliferation of social media in recent years means that managers must have an excellent understanding of how to increase their artists’ online visibility. Further, knowledge about copyrights, royalties, music video production, sponsorships, promotions, and branding can be critical in both project and contract negotiation.

5. Adaptability

The music industry is unpredictable, and changes occur almost every day. A successful music manager must be flexible and able to pivot to different situations to ensure that their artists can adapt as well.

A good manager must anticipate and plan for future trends, technological advancements, and emerging events to stay prepared for unexpected circumstances. Therefore, they ought to be open to change, willing to embrace opportunities, and continually adapt to new ones.


Music management is an exciting job that requires above-average qualities to succeed. A successful music manager must be passionate, have excellent communication skills, determination, knowledge, and be adaptable. These characteristics are crucial when working with different personalities, artists, producers, among other stakeholders.

It is also noteworthy that different managers utilize different strategies with varying results. However, having the discussed qualities in a manager can increase opportunities, and as effort is put in, success is guaranteed.

Education and Training for Music Management

Becoming a music manager requires a combination of knowledge, skills, and experience. While there are no specific educational requirements to become a music manager, having a background in music, business, marketing, and communication can be beneficial. In this section, we will explore the education and training essential for a career in music management.

1. Degree Programs in Music Business

Many universities and colleges offer degree programs in music business that can prepare students for a career in music management. These programs typically cover various aspects of the music industry, including legal issues, marketing, finance, and artist management. Some programs also offer internships and networking opportunities that can help students build connections in the industry.


  • Provides broad knowledge of the music industry
  • Offers hands-on training through internships
  • Establishes industry connections through networking opportunities


  • Can be expensive
  • May not be practical for those unable to attend full-time
  • Does not guarantee a job in music management

One such program is the Music Business program offered by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. This program provides training in music business, production, engineering, and performance, and prepares students for various roles in the music industry, including music management.

2. Professional Development Courses

Professional development courses are another excellent avenue for honing one’s skills in music management. These courses may be offered by industry associations, music industry events, or online platforms. The coursework may cover topics such as contracts, negotiation, artist promotion, and performance management. These courses can be taken by those already in the industry as well as those just starting.


  • Flexible schedule
  • Covers specific skills required in music management
  • Can be a cost-effective option


  • May not provide an in-depth understanding of the music industry
  • Limited networking opportunities
  • Quality of courses may vary

Music Managers Forum (MMF) is an industry association that offers various courses for music managers, including diploma courses in artist management.

3. Apprenticeships and Internships

Apprenticeships and internships offer practical training and experience in music management. They allow aspiring music managers to work under experienced managers and learn the ropes. Internships may be available at record labels, music festivals, artist management firms, or music venues.

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  • Provides hands-on training and mentorship
  • Builds industry connections and networking opportunities
  • May lead to job opportunities after completion


  • May require working for free or for low pay
  • May not provide a comprehensive understanding of the music industry
  • Availability of internships may vary by location

One real-world example is Taylor Swift’s former manager, Rick Barker, who started as her intern and worked his way up to her manager before starting his own artist management firm. This highlights the importance of internships and apprenticeships in building a career in music management.

4. Self-Study and Independent Learning

Self-study and independent learning are also viable options for those interested in music management. Many resources are available online, including blogs, books, and podcasts, that can provide insight into the music industry.


  • Flexible and customizable learning
  • More affordable option
  • Can focus on areas of personal interest


  • May not provide hands-on training
  • May not offer networking opportunities
  • May not be taken as seriously by the industry

One popular resource for independent learning in music management is the Music Entrepreneur Club, which provides online courses and resources for those interested in building a career in music management.

In conclusion, the education and training required for music management vary widely. However, those aspiring to become music managers should try to gain foundational knowledge through degree programs, professional development courses, or independent study. Apprenticeships and internships can provide practical training and help build industry contacts. Ultimately, a combination of education, training, and experience will equip aspiring music managers with the skills and knowledge required to navigate the ever-evolving music industry.

Finding Artists to Represent as a Music Manager

Becoming a music manager can be an exciting and rewarding experience for those who are passionate about music and have a knack for networking and building relationships. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your career to the next level, finding the right artists to represent is essential to your success. This article will explore some tips and strategies for finding and attracting talented artists as a music manager.

Networking at Local Venues

One of the most effective ways to find new artists to represent is by attending local music venues in your area. By networking with other professionals in the industry and introducing yourself to local musicians, you can build relationships and discover new talents that may be a good fit for your management portfolio.

  • Attend open mic nights, showcases, and other events where musicians perform.
  • Introduce yourself to other music industry professionals, such as producers, promoters, and agents.
  • Be friendly, approachable, and enthusiastic about the music.
  • Bring business cards or other marketing materials to share with potential clients.

Real World Example: Music manager Scooter Braun famously discovered Justin Bieber at a local talent show in Canada before signing him to his management company.

Using Social Media to Find Talent

In today’s digital age, social media has become an invaluable tool for music managers and artists alike. By using social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you can connect with potential clients and build relationships with fans and other music industry professionals.

  • Use hashtags and keyword searches to find talented musicians on social media.
  • Follow artists, producers, and other music industry professionals on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
  • Showcase your own skills and expertise on social media, such as by sharing industry news, offering tips and advice, and highlighting successful clients.
  • Be responsive to inquiries and messages from potential clients and fans.

Real World Example: Music manager Troy Carter discovered Lady Gaga on MySpace, where she had been posting demos of her music.

Attending Music Conferences and Festivals

Attending music conferences and festivals can be a great way to network with other industry professionals and discover new talent. These events often feature panel discussions and keynote speeches by industry leaders and offer opportunities to meet with agents, producers, and other key players in the music industry.

  • Research upcoming music conferences and festivals in your area or region.
  • Attend panel discussions and networking events to meet other music industry professionals and discover new talent.
  • Bring marketing materials and business cards to share with potential clients and industry contacts.
  • Follow up with potential clients and industry contacts after the event to build relationships and stay top-of-mind.

Real World Example: Music manager Michael Goldstone discovered Hozier at SXSW in Austin, Texas before signing him to a management deal.

Working with Referrals and Recommendations

Word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool in the music industry. By working with referrals and recommendations from other industry professionals, you can build a solid reputation and attract high-quality talent to your management portfolio.

  • Build relationships with other music industry professionals, such as agents, producers, and other managers.
  • Be responsive and professional in all your interactions to build trust and credibility.
  • Offer incentives or find ways to reward industry professionals who refer artists to you.
  • Follow up with all referrals and recommendations in a timely and professional manner.

Real World Example: Music manager Irving Azoff worked with referrals from his father, a music agent, before going on to manage artists such as the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.

Pros and Cons of Finding Artists to Represent
Pros Cons
Opportunities to discover new and exciting talent. Competition from other managers and industry professionals.
Ability to build strong relationships with artists and industry professionals. Challenges in identifying and attracting high-quality talent.
Potential for long-term success and financial stability. Challenges in managing multiple clients and priorities.

In conclusion, finding and representing talented artists is a crucial part of being a successful music manager. By networking at local venues, using social media, attending music conferences and festivals, and working with referrals and recommendations, you can build a roster of artists who trust and respect your expertise and guidance. Remember to be patient, persistent, and professional in all your interactions with potential clients and industry contacts.

Building a Music Management Career Plan

Aspiring music managers must carefully plan and strategize their path towards a successful career. It takes a combination of skills, network, and experience to make it in the music industry. Here are some steps to help you build a successful music management career plan.

Step 1: Determine Your Goals and Objectives

Before starting your path towards becoming a music manager, you need to define your career goals and objectives. Do you want to become a successful artist manager, music label executive, or promoter? You can further narrow down your career objectives by focusing on a particular music genre or market segment. Defining your career goals will help you determine the steps you need to take in order to achieve success.

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Step 2: Develop Music Industry Knowledge

Becoming a music manager requires a strong knowledge of the industry. You need to learn about music trends, industry practices, and business models. One way to develop your industry knowledge is to pursue education in music business or entertainment management. You can also gain industry experience by working as an intern or assistant to established music managers.

Step 3: Build a Network of Contacts

Networking is a crucial step towards building a successful music management career. You need to build relationships with industry professionals, musicians, and other music managers. Attend music events, conferences, and workshops to interact with industry insiders. Joining professional organizations such as the Music Managers Forum (MMF) or the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) can also help expand your network.

Step 4: Gain Experience through Internships and Assisting

Internships and assisting for established music managers are crucial steps towards gaining industry experience. You may have to start at the bottom, but it can lead to valuable connections and experience. Interning or assisting for a successful manager can offer valuable experience in artist management, contract negotiation, and business administration.

Step 5: Create a Business Plan

Developing a business plan is essential for any aspiring music manager. An effective business plan outlines your services, target clientele, and working strategies. You need to identify your value proposition, determine your fees, and establish your brand. Your business plan should also include a marketing plan that outlines your target audience and promotional strategies.

To create a business plan, you will need to analyze the music industry and its trends. You should also identify your strengths and weaknesses, and establish a competitive advantage.

Pros Cons
Helps you clarify your goals and objectives Requires significant research and analysis
Establishes a roadmap for your success May require professional assistance to develop
Offers a clear understanding of your target audience May need frequent revisions as the industry changes


Becoming a music manager requires careful planning, hard work, and consistent effort. Following the above-mentioned steps can provide you with a clear path towards success. You need to be persistent, adaptable, and always stay updated with the latest music industry trends. By following these steps, you can build a successful music management career plan and achieve your career goals.

FAQs: How to Become a Music Manager

1. What qualifications do you need to become a music manager?

There are no specific qualifications required to become a music manager. However, it’s important to have knowledge of the music industry, strong communication skills, and a solid understanding of the business side of the music industry.

2. How do I gain experience as a music manager?

You can gain experience by working as an intern or assistant for a music manager or by working at a music management firm. Networking and building relationships with industry professionals can also be helpful in gaining experience.

3. What skills do I need to become a successful music manager?

You need strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills, solid negotiation skills, a good understanding of contracts and finances and a passion for music.

4. How do I start my own music management company?

You need experience and knowledge of the music industry. You also need to have strong connections and relationships with industry professionals. Launching your own company requires careful planning, research, and investment.

5. What are the biggest challenges of being a music manager?

The biggest challenges are high competition for artists, the constantly changing music industry landscape, and unpredictable market conditions.

6. How can I find potential clients as a music manager?

You can find potential clients by networking, attending music events, and building relationships with industry professionals. You can also create and maintain an online presence and be active on social media.

7. Do I need to have a degree in music to become a music manager?

No, a degree in music is not necessary. However, having a degree in business, marketing, or music management can be an advantage.

8. What is the earning potential of a music manager?

The earning potential of a music manager varies depending on the success of their clients and the terms of the management agreement. Successful music managers can earn a high income.

9. How can I learn about the music industry?

You can attend music industry conferences, read books, take online courses, and join industry organizations to learn about the music industry. You can also network with industry professionals and seek mentorship opportunities.

10. How can I differentiate myself as a music manager?

You can differentiate yourself by developing a unique brand, having a strong track record of successful client management, having strong connections and relationships with industry professionals, and staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends.


In conclusion, becoming a music manager requires a combination of knowledge, experience, and hard work. There are no set qualifications required, but it’s essential to have strong communication and organizational skills, a passion for music, and a solid understanding of the business side of the music industry. Building relationships, networking and having a unique brand and profile can also help to differentiate yourself from competitors. After reading this article, it’s advisable to research, network, and gain experience in the industry to increase your chances of success.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to check out our other interesting articles on the music industry.