5 Ways Your Manager Can Screw Up Your Career
Your fans are not dumb, they know your music probably better than you do, and they can also tell when it is you tweeting or if someone else is doing it. It is fine for others to post general information, gig dates, TV appearances etc. But unless it is your own words, don’t let it get embellish it with badly worded faked enthusiasm, written in an attempt to be “down with the kids”.
2) Studies everything the band puts out through a microscope
The new music business is about being in the moment. Being too careful about what goes out and worrying if something truly represents the way the bands image should be portrayed, invariably ends up missing the core essence it was striving for in the first place. The best way to ensure the purest message and connective message gets out, is to encourage the band to be spontaneous and speak their minds. Sure a little guidance doesn’t go amiss, but if a manager finds the need to censor their artists through worry that they should say the wrong thing, shouldn’t be managing that band. Decisions made by a committee are decidedly old school in a bad way. A truly great artist will know how to connect with their audience, through their music and through what they say. Alternatively they will know when to shut up and let the music do the talking.
3) Insists on adding a “Call to Action” to everything
A call to action should never go further than making great content. Sure the ability to share what you have made should be easily visible via a tweet button or embed code. But people today are savvy when it comes to putting content on their own page, and they do it when they love the music or video you have created. “Call to Action” is a term for those who are out of touch with how people use social networks and interact with their peers. A call to action cheapens you and your band and adds an air of desperation. When you make content that is good enough to go viral, an amazing thing happens, other people do your promotion for you without being told to do so.
4) They spend $10,000 of your money making one video
If you have a video budget of $10,000 for the album, then use that to make 10 videos, not just one. Money doesn’t buy viral, just because it looks expensive doesn’t mean shit in today’s world. It is the idea that counts and the purity of how the band is portrayed. Even if you get 10,000 plays on a video, which is a healthy number, is it really worth $1 per person? More than likely the video will only get 1,000 plays, which ends up costing $10 a person. You would be better off standing outside Best Buy and paying people $10 to take a copy of your album, but that would be ridiculous right? Well, so is spending all that money on one music video.
5) Their business plan includes getting a record deal, and licensing music to films and TV
Your manager should be well aware that these things are highly unlikely to happen, and even if they do, unlikely to be lucrative.
A business plan should be based on two things:
1) Getting traffic to your website
2) Getting people to your gigs
Because synchronizations earn instant money, they are seen by managers as a way to ensure return on investment. But a manager’s job is to create a platform for you to build a lasting career on. This is not achieved by getting a song on a soundtrack. It is achieved by the greater exposure that these placements bring, being capitalized on through accessibility to other engaging content created outside of the synchronization opportunity. In other words those drawn in by hearing you song on a movie, have a plethora of content to engage them once they get to your site or search you on Youtube. Movie synchronizations are a bonus not a business plan. And as for record deals, if I even have to explain that to you, you are in the wrong business.