How to Find a Music Manager in 2024

Last updated: 3 April 2024

Working with a music manager can be crucial in taking your music career to the next level, so it stands to reason that many emerging bands and artists are seeking a well-connected manager to represent them.

However, before you get started we recommend you stop to consider…

an artist with her music manager
Photo credit: Yellowbrick

What do you need a manager for?

First up, take some time to think about what stage your career is at and what you actually need a manager for.

If the day-to-day admin of running your music career is getting a little hectic and you simply need an extra pair of hands, then it’s probably not quite time to bring a manager into the equation. You could think about asking a trusted friend, family member or someone else you know from your local music scene to offer a helping hand.

However, if you’re at the stage where you are starting to make money from your music, and you could consider giving a cut of your earnings to a manager, then it could be time to seek out an experienced professional who can represent you, scout out bigger and better opportunities, and negotiate deals for you.

How to start searching for music managers

A great starting point for finding contact details for artist & band managers is The Unsigned Guide music industry directory. Our Artist Managers section of the directory contains listings for 180+ UK managers, along with details of how you can submit your music to them.

Of course, we never recommend blanket-emailing all managers you come across. Do your research to find out what genres of music they specialise in (genre details are also included in The Unsigned Guide directory), and take a closer look at the artists and bands they currently manage. Do they fit with your style? What level are they at?

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is home to hundreds of professional manager members so this can be a good place to find a potential manager. Your regional Musicians’ Union (MU) office may also be able to provide details of reputable music managers in the area.

Don’t forget to speak to and ask for recommendations from other music industry folks and band members you know and trust. Networking events can also be a great way to connect with music industry professionals.

What should I look for in a music manager?

Whilst it can be tempting to seize the opportunity with the first artist manager who expresses interest in your music, you need to be reserved and find out as much as you can before taking the plunge. Some important points to bear in mind when looking for a music manager are:

• Music genre – make sure your music fits the bill.

• Experience – how long have they been managing? Who do they currently represent?

• Availability – How busy are they? Will they be able to devote time to you, or will their time be dominated by another artist they represent?

• Money/Resources – Are they able to invest in moving your career forward?

• Passion – Are they passionate and enthusiastic about your music? This is essential.

• Good relationship – Trust is vital here! You may want to consider getting in touch with other acts they manage to get feedback on reliability, whether they do a good job etc.

• Ideas – How do they foresee your career progressing and what ideas/plans do they have to help you achieve this?

People with musical instruments jumping on stage
It’s important to find a manager who not only understands your genre, but has the right contacts within your niche. Credit: Natalie Parham

Reaching out to music managers

If you’re ready to begin approaching music managers and seriously look for representation, then you need to make a good impression.

First up, consider your sound. Is the music you’re currently making the best representation of what you do? Do you sound how you want to sound? You should feel happy and confident in the music you are putting forward, so don’t rush your hunt for a manager before you’ve developed a sound that you’re satisfied with.

Any prospective manager will want to find out as much about you and your music as possible. You’ll be working closely together so they also need to know that you’re willing to put effort in too. Demonstrating what you’ve already achieved under your own steam will give them a good indication of how hard-working and dedicated you are.

And finally, do you have an EPK or biog detailing what you’ve achieved so far? Is it up to date with recent gig/festival performances, releases, imagery, videos, press & airplay info? The same goes for your website, social media profiles and anywhere else your music can be heard. Tidy up any dead links or profiles that haven’t been active in months, it’s better to remove them rather than leave them looking stagnant.

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This is a guest post from The Unsigned Guide, a UK music industry directory aimed at emerging, independent bands & artists who are keen to progress their music careers. Find contacts covering 50 areas of the music business; from record labels, radio stations, booking agents, festivals to gig venues & promoters, new music blogs, studios, producers & more.