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Become a Band Manager: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a band manager. Learn about the job description and see the step-by-step process to start a career in band management.

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Should I Become a Band Manager?

Band managers represent and promote musical acts. They have a variety of duties, from booking venues to negotiating with record labels. They might write press releases and help band members communicate effectively with the public. In addition, they often supervise other members of the entourage. Travel is usually involved, and the pressure of constantly meeting deadlines and making certain that all details are taken care of may be stressful. Most band managers work independently and have a bachelor's degree in music or music management, along with music industry experience.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Music business or music management
Key Skills Excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving ability, strong persuasion and negotiation skills, technical skills such as website building, digital imaging and document management software programs
Salary $64,200 (median annual salary for business managers, 2014)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Berklee College of Music, O Net Online

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Prospective band managers can pursue a bachelor's degree program that focuses on both the creative and business aspects of the music industry. Music management programs typically include courses in business management, record company operations, music publishing, product development, legal issues in the music industry and touring. Business skills such as accounting, finance, communication, digital marketing and website design may be included, along with courses on the history and theory of music.

Step 2: Gain Practical Experience

Students can prepare to enter the field with internships at record labels. Interns may design websites and other online marketing tools, participate in sales projects and manage social media accounts for the label and its artists. Candidates can also work as part of a band's street team. Street teams promote bands and pass out marketing materials to fans. This role may enable students to work directly with band managers.

Success Tip:

  • Develop a professional identity. Band managers who work for themselves can establish a company identity. Unsigned bands may be more likely to work with managers who have a personal brand, and artists can seek out managers with an established online presence.

Step 3: Build a Business

Band managers often attend local concerts, open mic nights and other venues to find unsigned acts. After watching the band perform, managers typically set up a meeting to decide if there is a mutual fit. The discussion from the initial meeting helps the manager create a business plan. The band and manager typically then sign a legal contract outlining each party's responsibilities. Once a contract is signed, band managers may create or refine the band's identity, establish a social media presence for the group and help the band record a demo. The manager might contact record labels, newspapers and other outlets to establish new opportunities for the group, such as media coverage and performance offers. Some managers seek employment with artist management firms, where they may work with several bands.

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