So, you've got your band together, you've practised for ages and you've got a few gigs under your belt. Your mates have said you're good and even a few strangers came up and complimented you on your set. For all intents and purposes, it seems like it's going well. There's some more gigs on the horizon, a few bits of new material on the go and you're even hoping to get a few rough demos recorded as well. Maybe it's time to get a manager?
That thought should essentially be stomped to death into the ground and never spoken of again without good reason. Clearly there's no set time period of how long you should wait, but all too often bands equate having a manager with seriousness and snap one up after a few gigs. It's understandable why people do this, but it's completely the wrong thing to do.
First of all, as you're a new band chances are you don't really know what you're about yet unless your schtick was pre-decided (such as being a functions or covers band). Even if you set out to imitate black metal precisely, you never know where you might end up after actually playing together.
When you do finally get a manager, you need to pick someone that suits you and what you want. If 5 months down the line you realise you're something else entirely, you might discover you have a manager who is completely useless to you meaning it was a complete waste having hired him. Wait until you "find your sound,"
as cheesy as that is, before jumping into bed with the first gut who claims to have label connections.
Secondly, do you even need a manager? They're not meant to be accessories, you should only hire one with a purpose in mind. When you start out it's unlikely that you'll be in any shape to reap the benefits of a good manager in terms of getting gigs, doing showcases and meeting important people. They aren't there to coach you through the beginning stages, at best they might do a bit of fine-tuning.
This means you should be putting a lot of work in before you even get a manager. Also bear in mind the top ones won't be interested if you've been together for a few month and only have a few songs. Get good, get a fanbase and then find a manager.
Another thing to remember is that managers will cost you money. Usually you'll have a deal where they'll get a split of the income. Now, booking your own gigs, sorting out your own recording sessions and near enough everything else needed for an young band you can do yourselves. You might been to practice your haggling skills, but early on a manager is no use to you. Go it alone.
The only time you should get a manager soon after forming is you suddenly become massively famous and sought after after a few gigs to the point having a manager is a necessity. That's pretty unlikely, so hold back for a bit and do the work yourselves.
About An Author:
Joshua Danton Boyd is a copywriter for the creative freelancer accountants Crunch.