Why You Don’t Need a Manager… Yet

Electronic Dance Money Episode 056 - Why You Don't Need a Manager... Yet

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing more and more artists talk about getting a manager, yet none of them are asking one simple question… Do I really NEED a manager?

Most artists asking if they need a manager, probably don’t.

In fact, the ones that usually have a manager, have one because the manager found them.

If you don’t know what the point of a manager is, not sure if you need a manager, or if you’re curious when you should be looking for one, then this episode was made just for you.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why you don’t need a manager
  • When to look for a manager
  • How a manager finds you
  • What a manager does

and much more!

Episode Links


Electronic Dance Money Episode 031 – What EDM Producers Can Learn From McDonald’s and Their Business Model – https://enviousaudio.com/episode31

Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist


Book Links


The E-Myth Revisited – https://amzn.to/3sSroTa

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.

Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of electronic money. I’m your host Christian casino. And we’re back again, after the last series we just finished up on, that was a good one, I got some good feedback on that. So I’m happy that everyone was enjoying it. Now we’re going to be moving on to the topic of a manager.

This is one that I don’t think we’ve really touched on, we may have touched on it a little bit with some guests in the past very briefly. But this episode’s probably gonna be relatively short, just jumping into the idea of a manager because I’ve been seeing recently and in a lot of like Facebook groups, and on different sites online people talking about getting a manager how to get a manager, but I don’t see anyone really asking do I need a manager? Or why would I need a manager, so we’re going to be diving into that topic, as a producer. And DJ, if you’re trying to play shows why you would need a manager what the point of a manager is, we’re going to be talking about why you probably don’t need a manager. And then we’re going to be going into when you should be looking for a manager or when that time comes that, you know, now you should actually be actively looking for a manager. And

that part of the question is a little funny, because a lot of the time when you have to ask the question Should I be getting a manager probably means that you don’t need a manager because most of the time a manager actually finds you because of how busy you’re getting in, quote unquote, quote unquote popular. So let’s first talk about what a manager does. And there’s a lot of artists who stay clear of managers that want nothing to do with them, who have been burned by them. And then there’s other people who really love.

And then there’s other people who really love their managers and the management company they’re with, and they’ve done a lot for them. So, you know, there’s some things you need to look out for. And we’re gonna be going into that. And part of that is looking into what the role of a manager is, and how you could play sort of a soft manager role for yourself. So that you know what to expect, when you actually get a manager like what the hell they do, when it comes to a manager. And kind of the whole point of what they do is, you know, they’re managing the day to day activities for you. Or, I should say, a lot of the business side of the things to being an artist, booking shows collecting payments at those shows, connecting you with labels connecting you with vocalists, you know, maybe they connect you with other producers,

they’re paying a lot of your bills. And by bills, I mean the bills of the business itself. So it’s it really narrows down to a lot of the things that artists lack in don’t necessarily do.

A lot of managers have a lot of connections to a lot of people so they can open you up to a lot of different opportunities. And one of those big ones really is the the booking of shows getting you to play certain shows, getting you connected with, you know, possibly a tour manager where you can start touring with artists.

They open up a lot of doors for you while still managing your your essentially your day to day activities, a lot of your schedule. And so this is where we talk about the idea of before you actually go looking for someone to fill these, these things in for you that this void that you may feel in these specific areas, it’s probably best to actually get your feet on the ground and get your hands dirty and working in this sort of this side of the business for yourself. Because I mean, you have to do that to begin with, when you’re trying to book shows as a very, very small artists in your local town. You don’t go find a management company to do that for you. You have to figure out how the hell you can get booked on shows.

And so the book that comes to mind when we’re talking about this sort of stuff is the E myth revisited, which I did an entire episode on. And I think that was episode. Oh man, I can’t remember at this point. It had to have been Episode 33 or 34. I’ll link it in the show notes.

But there’s a part of the

This part, there’s a part of the book, The E myth revisited, where the author talks about when you own a business and you start hiring people on.

And you’ve kind of already been doing all of the job yourself.

And then you bring someone in, you train them on what you know. And then they start doing the job. And then eventually, you grow a bit more because you’re outsourcing things. And you can focus your time on other stuff, and then you start hiring more people on. And next thing, you know, you’ve got three or four employees, and the person at the bottom of the chain is doing a, you know, some random tasks that you used to do, and you look at them, and you notice that they’re not doing it at all, how you originally taught that first person to do it. And then you go over and you start, you know, getting stressed out, because now you have to go over, fix it, show them how it needs to be done in the new side, you know what, I can just do this myself, let’s fire them because they’re not doing it right. And then you’re back stuck at this job. And then you realize the person behind them taught them how to do this, and that they’re not doing right, and so on and so forth. And so things aren’t getting done the way you want to get done. Next thing, you know, you’re firing everyone, and you’re left back with all of this crazy business that you’ve built up with know how because now you have to go in and do everything yourself. So the same concept can be applied here when you’re talking about a manager. But in terms of the if you don’t know how the job is done, and a manager is taking a big chunk of change out of however much you’re making at shows or maybe even however much you’re making out of streams. And later on, you realize this person’s doing next to nothing for me. Well, now you’ve screwed yourself significantly. So it’s best to kind of get in the shoes of a manager, figure out how things need to be done and what things what needs to be done. And so going back to the E myth revisited how this can how this issue gets fixed, right from the start, is you have stuff like almost almost like a an employee type manual. You know, this is why a lot of businesses give these out, especially in franchises because franchises The thing about franchise is that everything is done the exact same way every single place you go, there’s not a difference in how it’s done. And so that’s to ensure that the customer always knows what what to expect at that place. And it’s very, very efficient, you get your food very fast. When you go to McDonald’s, your problem. Normally, you’re waiting no more than five minutes, I would say 10 tops at most.

And that’s because there’s a system to everything, everything is systemized and because everything systemized it’s really easy to train people on and to remember, and you should know how that system works, too.

So this is the idea of having taking on your own role as a manager. Now, obviously, when you hire a manager on after you’ve been doing this role for yourself, it’s probably not best to go to this manager and say, here you go and slap a big book on in front of their desk and say there’s my manual on how to manage me, that’s not completely accurate. You know, they have their own ways of managing artists, they’re going to manage you in a specific way, and probably different from yours. Because again, this is someone that probably owns their own business, or is a part of a different business that has their own systems. However, generally, the things that they’re going to be doing are things that you’ve already experienced yourself, booking shows how to collect payment, getting different connections, managing money, all of the day to day tasks, and really essentially the the, the things that make you grow fastest and there.

And that’s essentially their entire job. So that gives you the opportunity to stick to the things you do best, which is probably producing and DJing and connecting with fans or any any sort of any of those sorts of things. Think of any other manager at any other store anywhere else, you know, the the job of the managers to make sure that things are running the way that they’re supposed to run.

You take a manager out and all of a sudden a schedule isn’t getting filled out so people don’t know where they’re working bills, stop getting paid problem stop getting solved. Most of the time. There’s plenty of terrible managers out there, as I’m sure some of you can attest to. I’m sure you guys currently have bad managers, some of you do. So not every manager is good, but you can tell the difference between a thriving manager and a bad manager because a bad manager is going to let the play slip and it’s going to be terrible. A good manager is going to be able to manage everything

Make sure that things are getting done the way they should get done, and that you’re seeing growth. And I’m talking in terms of like a store manager somewhere or a restaurant where to wherever it is that a day job may be at, there’s probably, I’m sure some places that you go to more than not bad managers speak as not everyone can lead the right way. And so that’s another I another thing to pay attention to, with the manager is their, the way they present themselves and lead themselves and, you know, watch out for any snakes in the grass. And again, this, the way you can avoid that is by knowing how this job works, and doing it yourself coming up with your own system so that you’re not surprised, you know, when they’re doing something that should be done, you go, okay, yes, that is the role of a manager, but if they’re not doing the things that you were doing before, and you’re thinking, Well, why am I giving this person a cut, they’re doing nothing for me, fire the hell out of them, get them the hell out of there. Because you’re probably just wasting money now that we went over the things, the ideas of what a manager actually does, and the point of having them, we can now talk about why you probably don’t need a manager at the moment. So let’s look at the idea of a manager and all the things that they do. That is a business that they have built themselves around. These managers have families, they have lives they have, they have things that cost money, you know, they have to keep up with their own bills.

And because of that, managers expect results when they put work into something, as I’m sure you would expect the same thing from anyone else. So you need to look at yourself and go, Well, what results do I have to show? What is your social media presence look like? And do your analytics back it up? If we take a look at your social media analytics? And there, they look correct. And you see that engagement? On your actual feed itself with your posts? Are those analytics going to show up and support you? And by analytics, that would be the people, the individuals, the fans that are following you, and interacting with a with you? Are they going to show up to support you? Likewise, bots don’t give you anything but fake numbers? They give you false results? With nothing to show? is a bot going to fill a venue? Are they going to show up to a show? No. And so this is why when you see people talking about purchasing likes and purchasing followers and purchasing streams, it is it’s the worst thing to do pa you could possibly do. You’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re telling the world and you’re telling potential managers and you’re telling potential record labels that, hey, I have this following over here, you should sign me or you should, you should come be my manager. And then when they look at everything, they go, Oh yeah, you know what, and most of the time, they’ll be able to tell if you have fake followers, that’s the other thing they can, they can smell a bowl share from a mile away. But if you falsely lead them down the wrong path to make an assumption that you are who you are, when you’re really not because of fake numbers, you’ve set expectations for them. And when you don’t meet those expectations is when you burn bridges. It’s when things get bad quickly, it’s how you can get blacklisted from anyone they’re connected with, which could be anyone, especially when you’re talking about bigger managers. So you got to be really, really careful with falsifying analytics and data that can screw you over in the long run. This is why you want a you know, a slow and long burn of a career, you know, it’s not always best to be a one hit wonder. But it’s better to slowly rise up over time over the years, to establish yourself and improve that you know what the hell you’re doing. So that when that time comes, you’re ready for it. You know, you’re ready for everything that comes with it.

Your your legitimate and and authentic. You know, authenticity is key. If you’re inauthentic. It’s everyone can tell if you’re inauthentic. So you need to start looking at yourself and asking yourself, Well, what do I have to show? What do I have to give? What do I have to offer to a manager that I need one right now. And I guarantee most of you listening this probably don’t need one. So put that way the hell away. In the back of your head, like it’s probably not something that you need to be thinking about right now more than likely you’re in a position where you need to start you need to be focusing on so many other things that the last thing you should worry about is hiring someone to book shows for you or connect you with people that is going to take a cut away from all of that. So with that said, let’s look into I mean when should you be looking for a manager when can you expect one to more than likely

show up on your doorstep. The best way to answer this is to actually look at the idea of an entrepreneur creative. that’s growing their own business. So let’s talk about how a creative entrepreneur knows when to raise their rates or even like quit their day job. When is that? When is that point? Where is that, where’s that line crossed, it’s actually a lot more simple than you think. It’s a very clear line that is drawn in the sand. So when you’re no longer able to maintain the basics of your business, so you know, automating systems, replying to emails,

being on time to meetings, knowing what’s coming up knowing your schedule, not being flustered and stressed out and working excruciating hours.

When you can’t keep up with those basics of your business, that’s when you raise your rates. And so one of two things are going to happen here, when you raise your rates like that, either one, your schedule starts to free up, because people are saying no to you, because now you cost more than they can afford. And now you can start maintaining your business again.


additionally, like at this time is probably

and additionally at this time is probably when you’re going to want to spend your time reviewing your systems and automating them that way you can prepare for that, again, when business gets a little bit crazier, you don’t see it as much, you’re making more money. Because you’re you have the right systems in place.

Or the second, or the second of two things are gonna happen, which is you’re gonna keep getting booked, which is awesome, because now your schedule is filling up even more. But now you’re making more, because you have increased your rates. And so now what do you do? Well, you repeat the process, you increase your rates again, until you start seeing those knows, and your schedule frees up. Now you’re making even more money, though. So in that’s when you actually start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where you go, Well, now it’s time to quit my day job because I’ve increased my rates, my schedule is still filled up, people still need work. And I can’t maintain this with a day job I need to get out of here so that I can grow even further. And this right here is the exact same strategy that you should be following as a producer. So if you can’t maintain the basics of your business as a producer, like just writing music, purely DJing, you know, getting the practice in actually playing shows or, you know, usually you’ll have one, you’ll have an inconsistency somewhere where you like you’re booking so many shows that you don’t have time to produce, or even you’re writing so much that you’re not looking to book shows anywhere. So you’re not playing any shows, you know, a lot of people are in that camp, or they’re not even, they’re producing too much not trying to book shows. And so that’s something you can balance out yourself. But if you can’t maintain a good balance of the two, especially when you start playing shows, you can’t

keep up with networking and talking and building relationships and

checking out new music. Like there’s things you do as a producer that you need to maintain.

And if you can’t keep up with that, because your time is being dragged somewhere else, because of some other commitments you’re making, like, let’s say, playing shows, it’s probably the best one to actually go to. Because a promoter really likes you. They want to keep booking you and so you keep getting booked, well, now you can’t produce, okay, well, now might be a time to hire a manager just to handle your bookings to that now they can book things for you, they can get you a solid schedule setup. And you can now write more music. But again, going back to what we were talking about previously, you got to make sure you’re doing these jobs yourself. So you know what to expect, you know what a manager should be doing, you know, if you’re getting screwed over or if you’re not. If you can’t manage your money, and you can’t play, you know, you’re booking too many shows or you’re not writing and you can’t network with anyone, then you probably need to start looking into a manager to handle some of those things for you. You know, they can network for you. They can get you connected with the people you need to get connected with that they see would help you and your growth as an artist. They can book your show shows for you. They can handle collecting payment giving you your cut, you get what you get. Now again, I’m sure most of you aren’t in the position that you need to get a manager if you are, if you have enough free time to do these things, then you need to be doing them yourself. And don’t even think about getting a manager until you just can’t maintain everything because there’s so many things that you need to be doing throughout your day that you would be best to handle a majority of that work off to someone else so you can focus on the essential creative tasks like actually writing. That’s it for today guys, quick little episode right here. Talk to me.

Manager. Like I said, I saw I’ve been I’ve been seeing so many people online talking about how they want to get a manager but most of them aren’t asking the question that they should, which is, do I actually even need a manager so I’m here to help you out with that guys. Head on over to Envious audio.com slash Episode 56 to check out all the show notes. I’ve still got my workshop going on right now. So if you want to learn a little bit more about mixing your tracks, head on over to Envious Audio comm slash workshop and I’ll see you guys there. Take care

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