Starting Artist Manager


Guide every step in the career of an artist in the music business.


The Artist Manager is the official representative of a musician or a band. They are responsible for all aspects of the artist’s career, including their professional and personal development, contract negotiation, positive public-image creation, touring, media coverage, budgeting, promotion, and fan engagement. They work with the artist to build a strong vision for their career, create value, and provide it to the right consumer.

Artist managers constantly work on educating themselves through books, conferences, and networking. These are the people that have to know every pitfall in the industry, from the recording process to the legal and financial aspects that their client has to face.

Apart from the industry knowledge these individuals must possess excellent communication skills to be on the same wavelength with the artist and conduct successful negotiations with other professionals.


You have to be a lawyer, marketer, publicist, graphic designer, [and] music video director.

Artist Manager & Founder of VH MGMT Group

There is no particular estimation of time that an artist manager spends on different tasks. Each client has their own goals and a schedule that reflects all the steps that need to be taken to achieve their goals. One thing that needs to be emphasized is that being aware of the artist’s private business is an essential part of the job, so an artist’s manager has to be available 24/7.


Building a strong, trusting relationship with the artist is a crucial part of the job. The manager is a part of the artist’s family, their therapist, and best friend that has the most insight into the personal and professional life of the client and uses this information when making strategic decisions regarding the artist’s development.

Definition of success. Compared to bigger artists working with famous record labels, commercial success is not the ultimate goal for smaller musicians. For many artists that are just beginning their careers, success may instead be defined by becoming popular in their hometown, performing at a local festival, or simply releasing a song.



- time management
- communication
- business & financial management
- decision making
- problem solving
- knowledge of booking, venue management, and production
- design software
- publishing, licensing

Being aware of the artist’s private business is an essential part of the job, so the manager has to be available 24/7. Having several artists on her roster, Victoria checks up on each of them every single day to make sure that her client’s are in the right state of mind and everything is going according to schedule. She messages her most successful artist about 37 times a day.


Is a degree required?

The recommended majors for a starting artist manager are Music Business and Music Management.



Starting is not that hard, all you need is patience and passion. Get a music business degree if there is an opportunity, and if there is not, learn by yourself by reading books, taking online courses, and networking. Find artists to manage through your friends or social media. Simply DM an aspiring artist you see on your TikTok FYP and propose your services. The old-school way is to randomly hop in the van of an artist after the show. Most importantly, Network, network, network! Networking is the key to making it into the industry. Reach out to industry professionals through LinkedIn, Clubhouse, Facebook groups, Instagram, and do not be afraid to be rejected. Attend networking events and conferences, volunteer at venues, and participate in industry programs: Grammy U, Warner Music U, and more.​


  • When managing several artists, do not schedule their releases during the same week.
  • Be resourceful. Have a friend who is into photography? Great! Ask them for a photo shoot. Your neighbor is a graphic designer? Ask them to assist with social media management or cover art for the single.
  • Learn to operate on a budget. Pro tip from filmmakers: if you have a small budget, shoot outside so you do not have to spend money on rent.
  • Educate your artist on how the industry operates. In case they get approached by an A&R (for example), they need to know what to say.


Written by Nikki
Created by Stef, Jordan and Fran
Published October 25th, 2021
Copyright © 2021 Gen Admission.