Every successful recording artist has become that way because of talent and the management team that works to build his/her career. Many recording artists may feel comfortable enough in their talent to believe that is all that is needed to succeed but they quickly discover that is not the case. Here are some tips on how to build the management team that will take you and your talent to the top.
Do some research to get a basic understanding about the duties of the key members of your management team so you know what to look for. The key members of the team would be: an agent (or manager), a publicist, an assistant and a financial person. Learning about these key roles will give you insight into your own needs as an artist and how you would like each role to be played.
Determine your budget. Many recording artists are just average working people with a dream or the children of average working people with a dream. This means that there is usually not a huge budget to pay a management team. However some of your team members, like your manager, will usually get a percentage of work you get so that person won't be paid up front. Your publicist, assistant and financial person will usually have a fee but if you choose wisely, you can often negotiate a tiered payment plan with you giving them a reduced fee until you start making money doing shows, selling albums or landing that lucrative recording deal with a major record label.
Find the people. Some of the members of your management team need to be experts in their position. Your publicist and financial person should both be experienced in their respective fields and in the music industry. A good music publicist will understand how the industry works and how to best present you for optimum exposure. A good financial person will have a good understanding about the financial ins and outs of being a recording artist. Your manager really doesn't have to be an expert as long as it's someone who really supports you and has a business mind. Your assistant also doesn't have to be an expert but should be your second biggest supporter and willing to be there to help you wherever help is needed.
Create your team. At this point your manager should be handling things with your team and organizing it, however, it is important that you have a strong relationship with all of the members of your team. You should make it a point to develop a bond with all of your management team members. Trust is essential in these relationships. You will be handing over a large portion of your career success to them and you should trust that they will do what's best.
Cement your team. Contracts are a very important part of any business. As a recording artist, you should look at your career as your business, which means making sure that you are covered at all times. One other part of your management team is the legal person, however you don't necessarily need to put a lawyer on retainer right away. It would be smart to put some time and resources into getting a good set of contracts written up for you to have on hand to set the proper foundation for your business. When you find your people, lock all of them in with the proper contracts. They will most likely have contracts of their own but as long as a contractual agreement is created, you can move forward confidently.
Go forth and be successful. You have your team and everyone is on board contractually and professionally. They all should believe in you as an artist and that you will be successful. Now let your management team do what you brought them on board to do. It's time for you to focus on your craft and become the best artist that you can be. Focus on giving your team a great artist to represent.