Whether you are a soloist, chamber ensemble, composer, conductor, academic, private teacher, or orchestra musician, there is a great deal about the business your formal training didn’t prepare you for. Mr. McManus can help mitigate that educational shortcoming by providing a wide range of services to help you advance your career and maximize your potential without having to learn lessons the hard (and expensive) way.
What’s the difference between an agent and manager?
Suffice to say the services offered by agents and managers are far from mutually exclusive; in fact, it isn’t unusual for artists to have both an agent and manager who work closely together to advance the artist’s career. But in general terms an agent’s primary task is to develop and secure work for his/her clients.
Unlike an agent, a manager usually will not search out work whether it is a performance or audition. This doesn’t mean that you will never secure work through your manager, but compared to an agent, the ratio is much smaller. A manager will provide professional services to organize every aspect of your career, such as negotiating contracts, coordinating project logistics, develop public relations and/or branding campaign, offer career counsel. In short, a manager will help take your career to the next level, once it is ready.
At the same time, one of the biggest differences between agents and managers relates to fees. Although not universally applied, agents charge clients a retainer and around 20 percent commission on the gross performance revenue for each job secured. If you aren’t familiar with retainers, these are upfront fees paid by the artist to the agent regardless if the agent ever secures the artist any work.
However, managers charge around 10 percent commission on the gross performance revenue and NO retainer. This is far more cost effective to the artist but remember, managers don’t spend most of their time finding clients work.
So how should an artist determine what sort of professional services they need: agent, manager, both, or neither?
I strongly discourage any client from going it alone in this business and instead, encourage you to answer the following questions:
- Do you find most of your own work?
- Do you want to keep more of what you earn?
- Are you overwhelmed with non-artistic matters (contracts, logistics, and PR)?
- Do you only want to pay for something that provides a guaranteed service or deliverable?
- Do you only need career assistance a few times a year?
- Do you feel that you don’t always get paid what you’re worth or that you are being taken advantage of?
If you answered yes to most of the questions then you’re probably looking for a manager over an agent.
What types of services does Mr. McManus offer and what does he charge?
Based on the descriptions above, Mr. McManus is provided a comprehensive array of career management services. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Negotiating performance, recording, and/or employment contracts.
- Tour management.
- Website design and maintenance.
- Creating an effective branding, public relations, and social networking campaign.
- Career counsel.
- Crafting a business plan.
- Entrepreneurship mentoring.
- Learning the proper way to establish a professional private teaching studio, attract students, and develop a related business policy.
- Learning about the legal and financial realities of being self-employed.
- Negotiating overscale (direct negotiation services and/or negotiation preparation).
A typical fee structure includes:
- 5-10 percent commission for performance, recording, and employment oriented contract work.
- $500-$3000 for website design and maintenance projects.
- $450-$1000 for overscale preparation and a 10 percent commission for direct negotiation.
- All other project and service fees are determined on a project specific basis.