Nothing feels as exhilirating as having someone take an interest in your music and wanting to seriously help you take it to the next level. And equally, nothing is as devastating as having that same person f*ck you over worse than anyone else ever before. Botched record deals, unpaid PR campaigns, scam gigs, loss of funding, fake streams, entire careers murdered by wannabe managers. Keep reading to find out who they target, what they promise, what they actually offer, and how to avoid these sharks.
3. Who do they prey on?
These individuals LOVE rookies. Preferably super desperate or super rich. They’re equally perfect for his pockets. The desperate artist will pay him whatever fee he asks for as long as he asks while the rich kid’s parents will pay again, whatever he asks for as long as he wants it. The first one is dying to make it and the second wants external validation for his parents’ approval. The difference is… the first one will have an insanely difficult time bouncing back from the financial losses. You’re an easy target if… 1. Your bio is written in first person which indicates the absence of a third party in your career. 2. You talk in future terms of your achievements thus you didn’t achieve enough in your past to know how the industry is run. 3. You don’t have many collaboration songs which shows the lack of connections in the business. 4. You have very few to none performance photos/videos that point to lack of true stage experience. 5. Your music is not that good. Yes, these managers rarely get great talent on their hands. They deal with subpar, undeveloped, unpolished artists who are easy to manipulate.
2. What do they promise and what do they actually deliver?
1. They promise press coverage but they deliver useless reposted press releases.
2. They promise a great EPK but they ask their sister to put together a second hand bio for you.
3. They promise gigs but they send you to perform in forgotten bars.
4. They promise exposure but they pay on Fiverr for fake streams, views, likes, followers.
5. They promise transparence but they never actually hand in an official report where you can compare your growth or stagnation week by week, month by month.
6. They promise great collaborations but they make you pay to work with other artists no one ever heard of.
7. They promise great visuals but they yet again, pay a college student the lowest price possible to put together a subpar visual for your song.
8. They promise sales but then they turn around and say your music is not connecting with people.
9. They promise you’ll grow but they never want to share anything concrete with you regarding the business.
10. They promise label meetings but they have someone who’s faded pretend to listen to you but always ending up telling you that you still need to work to get there.
The list is truly infinite.
1. How to avoid these sharks?
1. Hire a lawyer to go through the contract. Go to Avvo to get a free consultation with legit, verified entertainment lawyers.
2. Ask for a list of their previous clients and DON’T stop there. Go google these artists, see that they exist, then actually message them to ask about their experience with said manager.
3. Google the manager’s name and pay websites like Spokeo to see what they’re about and if they go under multiple aliases, have shady connections, or if they were even arrested and what for.
4. Check their social media presence. You don’t want big numbers but you do want plenty of photos indicating the real life of a real person. Photos with their family, coworkers, friends, travels, etc. Shady managers repost more stuff than they post original content. And lack of real, personal photos might indicate someone not trying to be too public because others may be looking to sue them.
5. Ask for a plan breakdown for at least the next 6 months. You want them to show you on PAPER what you’ll spend, on what, how, where, and WHY. They need to have a precise plan to truly manage you efficiently.
As we’ve repeatedly told you, you can save SO MUCH MONEY if you just do your background check on every person you’re about to give your money to.