The two most important things in my life are band management and brand management. Advertising by day and music by night keeps me relatively busy, but whether I’m branding, scheduling or negotiating, I’m putting my all into helping others achieve their goals. Even though these two jobs are completely different in their own respect, they are also insanely similar.
In order to be a successful band manager, you must possess charisma — you must be confident, trustworthy, ethical and most importantly, organized. Sound familiar? It’s just like managing a business’ brand. It’s more than that, even. You become a confidante and critic of your client. You become the band or brand; making decisions based on what you know would be best for them.
It’s all about getting out there, asking questions and seeing what happens. Worst-case scenario? No answer — that’s all. Do you know how many times I’ve sent an email thinking I would never receive a response and then was pleasantly surprised? You really have to put yourself out there with no regard to your own personal insecurities. It’s not about you. It’s about your client.
Mingle. Network. Repeat.
Meeting people is key in getting to know other bands, venues or promoters in your industry. All in all, I know that other bands are considered “competition,” but why not be in this together? Let’s collaborate on working with other bands and put amazing concerts together.
Through networking we can give each other tips and tricks or advice, letting the music speak for itself. Come to one of our concerts and you will see me…everywhere. I never stay in one place at the same time for too long. There’s too many people to talk to and those people have people they “know” who may want to book your band. There are so many possibilities of things that could happen at a show. That and you have to show fans you love them.
The same goes for brands, perhaps not quite in the same way, but through constantly meeting people and networking, we’re able to get our clients the best deals, whether it’s through vendors or media outlets.
Schedules for recording studios, music venues and show days are crucial for managing a band. To-do lists are also vital in staying organized. Lists in general, really. There are so many things that go into having a successful show day — lights, sound systems, band equipment, stage, sound guy, merch, merch attendant, flyers, promotion on stage and soundcheck. These same organizational skills are key in managing brands.
There are many moving pieces that must all be accomplished in order to have a successful campaign or show day. One of the scariest things to happen is leaving equipment behind at a venue. You may never get it back. We’ve lost items from old dingy carpets to symbols. After having to replace items such as those several times, it gets a bit pricey. The same goes for a brand, not so much stolen equipment, but crucial pieces of projects slipping through the cracks. Staying organized keeps all pieces in motion and controlled.
The music industry is a very difficult and competitive place to be, however, if you treat your band like a business there are many things that can make you stand out. In advertising any client, there is always going to be competition, but it all depends on how structured your business or band is. First thing is first, keeping things fair. Every decision must be set to a vote so one person does not have more of a say than another. Majority vote helps to keep everyone on the same page.
Once everyone has a say in big decisions, making business and creative decisions follow suit. For example, bands also have to work through finances. Hiring a lawyer, accountant and having monthly budget meetings are also keys to success for band and brand management.
What you see is what you get
Finally, the most important part of band management or brand management is marketing, promotion, strategies, branding, monthly objective development and campaigns. Phew! All of these efforts basically come down to image. What do you want others to see when they see you? In band management, it can be from what you see on stage to merch, flyers, Facebook, Reverb Nation, etc. You need to be marketable in this industry and creative designs, materials or a hot look can be the one element that sets you apart.
All in all, band and brand managing call for long hours and can be tedious at times, but watching your clients grow whether they’re a band or a business is ultimately gratifying. My love for music, art and branding have all brought me to the place I am now. Sometimes I feel as if though everything in my life has lead to this. I love doing what I do, what can I say?