DJs often have a dilemma when they consider a manager…
The advantage of a more experienced manager is, well, experience. You can expect this person to know the business and to be competent. However, if a manager is competent and experienced, then he or she will have other clients, and so the question for you is whether this manager will give you the time you need in order to help you develop your career (if he or she will even consider signing you).
You may also find that, since the experienced manager already has a perfectly adequate source of income, he or she may take a rather laidback approach to your career. After all, the manager won’t starve if you don’t get a deal.
The advantage of a less experienced manager is that he or she has everything to prove and everything to lose. You can therefore expect this person to work every hour of every day to further your career. The disadvantage is obvious: A less (or zero) experienced manager has less (or zero) experience.
However, don’t dismiss a less experienced manager. If he or she has bucket loads of get-up-and-go and really can make things happen, then that person might be just what you need to kick-start your career. If your manager believes in you, then he or she is likely to be happy to work for a greatly reduced fee while you have minimal earnings. If your manager genuinely has the business chutzpah, then he or she will help you to start earning money. If he or she doesn’t, then you may wish to end the relationship.
Between the two extremes you will find a range of people. My only suggestion in dealing with these people is beware of anyone whose business and acts are mediocre. Some people can see the good in others, some can see the bad: These people can see mediocrity. They will find the mediocrity in you and convince you that it is what you wanted. If you want a career that is, at best, adequate, knock on these people’s door. If you want more, then run screaming if you ever find these people.
What Does a Manager Charge?
Each deal will be different, but as a general rule of thumb, a manager will charge 20% of your gross earnings (that is, 20% of what you earn before any expenses). You may find that there is a commonly accepted figure in your jurisdiction. You shouldn’t simply accept any figure, but rather seek to set a figure that is right for you.
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