February 24, 2021 | Written By Peter J. Speroni
It goes without saying that a successful musician will undoubtedly need a team of people in place to handle business and personal matters as they arise. However, artists often make the mistake of hiring their personal managers to also handle their business matters.
Generally, a personal manager will handle the day-to-day aspects of a musician’s career, while the business manager, simply put, handles the money. The two roles are very different and finding an experienced business manager (one that can make your money work for you) is a necessity that is commonly overlooked in the earlier stages of an artist’s career.
While personal managers will be there alongside musicians at television appearances, on tour, and behind the scenes of daily operations to handle logistics, often artists make the mistake of letting their personal manager (frequently a mom or best friend) step into the role of their business manager as well. This can be a fatal error, unless their mom or best friend has a financial or legal background and has had experience and success managing other artists.
A strong Business Manager will help negotiate and draft licensing agreements, record label contracts, publishing contracts etc., requiring a skill set that many personal managers do not possess. In the music industry it is not uncommon to find that successful business managers are also attorneys, as they are equipped to help protect the artist’s financial interests, ensuring they remain protected from predatory contracts or from losing what is rightfully theirs. At the very least, a good business manager can decipher contracts, identifying points of negotiation and explaining each relevant deal point to the client.
Properly vetting a potential business manager is essential. It is wise to ask for references beforehand and to truly understand their previous experience in successfully handling other artists’ money. A great business manager will know the ins and outs of the business and successfully invest your money to make your money work for you.
Peter Jay Speroni is counsel with the Parlatore Law Group and practices in the fields of copyrights, copyright infringement litigation, and trademarks. Mr. Speroni brings over fifteen years of music industry and entertainment experience to the firm including artist development, music publishing, media promotions and music consulting. His specialty is intellectual property licensing, including, complex music publishing, production, film and soundtracks, record label and artist management contracts. His passion and creativity help him to provide his clients with valuable and robust strategies, whatever their entertainment-based business needs. For more about Peter, click here.
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