#TBT Get The Most From Your Artist Representation

For whatever reason, I’ve enjoyed a good bit of shop talk with a broader spectrum of colleagues than usual and one topic that came up on several occasions was artist management. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the individual artists I spoke with felt their representation was underperforming.

And while there was no shortage of gripes, there was plenty of silence when I asked about what they did to help define a provider relationship that clarifies expectations and monitors activity.

While that isn’t unexpected, there are a few concrete steps artists can take to improve the effectiveness of their artist representation retainer dollars. On that point, I wrote an article about that topic in 2014 and all the advice and insights there are just as applicable now as they were then.

One Simple Key To Getting The Most Out Of Your Artist Agent Retainer

In the same year, I published an article about what artist managers should be doing to help promote their clients. As the client, you should absolutely ask your representation if they are following these points.

Three Simple Things Artist Managers Can Do To Help Their Clients (but usually don’t)

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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