Before You Hire a Manager, Read This
By Alyssa Minnec
So, you’ve reached the point in your career where you think it would be beneficial to hire someone to manage your project. Where do you start? With all of the people out there who simply “talk the talk,” it can be difficult to sift through the bad ones to find the perfect fit for you. We’re here to help. Before you hire a manager, read this.
Your manager always needs to look out for your best interests. There’s no way around that statement. Here are the most important questions to ask yourself when hiring a manager:
1. Time. Will this manager spend enough time on your career? Are you able to pick up the phone and get a response from this manager within a few hours?
To start, locking in a big-name or well-known manager right off the bat might seem intriguing, however, you need to think about what exactly they can do for you as opposed to how it “looks” to be managed by them. Big-name managers aren’t always the best bet for your career.
Even if they’re not a big-name manager, a lot of the time, managers are handling a few different clients simultaneously. That’s totally fine, however, you need to make sure that they are spending enough time on you to justify their role in your career. If you feel as though this manager will spend the majority of their time on their big client, and only get around to your texts and emails once a week, this is something to consider, watch out for, and bring up when first speaking to a potential manager.
This isn’t to say that this manager isn’t worth hiring, but make sure that you hire one that can actively strengthen your career from the point you’re currently at. How do they divide their time among clients, and do they do it efficiently?
2. Knowledge and Experience. Does this manager have the knowledge and actual experience with your type of project or career?
Does this manager and his or her skills look perfect on paper, but in everyday practice, not so much? You need to hire a manager who works or has worked with clients like you, or at least knows what they’re doing. Making sure that this manager has experience with the specific deals, communications, or questions you’re seeking help with are key factors here.
Has this manager worked on this sort of deal before, and if so, what about the way it got done added value to the experience outside of just doing their job? Of course, you and your manager can learn and grow together, but if you can hire anyone, make sure to hire the one who will provide more than just “getting the job done.”
3. Motivation. Does this manager believe in your career? Will they hustle for you?
It seems simple, but just caring about your career, genuinely believing in your project, and following through on what they say they are going to do are the easiest ways to tell if a manager is worth bringing on to your team. If you’re early in your career, interested managers might be lacking in network or experience, but they should still make up for that in motivation.
Is this manager motivated to learn new skills, such as the latest social media and marketing skills to stay on top of trends? Sometimes, it’s the little pieces of effort that come to fruition and make the project excel above the others. An innovative manager that is eager to learn and try new things is essential and is one worth hiring.
4. Networking and Professionalism. What does this manager’s network look like? Do they actively connect with different people? Are they professional in various settings?
What type of people does this manager hang around and spend time with? Do they have a motivated, positive attitude, that will draw in opportunities for your project and create a good name for your brand? They say it’s not always what you know, but who you know. That’s important to think about, however, there’s a difference between someone who knows a lot of people in the industry and doesn’t actively communicate with them, versus someone who doesn’t know as many people, but is always connecting and building. You want to find a balance between both.
Another thing to make sure about when hiring a lawyer is their level of professionalism. This manager is a representation and extension of your brand. They are going to be the ones communicating on your behalf, creating relationships and opportunities, hopping on video and phone calls, etc. How do they carry themselves? Do they work with others to compromise and figure out the best deal? Do they get wasted every time you both go to a gig? You need to be able to trust them, knowing that they will carry themselves in a responsible way. It’s okay to let loose and have fun, but your manager needs to put yourself and your career as their first priority when on the job.
5. Transparency and trust. Do you feel comfortable placing your career in their hands, trusting they’ll go to bat for you and not themselves?
When you hire a manager, in a way, you’re placing your career in their hands for the agreed-upon term. Of course, the role the manager will play in your career is one that can be negotiated and decided between the two of you, however, you need to be able to trust them, not only as your manager, but as a person. For example, if your manager is the one paying for your lawyer, the one communicating with the labels, the one securing deals, etc., do you trust that they have YOUR best interest in the forefront?
Your manager needs to be someone that you can trust as a person, trust to get the job done, communicate efficiently, add value to your career, and know that your project is about you and not them.
If you’re thinking about hiring a manager and receive a management contract to review or would like one drafted for you, reach out to us anytime. We’re always here to help.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended to, nor does it create any attorney-client relationship. To be clear, this is ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT, and THE CHOICE OF A LAWYER IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION AND SHOULD NOT BE BASED SOLELY UPON ADVERTISEMENTS. The content provided here is not intended to communicate or imply any future results or success. We strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney regarding the specifics of your case.