What to Do if you Can't Afford a Band Manager - Chelf
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What to Do if you Can’t Afford a Band Manager

What to Do if you Can’t Afford a Band Manager

Did you just put together a killer album? Cool! Let’s talk business.

What is a band manager?

A band manager will help you understand and define your band’s identity, they will help you detail and construe your goals and most importantly help you build a strategy to achieve them.

They will also connect you to all the right people to network and they will solve any conflicts between band members ensuring a smooth working environment for all parties involved.

But sometimes you need to prioritize other needs and cover basic band expenses so hiring a professional manager might not be on the cards for you for the time being.

Here’s what to do if you can’t afford a band manager just yet.



 Build a brand not just a band.

Just like any other organisation a band is a company and a brand. Hence, proper branding is required. Branding is basically the image you create for your band.

 Designing a strong image should be on the top of your list along with making good music. I read somewhere the following quote:

 “Your image as a musician sells your music, and your music sells your image”

and I couldn’t agree more. Pick a colour palette and stick to it—the same with fonts, logos and aesthetics.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine your branding:

-What is the overall message of your band?

-What identifies you and makes you unique? How are you different?

-What kind of elements attract you visually?

-Are there any other bands that you admire and draw inspiration from?

-What is your ambition?

-What are 5 words that describe the band

Identify your strengths.

Why should people listen to your music and invest in your merch instead of your competitors? The average person can get a Metallica tee for under 12$ from Zara and they know ‘Master of Puppets” from Stranger Things. Which is easy, you know? Pretty meaningless but easy. And people do love easy. So, what will compensate for that easiness and make people spend some extra time looking into your band’s work?

Know your target audience.

Who do you want to reach with your music? How and where can you reach them? Until you figure out a way to hire a manager you should try to figure these things out to help your band reach the right people.

Create your band story.

How do you tell people what you do and why you do it? Whether you are flying solo or you prefer having the entire band involved in these decisions, these are the questions to answer before you move on.

Find your voice and design your look.

I know that this is easier said than done but it needs to be done so I made a list of questions to help you get started.

-What tone do you use to connect with your audience?

-How do you represent yourself visually?

-Does your aesthetic communicate your story and values?



Start building relationships within your community and beyond. Developing people skills and connecting with other people in the industry is essential and will come in handy as your band grows.

 Explore the various branches of the music industry that you need to connect with. From record labels, magazines, webzines, bloggers, journalists, PR agents, booking agents, venue directors, photographers and videographers, all these people are part of the industry that will help you reach your goals. Establish working relationships and make a good name for yourself.

Be consistent.

Once you figure these out be consistent. Consistency is extremely important if you want to be taken seriously. Your audience should be able to recognize your content with a quick glance. Are you equally consistent on all platforms? Every little thing has its own message and everything counts.

What’s next?

When you can finally afford to team up with a manager:

 Make sure you pick THE ONE who understands your band and invest in someone who is willing to go the extra mile and do more than required to do. A good manager cannot guarantee your success but they have faith in your band, believe in you and know every single bit that there is to know about you. Find a manager that you trust completely with serious band issues and make you feel safe and secure when dealing with unexpected setbacks. Don’t expect to agree with them 100% all the time; after all, you hired them because they know how to do business better than you, so communicate your concerns and listen to what they have to say. Have regular meetings with your manager to make sure you are on the same page and check your progress after a period of time that you have been working with them to reevaluate your goals.

There are many ways to work with a band manager and even though I always recommend the full package there are other options too.

Types of management that you should consider:

  1. The full package. The manager works with you full time and is involved in every aspect of the band, providing help, support and guidance all the way through. They are in a way the band ‘parent’ making sure that everything runs smoothly, that everyone has what they need including a hangover juice and proper breakfast.
  2. The part time deal: The manager shows up during major milestones to help you navigate the rough roads when needed. In order to do that you must keep them updated and explain clearly what is needed each time.
  3. The promo (wo)man: In this case the manager is brought in to help you promote your work when needed and guide you through the marketing aspect. They will connect you to the right agencies and people to help you spread the word about your upcoming endeavours.


Interested in working with me?

I am currently fully booked as I am writing these lines BUT please feel free to contact me and check my availability and most importantly our compatibility.  Looking forward to hearing from you!


If you enjoyed and found this article helpful you might enjoy these too:


How to Survive Isolation as a Musician

How to create your EPK

Check out my music archives and interviews here.

Check out my music magazine METAL DIGEST here

Stay in touch: Facebook or Instagram

Until the next one,


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