Since theSQUAD launched their Entertainment Division in early 2015, we’ve learnt loads about local music, musicians, venues, road shows and all the other delicious things accompany band management. But it hasn’t been all glitz and glam. The truth is musicians are hard work. As a band manager you have to take care of them and allow them focus on their passion.
Over the last year theSQUAD Entertainment has built up a stable of 13 artists which we’re proud to represent. We love what we do and how steep the learning curve is, a new challenge pops-up every day. Here are five of our key take-outs to being a brilliant band manager:
#1 Patience - Musicians are original and visionary creatures who’re not always online checking their messages. This can make scheduling can be tricky. We use Whatapp groups, following up with SMS’s and phone calls if necessary. Google Calendars are also a great resource and shared regularly with the bands showing gig updates. Many of our musicians have day jobs or other commitments so bookings need to work around those too. Patience is key.
#2 Organisation – With some of our musicians playing in more than one band, it’s essential to be on top of your organisation game. Make sure all schedules are regularly updated and keep track of all the booking inquiries, follow ups, marketing strategies, etc. Contracts are also a biggie – have a legal document signed with all the band members. As the production house theSQUAD deals with the venue red tape too, so that’s other documentation to be aware of. There’s a lot to do but if you are organised you can keep on top of it.
#3 Marketing – Marketing for a band is like being a kid in a candy shop – where do you stop? (Usually at the end of the budget.) Band branding includes everything from photos, videos, fliers and emailers. You’re sometimes representing musicians who aren’t well known; so your press kit, website and social media platforms need to be slick and up to date. Then there’s the music and the “merch” (that’s merchandise to the non-professionals). CDs should be made easily available to fans online - and don’t forget the t-shirts!
#4 Intuition – This is about suggesting the best band for the event i.e. wedding, birthday party, festival or corporate gig. You have to get a feel for the job and know the most suitable music, paring the band with the client and audience who’ll love them. The musicians are a great “product” and there will be demand for them, you just need to identify the relevant target market.
#5 Hustle - In the words of Pitbull, “Music is my hustle.” There’s no room to be shy in the music industry, you’ve got to be loud and proud. Get to the gigs, network wherever you are and look for unusual opportunities to show off your musicians. We’ve found quite innovative ways of showcasing our artists - including supper clubs, book fairs and weekly markets. Start where you can and hustle your way to the top.
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader