3 tips for managing your band

Posted on 14th May 2019

Are you looking for a manager for your band or career as a solo artist?.

Throughout my career I have found this to be the single biggest problem emerging acts face. Today I want to help you find a solution. In this blog I want to combine all of my experiences from the traditional music industry with the DIY ethos that prevails today. I’m fortunate enough to of had a career that spanned a few decades, I have had hit singles, record deals, crowd funded albums and used the DIY ethos to self manage and promote my acts.

I have realised that record deals will come and go however the great thing about the modern music industry is that you have full control of your career. The ethos at WaterBear is intwined with this realisation and our aim is to help musicians through their respective careers.  My mission is to take you from where you are to where you want to be. So, check us out on YouTube and subscribe here for more up to date tips to help you manage your music career.

What is a manager?

I have three tips that will help you manage your act immediately, but before we get into them lets define exactly what a manager is. A manager is simply someone who coordinates all the activities of a band to make sure all actions form part of a coherent strategy. The strategy takes you from where you are now to where you want to be. Sounds simple, right? . There is a lot of competition, thousands and thousands of acts trying to achieve the same as you. I know this news can be disheartening, however I want to tell you that through adherence to these tips you’ll have a competitive edge and you WILL get through. And just to make it clear you will get there due to these two reasons;

- Quality, you will be better than the competition

- You are going to work at pace and you WILL get stuff done.

It’s your job as a manager to ensure that you are going to take your act from where it is currently to where you want it to be.

 Tip 1 - the band needs a leader

A band needs a leader, this is definitely not to be confused with being a militant headmaster. To be an effective leader you need to put your ego to one side for the common good. For me, this is about coordinating a team and getting stuff done. Do not expect praise or medal for it, it is just something that needs to happen. That being said, you cannot afford to take any passengers with you. Gone are the days where its enough to turn up and play a little bit of bass or rhythm guitar and expect to have a career. Everyone in the band will need a role and our role is to coordinate that activity.

Tip 2 - get some external advice

I cannot stress this enough, get some advice from someone with a track record in music management, you will need specific advice on your management strategy.  Remember everyone has an opinion, so learn to differentiate between pub talk and advice from quality professional consultations with the people who have sold records, broken bands and worked at a high level in the music industry. That advice is available to you right now in two forms.

Firstly,. if you have a bit of money you can hire a management consultancy with a credible roster of artists. They can offer you expert advice and work with you on weekly basis developing your band.  This can cost anywhere between £200 - £300 a month, and in my opinion represents very good value. I know in the early days money is tight, so how about paying for a one day consultancy?. Hot house all your ideas and create a twelve month management plan for your act that you then execute throughout the year. Now we have done a bit of the reconnaissance work for you. Here are a few of managers we and our students have worked with who are offering the consultancy service;

Lisa McKeown | Nine Lives UK Management Consultancy

Rob Town and Toby Jepson | Lightning in a Bottle

Terri Chapman | Rock people Management

However if you are in the real early days and you don't have any capital, then thats what WaterBear’s channel is for, with new videos coming out every week to help you on your management journey.

Tip 3 - build your team

I’m talking about the following team; Manager (you), Press/PR, Agent, Promoter, Producer, Social media and record label. I know that if you were to seek those services externally its going to cost a substantial amount of money and I completely understand that you may not be able to afford that right away. It will come when you have a larger fan base. That being said all these jobs can be done right now. You are the manager and so your job is to allocate these roles to others in the band.  And that is where tip no.1 comes right back into play. You are the leader of this, if there are any lazy herberts in the band, now is the time to shift them on. You need a band to pull together, you are a DIY unit and you will get stuff done, so cut the dead weight and move forward as one!

If you talk to your band and they say “I don't know how to do this”, remind them there has never been a better time to learn. There are channels like ours www.youtube.com/waterbear that will give them all the necessary tools to be excellent in their respective roles. We all have google, we all have youtube and we can find out anything.

Remember the music business is not over there it is right here, you are already in it, so there is nothing to stop you from achieving right now!.

If you want more help

Thank you for reading, I hope it has been informative and useful and if music has become a super important part of your life, come and study with us at WaterBear.

You can get a BA (Hons) degree or Masters, you can study for it online or in the heart of Brighton. Your study fits around your schedule and not the other way around.

Order a prospectus here or if you have any questions drop us an email:  info@wbear.io



by Bruce Dickinson
Bruce has had 11 top forty hits and a number 1 album with Little Angels. He’s toured with Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Van Halen, and opened for Guns N’ Roses on their first UK shows. With his group Colour of Noise, he has run a successful Pledge album campaign and he continues to help new bands through curating the Rising Stage at the Ramblin’ Man Fair festival and Underground Music Conference events. Bruce was a founder of the BIMM group of colleges, leaving in 2012 for the Little Angels reunion at Download Festival and UK tour. He has negotiated several university partnerships and written many validated degree courses, with thousands of undergraduates studying those courses still. He holds an MA in Education Management.
View all posts by Bruce Dickinson

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