10 questions to determine if you ‘need’ a manager (with Scott Waldman)

Long Island, NY native Scott Waldman is what you might call a true renaissance man. The musician/artist manager/a&r executive and host of the weekly show Waldman Words, heard on Idobi Radio, has a lot on his plate, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Through his experience Waldman has learned a lot about the industry and the common mistakes many artists make as they attempt to establish themselves in this overcrowded space. Today we’re thrilled to share a collection of questions Scott has put together to aide artists in determining whether or not they truly ‘need’ to be seeking management at this point in their careers. You can find his input below.

1. Do you sell a hearty amount of physical merch at your shows and online?

2. Do you sell a hearty amount of digital merch?

3. Have you sold out several headlining shows in your area (to a higher number of fans than friends) at 300 capacity venues or more?

4. Have you performed several shows outside of your area that ended with more and more bigger and better shows?

5.  Do you have a high six figure or low seven figure streaming track (SANS PAYMENT FROM A THIRD PARTY SHADY ASS COMPANY THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BITE YOU IN THE ASS) on Spotify or SoundCloud? The same question applies to views on a YouTube video.

6. Is the work on your plate so overwhelming that you physically can’t even? (trick question: The work never ends and you should leave the industry if you can’t handle behind the scenes work for yourself; you are always going to be your best ambassador)

7. Do you earn a living as a musician?

8. Do you have “industry people” knocking on your door or guitar cases?

9. Do you actively read books, blogs, and other industry articles daily?

10. Are you prepared to pay someone a percentage of your earnings to work for you?

If the answer to 1 or more of these is “no,” you do NOT need a manager. The right manager will eventually find you when more ducks are in a row. Don’t look for ‘em.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.