Scamming manager

Spotting a Potential Scamming Manager

This is part 3 of the Artist Management series, in part 2 we specified the 5 qualities you should look for when hiring a manager.

Whether you’re looking for a manager or have been approached by some, finding the right person for you can be a bit challenging.
After you look into a manager’s qualities and gain interest, you have to verify the person.
You will talk to many people who claim to have been managing famous, established artists. You have to verify each person’s credentials to avoid falling for a scamming manager.

Today, we’re going to be discussing 3 red flags of a potential scamming manager and how to avoid a management scam.

3 red flags of a potential scamming manager

Scammers have always been present in the Music Industry. However, due to technology’s takeover on the industry, it is now easier to get scammed as an artist.

Also, the new generation of musicians isn’t expanding its knowledge of the Music Business, which makes them vulnerable to scamming managers.


Scammers are everywhere, especially all over social platforms, trying to trick the next target.
So before you make a deal with anyone or give away any private information, look out for these 3 red flags:

1. The person is asking you for payment before managing you

That is the clearest and well-known red flag for a potential scam.
You don’t even know the person, what he’s done for other artists, and how well can he manage your types of dreams and aspirations in the music industry.

Paying a manager is always along the lines of taking a percentage from the artist’s income or a percentage of a deal that supports the artist financially. (Such as a record deal where the label gives the artist every resource to work on a project).

What guarantees the manager will start working with you after you pay him?, Instead of just bailing off with the money?
Even if you know the person or he/she has an established name within the industry, paying upfront for someone to manage you is extremely frowned upon.

2. The person isn’t asking you relevant questions

Regardless if it’s a scam or not, you shouldn’t be hiring someone who isn’t interested in you.
Let’s say I’m a manager and you contacted me seeking my service. Wouldn’t I want to know more about you, your brand, your message, and much more? Of course, I would.

Pay attention if the person asks you questions and seems to care about your success.

A scamming manager will sell you cheap and basic information about the industry without providing and discussing proper ideas about your work.

A real manager’s job is to build a relationship with you, share his ideas, expertise, and discuss details regarding your future.
He is responsible for finding opportunities specific to your goals and level. That’s his top priority, and how would he do that if he doesn’t care enough to know about you?

3. The person is pressuring you into making an immediate decision

The easiest way to spot a scam, yet unfortunately, artists still fall for it. If this person is asking you to make a decision and pay him now… please end contact. There’s no way a legit manager will pressure you into making an immediate decision regarding hiring him.

The person needs to know who you are, what kind of goals are you pursuing, how much do you make, who runs your finances, who promotes your shows, etc.

Scamming managers like to play on musicians’ weaknesses and offering them “a deal they can’t resist”, which is definitely not how it works in the Music Business.

Don’t fall for scamming managers that do this, especially anyone who would promise you the world, for a fee.

Signing contract

How to avoid a management scam?

Always read your contracts or better than that have a lawyer read them for you. Know the rights and royalty percentage you’re giving out to this manager and write them down.

According to Billboard: “The typical fixed commission rate is 15 to 20 percent of gross income, but some managers work with a variable rate: For instance, 10 percent on income to $100,000, 15 percent on income to $500,000 and 20 percent above that.”
This should give you an idea of how much your manager should earn.

Another important thing to do is to always research the person before you consider hiring. Do some research on artists they allegedly managed before you, ask for references and past work. Check their information online and if he/she is coordinated with your goals and dreams.

It’s always important to grow your knowledge of the Music Business, to know what you want to achieve and need as an artist to become better. Don’t rush into anything you’re not 100% sure of or committed to.

Keep it simple, make the right decision and Don’t be afraid to work it out alone in the beginning.

If you have the passion to become a smart musician then always keep learning. Find out more about the Music Business and the industry you’re getting into… Which is what we help you with here at The Music Career Guide.

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