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#BackToBusiness | Unmanagement by Lesley Jennings

Unmanagement by Lesley Jennings is a guide to building your brand without a manager. Setting up a brand in the creative industry can be a daunting experience. How do you package your talent and sell it? Get a manager, right? – Wrong!

Most creatives believe that if they join an agency or find a manager, all their problems will be solved and that their careers will take off. I can’t emphasize enough, how incorrect this perception is. The industry has changed so much, that what a manager did years ago when the landscape was very different, is not what’s expected of them today.

When an artist signs up with a manager, they look to this person to run their entire career with no remuneration. Your relationship with a manager is a mutual risk if you’re lucky enough to have an individual solely dedicated to the success of your career. Didn’t think about it that way, did you?

On the flip-side

Being a manager is a very serious job. Experiencing the frustration of growing a brand that you believe in, without having the same burning passion, because the talent isn’t yours. You may have some really great skills or a network that can make things easy. How long does this last? At some point, you turn to the artists and ask, but why aren’t you doing your part?

It is at this point when both parties are looking at each other, believing that neither of them is pulling their weight. So who is at fault? Both of you are!

Making music, or sourcing gigs is not the starting point of building a successful creative career.

Building a model, through planning and networking is where you should start. Throwing caution to the wind and just blasting content at unassuming prospects is more likely to do more harm than good. There are certain questions you need to ask yourself, and the skills you need to develop.

Do you want to become a signed artist? If this is your primary source of income, how will you meet your financial goals? Who consumes your work? The answers to these questions should highlight a set of skills you need to hone into and refine to achieve your goals. Financial management, networking with industry professionals or venue owners. Setting KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and establishing your fees.

My advice

Don’t be hasty in getting a manager. Artists and businesses alike, make the mistake of trusting the fate of their careers in the hands of their managers. Although you should trust your manager, you too should know as much, if not more about your own business than they do. 

Start your journey with some literature and online learning, Sign-up free for John Sanei’s Moonshot Course, click here.

Read our other two blogs on marketing your brand as a creative, Part 1: Digital Marketing, The GigCulture.

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