How Do I Manage?
Management isn’t all it’s cracked up to be but sometimes it’s even better than it’s portrayed. I started years ago just by trial and error managing a few models and a DJ. My first model was in a different part of the country but it didn’t stop me from getting her work. I got her featured in blogs and magazines (including VIBE) and even a workout video...but one day she flaked on a non-paying TV commercial I’d booked so they kindly rescheduled at my request. She suggested the new date then decided an hour before that she didn’t want to go because it wasn’t paying, claiming she’d made plans that night (even though she’d agreed to it in the first place).
For obvious reasons the company didn’t return my messages.
I worked with someone else I’d known for a while who was not only beautiful but Professional. First gig I got her paid $300 to shoot. Not sure if her boyfriend didn’t want her to model or merely looked down on it. But we didn’t work much after that, though we’re still friends and occasionally talk. She’s one of the most beautiful women I know but they moved out of state. Her self-esteem isn’t so hot. I only met the dude once. Still don’t know what happened. But yeah, that’s the extent of my model management career.
End scene 1.
I’d been involved in the music side since I wrote my first song at age 11 and went on to release my first CD in high school and sold over 200 copies during lunch, I’ve toured Asia multiple times, promoted shows, booked national tours, done video work for Jay-Z and Beyonce, designed album art that hit #1 on Billboard (multiple times), interviewed multi-platinum/award winning artists and everything in between. Maybe I’ll get into my story someday, if anyone actually cares, but I mention that just to show that I have SOME foundation in “the business”. I get people asking me to manage them a lot and I turn them down for multiple reasons. Bad experiences with modeling and also a DJ who really messed things up for me left a bad taste in my mouth. Years later I tried again and it’s going well. But the MAIN reason I say no to most people isn’t because they aren’t talented, it’s not because they don’t have the ‘look’ or potential...they often do, and it’s not always that I think there’s someone better than me (though there definitely are).
Most of the time it’s because people who THINK they need a manager DON’T!
They need something else. Many times people don’t have something to manage yet. You want shows? You don’t need a manager, you need a booking agent. You want to get on blogs more? You don’t need a manager, you need a publicist or a dedicated social media person, if not you. CAN a manager do those things? Yep. But it’s not his/her job. A manager is a consultant, a connector, and a negotiator. The good ones wear multiple hats. But when I’m talking to people I always listen to their needs and suggest they invest in marketing and promotion first.
Are you on blogs? Mixtapes? TV? Have photos and videos done? Have a website? Do you have a song on the radio (ANY radio)? Present on social media? No? Then you don’t need a manager. You need promotion and a good education on the music industry.
A good manager isn’t a wizard and doesn’t want someone who won’t invest in him/herself and just wants to go to the studio, show up at shows and get paid to rap. TV doesn’t make it look like it but it’s a full time job to be a success in the entertainment industry. Looking good, taking care of your body, writing songs, recording, traveling, interacting with fans, conducting media runs, participating on social media, promoting yourself. It’s a full-time job there’s a reason why people “with no talent” are making it. (1) they’re professional (2) they invest money. Pretty simple, no?
I'm excited about some of the talent I'm currently developing. Viral-sensation Layla Khepri is going to make some major waves this year. That's the only plug I'll make this post but this management thing has all been trial and error for me.
The downs made for some pretty cool ups, but what's an up without a down, N’ahmean?
Written by Brian 'Essince' Collins
g.o.a.t Hip Hop