Want a good manager or a good label? Let them find you.
Instead of getting annoyed at people asking me to manage them or sign them to my non-existent record label, I’ve decided to push that energy into giving useful information. I have to face the fact that some people don’t give a crap about being an independent artist. They just want a manager and a label to handle everything. Good labels and managers DO exist, but you won’t find them by banging on different peoples doors asking them to listen to your music.
The smartest people walk into meeting rooms already aware of the outcome of the meeting. They’ve learnt to build the leverage before so that when they have to negotiate, they hold the best bargaining chips.
When an artist asks me for studio time I’m more than likely to charge unless they have a massive fan base and recording at my studio will boost business OR the artist has a skill that I can use like graphic design, legal knowledge, accounting skills etc. This is what we call leverage and it rules the world. Before a fist fight breaks out, the person who is bigger or has extra people around them tends to hold the leverage. People pull out guns and knives during muggings to increase their leverage. The candidate with a PhD holds the leverage in a room full of people with BSc degrees. The person with a flashy car has perceived leverage over the person who arrives in a Toyota Yaris.
Considering all those examples, why on earth would you go knocking on a good manager’s door with only your mixtape and a dream? You hold no leverage so if they decide they do want to work with you, they can give you any deal as their final offer. They also won’t put as much time into you because you haven’t proven you can do anything for yourself. This is why I tell people to remain independent as long as possible. It’s not so that you can pull the middle finger to any manager or label that comes around, it’s so that you eventually build yourself up to a point where you hold all the leverage and you can dictate the negotiation process. It’s like holding all the best cards at a poker game. The more you achieve as independent artist, the better your hand is when good managers and labels come knocking.
Get off your chair, stop complaining you don’t have a manager or a record label and go do something that’s going to improve your leverage. Nobody cares