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Top 40 Artist Managers Share Their Biggest Challenges with Artists

Artists want great relationships with their managers! But current problems are boiling down to:

  • Trust

  • Social media savvy

  • Business infrastructure

These are both physical and mental issues we’ve got to address. So if you feel like you need to sign right away, think about the mindset it will take for both parties to improve these skill sets before you jump the gun.


Building trust with artists means treating each other like human beings. Jesse Gossongo Alexander and Phoebe Gold (PinkPantheress, Tommy Gold) emphasize the importance of mutual respect and understanding. Alistair Raymond (Arlo Parks, Lana Lubany, Miso Extra) notes that it takes at least one to two years to get an artist off the ground with little monetary return; it's an all-or-nothing investment. Heather Kolker (MUNA, Nana, Of Monsters and Men) adds, “You must believe your artist can achieve the future they envision—and that you’re the right team to help them get there.”

Social Media Nativity

While understanding the short-term content world is important for management, even more crucial is finding talent that is social media native, says Ethan Curtis (JVKE, Coi Leray, Faouzia). This is a significant challenge because only about 50% of artists understand the importance of social media and its impact on their careers. The other half still don’t get it, are apprehensive about it, refuse to engage with it, or are simply computer illiterate.

Business Infrastructure

“The biggest challenge has always been setting a realistic pace that will allow for longevity,” says James Vitalo (Turnstile, Knocked Loose, Beach Fossils). Mandelyn Monchick (Lainey Wilson, Meg McRee, Ben Chapman) reflects on their success, saying, “We did everything we could for a long time, and it built a damn good foundation.” Luis Villamizar (Feid) underscores the importance of forming a valuable team as one of their greatest successes. Josh Marshall (d4vd, Rubi Rose) highlights that the biggest challenge is creating infrastructure around an artist to grow their business long-term beyond music.

How Do You Build Trust If You Don’t Know Each Other?

Get a sense of character from the manager or artist and build out some small and medium-sized goals to accomplish together. This approach allows you to gauge how trust can be built. If it feels good, keep going; if it doesn't, hop off the train before you sign.

How Do You Become Socially Native If You’re Not?

Most artists 30 and up still have remnants of the past where a false vision crosses their mind that the record label will do everything for them. Some younger artists are just lazy. However, you need to decide that your career cannot scale and soar without social media. There is no way out but through this medium.

How Do You Build Infrastructure?

Infrastructure is all about building a company. This is the logistical stuff that many artists hate but love to spend money on and beg for more when they are broke. If you want to last, you’ll have to build a tight company along with your manager that generates livable cash flow to make it all worth your while. This is a very tough job!

Check This Out!

If you're a music creative or executive looking to build your label or publishing company in 60 days or less, grab the 60-Day Record Label Course and get it done today! You’ll gain the ability to get real funding, avoid contractual pitfalls, and keep the middleman out of your pockets. Click the link below to get started now! If you’re skeptical, grab the free guide, "10 Ways to Increase Your Record Label Profits," which comes with a free split sheet download.

Getting These Three Points Right

  1. Will allow your team to grow exponentially.

  2. So you can venture into other business endeavors.

  3. And have a fun go at the music industry.

Not Solidifying These Points

  1. Will cause the car to scrape along the ground.

  2. Make your ride up incredibly difficult.

  3. And possibly cause you to give up early.


If you were struggling with:

  1. Trust

  2. Social media savvy

  3. Business infrastructure

You now have the means to get started restructuring your affairs.


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