Career Development

How To Become an Artist Relations Manager: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as an artist relations manager, including education, skills, salary and more.

An artist relations manager is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with artists. This can be a very rewarding career for those who are passionate about the arts and enjoy working with people. In this article, we discuss what an artist relations manager does, the average salary and how to become one.

What Does an Artist Relations Manager Do?

An artist relations manager is responsible for maintaining relationships with the artists signed to their record label. They typically work in the music industry and are responsible for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Negotiating contracts with artists
  • Managing budgets for artist projects
  • Planning and coordinating promotional activities for artists
  • Booking performance venues and arranging travel logistics for artists
  • Liaising between artists and other members of the record label team
  • Attending concerts and other events to support artists
  • Writing press releases and other promotional materials for artists
  • Maintaining relationships with journalists and other media contacts
  • Researching new talent and scouting potential artists to sign

Artist Relations Manager Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for an artist relations manager is $64,375. This figure can vary based on the level of experience, education, industry and geographical location of the manager.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for artist relations managers to increase at a much faster than average rate over the next decade. This is due to many factors such as the growing popularity of live entertainment. Companies often need the expertise of an artist relations manager to secure talent and manage logistics for events.

How to Become an Artist Relations Manager

Here are several steps you should take to become an artist relations manager.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement for this position. A business, marketing or music-related major can help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in artist relations. Music industry internships are a great way to build experience and earn a degree at the same time.

While working toward your degree, consider joining a campus music organization to develop your skills as well as network with professionals. You may also want to join professional organizations such as National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) or the Recording Academy to stay up to date on industry trends.

2. Gain experience working in the music industry, preferably in artist relations or management

While a music industry internship is not required for this position, it can be helpful to gain experience in the music industry. Internships are often available through college programs or professional organizations such as NARIP. They also provide an opportunity to network with industry professionals who may be able to help you find work after graduation.

Working in artist relations or management before becoming an artist relations manager can give you valuable experience working directly with artists and developing skills that will be useful in your new role.

3. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills

Artists and their teams are the main focus of an artist relations manager’s job, so you must be able to communicate effectively with them. You may need to negotiate contracts or discuss tour logistics with artists who have high expectations for their performances.

You also interact frequently with other music industry professionals such as managers, agents, promoters and venue staff. Strong communication skills help you build relationships with these people and ensure that your clients receive the best possible service.

4. Understand the business side of the music industry

The music industry is a business, and as an artist relations manager you need to understand the financial aspects of it. You should be able to read a profit-and-loss statement and understand how royalties are calculated. This knowledge will help you better represent your artists by knowing what kind of deals they’re offered and whether those deals are good or bad for them.

You also need to know about other aspects of the business side of the music industry, such as copyright law, licensing and distribution agreements, marketing strategies and trends, public relations and publicity campaigns, sales data and more.

5. Stay up to date on trends in the music industry

The music industry is constantly changing, and it’s important for artist relations managers to stay up to date on the latest trends in music. This can help them identify new artists who might be successful and know what their audience is looking for. They also need to know what other record labels are working with similar artists so they can compete effectively for talent.

6. Be well-organized and detail-oriented

Artists and their teams often have busy schedules, so it’s important for artist relations managers to be well-organized and detail-oriented. You may need to coordinate interviews, meetings and other events with artists and their teams, which requires attention to detail to ensure all the necessary details are in place.

You also need to keep track of many different details about an artist’s career, such as upcoming tour dates or new music releases. This job requires a high level of organization to stay on top of everything that is happening in your clients’ careers.

7. Join professional organizations such as the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP)

The National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) is a professional organization that provides networking opportunities and training for music industry professionals. Membership in NARIP can help you stay up to date on trends in the music industry and build your network of contacts.

You can also join other organizations such as the Music Managers Forum, which focuses on providing education and information about the music business to managers around the world.


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