Being a music agent can be a fun and rewarding career. It takes someone who knows the music industry and can effectively promote a band or music group. It is a fun career which can be lucrative if you get with the right people.
Agents usually work in the “big time” aspect of music, but they could also focus on their local area. They basically “represent” the artist or musician and have their best interests at heart. They book jobs and performances and try to get them “gigs” that will enhance their career.
A good music agent loves music, and they enjoy wearing a number of “hats.” They are usually effective promoters, marketers, and sales people, who know how to show their artist in the most positive light.
They have a great number of skills in several areas of music and know how to get things done. A good background for becoming a music agent would be a degree in music or experience in the field, or a marketing background, though agents can come from all walks of life.
While music agents come from a variety of backgrounds, or get into the field from other careers, a typical education path would be a degree in marketing and promotions, PR (public relations), media, or music.
AN ALTERNATE ROUTE
Occasionally, agents get into this business because they want to promote a specific group or artist. Sometimes these people were in another business before, or they may even work as an agent “on the side.”
An alternate route to becoming a music agent would be experience in any business that requires promotion and sales, and possibly formal education in the business or finance area. The bottom line is it is about money so the most effective agents probably know a lot about the economics of marketing a product.
STEPS TO BECOMING A MUSIC AGENT
If you decide becoming a music agent is for you, here are some steps you can take to make it work:
1) Get a degree in marketing or music. Either of these backgrounds would prove efficient to start a career as a music agent. It is important to understand the music industry, but just as important to focus on the economics of it and what makes it work.
2) Find a band you wish to represent. Just as it is important to believe in a product you are selling, it is equally important to like the band you are promoting. So choose a group you believe in, so that you will be as vested in their success as they are. Remember you are the voice of the band when they are not there. So make sure it’s one you believe in and like.
3) Do a talent search. Locating talent you can represent is a big part of being an agent. Some will find you, but choose carefully the bands you wish to help and search for some talent yourself. Some agents have multiple clients, while others have only one. Decide how much time you have to devote to it, and focus your efforts on the ones you want to promote the most.
4) Document successes. If you have a record of your successes as an agent, you will be more respected in the music community and may get more clients later on. If you have had a band go “all the way,” for example, promote this on social media and show how you helped them. This can go a long way toward getting you clients of high caliber in the future.
5) Network with music executives. If you can add music company CEO’s to your list of friends on Face Book, you will have a network you can turn to when you are searching for talent. They may be able to also connect you to production companies who need a good agent for one of their singers or bands, as well.
The key to success as a music agent is to find good talent and represent them. You may be in charge of planning an entire ad campaign, developing ideas for media promos, and working with local media to show them in the best light possible. There are many roads to success in this fascinating career, but the key is to get started. Start with a good education in marketing or music and build on that. Good luck and may you promote the next Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga into fame and fortune. And remember, the agent usually gets 10%!
Here are some links for more information on life as a music agent: