Dr Mike Jones

Contributor: Dr Mike Jones
Experience: I have 14 albums available through Amazon. It surprised me when I added them all up - 6 on major labels; 8 on indies. Managed by Marcus Russell, his first band, then he discovered Oasis.... I've now been teaching a master's degree in music industry for 10 years.

Tip1 Before you go looking for a manager establish what it is you want a manager to do for you.
Tip2 At the outset, set the manager goals and targets and evaluate whether she/he has reached them before you deepen the relationship
Tip3 Make sure you keep your side of the bargain, it's called the music BUSINESS, so you have to be business-like.
Tip4 Set yourselves realisable goals and targets - not [after writing two songs] we HAVE to play Glastonbury, this year!!!
Tip5 Don't sign anything until you've had a music lawyer read the contract on offer; but learn as much as you can about what a contract involves [or should and should not contain] before you even get to the stage that someone might be offering you something.
Tip6 Try to have someone who understands music but is not connected to you listen to your music and take on board their comments, just once in a while. Solo musicians or bands are not always the best judges of their own material, but neither are mates, and sometimes neither are managers.
Tip7 Try to figure out where you are in the marketplace, what you think is distinctive about yourself, and distill it down into a phrase - 'we're urban swamp, sort of Dizzee Rascal meets Kings of Leon'. If you don't tell people where you fit, they'll either put you somewhere you don't like, or nowhere at all.
Tip8 Journalists and radio presenters make poor friends, one week they love you, the next they love someone else. It's nice to get good press but don't start believing it, or the people who wrote it.
Tip9 If your mate becomes your manager remember you now have to play roles in relation to each other, in business you don't have a friend.
Tip10 Always try to enjoy it, it can get really horrible.
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