Lawyers, agents, managers, oh my! Which comes first?
It’s often a confusing question that you man struggle with at the dawn of a performing career. Is it best to have a manager before you have an agent? Should you get an entertainment lawyer before you align with a manager? How do you decide what is best for your career?
So often emerging artists think first of getting an agent because after all, when you are touring and playing dates, you are making money. When you are in the public eye, in the media, at the venues, you are building market value, a fan base and leverage to get more gigs at other venues. This seems to be a logical first choice of a team partner in an effort to grow your performing business.
As a former booking agent, I would also agree that once you are ready for an agent, lining up financially sound, efficiently booked performance dates have the potential to do more to build your recognition in your target market. With good tour
dates on the calendar, you have potential for more media coverage and something a publicist can work with to create media attention. When you have tour dates to promote to potential management, you have showcase opportunities to invite them to see you perform.
So it would seem that an agent is the first team member you should be anxious to have come on board.
And yet, the first person who you realistically need to build a relationship with ought to be an entertainment lawyer. It is this person who may need to help you with your contracts with an agent, a manager or a publicist so you don’t get yourself locked into a bad deal. It is a lawyer who may be necessary to help you with contracts between band or group members or even with setting up your business entity. Have you thought about your group or band name? You may also require some legal expertise when registering your name. Now what about your publishing if you are a songwriter or composer? Do you need some help setting up your publishing company or signing a deal with a publisher or record label? Here again, a relationship with an entertainment lawyer might be beneficial.
I interviewed New Orleans based entertainment lawyer Suzette Toledono Becker for my Biz Booster Mentor Interview Series and was amazed to discover a few areas where a lawyer’s help is really necessary. You may hear that interview as part of the series.
Whether you are just getting started with your performing career or are launching a new project, having an ongoing relationship with an entertainment lawyer whom you may turn to for advice when needed, is an invaluable resource and frankly, worth every penny. to get started, you might check out Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in your state if in the US. They often offer the first 1/2 hour consultation for free. Then they may also be able to refer you to the right lawyer for your needs. May all your deals be good ones.
So do you have a relationship with an entertainment lawyer?
Leave me a comment below or on the Performingbiz Success Strategies Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PerformingbizSuccessStrategies.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s Biz Booster graphic image, “Lawyers, Agents, Managers, Oh My.”
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance. Check them out at www.curfew.co.uk
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com