Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes

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Also known as:
Artist Manager, Artist Representative, Author's Agent, Band Manager, Booking Agent, Booking Manager, Fight Manager, Literary Agent, Modeling Agent, Talent Agent

ABOUT AGENT OR BUSINESS MANAGER CAREERS
Video transcript

The career of an artist, performer, or athlete can be like a roller coaster ride. You can be an unknown one day, and on top of the world the next. A key to success is having a good agent and business manager. An agent is hired to represent a client. The agent does this by promoting the client's work to contracts in the industry.

It is the agent's job to handle all negotiations with the potential employer, from specifying working conditions to determining salary. Agents are usually paid on commission, so it's in their best interest to get clients the most money they can. A business manager will work with an agent to advise a client on legal and financial matters. This is the person who usually oversees the client's finances. Collecting and depositing the earnings and paying the bills.

Agents and business managers wear a lot of hats. In many ways they are promoters, accountants, lawyers, and friends to their clients. Most agents have graduated from college, and some even have law degrees or master's degrees in business.

Strong negotiating skills are a must, as are good communication and organizational skills. Experience related to the client's industry is also valuable. Many of the world's most famous people wouldn't be where they are today without the advice and guidance of agents and business managers.

SNAPSHOT
Represent and promote artists, performers, and athletes in dealings with current or prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Conduct auditions or interviews to evaluate potential clients.

Negotiate with managers, promoters, union officials, and other persons regarding clients' contractual rights and obligations.

Confer with clients to develop strategies for their careers, and to explain actions taken on their behalf.

Arrange meetings concerning issues involving their clients.

Schedule promotional or performance engagements for clients.

Collect fees, commissions, or other payments, according to contract terms.

Send samples of clients' work and other promotional material to potential employers to obtain auditions, sponsorships, or endorsement deals.

Keep informed of industry trends and deals.

Develop contacts with individuals and organizations, and apply effective strategies and techniques to ensure their clients' success.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
TOP SKILLS
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.