What Does a Music Manager Do?


It is no easy task for a budding musician to reach millions of listeners worldwide. Artists must continuously promote and market their music to make an impact. More importantly, they’re in close competition with well-established artists and other newcomers. Differentiation is key. 

Also, young artists need to juggle contracts, plan tours, and take on an array of daunting new responsibilities. That’s why it is essential to hire the services of a professional music manager. Mark Gillespie, the founder of the influential Three Six Zero management firm, has been in the game for years and earned his stripes as one of the best. He has worked with several influential musicians and nominated Manager of the Year for 2014, 2015, and 2016. 

Gillespie is the leading archetype of a 21st-century music manager, and his accomplishments reveal the versatility required for this job. 

What do you need to know about the responsibilities of music managers?

Contract negotiation

First things first, the contracts of the music industry are complicated. Music managers offer advice to artists on all aspects of the contract signing process and also negotiate on their behalf. Professional managers know the lay of the land, have in-depth knowledge and experience and bring the right interpersonal skills to the table. With this, they help artists get the best deal possible.


Strong promotion and branding are essential to an artist’s success. This is especially true for complete newcomers to the scene. Music managers will promote videos and tracks on key websites and orchestrate social media marketing campaigns. They will also negotiate with publication houses and streaming services that promote and sell on a large scale.

Artist development

How does an artist go from zero to hero in a few short years? Influential music managers like Mark Gillespie have worked with talented artists in the past and brought their careers to new heights. A great manager will set a young artist up for success with connections, strategies, and business acumen. The guidance they provide can be invaluable to artists with untapped potential.


Music managers contact booking agents and schedule tours on a national and international level. Touring is a money maker, creates strong fan loyalty, and demands significant preparation. Notably, a tour requires proper planning and logistical skills. With the help of a manager, an artist will tour the suitable music venues for their popularity and style. Managers will also organize accommodation, catering, transport, and other key details to bring it all together. Top managers make touring look easy! 

Artist image and marketing

Proper marketing leads to record sales, online streams, and a growing social media following. Expert music managers craft an artist’s public image to target a specific audience. Their experience in a specific niche, like hip-hop or EDM, will give them an added edge over the competition.

Multimedia opportunities

Professional music managers help their clients step into new arenas for greater visibility and market reach. This could mean appearances on television shows, podcasts, or even big-budget films. Well-connected managers can facilitate successful crossovers from one industry to another, raising the bar for what’s possible.

Money management and budgeting

Last but not least, great managers build a strong and reliable team around the talent. From budgeting and accounting to marketing and touring, an artist will have all bases covered so they can focus on the creative process. A winning team can be the difference that pushes an artist into the international spotlight. 


Music artists generally lack business acumen when getting started, and proficient music managers fill in those gaps. With the guidance of an expert music manager like Mark Gillespie, a young artist can dramatically boost their likelihood of success. 

Negotiation, marketing, touring, and networking are crucial in each stage of a music career, and a manager can do all this and more. Behind every big star is a hard-working manager ensuring everything goes to plan.