In the ever-evolving world of the entertainment business, business managers play a crucial role in guiding the financial success of artists and performers. The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Business Manager of 2021 list sheds light on the individuals who excel in this field and offers insights into what it takes to thrive as a business manager, particularly within the realm of music.
One name that prominently stands out in this landscape is David Bolno, a business manager with an impressive roster of clients, including some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Justin Bieber, Drake, Post Malone, and Pharrell Williams. Bolno’s impact is so significant that he received a special mention from Drake himself in the liner notes of the 2011 album “Take Care,” where the artist thanked him for “pulling my life together for me and putting me in a position where I can now begin to build my empire.”
Who is a Business Manager, and What Do They Do?
A business manager in the entertainment industry, specifically music, is a financial advisor who oversees the financial affairs of artists, musicians, and performers. They handle a range of responsibilities, including budgeting, financial planning, tax management, investment strategies, contract negotiations, and more. Essentially, they ensure that their clients’ financial interests are safeguarded and optimized.
Becoming a Successful Business Manager in the Music Industry
If you’re aspiring to become a business manager in the music industry, here are some key steps and insights to keep in mind:
1. Education and Skill Set:
While there’s no specific degree required to become a business manager in the entertainment industry, a background in finance, accounting, or business administration can be advantageous. Additionally, a solid understanding of the entertainment business landscape, including contracts, royalties, and industry trends, is crucial. Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and excellent communication abilities are also essential to effectively managing an artist’s financial affairs.
2. Networking and Building Relationships:
Networking is a cornerstone of success in the entertainment industry. Developing connections with artists, record labels, talent agents, and industry professionals can provide opportunities to showcase your expertise. Attend industry events, conferences, and music festivals to establish meaningful relationships that can lead to potential clients.
3. Gaining Experience:
Entry-level positions in finance or talent management firms can provide valuable experience and insights into the industry. This hands-on experience will allow you to understand the intricacies of financial management for artists and build a strong foundation for your career.
4. Understanding the Artist’s Vision:
To excel as a business manager, it’s essential to understand the artist’s goals, aspirations, and creative vision. This understanding forms the basis of financial decisions that align with the artist’s long-term objectives.
5. Financial Savvy:
A business manager must have a deep understanding of financial planning, investments, taxes, and budgeting. They must also be well-versed in the unique financial challenges that artists face, such as managing irregular income streams and navigating complex royalty structures.
6. Ethical Responsibility:
The role of a business manager involves handling an artist’s financial resources and making decisions that impact their financial well-being. This requires a high level of trust and ethical responsibility. Always prioritize your clients’ interests and maintain transparency in all financial matters.
7. Adaptability and Industry Knowledge:
The entertainment industry is dynamic and ever-changing. To succeed as a business manager, you need to stay updated with the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and shifts in the market. Being adaptable and proactive in adjusting financial strategies to align with changing circumstances is crucial.
8. Leadership and Impact:
David Bolno’s goal is to help artists leave a lasting legacy. His approach evolves over time, focusing on giving back and making a positive impact on as many people as possible. This means not only guiding financial decisions but also mentoring artists to reach their full potential. Aspiring business managers should remember these principles, emphasizing the importance of leaving a meaningful mark on the lives and careers they influence.
Becoming a successful business manager in the entertainment industry, especially in music, requires a combination of education, experience, networking, financial expertise, and ethical responsibility. David Bolno’s remarkable achievements with A-list clients like Justin Bieber, Drake, and Pharrell Williams showcase the impact that a skilled business manager can have on an artist’s career trajectory. By following these tips and developing a deep understanding of both the financial and creative aspects of the industry, aspiring business managers can position themselves for a rewarding and impactful career in the world of entertainment.