Developing Your Roster (Part 2)

4 principlesIn Developing Your Roster (Part 1) we looked at the personal goals an agent needs to consider when they are building a roster. Remember you’re not going to achieve your goals overnight. Things are going to change, bands are going to break up, artists are going to move elsewhere, however, if we consider the following principles in conjunction with your goals – you will get towards your ideal roster faster.

Don’t spread yourself too thin…

it’s not good for your working life!

If you have too many artists you won’t do a good job. It’s much better to focus on a smaller number than to “collect” multiple artists and not have the time to deliver for them. Ultimately you’ll just get fired! So don’t take on to many acts, too quickly.

Don’t work with too many genres…

Jack of all trades, Master of none!

If you work with too many genres you will find it hard to develop a deep knowledge of the promoters and events that book your roster. If you start out working with punk bands and then decide to work with electronica as well – you’re going to have to develop a whole new network of promoters and events. It will dilute your roster’s brand, and you’ll end up spending more time on the genres you are not so good at booking. Also if you work in fewer genres, you will find it much easier to upsell other acts when bands are not available. So don’t work with too many genres.

Avoid outliers…

they will drain your soul!

An outlier is an artist that really shouldn’t be on your roster. That yodeling band from Switzerland when the rest of your roster is blues-rock, or that indie rock band when the rest of your artists are folk and roots. You’re not helping anyone having them on your roster – and they will just drain your energy. They were desperate to want to be on your roster and you were desperate to sign them – doesn’t matter how good they are or how good you are – don’t do it.

Sign enough artists…

Something to cover your bases!

As time goes by artists take breaks in their touring output. In which case you’ll need others to fill their place. So as you grow as an agent, take on more acts to cover your bases. You probably should be working on 4 – 6 acts at any one time. A roster of about 10 – 15 acts is a solid number, but you can take your time getting there. Great systems and/or employed assistance can help you to expand your roster further. So steadily work your way up to a decent number of artists. Of course, if you are working part-time, you may need fewer artists.

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