Agents/managers represent creative workers in the entertainment industry such as actors, writers and musicians. They assist in promoting their careers and running their business affairs, and try to obtain the best paying work and the best conditions for their clients. They assist their clients with career decisions and negotiate their contracts and fees; they also promote and publicise them. They also keep an eye open for new talent. The work is normal office hours, but they must often visit potential employers and attend performances of their artists, and so the working hours are usually quite flexible. They normally earn a percentage of the fee paid to their clients, so a very successful agent/manager can earn £250,000 or more per year.
Advancement in this profession is almost entirely dependent upon successfully building a reputation for good service and attracting the best clients and getting them the best jobs. Many agents open their own agencies. Management companies exist in almost every country in the world.
There are no set requirements for this job. The building up of experience and contacts are the most important aspects of this job. Some people enter this job from previously themselves being artists, or by managing friends and acquaintances. Agents/managers must have very good communication and negotiating skills. They must be persuasive and charming and always be as aware of things that are not said as of those that are.
Training is mostly on the job, and some professional bodies, such as the Music Managers Forum (UK) run workshops and training courses. Also the Agents’ Association (Great Britain) and the International Artist Managers’ Association provide guidance on running an agency.