How to get a music agent – all you need to know

If you're a new band or solo musician looking for an agent then keep reading.

26th October 2017
/ By James Collins

How to get a music agent GETTY

Make sure you are ready for an agent 

An agent will most probably want to see some progression, some history of gigs and preferably evidence of growth. They will also want to hear some of your material. Sometimes it’s listening to your music that will get them to a show, so it’s important you don’t start looking for one too soon. Equally, if you do get an agent to come and watch your show, and you are not practiced or road tested enough to put on a good performance, you might have blown your chance to get them to come again when you are ready.

Play shows… a lot 

It will be hard to get any agents interested in your music without doing gigs for them to attend. With a little research, you should be able to find out which particular venues or promoters/nights have an industry presence. Get those shows in. Playing is the most important thing. Of course rehearsals are very important too but the lessons you will learn playing live shows are invaluable and will make you a better performer.

Target and invite the right people

If you don’t have venues locally that are frequented by agents then you need them to come to you. Do your research properly. Find the right agents for you. This can be done by looking at other bands of the same genre, bands at the same level as you or on the next level up and even local promoters, as they will have knowledge of the local music scene and of putting on shows. Make sure you know what it is you want from an agent before approaching them. 

Once you have your target list it’s important to approach each agent individually, to attempt to start a dialogue. Blanket emails will most probably be ignored.

Show progression

An agent may come to watch your show, like what they see, but not see a way for them to make money from you. It's important to remember that agencies survive off of the fees they make from your live shows. They have the ability to take a lot of pressure and work load off a band but they won’t do this if they feel there is no profit to be made. 

With this in mind, keep these people in the loop as to what is happening to you and your act. Send them updates on things that happen to the band, music or video releases, local or national press, etc. Prove to them that you are playing more often and to larger audiences and soon they won’t be able to ignore you.

Be nice, work hard

It seems like a cliché to say that hard work and politeness actually pay off but they really do. Every person you invite to your shows is someone who could potentially be a member of your team, your family. Any agent you bring in will become a member of your team.

It’s important to realise that a team work for each other. Show them you are the hardest working person they know and they will most probably work harder for you. In this industry there will always be things that don’t happen; gigs might be cancelled or tour supports might never materialise but it’s important to remain positive and work to improve things together as a team.