An agent (or sometimes called a business manager) represents clients who are talented in the performing arts or sports. They work behind the scenes to promote their client and position them advantageously in the market to grow their career. Those in this career field are also called talent agents or managers or artist representative.
Watch a video to learn what an agent or business manager does:
How to Become an Agent and Business Manager
According to O*NET OnLine, 50% of the business managers surveyed held at least a bachelor’s degree. Another 25% reported taking some college courses but have yet to complete a degree. Less than 15% reported to only hold a high school diploma. If you’re looking to gain a degree to make yourself more competitive in the field, degree programs in arts, entertainment, and media management can prepare you with the skills you need. You’ll also want to learn about contract management and negotiation.
Agents and business managers must be savvy in most aspects of business in order to represent their clients well. Not only do they network on behalf of their client, but agents also manage their client’s schedule, look for ways to increase their client’s exposure, and ensure the contractual agreements of their client are met. The North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (link opens in a new tab) has a resource page that provides information for those that represent international clients along with tips on email marketing.
Job Description of an Agent and Business Manager
An agent and business manager is a jack-of-all-trades. On any given day, they may network to promote their client, negotiate a contract, or schedule an event for their client to work or attend. Ultimately, they provide the strategy behind growing their client’s career and work to implement that strategy. Depending on their clientele, agents may travel extensively if they have clients that are on the road often. For example, a business manager could also manage various types of people such as musicians, models, and professional sports players.
Agents and business managers must be good communicators and enjoy working with people. They are also good active listeners, persuasive, and are able to help solve issues through negotiation. Patience and perseverance are also traits that come in handy when you are an agent.
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Agent and Business Manager Career Video Transcript
In the high-intensity world of media, sports, and entertainment, agents and business managers negotiate contracts to secure the best deals and opportunities for artists, athletes, and other performers. Agents and business managers represent their clients to current or prospective employers, they handle contract negotiations, schedule appearances and performances, and may also manage travel arrangements, ticket sales, and advertising. Many provide legal and financial advice.
A major responsibility for agents and business managers is staying on top of industry trends and potential opportunities. Getting a meeting set with decision-makers and having a positive interaction often determines whether or not deals go through, from authors landing a book contract, to actors signing on to a film, to a baseball player joining a new team.
Agents and business agents also need to build strong relationships to retain their clients, discussing plans, sharing a vision of possible career directions, and explaining how the agent’s efforts will benefit the client. Agents are usually paid a percentage of their client’s salary or contracts. Agents and business managers typically need a bachelor’s degree as well as a considerable amount of work experience to build skills and contacts, although some have an exceptional ability to build connections, and bypass typical requirements.
National Center for O*NET Development. 13-1011.00. O*NET OnLine.
The video is Public Domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.