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What does a Talent Manager do?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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A talent manager oversees the career of an artist such as a painter, actor, writer or musician. He or she takes into account the artist's long-term goals and directs him or her on a suitable career path. The exact duties of a talent manager depend on the industry and artist, but counseling, advising, developing and promoting are common tasks.

When first taking on new artist clients, talent managers counsel them on what they think the main steps of their career path should be in order to obtain the desired result. For instance, two people who want to become well-known actors could still have very different goals. One aspiring actor may want want to win an Academy Award while another may have the main objective of having constant project offers. Through deciding on a career path as well as the talent manager's connections in the industry, a workable goal-focused plan may be agreed on between the manager and artist.

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It's important to differentiate the talent manager from an artist's agent, although at times the job duties may overlap. Depending on the country or region, only agents may finalize contracts for bookings at venues such as galleries, theaters or production studios. Talent managers are often involved in making work deals for their clients as much as is permitted. They often advise artists against signing certain contracts while encouraging them to consider others. As talent mangers are well-connected in their industry, they typically get to know agents and the work they do to better guide their clients into choosing the best one.

Talent managers develop artists by guiding them into projects that will most likely help them reach their career objectives. A talent or artist manager will introduce his or her client to influential people within the industry and arrange for showings or performances. A talent manager then gives feedback on art work or performances; he or she is typically present at the client's shows, concerts and other events.

Promoting the artist and his or her work and events is an ongoing managerial task. The talent manager works to get recognition for the artist by getting his or her name out to the public as well as people within the industry. Arranging for professional photographs of the artist is often one of the first promotional tasks talent managers do. They also prepare press releases, work on forming a fan base for the artist and arrange public events such as CD signings or art shows.

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