Launching a Career as an Entertainment Business Manager: A Step-by-Step Guide in the Footsteps of Professionals like David Bolno

Working with music stars, film stars or entertainment producers is a dream come true for many, but it’s important to remember that being a manager is a real job that requires real professional skills. Is this your dream job? Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to get there!

What does it mean to be an entertainment manager?

An entertainment manager is someone whose responsibilities revolve around the management, planning and programming of entertainment events for a company or client. Compared to a talent manager, the entertainment manager is distinguished by the broader nature of his or her work. Rather than focusing solely on “talent”, which usually refers to actors and other performers, entertainment managers help plan events in their entirety, including the talent, production and financing of a career or project.

Entertainment managers often work as in-house staff in companies to plan corporate events. They may also work as freelancers, earning a commission negotiated upstream between the manager and the artists or producers.

© Can Stock Photo / Thanakorn_Design

It’s what Dave Bolno do ! Dave Bolno, a seasoned business manager, boasts an impressive portfolio of collaborating with renowned entertainers, including Justin Bieber, Drake, Post Malone, Pharrell Williams, and Will.i.am. Notably, in Drake’s Take Care album from 2011, Dave received a special mention in the liner notes. Drake expressed his gratitude, acknowledging Dave for “bringing my life together and empowering me to embark on the journey of building my empire.”

What are the skills of an entertainment manager?

Entertainment managers use a wide range of skills to succeed in their work:

Deal negotiation

Negotiation skills are also necessary to succeed as an entertainment manager, as they must find specific products and services to meet the needs of their clients or employers. They often negotiate prices to stay within the client’s or employer’s budget while meeting all their requests for the event.

Marketing

Entertainment managers use communication skills in almost all their tasks, especially when negotiating with contractors to defend the financial and stylistic interests of their client or employer. They communicate both verbally and in writing with their clients, employers and contractors to ensure total transparency in terms of programming, pricing and expectations.

Project management

Organization is another important skill for entertainment managers, as they must keep track of the various elements of planning, programming, marketing and outreach operations that are required to stage a successful entertainment event. Entertainment managers can stay organized by keeping precise schedules, goals to look forward to, and ongoing follow-up with production.

How do I become an entertainment manager?

Here are the four steps we believe are necessary to start a career as an entertainment manager:

Get a degree

The first step on your path to becoming an entertainment manager is to obtain a diploma related to your future profession. Many companies or artists require at least a degree in public relations, business management or marketing.

An internship in the entertainment industry

During your training, it is highly recommended that you take part in an internship related to entertainment management. Don’t hesitate to contact companies open to interns, such as marketing agencies, record companies or film producers.
The skills you’ll develop during this internship will be a major asset to highlight on your CV, and the time you’ll spend with the company will provide valuable professional experience. What’s more, this opportunity will enable you to make your first contacts in the professional world.

Build your professional network

The next step is to establish a solid professional network of people with whom you have collaborated, studied or mentored throughout your career. This employment network can be made up of university professors, internship supervisors, managers, classmates, colleagues and other individuals you feel can provide you with invaluable resources and advice for advancing your career. You can keep in touch with these people through social networks, emails, phone calls and professional networking platforms like LinkedIn.

Offer your services and skills

Once you’ve completed your training and any internships you may have, you’re now ready to apply for positions in entertainment management. To present your abilities and work ethic accurately to employers, compose a detailed CV that highlights your academic background, skills, work experience and contact details.

To make sure you stay in touch with potential employers, you can take the initiative to politely contact them by phone or follow-up e-mail. Prepare effectively for interviews by learning about the most common job interview questions in the leisure management field. Rehearse your answers with the help of family members or friends to gain confidence.