The person who is promising promotion and shows could ultimately be a scam artist who just wants the artists’ money. The scammer more than likely used to work for a major label.
“The labels have been cutting staff for a few years, and a lot of those people are now on the street working freelance as “agents,” “A&R consultants,” “managers,” and other job titles,” stated Robert Arthur, who is the Business Manager for the indie band Northern Room.
Usually, the scam artist approaches a band through messaging them on their social network pages. The scammer then promises what the musicians want to hear. They say that they worked for a major label company to gain the trust of the musicians.
“Just because someone once worked at Universal records does not mean they are legitimate,” said Arthur. We get several shady inquiries per week from people like that.”
They tend to gain the trust of the artists and then ask for an unfair percentage for their work. Artists need to research and understand what the percentages for a person’s service should be.
For example, a booking agent’s percentage should average around 10%, I found during my research. A percentage can be negotiated, but the percentage that actually goes onto the contract should be agreed upon by all parties before being signed.
It is recommended that indie musicians should have their contracts looked over by a lawyer before being signed.
There are legitimate people that are a great resource that can be found on social networks, but it is not a bad idea to do a background check. Treat the person(s) that is interested in working for you like you would a new hire at any job. It is always a good idea to make sure that their resume checks out.
“A few of them are good people who can actually help you, but many more are bottom feeders who troll MySpace looking for bands to prey upon,” added Arthur.