“My strategy is to reach out to local bands/artists and offer to help them for free for a couple months and see if the relationship works, and if so, we can then sign an agreement. Do you think this is a good plan?”
– Colin, New Hampshire
My best advice would be to perhaps start with just one client that you truly, deeply, whole-heartedly believe in. Find that one that you’re just completely in love with, and show them that you truly care about where they take their career. Put all your effort into that one and really figure out the business. Most managers can only manage 3 at a time (unless they have a team of staff), and that’s at a point when they’re experts.
Start “dating”, getting to know each other, show excitement and start doing little things for them that help them in the slightest way, even if it’s just minor advice. Now, I wouldn’t confuse this with working for free, because if they are making money under your management, you should be making money too. If they aren’t making any money yet, than sure if you believe in them invest a little of your time.
After you’ve realized that you’re compatible and both parties want to work together, I would sign an agreement as soon as possible (ESPECIALLY if you release any songs/albums with them or if they are playing shows), but have the agreement on commission only. Allow it to be terminated at anytime by any party OR, just start with a short 6 month trial agreement.
So in short, “date” first, fall in love, sign an agreement (be open to discussing various terms with them).
Hope this helps.