Business Overview

As the owner of a talent agency, also known as a talent management firm, you’ll be responsible for helping to grow the careers of actors, musicians, athletes, artists, performers and entertainers of all sorts. You’ll book paying engagements and help them find training, attend auditions, create resumes and glossies, and otherwise gain recognition and success.

Who is this business right for?

You must have a sense of loyalty, integrity and passion for the careers of your clients. You’ll use your sales skills to attract talent and to convince booking agents, directors, producers, club owners, casting directors or other hirers to schedule their appearances or give them roles.

What happens during a typical day at a talent agency?

Your typical day might include many of the following responsibilities:

  • Interviewing prospective new clients and listening to or watching their acts and reviewing their potential
  • Making phone calls to convince hirers of the talent on your roster
  • Attending shows or acts in support of your talent
  • Networking with decision makers at parties and events and marketing your services
  • Stroking the egos or offering support and career guidance to your roster, as needed

What is the target market?

Your clientele should be talented enough to be booked at a high enough rate to make them worth your time. Some talent agencies specialize in a certain area of performance, such as folk and country singers, DJs, magicians, comedians, authors, or athletes. Others think in terms of venue, such as by specializing in booking talent for cruise ships or private parties. Others might concentrate on specific demographics, such as child actors or singers.

Your other client type is at the other end of the transaction: booking agents, casting directors or other decision makers in the nightclubs, cruise ships, music halls, comedy clubs, film production houses or wherever else you’re placing your talent. For this segment of your market, credibility is key. You want the hirers to buy into your enthusiasm for new talent and at least give them a try.

How does a talent agency make money?

Virtually your sole source of revenue will be the commissions you charge to the talent on your roster. This typically runs from ten percent to twenty percent of their contracted wage or paid booking fees.

What is the growth potential for a talent agency?

Since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 predicted a “faster than average” growth rate of 10 percent for actors between the years 2014-2024, this is good news for their agents. However, the figure for musicians is a projected “below average” growth rate over this same period, so signals are mixed. Also consider the state of your local economy, because this will help determine how often people go to see concerts, comedy shows, etc.