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As a new DJ, one of the first questions many people ask themselves is how can I get DJs?
Where Do Club Djs Get Their Music
Maybe this describes you: you’ve learned to be a DJ, but don’t know where to go next. How can you use this new skill and share your new craft with the world? How to find an audience?
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We hear you cry! This article has 8 tips for budding DJs to take the next step and play for real people!
As a DJ or any other artist it is important to have a home base. With most of your advertising efforts taking place on social media, it’s important to have a centralized location for all your work and important information.
These potential fans can listen to your communication, get to know your style and find out where you play.
If you have your own website, you can create an extension of your brand. It is completely up to you (unlike Facebook and others) and lets you choose how you present yourself to the world.
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Don’t treat social media like a bullhorn. Think of it as a portal to connect with current and future fans.
Of course, it’s hard to find a balance: you want to promote yourself, but you don’t want to be known as that spam DJ. We all know this Spam DJ.
So how do these platforms define “engagement”? By measuring how other people interact with you and your posts. Likes, shares, follows, hearts, views… all contribute to the ranking of your posts.
Posts with high engagement are often boosted in an algorithm (on platforms like Facebook). This means more people will see it without paying to promote it.
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That’s why it’s important to mix up the types of posts you create: different people will engage with different posts!
Another great tip: app companies want to keep you in their apps! Use this knowledge to your advantage by trying to use all the features it gives you.
Fill out every field on your profile pages and share yourself comfortably and safely. Create different types of posts (images, videos, text, polls, live streams, etc.). Link and share items from the same social network. Get back with your fans!
A page with special press kit elements is a great way to impress potential bookings, especially if they are outside of your network.
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What is an EPK? An electronic press kit is a page that is hyper-focused on promotional items that the media or promoter needs.
A good EPK should include your best photos, a short bio, your best tracks or mixes, social media and contact information. A promo video would also be great to include if you…
You can also spice it up by adding a short quote, preferably from the media or a previous booking agent that describes your voice.
A short video showcasing your talent and branding can be a great way to stand out among DJs looking for attention.
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There are many options for creating such a video. For example, you can create it yourself… or hire someone on Fiverr to exchange it for you.
This gives you a quick “video bio” for potential bookings or fans to view, which tends to be more engaging than text in today’s fast-moving world of social media feeds.
There are other places to invest your “DJ time” outside of the actual booth.
If your goal is to hit the clubs and bars, make sure you really explore what the city has to offer. Without insider knowledge of your local music scene, you have little hope of getting involved in the community.
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Find other nights and venues that suit your sound… or maybe be open to new ideas. Find movers and shakers in your area. Make yourself a resource for them.
If you’ve been hired to play a show, it’s usually in your best interest to arrive early… 10 minutes before your time slot.
Another big plus for arriving early: it gives you time to deal with a disaster, like forgetting your headphones, or another DJ not showing up!
Whether you’re playing a show for them or hoping for a future…it’s important to continue to develop a positive and mutually beneficial relationship.
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Additionally, it’s important to communicate with the person who hired/booked you to make sure they have the same expectations.
DJs sometimes limit themselves by sticking to the same genres they always play. Let’s get out of our comfort zone!
Many people get their feet wet by “opening” for more established DJs. It’s a great way to resource yourself while also getting great experience in the previous hours when things are low pressure.
Over time, you’ll start to see your name in higher and higher billing… you provide a certain level of social proof, helping you score even better in the future.
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But we’re thinking outside the box… what are some scenarios of your warm-up music?
So every year I play a fashion show, which is preceded by a horse and a photo shoot. For me, it has become a tradition to play the “show before the show” for the models and workers to enjoy.
Not every reservation has to be a typical bar or nightclub. There are many events that can benefit from the services of a DJ!
Do independent coffee shops in your area play music for patrons? How about a crossfit group at your local gym? Local school district sports team?
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I played in thrift stores, street fairs, state parks, and dirty warehouses. It’s about finding a group that doesn’t know they miss your service.
For many DJs, success came in the form of starting their own nights. For those who want to wear the promoter hat, this can be a great way to get your sound to a new audience… while helping other DJs share theirs.
If you aren’t actively looking for it, they will knock on your door. It doesn’t work like that.
Whether you are a wedding DJ or playing shows in clubs, the saying is true: a closed mouth has no feed.
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When discussing a potential computer with an event planner, promoter or venue owner, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t forget to have the necessary promotional materials with you (like business cards), and prepare your website so they can land somewhere if they think of you later.
Not every computer will be included in the first question. One big mistake many DJ’s make is never following up with people after they have “networked”!
Continued communication (and ultimately repeat value) will help you see increased results.
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Learning to network with other DJs, especially if you work in the local music scene, can be one of the best ways to increase your gigs for both parties.
Reaching out to people in your network can help you reach new markets and build on the trust that each party brings to the table.
When you work together, try to identify the strengths of each of you. Find out what your common goals are and why you want to work together.
Be patient with each other and learn to put yourself aside. Develop strong communication skills (err on the side of sharing) so you can truly work together as partners.
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Getting more gigs requires you to take more action! Here are some final tips for scoring these shows:
Using the tips in this article will definitely help you get more bookings and become a happier DJ in the process.
David Michael is a DJ, producer and creator of The Passionate DJ Podcast: a weekly talk show dedicated to the art and science of mixing music. “Together we become better DJs with passion and purpose.”
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Are you starting out as a DJ with a new controller?
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