There are so many ways to promote yourself as a DJ. For a beginner, trying to get their name out there and possibly trying to get their very first gig, it could be tough….if you don’t know how to promote or if you don’t promote yourself at all. First thing you will need to do is obviously practice, practice, and more practice. Its obvious that you will not get a lot of gigs if you don’t practice, pay attention to what you are doing, and not successful. Even the most successful DJ’s still practice and DJ with their friends. The industry is very competitive and there is only a finite amount of work available from bars and clubs. DJ’s don’t tend to have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and promotion, but here we will show you how you can promote yourself as a DJ with minimal cost.
Below, we have listed some tips on a great amount of fundamentals to promote yourself as a DJ. Some of the tips are specific to being a DJ, and some are just some generalised marketing essentials that should be understood by all, regardless of the craft you create and your career.
Creating Mixes for Distribution
Think of it this way, you as a DJ are a business, so then by default your original mixes are your product to consumers. As such, you need to be able to provide bars, nightclubs, festivals and promoters with examples of your own work. There are a lot of file-sharing websites now-days to upload and distribute them online for easier access. A great service and community for this is Soundcloud.
Flyers & Brochures
Now that you as a business (your DJ name) you will need to create some type of flyer/brochures to reflect your business. Bare in mind that these flyers and brochures will be representing you as a “business” so you don’t want to get the old black-white styled only because they are cheap. A cheap looking flyer will make you as a “business” make you look like a dodgy “business” (DJ), which is not a good look to brand out your image. Spare no expense with your promotional material. If you are short on cash, try approaching your local school, college or university’s graphic design section, and get a student to design it for you. (Thus helping get exposure from the designer and your business as well)
Diversity Your Skill Set
The more genres you can DJ and mix, the more work you will be able to get hired for. Think of it this way as a business, instead of selling just one product, think of other side products that can relate to your main selling point, for example Clothing stores now-days also sell sunnies, hats, belts and not just shirts and pants. If you limit yourself to a specific genre, it might not be a good idea. Nowadays, it isn’t that expensive to expand to other genres, as all it takes are $1.50 downloads on iTunes for one track. If this way ten years ago, you would have to buy hundred of new vinyl to build up a collection in a genre, which became expensive extremely quickly (then again DJs ten years ago was much different then it is today)
Learn To Sell
Its not hard to learn some of the basic sale skills, if you have previous experience in retail or something related, then you will do fine in this section. But for those who haven’t, well then lets look at it more specifically. First off, its not hard so don’t panic, also there are plently of online resources out there that can instantly improve your sales abilities. This will, at the bare minimum, give you the confidence to get out there and sell yourself as a DJ. A great book which is actually required reading for most MBA programs, is “How to Win Friends & Influence People“.
Through facebook, you can create yourself as a fan page to grab the attention of your friends and your frined’s friends, which will evidently, allow for credibility when approaching bars and nightclubs. Also, most DJs are addicted to Twitter and its also a great way to network and stay in touch with your fans and to get your name out there even more! One of the most essential rules in business is: your success will be all about who you know.
Now, to be treating yourself as a business, if you want to be successful, you will have to be serious about dedicating your time to practicing networking, selling, and always discovering new music to be the best of your capabilities. As I mentioned in the beginning paragraph, even the most successful DJ’s still practice and go over their own works. As a business you would want yourself to stay active, in the business stages maturity is when the business grows and is possibly stable. You don’t want to be in the section of the business stage to be declining until you really want to retire from the game. Many businessman & businesswomen say “starting a business is easy, its when you want the business to stay successful, its harder” *paraphrase.
Do you have any additional tips for a new DJ Starting out? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below! or maybe you have a story relating to a starting DJ, we’d like to hear it.