One of the toughest parts of being a new DJ is that you’ll be responsible for finding gigs. Not knowing when your next check will come can be hard on your morale and even have you thinking about quitting. But, before you do, you have to make sure that you have done everything you could to get your name out there. Some people are not ready for the legwork it takes to get gigs or aren’t willing to work gigs that are less than desirable to get attention, but those are some of the things you might have to do if you want to get regular work. Here are some easy ways DJ can get more gigs.
Learn the Business
Before you start DJing, you have to learn the fundamentals of DJing and the business side as well. This will give you a better understanding of how DJs earn revenue, and how they can make a name in the industry.
If you need a good introduction to the world of DJing and how to DJ, we suggest that you check out the guide provided by Pirate. It’s a great resource for those who want to learn how to DJ professionally, and will also give you some information on what type of equipment you’ll need, how to get your first gig, and some of the skills you’ll need to make it.
Work Pro Bono
When you’re just getting started, you need to take any gig you can get, even if it’s for free. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wedding or a local food fair. The more you get out there, the more chances you’ll get discovered. This is also a great opportunity to learn your craft. You’ll have less pressure and the mistakes you make won’t have the same repercussions, so this is an opportunity you need to take advantage of.
Stream Your Sets
If you have a small following on social media, one of the things you could do is stream some of your sets live. These can be from the club or your bedroom. The most important thing is that your sets are good. Regularly streaming live sets can do a lot for your career. For one, you could use donations and ad revenue as a source of income, but you’ll also have something to show people if you want to get booked.
Create Your Events
There’s nothing that says you have to beg venues or promoters to get gigs. If you’re confident in your skills, you could rent a venue yourself and create your own events. All you have to do is contact venues around the city and ask what their price is. It would be a better idea to focus on smaller venues if you aren’t well known as bigger ones will usually only want to work with established acts.
Once you’ve found a few venues, look at the price and the capacity. Choose a venue which you feel confident you’ll be able to fill. Privilege those that offer security, a coat check, and bar staff for free.
Once you have a few quotes, divide the venue price by its max capacity. This will give you an idea of how much you need to price your tickets to break even. You can then set your ticket price to get a profit. This price should give you a good margin, but it also needs to be in line with other comparable acts, so be careful here.
If your first event is successful, try to speak with the venue owner and check if you could host a regular night there. This is one of the best ways to guarantee your income as a DJ, and you could eventually move to larger venues once you get more popular.
It’s difficult to think of one major DJ right now that doesn’t produce, and many top DJs today gained their notoriety through their production and not their sets. So, if you want to get gigs more easily and make some extra money, you have to learn how to create tracks.
Learning how to produce takes time and practice, but it is something that’s accessible to pretty much anybody. If you’re a DJ, you already understand things like rhythm, tempo, and pitch, and the learning curve won’t be as steep for you.
You can learn how to produce music online, or go to a legitimate music production academic if you want to get serious. Once you know how to make your own music, you’ll be able to release your work or make remixes of other popular songs.
Start a Podcast
Starting a podcast can also be a great way to get more attention. You could use your podcast to interview DJs who are more popular than you and have access to their audience. You can also use it as a sort of radio show and showcase sets from different DJs, with you being one of them of course.
Look for Unusual Venues
One of the biggest mistakes people make when looking for gigs is concentrating only on clubs and bars, but there are so many more opportunities out there if you know where to look. Some of these places include gyms, restaurants, and clothing stores, just to name a few. So, don’t be afraid to hit them up as well and suggest the idea of having a live DJ if they don’t have one yet.
Have a Great Website
Your website will also be a very powerful tool as a new DJ, so make sure that it’s professional and has plenty of footage of your sets. This will give you something to show people when you ask them if you can perform at their venue or when you meet people at industry events.
These are all things that you can do as a new DJ if you want to make a name for yourself and get more gigs. Once you get a few nice gigs under your belt, you should have no trouble finding people to book you if you’re ready to do the work.